Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC EXWC) Public Works Department (PWD) completes the second phase of their debut Microgrid Academy for the Department of Defense (DOD) armed forces and civilian personnel.
Back in November 2020, NAVFAC EXWC PWD hosted the first phase of the two-phase debut Microgrid Academy. 46 participants from across the armed forces attended first phase instruction virtually. By adhering to COVID-19 procedures, the second phase of Microgrid Academy is more intimate, spanning 8 hours a day for 3 days. The instruction is hands-on at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) in NAVFAC EXWC buildings and at the microgrid test bed within the Mobile Utilities Support Equipment yard.
Instructors work at a variety of military commands and government agencies, including NAVFAC EXWC, Naval Station Rota (NAVSTA), and the Electric Power Research Institute.
Many of the students attending the Microgrid Academy are new to the complexity of the Microgrid Academy training but have a reasonable amount of energy utilities knowledge. Some students however, are new to microgrid technologies and their operations altogether.
There are several objectives for students attending the second phase of the Microgrid Academy, including training on the microgrid decision support software used by the Navy and Army—known as XENDEE.
XENDEE—designed by microgrid engineers, software developers and energy experts—helps military planners and mission critical facility operators simulate scenarios in various stages of microgrid design, including feasibility studies, financial optimization, and technical validity and project implementation. The configurations students simulate include current microgrid systems managed by NAVFAC EXWC at NBVC’s San Nicolas Island (SNI) and NAVSTA. Both SNI and NAVSTA utilize energy, energy storage, and microgrid technology to improve resiliency against potential energy outages, and reduce energy costs.
Students also spend time partaking in hands-on training at the microgrid test bed, where they work with testbed controls, battery energy storage systems—known as BESS units—and monitoring systems to understand how microgrid systems operate in real-world applications. Students also learned about the safety, operation, and maintenance requirements to keep BESS units operating properly, inside specifications.
Since the debut of the Microgrid Academy, instructors have gleaned feedback from students on course curriculum options, which leads to collective high-level discussions with students with all levels of microgrid knowledge. These high-level discussions also provide understanding for different DOD utility needs across various installations.
Classroom instruction for the first phase of the second offering of the Microgrid Academy will take place at the end of April 2021. For more information on the Microgrid Academy and enrollment opportunities, please contact Robert Nordahl, NAVFAC EXWC Microgrid Academy Team Lead at email@example.com.