GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — USAG Bavaria was presented the 2020 Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award, via a Microsoft TEAMS ceremony on Oct. 21. The award recognizes smart ways to manage electricity and heating systems, as the team saved $1,280,000 this past year.
USAG Bavaria Energy Manager Paul Hlawatsch, DPW Chief of Operations and Maintenance Hohenfels Michael Schlosser, the Deputy Director of Public Works Hohenfels Bernhard Weber and the Corps of Engineers Project Manager Dieter Wittmann worked together to create a smart system combining two heat and power plants.
“It’s not just about the money we save,” said Hlawatsch. “Energy conversation is vital to the environment. [It’s] very fundamental to stop climate change, and to the legacy of how we leave the planet for our children and our future.”
This $8.5 million upgrade saves $1,280,000 annually, as well as 2,640 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. This is a win-win situation in saving money and the environment.
The cogeneration system produces both energy and heat, and it adjusts the performance to the need of consumer demands. According to the team, thermal heat is fed into the local heating network. Then the system uses the principle of combined heat and power generation. A combustion engine is used to run the system. Using this energy, a utilization rate of up to 90 percent can be reached to produce electricity and heat.
“This is the second time we won the prize,” Hlawatsch said. “In 2015 we won the same prize with a central building control systems using different metrics, like holidays or low fluctuation in buildings, to reduce energy consumption.”
“The Corps is always exploring new techniques and technology to promote energy efficiency, said Col. Patrick Dagon, commander of the Europe District. “The nominees’ efforts contributed to smarter energy operations that not only save taxpayer dollars, but enable war fighting readiness on installations where our Soldiers, civilians and family members live, train and work.”