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By: Patrick Shipp, Category Manager, Energy Efficiency

Throughout U.S. history, the logistics of war have been as important as the men and women serving on the front lines. From General Washington’s long winter at Valley Forge to the treacherous mountains of Afghanistan, uninterrupted access to ammunition, food, and fuel remains a critical component of mission success.

While the delivery of ammunition and food can be conducted through airborne operations, and their consumption can be regulated, the requirement for always-on power solutions presents a unique problem. Communications, surveillance and environmental systems require the use of generators resulting in 24/7 consumption of fuel. Delivery of fuel cannot be impaired, and its conservation can have a dramatic impact on both budget and logistics.

Solar Panels Set Up on the Ground

Today’s Warfighter is using more electricity than any other time in our history. Individually, a Soldier now carries as much weight in batteries as he previously carried in water and ammunition. At the unit level, an operations center is using as much power as your average three-bedroom home. Today most communications equipment, lighting, environmental control units, TVs, monitors, and projectors all rely on a diesel fuel powered generator parked outside the tent. As the footprint grows, and that Tactical Operations Center becomes a base camp with billeting, kitchens, hygiene, motor pools, and additional C5ISR, power requirements grow exponentially. And all of this operates day and night, seven days a week.

Military Men Setting Up Solar Panels on the Ground

Providing power has traditionally been left to diesel fueled generators, running continuously with scheduled maintenance intervals. These maintenance intervals require that additional generators be on hand to provide power to critical systems during downtime. Refueling and maintenance often reduces the Warfighter’s period of rest, which can lead to diminished performance when it counts.

Within the world of expeditionary power generation, teams of engineers work tirelessly to identify and provide solutions to our Warfighter’s energy needs. Tents with solar shades can reduce the heat from the sun. Rigid shelters designed with insulated walls keep comfortable temperatures in, and extreme temperatures out. Upgrading to more efficient compressors and Environmental Control Units with variable speed control fans can reduce consumption by several thousand watts, while still providing the same level of air conditioning. Replacing fluorescent lights with LEDs can save 20-30 watts with each bulb. LEDs also produce less heat, so cooling requirements are significantly reduced. All of these things can reduce reliance on fuel deliveries in austere environments.

Advances in power generation have also reduced the Warfighter’s reliance on fuel deliveries. Hybrid power systems with intelligent power management may be used to provide the required amount of power, while reducing fuel consumption, emissions, and noise. With the inclusion of a power management unit, batteries, and renewable power generation, there is no limit to the duration of mission without fuel resupply. These systems can be scaled to support the individual and team, up to supporting an entire basecamp with several hundred residents.

At ADS Inc., we have the ability to provide the right-sized power, right now. Our team of experts work directly with customers and manufacturers to provide solutions based not only on current needs but expected ones. From integrating existing power generation equipment into hybrid systems, to creating cutting-edge technology in response to new mission requirements, our purpose is your mission.

Patrick Shipp, Category Manager, Energy Efficiency

Patrick Shipp came to ADS from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where he was a Presidential Management Fellow after receiving his Masters in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. As ADS’s Energy Category Manager, he is responsible for finding solutions to our customer’s power needs – whether they include improving energy resiliency in theater with innovative power generation and smart grid technology or transitioning those operational energy efficiencies to a garrison environment. Patrick and the Business Development team are focused on helping small businesses and government leaders alike meet Congressional and Executive mandates to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.


ADS, Inc. is a leading value-added logistics and supply chain solutions provider that proudly serves all branches of the U.S. Military, federal, state and local government organizations, law enforcement agencies, first responders, partner nations, and the defense industry. Headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA, ADS is a Top 50 Department of Defense Contractor focused on solving our customers’ challenges by providing the best product and service offerings, the broadest array of procurement options, and legendary customer service.

For immediate assistance, call us toll-free at 866.845.3012. Have a question or need a quote? Email us at or contact us and we’ll respond within 24 hours.

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