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Air Force showcases hot technologies on 'cool' roof



TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- Engineers say there is no metal roof in demonstration anywhere in the Air Force that will have the energy reduction impact of what has been installed at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. 

"This project has captured a lot of attention because it's a step in the right direction for the Air Force in becoming more energy independent," said 2nd Lt. Joseph Buyer, a civil engineer with the 17th Civil Engineer Squadron at Goodfellow AFB.

A year of data collection is nearly complete on the integrated roof system on the base's security forces building. The metal-over-metal retrofit integrates cool roofing, solar-power generation, solar thermal, above-sheathing ventilation and rainwater catchment into one holistic system.

"The water is collected and drained into a 10,000-gallon tank. With about two inches of rain, which is about what we get here with any given storm, that tank is completely full," Buyer said.

The Department of Energy's Oakridge National Lab is collecting data on heat transfer, energy output from the photovoltaic panels and water usage. 

Preliminary numbers show a 44-percent reduction in energy consumption, said Mary Lumsdon, the Goodfellow AFB energy manager. 

"We were very excited to have been selected to have this project completed on our installation," Lumsdon said. "This project is a combination of several technologies coming together to aid in our goal of energy reduction and develops our on-base renewable energy sources. Goodfellow continues to strive to be a leader in energy reduction." 

This pilot project could be just the beginning, said Mike Giniger, an energy engineer with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center.

"We want to exceed our energy conservation goals and our renewable energy goals, but we also want to be the visionary and driver of getting new technologies into our facilities."

"Incorporating a number of technologies can be a difficult process but through teamwork and proper planning, it's actually an attainable goal," Buyer said. 

The Department of Defense Environmental Security Technologies Certification Program, or ESTCP, paid for the Goodfellow AFB roof project. The ESTCP provides grants to industry to demonstrate sustainable products and systems aimed at meeting DOD's energy and water conservation goals. 

The National Defense Authorization Act passed in 2007 requires the DOD to produce or procure 25 percent of all energy from renewable sources by 2025. In addition, the federal government has mandated DOD institute a 30-percent energy-use reduction on its properties by 2015 and another 37.5 percent reduction by 2020.