US Navy Energy & Environmental Office Uses Online Crowdsourcing to Seek Energy Solutions

US Navy Energy & Environmental Office Uses Online Crowdsourcing to Seek Energy Solutions

Director of the Chief of Naval Operations Energy and Environmental Readiness Division (OPNAV N45), invited the fleet and the general public in February to submit their ideas to improve how the Navy uses and thinks about energy.

In a follow-up Navy Live blog entry posted April 17, Rear Adm. Kevin Slates highlighted several of the more than 50 innovative ideas received from the Navy community, industry and the general public.

The ideas ranged from simple personal acts, such as turning off computers and lights at the end of the day, to more complex approaches such as having “tiger” teams evaluate recently installed energy efficient technologies to ensure they work as advertised. Other ideas included replacing thick manuals aboard ships with tablet devices, and adding hydropower capture technologies to existing water distribution systems to create electricity.

Reducing the Navy’s energy use and footprint improves combat capability and aligns with Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ five aggressive energy goals. In pursuit of those goals, the Navy has been working to increase the use of energy-wise technologies and processes ashore and at sea, explore advanced biofuel blends as drop-in replacements for petroleum, incorporate energy considerations in the acquisition process and increase energy awareness among Navy personnel.

“Technology is certainly a piece of the puzzle for becoming a highly energy efficient warfighting force-but we’ll never solve that puzzle without changing our energy culture,” said Vice Adm. Phil Cullom, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics (N4). “This crowdsourcing effort can help get creative, culture-bending energy ideas quickly from the deck plate Sailor and outside partners to the right decision makers, and that’s what we need.”

Naval Today Staff, April 18, 2013; Image: US Navy