APRIL 6, 2016, SIGONELLA, Sicily (NNS) – Technological advancements have revolutionized the way we live, socialize, and work, spawning new products, concepts and applications for existing technologies. The same goes for life throughout Naval Air Station Sigonella.
This evolution has given rise to concepts such as the Internet of Things (IoT), the network of physical objects embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data. The IoT enables objects – such as a vehicle or a building – to be sensed and remotely managed via existing network infrastructure, leading to more efficient and more intelligent management.
One such example of these new “smart” technologies is the Direct Digital Control eheating and cooling system used throughout Naval Air Station Sigonella. The system is networked and allows for remote monitoring and control of a building’s heat or air conditioning.
The DDC system was recently installed in Barracks 170 where each room is equipped with a motion-activated sensor that can detect the presence or absence of a person in the room. If no one is present, the temperature defaults to a set point, and the fan motors shut down in order to conserve energy. The set point temperatures are set by CNIC based on the season. Once the door opens and a presence is detected, the system kicks back on and works to cool or heat the room accordingly. If someone opens the window, the system automatically shuts down in order to conserve resources.
The DDC system was first introduced in NAS Sigonella after a Europewide competition for energy managers to develop basewide energy savings measures.
“Since 2003, we have seen a 30 percent reduction in total energy usage,” said Antonino Piluso, installation energy manager. “In monetary terms, in FY15 alone, NAS Sigonella saved $2 million as a result of energy reduction measures.”
“The system allows us to continuously monitor building temperatures and even diagnose problems right on the computer screen,” explained Terence Kaden, electronics technician, Public Works Department.
What began in 2003, as a small program, has grown significantly over the past 13 years. Through energy performance contracts, the system has been installed in 72 buildings to date, with a view to basewide implementation of the DDC system in the future.
“The benefits of the DDC system have been twofold: we now have the capability to regulate temperature in an efficient manner while still providing a comfortable living environment for residents,” said Kaden. “And at the same time, the savings as a result of the energy reduction equates to millions of dollars for taxpayers. I consider that a win-win [situation].”
As part of the Great Green Fleet, EURAFSWA installations play a critical role in enhancing readiness, generating the force structure necessary for mission success, and enabling combat operations.