JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, TEXAS —
The 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron will be demonstrating new SmartFlower solar technology and sharing information about environmental awareness across Joint Base San Antonio in celebration of Earth Day April 22.
The SmartFlower and environmental awareness presentations will be displayed at the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Post Exchange April 19, the JBSA-Lackland Base Exchange April 20, and the JBSA-Randolph Base Exchange April 21. Displays will be up 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. all three days and demonstrations will occur 10:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., said Adam Murdaugh, 502nd CES engineering technician.
“The SmartFlower is an all in one solar device that has petal-shaped solar panels,” according to Murdaugh. “Whenever the sun comes out it will unfold and track the sun on a dual axis.”
“We’re hoping to make the occupants and tenants in JBSA aware of what we’re trying to do for former President Barack Obama’s initiative on reducing energy usage,” said Dwight Wellons, a mechanical engineer with the 502nd CES here.
“Earth Day this year is going to be a little bit different because this equipment that were having has never been in the U.S.,” said Wellons. “We’re going to be the first ones to put it on a base and when we install it into our buildings, we’re going to be the first ones in the continental U.S. to install this piece of equipment.”
Wellons added that the presentation will give an opportunity to teach young people why it’s important to reduce global footprints and the resources being used around the 502nd Air Base Wing.
“We figure if we can get people to look at it and touch it, they’ll become more aware and turn around and say, what can I do?” said Wellons. “How do I as an American help in this endeavor?”
Wellons imparted that it’s important to do things such as turn lights off when not in use, recycle soda cans and look to conserve water when possible.
“In my house when I brush my teeth I don’t run the water. I wet my toothbrush and then just brush my teeth,” said Wellons. “And that’s really all conserving energy is about, simple stuff like that.”
“We waste a lot of energy, every day,” said Wellons. “Anybody that cuts off a light switch all feeds into a bigger goal.”
For the 502nd ABW as a whole, Murdaugh explained that the 502nd CES is trying to replace outdated heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and things that are not energy efficient. Also the 502nd CES will be installing the Smartflower into eight buildings around JBSA.
“In the future we’re replacing incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs,” said Murdaugh. “If everybody is mindful about cutting light switches off and such it will go a long way toward our energy saving goals.”