Client Successes

Critical Utility Base Leveraged Project

I am blown away that more businesses don't take advantage of NMSBA. Their access to the national laboratories means that you can bring any problem forward and they will solve it.

Designed to be about one-half the size of an intermodal shipping container,
Critical Utility Base (CUB) units are customized to provide customers access to
transportable utilities, such as electricity, potable water, wastewater treatment,
and liquid fuels. Such units can provide power/utilities at any remote location.
Applications include forward operating bases, disaster relief centers, or remote
communities in domestic and international locations. CUB, Inc. makes these
units in conjunction with Amethyst Electric, Inc., and AMENERGY.
CUB’s main unit, known as the CUB-E (electricity), took too much time to set up
manually. The small businesses did not have the in-house expertise to engineer
an automated deployment/retraction rack for the unit’s solar panels, so they
turned to NMSBA which connected them with engineer Kenneth Armijo of
Sandia National Laboratories.


Armijo and his team developed finite element analysis and control models
to automate the racking system. This effort involved engineering the pivot
points, rack motors and controls, and other components associated with
deployment functionality, while also stabilizing the container’s structure.
They modified the rack’s container, taking into consideration weather and
environmental issues. They also addressed thermal management solutions
to ensure that internal container electronics and energy storage remained
within optimal temperature limits.


The end result was a CUB-E with fully automated deployment and retraction.
This automation deploys CUB-E’s 30 solar panels within minutes—no other
technology on the market can do this. The business partners have since
hired two engineers and are negotiating with MCT Industries, Inc. to build a
marketable prototype of their CUB-E.