Promoting energy efficiency in universities and colleges.
Universities and colleges are large and complex institutions with a broad range of areas and activities that contribute to their energy consumption.
In a typical college or university facility, lighting and air conditioning are the largest consumers of electricity but of course plug-in equipment such as computers, specialised equipment such as lab apparatus and refectory equipment such as cookers and chilled food storage all contribute and on a big campus their contribution is significant.
Universities very often run on tight faculty budgets and are expected to be at the forefront of environmental thinking in regard to global warming, the climate crisis and carbon emissions.
Decreasing energy consumption and eliminating energy waste is an on-going process and savings are often incremental rather than the result of a single process or strategy.
Methods and technologies for increasing energy efficiency in universities and colleges.
In any type of commercial or institutional setting, the problems and solutions regarding energy efficiency are individual and unique.
Universities and campuses have an unusual situation where the biggest area of energy use is perhaps also the biggest resource for instigating energy efficiencies.
The majority of the energy consumed by a campus is, of course, directly attributable to the student body.
The actual energy consumption patterns for a university or college will obviously be dependant on which of the world’s regions the campus is situated in and therefore the prevailing climatic conditions that it experiences.
However, statistically, lighting will account for roughly 30% of energy consumption and HVAC account for a further 30%. The remaining electrical energy use will be spread over a wide range of areas as noted above.
Ensuring that in as many fittings as possible, it is using the most efficient form of lighting available will increase a university's energy efficiency.
LED’s are obtainable to fit almost all interior and exterior light fittings and will show savings of as much as 80% over legacy filament lighting and significant energy savings over all other forms of lighting including CFL’s.
LED units have a much longer working life than other forms of lighting and therefore save money in replacement and maintenance costs as well.
Even LED’s will be ‘wasting energy’ if they are used to illuminate areas that are unoccupied or are being lit adequately by natural daylight.
Lighting control systems can be installed that will sense occupancy or natural light levels and dim or extinguish lights accordingly.
HVAC energy waste can be controlled by a range of equipment but in areas where individual AC units are installed such as dormitories and lecture rooms, retrofitted sensors will show up to a 30% increase in efficiency and take only 15 minutes to fit per unit.
These engineered solutions will have an effect on the reduction of energy wastage, as will similar installations on refectory refrigeration and induction motors running escalators or other machinery.
The big potential savings however come from measuring and monitoring the energy consumption across the campus and analysing this data building by building, department by department and circuit by circuit.
Analysing this data will certainly highlight areas of energy waste as well as showing how and when the energy is used across the campus.
The data can be used to reschedule activities and usage in order to reduce peak demand charges, which could have a significant impact on energy costs.
In universities where this information has been collected and collated and shared with students it has been seen to motivate large reductions in energy use and therefore carbon emissions. In some instances, buildings or departments have been put into competition with each other to see which section of the student body could show the largest energy savings.
These savings have been brought about by the students’ environmental concerns as much as the fiscal needs of the campus.
Eniscope is a hardware and software package that meters your energy consumption from a wide number of points and enables you to analyse that data in real time. Information can be collected from different areas, different circuits and all the way down to individual pieces of equipment.
Eniscope Analytics is a web-based, diagnostic tool that allows you to study your energy information in an intelligent way making it simpler to understand and therefore act upon.
Eniscope Public Displays make energy consumption and energy savings visible to staff, managers and students alike in order to inform and motivate as well as making a commitment to lower carbon emissions visible.
SureSense Eluma is a lighting control system that will turn lights off in unused or unoccupied areas.
SureSense LED’s used in a variety of applications can cut energy costs and also reduce maintenance costs compared to incandescent, CFL, neon, and other options.
For more information or to locate your nearest SureSense distributor please simply contact us.