Starting in 2013, ECU participated in a lighting performance contract with several other institutions in the UNC System. The project replaced 30,000 fixtures and was paid for through an innovative financial agreement that utilizes cost savings from the more efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) light fixtures to pay for the installation.
This energy monitoring system is utilized at ECU to monitor real-time electrical energy consumption at most buildings on campus as well as the Dental School’s Service Learning Centers located across the state. Our goal is to utilize the dashboard feature of PME to stream real-time graphics to individual building monitors located in central lobby areas so that building occupants can reduce consumption.
Campus Living utilizes this system for monitoring energy consumption in the residence halls. Twice per year residence halls on campus use the Lucid Dashboard to host the Watt Watch Energy Challenge, in which dorms compete against one another to see who can reduce energy the most over a month-long period. The winning dorm is awarded with a party sponsored by Campus Living.
Understandably one of the most heavily used buildings on campus. Due to its longer operating hours and the need to maintain archival storage standards of temperature and humidity, energy consumption is high. This year, ECU is upgrading much of the HVAC, optimizing its chiller plant and replacing outdated pneumatic controls. When complete, the efficiency will be greatly enhanced.
At ECU’s West Research Campus, the main facility is heated with propane-fired gas boilers. In 2015, the building’s aging chillers were replaced with a more efficient chiller along with a separate heat exchanger which extracts “waste” heat from the water returning to the chiller and uses it to preheat the boiler water. This has resulted in a 70% reduction in propane use.
Three of our older facilities with single-pane windows have had thermal film installed. This has resulted in reducing - by more than 90% - the infrared radiation passing through the glass. With the reduced heat load, the air conditioning works less – saving energy – and the aesthetics of the buildings are also improved.
Two Zon Powersol Umbrellas have been installed. One is located outside of Jones Residence Hall and the other can be found in the East Carolina Heart Institute Atrium. These umbrellas have solar panels on top that power the charging station near the table top. These devices demonstrate the capabilities of solar power and allow up to three mobile devices to charge simultaneously. The intelligent USB charging ports sense when a device is charged and the LED display indicates power stored and available.
The energy required to operate one standard fume hood costs ECU an estimated $7,000 per year! In fact, the energy required to condition and then move the air through the ductwork in one hood can be three- to four- times the amount to operate an entire residence for a year. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) controls in laboratory facilities are programmed to provide a safe number of air changes per hour (ACH) when fume hoods are operated in an area. For these reasons, ECU is launching a new program for when ventilation equipment is out of service for maintenance or there is no research planned for the near future, the ACH must remain the same until the sashes are securely closed and equipment is decommissioned. Once that is accomplished, HVAC personnel can then reduce the number of air changes per hour in the workspace – greatly reducing the operating costs of the affected portion of the building. When it is determined a decommissioned hood is needed for upcoming research, Campus Operations will cover the cost for EH&S to retest the equipment and – upon successful test results – will re-commission the equipment for use and Facilities Services HVAC will adjust the Building Automation System accordingly to provide safe ventilation flows throughout the lab.
Similar to Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN). ECU has hosted a Watt Watch Energy Challenge in the residence halls on Main Campus for the past two years. Typically, this competition challenges dorm residents to work together to reduce electricity consumption and mitigate the impacts of climate change. In recent years, the competitions have resulted in 6-9% energy reductions and over $80,000 in avoided energy costs for participating dorms!