Over the past seven years the University has embarked on an extensive insulation program to insulate steam pipes and other mechanical equipment to help save energy. Currently, faulty steam traps throughout campus are being replaced. A steam trap allows the condensed steam (water) to return to the boiler while allowing the steam to remain in the system to continue to heat buildings etc.
When a steam trap fails, it usually fails in the open position, allowing not only the water to escape but also heat in the form of steam. When that occurs, the steam does not circulate to the appropriate building to supply heat but rather back to the boiler, thus wasting the energy that was used to create the steam. In addition to replacing the steam traps, work is underway to replace the economizers on two of the boilers in the heating plant.
Finally, with the construction of three new chiller plants, the university is replacing numerous inefficient pieces of air conditioning equipment on campus. The new chiller plants contain a different type of system than previously used and one which is much more efficient to operate.
One of the largest energy saving endeavors has been a multi phased replacement of T-12 fluorescent lamps with more energy efficient T-8 lamps.
In 2004, a total of 2,436 fixtures were replaced in the University lab schools, Metcalf and U-High. In 2006, 7,293 total fixtures were replaced throughout 11 ISU classroom buildings. In 2007, 6,378 total fixtures were replaced in 10 campus classroom buildings. In 2009, a total of 1,179 fixtures were replaced in 11 more campus buildings.
The retrofits from all of these projects will result in a combined reduction of approximately 1000 kilowatts of required electricity. Funding for all of these projects was provided through grants from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
Over the past several years, the Office of Energy Management has participated in campus wide events in an effort to educate students, faculty and staff of the importance of energy conservation. Some of the events include Festival ISU, Health You Healthy Earth, and Earth Day.
OEM provides demonstrations that show the energy savings of a compact fluorescent light bulb versus an incandescent bulb of comparable watts. They also have a demonstration of water savings that is possible when using a low flow shower head versus a standard one. The display also offers several handouts that participants can take with them with additional information in on how to save energy.
A demonstration hybrid 1 kW wind / 1 kW solar grid-tie capable renewable energy system has been installed at the Horticulture Center on Raab Rd. The system serves as a research and educational tool for our students in the Renewable Energy major. Two additional photovoltaic panels have been installed on top of the technology lab of Turner Hall, with live metering data fed into the lab.