Sep 19, 2008 - Paul Mann
Arcata – Humboldt State University expects to save almost $60,000 and cut 253 metric tons of campus greenhouse gas emissions annually through two new projects funded by the Energy Efficiency Partnership with California State University and the University of California.
HSU is installing energy management software to power down computers when they are not in use in labs and in faculty, staff and department offices.
The second initiative will tighten controls on the Wildlife Building’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment to reduce energy wasted by aging systems.
The HSU Green Campus Program was instrumental in working with HSU Plant Operations and the Chancellor’s Office to initiate the projects. The software management program was Green Campus’s idea that they presented to President Rollin Richmond, Tim Moxon, HSU’s Director of Plant Operations, and the Chancellor’s Office.
The two projects, scheduled for completion in mid-November, are financed by a $131,838 dollar grant, plus $45,500 in co-funding supplied by HSU.
“The energy management software runs in the background on the computers and ‘learns’ the operator’s usage patterns and powers down the computer when not in use,” said Moxon. “The software is pretty sophisticated because it does not slow the machine or require an onerous time delay to power back up.”
Moxon said the amount of energy computers consume while idling is “amazing,” multiplied by more than 1,500 campus PC’s.
The Wildlife Building will benefit from more precise measures of actual energy use. The upgrade will verify that HVAC equipment and controls are being operated properly and enable new control strategies to cut consumption.
“Besides the wasted energy that can be saved,” Moxon said, “occupants typically find the building becomes more comfortable after its control systems have been made to work correctly.”