Initiatives in Action
The Energy Savings Action Plan (ESAP) identified a number of energy savings initiatives and following is a summary of those which have either been fully implemented or are currently in progress:
- Specific Utilities Initiatives
- Power factor correction
- Site wide metering program
- Heating Ventilating & Air conditioning Controls (HVAC) modifications
- Lighting upgrades and retrofits
- Solar power generation installations
- Awards & Accolades
1. Specific utilities initiatives
These measures centred on the passing of the applicable utility charges through to third party tenants occupying areas within the university campus. Savings were anticipated as the user-pays principle encouraged the self-regulation of energy consumption. Since 2006, utility charges have been progressively either directly billed or rolled in to the rental charges of these tenants.
2. Power factor correction
Correcting the power factor is about improving the efficiency of the electricity that the campus draws from the substations. A description about what a power factor is all about in technical terms can be found here. The implementation of power factor corrections at Wollongong and Innovation Campus is now complete and has improved the power factor experienced at each of the supply sub-stations. This in turn has decreased the amount of electrical current consumed. All new buildings now have power factor correction equipment included in their design.
3. Site wide metering program
Since 2006 a site wide Utility Metering and Management System (UMMS) has progressively been installed across the Wollongong, Innovation and Shoalhaven campuses. This system uses a mix of revenue and private meter data to monitor consumption of electricity, water and gas by the significant consumers on these campuses. This data is fed to the University’s Data and Analytics Self-service Hub (DASH) portal which provides the means for consumption monitoring and reporting and also assists with utility supply planning as the campuses expand.
4. Heating ventilating & Air conditioning controls modifications
Identified during the ESAP process were many specific projects across campus where more efficient performance of the existing mechanical services could be achieved.
These projects generally fell into one of the following categories:
- Minimising the running times of the mechanical plant by scheduling their operation for actual, required occupancy times and/or utilising occupant detection systems.
- Maximising the use of outside air cycles to provide non-mechanical cooling as much as possible.
- Minimising unsuitable outside air infiltration by, for example, using of CO2 sensors to maintain air quality.
- Adjustment of control set points for both space condition and service water set points to eliminate excessive heating and cooling plant operation.
- Resetting of heating plant set points based on the prevailing outside air temperature.
- General overhaul of control algorithms to eliminate inbuilt inefficiencies such as systems, on occasion, heating and cooling simultaneously or plant running at higher capacities than actually necessary.
The viable HVAC projects identified in the first ESAP have now been completed but the efficiency improvement process continues with operational reviews and equipment effectiveness being considered as part of the routine renovations and maintenance.
5. Lighting upgrades and retrofits
As lighting technologies have improved the University has undertaken lighting upgrades to several buildings, initially by converting T12 and T8 fluorescent lighting to the more efficient T5 and most recently with the utilisation of the rapid development that has occurred in LED lighting. An ongoing program of lighting upgrades, linked in with refurbishment and maintenance requirements is planned.
6. Solar power generation installations
Initially two very small solar installations were installed on the Wollongong campus but as part of the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre project the following have or are currently being constructed:
- 160 kW system on the SBRC building itself.
- 99 kW system on the Innovation campus Mike Codd Building.
- A 50 kW (approximately) system on the new IC campus iAccelerate Building.
- An 50 kw (approximately) system on the Graduate School of Medicine building on the Wollongong campus.
7. Awards and Accolades
The University has received the following:
2005: Gold Green Globe Award
Significant energy savings at UOW were recognised by the NSW Government with the Minister for Utilities, Mr Carl Scully, awarding UOW a Gold "Green Globe Award" at the Energy and Water Green Globe Awards 2005.
2003: Silver Green Globe Award
The Minister for Energy and Utilities, The Hon Frank Sartor MP, presented a Silver Energy Smart Business Award to UOW for commitment to reducing greenhouse gases at the Energy Smart Green Globe Awards held at Parliament House.
2001: Bronze Green Globe Award
Energy savings at UOW were recognised by the NSW Government awarding UOW a Bronze "Green Globe Award" at the Energy and Water Green Globe Awards 2001.