Modern-Day Management for Historic Campus

The nearly 400-year-old University of Santo Tomas, located in the Philippines capital of Manila, was experiencing some growing pains in the mid-1990s. The school, which is the oldest existing university in Asia, had added numerous buildings to its campus, but the power system had not kept pace. Then a major transformer failure spurred school facility managers to replace an aging substation and ...
By Staff December 1, 2003

The nearly 400-year-old University of Santo Tomas, located in the Philippines capital of Manila, was experiencing some growing pains in the mid-1990s. The school, which is the oldest existing university in Asia, had added numerous buildings to its campus, but the power system had not kept pace. Then a major transformer failure spurred school facility managers to replace an aging substation and to rethink their entire approach to power management.

Their study, which involved a comprehensive return-on-investment analysis, resulted in the selection of a fully automated monitoring and control system to allow metering, alarm monitoring, breaker status and control and transformer temperature monitoring. It includes a total of 23 meters in the main substation that monitor and control transformers and circuit breakers, and an additional 24 meters installed at distribution points in a range of medical, research and education buildings. Substation devices are connected via Ethernet to a central workstation.

The system also provides for centralized billing and easier cost allocation. The 24 meters distributed throughout the campus allow facilities personnel to track usage at each location and then translate that information into a bill for the appropriate university department. This component has been so successful that the school is planning to expand its capabilities to eventually include all buildings on the grounds.

Finally, the new power-management approach has allowed for better communications between the university and its power supplier.