University Gets an Energy Education

Knowledge is power, so the old adage goes. And for Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y., knowledge about power is even more, well, powerful. As part of a continuing effort to cut both its energy use and costs, the school has begun a power-metering program to give it more information about actual energy use and greater control over costs.

03/01/2003


Knowledge is power, so the old adage goes. And for Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y., knowledge about power is even more, well, powerful. As part of a continuing effort to cut both its energy use and costs, the school has begun a power-metering program to give it more information about actual energy use and greater control over costs.

So far the university has installed 19 meters, initially targeting the main electrical substations and nine representative pilot buildings. School representatives say the new interval-metering system, combined with accompanying energy-management software, provides them with minute-by-minute data on campus energy use. It also allows facility managers to predict energy needs up to 24 hours in advance, allowing them to take advantage of the utility peak-reduction plans that are available.

As a result, facility staff can take simple measures, like adjusting airflow in selected buildings, which can have a big impact on energy use without affecting working conditions for faculty or students.

The system was funded through a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Agency officials have been impressed with the results, and have suggested keeping the grant open to allow more data to be collected. One particular point of interest is the university's ability to immediately respond to electrical-emergency conditions announced by the New York Independent System Operator, which manages the state's electrical grid.

From Pure Power, Spring 2003





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