Heating and Energy Efficiency Across Campus

The cost of living and rising energy prices are of increasing concern for many of us. Staff from across the University are meeting regularly to see what we can put in place ahead of the winter months.

The Heating and Energy Efficiency Team met recently to identify energy-saving measures this winter. Whereas previously, measures have been driven by the need to reduce carbon emissions, this year, reducing costs is also a key priority. The measures identified are generally no cost, or low cost measures that we can put in place quickly.

John Kingsland said:

“We are estimating to reduce gas consumption in the range of 4-8% this winter and will reduce electricity consumption/costs to a lesser extent. Our current main actions are as follows:

  • The Boiler House started operation on Wednesday 14 September with a start up temperature of 90C, which is lower than previous years and will result in less heat loss from the 3km district heating mains. This is being checked to ensure heating and hot water in buildings are reaching the required temperatures. As the weather gets colder the temperature will have to be increased to maintain the heating, but this can be reduced again as the weather turns milder in the spring.
  • There are 4 boilers in the Boiler House. On the coldest days 2 boilers can meet the full heating requirements on all but the very coldest of days. Based on this, one boiler will be isolated for the heating season reducing standard losses from the boilers.
  • Currently, each building has its own individual outside air temperature sensor. These are connected to the Building Management System (BMS) and when the heating exceeds 16C outside, the BMS switches off the heating systems inside the buildings as it is not required. Some of these controls have been adjusted and there is further scope to have outside air temparature sensors grouped into zones and have the calibration checked.
  • Time schedules, boiler set points, heating set points and more are in the process of being reviewed and adjusted to improve control of heating, hot water and associated plant. Additional control systems added to the Honeywell software can reduce energy consumption further.

The above is a starting point and will be reviewed and adjusted going forwards. Any new updates or changes will continute to be communicated as soon as possible.

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