Energy efficiency is a major concern for many universities and it can be particularly problematic for those with large or expanding campuses and the escalating power demands this brings.
One example of this expansion can be seen at the University of Edinburgh which has seen its student population almost treble in the last 25 years and the number of computers connected to the university network grow from 1,000 in 1999 to more than 16,000 in 2009.
With an ethos of “making every pound work harder” educational institutions are actively looking at areas to reduce costs without compromising on the quality of the education and training they offer or sacrificing the services they provide. One of the areas where they can make significant savings is in the heating, powering and cooling of their campuses.
As well as potentially huge energy bills, environmentally-conscientious schools, colleges and universities are also eager to reduce their impact on the environment and meet the sector-level targets for carbon reduction.
As a result, there has been an increase in the uptake of CHP and community heating schemes within the education sector, with these systems seen as an important way to save money and reduce harmful CO₂ emissions.
Working on many of these projects at universities across the UK, Vital Energi has also been able to show that CHP schemes can be adapted to cool the buildings in the summer months. This uses the excess heat generated by the CHP engines to provide cooled water for energy-hungry air conditioning units. This helps cut bills and also uses energy, which would normally be wasted during the summer months, when demand on campus is much lower.
These technologies deliver financial savings and reduced emissions, making them a great solution for any educational establishment looking for a financially sensible way of making progress towards their carbon reduction targets.
Vital Energi have shown that these solutions are ideal in both existing and new build projects. Recently we have custom built entire energy centres, but also refitted existing boiler houses and solutions are designed for both existing and future buildings, meaning that your campus will be “future-proofed”, ensuring the capacity for future developments.