ENVIRONMENT ENGINEERING SCIENCE

The Green Campus Challenge – An inclusive approach towards
fostering energy efficiency in...
2
1. Introduction
Energy efficiency lies at the heart of the EU’s Europe 2020 Strategy for smart,
sustainable and inclusiv...
3
- As students are the future decision-makers, this competition intends to provide them
with practical tools to make an e...
4
The teams then developed an energy efficiency plan that identified actions to improve
the use of energy in the building ...
5

Place

Winning team

Higher education
institution and building

Energy
Efficiency
action
example

Actions
Description

...
6
best identified actions through the engagement with Energy Services Companies
(ESCO), enabling that some of the potentia...
7

Solution with reservoir
Solution
Chillers
without
Water
reservoir
pump
Annual savings

Installed
power
(KW)
30
30
0,75
...
8

Entrance of hot air

Buried pipelines for cooling

Cistern

Entrance of cool air

Fig. 4 – Scheme of the buildings natu...
9
It is estimated that the energy efficiency awareness program would require an
investment of around 2.100 € which would r...
10
If it is taken into account the relation between investment and return period by energy
efficiency actions typology, it...
11

6

2,1
1,95
1,8
1,65
1,5
1,35
1,2
1,05
0,9
0,75
0,6
0,45
0,3
0,15
0

5
4
3
2
1

Cost of avoided CO2 (€/kg CO2)

Cost o...
12
payback periods below 5 years. Globally it is estimated that the actions proposed will
lead to an annual reduction in e...
13
Behavioral factors: http://youtu.be/S8zbfZv0un8
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The Green Campus Challenge – An inclusive approach towards fostering energy efficiency in university campuses

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Around 30 teams composed by students, faculty and technical staff from several
Portuguese universities created energy efficiency plans to their campuses buildings and
12 finalists were selected. When compared to the present situation, the implementation
of the 12 finalists’ projects would result in annual energy savings of 1.9 GWh and 1.09
ton CO2 avoided. Economic analysis shows that the majority of the suggested actions
are cost effective, with an average return period of 5 years.

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The Green Campus Challenge – An inclusive approach towards fostering energy efficiency in university campuses

  1. 1. ENVIRONMENT ENGINEERING SCIENCE The Green Campus Challenge – An inclusive approach towards fostering energy efficiency in university campuses Fumega, J, 1*, Cravo, A. 2, Carvalho, M. 3, Pina, A. 4 and Silva, C. 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 IN+/MIT Portugal, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal. _______________________________________ Abstract The European Union’s Action Plan for Energy Efficiency of 2011 aims to reduce 20% of the annual consumption of primary energy by 2020, stressing the importance that public buildings may have in fostering energy efficiency. Universities, being the place of research, creativity and innovation, are the ideal laboratory for creating important energy efficiency solutions, and with this in mind, the Green Campus Challenge was created with the objective to assess and ultimately improve the energy efficiency in Portuguese university campuses. Around 30 teams composed by students, faculty and technical staff from several Portuguese universities created energy efficiency plans to their campuses buildings and 12 finalists were selected. When compared to the present situation, the implementation of the 12 finalists’ projects would result in annual energy savings of 1.9 GWh and 1.09 ton CO2 avoided. Economic analysis shows that the majority of the suggested actions are cost effective, with an average return period of 5 years. The success obtained with this initiative proved that universities have a significant energy demand and a great potential for its reduction, but also that they are the perfect arena to take the lead in the adoption of innovative actions and policies that support the increase in energy efficiency. Also, through the demonstration effect achieved with the GCC, it is expected that the private sector could engage with universities towards the development and implementation of energy efficiency solutions that could contribute to the promotion of sustainability in the university’s campuses. Keywords: Energy Efficiency, Sustainability, higher education, energy assessment, university campuses * Corresponding author: IN+, Taguspark, Av. Prof. Cavaco Silva, 2744-016 Porto Salvo, Portugal. Phone: +351 210 407 024; Fax:+351 214 233 598; Email: joao.fumega@mitportugal.org
  2. 2. 2 1. Introduction Energy efficiency lies at the heart of the EU’s Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and of the transition to a resource efficient economy [1]. Within the EU’s 2020 goals on energy and climate change, a 20% improvement on energy efficiency was established as a main goal of action, through the completion of mandatory energy audits at intervals of 6 years in services buildings. Moreover, the European Commission acknowledges that one of the greatest energy saving potentials lies in buildings. Acting in buildings represents an enormous challenge, but also a wide untapped resource in terms of energy efficiency. The IEA estimates that buildings account for one-third of the world's total final energy consumption [2]. Furthermore, according to several studies [1, 3], it is estimated that it is possible to achieve reductions up to 50% of buildings energy use. One of the key focus aspects from the EU Energy Efficiency Plan of 2011 is the role that public sector buildings may have in fostering energy efficiency. Public or occupied buildings represent about 12% of the area of the EU building stock and it is estimated that the public sector typically represents 5-10% of the whole energy use in EU Member States [1]. Additionally, the demonstration effect that may be achieved in the public sector may foster the adoption of these actions by the private sector. Higher education institutions are usually large consumers of energy in the universe of public buildings, spending in Portugal more than 1 M€/yr in energy. Universities, as places of innovation and creativity, have therefore a special role along with technical schools and industry, in the task of creating “green practitioners” that will allow a paradigm shift. They are the ideal laboratory, as the knowledge on energy efficiency is available and can be experimented by students, teachers, researchers and staff [3]. Several initiatives have been created to increase energy efficiency in the school context. In Europe, USE Efficiency was designed to improve energy efficiency in universities of 10 countries. The first edition started in 2009 and was focused on energy audits to the buildings and training programs held for students, culminating in a Summer School with 90 students involved from more than 15 nationalities. Behavioral changes were promoted and supervised by 20 academics from all over Europe to provide technical skills and know-how [4]. In North America, the Campus Conservation Nationals is a competition between student residences, in which electricity and water have to be reduced in a determined period. The main goal is to save 1 GWh nationally. In the edition of 2010, from November 1-19, 40 participating colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada reduced electricity consumption by 508,000 kWh, saving $50,200 and averting around 370 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. It is one of world biggest energy competition involving students. With energy efficiency in mind, the Green Campus Challenge (GCC) was designed in 2011 to address energy inefficiencies in university campuses in Portugal, gathering students, faculty and technical staff in this effort. The main objectives were: - Promote and publicize to higher education university students, faculty and managers the need to promote energy efficiency and the rational use of energy in their campuses;
  3. 3. 3 - As students are the future decision-makers, this competition intends to provide them with practical tools to make an energy analysis and prepare a proposal; - Provide the participating universities a set of technical and behavioral actions to decrease energy consumption and promote energy efficiency, creating the context to implement them. 2. Green Campus Challenge – an innovative approach to energy efficiency The need to promote energy efficiency in society in general and in higher education sector in particular has led to the creation in March 2011 of the GCC. The GCC consists in a challenge in which multi-disciplinary teams formed by students, faculty and technical staff are asked to evaluate the energy consumption of a specific university building and propose an energy efficiency balanced plan that includes both technical and behavioral actions. The GCC initiative targeted the overall Portuguese higher education network, consisting of 316 institutions, which in 2010/2011 accounted for approximately 391.000 students and 25.000 faculty staff [6]. Overall the higher education network contains more than 1000 buildings of several typologies: classrooms, offices, residences, libraries, etc. The GC was developed in several steps, as shown in Fig. 1. Fig. 1 – The Green Campus Challenge Timeline After some informative sessions, the participating institutions applied to the challenge, indicating a set of buildings to be studied and providing detailed data on them (energy bills, blueprints, etc). Afterwards, the teams were registered, with 2 to 5 members, including staff or faculty. The multidisciplinary and all-inclusive teams had to thoroughly evaluate the energy consumption of the building in their university campus, in order to identify different kinds of inefficiencies: inadequate behaviors, obsolete or poor operation of equipments, bad maintenance, etc. During this process, the teams received theoretical and practical training that helped them develop their projects, such as technical visits with building managers; installation of electricity measuring devices for more detailed and accurate information and webinars by academia and industry experts. The webinar series on several energy efficiency topics was broadcasted and made available online [7].
  4. 4. 4 The teams then developed an energy efficiency plan that identified actions to improve the use of energy in the building of their campus, while taking into consideration, in a 5 years’ time scale, the necessary investments and pay-back periods associated with each action presented. The projects were evaluated by a panel of experts concerning the following five skills: ‘Quality of the project’, ‘Global benefits (environmental, social and economic)’, ‘Use of technology and innovation’, ‘Multidisciplinary of the project’ and ‘Applicability and reproducibility of the project’. In July 2012, from the 12 finalists’ projects, the jury awarded the three best projects with cash prizes and also distinguished the best technical and behavioral actions (Table 1).
  5. 5. 5 Place Winning team Higher education institution and building Energy Efficiency action example Actions Description Device that can be applied to fridge equipment’s and allow savings up to 30%. It keeps the interior temperature of Lisbon University – Sciences the fridge stable Faculty > C8 Building simulating the products that are inside, thus measuring the exact temperature and not the interior temperature. Presence Installation of Detectors presence detectors in Polytechnic Institute of Porto WC and secondary – Institute of Engineering> F stairs and accesses to Building control lighting systems. Data center Cooling of the data cooling center temperature systems trough a cooling system that is Polytechnic Institute of constituted by an Bragança - School of underground water Technology and reservoir and water Management > School pipelines that connect Building the data center, a water hole, and the reservoir. Cooling, Air cooling trough Manuel Teixeira Gomes ventilation and buried pipelines and Institute (Portimão) > Rua lighting natural reservoir allowing the Estêvão Vasconcelos systems circulation of cold air Building through the building. Energy It includes: efficiency nomination of an awareness energy management program “agent”, a responsible for the campus Lisbon University – environment in the Pharmacy Faculty > New students union, Building (West) creation of a Green Campus Council in the Pharmacy Faculty, Best Practices Guides, Awareness Program, others. E-cube Installation First place Esquadrão Classe A++ Second place ISEP TF Third Place IPB Green Campus Best Technical Action VIS-renovate Best Behavioral Action EcoLogic Table 1 - Winning teams of the Green Campus Challenge The awarded projects showed equilibrium in the quality of both behavioral and technical actions, putting a strong focus on the benefit of the actions to the local academic community and having a strong potential for implementation. A special commitment has also been made to create the necessary conditions to implement the
  6. 6. 6 best identified actions through the engagement with Energy Services Companies (ESCO), enabling that some of the potential benefits can be effectively achieved. Finally, a book on the Energy Efficiency Best Practices will be published to disclosure the success of GCC. 3. Results and discussion 3.1 – Examples of the actions proposed The best projects of the GCC presented simple but innovative approaches to energy efficiency. We then present best examples of concrete innovative actions that were proposed. • Data center cooling system (Team IPB Green Campus of the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança) One of the highest energy consumption equipment in the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança is the Data Center. Besides the computer equipment there are two chillers that function alternately or simultaneously when there is a great need of cooling. As it can be seen in Fig. 2 the installed power is 50 kW, being estimated a consumption of 300 MWh/year, with a total cost of 25.000 €/year. Installed power (KW) Computer equipment Chillers Total 20 30 50 Annual energy consumption (MWh) 175,2 131,4 306,6 Annual estimated cost (€) 11.890,24 € 8.917,68 € 20.807,92 € Fig. 2 – Diagnosis of the building energy consumption During the energy audit the team identified the pre-installation of a cooling system constituted by a subterranean water reservoir of 150.000 lt., and water pipes from a drill to the reservoir and from this to the data center. If this system was activated it could reduce substantially the chillers functioning to 8h in the 3 months of heat (1472 h/year), with the cooling being made through water circulation in the rest of the year. This simple measure could mean great energy and money savings (Fig. 3).
  7. 7. 7 Solution with reservoir Solution Chillers without Water reservoir pump Annual savings Installed power (KW) 30 30 0,75 Usage time (hours) 8760 1472 8760 Annual energy consumption (MWh) 131,4 22,08 3,29 Annual estimated cost (€) 8.917,68 € 1.628,40 € 222,94 € 106,04 7.066,34 € Fig. 3 – Estimated savings obtained through the implementation of the measure To turn the cooling system operational, it would only be needed a heat exchanger from the water side with a water flux of 3,5 m3/h and a water circulation system with a water pump of 750 W. When operational, the system should bomb the water in the “empty hour” tariff period. According to a budget requested to an expert company in this field, the investment in this measure should cost 6.000 €. • Cooling, ventilation and lighting natural systems (VIS-renovate - Manuel Teixeira Gomes Institute) The systems of cooling, ventilation and natural lighting proposed by the VIS-renovate team are based on “simple” physics and the building specific characteristics, making use of the energy that is naturally available. It is characterized by the cooling of the air through buried pipes that will allow the entrance of cool air in the interior of the building, mainly through night ventilation, improving the thermal performance of the building. The installation of a cooling system in the ground would take advantage of the fact that ground temperatures reach 15º - 18º C while the air temperature can reach 40º C. The installation of this system would require the construction of an air well at the 0,50m level that goes down vertically to the cement shackles (ø i.50cm) and to a depth from -0,50m (initiating a process of heat transfer) to -4,00m, arriving at an old cistern (Fig. 4) (presently not used), functioning as a mass of great thermal inertia able to create an additional cooling of the air that circulate in the pipelines. From the bottom of the cistern there will be PVC pipelines with a diameter of >125mm, that will distribute the air directly and individually to the rooms in the building. Each room receives a pipeline and its ventilation exit that the user can open and close individually. Complementing the cooling system, solar chimneys (fig.4) will be installed for the extraction of the hot air inside the building. These chimneys will function through thermal effect and by wind interaction. They will also have devices for controlling the flux of air in order to avoid excessive extraction in the cool season, and the devices should be prepared to operate in the future through an automation system so the performance could be optimized. The measure would require an investment of 12.684,00 €, and will result in savings of 15.750 kWh/year of energy and 5,827 t/year of CO2 emissions.
  8. 8. 8 Entrance of hot air Buried pipelines for cooling Cistern Entrance of cool air Fig. 4 – Scheme of the buildings natural ventilation • Energy efficiency awareness program (EcoLogic team - Lisbon University, Pharmacy School) The energy efficiency awareness program is structured around two components: formation and information. The formation component is directed towards all building users and the objective is to create awareness, educate and motivate these persons towards the importance of energy use. Workshops that focus the various dimension of the energy management should be conducted in order to capacitate its users to understand the building energy needs, and act accordingly if a decrease in the energy consumption is to be implemented. An energy management plan should result as the output of these formations. The information that is available to the building users is also of the upmost importance. To reinforce the communication with the building users the team proposes the creation of signage with rules and simple actions that can be taken in the classrooms, offices, toilets and other spaces. Main topics to be addressed are lighting, computer equipment usage, and cooling and heating systems. The team also proposed the creation of the Green Lab space in the webpage of the Pharmacy School. This would be a platform for interaction with the academic community and that contains the Environmental Chart, best practices guide, the Green Campus Council minutes, the Action Plan to be implemented, the results of the energy audit and the interventions that would be made in the building in the future.
  9. 9. 9 It is estimated that the energy efficiency awareness program would require an investment of around 2.100 € which would result in annual savings of 6.500 kWh (energy consumption) and 2,300t of CO2 emissions. Fig. 5 – Example of energy efficiency awareness poster 3.2 – Analysis of the applicability of the actions proposed The application of the 12 best projects would require an investment of 2,25 M€ (over a 5 years period) and save 1.9 GWh/year in energy consumption (1.2 GWh from electricity and 0.7 GWh from natural gas) and 1.094 tCO2/year. Fig. 6 shows that a vast majority of the proposed actions would require investments between 1k€ and 100 k€ with an average return period of 5 years. 45 40 Return period (Yrs.) 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1€ 10 € 100 € 1.000 € 10.000 € 100.000 € 1.000.000 € Investment (€) Fig. 6 – Relation between investment and return period of the best actions
  10. 10. 10 If it is taken into account the relation between investment and return period by energy efficiency actions typology, it is easily understood that throughout the 12 finalist teams some typologies may have the most interest to replicate (when applicable) to other higher education campus. For instance (Fig. 7) demonstrates that the categories of renewable and thermal refurbishment showed high return periods of 9 years and 26 years respectively, while all the others categories present in average a return period of 5 years. 1.000.000 25 800.000 20 600.000 15 400.000 10 200.000 5 0 Return period (yrs.) 30 0 Investment (euros) 1.200.000 Investment Return period Fig. 7 –Investment and return period of the best measures by category When observing the relation between energy saved, avoided CO2 and investment, it is important to stress that the majority of the savings both in electricity and in CO2, are concentrated in the investments amounts of € 0-200.000. With an overall perspective it is estimated that around 16% of the global investment in energy efficiency actions (around 400 k€) could yield around 71% of the overall electricity savings (about 860.000 kWh/year). 350 700.000 300 600.000 250 500.000 200 400.000 150 300.000 200.000 100 100.000 Avoided CO2 (ton/yr) 400 800.000 Energy Avoided (MWh/yr) 900.000 Energy Avoided Avoided CO2 50 0 0 200.000 400.000 600.000 800.000 0 1.000.000 Investment (€) Fig. 8 – Relation between energy saved (MWh/yr.), avoided CO2 and investment of the best actions
  11. 11. 11 6 2,1 1,95 1,8 1,65 1,5 1,35 1,2 1,05 0,9 0,75 0,6 0,45 0,3 0,15 0 5 4 3 2 1 Cost of avoided CO2 (€/kg CO2) Cost of electricity saved (€/kWh) As shown by Fig. 9, 5 of the projects presented a cost of saved electricity lower than 0.10 €/kWh (considering the amount of energy saved over a 6 year period), making them cost effective for implementation without the need of additional financing mechanisms. The 5 projects with energy saving costs below 0,1 €/kWh represent around 50% of the overall energy savings being proposed by the 12 finalist teams. It is also worth noticing that many projects presented actions to improve user behaviors, which can have a wider impact due to potential additional savings that can be achieved in the day-to-day life of the university students, faculty and staff. Cost of electricity savings Cost of avoided CO2 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Team Fig. 9 – Estimated cost of electricity saved and avoided CO2 over a 5 year period Conclusions Universities play a very important role on promoting energy efficiency behaviors not only on their own campuses, acting as leaders on the adoption of energy efficiency best practices but also on the overall society through the advanced training they provide to future professionals. Additionally university campuses are an ideal living laboratory for the deployment of technology innovations that promote energy efficiency. The results from the first edition of the GCC show that it is possible to achieve significant savings through simple and pertinent actions. More than 50% of the overall electricity savings identified by the finalist teams present a cost lower than 0,10 €/kWh which is a lower price than the electricity cost charged to large service buildings, making them cost effective. Additionally around 16% of the overall investment identified in energy efficiency actions (around 400 k€) yields 71% of the overall electricity savings achievable. The above results make clear the existence of a large set of energy efficiency actions that are characterized as low investment and high energy savings potential which typically yield
  12. 12. 12 payback periods below 5 years. Globally it is estimated that the actions proposed will lead to an annual reduction in energy consumption of 1,9 GWh/year and the avoidance of 1100 t/CO2 per year and contribute to more sustainable and less energy dependence universities. The GCC has been able to show that there is a big potential and a real interest in fostering energy efficiency in university campuses. Some barriers have still to be overcome, such having a stronger engagement from faculty and technical staff and increasing the availability of energy consumption data on the university buildings. Also, for the future, it is expected that the industry takes part in the implementation, developing a strong collaboration environment jointly with universities that may lead to an effective implementation of the proposed energy efficiency actions. Acknowledgments The GCC initiative was funded by the Promotion Plan of Consumption Efficiency, established by ERSE (the Portuguese Energy Services Regulatory Authority). References [1] EU, Energy Efficiency Plan 2011. European Commission 2011. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/efficiency/action_plan/action_plan_en.htm [2] IEA, World Energy Outlook 2011. International Energy Agency. [3] ADENE, Portuguese study of Intelligent Energy Europe – The rational use of energy in public buildings. May 2008. Available at: http://www.adene.pt/ptpt/Actividades/Documents/URE_EdP%C3%BAblic_enerbuildin g.pdf [4] USE Efficiency. Press-release 2012. Available http://www.useefficiency.eu/en/communication/press-releases/func-startdown/418 [5] Campus Conservation Nationals Website. http://www.competetoreduce.org/ at: [6] DGES-MCTES. Dados sobre Rede de Ensino Superior, Direcção Geral do Ensino Superior – Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Ensino Superior 2012. Available at: http://www.dges.mctes.pt/DGES/pt/Estudantes/Rede/Ensino%20Superior [7] Green Campus Webinars: - Efficient Electrical Energy production systems: http://youtu.be/mJRQHQq-6cI - AVAC Systems: http://youtu.be/9ZN55ggxnsI Smart management of consumption: http://youtu.be/Vr5hU1QCaNA Buildings envelope: http://youtu.be/vc6Ov9_uD3U Energy audits: http://youtu.be/tQKXL4dQNwY
  13. 13. 13 Behavioral factors: http://youtu.be/S8zbfZv0un8

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