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Project Title:Utilization of Encelium Lighting/HVAC Controls to Save Energy, MoneyInstitution Name:Eastern Connecticut State University Innovation Category:Resource Management Project Director:Nancy Tinker, Director, Facilities Management & PlanningContact Information:860-465-5348, tinkern@easternct.eduWebsite:http://www.easternct.edu
Project Description:Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) has implemented an integrated lighting control and energy management system that is designed to save money, improve lighting quality, and enhance personal lighting comfort. This lighting control and energy management system includes six strategies: smart time scheduling, daylight harvesting, task tuning, occupancy control, personal control and variable load shedding. ECSU has added to the strategies by connecting the building automation system and HVAC controls to the occupancy portion of the program. This project was implemented in our main administrative building as a pilot program. If energy savings and staff feedback are as positive as we anticipated, replication of the system in other campus buildings is anticipated.
Objectives:
  • Reduce electrical consumption by 25%
  • ECSU has individual electrical meters on all building in order to track and evaluate electrical consumption. These existing meters will be used to track savings associated with this project. This project includes software that provides information and an illustrative graph showing the overall building energy savings, by each of the six strategy categories, along with the combined impact of the overall project.
  • Provide individualized lighting control using web-based software that occupants of the building can control and dim the light levels in their workspace to suit their personal preferences – all from the convenience of their office PC. Building occupants (individual office staff) can save different scenarios and reset the default to the level of their liking.
  • Save money by reducing HVAC and fan use when spaces are not occupied—the system is associated with our Building Automation System so we can also reduce the air flow into a room when it is not occupied using occupancy sensors. This allows money savings to be generated through increased efficiency in lighting and HVAC systems.
Outcomes:
  • Reduction in electrical consumption when fully implemented is expected to be significant. Energy savings are monitored using the web-based software technology, and conveyed through the institution’s campus energy dashboard: http://ecsu-facilities.easternct.edu/ECSUEnergyDash/ 
  • The energy model for this project predicts a savings of $36,057 annually for a building that is 42,894 square feet.
  • Increased satisfaction with the lighting level since the occupants can control their own space and set levels as they see fit. Initial reaction to the personal control has been very positive. A follow-up survey will be conducted after the system has been in place for six months;and totally debugged.
Challenges/Problems Encountered:This is a very new system and at one point the consultants mistakenly set the time out period on the occupancy sensors too low-lights would flash on and off periodically. The initial set up was challenging; once the system was in place, affected university staff did not have control of their lights until we were able to distribute the access keys and train them. Additionally, the system requires the light switches to be removed. That was difficult for people to get used to.
Evaluation Approach:The evaluation is ongoing and will be very straightforward. Our goal is personal satisfaction by affected staff, as well as energy savings, both of which can easily be measured. Our consultants are estimating a 25% reduction in energy costs. We are participating with our electrical supplier and have submitted the project for a rebate; they have committed to a 45% rebate for the cost of implementation. This project will be evaluated by our electrical partner, Connecticut Light and Power, prior to their issuing the rebate and we will be evaluating energy reduction in the building where the system was implemented using the building energy meters.
Potential for Replication:This system could be implemented in many campus buildings. This building, Gelsi-Young Administration, was a good building to implement the project in for the first time as it was relatively small (approximately 43,000 sf) and has occupants that work atypical hours. We are currently looking at the possibility of implementing in the Library.
Additional Resources:The project was implemented by:
Automated Building Systems
126 Kreiger Lane
Glastonbury, Connecticut
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Elsa M. Nunez , Presidentnunez@easternct.edu
(860) 465-5221
Date Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2011