universities & colleges
As colleges and universities grow to meet the demand for higher education, they can face many “growth” issues. One trend that these institutions are adopting is the necessity to run year-long operations; no longer are schools inactive during the summer and/or winter. One of these issues is the demand for more power using the most cost-effective solution. Furthermore, universities that conduct research often have projects which require an uninterruptable power source which CHP systems are able to provide. Power outages can often hinder educational progress such as during a testing week but with CHP have a greater chance of being avoided. And with rising and volatile energy costs, especially in the pacific region, universities/colleges are also often forced to raise tuition in order adapt when sourcing energy from the grid. CHP systems can thankfully alleviate all these dilemmas. CHP systems are capable of reducing energy costs dramatically all the while enabling the university/college campus to become “sustainable”. Universities/colleges are currently the number one commercial CHP application with 29% of the total installed capacity.
Most buildings on a university campus are under common ownership which allows powers loads to be combined. Also, thermal loads on a university/college campus tend to match well with electric power requirements and therefore justifies CHP as a good fit. Furthermore, universities/colleges have moderate to high operating hours.
Introducing a CHP system to a university campus/building enables the facility to become more efficient not only in power generation but the facility’s operation as well. Such universities/colleges that are self-sufficient allow the cities that they are located in to be more prepared for natural and domestic disasters as well as terrorist attacks. Furthermore, universities/colleges utilizing CHP systems are able to brand themselves as “green” and environmentally friendly and improve their public image while possibly appealing to more students/parents.
Where to turn for additional information
A number of resources are available to assist in the process of evaluating the potential for CHP at your facility. Many of these are available through the PRAC website (www.chpcenterpr.org)
Case studies can be an effective manner by which to evaluate how your facility might benefit from CHP. They can also provide information on lessons learned and steps that can be taken to maximize the success of your application. One such case study is Stanford University:
California Institute of Technology: http://pr.caltech.edu/periodicals/336/articles/Volume%205/01-27-05/energystar.html
University of California, Los Angeles: http://www.districtenergy.org/CHP_Case_Studies/ucla.pdf
Loma Linda University: http://www.intpower.com/applications/loma_linda_plant.htm
University of California, San Diego: http://mysolar.cat.com/cda/files/154908/7/dscp-ucsd.pdf
California State University, Northridge:
Feasibility Studies/Project Assistance
A number of options are available for low cost or free feasibility assessments to help you understand how CHP might benefit your facility. The California Energy Commission provides energy efficiency financing for projects:
Additional information can be found on
the CHP Gulf Coast website:
If you are considering implementing a CHP system at your facility, these articles might be able to help you make your decision easier: