Maximizing Dorm Energy Savings with Intelligent HVAC Controls
Universities can reduce their HVAC energy use in Residence Halls by 25-32% by installing occupancy based thermostat controls. Traditionally when occupants are allowed to heat and cool as much as they want, we are reliant on them to remember and want to turn their HVAC unit to the optimal setting when they leave, whether for a class or school break. In many cases this does not happen. We have units running full power when the room is empty, wasting energy and costing the University money. This presentation will show how our University installed smart controls on nearly 3,000 HVAC units, ranging from PTACs to fancoils, and achieved three different manners of energy savings: controlling runtime when the room is unoccupied, imposing limits on the “allowable” maximum or minimum temperatures, and encouraging a “green” mindset. Other benefits besides cost savings are providing comfort to occupant via Recovery Time technology and better customer service. The thermostats are able to communicate with each other and aggregate communications to a single master Gateway Server onsite. This wireless “mesh” creates a robust and reliable network – allowing central control without expensive back haul-wiring. While this may sound complicated it is easily integrated into existing HVAC units and with a typical ROI under 36 months, is an efficient way to reduce energy usage in residence halls. A proven, successful system in the hotel industry this technology is an answer for Universities looking to save energy in dormitories beyond behavioral campaigns.
Identify ways to use smart technology to save energy in spaces where comfort is important and current savings is solely based on behavioral aspects. Learn best practices and lessons learned from installation placement to building operator training to student education. Also gain knowledge of ways to overcome perception barriers.