In 2012, our Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant was opened. Located in Davy Building, the CHP plant provides heat to 50 per cent of the campus. It integrates the production of usable heat and power in one efficient process, generating electricity whilst capturing usable heat produced during the process.
In conventional electricity production, heat is a wasted by-product. Our CHP plant is typically 30 per cent more efficient than traditional gas boilers. This has saved the University approximately £3,600 a week. Our Marine Station and Derriford Research Facility also have onsite CHP.
We've installed Inverter Controls on all electric motors on campus, giving a soft start and stop and variable speed control. Inverters allow us to operate motors at optimum performance. This saves energy, improves the power factor (reducing the reactive power required reduces energy use) and improves performance.
Louvers and fins provide solar shading in the Link, Rolle and Babbage buildings. These reduce heat gain from the sun inside the building, in turn reducing demand for cooling.
We have natural ventilation and night cooling in the Portland Square, Marine and The House buildings, where the buildings are designed to ventilate naturally using convection currents. The large atrium in the Portland Square building allows hot air to rise and draws fresh air into the building without mechanical intervention. And, night time cooling uses the natural ventilation to cool the concrete's thermal mass at night, which then cools the building in the daytime.
We've installed voltage optimisation in the larger buildings around
campus, including Portland Square, Roland Levinsky and Nancy Astor. It
uses a special transformer to control the reduction in voltage to reduce
energy use and power demand. This has the potential to reduce
electricity consumption by 8 per cent, which is the equivalent of 573
TCO2e and nearly £100,000.