Cogeneration Utility Plant
The 2012 renovation of Cates Utility Plant on campus increases the facility’s efficiency by roughly 35 percent while saving more than $4 million in energy costs every year. It is also expected to reduce the university’s greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent, building on a 7 percent reduction from 2008 to 2010 and moving NC State closer toward its goal of climate neutrality by 2050. Two natural gas-fired 5.5 megawatt combustion turbines and two 50,000 pound per hour heat recovery steam generators have replaced aging boilers that served the campus for more than 50 years. An interactive online graphic shows how the new facility operates.
Ultra-low (-86°F) freezers consume vast amounts of energy on campus. In order to address this issue, Energy Management launched the Ultra-Low (ULT) Freezer Rebate Program in November 2011. This rebate program upgraded the university’s climate-controlled laboratory storage by providing cost-share funding to researchers for replacement of old, inefficient, ULT low freezers with new, energy-efficient, equipment.
Building Automation Systems
Many campus buildings have control systems known as Building Automation Systems (BAS), which create the ability via a computer to schedule and control building temperature set points and schedules based on weather or other needs. Coordinating analysis of temperature and humidity conditions and the BAS, Energy Management can determine how much outside air should be used in HVAC systems. Minimizing outside air in the HVAC system saves energy since the air must be conditioned for temperature and moisture control before it can be delivered to an occupied building space.