Reducing energy use should be a priority for all organisations. It saves money, is socially responsible and supports the fight against climate change. In this blog we look at how support from the experts at Energy Technology and Control can empower education settings to achieve significant energy savings and substantially reduce outgoings.
Energy consumption in colleges and universities can vary significantly, factors such as the age of the buildings, their state of repair, occupancy hours and the amount and type of electrical equipment installed will all affect the amount of energy used – and lost.
Secondary schools – for example – often have higher energy costs than their primary counterparts. This is largely due to their longer occupancy hours and the increased number of students, but the way in which secondary schools are used also affects energy usage. With ICT suites, science labs, and design technology classrooms there is simply more machinery requiring power. However, areas of energy waste are often comparable regardless of school size or level.
Space heating (in UK education settings) accounts for 58% of energy use. With continual pressure to reduce budgets, there has never been a better time to identify ways in which financial savings can be achieved. Reducing energy consumption is one of the quickest and simplest ways to deliver direct savings and the Carbon Trust calculate that it could help the average secondary school save £21,500 in energy bills – almost equal to the annual salary of a newly qualified teacher.
The Carbon Trust estimates that education settings could shave a quarter of their energy bills by implementing simple cost-effective measures. For example by reviewing heating systems which often come on too early or turn off too late, by simply tweaking their running time by just 1 hour it can save 10% on heating bills.
Our industrial burner control experts have taken a deeper look at five ways that education settings can reduce their energy bills by reviewing their electronic burner controls.
- Increased turndown
On an electronic burner control, the low fire point can be set lower than the ignition point, meaning that the turn-down ratio can be increased. In addition to this burner on/off cycles and their associated cold air purges can also be reduced, resulting in energy savings.
- No backlash
Linkageless burners have no backlash. On a frequently modulating burner this can commonly result in energy savings of up to 1%!
- A second PID control
Some electronic fuel:air ratio controls have two internal PID modulation circuits. If a larger school or university does not run continuously, then this second PID control’s set point can be used to switch the boiler to a lower steam pressure or hot water temperature during periods of reduced activity.
Using a second boiler set point provides energy savings of approximately 10% pa.
- Fan speed control
Combustion efficiency can be improved at low fire if the fan speed is reduced. Fan speed control is an easy to add option on some electronic burner controls. By adding fan speed control, burner turn-down can be increased without compromising efficiency, and additional fuel savings can be achieved.
- Oxygen trim
Oxygen trim automatically and continuously compensates for the variables that affect efficient combustion. When oxygen trim is included the oxygen levels can be set at their optimum level. In addition, if the trim control is adaptive then it will contribute energy savings of approximately 2% to 3%.
If you would like to discuss how our electronic burner controls could help your college or university please do get in touch.