Trinity College is committed to decreasing energy consumption, improving campus energy efficiency, and engaging in an array of conservation efforts. Below is a summary of projects currently in progress, projects that have already been completed, and a snapshot of what is being planned/developed for the future.
Energy Conservation & Renewable Energy:
- Mather Dishwasher Replacement
- Evaluating opportunity to replace main dishwasher at the Mather Dining Hall to reduce energy and water consumption.
- Underground steam line replacements
- Replacing aging sections of the central steam heating system to improve system efficiency, reduce underground losses, and improve energy distribution on campus
- Ferris Lighting Audit
- Evaluating opportunity to replace all lighting in Ferris Athletic Center with LED’s.
- Environmental Science Lab Energy Tours
- Each Spring Semester, first year Environmental Science Lab students take a tour of the campus from an energy and utility infrastructure perspective visiting the central heating plant, central cooling plant, electrical switch yard, fuel cell, solar panel installations, and the north campus heating plant.
- Tour helps students understand the energy consuming systems on campus, where their heat and air conditioning come from, and what projects have been completed or are underway on campus.
- Holiday Curtailment Scheduling
- Trinity College regularly sets back temperature set-points and HVAC equipment when buildings / spaces are not in use including Winter break, Trinity Days, Spring Break, and Summer.
1,140 solar panels were installed above Buildings and Grounds, Life Sciences Center (LSC), Trinity Commons, and Ferris Athletics Center. Generating 353kW.
- 4 MW Fuel Cell
- Installed 1.4 MW fuel cell powering over 50% of the south campus’s electric power
- Fuel Cells are a low emissions energy technology that consumes natural gas and water to generate electricity
- Generating power locally reduces utility distribution losses, greenhouse gas emissions, and peak load demands on the local utility infrastructure
- Waste heat from the fuel cell is recovered as steam and connected to the central heating plant to serve heating and domestic hot water heating loads.
- 350 kW Solar Panels
- In 2016, Trinity College purchased and installed 1,140 solar panels on four buildings generating 350 kW. Panels are located on Buildings & Grounds, LSC, Commons, & Ferris. All power generated by the panels is consumed on campus. Renewable Energy Credits (ZRECs) generated by the system are sold to the utility generating revenue for the school and energy savings.
- During the project, new energy efficient white roofs were installed on B&G and LSC.
- Pool Heat Recovery
- In 2015, a heat recovery unit was installed to serve the pool area. Heat recovered from the pool exhaust air stream is used to preheat the outside ventilation air. In addition, this system also recovers heat from the dehumidification process to preheat the pool water before it enters the dedicated pool heater. This increases the overall efficiency of the pool ventilation and heating systems which tend to be some of the more energy intensive processes in an athletic facility.
- North Campus Boiler Plant
- In 2015, four condensing boilers were installed to heat North Campus Hall, High Rise, Vernon, Boardwalk, & Parkplace taking those buildings off of the central plant. The new boilers also provide domestic hot water for High Rise & North Campus which was previously generated by two older, non-condensing gas fired hot water heaters.
- LED Pole top & Parking Lot Lighting
- In 2015, all parking lot lighting on Crescent St, Ferris Lane, and Gates quad pole top walkway lighting from LSC to Longwalk was replaced with LED’s. A utility rebate was secured to help fund the project which helped to reduce electrical consumption and improve light levels in those areas.
- EV Charging Stations – Crescent St Parking Lot
- In 2015 Trinity installed two Clipper Creak, dual charging stations allowing up to 4 vehicles to be charged at once. These stations are in use continuously and additional stations are being considered to meet the demand.
- BAS Upgrade – Head End
- Trinity upgraded the aging HVAC controls system head end to allow better monitoring, data trending, and HVAC control for over 900 individual HVAC controllers. The BAS monitors over 1.5 million GSF of controlled space. The project was completed in 13 phases over 2 years allowing a more reliable view into how each HVAC system was running.
- The BAS upgrade helped identify opportunities for improvement including:
- Restoring Hot Water Reset at the South Campus Dorms – The heating hot water temperature now modulates to increase as outside air temperatures drop which was not functioning properly under the old BAS controls.
- Restoring Mather Hall Dining Schedules – Kitchen hoods now shutting off at night according to the set schedule. Prior to the BAS upgrade the fans were running continuously removing conditioned air from the space which needs to be re-heated or re-cooled increasing energy consumption.
- Central Plant Feedwater VFD’s
- Installed Variable Frequency Drives to control the main boiler Feedwater pumps serving the central plant steam boilers. These 40 HP pumps can now modulate speed based on boiler demand saving approximately $14,000 per year in electricity. These pumps formerly ran at a constant speed to maintain a 200 PSI feedwater pressure.
- MCEC Hot Water Reset
- Installed automated control valve on the MCEC Heat Exchanger allowing the Hot Water supply temperature to modulate based on outside air temperature. Prior to this project, the hot water temperature remained at a fixed value. During warm days, the building would over heat resulting in many open windows that would get left open resulting in energy waste.
- Estimated savings ~$3,500 per year
- Commons Dance Room Occupancy Sensors
- Installed Occupancy sensors in the Trinity Commons dance rooms to set back temperatures when spaces are not in use. The dance rooms, served by VAV boxes, have an irregular occupancy schedule resulting in the spaces running 24/7 “in case” the space is used. The occupancy sensors set back the temperatures and close ventilation dampers until someone enters the space correlating the energy consumption with the space use.
- Estimated savings ~$3,500 per year
- Summit HVAC Optimization
- Changed perimeter baseboard radiation valve operation from fully modulating to two position to improve temperature control and reduce overheating. The modulating control sequence was leading to inconsistent temperatures throughout the building and an average heating setpoint of 80 Deg F to get enough heating at the coldest rooms.
- Estimated annual savings ~ $5,000 per year
- Build Pulse Automated Fault Detection
- As a follow up to the BAS upgrade, an Automated Fault Detection software was connected to monitor a portion of new BAS. The software continuously runs data from the BAS through advanced algorithms to identify energy opportunities that may otherwise go unnoticed for long periods of time such as leaking by heating or cooling valves, simultaneous heating and cooling, or equipment that stays running when it is commanded to turn off.
- Austin Arts Reheat Valve Replacement
- Replaced 16 failed reheat valves in the Austin Arts building to improve temperature control and reduce overheating. These valves were continuously applying heat to the space even in the cooling mode.
- Restore Static Pressure control – Austin Arts & LSC
- Replaced failed static pressure sensors on AHU 1 in Austin Arts and AHU 2 in LSC to allow fan speed to modulate based on cooling demand instead of running at a constant 100% speed.
- Vernon AHU 1 Heat Recovery Coil Restoration
- Cleaned Heat Recovery Heat Exchanger on the main ventilation/cooling unit serving the Vernon Dorm. The system is designed to recover heat from the air being exhausted and transfer it to the incoming ventilation air. A clogged heat exchanger was preventing heat transfer ultimately reducing heat recovery performance.
- Estimated savings ~$7,500 per year
- Ferris Locker Room Heat Recovery Units
- Installed heat recovery units on the main Men’s & Women’s Locker rooms during the locker room renovation to recover heat from the exhaust air that would otherwise be lost to the outside. Locker rooms have high ventilation requirements to control humidity and odors. The new heat recovery units operate at full speed during occupied hours but reduce to 50% speed after hours to maintain continuous ventilation.
There are 4 electric vehicle charging stations located in the Crescent Street parking lot
Future Projects (Planned/in development)
- Install additional EV Charging Station
- Expand Solar Panels – possible car port canopy or additional roof locations
- Energy Dashboard
- Campus Energy Policy
The Crescent Street townhouses are certified as LEED Platinum