An international award-winning project by Temperature Electronics Ltd (TEL) has helped save a university laboratory 1,994 MWh of energy and over £81,000 in associated energy costs in just six months.
TEL’s work for the University of Leeds lay at the heart of the institution’s chemistry teaching laboratory fume cupboard refurbishment project, which recently won the laboratory environmental improvement category of the S-Lab 2014 Awards.
The international S-Lab Awards scheme recognises excellence in the design, operation and management of laboratories that has resulted in improved performance and enhanced sustainability and safety.
The University of Leeds’ £345,000 project was intended to reduce energy use in the 765m2 Priestly chemistry teaching laboratory. Along with other universities, Leeds is striving to meet the Higher Education Funding Council for England target to reduce sectoral carbon emissions by 43% by 2020 (against a 2005 baseline).
The project included the upgrade of 63 constant airflow volume (CAV) fume cupboards to variable air volume (VAV) units. The CAV cupboards continuously sucked air out of the laboratory, replacing it with clean air even when the cupboards weren’t in use, consuming electricity, wasting money and generating carbon emissions.
TEL installed a VAV control system which enabled the cupboards, when not in use, to be switched off.
The project resulted in a saving of 1,994 MWh of energy, 511 tonnes of CO2 emissions and over £81,000 in energy costs in the six months immediately after completion.
Said the University’s energy officer, Robert Douglass: “This international award is recognition of the excellent sustainability credentials of our chemistry teaching laboratory fume cupboard refurbishment project, of which TEL’s VAV conversion formed the central plank.
“The VAV conversion yielded immediate results in terms of energy consumption, carbon emissions reductions and financial savings, and will quickly pay for itself within two to three years.”
Added TEL’s director, Richard Eady: “We are delighted to have helped the University of Leeds to improve its sustainability credentials.
“This is TEL’s second sustainability award achievement this year: our £250,000 project for the University of Reading was recently shortlisted in the carbon reduction category in the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges Green Gown Awards.”