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Strategies for energy conservation at the University of Canterbury

Brander, W. D. S.
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::050205 Environmental Management , ANZSRC::150312 Organisational Planning and Management
This report develops strategies for energy conservation at the University of Canterbury. Energy use within organisations such as universities and schools lacks the pricing feedbacks which encourage individual consumers to adopt levels of consumption which the organisation as a whole considers desirable. Methods of reducing energy consumption are investigated which lower the energy flows consumers require or can control. The University of Canterbury is used as a case study. Energy conservation is viewed as involving either changes in system design, system tuning, administrative decisions or consumer behaviour. It is shown that changes in the first three categories reduce the need for better consumer behaviour. Ways of evaluating the worth of different types of energy conservation are discussed. Analyses of energy consumption, power demands and campus operation identified the major electrical loads at the University. Specific studies of some of these loads indicated that energy consumption could be reduced by up to a factor of three by technical changes involving capital expenditure, and one proposal has a pay-back period of 18 months. Adjusting duty cycles of convection heating and air-conditioning plant to account for the thermal characteristics of buildings could reduce energy consumption for these functions up to 20 per cent without affecting user comfort. Administrative decisions, such as rescheduling, could virtually eliminate energy use for some activities.
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