In June 2010, with the assistance of funding from the US Department of Energy and the Omaha Public Power District, Creighton University deployed a variety of solar and wind energy collection systems on the grounds of the main campus. Altogether, these collectors are capable of generating approximately 120 kW of clean, renewable energy. The collectors and associated power inverting electronics include a broad spectrum of commercially available architectures chosen as part of student-oriented research project to evaluate the performance of these renewable energy systems in the climate of Nebraska.
The “EnergiPlant” was built by the ERG 131 class over a couple of Sundays (about 200 hours of labor in total). The parts with help from PrimoWind, a company out of California. It contains 200W of flexible solar panels, embedded into each of the four leaves, and an accompanying 1000W wind turbine (assuming 20 - 30 mph wind). This off-grid strategy currently powers four 5V USB device chargers on the benches. Following an energy output audit over the next 6 months, possible additions include LED lighting, a Bluetooth-enabled speaker, and 110 Vac power outlets to extend to laptop charging. The purchase of the EnergiPlant was made possible by a donation from the Omaha Public Power District.
The Energy Management office is a part of Facilities Management. From our office in the Jelinek Building, we can control the temperature in most buildings, and control the lighting in Opus Hall and the Harper Center from the energy management control computer. We can also monitor, change set points, and run the HVAC controls systems from home if needed. With the new Tridium/Niagara control system, we can schedule time and temperature changes years in advance if needed. We use this to schedule energy saving features like night set back or lowering and raising temperatures according to seasons. It also turns air handling units on and off at scheduled times when the university is unoccupied after hours and on holidays.
Creighton University is committed to continually improving our management of energy resources, which reduces both operating costs and related forms of pollution. We are proud to be part of the family of businesses who have joined with ENERGY STAR.
Is it too hot or too cold in your area? Please call Facilities Management at 402-280-2780 and let us know so we can check it out.