#1 By: Leticia Ozawa-Meida, January 28th, 2014 09:51
Looking to the electricity consumption in the detailed graphs, I noticed a very high constant electricity consumption all the time.
- Why is it so high in the Queens Building?
- Is it related with lighting and our equipment (PC and printers)? or
- Do we have large energy-intensive equipment in Labs that are used 24/7?
- Do we have computer servers and air conditioning here?
#2 By: Graeme Stuart, January 28th, 2014 10:44
The baseload of a building is the energy it uses continuously, even when the building is unoccupied. The baseload of the Queens building is particularly high and has been around 80kW 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for as long as we have been monitoring it (many years). Even during holidays when the building is closed we still use around 80kW of power. During peak periods in the middle of the day this figure increases to around 160kW (but not 24 hours a day and not on weekends or during the holidays). See the smartspaces website for the detailed graphs.
#3 By: Richard Snape, February 12th, 2014 05:53
The question is, though, why? It seems the campus centre has a similar baseload - so it's obviously not atypical for large buildings. But it does seem an awful lot to be using in the dead of night.
#4 By: Leticia Ozawa-Meida, March 22nd, 2014 08:06
By curiosity, some of us walked around the Queens Building after work in the evening on Monday (17th March) and Wednesday (19th March) to see what is happening. Although the equipment left on may not be largely energy intensive, if we add them together there could be some kW that could be saved for 8 or 10 hours (i.e. overnight). We discovered the following:
- In IESD Q1.05: some computers were left on as well as the screens and lights
- Blue room: lights left on in an empty room and the water heater is on all night
- Some computer labs in the second floor: students log out of the computers, but screens are left on.
Do you think that some posters in several rooms and computer labs about "Turning off lights and computers after work" can help to remind us to switch off our equipment and lights (if we are the last person to leave the common area)?
#5 By: Andrew Wright, March 31st, 2014 06:15
Why don't we get someone to record data from all the main distribution boards around Queens for a week and identify the culprits (sorry high energy usage)?
#6 By: Richard Snape, March 31st, 2014 09:03
I've asked that a few times - the response always seems to be "too hard". I don't really know why. It should be very easy, I think. Either using inline monitors for a proper job (but requiring a reasonable amount of technician time to install), or clamps for a quick and dirty solution. I would have thought that the distro layout should be vaguely hierarchical, so we could first measure the outputs from the first incoming distro first, find the big consumer, go to the next splits and so on.
Should we try to get onto this once and for all?
#7 By: Graeme Stuart, March 31st, 2014 09:58
I think @smartspacesDMU did this as part of the living lab.
#8 By: Andrew Wright, March 31st, 2014 10:12
It was proposed (by me!) but I don't know that anyone did it... if so where are the results?
#9 By: Richard Snape, March 31st, 2014 17:07
I have a feeling it wasn't done - I seem to remember a rather frustrating meeting where the consensus appeared to be that it was too hard. On the other hand - those boxes with inline meters did appear at one point. Maybe someone did do it in the end...
I've never seen any results, but would love to see the electrical schematics and some results...
#10 By: Leticia Ozawa-Meida, April 1st, 2014 04:40
I think we may be able to do some measurements this year as part of a MSc dissertation, but we may need to get the electrical schematics and access to the wires. Do we need to request access (and drawings) via the Estates or the Faculty?
I also have the curiosity about the equipment in the Media studios. Does anybody know if broadcasting equipment is electricity-intensive?
#11 By: Richard Snape, April 9th, 2014 09:03
I'm led to believe that the broadcast aerial for Demon FM takes quite a bit of power, which would make sense.
I don't know how to get the schematics - although as I say above, I'd love to see them.
#12 By: Chris A, April 16th, 2014 18:12
The actual transmission for DemonFM takes place on top of the Edith Murphy Building, the output from the studios is sent across the university network to a receiver and is processed and transmitted from there. DemonFM is only allowed to broadcast a total of 25W, the IP reciever, RDS box and transmitter probably use approx. 300-400W in power and we have a UPS in the bottom of the rack as well in case of power failure.
#13 By: Graeme Stuart, April 17th, 2014 03:40
Thanks @arnoldc. The theory that the DemonFM transmitter contributes part of the Queens base load is now in tatters.
What kind of equipment is there in the studios in Queens? Does any of it run on weekends and overnight?
#14 By: Leticia Ozawa-Meida, April 17th, 2014 04:02
The information provided by @arnoldc is great! Thank you!
If several equipment around Queens (labs and studios) do not need to be switched on over this long weekend, perhaps we can try to do an Easter switch-off and see if there are any changes in our baseload. Unfortunately, perhaps it is too late today to request the collaboration of all staff in Queens to do it. If we cannot do it this long Easter weekend, we can try to see if it can be done in another weekend and see what happens.
#15 By: Graeme Stuart, April 17th, 2014 04:11
Note that the baseload is very persistent, Queens consistently consumes at least 40kWh every half hour - that's an average of 80kW constant load.
Sometimes this increases to 100kW
Over Christmas 2013 it dropped to about 70kW.
Right now, during the Easter holidays, we are at about 90kW.
Every kW of baseload costs about £876 per year (based on 8760 hours @ 10p per kWh). The entire 80kW baseload equates to about £70,000 per year. Most of this will probably be unavoidable but we could probably save £10,000 very easily on Queens baseload alone.
@DMU_Energy is 10p reasonable?
I have also posted a chart of the smartspaces Queens electricity model if you're interested.
#16 By: Leticia Ozawa-Meida, April 17th, 2014 09:55
These potential cost (and energy) savings highlight the importance of trying to understand better the main causes of the high base load.
It is relevant that we understand better what the most energy-intensive equipment is and where they are located as well as their use patterns (perhaps some of this equipment needs to be running all the time, such as the main distribution boards - I think). But it is also important that staff and students turn off their equipment and lights when they leave their offices, classrooms, lecture theatres and labs.
As an example, the Central Library of Leicester City Council has a very low electricity base load. Through a conversation with staff in the Library, the person told me that staff usually follow defined procedures related to switching off lights and equipment in different areas of the library when they close the building. Although there are several differences with the Central Library and Queens Building related to size of the building, use patterns (opening and closing times), and equipment (mainly lights and computers but not air conditioning), I think that the Central Library is a very good example that through awareness and cooperation of all users, we could reduce the high base load in Queens.
Perhaps through the energy/cost savings, the university could replace old equipment with more energy efficient equipment for our building.
#17 By: Chris A, April 17th, 2014 12:50
The CTS does seem like it consumes a lot of power, there a multiple rooms full of high performance machines (HP Z400 workstations/mac pros(but the interesting thing is the macs shut down during the night and all come on at 9am in one go whereas the windows machines just stay on constantly) which people use for video editing etc. There used to be an AVID room that had Z800 workstations in them (those were meant for doing video editing as well as they have intel Xeon and 2 screens each) and that room was always boiling, but over the summer they moved them over to bede island and now all they have is some (basic(ish)) HP workstations (i5 machines, single screens and the room is a lot cooler now). Within DemonFM, we have to leave some computers running as they do the playout through the night etc and we also have a server that stores music for the station, a server for the website and there will be a few more for running other services within the CTS anyway. A bit long winded but hope it makes some sense haha
#18 By: Richard Snape, April 17th, 2014 19:48
It is relevant that we understand better what the most energy-intensive equipment is and where they are located
Yes - absolutely
it is also important that staff and students turn off their equipment
and lights when they leave their offices, classrooms, lecture theatres and labs
Well, maybe... As a general habit, it's got to be better than nothing. But... The problem is - until we know what's in the baseload, no amount of behaviour change is going to shift it. Even with the big switch off campaigns (e.g. Christmas 2012), only a relatively small amount was shifted if I recall correctly. We really need accurate schematics and sub-metering.
If we try to get people to switch off the odd light and computer when they may not make a significant change you really risk making people think it's all pointless. @arnoldc shows the folly of (my) guessing and hearsay. Also his comments illustrate that there has been a bit of change in the computer equipment in the last year, yet no corresponding change in baseload - which might lead us to think that these are not the major baseload.
I don't know. 80 kW seems very large. If there are 10 or 20 500W spotlights left on all night, that's 5-10kW, 300 computers on Standby is about 15kW porentially (at 50W each). I found a list of equipment power consumption for on/off/standby. Don't know how reliable it is, but indicative.
It still feels like there's some big heating / cooling load we're missing. We need the drawings and to work out expected baseloads vs actual, in my opinion.
#19 By: PWE, April 23rd, 2014 05:03
Ok, so the costs per kilowatt hour (for Queens) is 9.417 p/kWh day and 6.384 p/kWh at night (7 hours). Then add VAT at 18.65% (you don't want to know why it's this rate, believe me!), Carbon costs (CRC) work out to about 0.86 p/kWh. I have 23 sub-meters in addition to the fiscal meter in Queens, and the baseload is absent from all of them (deep joy!). This is something I will take forward over the next few months with engineers and contractors around the Estates Group. I would advise against people accessing distribution boards themselves, or attaching any monitoring equipment to them without Estates consent. I would hate it if anyone got hurt or any damage occurred. I am happy to hear all suggestions and will keep you in the loop.
#20 By: Richard Snape, April 25th, 2014 04:56
Absolutely - second that. We mustn't open any estates electrical equipment, no matter what.
That's quite amazing. I was talking to @carlholland about how hard it was to actually track loads in another even smaller building too. Having worked from 50 year old schematics in a previous job - I feel your pain!
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