Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Energy Efficiency in a New University Campus: Preliminary Findings

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Energy Efficiency in a New University Campus: Preliminary Findings

Article excerpt

Abstract

One of Malaysia's national energy policy's objectives is to promote efficient utilization of energy and the elimination of wasteful and non-productive patterns of energy consumption. The government wishes to intensify energy efficiency (EE) initiatives in a broad range of areas, including in government buildings. University Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), a Malaysian public institution of higher learning, has been chosen for an action research in the implementation of an energy efficiency program, in line with the government's aspiration. This highly populated organization was an ideal selection for an energy consumption and silent waste research. Research objective was to identify areas of possible energy waste within the Campus. To achieve the objective, 2 projects were selected: one was to reduce energy use of chillers and the other was to find if there is any wastage with wrong setting of luminous flux in specific areas. For the first project, the staging method was adopted, where chillers will be loaded with 15 minutes intervals and for the second, luminous flux was set according to government body's requirement to attain energy saving as initial stage findings showed that luminous flux setting was more than what is required. The results from just these 2 projects demonstrated, that UniMAP was able to save approximately 53,000 kWh of electricity within the research duration. From the preliminary results, it is apparent that more energy wastage analysis within the campus should be carried out in order to maximize potential savings that can be achieved in the future.

Keywords: energy, waste, sustainability, chillers, building, educational organizations, cost, and capacity

1. Introduction

The Malaysian government's commitment is to promote energy efficiency, as seen in the many government policies and regulations in place. In the line with the government's aspiration, UniMAP started its "Sustainable Campus" program. The first challenge was to find and sustain an active, diverse, and motivated team dedicated to working towards environmental justice and sustainability; volunteers who would selflessly contribute time and engage in the project. The challenge was overcome after the Green Campus workshop, held in June 2012. Staff and student came forward to be chosen as leaders on accepted directions for the study. Result of workshop was impressive and few directions on sustainability study were accepted. Currently the program comprises of 12 Groups and namely:

1) People.

2) Land and Water.

3) Procurement.

4) Waste.

5) Energy Management.

6) Automotive.

7) Transportation.

8) Climate.

9) Food.

10) Cannibalization.

11) Building Operation and Maintenance.

12) Rain Water Harvesting.

University management has chosen the way volunteers to create own projects towards sustainability, although there are many Higher Education Sustainability Assessment Tools to follow. All groups' initiatives regarding projects have been taken into consideration. Some have failed in early stages but some of them completed successfully which other Higher Education Institutions can adopt.

One year on, overall outputs from groups were reviewed. Reports indicated that 4 meetings were conducted each month with various groups; some providing challenging ideas and its benefit to Campus and some with slow or no contribution. In this article, unexpected findings from Energy Management Group will be discussed. UniMAP's campuses are spread out in various locations in Perlis and remote support departments are located in the State of Kedah and in Kuala Lumpur as well. Amongst these campuses, the new Campus in Pauh, Perlis, was evaluated for sustainability study.

1.1 Problem Definition

This paper addresses to reduce energy wastage by utilizing the ground-level understanding and knowledge of University Academicians who are in the field of energy conservation and thereby have an eye for spotting silent energy wastage. …

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