Jenny Wells

By

Students Give CAER Energy Audit, Recommendations

Published: Dec 2, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 2, 2010) - The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) recently had an energy audit performed on its building and was given many recommendations on ways to be more efficient. The auditors? Six students from Scott County Middle School's energy club.

This was the students' first energy audit outside of their school building. Working in groups of two students per floor (each accompanied by two CAER staff members), they evaluated each lab, closet, bathroom, hallway, and office in the three floor, 30,000 square-foot building. The young energy auditors assessed the lighting by counting the number, type and luminosity of lights, in addition to appliances, computers, monitors, and printers. While still on site, Doug Keaton, a social studies teacher and manager of the energy-audit program for Project NEED (National Energy Education Development Project), loaded the data into a spreadsheet, which showed how energy in-efficient the 1970's era building is.

 

Keaton and Chad Wallace, an energy club representative at the students' school, pulled all the numbers together. The easiest (and cheapest) fixes are the obvious ones. Turn out the lights when not in the offices or labs; close lab hoods when not using them; turn off monitors at night; and change some of the light fixtures for newer, more efficient ones.

The energy audit student project came about as a result from when CAER staff members had worked with Keaton on an energy-efficiency materials engineering project two summers ago when teaching at the Russell Area Technology Center.

Keaton became director of Career and Technical Education with Kentucky NEED in 2009. The NEED program was developed for providing balanced energy education for grades K-12. Kentucky NEED and the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence have provided funding in the state for student energy teams. Various school districts decide on whether to have energy groups based on energy management plan. Of the state's 175 school districts with energy management plans, 80% include energy audits and student-run teams, sometimes called "Go Green Teams." They coordinate tasks with science teachers to develop energy teams in schools.

Wallace accompanied Keaton on energy tours over the last two summers. His passion for the environment and energy efficiency led him to become the energy coordinator at the Scott County School, where there are 15 students in the club. They meet after school to learn how to do an energy audit and began by auditing their school and presenting information and recommendations to the administration.

Keaton says the reason for focusing on middle school students is easy. "We want this to be a career focus for middle school kids. By the time they get to high school, it is too late."

And the results?

--The Center is using 5% more energy than last year. Of the total energy used, 48.5% comes from the things we plug into the walls (excluding lab equipment).

--The foot-candle measurement (the amount of light that actually falls on a given surface) showed almost every room was over-lit, but not by much. For instance, the recommended foot-candle measurement for labs is 50, compared to the CAER's average of 62; and for reading areas of offices we overdid the recommendation of 50 by an extra 20. Where the students really encountered extra illumination was in the conference room where the foot candles measured 70, compared to the recommendation of 30.

--According to the students, if the 165 computer monitors were turned off at the end of the day, it would save $15,000/year and an additional $10,000 by shutting off the computers at night.

--In addition to the necessary plug-in items of computers, monitors, and printers, the energy detectives discovered the lab's 140 employees plugged in: 15 coffee pots, 17 space heaters, 1 humidifier, 22 mini-refrigerators, 46 peripheral chargers, 10 radios, 9 paper shredders, and 14 desk lamps.

The CAER's Sustainability Committee will review these recommendations and determine what is reasonable, affordable, and do-able.

middle_school_students_w._groppo.jpg
January
 
 
 
 
1
 
Thu
2
 
Fri
3
 
Sat
4
 
Sun
5
 
Mon
6
 
Tue
7
 
Wed
8
 
Thu
9
 
Fri
10
 
Sat
11
 
Sun
12
 
Mon
13
Job Club: Job Search Strategies for the New Year: A 15 Day Action Plan
Tue
14
Bicycle Trivia
LNFS Presents: Hercules
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Wed
15
LNFS Presents: Dazed and Confused
LNFS Presents: Boyhood
MLK "I Have A Dream" Silent March, Vigil & Program
Thu
16
MLK Multicutural Org Fair
Fri
17
 
Sat
18
 
Sun
19
 
Mon
20
 
Tue
21
LNFS Presents: Mission Impossible 3
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Caregiver Support Group
Wed
22
LNFS Presents: Big Hero 6
LNFS Presents: Together With You (He ni zai yi ki)
Thu
23
LNFS Presents: Five Broken Cameras
LNFS Presents: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Cultural Coffee Hour
Fri
24
Pershing Rifles Drill Meet
Welcome Back Students Swing Dance!
Sat
25
 
Sun
26
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 11 a.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ Noon
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 2 p.m.
Mon
27
Pinterest Party #1
Job Club: Using Networking to Find and Land a Hidden Job
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 1 p.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 2 p.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 3 p.m.
Tue
28
LNFS Presents: There Will Be Blood
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Chapel Talk: Why The Church Should Support Marriage Equality
Wed
29
LNFS Presents: Mulholland Drive
LNFS Presents: Fury
Tattoo Exhibit
CatWatch Party #1
Thu
30
LNFS Presents: Clerks
LNFS Presents: Friday
Cultural Coffee Hour
Faculty Media Depot Opening Reception
Fri
31
 
Sat
Jan 30
LNFS Presents: Clerks 01/30/2015

Mon, 02/02/2015

Tue, 02/03/2015

Repeats every week until Thu Apr 30 2015 except Wed Mar 18 2015.
Wed, 02/04/2015

Reset Page