In the spring semester of 2011, I stared Dr. Bill Wiecking’s Green Tech class, and as a result, I became very interested in the Energy Lab’s automation system. Throughout the spring semester, I continued to get myself more involved in the Energy Lab and the automation project. I planned on continuing this project in Green Tech Class, but there were conflicts in my schedule. The purpose of this independent study is to continue and expand on the project I just barely started last semester.
Much of the automation project is learning about the Energy Lab, such as learning how it works, how to control the system, and how to monitor it. Dr. Bill and I covered some of that last semester, so that may end up being a smaller part of the project. The bigger part of the project is monitoring the sensors placed all over campus and recording the amounts of electricity each building uses. I will also be brainstorming ideas to reduce the amount of energy we use per building. For example, the tennis center takes up 10% of the schools energy. Each light bulb is 10,000 watts and it cost $17 an hour and about $170 a day to keep the tennis courts lit. Dr. Bill recently put sensors up in the tennis center to track the amount of energy that is being used, and when it is being used. These lights totally power down from 10pm till 7am. During these hours, it is impossible to turn on the lights in the tennis center. What the school is trying to do is clean up the sky light in the tennis center so the lights don't have to be used during the day. We are also trying to put solar panels on the roof of the tennis center so the courts can have its own source of electricity, and we are planning to put in better light bulbs that use less electricity. These sensors that measure electricity use are also set up in the IT building, but they don't work exactly right yet. We also are planning on putting these up in GPAC. My job in this project would be to keep track of the money and electricity HPA is saving. Dr. Bill and I are also talking about expanding my project to “Hotel X”. I would be doing the same thing I am doing for the school, for the “Hotel X”. As a result, I would be the energy “guru” of the campus and hopefully, the “Hotel X.”
This wiki portfolio will serve as my final project for both semesters. I will also be giving weekly updates with graphs and information on the sensors to Dr. Bill and who ever else is interested in the information. These updates will be posted regularly on my blog. On top of this, I will be meeting with Dr. Bill at least once a week (if not more) to discuss the progress of the project, or any questions that either of us have on the project.
This project is something I hope to continue for the rest of my high school career. I would also like this to be a jumpstart for every environmental project I will work on in college.