Energy audit of the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
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Load growth projections on South Africa's electricity demand indicate that Eskom's spare capacity will be eroded by the year 2005. In the late 1960s South Africa experienced electricity shortages and Eskom embarked on a program to build large coal fired power stations, to ensure that South Africa would have sufficient electricity capacity to meet the envisaged high growth rate. With sanctions being imposed on South Africa, the demand was much less than predicted and in the late 1980s South Africa had an excess of generating capacity, which resulted in some power stat ions being mothballed. Due to the increased economic growth after the 1994 elections and Eskom's electrification drive, there has been an increase in demand and the excess capacity has diminished. From past experiences, the lead time to build a power station varies with the type of power station. For large fossil, nuclear and hydro plants, the lead time is in excess of six years. Gas fired stations can have a lead time of less than three years. An option to defer the building of new power stations to meet this expected shortfall in demand is Demand Side Management (DSM). Eskom has already begun initiating a DSM program to try and defer the expected demand shortfall. From a university perspective there have been cutbacks in funding from government. For this reason tertiary institutions have been forced to review the way in which they manage their operating costs. A large tertiary institution spends a substantial portion of their facilities budget providing utility service to the campus. At most universities, 20 % or more of the annual utility budget is for electricity. In many facilities operations, tremendous potential exists to improve on energy efficiency and resource conservation and to reduce electricity costs. The management of energy tended not to feature very high on the list of priorities of tertiary institutions. Therefore targeting electricity for cost reductions in a campus environment makes sense. Additionally the historically low electricity price in South Africa, coupled with economic isolation meant that there is a proliferation of inefficient energy technologies present. The University of KwaZulu-Natal campuses (Medical, Pietermaritzburg, Howard College and Edgewood) spend about R 8 million per year in electricity expenditure. This constitutes about 5.8 % of the annual operational costs for the above mentioned centres (excluding salaries and capital expenditure). Not only is energy consumption a significant cost to the university, but energy use at the university also contributes to the depletion of natural resources and environmental problems associated with energy production and processing. The work presented in this thesis is the first step towards the establishment of what has become the formal energy management program at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. A comprehensive energy audit was conducted and metering of the mini substations was subsequently introduced. The readings from these meters, together with the results of the energy audit, are analysed. A successful case study involving energy efficient lighting technology implemented on the campus main library is also discussed. Energy savings of approximately R 220 000 per annum has been realised from the implementation of this case study. Conservative estimates to retrofit all the existing luminaires, with more modem efficient luminaires, show that the lighting system demand component can be reduced by approximately 600 kW. The audit has revealed loads that can be potentially shifted without adversely affecting regular campus activities. The air-conditioning load has been identified as an area where considerable savings can be attained. The ability to conservatively reduce the base load will realise savings in excess of R 100 000 per annum (2002 costs) and merely requires an awareness campaign to be instituted at minimal cost. The specific objectives of the study are given in the table below: 1. To conduct an energy audit to identify major energy users on campus. Object achieved: YES. 2. To establish a database of historical energy consumption data for each building on the Howard College campus. Object achieved: YES. 3. To further investigate the larger users of energy and quantify their energy consumption, and identify trends, where possible. Object achieved: YES. 4. To make recommendations where possible, for savings to be made. Object achieved: Yes. 5. To implement a case study demonstrating that energy management is a viable option. Object achieved: YES. As can be seen from the above table, all of the objectives were met. This analysis forms the basis of future efforts in the energy management program at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.