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The effective management of energy has been a key strategic objective within the University for many years, having been at the heart of its estates strategy for the past two decades.

The University has developed a ten year carbon management plan for the period  2010/11 to 2020/21, a key element is the reduction in carbon emissions arising from the consumption of energy. The plan has targeted a 29% reduction in carbon emissions associated with energy consumption by the end of the plan, based on a 2005/06 emissions baseline.

The key areas where energy efficiency has, and will continue to be focused are as follows;

  1. Via sustainable new build, major refurbishment and rationalisation improve the energy efficiency of the University’s physical estate.
  2. The introduction of more sustainable, energy efficient technology to replace existing inefficient and/ or aged plant and equipment.
  3. Improvements to building fabric and building management system controls.
  4. Enhanced metering of the University’s utilities supplies to identify and reduce wastage.
  5. Increased  awareness and communications promoting energy conservation behaviours amongst  staff and students.

Please visit our carbon management page to find out more.

Energy audit and Reviews

Energy at the university is managed by the Asset Manage Team who have developed a process for energy auditing and reviews using both remote monitoring systems and on campus inspections.  The Asset Management Team conduct energy audits on a regular basis to help identify energy waste and opportunities for improving energy practices which aids reduction in carbon emissions.  See below example of energy management and review in practice.

Energy Wastage Identification

Low carbon technologies

In its efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions associated with the consumption of energy, the University has introduced several low carbon technologies within its estate.

Wind turbine on Coleraine campus

An 800 kW wind turbine generator has been installed on the Coleraine Campus since September 2008. It produces approximately 1.6 MWh of renewable electricity annually, which equates to approximately 24% of the campus’ total electricity requirement.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays

  • A solar wall installed in the Harry Ferguson Engineering Village on the Jordanstown Campus producing approximately 5,000 kWh of renewable electricity annually.
  • A 26 kW PV Array on the roof of BB Building on the Belfast campus producing approximately 20,000 kWh of renewable electricity annually.
  • A 25.5 kW PV Array on the roof of Block I on the Coleraine campus producing approximately 20,000 kWh of renewable electricity annually.
  • A 50 kW PV Array on the roof of MF Building and a 12 kW PV Array on the roof of MP building on the Magee campus producing approximately a total of 50,000 kWh of renewable electricity annually.

Combined heat and power (CHP)

CHP units are installed on the Jordanstown and Belfast campuses.

The CHP unit in Jordanstown has been installed since 1997, with a further two units in Belfast installed as part of the major refurbishment of the Warwick Building which was completed in 2008.

CHP generates electricity whilst also capturing usable heat that is produced in this process. This contrasts with conventional ways of  generating electricity where vast amounts of heat is simply wasted. This  results in the CHP unit being much more efficient.

The CHP system in place in Belfast is even more efficient as it is linked to an absorption chiller, which allows the energy from the captured heat which is simply ‘wasted’ in the summer months (where no heating  is needed) in conventional CHP systems to be used for cooling purposes. This type of arrangement is known as a tri-generation system.

Ground source heat pumps

A ground source heat pump system is installed on the Jordanstown campus, servicing the High Performance Sports Centre. The system essentially extracts heat from the ground through a series of underground pipes which the pumps are connected to. The heat ‘stored’ in the ground is used to improve the energy efficiency of the heating system in the centre.