St Paul Campus Case Study Essay

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If St. Paul were to switch from our conventional (separate) heating and power systems to a CHP (combined heat and power) system, immense amounts of energy could be saved and repurposed (1). A conventional system is roughly 49% efficient (lost energy due to transport, heat loss) and that a CHP system would be between 75-80% efficient (1). An improvement of 30% in our energy production would reduce emissions, costs, and the need to purchase power. This idea of a CHP is great for the large scale, but not entirely feasible for the St. Paul Campus. The director of the steam plant, Joshua Svejcar, stated that the St. Paul Campus simply does not use enough energy (5MW) for a CHP to be feasible. Another project that ought to be considered would be converting steam to hot water. This is considered “low-grade heat” and would retain more heat during transport, thus reducing waste (1). Yet another fascinating idea occurs in the Dairy Barn on the St. Paul Campus. If we implemented a biodigester which can turn waste to heat, the amount of manure and waste from the Dairy Barn would be enough to sustainably power itself (1). This would also remove large amounts of methane emissions from the St. Paul Campus (1).…show more content…
Paul Campus is that the more energy we produce on campus, the faster we can work towards reaching carbon neutrality. Xcel Energy is only 34% efficient at getting heat to the UMN campus (1). That is 66% of the heat being lost during transfer (1). The more energy we produce ourselves the better off we will be as a campus and as a community. The University has decreased its energy demand from Xcel from 400 KW/h to 360 KW/h in just the last five years (1). If we continue to implement sustainable practices that conserve energy, we will meet our 2050 goal of carbon neutrality. The more energy produced on campus, the greater likelihood for the University to achieve its 2050 goal of carbon
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