Monday, December 8, 2014

Integral Group Plug-Load Study for New UCSC Coastal Biology Building

By: Samira Yitiz 

UCSC PowerSave Campus recently started collaborating with Integral Group from Oakland, CA on an equipment plug-load study. In this study we are measuring the energy usage of lab equipment in labs around Santa Cruz. The labs that are being studied are found in the Center of Oceanic Health, Earth and Marine Sciences, Thimann, Sinsheimer, and the Seymour Center. The equipment and labs at these locations are representative of what will be used in the new UC Santa Cruz Coastal Biology Building. The information attained from this study will be used to estimate the energy usage of the new building and to find ways to reduce plug load energy use and overall energy consumption of the new Coastal Biology Building. Lab equipment plug load is one of our campus’s biggest energy consumers so this project will identify areas in which we can make a change to better energy efficiency.


The whole team has been involved in installing and un-installing meters alongside Annie Mroz and Lindsey Gaunt from Integral Group. Kristiahn and I were involved in the installation of meters in a lab in Earth and Marine Sciences. We installed hobo meters on frequently used equipment such as power supplies, hot plates, refrigerators, and computers. Hobo loggers measure kilowatt hour usage by single phase equipment rated at greater than 15 amps. We will leave these meters on the equipment for at least one week to attain data that is representative of peak usage, weekends, and any other variation in usage. The hobo logger will be monitored the equipment during the thanksgiving holiday so it will be interesting to see the energy usage during unoccupied periods. We will also be installing meters in a controlled room, in this case a room used to store animal specimens that is representative of rooms that will be in the Coast Biology Building. All the data we collect will be given to Integral group so that they can properly assess the projected energy usage of the Coast Biology Building and be able to suggest energy efficient equipment and behaviors that could reduce the energy usage.

For more news related to energy efficiency on campus, visit the UCSC PowerSave website or like them on Facebook.  Contact powersave [at] googlegroups [dot] com for any questions, comments or concerns.

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