John Paul College - Energy and Water Management System

John Paul College

Energy and Water Management System

In 2007, JPC began implementing efficient water management practices. VRT Systems was chosen to assist them to introduce world's best practice to their commitment to sustainability. As part of this process, JPC have installed a CET PecStar integrated Energy Management System (iEMS) which collects data from both CET and Schneider Electric ION energy meters, as well as pulse water meters connected via a Wavenis wireless mesh network.

Economic Benefits

The installation of their iEMS gives their facilities management team all the information required to make informed decisions about their school. By monitoring their energy usage, JPC's facilities management staff can now establish whether air conditioning, lights or powered equipment are being used efficiently. By showing exactly how much it is costing to leave the computers turned on in a classroom, air conditioning in operation when not required or not turning the lights off, JPC's iEMS enables staff to actively target cost saving goals.

When commissioning JPC’s EMS, it was found that one building was using significantly more power than expected, especially as it was during school holidays. Further investigations led to the discovery that the air conditioning systems had been set incorrectly and were running at full capacity every 15 minutes whilst no one was occupying the building. These units were turned off over the remaining holiday period, saving the school an estimated $189 per week. Had the air conditioning been operating like this for the past year, it would have cost the school over $4,000 in unnecessary operating costs. And this was just one building. JPC claim energy savings of 30%, equating to $120K pa.

Environmental Benefits

Reducing energy usage has a direct effect on CO2 emissions. Each kilowatt-hour consumed releases approximately 1 kilogram of greenhouse gases. Every tonne of CO2 released approximates one hectare of mature rainforest. It can easily be seen that every reduction in energy usage results in a reduction of CO2, which relieves a huge burden on our environment.

Educational/ Awareness Benefits

Linking sustainable operations into school curriculum and culture, John Paul College's commitment to eco efficiency research, development and practice is creating a holistic sustainable learning environment.

Information Technology students can utilise the data available via the web server to develop presentations, or go a step further and develop their own web page detailing the energy usage for their classroom.

Physics and mathematics students can discuss and learn about complex numbers (real and reactive power), trigonometry (phase angle, power factor), time domain (waveform capture) and the frequency domain (harmonics).

Science Enrichment Program is another area of the curriculum which can derive much benefit from this system, adding another layer of information available to the students with which to analyse real situations.

Energy Management can be another tool by which students learn social and fiscal responsibility.

All this information can be collected from any networked computer or mobile device within their school.

Enhancing Corporate Profile.

Today, the 100-acre school has reduced water consumption from 88 mega litres to 18; completed Stage 1 of a three-stage plan to reduce energy consumption by 33 per cent; and introduced a campus-wide recycling program to cut waste this year by 30 per cent.

As validation and reward for their vision, JPC were recently awarded two Sustainability Awards for its dedication and commitment to operating in more sustainable ways.

2012 Winner – Premier’s Sustainability Awards – Community Award

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards is the Queensland Government’s highest recognition of community and business leadership in sustainability, innovation and eco-efficiency. John Paul College was recognised for reducing its carbon emissions, taking action to abate climate change and improving business sustainability.

2012 Winner – Logan Eco Action Festival – School Environment Award

The Logan Eco School Environment Award also recognised John Paul College for its commitment to helping make Logan a more sustainable place to live through water, waste and power management. The College continues to enhance its connections with the local community and further integrate sustainability education into the curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 12.

JPC's ongoing partnership with VRT

JPC are partnering with VRT to introduce and field test innovation in environmental monitoring systems. One example of this is the development of a Common User Interface (CUI) for all of the Extra Low Voltage (ELV) systems now commonly found in modern commercial facilities. The first release of VRT's CUI currently being installed at JPC is based on 3D models, games based technology and real-time data connectors. It currently supports energy and water monitoring systems. The next revision will also support Building Management Systems (BMS), Fire and Security Systems.

Solutions used