En­ergy sav­ings

Char­lot­te­town in­stalls au­to­mated heat­ing sys­tem that should make one of its big­ger build­ings more en­ergy-ef­fi­cient

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVE STE­WART dstew­art@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/DveSte­wart

Char­lot­te­town in­stalls au­to­mated heat­ing sys­tem that should make one of its big­ger build­ings more en­ergy ef­fi­cient.

The City of Char­lot­te­town is try­ing to put the chill on one of its big­gest heat­ing bills.

It has had an au­to­mated heat­ing sys­tem in­stalled at the pub­lic works garage on MacAleer Drive.

Ra­mona Doyle, sus­tain­abil­ity of­fi­cer with the city, said they hope to save 20 per cent on the cost to heat the build­ing.

It costs the city $140,000 an­nu­ally in oil to heat the pub­lic works garage.

“This is a pi­lot project and one of our higher use build­ings, very high for oil in par­tic­u­lar. This is where we’re start­ing,’’ Doyle said. “We’re look­ing for ef­fi­cien­cies in all our build­ings.’’

The city hired an en­ergy ef­fi­cient co-or­di­na­tor for a 15-week con­tract to com­plete au­dits of city fa­cil­i­ties and oversee im­prove­ments to the ef­fi­cien­cies of its build­ings.

Nic Cahill, a re­cent graduate of the Hol­land Col­lege en­ergy sys­tems engi­neer­ing tech­nol­ogy pro­gram, said the au­to­mated sys­tem con­trols the heat in­side by mon­i­tor­ing the tem­per­a­ture out­side.

“It takes in­for­ma­tion and de­cides how to run the sys­tem based on that. It trig­gers all th­ese dif­fer­ent kinds of in­puts based on th­ese pa­ram­e­ters,’’ Cahill said.

“It’s all tied to a com­puter which is where you can say is (the out­side) is a cer­tain tem­per­a­ture we want the sup­ply to be at this tem­per­a­ture.’’

Prior to the change, the two boil­ers in the garage had two switches, on and off. The oil truck was com­ing to fill the tank al­most ev­ery day. The pub­lic works garage, like any garage, has a se­ries of bay doors that open and close nu­mer­ous times in any given day.

“This al­lows us to set up set points of where we want the heat to be so that we’re us­ing en­ergy in the most cost-ef­fi­cient way and we’re not us­ing space that we don’t need to heat,’’ Doyle said.

The city re­ceived fund­ing from Ca­reer De­vel­op­ment Ser­vices through its Ca­reer Path­ways pro­gram to help cover Cahill’s wages. The fund­ing pro­gram aims to pro­vide young grad­u­ates work ex­pe­ri­ence in their field of study and sup­port em­ploy­ers in hir­ing new grad­u­ates un­der 30 years of age.

Scott MacLean with Memco Con­trols, which is based out of Dieppe, N.B., says the heat can be mon­i­tored from any com­puter.

“In­stead of the boil­ers run­ning full blast all the time we can con­trol them based on out­door air tem­per­a­tures,’’ MacLean said. “The boil­ers don’t work as hard and you get a bet­ter life­span out of them; bet­ter con­trol.’’

Memco has the same sys­tem in op­er­a­tion at the provin­cial gov­ern­ment of­fices at Rochford and Kent streets in Char­lot­te­town, Prince County Hos­pi­tal in Summerside and at least a

dozen schools across the Is­land.

“In­stead of the boil­ers run­ning full blast all the time we can con­trol them based on out­door air tem­per­a­tures. The boil­ers don’t work as hard and you get a bet­ter life­span out of them; bet­ter con­trol.’’ Ra­mona Doyle, sus­tain­abil­ity of­fi­cer, City of Char­lot­te­town

DAVE STE­WART/THE GUARDIAN

Nic Cahill was hired re­cently to com­plete en­ergy au­dits on all fa­cil­i­ties owned by the City of Char­lot­te­town. He over­saw the im­ple­men­ta­tion of an au­to­mated heat­ing sys­tem at one of its largest build­ings, the pub­lic works garage on MacAleer Drive. This com­plex maze of cir­cuits and wiring could re­duce the build­ing’s heat­ing costs by 20 per cent.

DAVE STE­WART/THE GUARDIAN

Scott MacLean with Memco Con­trols Ltd. says the au­to­mated heat­ing sys­tem that they set up at the City of Char­lot­te­town’s pub­lic works garage will re­duce the toll on its two boil­ers. With its wide open spa­ces and bay doors open­ing and clos­ing nu­mer­ous times ev­ery day the heat­ing sys­tem was pushed hard.

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