College to monitor, reduce energy
When you hear about sustainable living, you often hear the same things about energy conservation, like turning off the lights when you leave a room, or unplugging devices. But other than checking the energy bill every month, it’s difficult for the average consumer to determine how much energy they’re actually using. That’s where sub-metering comes in.
Electrical sub-meters allow people to monitor the amount of electricity they’re using. A current transformer circles wires of the electrical load to record the pulses produced from use of electricity. A Watt Node then receives those pulses, recording them as kilowatts and Kilowatt-hours. A machine called a Maverick receives the information from the Node and stores it for analysis. Users can access the information from a computer using an IP address.
Jere Bower’18 spent part of his summer on campus as a Sustainability Fellow installing sub-meters in Aldrich, Chapin, and Maurer. Each building, and each of its floors, has its own sub-meter, as well as a meter for the entire building. Bower finished installing the sub-meters in late July.
Bower also worked with Sustainability Office Coordinator Lindsay Chapman and Computer Science faculty member Steve Huss-Lederman to create a way for students and faculty to view the information recorded by the new sub-meters. The page beloit.edu/sustainability/energy_consumption/ shows graphs of the floor-by floor and building-wide energy usage of each sub-metered building,
To raise awareness of the sub-meters and promote a responsible energy lifestyle the Sustainability Office is currently holding an Energy Saving Competition for residents living in Chapin, Maurer, and Aldrich. The floor that uses the least energy will earn a pizza party, courtesy of the Sustainability Office. The competition ends on Oct. 2.