New electrical meters to boost energy savings

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The Physical Plant will soon be overseeing the installation of new electrical submeters in several campus buildings as part of the Truman Energy Project. These buildings include McClain Hall and Baldwin Hall after it undergoes renovation. Truman currently spends about $4 million annually on energy usage, a number they are planning to decrease with the help of these new meters.

The Health and Exercise Science Building, as well as Ryle and Missouri Halls, all house electrical switchgear and transformers that are monitored by a modern Square D Powerlogic model of electrical submeter, manufactured by Schneider Electric, which is the same model that the Physical Plant is planning to eventually to use all over campus. These meters display several relevant metrics related to the electricity usage in the building including voltage, amperage and kilowatt-hours. They are also connected via Ethernet to Truman’s computer network, which allows the Physical Plant to monitor them in real time.

Physical Plant director Karl Schneider says these meters measure energy usage throughout each day and over longer periods of time, which allows Truman to track its energy savings and pinpoint buildings or areas that are wasting energy.

“There is a certain amount of energy that is supposed to be saved through this energy project, so one of the things it does is it allows us to confirm that energy savings are actually being realized … It’s also being used to see what times of year we’re using more energy,” Schneider says. “If there’s something wrong that’s causing a high energy usage, it helps us narrow down to a building rather than just know [usage is] higher for [multiple] buildings.”

Schneider says the new submeters will be installed in McClain Hall and Pershing Building during the summer, and a new submeter will be installed in Baldwin Hall during the renovations to the building.

Tim Baker, Physical Plant assistant director, says some advantages to the new submeters include safety and ease of maintenance.

“The old switchgear looked like something out of an old Frankenstein movie,” Baker says. “It was a big, wooden handled fuse box, and it was in a small, crowded, dark, damp, dimly lit room. It was quite dangerous to operate … This is all new. It’s maintainable. It’s in very good condition, and much, much safer to operate.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuf6TsVWz5M”][/vc_column][/vc_row]