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A team of engineering students and faculty from the Energy Efficiency Center at Oregon State University recently conducted an energy assessment of the Oregon Convention Center located in Portland, Oregon. The team conducted a thorough walkthrough of the 868,000 square foot facility, and analyzed the Convention Center’s major energy users. The end result was a report with five efficiency recommendations, with total projected cost savings of over $120,000 per year.
One unique recommendation the Oregon State team made to the facility was to modulate ventilation rates using advanced headcount occupancy sensors. This proposal would modulate the minimum ventilation rate in each room based on the actual number of occupants rather than ventilation triggered by motion sensors. Other recommendations included pre-cooling the building with night-time air and upgrading to high-efficiency chiller pumps. “The Convention Center was a great challenge for us as they are already very energy-conscious, being a LEED Platinum Certified building,” Michael Swanson, the lead analyst for the report said. “We had to get creative with our recommendations and our team really rose to the occasion.”
The Oregon State University Energy Efficiency Center is one of 29 Industrial Assessment Centers located at accredited engineering schools around the country, funded by the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. Their primary function is to send teams of faculty and students to nearby small to medium sized industrial facilities and provide a full day assessment of the facilities energy use, productivity, and waste management systems. The service is provided at no cost to the facility.