Florida State University implements energy management strategies to minimize costs, save natural resources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Conservation and efficiency are built into all Utilities and Engineering Services planning and project implementation.
- Continue to focus on proven conservation and efficiency strategies.
- Continue to drive down thousands of BTU (British Thermal Unit) per square foot (kBtu/sq.ft.).
- Increase building and lighting systems efficiency by simplifying control systems and scheduling.
- Expand metrics to include energy usage per person/FTE (Full Time Equivalent).
- Assess projects for return on investment (ROI) to maximize university budgets.
- Test products and services in a real-world setting to better understand associated impacts and savings before deploying campus wide.
- Balance between occupant comfort and maximizing operational efficiency.
Energy at FSU
Vacancy sensors are used extensively throughout the campus, both in lighting and HVAC systems in many buildings. FSU has a sophisticated scheduling process that incorporates student class schedules and events into a database. Buildings systems are then scheduled based on occupancy. Buildings employ either an ON/OFF or temperature set back process depending upon the type of building and the specific requirements of each occupant. After hours, where possible, HVAC systems are shut down or perform at a greatly reduced capacity. In addition, most room temperatures are controlled within a standard range based on the type of systems and specific environmental requirements.
After completion of the City of Tallahassee’s 20MW solar farm
in 2017, FSU committed to purchasing most of its commercial energy allocation from the solar farm. To help put that in perspective, one MW is enough to power about 125 Florida homes, meaning 20 MW is the equivalent energy to power approximately 2,500 Florida homes for a year. FSU is the single largest solar energy consumer from the City of Tallahassee!
Solar Thermal at the Leach Center
The solar thermal heating system for the Leach Center pool fully heats the pool during warmer months while providing as much as 25% of the heat needed in cooler months. These systems work by using the dark surface of a solar collector panel to collect sunlight, which is then converted to heat, which is pushed into a “carrier liquid” (often water) where it is stored and distributed to help regulate the water temperature when needed.
FSU’s exterior lighting standard for all new construction is LED. Some offices and classrooms are LED where financially feasible.