Delta Partner: Energy Controls Inc.
Founded in 1869, the University of New Mexico resides on 600 acres along the famed Route 66 in the heart of Albuquerque. More than 30,000 students take part in over 200 degree programs. The school’s 200 buildings reflect the area’s southwest heritage with distinctive pueblo-style architecture. Along with being the largest university in the state, the school is New Mexico’s third largest employer, with more than 20,000 employees.
Using various Delta Control solutions, Energy Control has been involved in a variety of UNM projects covering 19 buildings on campus, from providing a DDC system to a retrofit of the school’s oldest building—Hodgin Hall built in 1889—to installing top-to-bottom controls on two new LEED-certified buildings now under construction.
Since 2003, the University of New Mexico has sought to upgrade its utility systems to digital controls as well as improve building energy efficiencies. In the course of this work came a unique opportunity to modernize the out-dated solar-powered system of the Mechanical Engineering Building.
A first-of-its-kind Smart Grid project utilized Delta Controls, a Smart Energy System and solar panels. The 30-year-old “deceased” solar power system was supplemented with vacuum tube collectors and combined with state-of-the-art digital controls. Water is now heated by the solar panels and stored in a large, stratified tank and used to heat the building in the winter and provide energy to make chilled water to cool the buildings in the summer.
Says University Facilities Engineer Hans Barsun, “In the Mechanical Engineering Building alone we’re able to reduce our energy consumption by 35% to 40%—a savings of $25,000 a year.” That system also reduces carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 100 tons annually. Adds Mr. Barsun, “We’ve installed Delta Controls in everything from classrooms to administration offices to biomedical research facilities. And are specifying Delta for upcoming LEED-certified projects.
Key to the success of UNM’s Gridwise demonstration project is the portal used to share information between buildings, the physical plant and the power company, PNM. Delta Controls in tandem with the portal will allow the building to respond to requirements for electrical demand reduction. This helped the building achieve LEED silver certification.
“As we add more buildings to this system Grid, we’ll be able to seamlessly integrate Delta solutions to our ever-expanding system.”
Hans Barsun, University Facilities Engineer
University of New Mexico