Engaging Students and Teachers in Energy Management
We are collaborating with several schools in Alberta and Ontario to install CircuitMeter technology and software and then work with teachers to support hands-on, engaging learning for students anywhere from Grade 5 to Grade 12. Students have direct web access to real time continuous electricity monitoring and any variation of historical reports they can imagine for individual circuits or combinations of rooms and groups of equipment types. We have also configured “Learning Labs” in several schools where students can design experiments and consumer report studies and then conduct analysis or comparisons of various appliances, office equipment options, or other electrical loads. This allows them to gain for themselves, and provide to their administration, valuable insights into how different choices in electrical equipment and various ways of using or managing use on that equipment can affect energy consumption, cost and associated greenhouse gas emissions. The powerful software is still easy enough for students in junior and senior high school to use and create their own reports, dashboards and analysis.
While student learning is the main objective, Students can also offer very practical and well-grounded audit and analysis advice to facility mangers and administration on where they see waste and recommend possible retrofits or behaviour changes that can cost-effectively save energy. Students can even conduct cost-benefit analysis on specific ideas for their schools. With an unlimited number of classroom or student users, and the multi-user platform design, all of this is possible without having any impact on the data and the School caretaker, facility manger, or electrician or other energy manager’s reports or dashboard and use for their energy management roles.
Energy Efficiency & Climate Action (E2CA) Student Learning Initiative
Beginning in February 2017 Greenplanet Energy Analytics is embarking on an exciting collaboration with two leading non-profit education groups working on climate change, energy efficiency and energy economics education – GreenLearning Canada Foundation – and the Alberta Council for Environmental Education. As a primary Corporate Sponsor and the main western Canada distributor and installer for the first phase of the GLCF and ACEE “Energy Efficiency and Climate Action” (E2CA) Student Learning Initiative, Greenplanet Energy analytics is offering a limited number of schools an educational discount on hardware and installation, free access to classroom and web delivered on line resource people and other learning tools. E2CA is a four year national student learning program starting in October 2017, and Phase One schools working with us will have an exciting chance to work now with leading teachers across Canada, and top technology experts at Greenplanet Energy Analytics and CircuitMeter to invent and share great education activities and lesson plans and help shape the emerging student learning resources and teacher guides. These learning resources will be carefully linked to core student learning outcomes in specific grade levels and subjects including: Science, Social Studies, Career Technology Studies, Career Technology Foundations, Math, and Statistics, as well as supporting Green-School and Eco-School program objectives.
Sample Learning Activities
- Understanding electricity, in elementary grades
- Watching real time monitoring of electrical parameters including voltage, current, kilowatts of power and kwh of energy consumption, power factor etc., relative to the activity of specific loads and devices which students can operate or see operating in their school, learning lab, or other host demonstration site
- Establishing baseline energy use and peak load data for a specific room, group of rooms, specific appliance or piece of equipment or category of load types (lighting, HVAC, office equipment, etc.) for any desired period of time: an hour, week, month, year or customized time period
- Conducting side by side comparisons of appliances. Ground truth whether energy ratings on appliances are correct. How much energy are they using during a power saver function and when not using that function. Look at hardware and human behaviour and do comparisons and studies (i.e. using the elevator and not using it).
- Relating the understanding of environmental or health impacts of electricity production / consumption and the associated benefits of reduction to kWh and apply utility or government supplied emission factors per kWh to specific energy efficiency reduction actions, retrofit projects, behaviour changes and estimate benefits using actual hours of operation
- Establishing a baseline for existing energy consumption on a specific circuit or load (or combination of same), investigating a “ project case” involving either a hardware retrofit with known power consumption improvement over base case, or a behaviour change or target for a change with estimated reduction in demand, and apply this reduction across the actual hours of operation for those circuits/loads then estimate the savings
- Conduct the business case analysis of material and labour installation cost of the retrofit or behaviour change, savings over base case costs, and payback periods (ROI), economics/business classes
- Verification: after a retrofit is completed, or a behaviour change is implemented, then analyze the actual savings realized and verify if the estimate of savings was accomplished or not, or exceeded… and also determine if other factors such as a change in hours of operation, weather, etc. might explain a change in results, and report back on learnings from this for future energy efficiency initiatives
- Review daily and monthly peak load data and break it down by the specific circuits and loads contributing to the peak periods and then analyze and investigate options for load shifting and the actual benefits to peak loads and therefore demand (capacity) charges on a bill
- Learning Labs: Installing circuit metering with 3 or 4 dedicated plugs each on its own separate circuit then being able to conduct:
- Consumer report studies, how much energy does a piece of equipment or appliance actually consume over a given use activity or period of time with known operating hours and operating behaviour
- Conduct experiments on how different patterns of behaviour, use vs nonuse of power saving software and sleep mode and related controls impact consumption
- Investigate phantom load consumption and cost
- Conduct side by side comparison of two or more equivalent appliances or pieces of office equipment, or shop equipment, normalize for hours of operation or productivity output [tasks performed] then assess relative efficiency and make purchasing recommendations
- Community Collaborations and Partnering, where a school is not interested in or able to immediately pursue installing circuit meters in its own building, then teachers or students can find a partner Municipality, Seniors Lodge, Community Centre, parent’s business etc., and have that an energy-management partner install circuit meters; then assist that partner with continuous energy auditing and analysis, make recommendations for savings opportunities for the partner — even investigate specific retrofits, control changes, education programs for employees or areas to target behaviour changes and then conduct the business case analysis of net savings and paybacks: also contribute to community energy audits and baseline data for community energy planning
- Extension Work: Energy Economics – Carbon Pricing: students examine impact analysis and sensitivity analysis. What would be the impact of a 10 cent increase in electricity. The government will provide a roll through factor of set price per tonne.