Flexible, future proof and energy efficient … GCU’s combined heat and power system helps the University reduce its carbon footprint.
A Combined Heat and Power engine (CHP) and district heating supply was installed as part of the Campus Futures initiative. The natural gas-fired CHP technology allows the University to generate on-site electricity. A by-product of this is recovering the heat produced during the process instead of it going to waste, which is used to generate domestic hot water and assist with heating across campus.
The CHP also plays a key role in teaching and research. The engine is housed within an energy centre which has been designed with an observation gallery, teaching area and across-campus instrumentation to help support knowledge and technology transfer. This hands-on feature has earned programmes in GCU’s School of Engineering and Built Environment accreditation by the Energy Institute, the leading chartered professional membership body for the energy industry.
Glasgow Caledonian University has also recently become the first Scottish organisation to install Open Energi’s innovative demand side response (DSR) technology. GCU has equipped its award-winning Saltire Centre with dynamic demand technology to create a ‘virtual power station’, transforming how the university uses energy and – potentially pathfinding the way for Scotland’s decentralised, low carbon future.
The technology was installed in early 2015, turning air handling units throughout the building into “smart” devices which can adjust their energy use in real-time to help balance electricity supply and demand UK-wide, without any impact on students or staff.
“The Saltire Centre alone provides around 100kw of flexible capacity and a further three buildings are expected to bring this up to 300kw following a second phase of installations.