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Eastern Michigan University

Michigan

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The Opportunity

In the spring of 2009, Eastern Michigan University (EMU) identified two key goals they wanted to meet during the renovation of four campus residence halls and two dining halls: make the spaces more efficient to operate and more comfortable for students and faculty. With the help of ENGIE Services U.S. (ENGIE), EMU was able to achieve their goals during the implementation of a design-build project. With ENGIE as their trusted partner through every step of this program, EMU was able to make essential facility upgrades that resulted in reducing energy costs by several million dollars over the life of the program.

After completing comprehensive facility upgrades during the successful first phase of work, EMU partnered again with ENGIE in the fall of 2016 to improve the performance, reliability and efficiency of its Central Heating Plant. The University needed to replace a 64-year-old boiler and a 28-year-old cogeneration system located inside the Central Heating Plant, both which were nearing the end of their useful lives.

The Partnership

Starting in 2009, ENGIE installed new boilers to replace a failing system that was wasting thousands of gallons of heated water every year. ENGIE converted four residence halls from a steam system to a hot water system and put thermostats in each room for optimum heat control and comfort of students.

The cogeneration modernizations in development will provide greater power reliability for the community. The new turbine and corresponding Heat Recovery Steam Generator are capable of producing up to 7.8 MW of power and 90 MMBtu of steam, respectively. This production is a significant improvement compared to the output of the old system, which topped out at 4.5 MW and 56 MMBtu. Such a large increase in generation capacity from that of the current cogeneration system will be an advantage for both the University and community. In the event of a major utility outage, EMU will be in a position to be a safe-haven for the surrounding community.

The upgrades inside of the Central Heating Plant represent a unique learning opportunity for students attending EMU’s College of Technology. ENGIE’s education team is working with University faculty to roll out an internship program which will utilize the cogeneration technology as a real-world learning opportunity. Over the course of the eight-week internship program, two to four students per cycle are given the chance to shadow engineers and construction managers on the project site to gain practical knowledge through direct, hands-on experience. Faculty and students look forward to the launch of this internship opportunity aligning with the beginning of cogeneration modernizations in 2017.

Cogeneration and EMU: How it Works

The cogeneration system at EMU uses natural gas to power the turbine, which generates electricity and heat from the exhaust air stream, thus producing electric and thermal energy from a single source of fuel.

  1. The exhaust air stream, at approximately 950º F, is channeled into a Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG).
  2. The steam is then sent out to campus via the steam distribution system.
  3. When the University’s thermal load exceeds the recoverable energy from the exhaust, a supplemental duct burner in the HRSG provides additional thermal capacity at 90% + efficiency.
  4. The cogeneration system operates utilizing an electric import control strategy. The system allows for an electric import set point, which is adjustable to ensure power is always flowing into campus as required by the utility.
Eastern Michigan University Cogeneration Diagram

3 Dimensions of Impact

ENGIE is committed to building three dimensions of impact in every customer’s future. Recognizing the achievement of energy savings at a higher education institution, EMU was awarded the Energy Services Coalition’s Annual Energy Efficiency Project Award in 2012. Following project implementation, EMU was also named one of the top green colleges in the country by the Princeton Review, and has continued to pioneer environmental change over the past seven years, becoming a model for other colleges and universities across the nation. With the recent cogeneration modernizations, EMU can anticipate further positive impact campus-wide, including:

  • Supporting People – Increased efficiency and resiliency also translates to enhanced comfort in the learning environment for both students and educators
  • Saving Money – Upgrades at the Central Heating Plant will increase campus efficiency from 68% to 83%, resulting in savings of roughly $2.8MM per year
  • Protecting the Environment – Offsets annual CO2 emissions by 48,791 metric tons per year, equivalent to removing more than 10,300 passenger vehicles from the road

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Integrated Program Highlights

Custom-designed solutions and services are critical to achieve Energy Effective™ facilities. To learn more about this integrated program, download the PDF to read the full technical scope.
Boilers

Boilers

Cogeneration

Cogeneration


Construction Management

Construction Management

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

Engineering

Engineering

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