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Challenges and Opportunities Energy consumption Several studies show that roughly half the energy consumption within laboratories is related to ventilation, including general laboratory ventilation, fume boards, Laminar Down Flow (LAF) benches, and suction hoods.

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Managing laboratorie s according t actual use o is key

Managing laboratories according to actual use is key, and while they may frequently used outside of ‘office hours’, keeping everything operational 24/7/365 is unnecessary. Implementing time controls for ventilation systems, including demand-responsive ventilation, is one way to regulate use. Implementing a default setting at OFF for ventilation equipment at night may also prove an effective way to saving energy and thus reduce costs. However, it is vital that information about ventilation shutdowns is systematised to circumvent the risk of researchers breathing toxic fumes in labs that have not been sufficiently ventilated. For physics laboratories in particular, storing secondary equipment, such as vacuum pumps that produce a lot of excess heat, in a specially designated room is highly recommended. This will reduce the heat load in the labs themselves, and it will also allow for a more energy-efficient cooling of rooms where the equipment is stored (for example, allowing for higher room temperatures, using water loops as cooling media, etc.). This will not merely help green the laboratories, it will also save universities money, and it will improve health and safety for the users.

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As labs use a wide range of energy intensive equipment/systems, retrofitting existing systems and equipment, as well as investing in new and more energy-efficient systems/equipment will also allow for significant reductions in energy use and offer long-term savings.

LABORATORIES


IARU - Green Guide for Universities – pathways towards sustainability