Kent State Receives Governor's Award for Excellence in Energy


The natural gas-fired electric generators or turbines shown here were installed in May 2002 as part of the Kent State combined heat and power project.  The project just received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Energy. Photo by Bob Christy
The natural gas-fired electric generators or turbines shown here were installed in May 2002 as part of the Kent State combined heat and power project.  The project just received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Energy. Photo by Bob Christy
The Ohio Department of Development describes the Governor's Award for Excellence in Energy as a program that honors individuals, businesses, industries and organizations that have improved Ohio's economic competitiveness and its environment through the effective, efficient and innovative use of energy. In November 2005, Kent State University received this honor for its combined heat and power project.

According to Tom Dunn, associate director of Campus Environment and Operations, the project began in May 2002 with the installation of new natural gas-fired electric generators (turbines), with heat recovery steam generator units. A second generator, powered by natural gas or No. 2 low sulfur fuel oil, was also installed. These turbines have the ability to meet almost 90 percent of electric power needs of the Kent Campus in the winter months, and 60 percent in the summer months.

For the combined heat and power project at the university's heating plant, Kent State has been recognized by the Ohio Department of Development for its effective, efficient, and innovative use of energy. Photo by Bob Christy
For the combined heat and power project at the university's heating plant, Kent State has been recognized by the Ohio Department of Development for its effective, efficient, and innovative use of energy. Photo by Bob Christy

With 60,000 pounds of steam per hour from the steam recovery units, almost 55 percent of the university’s steam needs are provided by the discharged heat from the turbines. This heat, which is normally released to the atmosphere, is instead being utilized in the production of steam.

The turbines operate daily to meet the university’s fluctuating power demands. In addition, a base load of power is purchased from a local utility or another supplier. Since purchasing power from the local utility is substantially less expensive during off-peak periods, the turbines will typically not be used to produce power at night and on weekends, Dunn says.

In the event of a power failure due to the local utility, Kent State’s power system has the ability to isolate itself from the utility and continue to produce a majority of the power requirements for the university, enabling the institution to remain open and functional.

This additional functionality improves the university’s ability to deliver electricity to its students, faculty and staff in their quest for knowledge through teaching and research. This reliability also insures power for the almost 7,000 students who live in the residence halls on the Kent Campus.

Learn more about this project on the Campus Environment and Operations Energy Management Web site and by watching this week’s video, “Kent State Receives 2005 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Energy” (Watch the video in Windows Media Player or watch the video in QuickTime). You can also find out how to conserve energy in “Energy Conservation: How to Save at Home and at Work.”


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