In Heat of Summer, DU Cools Campus with New Eco-Friendly Ice System
Coupling environmental responsibility with cutting-edge technology, Duquesne University implemented a highly efficient cooling system that relies on ice—the first of its kind in a Pittsburgh academic institution and the most efficient available. The project was unveiled during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 17 at the Uptown university.
The process begins by creating ice in 28 massive storage tanks. The ice melts, creating chilled water that is pumped across campus to cool University facilities.
By performing energy-intensive ice making at night, the University reduces its peak demand. As Duquesne does its part to ease the strain on the power grid, other consumers will have their needs more easily met and utility companies will have increased capacity, ultimately lessening the need for new power plants.
Replacing air conditioners in the A.J. Palumbo Center, the cooling system is expected to use about 35 to 40 percent less electricity, saving the equivalent of cooling about 1,700 homes, according to George Fecik, executive director of facilities management. The Palumbo Center, the Power Center and all of Duquesne’s major facilities—30-plus buildings—are now linked to the University’s cogeneration plant, taking Duquesne another step toward improved energy efficiency.
“Duquesne is committed to energy conservation, and the ice storage system is our most recent investment in environmental stewardship,” said Dr. Charles J. Dougherty, University president. “We now have two core systems, the cogeneration plant and the new cooling system, to help us lower the University’s carbon footprint and use our resources wisely.”
Trane, the supplier of the ice storage system, recognized Duquesne’s ongoing environmental commitment by presenting the University with the first Trane Energy Efficiency Leader in Education Award to be given in the Pittsburgh area.
“We are pleased to acknowledge Duquesne University’s distinguished leadership in environmental matters, specifically energy efficiency, a factor of enormous importance to the sustainability of our planet,” said Steve Wey, district manager, Pennsylvania Trane. “The installation of this system illustrates the University’s forward-thinking plans for energy use.”
Conserving energy is not only the right thing to do, it provides a real-world example of stewardship to students.
“We know that America’s future leaders are the students in Duquesne’s classrooms today,” Dougherty said. “We are setting an example of environmental stewardship for them by making our University as green as we can.”
Duquesne was recently recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its renewable energy efforts. The University’s environmental initiatives include:
- Using a clean-burning, gas-fired cogeneration plant to provide about 85 percent of the University’s power, cooling and heating
- Purchasing supplemental power from renewable sources, removing the equivalent of carbon dioxide emissions provided by 1,096 passenger cars during one year from the air
- Benchmarking the campus’ carbon footprint and, through a grant, teaching others how to conduct similar surveys
- Conforming to LEED standards for new construction, including the Power Center, the retail and recreational facility on Forbes Avenue
- Updating conservation and recycling efforts, such as using “green” cleaning and volatile organic compound-free paints.
Trane, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand (NYSE: IR), provides systems and services that enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings around the world. Through its two premium brands—Trane and American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning—the business offers a broad range of energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning solutions. Its systems and services comprise dehumidifying and air cleaning products; aftermarket service and parts support; advanced building controls; and building and financing solutions, including those that allow energy-efficient systems to pay for themselves through energy savings. Trane’s systems and services have leading positions in premium commercial, residential, institutional and industrial markets; a reputation for reliability, high quality and product innovation; and a powerful distribution network. The business has 35 plants in 10 countries and more than 29,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit www.trane.com; www.americanstandardair.com; and www.ingersollrand.com.
Trane has been serving customers in Pennsylvania for 50 years, with three sales offices, five AfterMarket Supply parts centers and three service centers. Trane in Pennsylvania has approximately 150 associates serving the needs of education, healthcare, government, manufacturing, lodging and retail, and other businesses in Pennsylvania.
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.