GreenCorps Update: Vending and Snack Misers Save Energy and Money

Chris has been busy over the last few weeks, designing and implementing an energy savings project focused on our 29 campus vending and snack machines.  This project is a refresh of one we started in 2009, but as machines get changed out and moved, the energy misers are sometimes disconnected or incorrectly installed. Chris’ task was to capture baseline energy use for cold vending and non-refrigerated snack machines, and figure out how to best utilize existing EnergyMisers to save energy and money.

Pay no attention to the man behind the vending machines

First, Chris used two Kill-O-Watt meters, which are available for check out in the LSC Library, to get his energy baseline.  For one week, he captured energy use per machine type (one for snack machines, one for a typical cold vending machine).   Then, he installed and reconnected existing EnergyMisers.  The EnergyMiser is a device with a motion sensor attached to it that can override the vending machine and switch it into a low power mode if it does not sense any motion for 15 minutes.  With misers attached, Chris used the same Kill-O-Watt meters to capture use data for connected machines.

The results are very encouraging.  The drink machine used 31% less energy with a miser attached and the snack machine used 51% less energy with a miser attached.  When these energy savings are translated into dollars (because we like math…and money), the impacts are far reaching.  Using a 6-month average electric rate for LSC (Jan-Jun 2017), Chris calculated the EnergyMiser savings.  He found a savings of $22.56 per snack machine per year and $80.40 per drink machine per year.  Extrapolated across the main campus, LSC’s 24 drink machines and 5 snack machines means the project will save $112.80 annually for the 5 snack machines and $1,929.60 for all 24 drink machines on campus!

Chris will be taking his project “on the road”, assessing the savings potential for the LSC Airport and ERTC campuses.  He is also looking at the energy savings potential for other appliances on campus.  Stay tuned!

Posted in: Good Stuff, GreenCorps

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