Orland Park’s library is looking to cut back on power consumption, and might have a few ways to do so.
The Orland Park Public Library Board of Trustees heard five recommendations At the Jan. 14 meeting to lessen power use and costs. A study performed on the library’s energy use in summer 2010 by the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center, a joint program between the University of Illinois and engineering professionals, found that the library’s energy use was slightly higher than average.
According to the study, OPPL uses about 111,000 British thermal units of energy per square foot per year, while the average library uses 104,000 Btu per square foot per year.
Five ways to reduce costs were recommended by the study, some as simple as changing light bulbs while others involve more costly equipment and labor. The estimate made in August 2010 for the total cost of all the work recommended is about $72,000.
Savings in energy costs would amount to about $62,000 in the first year after the work is done, said assistant library director Robin Wagner. Grants also are available for the work as well, Wagner said.
Demand Control Ventilation
Air dampers that allow fresh air into the library’s HVAC system are set on manual right now, which means they are open while the library is open and closed when the library shuts down for the night. That means they “don’t take into consideration the occupancy of an area,” Wagner said at the meeting. The DCV system includes carbon dioxide sensors that detect when people are in a certain area of the library, because the CO2 rises. When the level rises, the sensors open the dampers.
HVAC tune up and recomissioning
The library’s thermostats heat or cool the building to a certain temperature by 9 a.m. and then shut off by midnight. But occupancy varies throughout the day, hitting the highest levels between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. It may be possible on the current system to program different temperatures throughout the day, but if not, energy meters will be needed for the adjustments.
Recomissioning the domestic hot water system
The library’s main hot water heater is on the north end of the building, and it takes considerable energy to get hot water to the south end–not to mention water that is wasted waiting for it to warm up at faucets. Work on the system could lead to faster water heating on the south end.
Lower-watt, similarly-bright bulbs
The study suggested changing all track lighting to LED bulbs that last longer and use less energy, yet don’t reduce light noticeably. Other bulbs in the building should also be changed to more energy-efficient types.
Vending machine motion sensors
Sensors added to the two vending machines used by library staff can shut the machines down when people are not approaching them for use, but will turn the machines back on when they are needed.
Wagner said the recommendations from the study could reduce energy use in the library by 44 percent.
“We really could recover all the costs after a little over a year,” Trustee Brian Wydajewski said at the meeting.
OPPL Library Director Mary Weimar suggested seeing if any of the suggested work could be done in-house before they pay for outside help.