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CASE STUDY

Mitchell College

Mitchell College: LED lighting + lighting controls, RTU controls/VFDs, new boilers/heaters

Located in New London, Connecticut, Mitchell College is a private liberal arts college with a total population of over 800. With the support of Fairbanks Energy Services (FES), Mitchell College was able to complete a comprehensive lighting and mechanical project throughout the campus with an attractive return on investment and short payback period.

Through this effort, the school was able to replace an old, inefficient system that was not only producing carbon emissions and consuming excessive energy, but also causing significant, annual maintenance costs.

$187,000

Total Annual Savings

$643,000

Total Incentive

845,500

Total Annual kWh Saved

4,200

Annual Gas Therms Saved

2.3 years

Project Payback

Project Results

High incentive dollars decreased project cost

Because this was a comprehensive project, the college was able to cover 60% of the cost by taking advantage of utility incentives uncovered by Mantis.

Multiple measures

We had the ability and experience to deliver a comprehensive project with 3 separate savings measures which equates better savings all around.

New HVAC equipment

Alongside the lighting that was retrofitted for increased efficiency and the controls added to the RTUs, Mitchell College benefits from new boilers and hot water heaters that have improved the mechanical infrastructure on campus. These boilers replace the original single boiler, taking up half the space with increased efficiency and lifespan.

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Project Challenges

One of the biggest challenges in completing this project was scheduling. Our project management team had to be cognizant of installing around class times and being sensitive to students as a large portion of the lighting work was done in residence halls. This required frequent and clear communication between our team and Mitchell College to create as little disturbance to the faculty and staff as possible.

The HVAC work was also done during the colder months (heating season) so the turnaround time to complete the heaters and boilers needed to be as short as possible.

HVAC Solutions for Higher Education

The Clarke Center was previously heated by two large oil-fired boilers that also served a pair of indirect domestic hot water tanks. The boilers were over 30 years old and inefficient. The increasing maintenance and staffing costs and decreased reliability was problematic. In addition, the oil and the delivery trucks for the boilers produced large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions with a significant environmental impact.

To execute their custom engineered solution, the FES team coordinated the upgrade of the existing natural gas service with the local utility and installed gas fired condensing equipment: two Fulton Endura boilers for heating and  two Intellihot IQ 501 domestic hot water heaters. The previous equipment was then removed after transitioning to the new, resulting in less than a one day service outage.  The four units occupy less than half the space as the previous equipment.

The Clarke Center houses the sole dining hall on campus, so two units were installed for each heating requirement to provide redundancy as heating or hot water outages disrupt food service for all students. The redundancy also will extend the working life of the equipment

Four rooftop units were also upgraded with enhanced control systems and variable frequency drives (VFD). The upgrades enabled the fan speeds of each unit to be changed based on the supported space requirements for ventilation and comfort, multiple stages of heating and cooling, as well as occupancy levels (assessed by monitoring CO2 levels in the return air).

Hot water heaters for Mitchell College sustainability project
LED lighting in the library at Mitchell College, improving efficiency on campus

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