(Published in The Interaction Point, May 2001, Vol. 12 No. 4)

ENERGY IS IN THE news! Some already know and others may be pleased to learn that for many years SLAC has had an on-going In-House Energy Management Program (IHEM) as required by DOE 

SLAC participates by initiating energy conservation projects, performing life cycle cost analysis and submitting these proposals to the DOE Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) as funding requests, in competition with other DOE laboratories. The primary criterion for granting funds is the Savings to Investment Ratio measured over the life of a project. Through this program, over the last ten years we have received funds totaling about $7.2 million from DOE FEMP. With these funds we have implemented projects that include: installation of a synchronous capacitor for site power factor correction, klystron modulator upgrades for energy recovery, installation of linac remote utility monitoring and control system, installation of a Direct Digital Control Energy Management System (DDC EMS) to control main campus heating, air conditioning and chilled water systems, installation of Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) at pumps and fan motors, and replacement of LCW pump motors with premium efficiency motors. This year we have submitted proposals for a few projects with a total estimated cost of $900K, primarily to upgrade inefficient indoor lighting.

The current California energy crisis has renewed public interest in energy conservation, and we at SLAC need to re-examine how we can help. We are planning more energy conservation projects. The most promising on-site projects with the best economics are: site lighting upgrades (such as replacement of inefficient lamps and ballasts), provision of occupancy sensors for indoor lighting, VFDs for pumps and fans, premium efficiency motors, DDC EMS expansion, and power factor correction. 

We are also examining the use of Energy Saving Performance Contracts (ESPC). These contracts allow us to use private sector funds for projects with loan repayment from the energy cost savings. Thus, the initial capital investment is not from the SLAC budget and annual payments are equal to the cost of the saved energy. Lately, the ESPC contracts are increasingly popular at DOE laboratories.

In addition, it is important that we all help SLAC to conserve energy. Please implement simple energy conservation measures such as turning off printers, copiers, and monitors when idle; activating "power saver "and "sleep "features; shutting off coffee pots, radios, fans and other appliances in the office; and turning off lights when leaving a room. Another area with potential for significant energy saving is the experiment-related energy consuming systems. We would like to hear your ideas on this matter. Any suggestions or questions on any energy related issues would be appreciated. Please submit your ideas/proposals to IHEM Program Manager Luda Fieguth, x3422, luda@slac.stanford.edu or Burl Skaggs, x2245, burl@slac.stanford.edu.

–Luda Fieguth