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Green Campus Enterprise has several groups working on many different projects:

Current Teams

Energy Use: Buildings

The Buildings Team project is evaluating the feasibility of installing a solar thermal collector at Michigan Tech. The solar collector would be used to preheat water for hot water usage on campus. The initial payback period calculations have been made and a prototype system has been designed to test two types of solar thermal collectors. The prototype will gather real data to analyze and use in calculations to see the true feasibility at Michigan Technological University.

Campus Culture

The overall goal of the Campus Culture Team is to move the culture of Michigan Tech's campus in the direction of increased sustainability. We are currently in the process of conducting a feasibility study on the possibility of adding a Tiny House community on campus. Along with the feasibility study we are hosting Green Talks and gathering information to put together a broad sustainability profile of the school to find more initiatives to implement.

Clean Air-Cool Planet Carbon Calculator

The Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP) team gathers and analyzes data in order to calculate the greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory of Michigan Technological University. Michigan Tech's GHG inventory was first calculated for fiscal year 2008 and has been completed annually since. The official results were first published online in April 2014.

Data used in developing the GHG inventory include: energy (gas, propane, electricity), fertilizer, refrigerants, solid waste, and paper usage. Ground and air commuting associated with the University are also included. These data are input to the CA-CP Campus Carbon Calculator to develop emission estimates of the six greenhouses gasses specified by the Kyoto Protocol and to identify the large emission sources on campus. Emission results are utilized by other Green Campus teams, as well as University departments, to target emission reduction opportunities on campus.

Compressed Natural Gas Powered Vehicle (CNG-PV)

The overall goal of the Compressed Natural Gas Powered Vehicle Team is to convert Michigan Tech's fleet of vehicles from gasoline to dual fuel compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. We aim to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of cars frequently used by the University, as well as reduce the costs of transportation.

Currently, the team is finalizing a proposal for a test vehicle to be converted. This proposal will be reviewed by administration, and a final decision on the test vehicle will be made. Should this project be approved, a test vehicle will be converted and will be tested extensively in order to further determine the feasibility of the overall project.

Great Lakes Research Center Retrofit

The Great Lakes Research Center Retrofit Team (GLRC-RT) is exploring the feasibility of using the water of Portage Lake as a heat sink for the GLRC year round with the greatest application in the warmer months. The building is already heated by waste heat from Michigan Tech's steam plant; a cooling system using the readily available natural resource of Portage Lake would improve the already remarkable operating efficiency of the GLRC.

We have reached out to the knowledgeable staff of the University for advice and guidance. The team decided to use a closed loop pipe system and is now determining the necessary length, pump power, and financial feasibility of the project.

High-rise Energy Savings

The High Rise Energy Savings team is investigating how energy is used throughout the DOW and M & M buildings. Most equipment used at the University is powered by electricity. Currently, there is not a model to showcase how energy is specifically used. By creating a model of the buildings, the High Rise Energy Savings Team will hone in on equipment that uses the most energy. Once the energy hogs are singled out, efforts to reduce the use of or replace the equipment may begin.

Wind Power

The overall goal of the Wind Energy Team is to research the feasibility of wind power at Michigan Tech. The current proposal is to install a wind turbine on top of Mont Ripley to reduce or eliminate electricity costs of the ski hill. The Wind Team uses wind data collected from several wind instruments that have been installed on top of Arcadia Hill to model turbines on top of Mont Ripley. The team is currently working with OpenWind software to model the energy output of different turbines. Once a turbine has been selected, a cost-benefit analysis will be conducted.

Past Teams

Energy Use: Computers

The main goal of the computer team is to assess selected types of consumption associated with computing on campus and develop potential energy- and waste-reduction strategies.

There are four subgroups in the computer team, each described below:

Energy reduction in computer laboratories

This group is evaluating the potential for energy savings in computer labs by monitoring current power consumption, then applying commercially available software such as LabStats and JuicePress to evaluate computer usage and effects on energy reduction. The measured energy savings will be compared to software cost to assess the economic feasibility of implementation across campus. This group is working with the support of the university Chief Information Officer.

Energy reduction associated with computing in offices

This group is evaluating potential energy savings associated with computing in faculty and staff offices by measuring current power consumption with Kill-A-Watt meters, then configuring the computers and installing hardware, such as Smart Strips, to idle or shut down the computer and peripherals when not in use. The measured energy savings will be compared to costs of hardware and software to assess the economic feasibility of installing Smart Strips or other power management options.

Researching incentives to reduce electrical consumption in campus departments

This group is evaluating successful energy reduction strategies implemented at other universities for potential adoption by Michigan Tech. A survey will assess faculty and staff attitudes toward certain aspects of the strategies.

Reduce consumption of resources associated with computing

This group is looking to reduce the consumption of resources associated with computing. In the case of paper, significant reductions have been realized at other universities by simply changing the printer default to double sided. Students and faculty will be surveyed to assess their attitudes toward the proposed changes.