Sawyer Environmental Research Center
The recent dramatic rise in the cost of petroleum fuels including home heating oil, has led to renewed interest in alternative sources for space and potable hot water heat, particularly during the winter months in Maine. With current personal and university budgets this is driving interest in saving energy that has not been seen since the Carter administration. However, this interest is, in many ways, a sideshow. This interest is driven by financial concerns, but the real issue is the effect of our dependence on fossil fuel on global climate change. This concern is driven in part by research evidence from one of the leading research groups on the UMaine campus, The Climate Change Institute.
The Climate Change Institute is housed, in part, in the Sawyer Environmental Research center at the far end of campus. One of the great ironies of this particular building is that it is one of the most wasteful building on campus, probably second only to the Engineering and Science Building. Ironies abound! This project is focused on fixing this situation. The design of this building needs to be rethought from the beginning and evaluated based on the needs, usage and efficiency of different heating and cooling strategies. The use of fuel oil in the summer as a part of the inefficient heating system should be ended. The waste of heat from the large ice core freezers needs to be rethought, and the overall integration of the building systems needs to be a part of a new building systems design. And, as you can imagine, the support from the building occupants is high. This is a group of researchers who is as dedicated to solutions as to the identificatoon of problems and we can help. This is an engineering problem.
1. Complete evaluation of the current usage and system design
2. Design of a system that will make use of waste heat for building heating and climate the use of fuel oil in the summer with economic analysis
3. Test results of basic compressor systems which can be used in the building
4. Proposal for full scale redesign of the building systems
5. Presentation and funding from green loan fund
# Project Team Selection Complete: September 1, 2011
# First Revised Milestones Submitted: September 8, 2011
# Design Notebook Initial sign-off: September 13, 2011
# First data available on current building design: September 22, 2011
# Initial outline for the system redesign: September 25, 2011
# System Schematic: October 2nd, 2011
# First web page goes live with introductory page and menu on left. Page must include resumes, individual photos and milestones: October 4, 2011, 4 pm.
# Milestone review: October 25, 2011
# Draft Midterm Report: November 30th , 2011
# Midterm Report due as a PDF posted as a completed web page: December 8th, 5 pm
# Redesign Complete: March 10 - 15, 2012
# Lab Cleanup & Infrastructure Project Completed: Maine Day, April 25, 2012
# Open House -- Review of Projects, April 26, 2012, Afternoon
# Final Web Page submitted, for review during final exam period: Monday May 3rd, 2012 Noon
To project list