University to become energy efficient through Eco-Campus Initiative
Vishwakarma University, Pune will be reducing its paper usage by 3 to 5 per cent in the next two years. It will also be reducing its overall energy consumption as well in coming years. The university will be achieving this objective through a unique initiative called Eco-Campus Initiative which was inaugurated on Monday. Importantly, to increase the energy efficiency of university buildings, university students themselves carried out an energy audit to know the exact present usage of the energy resources. Interestingly, this audit was a part of students’ industry project in collaboration with a company called Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) Ltd.
Prof. Dr. Don McLean, Founder and CEO of IES Ltd, was present as a chief guest for the inauguration function. Prof. Dr. Nilesh Jadhav, director, Eco-Campus, NTU, Singapore, Rohan Rawate, director, head of ME and Asia, IES Ltd, Bharat Agarwal, President of VU, Prof. Dr. Siddharth Jabade, vice chancellor of VU and Prof. Dr. Waudeo Gade, vice president of VU were also present on the occasion. Prof. Dr. Siddharth Jabade, vice chancellor of VU, said, ‘the initiative at VU is a replication of a similar project carried out at NTU, Singapore. The Energy Research Institute at NTU, Singapore is helping VU as a research partner in this initiative. The idea is to make VU campus eco-friendly and energy efficient. The beauty of the initiative is that the students from all streams have come up with 9 projects suggesting ideas to achieve energy efficiency. There are various solutions suggested including IoT-based sensors to automatically switch off lights, fans and computers when no one is using them, implementation of ERP to minimize use of paper, profiling of computers in computer labs to automatically put them on hibernation mode etc.’
As a first step, students from engineering stream conducted a virtual energy audit of VU main building, VU’s Trust Office and a company. IES technology was used during this audit as the IES is an industry partner in Eco-Campus Initiative. The findings were presented at IEEE Conference held at Phuket, Thailand. Now with the help of these findings, university will minimize its energy usage wherever required. ‘Making university digital, energy conservation, increasing use of renewable energy and capability enhancement by making students and professors aware of importance of energy efficiency are the objectives of the Eco-Campus Initiative,’ said Kailas Patil, director of Eco-Campus Initiative, VU. ‘NTU, Singapore implemented the concept of Eco-Campus five years back. At VU, the unique thing is that students are an important factor in implementation. I have been conducting workshops for students and professors to find practical solutions to present energy problems,’ said Prof. Dr. Nilesh Jadhav, director, Eco-Campus, NTU, Singapore.
Industry Connect Presence of industry on campus was a highlight of the programme. Prof. Dr. Don McLean, founder and CEO of IES Ltd was impressed by the presentation of students that were held during inauguration ceremony. A pioneer in using computer technology for achieving energy efficiency, Prof. McLean’s company specializes in building performance analysis. It creates software tools for designing and operating energy efficient buildings. The company, which has a branch in Pune, creates models that can virtually audit a building for its energy efficiency thus saving on cost. Since the company is a spin-off from Strathclyde University, UK, Prof. McLean showed great interest in proliferating the idea of energy efficient buildings through initiatives such as Eco-Campus and suggested to have more tie-ups with educational institutes. In fact the VU students get an opportunity to do internship at Pune branch of IES Ltd as a part of collaboration between VU and IES.