The University of California, Merced requires a minimum of LEED Gold certification for all their on-campus buildings. Their team has been working to make improvements to upgrade the resource efficiency of the University's entire building stock as part of their sustainability mandate.
"We had not been aware that there were significant differences in transformer performance and efficiency. The Green Start program gave us the opportunity to judge for ourselves whether replacing the transformers would be an effective energy-saving strategy," noted John Elliott, the University's Assistant Director, Energy and Sustainability.
First step here was to figure out the baseline performance of the transformers that were currently installed in the building. Data analyis would show just how much electrcity and cost were being lost by the older transformers. The results? The transformers didn't average more than 79% efficiency.
Next, Powersmiths removed the old transformers and replaced them with E-Saver- C3 model "L" transformers. The E-Saver-C3 meets the US Department of Energy's Candidate Standard Level 3 (CSL-3) efficiency level; the efficiency level deemed by the DOE to offer the lowest lifecycle cost. This replacement would mean that UC Merced could lower both direct energy losses and indirect losses associated with cooling.
The Powersmiths E-Saver-C3 brought efficiency from 79% to 96%.
This essentially means that losses were reduced by 85%. In a year's time, the University will see this efficiency add up to 15,434 kWh in savings for just two transformers. Using the current rate of $0.15 per kWh, the E-Saver-C3 transformers will save the university $3,820 per year. In thirty years, the E-Savers are projected to save more than $200,000.
Below is a quick, run-down chart of the results: