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How Western Kentucky University Increases Energy Efficiency

Western Kentucky University (WKU) is closer to reaching its sustainability goals by working closely with Johnson Controls, a global company for delivering solutions that increase energy efficiency in buildings.

WKU plans to increase energy efficiency in 56 buildings across three campuses in Bowling Green.

Johnson Controls installed its Panoptix building efficiency platform to work in tandem with its Metasys building management system already installed on the campus.

Together, the two systems collect, manage, analyze and present data through applications that can be accessed on most electronic devices, including mobile phones.

[ Also Read: How Big is the Burden of Big Data? ]

The applications provide detailed information into how building systems are functioning, how to make equipment last longer, and how to make operations more efficient.

“Panoptix gives our facility managers the ability to take advantage of the full capabilities of their building automation systems. They’ve always known lots of data is gathered, and there’s value in it but they haven’t had the time or the resources to sift, sort and interpret it. So its value has remained locked up and beyond reach,” said Dale Dyer, plant operations manager, WKU. “Panoptix has changed that.”

According to Johnson Controls, WKU recovered their investment in the Panoptix platform in less than six months by addressing system faults that pointed to equipment that was wasting energy by not performing optimally.

These savings and other retrofit savings on the WKU campus may be reinvested to purchase new, more efficient equipment. For example, savings from a recent retrofit program were reinvested to purchase two new natural gas boilers to replace inefficient boilers.

“Energy efficiency represents one of the largest opportunities for owners to lower energy and operating costs, increase building value and gain strong financial returns,” said Laura Farnham, vice president, Building Technology and Services, Johnson Controls.

“New technologies are making it easier than ever to reach and maintain building efficiency goals – even those set by leaders like Western Kentucky University.”

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