News at the University of New Brunswick

UNB s Central Heating Plant reduces atmospheric emissions by nearly one third

Author: Communications

Posted on Aug 24, 2010

Category: UNB Fredericton

The University of New Brunswick is continuing to lower its carbon footprint. Last year, UNB Fredericton’s Central Heating Plant reduced its greenhouse gas emissions, generated by fuels burned to produce steam, by 33 per cent, or the equivalent of close to 6,000 tons of CO2. “This was accomplished by transferring 90 per cent of the load traditionally covered by heavy fuel oil, known as Bunker C fuel, to natural gas,” said Gladys Lacey-House, UNB’s energy coordinator. “The Central Heating Plant produces about 50 per cent of its annual steam requirement using waste wood from sawmill operations in the province. The balance of the steam requirement has traditionally been generated using Bunker C fuel.” “As a leader in environmental stewardship, Enbridge Gas New Brunswick is thrilled to be aligned with the University of New Brunswick in promoting and incorporating energy efficient measures into their new buildings and operations,” said Dave Charleson, general manager of Enbridge Gas New Brunswick. Relative pricing of the two fuels last year allowed UNB to burn natural gas in lieu of Bunker C, while operating $1.3 million under budget for fossil fuels. “Given the limited capacity of natural gas fired equipment at the plant, we attribute the level of success achieved in transferring the load to natural gas to the diligence of power engineers and maintenance staff,” said Mrs. Lacey-House. “They make the final decision as to which boiler or boilers will produce steam on a given day and on which fuel that boiler or boilers will operate.” In addition to burning cleaner fuels, the Central Heating Plant has undertaken a series of projects to reduce its environmental impact. These include: Upgrades to Bunker C tank storage. Bunker C has been upgraded to four smaller insulated tanks, which will allow heavy oil heating using less energy than the original large bare steel tank. The new tank farm at the plant will reduce the risk of an environmental emergency through the use of double wall vacuum monitored tanks. The volume of fuel to be stored on site will be cut by nearly 500,000 litres.
  • Modifications to reduce the amount of steam required to prepare feed water prior to entering the boiler.
  • Acid cleaning of wood boiler to increase the efficiency of the boiler and to ensure reliability of operation.
  • Tightening of condensate return systems, adding heat recovery from condensate and an accelerated steam trap maintenance program have produced a much more efficient operation.
  • Introduction of variable air volume and variable pumping systems at the plant.
UNB produces steam for heating the UNB Fredericton campus, St. Thomas University, Research and Productivity Council, Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, the Provincial Archives and the Provincial Soils Lab.