SP0117: Fume Hood Experiment

Status: COMPLETED August 2013 - April 2015

Building off the Shut Your Sash and the Lab Energy Savings ASR Project, this project hopes to create quantifiable reductions in the energy consumption of the VAV fume hoods installed in McGill's various laboratories by behavioural change. This change will be accomplished through installing monitors on fume hoods and developing a scalable prompt system that encourages users to use less energy while conducting experiments

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McGill's 1300+ fume hoods consume an estimated $4M of the University’s $19M annual energy budget. This project is built off of the Shut Your Sash project, McGill Energy Project Lab Energy Savings ASR project, and work at other institutions. The Shut Your Sash Program saw great success with $63 000 in overall energy savings from a $4 000 investment that lowered the sash height an average of 6 inches in 56 fume hoods.

Although successful, the Shut Your Sash program required intensive hours of PhD students and implemented unreliable data collection and monitoring, as such there has been no long-term followup to see if these savings have been sustained.

This project hopes to create quantifiable reductions in the energy consumption of VAV fume hoods through behaviour change. Phase 1 will establish a method to monitor fume hood energy use and, through experimentation, develop a scalable add-on “prompt system” that consistently changes user behaviour in a way that saves energy. Phase 2 will deploy monitoring and behavior change services throughout campus.

Resources from the SPF have been used: to purchase the battery-powered microcontroller prompt systems for the hoods along with networked active prompt displays; for sticker graphics and poster design works; for research and design into sensors; and to pay for the installations.

McGill Utilities and Energy Management Office is committed to using this experiemnt as the launching pad to strategically tackle fume hoods campus-wide in January 2014. The documented savings of this experiment will back-up a funding request to Financial Services for full-scale implementation of the program.

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McGill Utilities and Energy Management

Related Projects

Shut Your Sash

Laboratory Sustainability Initiative





jerome.conraud [at] mcgill.ca (Jerome Conraud) (Project Leader)

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