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Projects and Achievements

HEIF Funded Projects

The Humboldt Energy Independence Fund provides money for student designed energy conservation, education and generation projects in an effort to reduce the environmental impacts of energy use on the Humboldt State University campus and beyond.

Since the spring of 2008 HEIF has been able to fund several projects:

Hydration Stations and Educational Videos for "Take Back the Tap" Fall 2009

Take Back the Tap hydration stationStudents: Natalynne DeLap, James Robinson and Gabe Salazar.

In spring of 2009 HEIF awarded $4,500 to install two Hydration Stations based on a proposal submitted by Take Back the Tap.  The hygienic, hands-free Hydration Stations (located in the Depot and the K & A building) provide people with an alternative to bottled water by dispensing free, filtered tap water.  TBTT hoped the Hydration Stations would result in a noticeable decrease in the consumption of bottled water on campus.  This would indirectly address the energy embedded in bottled water.  About 80,000 single-use, plastic water bottles are sold at HSU each year.  The production, transportation, storage and disposal of bottled water to meet HSU’s annual bottled water demand requires approximately 43 barrels of oil per academic year and releases 35,300 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

HEIF also awarded $3,000 for video equipment and 3 stipends for video production. The videos are educational clips about the social and environmental impacts of purchasing bottled water.

The videos are intended to change behavior by encouraging students to use tap water instead of purchasing bottled water. The goal is to reduce bottled water consumption by 20% on campus therefore reduce the campuses energy consumption connected with the production and distribution of non-local products. The project will teach students how to design and shoot an environmental documentary film and will also provide the students with an opportunity to learn how to monitor sociological behavior. The films will be shown during orientation programs to integrate incoming students into the environmentally conscientious lifestyle of HSU and also inform them about HEIF at their introduction to the university.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/I6CuDyyTIvw?fs=1&hl=en_US">Choose Here Video</a>

Relight Redwood Bowl Spring 2009

Redwood Bowl lights

Students: Kale Roberts, Sarah Schneider and Jamila Ghoul of the Green Campus Program.

In the Spring 2009 HEIF awarded $75,000 for new stadium lighting and a monitoring system for the Redwood Bowl. The lighting will be directed only on to the field reducing light pollution and the amount of light fixtures needed. The project was also largely funded by

Plant Operations and qualified for a substantial PG&E Partnership Rebate.

This project reduces the amount of energy used to light the field and also highly reduces the impacts on wildlife due to excessive light pollution. Students will be responsible for monitoring the energy use of the lighting system enabling them to learn valuable energy auditing skills. The project is also highly lauded for its aesthetic benefits for the community and its beneficial aspects for the local wildlife. It is a high visibility project with large amounts of public interaction making it an excellent model of energy education.

This is an example of a project that was intended to be carried out by Plant Operations and the additional money from HEIF was used to upgrade the previous purchase choice to a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly option.

Animal Proof Compost Bins Spring 2009

Students: Kathleen Robinson, Emily Creegan, Nicholas Tringale and Stacie Bartram

In the Spring 2009 HEIF awarded $6,725 for 5 animal proof trash containers and a scale for compost collection.

HSU has to truck its waste off site to distant landfills. By collecting and composting food waste in house the school will be able to reduce its amount of trash transportation and the associated fuel and energy consumption. The collection and the disposal of the compost will be carried out by students belonging to the Campus Recycling Program. The amounts of compost collected will also be monitored and recorded by the CRP students. Each bin will also be adorned with an educational sign teaching people about what to compost and how.

Solar Thermal Project Fall 2008

CCAT solar thermal project

Students: Laura Huges and Jeff Steuben.

HEIF disseminated $14,951 in funds to go toward two evacuated tube panels accompanied by a data monitoring and collection system to be erected on the roof of the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT).

The project is designed to reduce the need for natural gas at CCAT while emphasizing education. Students are involved in the planning of the system, educating community members about the system, data collection and the designing the interpretive signage to accompany the project. As CCAT is a demonstration home, students will host an instillation workshop and include information about solar thermal panels during tours, classes and other educational events. This project's strongest attributes are in its educational and outreach features.

Building Energy Intern Fall 2008

Students: Nathan Lohose, Patricia Lai and Colin Sheppard.

This proposal received $35,960 in HEIF funding for the hiring of a building energy student intern endowed with the duties of aggregating, organizing, analyzing and publishing building specific energy consumption data at HSU for a two year pilot-position.

This project will help future energy reduction project proposers pinpoint the buildings and systems with the greatest need of retrofits or redesign for energy systems. The entire proposal is based around student labor and energy, data monitoring and analyzing. The intern will also be responsible for energy education and outreach within and beyond the campus community. It is excellent training for students desiring future positions in energy analysis occupations.

HVAC Efficiency Measures for Science D/E Fall 2008

Students: James Robinson IV, Peter Johnstone and Blair Kinser

HEIF allotted $25,000 in funds for energy efficiency measures for the Heating Air Conditioning and Ventilation system within Sci D/E. The project entailed insulating the copper hot water distribution piping, converting the pneumatic air and heat controls to direct digital control and replacing the air handling fans with variable frequency drives.

This retrofit is expected to help HSU avoid 45-72 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. A student intern is to be hired for the physical instillations and a second student intern will be responsible for post implementation data collection and subsequent information dissemination. The project also serves as a teaching demonstration model for future engineering students.

Solar Radiation Monitoring System SoRMS Spring 2008

Solar Radiation Monitoring System

Students: Andrea Allen, Juliette Bohn, James Apple and Collin Sheppard.

The Renewable Energy Student Union (RESU) had installed a SoRMS system with two pyranometers on the Library roof in 2006 to measure solar radiation for the Northern California Coast. The pyranometers need to be sent away to be recalibrated for two months every year. In order to maintain a continual flow of data a third pyranometer was necessary.

HEIF granted $4685.56 to purchase a third pyranometer and an Ethernet jack to ensure continual data flow and a means to transmit the data to the National Renewable Energy Laboratories, making Humboldt State a primary solar monitoring site.

This project included high student involvement with the students in charge of maintaining and monitoring the SoRMS system. The project provides continual data that will be extremely useful for any future projects that could utilize the solar radiation data for scoping optimal locations for solar generated power. The data will also be useful for many of the engineering or gardening classes offered at HSU and will also be available to the community and the rest of the nation due to the primary site status in NREL's data base.

Old Music Building Photovoltaic Project Spring 2008

Old Music Building Photovoltaic Project

Students: Kristen Radecsky, Peter Johnstone, James Robinson and Nathan Chase

HEIF authorized $100,000 to a 10kW photovoltaic (PV) system accompanied by an art display and an interpretive sign to be installed in a highly visible, sunny location, the Old Music Building roof.

This project is expected to produce 360,500 kW over a 25 year period. The project was contracted out with the stipulation that the contractor must hire and train student interns. Other student involvement was introduced with the additions of the art display and the interpretive signage. The project included a monitoring device that would also be analyzed by students. The PV system and data collected could be used as a demonstration to help train engineering or economics students. The art display and interpretive signage elements provide opportunities for students to utilize their artistic skills in real-life, lasting situations. The interpretive signage fulfills the education goals of HEIF by informing the entire campus community about PV systems while simultaneously publicizing HEIF and informing people about their resources.