Energy-Efficient Greenhouse Cooling System
Residents of Leopold Hall worked with UW Housing and Physical Plant staff to integrate an energy-efficient evaporative cooling system into their rooftop greenhouse during Summer 2017. Meters assist in measuring how much energy the system is saving, while the improved temperature control improves the space’s usability as a learning and working environment for students.
Before the installation, the space could only be cooled by running dual two-horsepower exhaust fans, which provided venting but no active cooling. The new system cools the space using a variable speed half-horsepower motor and reduces the need to run the exhaust fans. Greenhouse manager Tom Bryan anticipates reductions of energy use by 37,500 kWh, utility costs by $1,448, and CO2 emissions by 21.6 metric tons over the 20-year lifespan of the system.
The GreenHouse Residential Learning Community in Leopold Hall has also integrated data collection and analysis on the impact of the cooling system into its curriculum.