The 115-year old King George’s Medical University (KGMU) aims to soon become an energy-efficient campus. Prior to this, KGMU has taken up several initiatives to cut its expenditure on power consumption. In April, University began installation of solar cookers use of solar panels for supplying energy to hostels and office areas of which 90% work has been completed.
Another important step included installation of Automatic Power Factor Control (APFC) Panel, an electrical device that can minimise energy consumption by 35-40% right from the first day of its installation. It is also replacing traditional lighting with LED bulbs. “While proposal for APFC is awaiting state government’s financial approval, the project on LED lighting has already started and 25% targets have been met,” quoted as saying Prof. Parvez Khan of KGMU’s environment cell.
The changeover is due to the ongoing financial crisis for past few months that compelled the university to plan for a long term and rather permanent solution for which it hired Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) to conduct an energy audit. The Association recommended installation of an APFC, switching over to LED lighting devices, use of solar power and replacing old air conditioner technology with inverter ACs.
APFC drastically brings down the consumption of reactive power that goes in starting any appliances. Money spent in installation of APFC is recovered in six months and the savings can be diverted towards adoption of other recommendations like phasing out old ACs. It may be noted that the chief secretary office had made installation of APFC panels mandatory for all government buildings. However, there are very few takers of the idea.