Efficient Air helps Leeds Metropolitan University maximise the benefits of Salix funding

With the help of interest-free Salix funding, Leeds Metropolitan is achieving a payback within two years on energy-efficient improvements to ventilation systems.
The upgrading of three ventilation systems at Leeds Metropolitan University will reduce running costs by an estimated £25 000 a year, for a capital spend of £47 000. That saving corresponds to 438 MWh of electricity and a reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions of over 192 t. The university used Salix funding for the project. Salix is a not-for-profit company set up by the Carbon Trust in 2004 with Government funding of £20 million. Its role is to secure the delivery of practical carbon-saving projects in the public sector through suitable financial vehicles. It provides primarily interest-free matched funding structured so that energy savings pay the total fund back over time. The university worked with Efficient Air on this project, which used most of its Salix funding. Belt-driven fans in air-handling units serving the main lecture theatres were replaced with energy-efficient direct-drive plug fans driven by high-efficiency EC motors and integrated EC controllers. ‘Mark Warner, energy manager at Leeds Metropolitan University, explains, ‘This approach resulted in improved airflows in the lecture rooms and reduced the energy consumed. The new fan design also produces significant additional savings through improved airflow across the heating coil. ‘A further benefit of the new design is that it requires less maintenance. With the old fans, one of the building’s major maintenance overheads related to belt replacement and adjustments, which have been eliminated with the new fans. In addition, the new direct-drive plug fans do not produce belt dust, so filter lifespan can be increased.’ This university was one of four pilots when the Salix scheme was launched in June 2006, with total Salix funding of £800 000. 10 universities are now enrolled on the programme.
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