Chapman University has always been a leader in sustainability efforts, including recent projects to retro-fit lighting across campus that saves the university 300,000 kWh annually. However, until now no such initiatives were in place for the university’s computers.
Improvements in technology allow Chapman University to regularly replace computers and monitors across campus with more energy-efficient models. But there are hundreds of computers and monitors spread across the campus in classrooms, labs, and the library, all ready to serve the campus community whenever they’re needed. This always-on policy is convenient, but wastes thousands of kWh annually.
With this in mind, Facilities Management and IS&T sought a way to cut power usage during periods of lower usage, such as overnight and weekends. The solution chosen was the Cisco Energy Management Suite. With this powerful new tool, IS&T staff have been able to set sleep schedules for the computers on campus. During the late evening hours, a signal is sent to each machine on campus to put it to sleep. In the morning before classes begin, a second signal is sent to wake the machines up so they are ready for the day.
The tool allows for different groups of PCs to have their own schedules, so computers in the library will be on for longer periods of time than those in staff offices or classrooms.
Chapman IS&T successfully completed a pilot of the Cisco Energy Management Suite on staff and campus lab computers during the second half of 2015. Based on this trial alone, the energy savings have already paid for the initial cost of the software. Steps are being taken to roll the product out to the remaining computers on campus during the month of January 2016.