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Peak Load Management Days: What You Need to Know

Peak Load

The announcement shown above will be visible on public monitors and displayed in various other places around campus on especially hot summer days--Peak Load Management days.  Hunter College participates in a Peak Load Management program, sponsored by the New York Power Authority.  The program encourages public and private entities to help reduce strain on the region's electricity grid, which has the greatest demand placed on it during summer.  On several of the hottest days of the season, the College will do its part to reduce electricity consumption by taking an elevator from each elevator bank out of service, turning off escalators located on floors where activity and foot traffic tend to be sparse, and slightly reducing the air cooling output within our buildings.

The College runs two 1,500-ton water chillers at near maximum capacity to keep its indoor spaces at its Main Campus cool.  On a typical summer day, the water is chilled to 46 degrees Fahrenheit to cool the air.  On Peak Load Management days, however, the water is chilled to only 52 degrees Fahrenheit.  By raising the water temperature a mere 6 degrees, the College saves approximately 6,360 kilowatt hour per hour of chiller operation.

In concrete terms, 6,360 kilowatt hours per hour would be more than enough energy to power all of the lighting at the Silberman School of Social Work.

Also, the College pre-chills its water during the night before a Peak Load Day is declared.  Since the chillers are located on the roof of the North Building and are therefore exposed to the harsh daylight sun, pre-chilling at night, absent the sun's heatload, uses less energy than doing so during the day.

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