Did you know?
Fume Cupboards are usually the highest energy consumption equipment in the laboratory. A fume cupboard running continuously with it's sash fully open can use up to £2k of electricity and gas a year. Sash closure can reduce energy consumption by up to 50% or more.
Laboratory fume cupboards are ventilation systems that capture and remove air-borne hazardous substances generated during an experiment such as gases, vapours, aerosols and dust. Fume cupboards also offer protection against potential explosions, chemical spills and fires.
- Help us reduce your lab energy consumption by following these simple guidelines:
- Use the right sash height (≤ 0.5m) - an innappropriate sash height can increase energy use as well as put users at risk from ineffective extraction of fumes.
- A 150 mm wide free-zone should be maintained behind the sash at ALL times - If contaminates are released in this area there is a higher possibility of them being drawn out of the cupboard by convection currents caused by operator movements
- Face velocity should be maintained at 0.3-0.5 m/s - Check your manufacturer guidelines
- Shut the sash completely when not in use.
- Avoid using fume cupboards to store chemicals and unnecessary equipment - use a dedicated storage instead. Overcrowding with equipment and reagents can cause turbulence which can block the airflow and result in a reduction in fume cupboard efficiency.
- Use only internal gas and water taps - Hoses must not run through the fume cupboard sash in such a way that they prevent full sash closure
Strathclyde University consumes 170,000,000 litres of water per year.
Laboratories can consume upto three times more water per square metre compared to office space. Often water is wasted through leakage, oversight or choice of equipment and this can have a substantial impact on the environment. Thus there is huge potential to identify where these issues exist and promote methods by which we can reduce water wastage.
In the past year we have taken action to mitigate water wastage within the labs. We have replaced water intensive equipment with those that either completely obligate the need of water and those that recirculate water, thus not only making labs more sustainable but we also save money.
Strathclyde University consumed 41,958,259 kWh of electricity in the year 2017-2018.
Laboratories use much more electricity per square metre than office space. Most of the energy used is due to plug loaded equipment such as freezers, autoclaves, and computers that are necessary to support laboratory research.
In the past year we have measured the energy consumption of various lab equipment to raise awareness of their daily/weekly/monthly cost. Below are examples of the cost of running some common lab equipment [these were monitored in one lab in a single building at the university]. If you would like help with monitoring the energy or water usage of a specific equipment get in touch with the Sustainability Team.
|Equipment List||Typical Usage (hr/week)||Typical Usage (hr/year)||Equipment Quantity||Estimated Unit Energy Use (kWh/yr)||Estimated Total Costs (£/yr)|
|Oil Vaccum Pump||40||2000||28||1,380||£3,284|
|Hot Air Guns||5||250||10||230||£196|
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