Utilities and Energy Department receives GE’s Proof not Promises Award

Proof Not Promises Award

Auburn University Utilities Operations Technicians (L) Greg Powell and (R) John Bufford accept the Proof Not Promises Award from GE’s Senior Field Service Representative David Jacobs.

By Gail Riese

The Auburn University Facilities Management Utilities and Energy Department has received the Proof not Promises Award from General Electric’s Water and Process Technologies Department. Each year General Electric recognizes companies for projects that improve an organization’s operational performance. Auburn University received this award for realizing more than $20,000 in combined water and energy recovery at the University’s Satellite Steam Plant.

Auburn University Plant Operations maintains two steam plants on campus. In each of the plants, boilers produce steam that is transferred via an underground closed loop system to a number of buildings throughout campus.

The steam is used for heating and domestic hot water.  Once the steam has been used, its temperature and pressure is lower than when it first left the boilers at the steam plant. 

The steam condenses, and the leftover condensate – or water - is collected and returned to the steam plant, thus closing the loop.  Unless there is a leak in the system, no additional water is needed. 

Working with GE’s Senior Field Service Representative David Jacobs, Plant Operations staff discovered a loss of steam and condensate in the return lines resulting in an increase of 4,000 gallons of makeup water each day.  An increase in makeup water increases the treatment costs for the boilers and water and additional energy is expended to heat the makeup water.  Auburn University Utilities Operations Technicians John Bufford and Greg Powell worked with David to repair the costly leaks.

“GE appreciates the ongoing, cooperative efforts of Auburn University and their strong commitment to lean, efficient plant operations,” said Jacobs.

Last Updated: April 07, 2014