July 26, 2021

I, Science

The science magazine of Imperial College

Imperial College’s main contribution to tackling climate change is undoubtedly through the world of academic research. However, it is also important for institutions such as Imperial to set an example in terms of their own carbon dioxide emissions. To this end, Imperial has set itself a target of reducing its CO2 emissions 20% by 2014. Below are just a few of the measures being taken at South Kensington campus to help meet this target:

  • Traditional tube heat exchangers have been replaced with energy-efficient plate heat exchangers, saving 20 tonnes of CO2 every year.
  • Imperial’s heating system consists of over 3km of pipes. Insulating these pipes has the potential to save a whopping 1,500 tonnes of CO2 per year. Work to do this has already started and, for every 3m of pipes insulated, enough energy is saved to heat an average house.
  • Imperial now has its own combined heat and power plant, which is far more efficient than traditional power plants, where large amounts of energy are lost through heat to the atmosphere.
  • Over 150 individual cooling units spread across the campus have been replaced with a more-efficient central cooling system.
  • Did you know that Imperial has its own private electrical network, which allows it to control the voltage from sub-stations? By reducing the voltage by just 5%, roughly 500 tonnes of CO2 can be saved every year.

(N.B. One tonne of CO2 is roughly enough to fill one hot air balloon)