Sustainability at Muhlenberg College

Campus Sustainability

Energy Conservation at Muhlenberg College

Renewable Electricity Production

Muhlenberg has a newly installed 3.2 kW solar photovoltaic system on the roof of Seegers Union.  During a course coordinated by Dr. Jane Flood with assistance from Cara Owens, 12 students installed the system, including 2 pole-mounted nine-panel arrays, 2 inverters, new conduit, and a data collection system.  All of this was completed under the tutelage of Bill Hennessey, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association (MAREA).  MAREA boad member, Phil Jones, a mechanical engineer with EMS Environmental, led discussions about energy efficiency and energy audits and Dr. Vera Cole, also with MAREA, presented the class with information about the economics of solar power. Jesse Waters of EcoElectric provided electrical expertise for the installation.  The project was funded in part with a grant from the Sustainable Energy Foundation (SEF).  The arrays are manually adjustable and solar radiance, wind, temperature, and electricity production data will be available for ongoing research and analysis.

Check out how much electricity our panels are producing!

Energy Conservation:


  • During the summer of 2008, more efficient windows will be installed in Prosser Hall, and in four sorority buildings.
  • In 2008, a campus wide energy audit was conducted and recommendations from this audit, due in August 2008, will lead to further improvements.
  • Unnecessary lighting is reduced through the use of occupancy sensors in some existing rooms and more sensors will be installed in the future.
  • In 2007, the New Science Building was awarded LEED silver certification. Then building incorporates energy efficient features, including:
    • enthalpy wheels to reduce by 70-80% the amount of energy needed to pre-heat or pre-cool air entering the building
    • low-emissivity coating on windows decreases heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter
    • uses efficient T8 bulbs with electronic ballasts
  • Residential Services contracts with Campus Specialties to provide energy star certified efficient microwaves and refrigerators.
  • Muhlenberg provides efficient laundry machines and office equipment. For details, review our green purchasing policy.
  • Since 2002, Muhlenberg has installed Eco-Logic T8 fluorescent bulbs and electronic ballasts in the Center for the Arts, Trexler Pavilion, Trumbower, and Shankweiler buildings, as well as in parts of Seegers Union. This change has resulted in a reduction in energy use for lighting of approximately 30%, in addition to reducing the number of ballasts it is necessary to maintain while increasing light level and quality.
  • In the summer of 2002, the Organic Laboratory in Trumbower was renovated, including the installation of a new Phoenix system for the 18 fume hoods to control the amount of air being discharged to the atmosphere while maintaining the required OSHA air flow across the sash opening. This change resulting in annual energy savings of $17,000 per year.
  • In the spring of 2003, the College completed installation of a new central chilled water plant that resulted in the shut down of 6 building chillers and a reduction of total campus electrical use of 11.8%.

What can you do to help reduce water and electric use at Muhlenberg?

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