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The Gakushuin School Corporation comprises three campuses. The Mejiro Campus houses the University, the Boys’ Senior High School, the Boys’ Junior High School and the Kindergarten, while the Toyama Campus houses the Women’s College and Girls’ Junior and Senior High School. The Yotsuya Campus is where the Primary School is situated. Combined, the spacious Gakushuin premises measure 290,000 square meters, with many buildings dispersed throughout the grounds.
In 2010, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government established the Environmental Security Ordinance. The ordinance mandated an eight percent reduction in CO2 emissions in five years, which is even more rigorous than the national regulations. The revised Act on Rational Use of Energy and the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures also made it mandatory for Gakushuin as a large-scale business facility to reduce CO2 emissions. In response to these requirements, various energy-related initiatives were considered, one of which was cutting overall air conditioner energy usage for the entire Gakushuin school facilities. Excessive cooling or heating at individual buildings, or air conditioners left on even after school hours, can add up to an enormous waste of energy. As a countermeasure, centralized control of air conditioning systems was put into place.
Due to insufficient power reception capacity for the Gakushuin school facilities as a whole, Gakushuin considered full-scale deployment of gas heat pump (GHP) units with heating and cooling capabilities. Although GHP units were suitable for most buildings, package air conditioners (PAC) were the best choice for the server room and other spaces that require constant cooling.
Since 1992, Panasonic has supplied its GHP units to Gakushuin, and helped them to optimally control various types of equipment through its P-AIMS system, which is capable of monitoring and managing air conditioners and other types of equipment. Upon making a decision on air conditioner models, Gakushuin gave high acclaim to Panasonic for its P-AIMS total air conditioning management system, as well as two types of air conditioners (gas and electric), which provide flexible choices depending on the usage conditions or the size of a building.
The final decision was to create a multivendor environment with three companies including Panasonic. Along with installation of new air conditioners, the air conditioner control systems for all Gakushuin buildings were updated. For centralized control over the air conditioners spread throughout various campuses, implementation of a wide-area group management system was planned. By customizing the P-AIMS to match the university’s operations, the air conditioners in lecture rooms were programmed to automatically switch on 20 minutes before each class, in coordination with the university curriculum. When a class is finished, the air conditioner automatically switches off. Moreover, local room temperature adjustments beyond the specified range are disabled. The monitoring and control of operational status is possible from the equipment monitoring center.
This customized system was configured through the collaborative efforts of Panasonic development and sales teams under the supervision of Gakushuin. Its sophistication puts Gakushuin a step ahead of other schools in Japan. The P-AIMS system is also networked via private lines with the Yotsuya Campus housing the Primary School, and with the Toyama Campus via wireless LAN to enable remote monitoring and control.
In the three years beginning in 2010, Gakushuin was able to reduce CO2 emissions by an average of approximately 20 percent. This was accomplished through the deployment of highly efficient air conditioners and a wide-area group management system. For the future, Gakushuin is also considering interlinking control with natural gas chillers and lighting equipment, as part of their plan for promoting further reductions in CO2 emissions.
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