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PF Gas usage

Page history last edited by nigel swansborough 10 years, 2 months ago


This page has been set up so we can study how much gas we burn and hopefully help us to see how much gas we save. first of all we need to know a little bit about the school gas supplies. So, here it is!

PF has 10 gas mains entering the school site at various locations and each main has its own gas meter. However, some of these supplies only go to staff accommodation and don't use much gas. so, lets consentrate on THE BIG 6. These are the high usage mains that supply most of the Boarding and Teaching areas, as well as the Kitchens, Swimming pool and Sports hall etc.

Gas meters measure the volume of gas passing along the pipe line and record the amount used on a dial (your meter reading). The numbers that make up your meter reading are called UNITS.

Now, it's not easy to explain how big or small a gas unit is! Think of it this way; Look at your form room locker and imagine the air inside it is natural gas. That volume is about 1 Unit and, it contains enough energy to heat an average size radiator for about 4 hours if we use is efficiently.

Before we can save gas we need to know how much we use. In the last week of September 09 the weather was fine and warm so the heating was still turned off, THE BIG 6 used 347 units of gas, (mostly for hot water).

The heating around the school was turned on , on Monday 5th October. Between Friday 2nd and Friday 9th October THE BIG 6 used 662 units of gas. Nearly double the previous week, and, that is with the central heating systems only providing a small amount of heat :-(

As the Winter sets in the number of units we use will go up. So, here's a challenge. I will try to enter our gas usage figures on a Friday so that we can see what is happening on a week-to-week basis. Lets see how many weeks we can manage to keep our Gas usage below 1000 units. It won't be easy!




The week ending Friday 16th October was the first full week with heating and we have burned 982 units.


For the next 2 weeks it's half term so I am going to turn thing down a bit.




The gas meters were read on Monday 2nd November when school re-opened. Over the half term break we burned 1740 units of gas, an average of 870 each week :-)




Week ending .Friday 6th November. Since the school re-opened on Monday we have burned 745 units of gas.




It's Friday the 13th and not good news this week. This was the week that winter finally arrived, our heating systems have been working overtime trying to keep the school warm and as a result we have burned up 1385 units. We can however try to reduce this a bit. If you find a room is too hot, don't just throw all the doors and windows open, if you do all that happens is the heating systems get confused, think it is colder than it actually is and start to work even harder. As a result we end up with the warmest car park in England!!! If a room is too hot, email maintenance because (and this seems to be a little known fact) central heating times/settings are a 2 way thing and can be turned down as well as up.




Week ending Friday 20th November. A little better this week, we have used 1299 units.




Week ending Friday 27th November. Another small saving this week, 1248 units used.




Week ending Friday 4th December. There have been a lot of events around the school over the last week that have requires extra heating, this, combined with a dip in temperature and generally cold weather conditions has resulted in a rather depressing 1909 units of gas used :-(

The next couple of weeks leading up to the end of term are likely to be the same as we have lots going on.




Week ending Friday 11th December. Not too bad this week, we have managed to shave 100 units off last weeks total and burnt only 1809.

I will not be able to read the meters again until the 8th January, so, when I next enter the figures I will do a weekly average for the last week of term and the Holiday period. While the school is shut I will need to keep the systems running to prevent possible frost damage but will turn things down as much as I can and I will check the systems from time to time so that I can make any weather related adjustments if necessary.




Friday 15th January. It's 5 weeks since the meters were last read and during this period we have endured a mini ice age!!

Overall we have burned 11 118 units of gas, that is an average of 2 223 units per week. 


Friday 22nd January. An improvement this week, we have burned 1992 units :-)


Friday 29th January. Another tiny saving, we have burned 1982 units :-)


Friday 5th February. lots of extra heating requirements this week, we have burned 2238 units :-(


Friday 12th February. Pretty well the same as last week, we have burned 2239 units :-I


Friday 19th February. Half term week so I turned things down a bit, 1745 units.


Friday 26th February. Mild weather has meant a drop in consumption this week, we have used 1909 units :-)


Now that the worst of the winter is (or should be ) over, I thought you might find it interesting to see a rough breakdown of our gas consumption so that you can see where all our gas goes to. The figures are based on the readings taken in January and February. I have divided the school into 6 areas based around the individual gas systems and will go through them one at a time. There are 2 big factors that contribute to the amount of gas the school uses, the weather and the level of activity within the school buildings.

Assembly hall, Food tech and the staff flat near the Laundry. This area had a new efficient heating system installed during the summer holidays, so it doesn't use much gas. Depending on the amount of activity in the assembly hall the area normally uses 150 - 200 units a week.

Main kitchens, Boarding house, Science wing, Music block. DT. Computer rooms and Drama. This is a huge system and the gas is used for heating, hot water and cooking. The boilers have a very modern control system which helps to keep consumption down. It uses 400 -500 units per week.

5th form area and Laundry. Most of this systems work is given to supplying the laundry with hot water but, it also supplies heating and hot water to the 5th form boarding area. It also has modern controls and burns 200 - 300 units per week.

6th Form house and Swimming Pool. Uses 300 - 400 units every week for heating and hot water and supplying the gas dryers in the 6th form laundry, this may seem quite high at first glance, but, the system also heats the swimming pool at a cost of about 150 units per week. Unfortunately the pool needs to be heated during the winter months to help protect the plant and equipment and to keep the pool swimable.

Field wing. This system only supplies heating to class rooms but is affected a lot by weather conditions, it too has modern controls and uses 100 - 200 units per week.

Sports hall. Normally uses between 400 - 600 units per week for heating and hot water. The problem with this system is the main sports hall itself. It is heated by 4 large gas heaters mounted on the ceiling at high level.They are designed to keep the hall at a constant 16 degrees and need to use a large amount of gas to do this. In cold weather each heater can use over 100 units a week and they account for approximatly 20% of the schools gas consumption through out the winter months.

Finally one last observation, during the winter about 25% of the schools gas is used for providing hot water and cooking, the other 75% is used to heat the school buildings and swimming pool.


Friday 5th March. About average this week 1793 units used.


Friday 12th March. Lots of extra functions combined with a cold NE wind has meant that our consumption has gone up a bit :-(  2013 units this week.


Friday 19th March. This week is a good example of just how effective the compensator systems can be. Because the week has mostly been mild, with gentle spring sunshine, the systems have regulated themselves to reduce the central heating output. Because of this we have only used 1515 units of gas, our lowest total so far this year :-)


Friday 26th March. The mild weather has continued this week and our gas consumption has dropped accordingly, it was down to 1215 units :-) Over the Easter hollidays I am going to turn off as much heating as I can.


Friday 16th April. Over the Easter break we have burned 2999 units of gas at an average of 999 units per week :-)


Friday 23rd April. With the onset of spring, our gas consumption is starting to fall. We have burned 884 units this week :-)


Friday 30th April. Some extra functions have pushed the figures up a little this week, but it's still good, only 911 units used. The extra gas this week was used for cooking rather than heating


Friday 7th May. Another good week. 993 units used :-)


Friday 14th May. This week we have used a little more gas than the last few weeks. 1137 units. This is almost certainly due to the recent cold nights and frosty mornings.


Friday 21st May. Summer has arrived and the central heating is (mostly) off, so this week we have burned 755 units :-) :-) 


Friday 28th May. The heating is off around the whole school now and it shows with this weeks meter readings, we have used 366 units of gas :-)




Comments (3)

seasontse said

at 3:28 am on Feb 18, 2010

wow... the numbers are striking!!!
Could I ask some questions because I want to know more??

Is this gas system automatic??
Because I always want to turn down my heating in my room but I don't feel any different...
And do we still turn on the heating in the holiday??
Once when I go back to my room after a long holiday and my room reached 32 degrees...
And also, where are the temperture monitors around the school??

nigel swansborough said

at 3:35 am on Feb 26, 2010

Thanks for you comment season. There are lots of gas systems around the school some are automatic and some not, The temperature is monitored by several sensors at various locations around the school, the sensors feed information back to the boiler room control panels and the system then opens and closes valves and switches to make any necessary ajustments. It's quite complicated but I would be happy to show you a system and explain how it all works, I sugest you speak to Mrs Treanor and ask her if we can organise something. I am going to try and do a break down of the gas figures so that you can see where all our gas goes to, so keep an eye on the gas page for more information.
The problem with the temperature in your room is to do with a fault with the heating system itself and I am working to put this right.

seasontse said

at 4:56 am on Mar 3, 2010

Thank you very much for your details. I have learnt a lot of from this page.
I will definitely talk to Mrs Treanor about a school heating tour, it sounds interesting.

For the sports hall heating, sometimes is a bit too hot when we are playing matches and games indoor.
We have to open all the doors to keep us cool. Most people feel uncomfortable.

I will definitely keep an eye on the page!!! Thank you for doing that!!

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