UW-Madison cooks up energy savings

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

From a post by Todd Finkelmeyeron The Capital Times:

A boiler in Gordon Commons -- a dining hall on the UW-Madison campus -- uses most of the cafeteria's used vegetable oil to heat much of the building's hot water supply.

Officials with the Division of University Housing used a federal grant of nearly $25,000 from the Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence to help install the boiler nearly three months ago.

According to a UW-Madison press release, "between 75 and 100 gallons of spent cooking oil is pumped into a tank adjacent to the boiler. The boiler draws the oil into the boiler with a pump and burns the oil at a rate of a little more than 1.5 gallons of oil per hour. One gallon of oil is enough to heat about 225-250 gallons of hot water in the facility."

The university says the boiler requires little attention from the staff and is relatively cheap to maintain.