Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Committee Member/Second Reader
Energy is a key global resource in society and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to the consumption of energy have detrimental effects on the planet. With energy consumption increasing, exponential population growth, and diminishing natural resources necessary for energy production, the relevance of energy efficiency is dramatically increasing. In this project, I analyzed energy usage data from a set of public school buildings from one school district in northwest Arkansas from 2018, before targeted energy efficiency practices were implemented, through 2022 to see if energy usage changed over this short period. The objectives of analyzing energy data were to determine the effectiveness of energy efficiency practices, show seasonal trends in energy usage, and determine the effect that COVID- 19 had on energy usage, as the pandemic hit during the 2019-2020 school year. This analysis used Kendall’s Tau (τ) test and Fourier’s analysis, allowing me to see trends and changes in energy usage over time. I also estimated the reduction in GHG emissions based on the reduction in energy usage after the energy efficiency upgrades. From these analyses, I found that energy use is likely or highly likely decreasing in 8 of the 11 buildings analyzed, suggesting that the energy efficiency upgrades were effective. I also found that energy consumption is highly cyclical in most buildings and a sine wave can be fitted to most buildings very closely. On average, energy efficiency upgrades contributed to a 0.58% reduction in GHG emissions per month for each building that has decreasing energy use over the four year period, which adds up to a large reduction over the analysis period. During COVID-19, there was a decrease in energy consumption of about 1,100 kWh when compared to the median energy consumption across all buildings over the analysis period, but it is unclear whether this decrease was due to COVID-19 shutting schools down or the energy upgrades in the buildings, as these were likely implemented before COVID-19 forced schools to close.
Energy, Energy Efficiency, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Biological Engineering, Public Schools
Morton, O. (2023). Analyzing Energy Use from Arkansas Public School Buildings. Biological and Agricultural Engineering Undergraduate Honors Theses Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/baeguht/97