Museum briefly becomes a provider, rather than user, of electricity
>TOLEDO, OHIO–On Tuesday, May 21 the Toledo Museum of Art achieved a milestone in its 20-year effort to reduce energy consumption: its 101-year-old Beaux Arts main building stopped drawing power from the electrical grid and actually started returning power to the system. The ongoing process, which incorporates using sustainable energy practices such as solar power, energy-efficient lighting, micro turbines and chillers, has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost savings over the years.
Bernhard cited lighting as a good example. The first generation of LED lights weren’t suitable for illuminating and protecting art, so they were bypassed at the time. Now that the technology has dramatically improved, LED fixtures are now being introduced into the galleries, where lights frequently burn out from continual usage. The new lights not only save energy but last much longer, decreasing labor costs associated with the constant replacement of bulbs. The lighting in the renovated lot is also provided by new LED fixtures, which provide greater illumination while using less electricity
Bintz and Bernard also added new micro turbines and chillers to the power plant at TMA’s world-famous TMA Glass Pavilion during last year’s energy upgrade. The heat from the building’s working glass hot shop is recycled into the rest of the building during cold months. While generating electricity, the micro turbine waste heat is used to heat the building in the colder months and generate chilled water for air conditioning in the summer.<
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