Prithivi Chellamuthu assisted the sustainability team at Legrand North America (LNA) to identify energy saving opportunities at Legrand’s facilities located in West Hartford, CT; Concord, NC; Fort Mill, SC; and Tijuana, Mexico. While Legrand had already initiated energy saving opportunities through the installation of submeters, energy efficient lamp retrofits, occupancy sensors and controlled temperature regulations, Chellamuthu identified further opportunities for reducing energy usage this summer.
By analyzing the submeter data, Chellamuthu found ways to reduce baseload usage during weekday and weekends with an estimated annual energy cost saving opportunity of $136,000 for the four sites combined. He also identified the source of the top energy users for each facility and created several methods to enable on-site energy managers to minimize energy consumption and reduce peak demand. Additional savings could be realized through the application of new technologies Chellamuthu recommended.
Overall his summer work could help LNA save over $200,000 annually corresponding to 1.5 million kilowatt hours in energy usage reduction and over 1,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Energy saving ideas garnered from these four sites could be shared with the 22 other LNA sites. This would help enable Legrand to accomplish its energy reduction goals as part of the Department of Energy’s Better Building Better Plant Challenge.
The reason I applied for EDF Climate Corps:
As a passionate environmental scientist, I am looking for opportunities to change the world by working with professionals and scientists addressing the environmental and public health challenges. EDF Climate Corps is a golden opportunity to do just that! When I attended the Net Impact conference, I interacted with EDF professionals and the energy was fantastic. Also, I interacted with EDF Climate Corps fellows in another event and they were all enthusiastic about the program, and so I thought this would be an opportunity to interact/network with like-minded professionals and works towards sustainability and climate change. So here I am. Fight on!
A recent professional or volunteer experience I've enjoyed:
I worked with school students for a science project on plastic pollution in oceans. When the students found out about the environmental impact of plastics on marine animals, they were all fired up to do something about it. It was a special moment to see the kids walk around the beach restaurants to help the restaurants shift from traditional plastic to biodegradable plastics.
One skill I hope to make use of this summer:
I plan to use my knowledge on water and energy and help the organization minimize their consumption. It would be very exciting to see the reduction in emissions associated with water and energy usage. Go Science! Go EDF!
My favorite class or activity in graduate school:
I am a nerdy lab rat! I thoroughly enjoy doing experiments both in the lab and sometimes in my apartment! All the world's a lab! Favorite Class: Microbiology, Water Treatment and Sustainable Cities. Also, all of the microbiologists from our lab got together, and we brewed 20 gallons of four different varieties of beer.
My favorite outdoor place:
I love all the National Parks (Yellowstone, to be specific). I thoroughly enjoy camping in the parks with friends. I need to get a dog, soon.
One thing I hope to achieve:
I want to do my part for sustainability. I want to be a change agent to catalyze the much needed changes in resource management and perhaps discover something to improve environmental and public health.