In operating periods, CERN accelerators, detectors, and testing facilities account for more than 90% of the laboratory’s average annual electricity consumption of 1.2 TWh. It is these powerful research tools that make CERN’s unique science program possible, supporting a global community of scientists in their basic physics research. Every effort is made to operate them in the most energy efficient manner.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is committed to limiting the increase in electricity consumption by 5% until the end of the third phase (base year: 2018*). To do this, CERN takes a holistic approach, carefully studying and evaluating every possible energy-saving activity to ensure complementary and maximum effect. Efforts to improve energy efficiency are guided by the Energy Management Committee (EMP), which was established in 2015 to support the recent market-based electricity contract as well as to raise awareness of the need for energy efficiency at CERN. The committee brings together representatives of CERN’s most energy-intensive activities.
The electricity distribution in the enterprise is monitored through an integrated system WebEnergy Tool It was developed by the Department of English under the guidance of EMP. WebEnergy measurements are based on monitoring tools with an accuracy of better than 1%. This close monitoring helps raise awareness among energy-intensive departments and services. The tool also makes it possible to perform forecasting for optimization: CERN sends the result of forecast modeling, which is based on the CERN acceleration table, to the energy contractor and regularly receives a bonus for the accuracy of this forecast, ie +/-15% for at least 10 months of the year.
When operational, the LHC is responsible for about 55% of CERN’s energy consumption. In the coming years, the luminosity (the number of collisions produced by the LHC) will increase dramatically. Higher luminosity means more data for experiments, giving them greater accuracy and greater potential for new discoveries, but it also comes at the cost of increased power consumption. CERN has developed a specific scale to show the amount of electricity used per unit luminosity delivered, expressed in gigawatts/hour per inverse femtobarn (GWh/fb-1). With respect to the first run, HL-LHC will increase energy efficiency at the main CERN facility by a factor of ten over 20 years.
With the increasing environmental awareness in recent decades, CERN strives to be a model for environmentally friendly research. Energy is one factor in reducing the environmental footprint of an organization. With energy prices expected to increase significantly in the coming years, which will have a concomitant effect on CERN’s budget, and following an internal audit in 2021, the organization has begun the process of acquiring ISO 50 001 شهادة Certification for energy management. A critical step in this process is the documentation of the laboratory’s energy baseline and identification of complementary energy performance indicators that cover the organization’s major energy uses in addition to the aforementioned LHC scale. It also requires setting goals and energy goals and developing a plan to achieve them. The goal is to issue an energy performance plan covering these clauses to the French authorities by mid-2022. The process will entail the review and completion of CERN’s energy policy, the design of new performance measurement tools, and the organization of formal audits by an accredited certification body (planned for the end of the year). In this context, all future initiatives aimed at improving energy performance will be evaluated in accordance with the requirements of the ISO 50 001 standard. Obtaining the certification will allow CERN to obtain a significant discount on electricity transmission costs for the coming years.
Although energy consumption from the third sector, such as buildings, the data center and traditional utilities, accounts for only up to 10% of total electricity consumption at CERN during the LHC’s operating periods, meaningful improvements can also be achieved there. In this context, the Department of School of Continuing Education (SCE) conducts two building renovations annually with the goal of improving energy performance, comfort level and safety compliance. The general and interior lighting of CERN is gradually being replaced. Studies are underway to recover waste heat from the new CERN data center in Brevesen to heat surrounding buildings, thus reducing emissions from the gas heating plant. Furthermore, plans are underway to use heat recovered from CERN’s cooling tower units at LHC Point 1 to heat buildings at the Meyrin site.
Use Less, Increase Efficiency, Reclaim More: These three principles underpin CERN’s energy management strategy. And we all have a role to play, to ensure that every megawatt-hour used brings added value to CERN’s performance and mission.
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