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Electrical Department highlights

Implemented electric “coordination studies” performed by contractors

EATON logo captioned, "Powering Business Worldwide"

Due to the age of the District’s electrical systems, Eaton — an international company providing energy-efficient services managing electrical power — provided on-site electric audits at three schools to check that wire sizes were correct and that trip factors were accurately set. Local APS vendor B&D Electric worked alongside Eaton representatives to infrared systems in exposing issues from minor to impending emergencies. The process has more than paid for itself in averting costly repairs or replacements. Critical findings were addressed immediately and other discovered problems were scheduled for repair when school is out of session. Started in December 2015, audits were completed at Cibola High School, Truman Middle School, and Jackson Elementary School. The audit will be conducted throughout the District in order of priority with eight schools slated for audit in 2016-17.

Installed twist timers on evaporative coolers in portable classrooms

In support of WECC and the Mechanical Department’s HVAC Shop, electricians installed twist timers to prevent coolers left on all night and are programmed to run for four-hour intervals during the school day. The District’s $12,500 investment in the units will pay for itself in less than a year and deliver an estimated 36% energy savings.

Retrofitted Alvarado Elementary School with interior and exterior LED lighting

The complex conversion from high energy use fluorescent lighting to high efficiency LED lighting throughout the campus resulted in a $4,276 rebate to the District and an estimated annual electric cost savings of $14,783. Incalculable but obviously immense is the maintenance savings as fluorescent lighting requires annual maintenance while the projected life of LED lighting is 20-25 years.

Other LED lighting retrofits (four campuses)

Retrofitting the District’s high energy incandescent lighting with energy-efficient LED lighting is carried out during weekends and winter break to avoid disruption to the education process. The Electrical Department has yet to get even a single work order on any of the retrofits conducted to date as LED systems are much more reliable, require no lamps to change out (or keep in inventory), and require a small fraction of the maintenance. Retrofit projects in

2015-16 included:

  • Van Buren Middle School – music classrooms/offices
  • Washington Middle School – partial lighting retrofit in gym locker room
  • Cochiti Elementary School – partial lighting retrofit in hallways throughout school
  • Eugene Field Elementary School – total interior and exterior campus retrofit

Upgraded computer lab electrical systems at six schools

Modernizing schools’ computer labs to accommodate the rapidly expanding quantity of technology is an ongoing effort that involves providing a panel, circuits, outlets, and adaptations for data. Computer labs were updated at Arroyo del Oso, Mary Ann Binford, Inez, and Ventana Ranch Elementary Schools; S.Y. Jackson Middle School; and Albuquerque High School.

Installed web-enabled timeclocks at select school sites

HVAC systems that were previously programmed manually at 19 campuses are now programmed via the Internet saving immeasurable time, energy, and utility costs. (Read more at Internet-enabled controls.) 

Exterior web-enabled lighting controls were installed at 25 schools saving approximately 90% in labor costs. The Electrical Department will eventually transition every school to Internet controlled lighting as funding permits.

Electrical Shop increased PM work

The Department’s largest Craft Shop staffed by journeymen was able to double PM work over the previous year. As with the rest of the Department, PM work orders have been few due to an unfortunate lack of time. The technicians are encouraged, however, to open a PM work order to perform needed work while working on a reactive WO, such as inspecting and cleaning electrical panels and checking emergency egress lighting.

Modifying testing labs to accommodate PARCC testing completed

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium between a group of states (including New Mexico), the District of Columbia, and the Bureau of Indian Education working in partnership to adopt standard kindergarten through grade 12 assessments in mathematics and English based on the Common Core State Standards. Recently instituted by the U.S. Department of Education, PARCC replaced state standardized tests which required that APS testing labs be adapted to accommodate this new testing conducted at every school site.

PARCC logo captioned "Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers"

The Electrical Department began modifying the testing labs in 2015 with the proper electrical system and data cabling necessary for PARCC testing. Temporary infrastructure had to serve for the initial testing and in 2016 permanent infrastructure was completed at every school site. Schools continue to request new testing labs with the funding source determining if their request is a “want” or “need” and if a “want,” the school absorbs the cost with Capital School Improvement Money funding.