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Wheeling University project cutting energy costs, providing learning experience

WHEELING — Installation of new high efficiency LED lights inside Wheeling University’s McDonough Center is cutting energy costs while increasing the lumens inside the athletic complex.

For the last five years, Engineering Science students under the direction of Bob Yahn, assistant professor of engineering, have replaced more than 100 florescent lights with LED fixtures inside the University’s facility.

“By installing the LED fixtures, several areas inside McDonough are much brighter, and our tracking shows we’ve reduced our electricity usage. By reducing peak power and kilowatt usage we have cut our energy bill, saving nearly $2,000 a month,” Yahn explained.

Over the course of a year, Yahn said the high energy lighting is saving the university about $24,000.

Not only has this project had a positive impact on the university electric bill, Yahn noted, it’s providing Engineering students valuable hands-on training.

“The students are installing the new fixtures, as well as analyzing and tracking electric usage inside the building. This project, as well as internships, provide the students with real-world learning experiences, which will make them more marketable to companies when they are seeking employment following graduation.”

To date, Yahn and his students have upgraded the lighting in the McDonough Center lobby, first floor athletic administrative offices, the auxiliary gym and the performance gym. Yahn said the lights in the performance gym can be dimmed, allowing for special lighting effects to be incorporated into university events.

“I am grateful to Professor Yahn for this project and seeing the real-world work experience that this provides our students. Their work not only broadens our students’ skillset, it is having a positive impact on the University’s energy cost. Bob is just one example of how the faculty at Wheeling University incorporate innovative learning experiences into their programs’ curriculum,” said Ginny R. Favede, president of Wheeling University.

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