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State of the Art Energy Submetering at Texas Department of Criminal Justice Industries
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The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Utilities and Energy Department (TDCJ-U&E) has completed the first phase of a detailed energy use submetering system that will be one of the largest such installations in the United States at the second largest state prison system in the nation. Through responsibility accounting, TDCJ unit wardens and other staff needed to be able to monitor and justify the utility and energy use and expenses for the various prison industries and agricultural operations. These facilities are scattered at many locations around the state and cover a diversity of prison industries and agricultural operations from meat packing operations to metal fabrication, furniture restoration, garment and shoe factories, vehicle restoration, soap and detergent plants, mattress making and graphics that include sign and license plate manufacturing. The Energy Systems Laboratory (ESL) with New Horizon Technologies, Inc. (NHT) proposed to install a state-of-the-art submetering system that would meet the needs of the TDCJ system well into the future. Upon award of the contract, TDCJ-U&E assisted the ESL and NHT in conducting numerous surveys of the proposed metering locations, coordinated installations of the equipment with local unit wardens and staff, then installed the system hardware and software. The system uses a web-based user interface and is capable of real-time data acquisition and display. SquareD supplied the components for the field metering installation and local plumbing contractors either retrofitted existing gas meters or installed new meters as required. Preliminary testing began in late summer of 2000 and the system is collecting 15 minute interval utility and energy consumption data. This paper will describe the issues involved in implementing a project covering such a large geographic area, tight security issues and using inmate labor.
Bryant, J. A.; McBride, J.; Merka, T. (2001). State of the Art Energy Submetering at Texas Department of Criminal Justice Industries. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from