Renewable Energy Sources - Newark Center Sustainability Green Building Information

Ohlone College Newark Center Energy Management Systems (PDF).


The Newark Center features one of the largest solar power collection system in the Silicon Valley, a 600kW solar collection system covering 38,000 feet of roof space with the most efficient photovoltaic panels available. Used for heating and other utilities, the solar system will provide roughly 45% of campus electrical power needs. Learn more about the solar panels.

Solar panels on roof of Newark Center.

Aerial view of Newark Center with solar panels on roof.

Enthalpy Wheels

Enthalpy wheels at Newark Center.

One of the building's energy conservation features is the use of twin enthalpy wheels, also known as rotary air-to-air heat exchangers. Located in the main lobby and visible through a transparent enclosure, these surprisingly compact devices capture wind-contained heat and humidity on cold days, effectively capturing energy that would otherwise be lost. This warmer, pre-heated air is circulated throughout the building, reducing the amount of energy required for heating, compared to traditional HVAC systems, to keep the facility thermally comfortable.

Energy recover systems attain high levels of efficiency by transferring total heat between two air-streams. Kiosks provides an overview of how the enthalpy wheels work, such as showing incoming air temperature and the temperature of air exiting the building. The principal of operation is heat recovery wheels attain high levels of efficiency by transferring total heat or enthalpy between two air-streams. Enthalpy is both the heat and moisture energy in the air. Simply stated, in summer, the outside air is hot and wet. The inside air is cool and dry. The wheel spins through the two air-streams and transfers the energy contained in the return air from the building to the supply air which becomes cooler and dryer. This cooler and dryer air is the supply air which then goes to the cooling coils lowering the need for cooling capacity. In winter, the opposite state occurs. The outside air is cold and dry and the inside air is warm and wet. The wheel again transfers the energy contained in the return air from the building to the supply air which becomes warmer and wetter lowering the need for heat in the building.


Geothermal heating and cooling coils have been located 12 feet under the landscaping in the front of the campus. Approximately 26 miles of coils, use the earth natural insulation qualities all year round to maintain a constant water temperature between 50 to 65 degrees. A water mixture circulates in the coils quietly moving heat through the campus in a closed loop system. The heat from the outdoor coils is passed through the heat pumps that are located throughout the building, doubling the efficiency. To save energy for cooling, the design employs an innovative use of geothermal resources. Whereas, many of the passive geothermal systems are used solely for geothermal heat, the Newark Center's design employs stable subterranean temperatures to cool warm interior air on hot days and warm cold air on cooler days.

Many bundles of geothermal coils.

A worker installs geothermal coils at Newark Center.

Geothermal coils installed at Newark center.

Pipes installed in ceiling inside Newark Center.

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