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Indiana Prison Upgrades To Cost Saving Green Technology


The Wabash Valley Correctional Facility is making some environmentally friendly changes and cutting costs.

The facility in Carlisle, south of Terre Haute, installed its first solar panels in an inmate housing unit in 2010. In 2011, they added a new solar tube system.

Physical Plant Director Roger Dagley explains how solar tubes can help the hot water supply by heating some additional water.

“Basically, they convert ultraviolet rays from the sun’s energy into thermal energy,” Dagley said. “These operate off an evacuated tube type design.”

The outcome from these new systems is being carefully monitored by the Physical Plant. Currently, housing facilities are saving 35-40 percent of energy compared to the control house.

In addition to the solar equipment, the facility is incorporating new shower systems and LED lights. Dagley says the facility is well equipped for the changes.

“Well, I don’t want to brag,” he said. “But at this facility right here, we have always been known to be the first one that would jump in there and try to make these changes. I’ve got a good staff here, they’re knowledgeable about what they do, and usually we become the test facility for these systems.”

More solar systems are schedule be added to the facility to help heat the building. Other improvements include new shower systems, and rooftop and heat units.

The updates will be funded by the Indiana Finance Authority.

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