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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.


Category: Industrial


Can Energy-Intensive Manufacturers be Winners Under the Clean Power Plan?

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Sep. 14, 2015, by Meegan Kelly.

"There is a concern that any new environmental regulation can hurt the bottom lines of energy-intensive manufacturers. In the case of the EPA Clean Power Plan, states that comply with the rule by investing in energy efficiency will find the opposite is likely to be true: their businesses will be more productive and their economies will grow."

What to Expect from an Effective Compressed Air Audit

Compressed Air Best Practices, Sep. 2015, by Don van Ormer.

"Compressed air has moved to higher visibility in the energy conservation field, and the buzzwords abound: “the fourth utility” — “your most expensive utility” — “eight times more expensive than electricity” — “a quarter-inch leak costs $9,000 in wasted energy.” This greater awareness has also produced compressed air auditors that are springing up like summer dandelions. With audits available from many sources, it is important to understand what plant operations, engineers and maintenance managers should expect from a complete audit — or more aptly — a complete air system review."

Variable Inlet Guide Vanes Boost Centrifugal Air Compressor Efficiency

Compressed Air Best Practices, Sep. 2015, by Chris Downs.

"Variable inlet guide vanes are an ingenious yet simple option that, when installed on your centrifugal compressor, can deliver energy savings of up to 9 percent. By replacing a standard inlet butterfly valve with a new inlet guide vane assembly, substantial energy savings can be realized whenever the compressor operates at less than full load or when ambient air temperature is less than design temperature (usually 95°F, 35°C). Many manufacturers offer this option as a retrofit for existing compressors."

Industrial Dust Collection Vacuum System Audits

Blower & Vacuum Best Practices, Sep. 2015, by Tim Dugan.

"Industrial vacuum systems are a challenge to optimize. They have more distribution system variables to balance than a compressed air system does. Vacuum systems conveying particulate are sensitive to velocity. If the velocity is too high, pressure drop results. If it’s too low, particulate doesn’t stay in suspension, and there can be compliance and safety problems."

Manufacturers in U.S. Energy Department’s Better Plants Program Save More Than $2 Billion in Energy Costs; Program Expands to Help America’s Water Systems

U.S. Department of Energy News, Sep. 30, 2015.

"Today, as the U.S. Department of Energy prepares to kick off October’s National Energy Action Month, the department announced that manufacturers in its Better Buildings, Better Plants Program (Better Plants) have racked up an estimated $2.4 billion in cumulative energy cost savings over the last five years. Across America, manufacturers spend more than $200 billion each year to power their plants. As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to double energy productivity, American manufacturers and water and wastewater treatment agencies made a voluntary commitment to improve energy intensity by about 25 percent over ten years, or an equally ambitious level for their sector, through the Better Plants Program. Today, the department also announced that nine partners have met their energy efficiency targets this year."

Flexible Aerogel Blanket in Cryogenic Applications

Insulation Outlook, Aug. 2015, by Neal Waaks.

"A thorough discussion of aerogel's physical properties and potential benefits for cryogenic applications." Includes applications in piping and equipment in LNG facilities.

Energy Efficiency in Water & Wastewater

Pumps & Systems, Sep. 2015, by Jeff Bergman.

"VFDs [Variable Frequency Drives] can reduce energy consumption and water loss in variable pumping systems."

Desiccant Air Dryer Control: Seeing Isn’t Always Believing

Compressed Air Best Practices, Aug. 2015, by Ron Marshall.

"Many thousands of dollars of annual electrical savings are being achieved worldwide using special purge reduction controls on desiccant air dryers. These controls reduce the expensive purge air that must flow through the dryer to regenerate the desiccant beds. But, unexpected problems with these controls can cause hidden problems that can reduce or eliminate the savings."

Keep Hydraulic Fluids Contaminant Free

Maintenance Technology, Aug. 2015, by Ken Bannister.

"Despite their complexity, hydraulic systems are very forgiving beasts—almost too forgiving for their own good. They’ll tend to perform inefficiently for a long time before catastrophic failure occurs. Unfortunately, this forgiving nature can foster a widespread, apathetic approach toward failure prevention, efficiency optimization, and service life-cycle management. Fluid is the most important part of any hydraulic system and when systems fail, the cause is most often related to fluid/fluid contamination. Those failures usually take other critical equipment and processes with them."

Review of the DOE Final Rule for Integral Horsepower Motors

Pumps & Systems, Sep. 2015, by John Malinowski.

"At the end of May 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the Final Rule that amends the regulation for integral horsepower motors. Until the rule takes effect June 1, 2016, motor manufacturers will continue to operate under rules from the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), which took effect in December 2010. This means that almost all low-voltage, three-phase motors sold for use in the U.S. will need to be premium efficiency per National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) MG 1-2014, tables 12-12 and 20B."
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