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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: Residential

Residential


Thermostatic Radiator Valves for Multiunit Residential Buildings

HPAC Engineering, July 2015, by Bill Boss.
http://hpac.com/heating/thermostatic-radiator-valves-multiunit-residential-buildings

"A simple, cost-effective way to combat overheating in older apartment buildings."

Study Suggests Residential Pellet Offgassing a Nonissue

Biomass Magazine, Aug. 12, 2015, by Anna Simet.
http://www.biomassmagazine.com/articles/12297/study-suggets-residential-pellet-offgassing-a-nonissue

"According to results from a new study released by the University of New Hampshire, indoor storage of pellets in homes using the fuel for heat does not pose a risk of generating carbon monoxide (CO) levels above recommended thresholds. The issue has been contentious in the Northeast, said Adam Sherman, executive director of Vermont-based Biomass Energy Resource Center."

Venting Vapor

Building Science Corporation, July 15, 2015, by Joe Lstiburek.
http://buildingscience.com/documents/insights/bsi-088-venting-vapor

"Sometimes the obvious is not so obvious. And sometimes the not so obvious becomes obvious. For example installing leaky ductwork in a vented attic is a pretty dumb idea. It leads to negative pressures and high air change that depending on the time of year and climate zone results in part load humidity problems, ice damming, excessive energy use, loss of comfort, whatever. If radon were valuable we would mine it this way. Where there is an attached garage we call it the Kevorkian option. Everyone pretty much gets it."

Expensive Doesn’t Always Mean Efficient: Correctly Sizing, Selecting, and Installing Equipment...

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, June 22, 2015, by Joanna R. Turpin.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/129879-expensive-doesnt-always-mean-efficient

"HVAC systems now come with higher efficiencies than ever, with air-source cooling equipment surpassing the 25-SEER mark and gas furnaces achieving more than 98 percent AFUE. Customers who pay for these highly efficient (and expensive) systems expect them to achieve those ratings and provide superior comfort, and, if they don’t, they are often disappointed and even angry. When high-end equipment does not live up to consumer expectations, the culprit is almost always improper installation.

The bottom line: Properly sizing, selecting, and installing HVAC equipment is critical to ensuring energy efficiency and comfort
."

Technology Solutions Case Study: Overcoming Comfort Issues Due to Reduced Flow Room Air Mixing

U.S. Department of Energy, Building America, March 2015.
http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/03/f20/ba_case_study_reduced
_flow_room_airmixing.pdf


"The U.S. Department of Energy Building America team IBACOS studied when HVAC equipment is downsized and ducts are unaltered to determine conditions that could cause a supply air delivery problem and to evaluate the feasibility of modifying the duct systems using minimally invasive strategies to improve air distribution."

The Next Generation of Wind Energy

Buildings, June 2015, by Jenny Morton.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/18947/title/the%20next%20generation%20of%20wind/viewall/true.aspx

"Considering wind energy but don’t have the space for a large turbine? Utility-scale models aren’t the only option that can turn gusts and breezes into renewable power. Unlike its taller cousins, a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) has a compact footprint and can be installed on rooftops or a corner of your property. This design flexibility makes it a suitable alternative for urban locations where a traditional turbine is out of the question. Learn how a VAWT can help your facility generate clean power when space is limited."

Residential Energy Efficiency Works. Don’t Make a Mountain Out of the E2e Molehill

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), June 26, 2015, by Martin Kushler.
http://aceee.org/blog/2015/06/residential-energy-efficiency-works

"The Internet has been burning up these last two days with reactions to a new academic working paper (Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver? Evidence from the Weatherization Assistance Program) by researchers at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and the University of California, Berkeley, associated with the E2e Project."

Duct Dynasty: Are Smart Vents Really That Smart?

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, May 25, 2015, by David Richardson.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/129702-are-smart-vents-really-that-smart

"The concept behind the smart vent goes back to a myth that is decades old. The myth is that if you close the supply registers to rooms you don’t use, you’ll save energy by not heating or cooling those rooms. Sounds logical, right?  To understand some of the interactions these devices can cause with an HVAC system, you have to understand how dampering supply registers affects static pressure and system airflow. It’s also important to know how fans in HVAC equipment respond to these changes in static pressure."

Inverters: Efficient, Comfortable, Quiet: Ductless Technology Moves into Ducted ASHPs

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, May 25, 2015, by Joanna R. Turpin.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/129701-inverters-efficient-comfortable-quiet

"Once the hallmark of high-efficiency ductless equipment, more manufacturers are incorporating inverter-driven compressors into their ducted air-source heat pump (ASHP) offerings. The reasons for this are simple: Inverter technology improves energy efficiency, provides better comfort, and offers quieter operation."

Multiple Benefits of Multifamily Energy Efficiency for Cost-Effectiveness Screening

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), June 16, 2015, by Rachel Cluett and Jennifer Amann. [Free registration required to view full-report.]
http://aceee.org/research-report/a1502

"This report describes the multiple benefits of energy efficiency in multifamily retrofit programs and discusses particular ways of establishing their value so administrators can include them in cost-effectiveness testing."
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The Energy Newsbriefs Blog is a continuation of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs. Please bookmark this site and return frequently. Although we will not be accepting comments from within the Blog, we would be happy to hear from you by email at library@energy.wsu.edu