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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 Newsbriefs


New NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center Led by WPI Aims to Dramatically Reduce Energy and Water Use by Improving Industrial Drying

Worcester Polytechnic Institute News, Oct. 4, 2016.

"Funded by the National Science Foundation, the new center will attack one of the most energy-intensive processes [industrial drying] in manufacturing; its research could help save 200 trillion BTUs of energy in United States each year."

The Advantages of Onsite Nitrogen Generation for Brewers

Compressed Air Best Practices, Oct. 2016, by Mike Robinson.

"Although the basic principles behind brewing are little changed since their advent, the technological aspects are much improved. Today, large stainless steel tanks are used for fermentation and wort aeration, and complex, automated systems help with everything from temperature regulation to bottling. A price tag comes with these high-tech systems, and it’s not insignificant. By using onsite nitrogen generation, brewers can save significant amounts of money throughout the life of their operation."

New CSA C837-16 [Canadian] Compressed Air Efficiency Standard

Compressed Air Best Practices, Oct. 2016.

"After almost three and a half years of development work the Canadian Standards Association C837-16 document “Monitoring and Energy Performance of Compressed Air Systems” has finally been published and is available for download."

Energy Management Considerations With Today’s Drive Systems

Compressed Air Best Practices, Oct. 2016, by Michael Perlman.’s-drive-syst

"It is a fact that most of the energy loss in a system occurs in three areas, namely, the generation, distribution and conversion of energy into useful work, the last being accomplished through heat exchangers, pumps, motors and drives.  This paper will concentrate on the last product group."

This is One of the Most Efficient Energy Sources Out There. So What’s Holding it Back? [Cogeneration]

Alberta Oil, Sept. 9, 2016, by Nick Wilson.

"Combined heat and power generation, or “cogeneration,” is clean power’s unsung hero. And the oil sands are its ground zero, supplying about 50 percent of Alberta’s 4,821 megawatts of electrical capacity, and pushing the province to the top of Canada’s “cogen” table. It’s not just ultra-efficient; it can be lucrative too. Oil sands operators have earned as much as $2.43 per barrel from power sales to the electricity grid."

How Do You Size a VFD?

Flow Control, Sept. 2016, by Jeff Bergman and Sean Fitzpatrick.

"Confusion often surrounds the proper sizing of variable frequency drives (VFDs), and sometimes, knowing when and how to choose one may be difficult. Actually understanding what a VFD does might make this decision easier and the requirements less difficult to understand."

Processing and Packaging: Thermal Processing Equipment Is Saving Energy, Product and Money

Food Engineering, Sept. 2016, by Wayne Labs.

"The commercially canned products available in the past largely contained overcooked food that was mushy, too salty and tasted anything but fresh—if it had any flavor at all. The only positive characteristic was the safety, with the impossibility of any bacteria surviving the process unless the can was faulty. Thankfully, though the basic procedures are much the same, since then a lot has been discovered about thermal processing—we’ve turned down the heat and maybe even saved a little energy in the process."

German [Wastewater] Plant Upgrades Drop Specific Energy Use by More Than 50 Percent

Pumps & Systems, Sept. 2016, by Erkki Lantto & Stefan Wilken.

"In the city of Sögel, Germany, one municipal wastewater plant employs turbocompressors to reduce its operating costs and cope with load fluctuations. The setup’s success comes from an advanced design with proven magnetic bearing technology and a high-speed motor. The plant treats domestic wastewater and industrial wastewater from nearby food industry factories."

Pumping Prescriptions: What Happens to Power & Efficiency When a Pump Wears Out?

Pumps & Systems, Sept. 2016, by Lev Nelik.

"When a pump experiences internal wear, its performance drops. Flow is reduced and efficiency plummets. But what happens to power? Does it drop, stay the same or increase? The answer to this question depends on how a pump wears internally. In extreme cases, when the impeller is completely worn, there will be no flow and hardly any power. But in many cases, tight clearance parts, such as wear rings and bushings, are the first to wear."

Community-Scale Solar Can Power Corporations, Too

Rocky Mountain Institute, Aug. 31, 2016, by Thomas Koch Blank and Titiaan Palazzi.

"A new option for corporations interested in fueling their operations with clean energy is arising: community-scale solar. An insight brief from RMI’s Shine initiative, which aspires to aggressively accelerate the deployment of community-scale solar systems in the U.S., details the opportunities that community-scale solar offers. Corporations are entering the renewables market in force, and they will find much to like in the community-scale solar market segment."
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