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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.

 


Engine Block Heaters: Quick Starts for Standby Power

Forester Daily News, Mar. 14, 2016, by Penelope B. Grenoble.
http://foresternetwork.com/daily/energy/energy-conservation/engine-block-heaters-quick-starts-for-standby-power/

"...whether you call them block heaters, water jacket heaters, or engine preheaters, they’re essential to getting diesel-fueled gen sets up and running at full power in the 10 seconds that are standard for emergency power applications."

Learning from Islands: Renewable Transitions for Mines, Industrial Facilities, and the Military

Rocky Mountain Institute Outlet, Mar. 11, 2016, by Kaitlyn Butler and Kate Hawley.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_03_11_learning_from_islands_renewable_transitions

"What do mines, industrial facilities, and the military all have in common? They all have a need for reliable electricity in remote locations. It turns out these places and others can learn a lot from islands. Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room’s recent microgrid casebook, Renewable Microgrids: Profiles from Islands and Remote Communities Across the Globe, explores 10 examples of islands and remote communities from around the world that have transitioned from 100 percent oil-based electricity systems to high-penetration renewable microgrids."

VRF: Now More Than Ever

Engineered Systems, Feb. 2016, by James J. Siegel.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/97577-vrf-now-more-than-ever

"It’s not a new technology, but it’s more popular than ever. While VRF is providing engineers and building owners with a financial payback, the benefits go beyond energy efficiency. Take the tour from California offices to Manhattan apartment buildings to schools retrofits in the Midwest, and find out what improvements users might see in the years to come."

5 Reasons Community-Scale Solar is a Multi-GW Market Opportunity

Rocky Mountain Institute Outlet, Mar. 17, 2016, by Kevin Brehm and Joseph Goodman.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_03_17_5_reasons_community_scale_solar_is_a_multi_gw_market_opportunity

"The U.S. solar industry has enjoyed impressive growth of late, with strong forecasts for 2016, but it’s been an at-times bumpy ride as the industry has faced unfavorable rulings and stock-market troubles. Besides buckling their seatbelts, what can industry stakeholders do in this still-volatile market?.... Community-scale solar is that opportunity, and RMI shows how and why community-scale is a large and emerging opportunity in its insight brief Community-Scale Solar: Why Developers and Buyers Should Focus on This High-Potential Market Segment."

Q&A: What to Know About the New DOE Pump Energy Efficiency Rule

Flow Control, Mar. 3, 2016, by Michael Michaud and Peter Gaydon.
http://www.flowcontrolnetwork.com/qa-what-to-know-about-the-new-doe-pump-energy-efficiency-rule

"To get an overview of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Pump Energy Efficiency Rule, Flow Control talked with Michael Michaud, executive director of the Hydraulic Institute (HI), and Peter Gaydon, its director of technical affairs. HI uses a pump systems approach to developing industry standards, providing knowledge and resources, educating the marketplace, and advocating for the industry."

Using Insulating Firebricks to Maximize Energy Savings in Iron and Steel Applications

Insulation Outlook, Jan. 2016, by Steve Chernack and Chris Johnson.
http://www.insulationoutlook.com/io/article.cfm?id=IO160101

"Engineering design and the lining materials chosen are key factors in controlling the efficiency and energy usage of equipment used in iron and steel applications. Thus, it is critical that industrial designers understand the advantages and disadvantages of the materials they choose. One option for lining material is insulating firebricks (IFBs), which can minimize energy losses. Recent studies conducted on IFBs using the 3 most common manufacturing methods—cast, slinger, and extrusion—show that the cast process offers the lowest thermal conductivity and provides the greatest energy savings."

Deep Energy Retrofits

Building Operating Management, Mar. 2016, by Ronald Kovach.
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/energyefficiency/article/Innovative-FMs-Look-To-Save-40-50-Percent-on-Energy-With-Deep-Energy-Retrofits--16492

3-part article exploring how deep energy retrofits can dramatically cut energy use:
Part 1: Innovative FMs Look To Save 40-50 Percent on Energy With Deep Energy Retrofits
Part 2: Real–World Examples Show Value of Deep Energy Retrofits
Part 3: SIDEBAR: Two Financing Options for Deep Energy Retrofits

Frequently Overlooked Requirements of 90.1-2013

ASHRAE Journal, Jan. 2016, by Daniel H. Nall.
http://tinyurl.com/hf6sxml

"ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, has evolved rapidly over the years. As it has evolved, the requirements have changed, and some of these requirements have been overlooked by the engineering community. Some of these requirements are mandatory, meaning they must be incorporated on all projects for which they are applicable, and others are prescriptive."


Applying Demand-Controlled Ventilation

ASHRAE Journal, Jan. 2016, by Xingbin Lin and Josephine Lau.
http://tinyurl.com/hhw2kab

"Demand-control ventilation (DCV) provides "automatic reduction of OA intake below design rates when the actual occupancy of spaces served by the system is less than design occupancy."1 CO2 sensing can be used to estimate the strength of occupant-related contaminant sources.2 This type of control approach is called CO2-based DCV. With a single-zone system, the breathing zone CO2 concentration can be used to directly control the outdoor air (OA) damper."

Zero Net Energy Buildings and the Grid

New Buildings Institute, Feb. 22, 2016, by Alexi Miller.
http://newbuildings.org/zero-net-energy-buildings-and-the-grid/

"As zero net energy (ZNE) and other low-energy buildings become increasingly common, we have to think about how different ZNE strategies can interact with their local electricity grids. The electricity grid was built as a one-way street, with energy flowing from the power plant to the consumer. Widely distributed renewable energy systems and other cutting-edge building technologies will change that equation."

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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