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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.


Barriers to Industrial Energy Efficiency: Report to Congress

U.S. Department of Energy, June 2015.

"The industrial sector has shown steady progress in improving energy efficiency over the past few decades, and energy efficiency improvements are expected to continue..... There are barriers, however, that impede the adoption of energy efficient technologies and practices in the industrial sector. This report examines these barriers and identifies successful examples and opportunities to overcome these barriers."

Is VRF Right for Your Next Project?

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, June 2015, by Amara Rozgus.

"Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems can be specified into a variety of buildings, especially those that require flexibility. An overview of these systems and some best practices have been provided by Julianne Laue, PE, LLED AP BD+C, BEMP, senior energy engineer at the Center for Energy Performance, Mortenson, Minneapolis."

A Healthy Dose of Efficiency [Hospitals]

Business Energy, June 2015, by David C. Richardson.{}

"Hospitals may prioritize medical equipment, but can't ignore their unique HVAC needs."

Perspectives on Lighting Retrofits

Business Energy, June 2015, by Carol Brzozowski.{}

"Improved efficiency and safety, lowered costs and maintenance."

Case Study: Working Example: Zero Net Energy Center

High Performing Buildings, Summer 2015, by Michael Hummel and others.

"To prepare electrical apprentices for working in the sustainable building industry in Northern California, the Zero Net Energy Center is a working example of an emerging phenomenon. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 595 (IBEW) and the Northern California Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) created a world-class learning environment for apprentices to gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge technology and electrical systems. The ZNEC also addresses the need to repurpose the existing building stock in the U.S. by transforming a typical 1980s suburban office building into a modern net zero energy showcase. "

Case Study: From Darkness to Light: Engaging Employees to Save

High Performing Buildings, Summer 2015, by Scott Bowman and Carey Nagle.

"Moving from a cave-like warehouse to an environment filled with daylight represented a dramatic shift for employees of the Iowa Utilities Board and Office of Consumer Advocate (IUB/OCA). Employees jumped on board with the energy-efficiency efforts, giving up comforts such as individual coffee makers, and opening and closing windows as needed to operate the natural ventilation system. An integrated design that maximizes passive strategies provides significant energy savings, but employee cooperation, especially involving plug load reduction, has proven key to reaching and maintaining performance goals. "

The Ins and Outs of Revolving Doors: Factors to Consider When Specifying the Right Door

Construction Specifier, July 2015, by Glen Tracy.

"The built environment is an energy-guzzler. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) states in this country alone, buildings account for 41 percent of energy use, 73 percent of electricity consumption and 38 percent of all CO2 emissions, and 13.6 percent potable water consumption. Globally, buildings use 40 percent of raw materials, or about 3 billion tons annually. Fortunately, the type of doors we select can have a big impact on a building’s energy profile."

The Business of Lighting [LED Decision Making]

Architectural SSL, June 2015, by Vilma Barr. -- scroll to page 23 of the digital article.

"What drives the decision to adopt LED? Is it pure energy savings? Is it cost? Is it novelty? We asked a number of people what their or their client's thinking was in context of places where LED has been embraced. The answers are quite surprising."

Predicting the Future of RTUs [Rooftop Units]

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, June 15, 2015, by Jen Anesi.

"With the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and industry stakeholders currently working together on a negotiated rulemaking setting new energy conservation standards for commercial package equipment, and with codes and standards mandating increased ventilation and higher efficiencies for this equipment, manufacturers are finding innovative ways to meet and exceed expectations while creating comfortable, healthy indoor environments for building occupants."

Plant Engineering: Lubrication Guides

Plant Engineering, June 2015.

"Friction is the enemy of efficiency. A sound lubrication strategy is essential to keep all the gears in your operation running at their best. The emergence of synthetic lubricants has helped improve the performance of machinery and has become an important part of any maintenance manager’s arsenal in the fight against friction.

The Guide will provide you with a comprehensive look at the available lubricants. This year's guide also considers the important issues of environmental impact of oils, greases and fluids, the need for a strong culture of lubrication excellence, and an in-depth look at some of the new standards in bearings and seals." 


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