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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.


New Program Preps Northwest College Students for Careers in Energy

Northwest Public Power Association Bulleting, June 2015, by Joel Scruggs. [Scroll to page 12.]

"Attracting new talent is a key challenge facing the utility industry.... So the Bonneville Power Administration [BPA] has rolled out a new program designed to get more young people engaged. 'We’re giving students an opportunity to explore solutions to real-world technical challenges in the electric utility industry,' said BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer. The program, known as the Northwest Energy Experience (NW Energy XP), pairs teams of university students and faculty across various disciplines with BPA subject matter experts in special study projects."

Evolution Of Internet Of Things Lays Foundation For Next-Generation Smart Buildings

Facility Executive, June 10, 2015, by Heidi Schwartz.

"The Internet of Things (IoT) offers smart building participants a game-changing opportunity to provide integrated solutions that maximize operational and energy efficiency, enhance innovation, develop remote services, and create valuable insights for end users. IoT is on the verge of breaking new ground as market participants turn the spotlight on flexible, secured, and cost-effective cloud-based applications that will convert building data into a decision-making platform."

The Next Generation of Wind Energy

Buildings, June 2015, by Jenny Morton.

"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."

Blue Devils Go Green: Duke Converts Steam Plant From Coal to Gas

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, June 2015, by Greg Carnathan and Cheryl Piner.

"University ends 80-year dependence on coal."

Utilities and Customers are Embracing Community Solar -- Is Your Utility Next?

Northwest Public Power Association Bulletin, June 2015, by Joel Scruggs. [Scroll to page 26.]

"A quick survey of our utility members showed that while NWPPA utilities in every state they represent have customers and members with solar projects/net-metering projects on their own property, not many have community solar projects. However,  ...the word is out about them and many utilities are weighing the pros and cons of community solar — several members have even built one or are starting the process."

Maximizing Dust Collection System Efficiency

Compressed Air Best Practices, June 2015, by Hank van Ormer.

"A commonly overlooked area of inefficient compressed air use is dust collector pulse-jet cleaning — either bag (sock) type, or reverse flow filter type. Dust collector systems are vital to many plant operations, particularly with respect to meeting both indoor and outdoor air quality standards. They are also often used to collect income-producing product. At the heart of a pulse-jet type dust collector is the proper installation and availability of compressed air."

Determining the Economic Value of Compressed Air Measurement Systems

Compressed Air Best Practices, June 2015, by Tim Dugan.

"A common adage that has been quoted many times in this journal is: “If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This is partly true. It assumes that managers are willing and able to manage the costs and reliability of their compressed air system. Without data, however, they can’t do an effective job. But because managers are at times already overwhelmed with data, more data doesn’t automatically make them a better manager. A better way of saying it is: 'Appropriate measurement can make you a better manager.'"

Biomass District Energy Provides Economic, Environmental Benefits

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, June 2015.

"When John Cressy became facilities director for Sullivan County, N.H., six years ago, a study of the feasibility of utilizing biomass to reduce reliance on foreign fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions was under way. The study did not meet the county’s expectations, and the entire project was shelved. Then, the Wood Education and Resource Center stepped in and offered to do a new feasibility study. 'The study blew our minds,' Cressy said. 'The numbers looked almost too good to be true.'"

Reusing Existing HVAC Systems and Components

ASHRAE Journal, June 2015, by Ramez Afify.

"During renovations, clients often ask if an existing oversized HVAC system or component can be reused. Budget constraints and timing are often cited.... This article reviews the impact of oversizing the most commonly used HVAC components. It also explores how new designs can be great designs if the engineered system has built-in flexibility, allowing a system to operate satisfactory under different loads and operating scenarios."

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.

"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."


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