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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.

 


SnoPUD Takes a Fresh Approach to Energy Storage

Northwest Public Power Association Bulletin, Aug. 2014, by Neil Neroutsos. [Open and Scroll/Jump to page 14 of the PDF.]
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=1859

"Later this year, Snohomish County Public Utility District plans to deploy an innovative energy storage system that aims to transform the marketplace and how utilities manage electric grid operations. The PUD, and its principal partner 1Energy Systems, will install the Modular Energy Storage architecture (MESA) at multiple utility substations. The system will provide a standard, non-proprietary, and scalable approach to energy storage."

Dealing With Motor Failures: Common Causes and Solutions

Maintenance Technology, Aug. 2014, by Thomas H. Bishop.
http://www.maintenancetechnology.com/2014/08/dealing-motor-failures-common-causes-solutions/

"If you want to make a plant manager’s day, just say: “Production’s down because a motor failed.” Fortunately, such situations can usually be overcome with some relatively simple techniques and straightforward solutions to protect the bearings and stator windings. These two vulnerable components are root causes of the vast majority of motor failures."

Hawaii Energy Offers State’s First Energy Efficiency Auction

Air Conditioning/Heating/Refrigeration News, Sept. 11, 2014.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/127594-sept-11-2014-hawaii-energy-offers-states-first-energy-efficiency-auction

"Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program for Hawaii, Honolulu, and Maui counties, is launching the Hawaii Energy Efficiency Auction. The auction is an open call for contractors, developers, energy efficiency solution providers, energy service companies (ESCOs), energy vendors, and property managers to submit qualified energy efficiency projects to compete for up to $2.1 million in incentive funds to offset project costs."

Australian 3D Printed Solar Cells Getting Closer to Commercial Reality

Manufacturer's Monthly, Sep. 2014, by Brent Balinski.
http://www.manmonthly.com.au/news/australian-3d-printed-solar-cells-getting-closer-t

"The CSIRO [Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation] has said that printable solar cells are near to being commercialised, with several firms interested in bringing the technology to market."

Integrated Thinking at the Hilton Foundation: Combining Architecture with Operations

Business Energy, Jul/Aug.\ 2014, by Carol Brzozowski.
http://www.distributedenergy.com/DE/Articles/26496.aspx

"The Hilton Foundation building [Agoura Hills, CA], designed to exceed the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, is significantly more efficient in its use of energy and water than most LEED Platinum office buildings. A large contributor toward achieving net-zero energy is the design of the building’s integrated envelope and building cooling and heating systems."

Ramping Up System Performance [Hydronics]

Heating, Plumbing, Air Conditioning, Aug. 2014, by Mark Norris.
http://www.hpacmag.com/news/hydronics-factors-affecting-system-efficiency/1003216585/

"How do you determine the efficiency of the heating system that you are recommending to a customer? It is an important question that comes up regularly, but there is no simple answer. The simple answer would be the published boiler efficiency, right? Simple, maybe, but probably not correct because the published efficiencies will rarely be an accurate representation of real system efficiency."

Enhancing Energy Performance with Balcony Thermal Breaks

The Construction Specifier, Aug. 2014, by Paul Nutcher.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/enhancing-energy-performance-with-balcony-thermal-breaks/

"Engineered structural thermal breaks at balcony connections can assist mid-rise and high-rise building project teams in complying with the new continuous insulation (ci) code requirements. These structural components are especially important to address in multi-family specifications because thermal bridging for every residential unit can contribute significant heating and cooling loads."

Terminology: Energy & Power

Heating, Plumbing, Air Conditioning (HPAC), Aug. 2014, by John Siegenthaler.
http://www.hpacmag.com/news/energy-power/1003216678/?&er=NA

"Most HPAC readers deal with units such as Btu/hr, kilowatts, °C and many others on a daily basis. For the most part, you use valid units to describe physical quantities. For example, you know that flow rate is measured in gallon per minute (gpm), and not gallons. You also know that temperature is expressed in °C or °F, and not in therms. However, when it comes to the difference between energy and power, our industry tends to get sloppy with its terminology."

Role of Codigestion: Power Positive Resource Recovery

BioCycle, Aug. 2014, by David Parry.
http://www.biocycle.net/2014/08/14/power-positive-resource-recovery/

"Using laws of thermodynamic analysis to evaluate the energy and power characteristics of wastewater and beneficial uses of biogas offers greater insight into best business practices and what is achievable."

Case Study: Insulation Audit Leads to Big Savings [Chemical Plant]

Insulation Outlook, Aug. 2014, by Zach Tanghetti.
http://www.insulation.org/io/article.cfm?id=IO140801

"Honeywell's Geismar site was established in 1967 and is currently operated by roughly 275 employees and 130 contractors. The site is responsible for producing multiple refrigerants, hydrofluoric acid, and a resin that is used in medical packaging. The various reactors, heat exchangers, steam traps, and process piping that make our processes a reality all utilize insulation to maintain temperatures and moderate processes. All of our processes are susceptible to inefficiencies because systems that include insulation can degrade in a chemical plant environment. When insulation degrades, it loses its ability to retain heat within the system. Though the site is in Louisiana, winters can still be cold, and steam and other process lines have even been known to freeze in the past. Improved repair and maintenance of insulation systems could have helped prevent these process upsets."

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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

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.