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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.

 


Storage Steps Up: Could Grid-integrated Batteries Change the Way Power Producers Operate Fossil Power Plants?

Fortnightly's Power Profit, Feb. 26, 2014, by Scott M. Gawlicki, Public Utilities Fortnightly.
 http://powerprofit.fortnightly.com/fortnightly/storage-steps

"Duke Energy Renewables’ 153-MW Notrees (Texas) Wind Power Project includes a 36-MW advanced lead acid battery – the largest capacity battery facility in North America. Duke says developing expertise in this advanced technology will help expand the use of renewable energy, better integrate it into the power grid, and make the company more efficient at serving customers. Could batteries and other storage technologies affect the way power producers evaluate and operate their generating assets – in particular fossil fired generating assets they currently rely on to supply ancillary services?"

Seawater Warms Up Marine College Building

Engineered Systems, Feb. 2014, by Rob Klinedinst and David Reinheimer.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96378-seawater-warms-up-marine-college-building

"In its latest effort in an ongoing program to green its campus in South Portland, Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) turned to an innovative way to heat and cool one campus building: seawater.

Tapping into nearby Casco Bay, the seawater-based system uses a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) configuration with geothermal heat pumps to heat and cool the 3,250-sq-ft Lighthouse Building, which houses the school’s arts program and offices for The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges."

Trends in Industrial Motors and Drives

Design News, Feb. 2014, by Al Presher.
http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=271193&itc=dn_features_element&

"New motor and drive systems are continuing to focus on several main design goals: more intelligent performance, higher energy efficiency, and flexible integration options. The result is macro trends that are putting increased focus on support for a broader set of motor types, advanced cooling options, and built-in safety features, along with tighter integration of motor-drive solutions and decentralized control."

Wind Proves it Can Hold Its Own in Tough Times

Wind Power Monthly, Feb. 2014, by David Milborrow.
http://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1228422/wind-proves-hold-its-own-tough-times

"The increasingly competitive position of wind as an electricity-generating source has been highlighted in Windpower Monthly for some time, but in 2013 a number of influential international organisations, such as the International Energy Agency and the World Energy Council, also reflected this view. The exact position of wind vis a vis cost comparison varies, depending on the price of competing fuels, but the debate over the relative economics of wind and nuclear power has acquired clear evidence over the past 12 months that wind is cheaper than nuclear."

New Refrigeration Efficiency Standards To Take a Bite out of Supermarket and Restaurant Energy Costs

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Feb. 28, 2014, by Joanna Mauer.
http://aceee.org/blog/2014/02/new-refrigeration-efficiency-standard

"The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a final rule for strong new efficiency standards today that will take a big bite out of the energy consumption of the refrigerators and freezers used in supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, and commercial kitchens. The significant reductions in energy use that we’ll see with the new standards are made possible by the availability of technologies including LED lighting and occupancy sensors, high-performance glass doors, and high-efficiency motors, which all provide big efficiency gains." Includes a link to the final rule.

Is Your Building Conducive to the Installation of a Green Roof?

EDC: Environmental Design + Construction, Feb. 2014, by Richard Heller and Chris Psencik.
http://www.edcmag.com/articles/95450-is-your-building-conducive-to-the-installation-of-a-green-roof

"Despite the potential, installing a green roof is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are several structural and site/location considerations to take into account. The most recent news of a probable green roof collapse at a Latvian supermarket should give one pause. Before allocating the time and resources, facility owners and managers should weigh the pros and cons of a green roof and what to keep in mind during the planning stages."

Micro-Inverters are Moving Up to the Big Leagues: Opinions Differ on the Future of AC modules in Large PV Installations

Solar Industry, Feb. 2104, by Michael Puttre.
http://www.solarindustrymag.com/issues/SI1402/FEAT_03_Micro-Inverters-Are-Moving-Up-To-The-Big-Leagues.html

"The potential of the micro-inverter segment is drawing interest from established powers in the string and central inverter markets."

2013 Peer Review Report [DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office]

U.S. Department of Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office, Feb. 2014.
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/bioenergy/pdfs/2013_peer_review.pdf


Reports on the results of a comprehensive external review of the DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office's research, development, demonstration, and deployment portfolio. The review was "designed to provide an external assessment of the projects in BETO's portfolio and collect external stakeholder recommendations on the overall scope, focus, and strategic direction of the Office. Results from the peer review process are used to inform programmatic decision making; to enhance active project management; and to modify, expand, or discontinue existing projects."

The key technology areas reviewed were: 1) Algae; 2) Analysis and Sustainability; 3) Biochemical Conversion; 4) Biodiesel; 5) Bio-Oil; 6) Feedstock Production and Logistics; 7) Gasification; 8) Heat and Power; and 9) Integrated Biorefineries.

The Effectiveness of State-Level Policies on Solar Market Development in Different State Contexts

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Technical Report, NREL/TP-7A40-61029, Feb. 2014.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy14osti/61029.pdf

"In response to public interest in customer-sited distributed solar photovoltaics (PV), state and local policymakers have implemented policy initiatives with the goal of encouraging private investment and building a robust PV market. Policymakers face challenges, including limited budgets and incomplete information about the effectiveness of the various policy options in their specific situation and in crafting and executing policy that supports market development goals.

This paper builds on [earlier] research to determine the most effective policy strategies for different types of states, as determined by their physical, demographic and macroeconomic context." 


Lighting Controls: Not Your Father's Lighting Controls

Building Operating Management, Feb. 2014, by Steven Mesh.
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/lighting/article/Advanced-Lighting-Controls-Offer-Better-Control-More-Energy-Savings--14717

A 5-part article:
Pt. 1 - Advanced Lighting Controls Offer Better Control, More Energy Savings
Pt. 2 - Commissioning Advanced Lighting Controls Is Critical To Maximizing Their Benefits
Pt. 3 - Advanced Lighting Controls Offer Greater Automated Load Shedding Capability
Pt. 4 - What To Keep In Mind When Considering Advanced Lighting Controls
Pt. 5 - How Facility Managers Can Implement Advanced Lighting Control Systems

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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.

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