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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.

 


Looking for a Breakthrough in Cement and Concrete

Rocky Mountain Institute, July 12, 2016, by Robert Hutchinson.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_07_12_looking_for_breakthrough_in_cement_concrete

"The toughest climate challenges involve large global industries, with no good substitutes. One of these literally produces the material under our feet—concrete. Every year, each of us in the U.S. uses about one-third of a ton. Fast-growing developing countries use far more. Globally we produce over 4 billion metric tons of Portland cement per year—the key ingredient in concrete and responsible for the majority of its CO2 footprint—driving over 5 percent of total anthropomorphic CO2. RMI’s research on the topic reveals that, to have a chance of significantly shrinking the industry footprint and meeting our Paris goals, revolutionary thinking and significant disruption is needed—a Tesla for cement, as it were."

Google Cuts Its Giant Electricity Bill With DeepMind-Powered AI

Bloomberg, Jul 19, 2016, by Jack Clark.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-19/google-cuts-its-giant-electricity-bill-with-deepmind-powered-ai

"The internet giant is using technology from the DeepMind artificial intelligence subsidiary for big savings on the power consumed by its data centers, according to DeepMind Co-Founder Demis Hassabis."

Lunching and Learning: Food for Thought on a Geothermal-Heat-Pump-System Design

Heating, Piping, Air Conditioning, Jun 2016, by Jeffrey Newcomb.
http://hpac.com/heating/lunching-and-learning-food-thought-geothermal-heat-pump-system-design

"In the article, Fred, a mechanical engineer, explains his unusual design for a campus chilled-water system to William, a civil engineer. William asks questions and makes observations, system diagrams scribbled on napkins are exchanged, and Fred is left with a new way of thinking about his design. Sound familiar?"

How to Maximize Burner Efficiency

Industrial Heating, Jul 2016, by Mark Lampe. [Free registration required]
http://www.industrialheating.com/articles/92914-how-to-maximize-burner-efficiency?

"Because energy costs are a major factor for many industrial processes, it makes sense to carefully analyze how the natural gas is being used and whether the system is running at peak efficiency."

Is PACE Moving to Prime Time?

ACEEE, Jul 18, 2016, by Jim Barrett.
http://aceee.org/blog/2016/07/pace-moving-prime-time

"One of the distinctions we often make between energy and energy efficiency is that energy acts more like a cost, and energy efficiency acts more like an investment. Like most investments, energy efficiency works by using an up front expense to generate a stream of economic benefits.... Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is a relatively new strategy for funding efficiency and renewable investments that is really starting to take off."

Puget Sound Energy Launches 'Urban Smart Bellevue' Energy Efficiency Program

KPLU.org, Jun 22, 2016, by Bellamy Pailthorp.
http://www.kplu.org/post/puget-sound-energy-launches-urban-smart-bellevue-energy-efficiency-program

"The city [Bellevue] has launched a new energy efficiency program called Urban Smart Bellevue that aims to make it a leader in energy efficiency – largely through simple changes in workplace behavior."

Smart Buildings Center Tool Lending Library

Smart Buildings Center, Jul 2016.
http://www.smartbuildingscenter.org/tool-library/

A project of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council, the Smart Building Center (SBC) is hosting a "Tool Lending Library". The diagnostic tools are available to building owners and managers, as well as energy service professionals, for short term data collection on energy using equipment and systems in commercial and institutional buildings in Washington.

Merkley [OR] Announces $52 Million in Energy Loans for Rural Communities

The Gorge Business News, July 7, 2016.
http://thegorgebusinessnews.com/2016/07/merkley-announces-52-million-in-energy-loans-for-rural-communities/

"Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make $52 million in loans available to rural electric co-ops through the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP). RESP is a program designed by Senator Merkley to allow rural electric co-ops to offer their customers low-interest loans from USDA to provide affordable financing for energy efficiency improvements. The customers then pay back the loans through the savings on their electric bills."

Facilitating Fermentation [Pumping Systems]

Pumps & Systems, July 2016, by John Wallace.
http://www.pumpsandsystems.com/pumps/july-2016-facilitating-fermentation

"California vineyard uses AODD [air-operated double-diaphragm]pumps for 6,000-gallon tanks to achieve up to 60 percent savings in energy and operating costs."

Pump System Optimization in Pulp & Paper: High-Value Target Applications

Pumps & Systems, July 2016, by Mike Pemberton.
http://www.pumpsandsystems.com/print/pumps/july-2016-pump-system-optimization-pulp-paper-high-value-target-applications

"In most pulp and paper applications, energy and unscheduled maintenance are two of the largest components of ownership cost. For this reason, improving pump efficiency is key to pump system optimization. Although certain mechanical and control modifications can improve reliability, selecting the best hydraulic fit is an often overlooked approach to system optimization. Energy and reliability are two sides of the same coin: A good rule of thumb is that where there is excess energy beyond what is required to move fluid through the pipes, there will also be unreliability."

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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