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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.

 


Employing Best Practices for Increasing Data Center Efficiency

NEMA Electroindustry, Apr. 2014, by David Sonner.
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/NEMA/g40829_nema_ei_apr14/#/18

"The data center is one of the most dynamic and critical operations in any business. Complexity and criticality have only increased in recent years as data centers experienced steady growth in capacity and density, straining resources and increasing the consequences of poor performance." Article discusses six approaches to improve performance.

Alternative Energy Fires Up Plants

Design News, Mar. 2014, by Rob Spiegel.
http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=271886&dfpPParams=ind_182,aid_271886&dfpLayout=article

"For decades, renewable energy was the stepchild of the energy mix used to run [industrial] plants. Everyone thought clean energy was a good idea (how could you not?), but it was considered impractical, unreliable, and costly. Recent years have seen a sizable shift in that view. Between government subsidies, government mandates, and improved technology, alternative energies have elbowed their way to the big kids' table."

Boosting Solar Cell Efficiency

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Apr. 2014, by Mark Crawford.
https://www.asme.org/engineering-topics/articles/renewable-energy/boosting-solar-cell-efficiency

"University of Minnesota engineers have added an innovative feature to a standard solar-cell design that boosts its electricity-generating potential by up to 26%. This remarkable improvement may help researchers push the record power conversion efficiencies of dye-sensitized solar cells beyond 12%."

NREL Unlocking Secrets of New Solar Material

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Apr. 2014.
http://www.nrel.gov/news/features/feature_detail.cfm/feature_id=10333

"A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have seen before—and it is generating optimism that a less expensive way of using sunlight to generate electricity may be in our planet's future."

Geothermal Heat Pumps vs. Condensing Boilers [in Schools]

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning, Mar. 2014, by Ramez Naguib. (Free registration required to view full-text.)
http://hpac.com/heating/geothermal-heat-pumps-vs-condensing-boilers

"This article compares the energy performance of two air-conditioning systems common in schools across the United States: condensing-boiler heating systems and geothermal water-source-heat-pump systems. In the case of geothermal water-source-heat-pump systems, the article also compares the performance of new systems to that of systems older than 10 years."

What Owners Need to Know About...School Summer HVAC Maintenance

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, Mar. 2014, by Peter D'Antonio. (Free registration required to view full-text.)
http://hpac.com/air-conditioning/what-owners-need-know-about-school-summer-hvac-maintenance

"13 steps to sustained efficiency, reduced costs, and prolonged equipment life."

Northern Exposure: Canadian Hydro in the Spotlight

Hydro Review, Dec. 2013, by Michael Harris.
http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/hr/print/volume-32/issue-10/cover-story/northern-exposure-canadian-hydro-in-the-spotlight.html

"Hydroelectric power has been a staple in Canada's energy mix for more than a century, but its role is evolving. Find out how politics, social responsibility and foreign markets are shaping the industry's future."

Current Trends for Health-Care Ventilation

ASHRAE Journal, Apr. 2014.
http://tinyurl.com/p5b8gah

"Health-care design evolves constantly, reflecting improvements and advancements in surgical techniques, equipment (such as MRIs and robotic surgical equipment), clinical practices, hospital design trends, energy efficiency, sustainable design, and other factors. Ventilation for health-care facilities must change to be aligned with the changing needs of health-care facilities design, patients, surgeons, clinical staff, and visitors."

Growing Solar [Co-ops Offering Renewables]

Rural Electric Magazine, Apr. 2014.
http://www.nreca.coop/growing-solar/

"Co-ops big and small are sponsoring innovative community photovoltaic projects to meet member demand for renewables."

Rethinking Daylighting [in Schools]

High Performing Buildings, Spring 2014, by Robert Anthony Hans & Kenny Stanfield.
http://www.hpbmagazine.org/File%20Library/Case%20Studies/Spring%202014/030-037_LED.pdf

"When designers of the first net zero energy school in the U.S. considered how they would approach the lighting design differently using today’s LED technology, the results extended far beyond just switching out the lightbulbs. The hypothetical redesign of Richardsville (Ky.) Elementary classrooms involves rethinking the daylighting design based on the evolution of LED lighting and the cheaper cost of photovoltaics (PV)."

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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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