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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.

 


Indoor Air Quality in Hospitals

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, July 2015, by Christopher J. Stipe.
http://www.csemag.com/single-article/indoor-air-quality-in-hospitals/b4a355bfbd61c4902f08216c20be3e8e.html

"Hospitals and health care facilities must comply with ASHRAE and other regulatory standards with respect to air change rates, humidity requirements, and pressurization. ASHRAE Standard 62.1 is the most commonly referenced standard to meet appropriate HVAC system design. Other factors to consider include the use of UV light to reduce hospital-acquired infections, unique air requirements, and outdoor air systems."

Deep Energy Retrofits Using Energy Savings Performance Contracts: Success Stories

Rocky Mountain Institute, Aug. 2015.
http://www.rmi.org/Content/Files/Deep_Energy_Retrofits_Using_ESPC.pdf

"Energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) have become a key mechanism for energy efficiency upgrades in recent years, with the federal market now exceeding $1 billion in gross annual revenue. ESPCs allow federal agencies to partner with an energy service company (ESCO) in order to complete energy savings projects without upfront capital costs or Congressional appropriations. This report showcases eight case studies that highlight best practices in federal ESPCs. Highlighted projects—including seven federal and one municipal project—cumulatively exceed 600 billion BTUs in energy savings, with an average 58% energy use reduction."

International Energy Efficiency Scorecard

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Aug. 2015, by Rachel Young and others.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/intl-self-scoring-8-19-15.pdf

"ACEEE's biennial International Energy Efficiency Scorecard evaluates the energy efficiency policies and performance of the top energy-consuming countries of the world. Now we have developed a new version of the Excel-based International Scorecard Self-Scoring Tool that applies the data and methodology of the 2014 Scorecard and extends the reach of its analysis. Users of the tool can input qualitative and quantitative data from their own country, region, or smaller jurisdiction to get a snapshot of their energy efficiency progress compared to 16 of the world’s largest economies. The tool generates custom energy efficiency scores using 31 metrics in areas such as national policy, buildings, industry, and transportation, as well as an overall score out of a possible 100 points."

CPI to Produce Biogas from Seaweed Using Anaerobic Digestion

Biomass Magazine, Aug. 13, 2015.
http://www.biomassmagazine.com/articles/12298/cpi-to-produce-biogas-from-seaweed-using-anaerobic-digestion

"The Centre for Process Innovation has announced that it is leading a £2.78 million ($4.34 million) U.K.-based collaboration to help strengthen the U.K.’s position as a world leader in industrial biotechnology. The three year project—'SeaGas’—is working on producing biomethane from seaweed through anaerobic digestion (AD)."

Study Suggests Residential Pellet Offgassing a Nonissue

Biomass Magazine, Aug. 12, 2015, by Anna Simet.
http://www.biomassmagazine.com/articles/12297/study-suggets-residential-pellet-offgassing-a-nonissue

"According to results from a new study released by the University of New Hampshire, indoor storage of pellets in homes using the fuel for heat does not pose a risk of generating carbon monoxide (CO) levels above recommended thresholds. The issue has been contentious in the Northeast, said Adam Sherman, executive director of Vermont-based Biomass Energy Resource Center."

Energy Efficiency in the Clean Power Plan: Take One

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Aug. 12, 2015, by Cassandra Kubes.
http://aceee.org/blog/2015/08/energy-efficiency-clean-power-plan

"On August 3rd, EPA released the final Clean Power Plan (CPP), a rule that sets performance rates and individual state targets for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Now that the emissions targets are set, energy efficiency plays a prominent role as a proven strategy that states can use to reduce energy, cut emissions, and boost the economy."

Venting Vapor

Building Science Corporation, July 15, 2015, by Joe Lstiburek.
http://buildingscience.com/documents/insights/bsi-088-venting-vapor

"Sometimes the obvious is not so obvious. And sometimes the not so obvious becomes obvious. For example installing leaky ductwork in a vented attic is a pretty dumb idea. It leads to negative pressures and high air change that depending on the time of year and climate zone results in part load humidity problems, ice damming, excessive energy use, loss of comfort, whatever. If radon were valuable we would mine it this way. Where there is an attached garage we call it the Kevorkian option. Everyone pretty much gets it."

Why RECs Matter: The Case for Renewable Energy Credits

North American Windpower, July 2015, by Roger W. Rosendahl.
http://www.nawindpower.com/issues/NAW1507/FEAT_06_Why-RECs-Matter-The-Case-For-Renewable-Energy-Credits.html

"RECs can be a meaningful incentive and a flexible facilitator of renewable portfolio standards."

Retrofit Guide for Building Automation

Buildings, July 2015, by Janelle Penny.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/19059/title/retrofit-guide-for-building-automation.aspx

"Building automation systems (BAS) can do so much more than energy management. Intuitive interfaces can help FMs find hot spots, catch malfunctioning equipment, and target maintenance where it’s most needed. The market is flush with options for your facility, but buying one of these systems is a complex decision that must be customized for each building. Maximize your investment and hit the ground running with these BAS purchasing tips."

10 Cooling Tower Maintenance Tips

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, June 22, 2015, by Baltimore Aircoil Co.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/129904-cooling-tower-maintenance-tips

"A well-maintained unit will continue to function at the original optimum efficiency. Over time, a neglected cooling tower’s leaving water temperature will increase, raising energy costs by up to 6 percent for every 2°F increase. However, a well-maintained cooling tower will continue to function at the original optimum efficiency, keeping energy costs low. These simple preventive cooling tower maintenance tips can help users save up to 15 percent on electricity costs. Routine maintenance also helps to conserve water and extend the operating life of cooling equipment."

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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