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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.


Determining the Economic Value of Compressed Air Measurement Systems

Compressed Air Best Practices, June 2015, by Tim Dugan.

"A common adage that has been quoted many times in this journal is: “If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This is partly true. It assumes that managers are willing and able to manage the costs and reliability of their compressed air system. Without data, however, they can’t do an effective job. But because managers are at times already overwhelmed with data, more data doesn’t automatically make them a better manager. A better way of saying it is: 'Appropriate measurement can make you a better manager.'"

Biomass District Energy Provides Economic, Environmental Benefits

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, June 2015.

"When John Cressy became facilities director for Sullivan County, N.H., six years ago, a study of the feasibility of utilizing biomass to reduce reliance on foreign fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions was under way. The study did not meet the county’s expectations, and the entire project was shelved. Then, the Wood Education and Resource Center stepped in and offered to do a new feasibility study. 'The study blew our minds,' Cressy said. 'The numbers looked almost too good to be true.'"

Reusing Existing HVAC Systems and Components

ASHRAE Journal, June 2015, by Ramez Afify.

"During renovations, clients often ask if an existing oversized HVAC system or component can be reused. Budget constraints and timing are often cited.... This article reviews the impact of oversizing the most commonly used HVAC components. It also explores how new designs can be great designs if the engineered system has built-in flexibility, allowing a system to operate satisfactory under different loads and operating scenarios."

Residential Energy Efficiency Works. Don’t Make a Mountain Out of the E2e Molehill

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), June 26, 2015, by Martin Kushler.

"The Internet has been burning up these last two days with reactions to a new academic working paper (Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver? Evidence from the Weatherization Assistance Program) by researchers at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and the University of California, Berkeley, associated with the E2e Project."

Duct Dynasty: Are Smart Vents Really That Smart?

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, May 25, 2015, by David Richardson.

"The concept behind the smart vent goes back to a myth that is decades old. The myth is that if you close the supply registers to rooms you don’t use, you’ll save energy by not heating or cooling those rooms. Sounds logical, right?  To understand some of the interactions these devices can cause with an HVAC system, you have to understand how dampering supply registers affects static pressure and system airflow. It’s also important to know how fans in HVAC equipment respond to these changes in static pressure."

Inverters: Efficient, Comfortable, Quiet: Ductless Technology Moves into Ducted ASHPs

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, May 25, 2015, by Joanna R. Turpin.

"Once the hallmark of high-efficiency ductless equipment, more manufacturers are incorporating inverter-driven compressors into their ducted air-source heat pump (ASHP) offerings. The reasons for this are simple: Inverter technology improves energy efficiency, provides better comfort, and offers quieter operation."

Barriers to Industrial Energy Efficiency: Report to Congress

U.S. Department of Energy, June 2015.

"This report examines barriers that impede the adoption of energy efficient technologies and practices in the industrial sector, and identifies successful examples and opportunities to overcome these barriers. Three groups of energy efficiency technologies and measures were examined: industrial end-use energy efficiency, industrial demand response, and industrial combined heat and power. This report also includes the estimated economic benefits from hypothetical Federal energy efficiency matching grants, as directed by the Act."

Natural Ventilation: Bringing Fresh Air Into Commercial Buildings

The Construction Specifier, June 2015, by Michael P. Toohey.

"This article discusses the history of ventilation, describes its principles, and compares it with mechanical ventilation. The issues examined consider when specifying a separate window and actuator compared to an integrated natural ventilation system; it also addresses the options available for natural ventilation."

2 Simple Steps to Choosing the Right Motor

Pumps & Systems, June 2015, by Mike Stockman.

"Every pump industry professional faces the challenge of choosing the most efficient system for a particular application. This process is complicated by the uncertainties of efficiency regulations, mandates and parameters, especially when efficiencies alone do not tell the whole story. Sometimes the most efficient motor is not the best choice. By using two simple calculations, pumping professionals can determine the best motor—as well as the best pump and drive—for each application."

Deploy Grid Energy Storage Using Best Practices From Existing Installations

Solar Industry, June 2015, by Chris Thompson.

"...there are several commonalities between solar and grid-tied storage, and important lessons from the solar industry provide substantial guidance in energy storage application. Performance, pricing and packaging are the 'three Ps' of storage project deployment, derived from our direct experience in both solar and storage project deployment over the last few years."


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