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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.

 


Why Owning Your Own Power Plant Might Not Be Crazy

RMI Outlet, Rocky Mountain Institute, May 2014, by Leia Guccione.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2014_05_22_owning_your_own_power_plant

"...it’s not that far-fetched to imagine a day when large segments of customers choose to go mostly or even entirely off-grid with clean, quiet, distributed solar-plus-battery systems. In fact, could owning your own power plant become as convenient and practical—if not quite as ubiquitous—as the consumer appliances and electronics already so commonplace that we take them for granted in our daily lives—a refrigerator, a clothes dryer, or a computer?"

Heat Pumps Designed to Save Energy

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, May 26, 2014, by Joanna R. Turpin.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/126690-heat-pumps-designed-to-save-energy

"The energy-efficiency ratings of residential air-source heat pumps have risen dramatically over the last few years, with many manufacturers now offering equipment well exceeding the 20-SEER mark. There have been significant gains made in commercial heat pump efficiencies as well, thanks to the growing demand from building owners and managers, who are looking for ways to save energy."

Heat Pumps Riding a Wave of Popularity

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, May 26, 2014, by Matt Bishop.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/126688-heat-pumps-riding-a-wave-of-popularity

"According to the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), shipments of equipment increased in just about every category in 2013. Especially notable were shipments of air-source heat pumps, which were up 16 percent over 2012.

That good news has spilled over into this year as well, with a recent AHRI report showing a 25.4 percent year-to-date increase in air-source heat pump shipments for the first two months of 2014. With heat pumps becoming more popular across the U.S., manufacturers expect sales to remain strong for quite a while."


Identifying a Guide Bearing Rub Using Vibration Analysis

Hydro Review, May 2014, by Bernard F. Boueri.
http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/hr/print/volume-33/issue-4/cover-story/identifying-a-guide-bearing-rub-using-vibration-analysis.html

"When commissioning a hydro unit, proper use of vibration monitoring can help identify problems such as a rub on the guide bearings. Catching issues early can allow the problem to be fixed quickly, preventing units from operating inefficiently and limiting unplanned outages."

How to Design & Control Waterside Economizers

ASHRAE Journal, Jun 2014, by Steven T. Taylor.
http://tinyurl.com/nkt8x2x

"ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 requires either airside economizers or waterside economizers for most cooling system applications. Air economizers are more common and almost always more energy efficient. But there are some applications where water economizers are preferred."

Hydronic Heat Recovery in Health Care

ASHRAE Journal, Jun 2014, by Jeremy McClanathan.
http://tinyurl.com/lkd6688

"Swedish Issaquah, a 350,000 ft2 (32 500 m2) hospital located in Issaquah, Wash., uses a hydronic heat recovery system to achieve a 50% energy savings compared to an average hospital in the Pacific Northwest."

Policy Brief: Clean Energy Keeps the Lights On

Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), Jun. 2014.
http://www.raponline.org/document/download/id/7175

"A new policy brief from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), Clean Energy Keeps the Lights On, dispels the myth that electricity portfolios with high penetrations of variable renewable resources threaten reliability. The authors review eight recent studies commissioned by utilities, governments, and non-governmental organizations to address this issue, and find that none suggest insurmountable reliability problems."

Take Care in the Kitchen: Avoiding Cooking-Related Pollutants

Environmental Health Perspectives, Jun. 2014, by Nate Seltenrich.
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/122-a154/

"Researchers now understand that the process of cooking food and even simply operating stoves—particularly gas appliances—can emit a cocktail of potentially hazardous chemicals and compounds. Within our homes, these pollutants are less diluted than they are outdoors, and in the absence of proper ventilation, they often are trapped inside."

Includes a discussion of the kitchen ventilation requirements in ASHRAE 62.2.

Financing Energy Improvements on Utility Bills: Market Updates and Key Program Design Considerations for Policymakers and Administrators

State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network, DOE/EE-1100, May 2014.
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/seeaction/pdfs/onbill_financing.pdf

"Enabling consumers to finance energy improvements on their utility bills is one of several potentially valuable tools for expanding consumer access to attractive capital. While financing may be an attractive tool for increasing program leverage and mitigating the rate impacts of utility consumer-funded efficiency programs, administrators can face difficult choices between allocating funds to financing or to other approaches designed to overcome a broader set of barriers to consumer investment in energy efficiency. This report focuses on key program design considerations for policymakers and program administrators."


The Impact of Tubular Daylighting on Energy and LEED

Buildings, May 2014.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/17254/title/the-impact-of-tubular-daylighting-on-energy-and-leed.aspx

"Daylighting is a popular energy-saving element because of its simple application, significant cost savings, and ability to create healthy, enjoyable spaces. But don’t remain in the dark about which daylighting methods are most effective." "One of the most efficient types of top lighting comes from tubular devices."

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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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