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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.

 


Solar Experiment Lets Neighbors Trade Energy Among Themselves

New York Times, Mar. 13, 2017, by Diane Cardwell.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/business/energy-environment/brooklyn-solar-grid-energy-trading.html?_r=0

"In a promising experiment in an affluent swath of [Brooklyn], dozens of solar-panel arrays spread across rowhouse rooftops are wired into a growing network. Called the Brooklyn Microgrid, the project is signing up residents and businesses to a virtual trading platform that will allow solar-energy producers to sell excess-electricity credits from their systems to buyers in the group, who may live as close as next door."

Cooling Towers Offer Data Centers Water and Energy Savings

Chiller & Cooling Best Practices, Mar. 2017, by Douglas Bougher and Kent Martens.
http://www.coolingbestpractices.com/technology/cooling-towers/cooling-towers-offer-data-centers-water-and-energy-savings

"The number of data centers in the United States continues to grow in response to the enormous amount of digital information stored and streamed. The massive computer power within these data centers generates heat, making efficient cooling a key building system requirement. Evaporative cooling towers are an integral part of many data center cooling systems. Recently some have questioned the use of cooling towers, citing water scarcity to bolster their arguments. But a thorough examination of water use for local onsite cooling towers compared to water use to generate power at regional fossil fuel power plants reveals surprising results."

Compressed Air System Commissioning Part 2: Measurement and Data Plots

Compressed Air Best Practices, Mar. 2017, by Tim Dugan.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/system-assessments/compressor-controls/compressed-air-system-commissioning-part-2-measurement-and-da

"Facility managers, air compressor dealer personnel, auditors and utility DSM energy engineers: All three project stakeholders need to have one agreed-upon robust methodology for commissioning a system, and the teamwork to do it correctly the first time.  That is the intent of this series of articles."

More End Users Embracing Smart Pumping Applications

Pumps & Systems, Mar. 2017, by Siva Kanesvaran & Jack Creamer.
http://www.pumpsandsystems.com/pumps-pumps/march-2017-more-end-users-embracing-smart-pumping-applications

"The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a business buzzword. But asking 10 people for a definition of IIoT will likely result in 10 different answers. Additionally, many may think IIoT refers to connecting people with machines, instead of a connected process. This concept goes beyond basic process management to informing and educating people on what is happening in a process. Further, some people who mention machines often think of industrial applications, such as packaging or conveying equipment. Pumping systems and pumping applications are often left out of the discussion."

Plastic Extruder Reduces Compressed Air Use by 367 cfm

Compressed Air Best Practices, Mar. 2017, by Don van Ormer.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/industries/plastics/plastic-extruder-reduces-compressed-air-use-367-cfm

"A plastic product manufacturer spends an estimated $245,000 annually on electricity to operate the air compressors in a compressed air system at its plant located in a midwestern U.S. state.  The main manufacturing process is plastic extruding. The current average electric rate, at this plant, is 7 cents per kWh. The compressed air system operates 8,760 hours per year and the load profile of this system is relatively stable during all shifts."

Microgrid Momentum: Building Efficient, Resilient Power

C2ES: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Mar. 2017, Doug Vine, et. al.
https://www.c2es.org/docUploads/microgrid-momentum-03-2017.pdf

"When Hurricane Sandy cut off power to millions of homes and businesses in the Northeast, a few areas, mostly parts of universities, kept the lights on using their own power generation systems. This ability to sustain electricity service during widespread natural disasters is one reason for the growing interest in microgrids. But they offer other important benefits as well. By increasing efficiency, integrating renewables, and helping manage energy supply and demand, microgrids can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ave energy. For utilities, microgrids can ensure power reliability in remote areas. Microgrids also appeal to those who want to disconnect from utility bills."

How to Plan a Successful Energy Efficiency Upgrade

Building Operating Management, Mar. 2017, by Lindsay Audin.
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/energyefficiency/article/Plan-Audit-Commission-Measure-and-Verify-Steps-To-A-Successful-Energy-Upgrade--17074

"When developing ways to improve energy efficiency in commercial facilities, two words stand out: Plan ahead. While some efficiency options are almost literally plug-and-play, maximizing benefits while avoiding pitfalls involves steps taken long before choices are made and equipment specified. New technologies, incentives, and codes need to be integrated into any strategy for saving money through energy use reduction. Done well, those steps may lead to higher quality, greater savings, lower costs, and happier occupants." An article in 3-parts.

Designing a Dedicated Modern Wine Cooling System

Chiller & Cooling Best Practices, Mar. 2017, by Kevin Trowhill.
http://www.coolingbestpractices.com/industries/beverage/designing-dedicated-modern-wine-cooling-systems

"The temperature of wine must be kept stable throughout its production and storage in order to ensure final product quality that is acceptable for distribution and sale, and so cooling systems are an integral component of wine production. In wineries, the entire harvest can be destroyed by a temperature fluctuation during processing or storage, leading to catastrophic consequences for wineries. Cooling systems must meet three main criteria in order to be effective in wine production and storage applications: the cooling systems must be able to achieve the ideal temperatures for wine production processes; they must deliver consistent, reliable operation; and they must be well-designed for safe, convenient use."

Energy Efficiency: A Little Knowledge Goes a Long Way

Automation World, Mar. 2017, by James R. Koelsch.
https://www.automationworld.com/energy-management/energy-efficiency-little-knowledge-goes-long-way

"There has been a lot of talk in industry about energy efficiency in manufacturing facilities, but the realities of high cost and limited returns have stymied action. Some best practices, though, could tip cost calculations in favor of moving forward."

How Will The PV Module Market Fare In 2017?

Solar Industry, Mar. 2017, by Edurne Zoco.
http://issues.solarindustrymag.com/article/how-will-the-pv-module-market-fare-in-2017

"Total module costs for industry leaders are forecast to continue declining throughout the second half of 2017 to reach around $0.30/W for best-in-class p-type module costs, thereby widening the gap in cost structure between lowest-cost producers and other producers and affecting gross margins and profitability throughout 2017."

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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