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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.

 


Evaluating and Optimizing Chilled Beam Performance

Buildings, Mar. 2017.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/21017/title/evaluating-and-optimizing-chilled-beam-performance

"Chilled beams are gaining popularity in North America, so engineers are establishing better models and methods for their performance. Terminal unit geometry of active chilled beams is one area where researchers are improving efficiency."

Ultrasonic Flow Meters Improve Biogas Measurements

Pumps & Systems, Feb. 2017, by Dick Laan and Rick Lowrie.
http://www.pumpsandsystems.com/instrumentationcontrols/february-2017-ultrasonic-flow-meters-improve-biogas-measurements

"As interest in biogas grows, industry is paying more attention to measuring biogas flow, which has long been a challenge in process measuring technology. While high water and carbon dioxide (CO2) content makes biogas a demanding medium and a difficult measuring task, a new generation of ultrasonic flow meters is helping to make biogas measurements stable and manageable. One type uses the time transit differential method to guarantee flow measurement with a high degree of long-term stability regardless of the gas composition."

Commissioning Occupancy Sensors

Net Zero Buildings, Mar. 2017, by Barbara Horwitz-Bennett.
https://issuu.com/constructionbusinessmedia/docs/1703_nzb/26

"Lighting controls allow buildings to achieve significant savings in well-designed daylighted facilities. However, if these systems are not installed properly, notably occupancy sensors, a portion of these potential savings will be squandered. The solution: commission said sensors."

EmPOWER Maryland Will Create 68,000 New Jobs and Boost GDP in Maryland

ACEEE Blog, Mar. 6, 2017.
http://aceee.org/press/2017/03/empower-maryland-will-create-68000

"Maryland could gain more than 68,000 new jobs and $3.75 billion in new gross domestic product as a result of investments to be made over the next 10 years through the EmPOWER Maryland energy efficiency program, according to a new study from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The study comes as the Maryland General Assembly debates bipartisan legislation to extend EmPOWER Maryland and establish new statewide energy efficiency goals."

US Wind Generation Reached 5.5% Of the Grid In 2016.

AWEA Press Release, Mar. 6, 2017.
http://www.awea.org/MediaCenter/pressrelease.aspx?ItemNumber=9999

"Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma and North Dakota all sourced more than 20 percent of their electricity generation from wind power during 2016, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). It shows wind supplied over 5.5 percent of electricity nationwide, up from 4.7 percent in 2015."


Codes and Standards For Energy Conservation

The Construction Specifier, Mar. 2017, by Anthony Katona.
https://www.constructionspecifier.com/codes-and-standards-for-energy-conservation/

"Concerns with global warming and energy consumption mean design/construction professionals need a better understanding of how these topics affect commercial buildings. This article presents an overview of the effects U.S. model building and energy codes—along with industry standards—have on low-slope roofs (assembled with insulation above the roof deck) and exterior masonry walls."

Should Utility Prepay Plans be Considered Energy Efficiency Programs?

ACEEE Blog, Feb. 28, 2017, by Ariel Drehobl.
http://aceee.org/blog/2017/02/should-utility-prepay-plans-be

"Utility proposals for customer prepayment plans are on the rise. These payment plans require customers to pay in advance for their utility services and, if they run out of prepaid credit, they are remotely disconnected from service until they top up their credit. While utilities can benefit from these plans because of reduced financial risks from overdue payments and other reduced service costs, many consumer advocates are concerned about these plans’ effects on health and safety, particularly for low-income participants. Some utilities and prepay advocates claim that prepayment influences customers to save energy. If this is true, should prepay plans be considered energy efficiency programs?"

5 Common Fuel Cell Myths

U.S. Dept. of  Energy, Mar. 9, 2017, by Mike Mueller.
https://energy.gov/eere/articles/5-common-fuel-cell-myths

"We recently added two fuel cell electric vehicles to our fleet (the first for a government agency) and are using them for public outreach. What we’re finding out is that there’s a lot of interest in these cars – and some misconceptions. So, in order to separate fact from fiction, we decided to tackle the top five fuel cell myths."

What You Need to Know About Renewable Diesel

Government Fleet, Mar. 2017, by Shelley Ernst.
http://www.government-fleet.com/channel/biofuels/article/story/2016/03/what-you-need-to-know-about-renewable-diesel.aspx

"What is renewable diesel? The short answer is it’s a fuel that is chemically similar to petroleum diesel, but is 100% renewable and sustainable. In other words, it’s the latest, greenest diesel on the market. But to really understand it, it’s helpful to back up and understand the difference between it and its predecessors, petroleum diesel and biodiesel."

Energy Savings Can Be Fun, But No Need To Turn Off All The Lights

NPR, Mar. 7, 2017, by Ingrid Lobet.
http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/03/07/518175670/energy-savings-can-be-fun-but-no-need-to-turn-off-all-the-lights

"A new company is doing more than just monitoring electricity use. It's making tracking your electrical data fun. Steve Reed of San Diego says he signed up for free with OhmConnect. He was eager to see how much his family could cut back on electricity at times when there is a high demand for it in the area. Soon, he got a text prompting him to lower use for an hour — from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. the next day. The service includes an interactive map of where your electricity is coming from. Curtis Tongue, one of OhmConnect's co-founders, says it makes climate change and pollution less remote and gives people a way to do something purposeful."

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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