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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.


Keep Hydraulic Fluids Contaminant Free

Maintenance Technology, Aug. 2015, by Ken Bannister.

"Despite their complexity, hydraulic systems are very forgiving beasts—almost too forgiving for their own good. They’ll tend to perform inefficiently for a long time before catastrophic failure occurs. Unfortunately, this forgiving nature can foster a widespread, apathetic approach toward failure prevention, efficiency optimization, and service life-cycle management. Fluid is the most important part of any hydraulic system and when systems fail, the cause is most often related to fluid/fluid contamination. Those failures usually take other critical equipment and processes with them."

Review of the DOE Final Rule for Integral Horsepower Motors

Pumps & Systems, Sep. 2015, by John Malinowski.

"At the end of May 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the Final Rule that amends the regulation for integral horsepower motors. Until the rule takes effect June 1, 2016, motor manufacturers will continue to operate under rules from the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), which took effect in December 2010. This means that almost all low-voltage, three-phase motors sold for use in the U.S. will need to be premium efficiency per National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) MG 1-2014, tables 12-12 and 20B."

New Fluorescent Lamp Rules to Shake Up T8 Category

Lighting Management & Maintenance (LM&M), Aug 2105, by Craig Delouie. (Scroll to page 24.)

"In January 2015, DOE announced new energy standards for general-service fluorescent lamps, which will take effect January 26, 2018. The new rules strengthen energy standards for 4-ft. T8 linear and 2-ft. T8 U-bend, while both strengthening and expanding covered wattages for 4-ft. T5 and T5HO linear lamps. Eight-foot lamps did not see any change."

Cool Advice On Hot Motors

Maintenance Technology, Aug. 2015., by Jim Bryan.

"The effects of excessive temperature on motor performance are notorious. After moisture, they are the greatest contributor to bearing and winding failures. Understanding the source of increased temperature is key to correcting the problem and improving the reliability of your facility’s motor fleet."

Harvesting Energy Savings in Cannabis Cultivation Facilities: Quick Wins for Cultivators and Utilities

E Source, Sep. 11, 2015, by David Podorson.

"With the recent legalization of cannabis in some states, cultivation facilities have rushed to increase production and gain market share, and they have often overlooked energy considerations in the process. Indoor cannabis cultivation facilities are huge energy consumers with year-round loads; each marijuana plant consumes more energy than seven refrigerators, and each cultivation facility may contain up to 400 plants.... Here we present nine tips for quickly and easily reducing the energy consumption of these facilities."

Validate Sealing Systems for Optimized Performance

Pumps & Systems, Aug 2015, by Larry Castleman.

"Sealing systems can play a vital role in equipment performance and are considered critical components in the validation process of a design. Engineers should closely examine the sealing systems used in their equipment, because they do everything from preventing seal leakage and extending hydraulic cylinder life to lowering dynamic friction and controlling hydraulic motor position."

Optimize High-Energy Pumps With Improved Impeller Design

Pumps & Systems, Aug 2015, by Bob Jennings & Dr. Gary Dyson.

"The rising cost of electrical power has caused many industrial plants to shift their focus to energy consumption. Plants often run pumping equipment continuously, and much research has pointed to opportunities for cost savings by optimizing pumping equipment. When evaluating the potential for energy savings, end users cannot consider a pump in isolation. The suitability of the pump for the system within which it operates is vital. Even the best designed and most efficient equipment offers power-saving potential if it is run off its best efficiency point (BEP) in a system for which it is ill-applied."

Winning the Cooling Tower Trifecta: Controlling Corrosion, Scale, and Microbiological Fouling

Power Magazine, Sep. 2015, by David Daniels.

"In cooling water chemistry for power plants, it is not enough to control one or two of the major chemistry issues. Successful treatment requires simultaneous control of corrosion, scale, and microbiological fouling. These three are so strongly tied to each other that if one is allowed to go out of control, the other two soon will be."

Inverter Benchmarking Results in Smarter Residential Inverter Solutions

Solar Industry Magazine, Aug. 2015, by Michael Mills-Price.

"Today’s residential and small commercial solar photovoltaic inverter marketplace includes a myriad of solutions and choices... These products are expected to operate in electrically and environmentally harsh environments, with service lifetimes that can approach and exceed 20 years. The PV inverter landscape is also marked by many new entrants and products from established industry players. These dynamic market characteristics increase the importance of thorough due diligence in the inverter selection process. Independent third-party data can be very beneficial in choosing the optimal inverter solution. "

IRS Ruling Could Be A Huge Boost For Community Solar Investment

Solar Industry Magazine, Sep. 10, 2015, by David K. Burton and Richard T. Page.

"In a newly released private letter ruling (PLR), the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has approved an individual taxpayer's plan to claim residential solar tax credits for investing in a community/shared solar energy project, even though the facility's solar panels are not on the taxpayer's residential property. The ruling encourages residential property owners to invest in such projects." 


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