Bookmark and Share

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.

 


Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Technical Potential in the United States: A Detailed Assessment

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Jan. 2016.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy16osti/65298.pdf

"This report quantifies the technical potential of photovoltaic (PV) systems deployed on rooftops in the continental United States, estimating how much energy could be generated by installing PV on all suitable roof area. The results do not exclude systems based on their economic performance, and thus they provide an upper bound on potential deployment rather than a prediction of actual deployment."

Water Heaters: As Sexy as a Tesla?

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) Outlet, Feb. 24, 2016, by Margaret McCall.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_02_24_water_heaters_as_sexy_as_a_tesla

"Of all the new tech emerging on the energy landscape, water heaters seem an unlikely contender. Alongside battery players like Tesla, with its Model X and Powerwall water heaters look like even more of a stretch. However, the growing industry consensus is that grid-interactive water heaters have serious potential. They just might be the unexpected battery in your basement."

Optimizing Airflows In Foodservice Facilities, Part 2 - Optimizing Exhaust Air

Engineered Systems, Jan. 2016, by Doug Horton.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/97511-optimizing-airflows-in-foodservice-facilities-part-2--optimizing-exhaust-air

"Many methods await when it comes to reducing exhaust rates. Fortunately, engineers can avail themselves of multiple tactics, from the hood specification to proper commissioning and air balance."

A Tale Of Three Boiler Plants

Engineered Systems, Jan. 2016, by Daniel McJacobson.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/97513-a-tale-of-three-boiler-plants

"School, warehouse, office building … the boiler stories they tell put the focus back on specific circumstances and smart pre-design study to ensure their systems (and budgets) enjoy the best of times for as long as possible. There is a widely held belief that high efficiency is always best. However, this is not necessarily the case."

Key Improvement Made in Solar Cell Voltage Technology

Washington State University News, Feb. 29, 2016, by Tina Hilding.
https://news.wsu.edu/2016/02/29/146010/#more-146010

"Researchers improved the maximum voltage available from a cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cell, overcoming a practical limit that has been pursued for six decades and is key to improving efficiency. The work is published in the Feb. 29 issue of Nature Energy. The effort was led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in collaboration with Washington State University and the University of Tennessee."


Restrain Rising Plug Loads

Buildings, Jan. 2016.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/19754/title/restrain-rising-plug-loads.aspx

"In the quest for whole building energy efficiency, FMs cannot ignore plug loads, which account for a growing share of commercial building consumption. These loads pose some different challenges than those of central energy loads like lighting and HVAC."

Are Chilled Beams Viable in Humid Climates?

Buildings, Jan. 2016, by Daniel Kailey.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/19494/title/are-chilled-beams-viable-in-humid-climates-.aspx

"As the effort to improve energy efficiency in buildings increases, many new technologies are under consideration by designers, builders, and owners.  The use of chilled beams, a technology that has been successfully employed to improve energy performance in European buildings for decades, is gaining popularity in the United States. But can this technology be used effectively in the hot, humid environments that much of the U.S. experiences every summer?"

CHP Update: Policies, Partnerships, and Challenges

Power Magazine, Feb. 2016, by Thomas W. Overton.
http://www.powermag.com/chp-update-policies-partnerships-challenges/

"Though combined heat and power (CHP) is getting increasing attention as a means of efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, the sector’s traditional challenges remain. But some generators and policymakers are working hard to deploy CHP in new and more economic ways."

Measuring the True Costs and Benefits of Energy Storage - Part 1

North American Clean Energy, Jan./Feb. 2016, by Catherine Von Burg.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/22174/measuring-the-true-costs-and-benefits-of-energy-storage

"Part One: A quick guide to calculating cost & safety
A variety of new energy storage systems have emerged as business and government leaders rush to make advances in renewables and energy savings. Those systems include different chemical compositions, form factors (cylindrical cell, pouch, prismatic, flow), and battery management systems (BMS). That can make choosing a battery system challenging, even confusing. However, checking a few simple performance metrics can help calculate the true costs and benefits of competing systems. And it can help distinguish between what might look like a good price up front from what’s actually a better buy in the long run."



Air Barriers for Metal Buildings

Insulation Outlook, Feb. 2016, by William Beals.
http://www.insulationoutlook.com/io/article.cfm?id=IO160204

"Air barriers have been discussed and used in different ways since the 1930s. The purpose of an air barrier is to limit uncontrolled air leakage into and out of the building’s envelope. A building’s envelope is defined as roof, wall, and floor area that encloses a heated or cooled area. Uncontrolled leakage will result in increased energy usage due to the heat or cooling lost."

About

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