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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.


Are Your HVAC Controls Helping or Hurting?

Buildings, Aug. 1, 2015, by Janelle Penny.

"Sophisticated controls can be a great way to boost the energy efficiency of your HVAC system, but if they’re not installed properly or used correctly, you may end up wasting energy without realizing it."

10 Key Facts About Reciprocating Pumps

Pumps & Systems, July 2015, by Gary Dyson and Herb Tackett Jr.

"While centrifugal pumps are the subject of much training, the dwindling population of reciprocating pumps has led to a loss of understanding of this pump type's unique system design requirements. Centrifugal pump specifications are now commonly and incorrectly applied to reciprocating pumps, which can lead to significant reliability problems. End users should consider these 10 key facts about reciprocating pumps that can influence reliability and operation."

Understanding Piping System Controls (Part 1 of 2)

Pumps & Systems, July 2015, by Ray Hardee.

"Users have several options for controlling piping systems. Previous columns established that every piping system is composed of pump elements, process elements and control elements. This column will focus on the control elements, which improve the quality of the product. Control elements can be either passive or active."

Laboratory Assessment of Stiebel-Eltron Accelera 220 E Heat Pump Water Heater

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), July 30, 2015, by Nicholas Kvaltine and Ben Larson (Ecotope, Inc.)

"The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with Ecotope, Inc. and Cascade Engineering Services, Inc. to conduct a laboratory assessment of the Stiebel-Eltron Accelera 220 E heat pump water heater (HPWH) for northern climate installations. Cascade Engineering evaluated the Accelera 220 E using a testing plan developed by Ecotope to assess HPWH performance. Overall, the results suggest that the Stiebel-Eltron Accelera 220 E is a highly-efficient water heater."

Opportunities for Action on Energy Management Information Systems for Industrial Customers: A Report for Program Administrators

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), July 29, 2015, by Chad Gilless.

"This report helps NEEA's funders and other program administrators determine how to move forward with energy management information systems (EMIS) with their industrial customers. It offers ideas for the future as well as immediate next steps for program administrators.

This publication builds on NEEA’s Inventory of Industrial Energy Management Information Systems (EMIS) for M&V Applications, and on two new guides - the
Guide to Selecting an EMIS and the Guide to Using an EMIS."

Competitiveness of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in U.S. Markets

Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEE), June 2015.

"Questions have been raised about whether renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) resources can provide substantial emission reductions at reasonable cost under EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP). These concerns reflect fundamental misperceptions about the performance and cost of today’s renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, rooted in outdated information and perpetuated by inaccurate official market projections. This paper shows that RE and EE are competitive resources in today’s marketplace that will not only be cost-effective mechanisms for CPP compliance but should also be expected to grow strictly on the basis of competitiveness."

Which Energy Efficiency Policies Saved the Most Last Year?

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), July 29, 2015, by Steven Nadel.

"We are periodically asked how much different policies have saved and which policies have had the largest impact. In our recent report on energy efficiency progress over the past 35 years, we reviewed many current energy savings estimates and projections. Here I wanted to summarize which policies appear to be saving the most energy today, looking at estimated energy savings in calendar year 2014. Our estimates are summarized in the table below."

Why Your High-Efficiency-Lighting May Not Be Very Efficient At All

National Lighting Bureau News, July 14, 2015.

"Silver Spring, MD: Imagine, if you will, the world’s most efficient lighting system; a system so efficient that it provides all the lighting needed by a 100-person workforce for  the fantastically small sum of just $100 per year; that’s $1 per person per year. Can a lighting system be any more efficient than that? Yes, it can, says National Lighting Bureau Chair James M. “Jim” Yorgey, P.E., LC, CTS: “While having a highly efficient lighting system is important, it’s even more important – from a bottom-line point of view – that the lighting system contribute to the enhanced efficiency of other systems that are affected by lighting, human systems in particular.”

Landmark Northwest Study Reveals Smart Grid Pros and Cons

Public Power Daily, July 20, 2015, by Elisa Wood.

"A recently completed $178-million Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project led by Battelle demonstrated that smart grids are more efficient and resilient, according to a project report. The demonstration project was the largest of 16 smart grid demonstration projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The effort encompassed more than 60,000 metered customers, many of them served by public power utilities in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming."

Includes links to an Executive Summary and the full report.

Riding Off into the Sunset: Nuclear Decontamination and Decommissioning Update

Power Magazine, July 2015, by Aaron Larson.

"The International Energy Agency predicts that nearly 200 reactors will be decommissioned during the next 25 years. Industry best practices and new technology can help make the process go more smoothly.

It may not come as a surprise, but the average age of operating reactors in the U.S. is greater than 35 years. There hasn’t been a new nuclear reactor brought online in the U.S. since 1996, but there have been five permanently removed from service in the past three years. Although many plants have had their original 40-year operating licenses extended an additional 20 years, that hasn’t stopped some plants from facing permanent shutdown due to economic and other reasons.


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