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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.

 


VFD Serial Communications: Which Points Should I Use And Why?

ES: Engineered Systems, Jan. 2, 2014, by Michael R. Olson.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96322-vfd-serial-communications-which-points-should-i-use-and-why

"The available LEED credits and most obvious energy-saving possibilities are one thing. The potential for a ripple effect of system-wide savings by deploying VFDs [Variable Frequency Drives] as part of better overall monitoring are another."

Mainzer Named BPA Administrator

BPA Journal, Feb. 2014.
http://www.bpa.gov/news/pubs/Journal/Journal-201402-February-2014.pdf

"The Energy Department appointed Elliot Mainzer as the BPA administrator, effective Jan. 27. Mainzer, who previously served as BPA’s acting administrator, has worked in the energy industry for more than 16 years."

Innovation in Building Energy Efficiency Puts Seattle in National Leadership Spotlight

Northwest Energy Efficiency Council, Jan. 27, 2014.
http://www.neec.net/news/neec-press-release-innovation-building-energy-efficiency-puts-seattle-national-leadership-spotl

"Pay for Performance (PfP) is an innovative pilot project from Seattle City Light designed to test a new way to calculate the utility financial incentive and to provide more surety that the project delivers energy savings year over year. PfP offers the chance for building owners to receive a greater incentive than what they get under the traditional system, if they can show more than predicted measured and verified savings at the meter. For Seattle City Light, it reduces the utility’s risk in actually receiving the savings for which they are paying."


Current Trends in Utility Rates & Economic Regulation

WE (Western Energy): The Official Publication of Western Energy Institute, Fall 2013, by Russell A. Feingold.
http://digital.apogee-mg.com/publication/?i=184542 (Scroll to page 8.)

Reports on trends in Black & Veatch Corporation's annual U.S. Electric Utility Industry Report. "While the results of the 2013 report show the continuity of many recent industry trends, certain significant changes were noted that have affected, or are starting to affect, participating organizations."

World Changing Ideas

Green Builder, Jan. 2014.
http://content.yudu.com/A2iil1/GreenBuilderJan2014/resources/index.htm (Scroll to page 11.)

"With help from our friends at Sustainia, here's a list of 25 of the most powerful technologies and ideas that will soon change our world in profound ways. From gravity powered LEDs to wireless car chargers, these are the good ideas that (we believe) won't go away." Close to half are energy related or have energy implications.

A New Approach to Evaluating Societal Energy Solutions (Part I)

EDC (Environmental Design & Construction): The Official Magazine for the LEED Professional, Jan. 2014, by Daniel H. Nall.
http://www.edcmag.com/articles/95409-a-new-approach-to-evaluating-societal-energy-solutions-part-I

"Currently proposed solutions to perceived energy problems of today’s global community too often focus on specific technologies and address only a small portion of the overall problem. The tendency to “silo-ize” these issues tends to produce revolutionary solutions to minor problems and to foster neglect of larger issues. The approach below attempts to deconstruct the “energy problem” into component parts to facilitate evaluation of proposed solutions and technologies in the larger context."

Part 2 is in the Feb. 2014 issue of EDC - http://www.edcmag.com/articles/95444


Iowa State Engineers Upgrade Fast Pyrolysis Pilot Plant

Biomass Magazine, Jan. 2014.
http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/9978/iowa-state-engineers-upgrade-fast-pyrolysis-pilot-plant

Fast pyrolysis is a pathway to advanced renewable fuels from cellulosic biomass like corn stover, which Iowa has a lot of, and switchgrass, which is well suited to Iowa’s climate and soils,” [Robert C. Brown] said. “What we learn in the lab can help companies commercially develop these Iowa resources.”

Right-Size Your Ventilation Needs [with DCV]

Buildings, Jan. 2014, by Jennie Morton.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/16743/title/right-size%20your%20ventilation%20needs/viewall/true.aspx

"Can ventilation requirements and energy conservation go hand in hand? They can if you implement demand control ventilation (DCV). There’s no reason to waste energy conditioning air for people who aren’t in your building. Instead of supplying air at fixed rates, DCV automatically adjusts ventilation levels based on real-time occupancy measurements. This strategy allows you to meet code and reduce energy use without sacrificing indoor air quality."

Hawaii Energy Reports Let Residents Compare Electricity Usage to Neighbors

Pacific Business News, Jan. 15, 2014, by Duane Shimogawa.
http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2014/01/15/hawaii-energy-reports-let-residents.html

"Hawaii Energy is sending some Oahu residents free reports in the mail that compare their electricity usage to their neighbors in an effort to encourage energy efficiency, the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program."

Vaunting VRF: An Energy Slashing System Is on the Rise

Buildings, Jan. 2014, by Christopher Curtland.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/16758/title/vaunting-vrf-an-energy-slashing-system-is-on-the-rise.aspx

"While [Variable Refrigerant Flow] VRF has been dominant worldwide for over 20 years, the U.S. has been slow to accept it for several reasons. Products have primarily been manufactured by Asian companies, which at one point had limited presence in the U.S. There is also little critical evaluation of actual field energy performance. But VRF sales in the U.S. are growing and multiple manufacturers offer these systems, including Carrier, Daikin, LG, Mitsubishi, and Sanyo."
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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

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.