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Industrial Newsbriefs

April 2011

Welcome to this edition of Industrial Newsbriefs, produced by the Washington State University Extension Energy Program, and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Please forward this issue to those of your colleagues interested in industrial energy efficiency. View archive 

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AIRMaster+ is a free online software tool that helps users analyze energy use and savings opportunities in industrial compressed air systems. Use AIRMaster+ to baseline existing and model future system operations improvements, and evaluate energy and dollar savings from many energy efficiency measures.


CHP for wastewater treatment facilities

Evaluation of Combined Heat and Power Technologies for Wastewater Treatment Facilities, published by Brown and Caldwell with assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), examines current and emerging Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technologies and their use in wastewater treatment plants. Detailed information about processes, performance, infrastructure requirements, and costs are provided, and four facility case studies are included.

Short video presents one facility's experience with CHP

Juan Ontiveros, Executive Director of Utilities and Energy Management at University of Texas at Austin, shares his perspectives on the energy-saving Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system installed at his facility. This 3-minute video also includes illuminating footage of the system in operation.


Improved nanocoatings for gas turbine efficiency

Erosion resistant nanocoatings can greatly increase engine performance, and their widespread adoption could result in billions of dollars of energy savings and corresponding emission reductions across the U.S. industrial and transportation sectors. Erosion-Resistant Nanocoatings for Improved Energy Efficiency in Gas Turbine Engines, published in March 2011, provides an overview of U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) research and development efforts in this area.


Demand response achieves cost parity with new generation

On March 15, 2011, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) established a market-based demand response compensation rule, which requires utilities to pay the same for electricity resources gained by voluntary use reduction during peak times as they do for newly generated electricity. To learn more, read the press release.

National Clean Fleets Partnership announced

On April 1, 2011, President Obama announced the National Clean Fleets Partnership, a public-private partnership to help large companies adopt hybrid, electric, and alternative fuel vehicles into their fleets. Participating companies will receive technical assistance, support, and group purchase discounts. To learn more, read the press release.

California approves 33% by 2020

On March 29, 2011, the California State Assembly approved a bill that requires the state's utilities to acquire 33% of its power from renewable sources by 2010. This exceeds the state's prior goal of 20%, which the state is well on its way to achieving; the current level of generation from wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass sources is 18%. To learn more, read "California Approves Higher Renewable Energy Standard," published March 29, 2011, on Mechanical Engineering / Breaking News (Source: AP).


Performance Track program revives as non-profit

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Performance Track program was cancelled in 2009, leaving its membership of 200 companies, 500 facilities, and 20 states hanging. The program has been created anew by the non-profit Stewardship Action Council, an organization which includes both former members of Performance Track and some new partners. The program is designed to promote sustainable and socially responsible business practices through cooperation, collaboration, and recognition. For information, read the March 18, 2011, Reuters article "EPA's Cancelled Performance Track Program Finds New Life as Nonprofit," or visit the Stewardship Action Council website.


First viable 'artificial leaf' debuted

A research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed the first workable solar cell to mimic the process of photosynthesis. The 'artificial leaf' uses common, inexpensive materials, and shows particular promise in its potential for applications in third world off-grid applications. For information, read "Debut of the First Practical 'Artificial Leaf'," published March 28, 2011, on Science Daily.

Clean energy on the rise

Clean Energy Trends 2011, published in March 2011 by Clean Edge, Inc., presents statistics showing the growth pattern of biofuel, wind, and solar energy over the past decade. The research shows that these benchmark technologies have exceeded market expectations, and predicts the continued growth of these and other sustainable technologies over the next decade.

Video highlights research in electrofuels; advanced biofuels

Solar energy is seen as a promising source of renewable electric power, but less attention has been focused on the emerging potential for the conversion of sunlight into liquid fuel. Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E), a subset of the U.S. Department of Energy, has produced a short video about cutting edge developments in electrofuel and advanced biofuel research. The video can be viewed on YouTube or on the front page of the ARPA-E website.

Building efficiency analysis by infrared camera

A new imaging system, developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), provides detailed information about the energy loss of buildings with the help of a simple infrared camera. The technology holds promise as an inexpensive diagnostic tool which can be used on a single building or on a neighborhood scale. For information, see "MIT Imaging System Energy Efficiency Focused," published March 25, 2011, on Earth Techling.


Using Renewable Energy Purchases to Achieve Institutional Carbon Goals: A Review of Current Practices and Considerations, published in January 2011 by NREL, compares and contrasts the role of green power and carbon offsets in the most prevalent greenhouse gas reporting programs. This publication sheds light on an often confusing process which is in continual flux, and should prove useful for the business owner looking to voluntarily monitor their carbon emissions.

Energy Intensive Processes Portfolio: Addressing Key Energy Challenges Across U.S. Industry, published in March 2011 by the U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Technologies Program (ITP), identifies promising advanced technologies for saving energy and reducing carbon emissions in the industrial sector. The technologies represent efforts in both the public and private sector, and show promise in both energy productivity and economic growth.

Hydraulic and Pump System 'Free Stuff'

The Hydraulic Institute has on their website a variety of free resources related to pump systems management, efficiency, and standards. Access requires (free) registration, but once registered, users can access webinar recordings, documents, e-learning courses, and more. Visit the Free Stuff Overview page to register and see a list of available materials.

Latest Energy Matters now available

The latest issue of Energy Matters, a quarterly publication by the U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Technologies Program (ITP), is now available. This issue features the Save Energy Now LEADER Showcase, the Compressed Air Challenge, industrial energy success stories, an energy management toolkit, and more.


DOE program to facilitate patenting of national labs technologies

A new program set to launch by the U.S. Department of Energy will make it easier for small businesses to commercialize innovative new technologies developed in U.S. national laboratories. “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator” will reduce the cost of licensing $1000, streamline the paperwork process, and postpone equity and royalty fees. A list of the technologies available for licensing is available on the Energy Innovation Portal. For more information, read the March 29, 2011, press release.

Avanced Biofuels funding announced

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) will provide $12 million in funding for laboratory or small scale projects that support the development of gasoline, diesel, and/or jet fuel from biomass via the processes of gasification and pyrolosis. For information, read the DOE press release.

Research and Development for Hydrogen Storage
Close Date: 4/29/2011

The U.S. Department of Energy requests proposals for Research and Development for Hydrogen Storage. This initiative will support R&D activities to enable the widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Areas of interest include: 1) Reducing the cost of hydrogen storage tanks, and 2) New materials discovery. $12 million expected to be available, up to 12 awards anticipated. Letters of Intent are requested but not required and are due 4/8/11, final proposals due 4/29/11.

Offshore Wind Technology Development
Pre-applications Date: 4/11/2011

The U.S. Department of Energy requests proposals for U.S. Offshore Wind: Technology Development. Through this RFP, DOE seeks proposals which address Technology Development through Modeling & Analyses Tools to Assess Offshore Wind Technologies and Innovative Hardware System Concepts. $5.1 million expected to be available, up to 8 awards anticipated.


Dryer Technology
April 11-12, 2011
Madison, Wisconsin

This course provides information and methods that you can put to use immediately. Attendees will learn how improve drying operations, reduce operating and energy costs, select proper equipment to fulfill the process objectives, estimate process design requirements, apply practical knowledge to drying problems, and conduct dryer surveys as an aid to problem solving and improving operations.

WEBCAST: Fan System Assessment Tool Version 1.0
April 13, 2011
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST

The Fan System Assessment Tool (FSAT) is a free online software tool that helps industrial users quantify energy use and savings opportunities in industrial fan systems. Use FSAT to understand how well your fan systems are operating, determine the economic benefit of system modifications, and establish which options are most economically viable when multiple opportunities exist for system modification.

WEBCAST: US DOE Industrial Technologies Program Motor System Tools
April 20, 2011
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST

MotorMaster+ is a free online National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Premium® efficiency motor selection and management tool that supports motor and motor systems planning by identifying the most efficient action for a given repair or motor purchase decision. The tool includes a catalog of more than 20,000 low-voltage induction motors, and features motor inventory management tools, maintenance log tracking, efficiency analysis, savings evaluation, energy accounting, and environmental reporting capabilities.

WEBCAST: Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool, Version 3.0
April 27, 2011
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST

The Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST) introduces methods to improve thermal efficiency of heating equipment. This tool helps industrial users survey process heating equipment that consumes fuel, steam, or electricity, and identifies the most energy-intensive equipment. The tool can be used to perform a heat balance that identifies major areas of energy use under various operating conditions and test "what-if" scenarios for various options to reduce energy use.

WEBCAST: AirMaster+ Version 2.0
May 4, 2011
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST

AIRMaster+ is a free online software tool that helps users analyze energy use and savings opportunities in industrial compressed air systems. Use AIRMaster+ to baseline existing and model future system operations improvements, and evaluate energy and dollar savings from many energy efficiency measures. AIRMaster+ provides a systematic approach to assessing compressed air systems, analyzing collected data, and reporting results.

AIRMaster+ Specialist Qualification Training
May 10-13, 2011
Portland, Oregon

This 3 1/2 day intensive training session will introduce the AIRMaster+ software and AIRMaster+ curriculum. AIRMaster+, developed by DOE and the Compressed Air Challenge (CAC), is a system assessment tool that allows a skilled user to model existing and future system upgrades, and evaluate the savings and effectiveness of energy efficiency measures. Prerequisite: Level 2 Advanced Management of Compressed Air Systems training.

Energy/Facilities Connections conference
May 11-13, Leavenworth, Washington

The event brings together facility professionals from schools, universities, municipalities, state and provincial agencies, tribes, non-profits and utilities. Attendees benefit from a focused environment to share best practices, learn innovative technologies, and learn from top-of-the line facility experts. Presented by the WSU Extension Energy Program’s Plant Operations Support Consortium, the conference theme is “Now…More than Ever!” and stresses creative “out-of-the-box” thinking.

Industrial Energy Technolgy Conference
May 17-19, 2011, New Orleans, Louisiana

The IETC, hosted by the Energy Systems Laboratory at Texas A&M University, is a one-of-a kind conference that focuses on a wide variety of topics of current importance to industrial energy managers, utility experts, government program managers, vendors and others. The latest technologies and expertise on combined heat and power, smart manufacturing, energy opportunity analysis, and case studies of successful, real-world industrial efficiency projects are presented.

WPA Webinar: Opportunities for Adding New Transmission Lines to Support Renewables
May 18, 2011
12:00 PM PST

This free webinar is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America 2011 webinar series. The speakers will focuses on three activities that provide the opportunity to build additional transmission lines to get renewable energy to the market—Western Renewable Energy Zones (WREZs), USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS), and the Western Area Power Administration's (Western's) Transmission Infrastructure Program.

WEBINAR: Fundamentals of Compressed Air (Level 1); Four-Part Series
May 18 - June 8, 2011

This Web-based version of the popular Fundamentals of Compressed Air Systems training uses an interactive format that enables the instructor to diagram examples, give pop quizzes and answer students’ questions in real time. The curriculum will be organized into four 2-hour sessions: Introduction, Why Care About Air and Study Your Supply Side; Understand Your Demands & Are You On Base; Controls; and Maintain Systems Efficiency, Get with the Plan and Summary- Evaluation. Special registration rates for Compressed Air Challenge sponsors and groups of 10 or more are available.

Steam End User Training – E-Learning
Self-paced online workshop

This course covers the operation of typical steam systems and discusses methods of system efficiency improvement. A brief demonstration of the BestPractices Steam System Tool Suite software is highlighted to help identify and quantify savings from selected potential improvement examples. The training is designed for plant personnel, such as energy managers, steam system supervisors, engineers, and equipment operators, who have steam system responsibilities in industrial and institutional plants.

Steam Systems E-Learning
Self-paced online workshop

This training course will provide an overview of the BestPractices Steam Tool Suite. The training course will begin with a navigational tutorial to guide you on how to move through the three modules. Each training module will demonstrate the capability of one tool and its interactions with the other tools. Interactive quizzes will be used to test your basic understanding of the tools after you complete the course.


For a listing of other upcoming industrial energy efficiency trainings, visit the following websites:

Energy Events Calendar

Northwest Regional Training Calendar

U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Best Practices Training Calendar

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