Bookmark and Share

Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for April 15, 2013

ENERGY NEWSBRIEFS is a weekly current awareness service provided by the WSU Extension Energy Program Library and written by Angela Santamaria, WSU Energy Library Manager, to assist users in tracking developments in the energy field. To view past issues or to subscribe to receive an email notification of the publication of a new issue, go to the Energy Newsbriefs home.

Please be aware that although every URL is checked for accuracy prior to the publication of Energy Newsbriefs, URLs are, for various reasons, subject to change. Further, servers sometimes fail to connect to working URLs.

AGRICULTURE – PUMPING: includes Centrifugal Pumps, Motors

The following two articles were published in the March 2013 issue of Pumps & Systems

  1. "Powering the Pump: Diesel Versus Electric Motors" is a two-Web-page article written by Tim Albers, director of Product Management and OEM Marketing for the Industrial Motor Division of Nidec Motor Corporation. The author notes that in 1992, diesel was cheaper than electricity, but now the reverse is the case, making electric-powered motors more attractive. Additionally, electric motors are low maintenance compared to diesel motors.
  2. "Pump Systems for Today’s Agricultural Irrigation" is a two-Web-page article written by Vahan Bagdasarian, Innovation Manager, Irrigation, for Grundfos. The author emphasizes that the right pumping system for the application will save energy and water and the dollars they both cost.


"The City of FOG, by Ron Kotrba, Editor, Biodiesel Magazine, appeared in the March 2013 issue of Biodiesel Magazine. Atlanta is trying to address the restaurant fats, oils, and greases (FOG) that comprise trap grease which is illegally dumped into the city's sewers. This results in plugging up the sewers causing untreated overflow, threatening residents and visitors alike with a number of bacterial, viral, and parasitic diseases. Instead, energy can be made from FOG that is not dumped. (A comment from a reader suggests going further: make the grease traps illegal, using yellow grease for a variety of valuable uses.)


As announced in the FEMP Digest for the week of April 8, 2013, four new FEMP Technology Briefs, by staff, have been released:

  1. "Magnetic-Bearing Chiller Compressors" describes the technology and explains that these new compressors are much more efficient, especially under partial-load conditions, than reciprocating and screw compressors.
  2. "Wireless Sensor Networks for Data Centers" shows that the network installed at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Information Technology Center in St. Louis has improved energy performance dramatically. This was the case in spite of the fact that the facility's energy use was already well managed.
  3. "Doing Time under the Sun" discusses the PV system on the Cellhouse building at the former prison, now a National Park site, on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.
  4. Boiler Combustion Control and Monitoring System" explains how combustion control systems work and when they are the effective, alternative option to higher-cost boiler or burner replacement.


"Development Status of the Alden 'Fish-Friendly' Turbine" was published in the March 2013 issue of Hydro Review and jointly authored by Norman Perkins, Senior Civil Engineer at Alden Research Lab; Douglas A. Dixon, Rajesh Dham, Ph.D., Waterpower Program Manager at EPRI; and Jason Foust, Ph.D., Hydraulic Engineer at Voith Hydro. This EPRI-developed turbine must be installed at an active hydro plant to test its effectiveness. The aim of its developers was to allow fish to pass through the turbine on their way to their spawning grounds. This would avoid the need for alternative routes involving water siphoned off from the main water flow used to generate power.


"WSU Spokane Collects Lighting Efficiency Rebate from Avista," by Doug Nadvornick, WSU Spokane, was published in the April 11, 2013 issue of WSU News. By outfitting the Innovate Washington building on the university's Spokane campus with new, efficient lighting, the university is saving on energy bills and received a $20,000 rebate from its utility. More projects are planned.


"Sixth Power Plan Northwest Power and Conservation Council, March 13, 2013, Mid-Term Assessment Report" has been released; it includes an Executive Summary on document-pages 4-5. It shows that the Northwest is on track for implementing the Sixth Power Plan which includes the goal of saving 1,200 average megawatts in the five-year period from 2010 to 2014.

"Summary of Customer-Funded Electric Efficiency Savings, Expenditures, and Budgets (2011-2012)," by Adam Cooper and Lisa Wood, both of IEE, is a 22-page, March 2013, IEE (Institute for Electric Efficiency) Issue Brief; it includes an Executive Summary on document-page 1 (PDF-page 5). Nationally, energy efficiency is on the rise and continues to displace new power plants, thereby, greatly reducing emissions. This summary reports, further, on costs and on policies of various states; it, also, offers some forecasts for how both costs and policies will proceed through 2025.


Projects: System Profiles is a section in the April/May 2013 issue of Solar Pro; it includes the following three case studies of solar installations:

  1. "Robert A. Bothman, Inc., Fort Hunter Liggett," by Brian Bothman, Vice President, Robert A. Bothman, Inc., describes the solar installations at the Jolon, California base, that constitute Phase One of a larger project. Two steel canopies, 20 feet above ground, hold the arrays and allow for the parking of large Army vehicles underneath.
  2. "Sunlight Electric & Shamrock Renewable Energy Services: VF Outdoor Coalition Campus" was written by Rob Erlichman, CEO and Founder, Sunlight Electric. The company, a division of VF Corporation, sells several brands of outdoors apparel. Its Alameda, California, campus now has rooftop and carport-top solar installations which yield 1,123 MWh of (AC) electric power, annually.
  3. "Sunlight Solar Energy, Kupillas Residence," by Dustin Wilson, Sunlight Solar Energy, describes the solar installation on a residential rooftop in Mulino, Oregon. The array serves two purposes: it replaces some of the energy the homeowners would need to purchase from their local utility, of course, but, additionally, it serves as backup power when service to the home fails, which happens often enough and for long enough periods of time to make backup power a necessity.

Past issues of Energy Newsbriefs are available here. Generally, subscription information for the journals cited above can be found at the home page of their web sites. © 2013 Washington State University Extension Energy Program. This publication contains material written and produced for public distribution