Bookmark and Share

Enter Title


Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for December 24, 31, 2012, and January 7, 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.


The 2013 Washington State Energy Legislature is in session and the WSU Energy Library’s Washington Energy Related Bill-Tracking Tool is up and running (and updated regularly) for the ninth consecutive year. See this database to keep up with the progress of energy-related bills introduced into the Washington State legislature.


"New Study: Energy Codes Work but Home Efficiency Opportunities Abound," by Denis Du Bois, is a December 18, 2012, article published by Energy Priorities that discusses the September 18, 2012, 140-page NEEA study Residential Building Stock Assessment: Single-Family Characteristics and Energy Use, prepared by David Baylon et al. and Ecotope Inc. A two-page, November 16, 2012, fact sheet that covers the highlights of the report, "Residential Building Stock Assessment – Single Family Housing: Overview of Findings" is, also, available.

"Supersize IT," by David Engle, is a four-Web-page article that was carried in the November/December 2012 issue of Distributed Energy. Creative solutions for the power demands of large-scale data centers include developing off-grid alternative energy in rural areas, conserving energy to reduce demand on local utility, installing diesel gensets yielding 100% to 150% of power needs in case the local utility loses power, and even, in rare cases, owning substations. The author includes an interesting discussion of the use of DC (direct current) at the Zurich-West Data Center (ZWDC), in Switzerland.

"Challenge: Hospitals, Health Care Facilities," by Neal Boothe, exp Global Inc. et al., was carried in the November 2012 issue of Consulting-Specifying Engineer. It presents the challenges of building projects for health-care facilities in an interview with five industry leaders: Neal Boothe, exp Global Inc.; David W. Crossey, Lovorn Engineering Assocs. LLC; Jeff Harris, PE, LEED AP, HGA Architects and Engineers; Michael McLaughlin, Southland Industries; and Michael Sheerin, PE, LEED AP BD+C, TLC Engineering for Architecture.

The following six articles were published in the November 2012 issue of Building Design + Construction. The first five were co-authored by Amy McIntosh, Associate Editor, Raissa Rocha, Associate Editor, and Rob Cassidy, Editorial Director; all of Building Design + Construction, the sixth article was written just by Rob Cassidy, Editorial Director:

  1. "Greenbuild 2012 Report: Government & Military" cites many examples of the engagement of the government sector in saving both money and the environment through sustainable building design and construction. The government sector includes the military, specifically, as well as other federal agencies, and state and local governments. From New Hampshire to California, military and governmental facilities have taken the lead (and many LEED certifications) in this effort. Two governmental projects in Washington State are included: the LEED-Platinum Brightwater Environmental Education and Community Center in Woodinville (King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks) and the Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Facility in Pierce County.
  2. "Greenbuild 2012 Report: Healthcare" offers several examples of green health-care facilities; the first LEED-Silver radiation center is one of them.
  3. "Greenbuild 2012 Report: Higher Education" features green buildings at San Diego Miramar College, Georgia Tech, Oregon State University, and several others.
  4. "Greenbuild 2012 Report: Hospitality" shows how the Sheraton New York cut energy use by 14% and a Hyatt Regency Minneapolis renovation included as many local goods and services as possible.
  5. "Greenbuild 2012 Report: K-12 – High-Performance Schools Put ‘Sustainability’ in the Lesson Plan" reports on a number of interesting projects. College Park Elementary School (Virginia Beach, Virginia) has a net-zero stormwater system, the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School at West Point (New York) avoided landfilling nearly all of its construction and demolition waste, and Gloria Marshall Elementary School (Spring, Texas) has geothermal heating and cooling.
  6. "Greenbuild 2012 Report: Green Architecture Firms" highlights the firms and a number of specific projects from LEED-certified to net-zero.


2011 Wind Technologies Market Report is a 93-page document from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Office of the U.S. Department of Energy, published August 2012; it includes an Executive Summary on PDF-pages five through eleven (document-pages iii through ix). The end of some tax incentives for wind, low prices for natural gas, and a slowed rate of increase in electricity demand are all factors that may negatively affect the growth of the wind industry, at least for the short term. As a result, it is possible that the United States may not be producing 305 GW of wind power/year by 2030 meaning that the goal of 20% of the country's power generated by wind by 2030 may not be met.

United States Building Energy Efficiency Retrofits: Market Sizing and Financing Models is a 50-page, March 2012 publication from the DB Climate Change Advisors of Deutsche Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation. The potential for energy savings, environmental benefits, and jobs creation from the retrofitting of buildings for energy efficiency are quantified. The size of the retrofit market for pre-1980 residential, commercial, and institutional buildings is ascertained, and the financial models that would best eliminate various barriers to large-scale retrofit efforts are described.

World Energy Trilemma 2012: Time to Get Real – The Case for Sustainable Energy Policy (Volume I) is an 88-page, November 2012, document prepared by the World Energy Council in partnership with the Oliver Wyman Group; it is the fourth annual assessment of energy and climate policies worldwide. "Trilemma" refers to three major challenges to be met by the community of nations: energy security, social equity, and environmental impact mitigation. This 2012 publication reports on what CEOs of major companies believe are what is needed from policies to meet the three challenges. In a to-be-prepared 2013 report, the focus will shift to what policymakers believe they need from industry to accomplish the same task. Volume II of the Trilemma, but posted as a separate document, is the 2012 Energy Sustainability Index (scroll to document-page three which is PDF-page five). It "ranks WEC member countries in terms of their likely ability to provide a secure, affordable, and environmentally-sensitive energy system."


"Using KPIs To Monitor And Improve Pump Performance," by Author:Gunnar Hovstadius, Ph.D., is a five-page, re-issued, fact sheet that appeared in the November 2012 issue of Maintenance Technology. KPIs (key performance indicators) can be used to gain efficiencies for better pump performance. This fact sheet helps the reader understand how to combine which parameters in order to increase the effectiveness of a KPI.

The following five articles were carried in the November 2012 issue of Pumps & Systems:

  1. "Maintenance and Energy Cost Control" is a two-Web-page article written by Kevin Trimmer, Product Manager for Advanced Motor Protection, Eaton Corporation. The emphasis is on efforts to enhance energy efficiencies. Discussion includes information about condition monitoring, configuring advanced overlay relays, and more.
  2. "Motor Bearing Damage" is a five-Web-page article written by Adam Willwerth, Sales and Marketing Manager, Electro Static Technology. The author explains why the bearings of energy-efficient inverter-duty motors need the protection that may not come automatically with the motor and what to do about it.
  3. "Proper Shaft and Belt Alignment" is a three-Web-page article authored by Paul Michalicka, North American Area Sales Manager, SKF Maintenance Products. The author states that misalignment is expensive and can be avoided by following best practices. They include certain actions that are carefully discussed.
  4. "Replacement Parts" is a two-Web-page article written by Scott Kimble, Director for Distribution and Aftermarket Sales, Colfax Fluid Handling. The author makes the case for the value of parts built by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). He cautions that the operative word in the phrase "original equipment manufacturer" is "original" because copied, pirated, and other non-original parts are not reliable.
  5. "Sealless Centrifugal Pumps" is a two-Web-page article authored by Tom Marcone, National Sales and Marketing Manager, Iwaki America. The article shows what is wrong about using air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps in applications requiring the transfer of clean chemicals. Sealless centrifugal pumps should, instead, be used.



The following two, two-page fact sheets were produced by the Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals Project in the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) Office at the U.S. Department of Energy:

  1. "The Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals Project," by Deborah Lastowka, NREL, reviews the definition of acceptable energy-upgrade work and highlights the standards for training organizations and for the certifications they award to ensure that workers are highly qualified.
  2. "Home Energy Professional Certifications," by Deborah Lastowka, NREL, includes information to ensure that homeowners, employers, and workers know that the workers (energy auditors, retrofit installers, crew leaders, and quality control inspectors) have received the right training to successfully complete home energy upgrades.


The following two articles appeared in the November 2012 issue of Resource Recycling:

  1. "Political Signs Pose Recycling Challenge," by Jake Thomas, Resource Recycling, is a discussion of how to handle the disposal of the political signs that spring up just prior to elections whether local, state, or national.
  2. "Recycling, Reuse Could Save Billions in Healthcare Costs" is an article by Jake Thomas, Resource Recycling. The article is based on the findings of a 14-page November 2012 Issue Brief from the Commonwealth Fund, "Can Sustainable Hospitals Help Bend the Health Care Cost Curve?"


The following two articles were published in the November 2012 issue of Industrial Heating:

  1. "Cold Traps," by Dan Herring, President of The Herring Group Inc., describes the cold traps used in plants running thermal operations or freeze-drying operations. They are essential for collecting and converting fumes to solids, for preventing pump back-streaming, and more.
  2. "Making a Material Balance," by Art Morris, shows how to perform the complex, but necessary, task of determining stream inflows and outflows to ensure an appropriate balance for the industrial furnace.


The following three articles highlight the work of three different companies; they were written by Sherri Mabry and carried in the November 2012 issue of Wind Systems:

  1. "Construction Profile: Alternative Energy Institute" provides a history of the West Texas A&M-based institute and a description of its research and testing, its education and specialized training, and its wind data analysis and predictive assessments.
  2. "Maintenance Profile: Air Sentry" shows the sensitive nature of the fluid reservoirs of gearboxes of wind turbines. The claim for the product discussed is that it can control contamination better than the breather caps or air vents it replaces. This would result in less maintenance and longer life for the gearbox.
  3. "Manufacturing Profile: BlueScout Technologies, Inc." is about a new, portable, optical, predictive control system that measures incoming wind speed and direction to increase energy generation and decrease wind turbulence damage to turbines.

The following two articles appeared in the November 2012 issue of Buildings:

  1. "Maximize Solar Return in Low-Sun Zones," by staff, focuses on the Midwest, but much of the information is of value to other low-sun zones as well.
  2. "Wind Turbines Operate 97% of the Time," by staff, discusses briefly the operation of turbines and refers to a database and an annual report, both developed by Sandia National Laboratories. Sandia's 34-page, September 2012, second annual report is Continuous Reliability Enhancement for Wind (CREW) Database: Wind Turbine Reliability Benchmark. Sandia has, also, published the related 21-page, annual report Wind Plant Reliability Benchmark, September 2012.

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.

© 2012 Washington State University Extension Energy Program. This publication contains material written and produced for public distribution