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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for February 11, 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 following three articles appeared in the January 2013 issue of Building Operating Management:

  1. "High IQ" was written by Rita Tatum, Contributing Editor for Building Operating Management. This four-part article focuses on how newly constructed and remodeled buildings can be designed to be "intelligent" and able to take advantage of efficiency opportunities created by new technologies:
    1. Part 1: Potential Energy Savings Drive Interest in Intelligent Buildings
    2. Part 2: Intelligent Buildings Link Multiple Subsystems to Building Automation Systems
    3. Part 3: Microsoft Uses Fault Detection, EMS and BAS to Manage Massive Portfolio
    4. Part 4: GSA's Building Links Project Centralizes Data to Cut Costs
  2. "HVAC" was written by David P. Callan, P.E., CEM, LEED AP, Senior Vice President, and by Kyle Hendricks, LEED AP O+M, Project Manager, both of Environmental Systems Design; it was published in the January 2013 issue of Building Operating Management. "Drift" is the word often used to identify the changing performance of HVAC systems from high, when new, to progressively lower levels as time goes on. Drift is attributed, in part, to ever increasing complexity in the systems that require ever more sophisticated responses by human operators to deviations in performance. Another reason for drift is complex HVAC system control logic; while there is complexity in other HVAC components, the HVAC control system must be an exception to that. How to minimize drift with financing is also covered:
  3. "Roofing" was written by Karen Warseck, , AIA, LEED AP, President of Building Diagnostics Associates, and Contributing Editor for Building Operating Management; this is a three-part article addressing how to determine whether a roof should be repaired or replaced and how to justify the decision:
    1. Part 1: Zombie Roofs - Reasons Roof Failure Is Ignored
    2. Part 2: Visual Roof Exam, Moisture Survey Can Help Spot Zombie Roofs
    3. Part 3: Coating Can Be Short-Term Solution for Deteriorated Roof


    "Using Ultrasound to Identify Electrical Faults" was written by Joseph D. Gierlach, Jr., TEGG Service; it was published in the January 2013 issue of Maintenance Technology. It shows how important it is to use both infrared and ultrasound technologies so critical systems are both visually and aurally checked for defects.


    "FERC Issues New Policy on Transmission Incentives" (scroll to the middle of page 7) is a short article in the issue Number Three issue for 2012 of the ELCON Report. The new FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) policy is an attempt to reserve incentives for transmission developers who have first minimized their financial risks.


    Understanding Electric Utility Customers -- Summary Report: What We Know and What We Need to Know is an October 2012, 72-page final report prepared by Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Energy Resource Economics, LLC, and Richard N. Boisvert. This is a technical, scholarly evaluation of studies done in three major areas (pricing, feedback, and controls) for each of three sectors (commercial, industrial, and residential).

    The following two articles appeared in Fortnightly's Spark; they are undated but were posted late in 2012:

    1. "Preventing Tomorrow's Blackout: The Case for Tighter Coordination among Transmission Planners and Protection Engineers" is a three-Web-page article by Diwakar Tewari, Senior Consultant, Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) The author cites the outages which, ultimately, could be traced to a less than optimal coordination.
    2. "Rethinking Compliance: Greater Value from Sarbanes-Oxley Processes" is a five-Web-page article by Sean Riley, Assurance Partner in the Power and Utilities Practice, and Alan Conkle, Partner, Lead for the U.S. Power and Utilities Risk Assurance Practice; both of PwC. It is suggested that by thinking proactively about Sarbanes-Oxley (S-O) instead of reactively, utilities can realize several benefits of great value. The article lists and explains three actions for utilities to take in order to more-than-just comply with S-O requirements so as to amplify the benefits.

    The following three articles were published in the January 2013 issue of Power:

    1. "Distributed Generation: California’s Futurev" is a five-Web-page article by Jason Makansi, President, Pearl Street Inc. The author believes that California's notable clean energy efforts lie, necessarily, in a context of distributed generation.
    2. "The Electric Grid: Civilization’s Achilles Heel?" is a three-Web-page article written by Kennedy Maize, Executive Editor of Managing Power and Contributing Editor to Power. This is a review of vulnerabilities of the grid and ways to avoid or prepare for large scale power outages. There is striking disagreement about the potential danger of solar flares between a major industry organization and others who have studied the issue. Also, a surprising solution has been offered to the problem of cascading during a power crisis.
    3. "Emerging Technologies Enable 'No Regrets' Energy Strategy" is a four-Web-page article, by Arshad Mansoor, Senior Vice President, Research & Development, EPRI. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) agrees with industry experts that three important changes will be of major consequence: more natural gas, more renewables, and emissions reduction requirements. EPRI proposes several ways to meet all three challenges.

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    © 2013 Washington State University Extension Energy Program. This publication contains material written and produced for public distribution