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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for June 3, 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.


"Raw Material Rationale," by Keith Loria, was published in the Vol. 1, Issue No. 3, 2013 of Pellet Mill Magazine. Consumers' preferences for what wood comprises their pellets center on hardwood vs. softwood. However, wood specialists emphasize the differences among each of the two; they are concerned with which of the hardwood or softwood species yield higher BTUs and lower ash. Brands may vary as well; some pellet manufacturers may be operating in ways that produce higher-quality pellets.


The Virtuous Cycle of Organizational Energy Efficiency: A Fresh Approach to Dismantling Barriers" is an ACEEE, 15-page paper from the 2012 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings; it was written by Emily Reyna, Jake Hiller and Chris Riso, all of the Environmental Defense Fund; and by Jason Jay, MIT Sloan School of Management. The authors identify five main barriers to adopting company-wide and ongoing energy efficiency efforts, and they discuss how to successfully address those five barriers.

"Improved Energy Performance is One of Many Goals for New LEED-EBOM" was written by Greg Zimmerman, Executive Editor, Building Operating Management; it was published in the April 2013 issue of that journal. The new version, LEEDv4, is to be released in the autumn of 2013; it will require a higher Energy Star score to ensure that LEED continues to play a leadership role in resource savings. Alternatively, buildings that perform poorly, in terms of energy use and emissions will continue to be able to take another path for LEED certification, Energy Jumpstart (Pilot Credit 67).


"A Yankee in King Arthur’s Court," by Tim Portz, is an interview with Seth Ginther, Executive Director of the U.S. Industrial Pellet Association; it was carried in the Vol. 1, Issue No. 3, 2013 of Pellet Mill Magazine. It seems that policy certainty – the extension of government subsidies for using pellets – in several European countries is the major driver for the growth of the U.S. pellet-exports industry.


The following three articles were published in the May 2013 issue of Distributed Energy:

  1. "Gensets for Critical Operations," by Carol Brzozowski, is a five-Web-page article that focuses on the fuels that gensets use in emergencies. There has been a growing interest in using greener power than has been the case in the past, but that approach brings its own challenges and they are explored. At the same time, natural gas has become the fuel of choice for many genset owners; the article covers serious reservations about reliance on it in emergencies.
  2. "A Secure Solution," by Ed Ritchie, is a five-page article focusing on two possible advantages of onsite power: security and energy efficiency. Currently, CHP (combined heat and power) is the biggest onsite energy saver, and the author explains why that is the case.
  3. "Turbine Service," by Dan Rafter, is a three-Web-page article explaining that an onsite cogeneration plant offers many benefits. However, operating, maintaining, and managing the turbines that run the plant can be a significant drain on any company. Handing over those functions to firms such as utilities under some sort of service agreement may result in more uniform savings over the long run.


"Spring and Summer Energy-Saving Tips" is a Web page from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office of the U.S. Department of Energy. The site offers many tips for energy savings for the warmer months.


"New Method for Calculating Evaporation from Occupied Swimming Pools" was written by Mirza M. Shah, Ph.D., PE, FASHRAE, FASME. A new formula that is in close agreement with test data has been developed. It accounts for the difference in evaporation rates when the pool is occupied (and by how many people) or when it is not. In addition to the formula, tables are provided for the user's convenience. A sidebar, "Calculations in SI (Systeme International) Units," is included at the end of the article's References section.


"Waste Not, Want Not: Analyzing the Economic and Environmental Viability of Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Technology for Site-Specific Optimization of Renewable Energy Options" prepared by Kip Funk of NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) et al. is a 47-page, February 2013 NREL technical report; it includes an Executive Summary on PDF-page 6 (document-page vi). This report describes WTE technology, explains a model used to evaluate the viability for WTE at a specific site, and reports the results of several life-cycle assessments.


"Side-by-Side Testing of Water Heating Systems: Results from the 2010 – 2011 Evaluation," is a 57-page, March 2013, paper prepared by Carlos Colon and Danny Parker, both of the BA-PIRC / Florida Solar Energy Center, for NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory); it includes an Executive Summary on PDF-page 11 (document-page xi).

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