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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for November 19-26, 2012

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.


Procuring Architectural and Engineering Services for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability was jointly written by Eliza Hotchkiss, Andy Walker, and Nancy Carlisle, all of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; this 52-page document was prepared for the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). It was developed to assist federal energy managers as they procure professional services for new construction projects.

"A Zero-Sum Game," by Penelope B. Grenoble, is a three-Web-page article on zero net energy buildings; it was published in the September/October 2012 issue of Distributed Energy. Net zero energy facilities include Richardson Elementary School in Warren County, Kentucky and an office building at NREL's Research Support Facilities (RSF) in Golden Colorado. The same elementary school in Warren County is covered in more depth in "Achieving Net Zero," by Kenneth L. Seibert, PE, LEED AP, and President, CMTA Consulting Engineers was published in the Fall 2012 issue of High Performing Buildings. This article describes the new Richardsville Elementary School built to replace the original Richardson school. The new school has on-site photovoltaics; further, it benefits from the creative design of building and other systems (kitchen and IT) for high efficiency.



"DDC Gain without the Pain" was jointly written by Ron Wilkinson, PE, LEED AP, e4 inc., and by David K. Roberts, Cypress Envirosystems; it was published in the October 2012 issue of HPAC Heating/Piping/AirConditioning Engineering. Wireless pneumatic thermostats gives facilities managers of high-end commercial buildings the opportunity to convert from pneumatic controls to direct digital controls without disruption to high-rent tenants. The author describes how DDT works and how it accommodates potential battery failure so building systems keep running.


"Explore EIA’s New State Energy Portal" is a Web page featured in the October 22, 2012, issue of Today in Energy. The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) has developed this new portal. It enables comparisons among states for energy use, generation, and more.

"Illuminating Center Stage" by Ed Ritchie, is a three-Web-page article carried in the September/October 2012 issue of Distributed Energy. It tells the story of how efficient lighting has become a staple of energy-saving efforts in the building industry for new construction and retrofits. New, reliable technologies, together with supportive code and legislative changes as well as financial incentives, are major influences. The author references several examples of projects involving new lighting technologies.


The following three articles were published in the October 2012 issue of NEMA's electroindustry:

  1. "Energy Storage System Standards Integrate Renewable Energy into the Grid," on page 18, was written by John Howes, Principal, Redland Energy Group; it was published in the October 2012 issue of NEMA's electroindustry. The DOE Energy Storage Systems (ESS) program was designed to develop performance and economic data that can be used to validate various energy storage systems.
  2. "NEMA and IECEE Collaborate on Development of Global Motor Efficiency Labeling Program" (scroll toward the bottom of pages 20-21) was co-authored by William Hoyt, Industry Director, and Joel Solis, Conformity Assessment Manager; both of NEMA. It is hoped that this collaboration will result in a Global Motor Efficiency Labeling Program.
  3. "Testing and Certification Standards for Smart Grid," on page 17, was written by Steve Griffith, PMP, Smart Grid Industry Director, NEMA. This article takes a look at the work of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) as it develops testing and certification guidance along the lines of ISO/IEC's guides for electrical product safety, but with adaptations for use with the smart grid.



The following two articles were published in the October 2012 issue of Pumps & Systems:

  1. "How to Size a Relief Valve," by Lev Nelik, Ph.D., PE, and President, Pumping Machinery, LLC, is a three-Web-page article. It addresses alleviating the blocking of the discharge in positive displacement pumps by sizing the relief valve correctly. As the question and answer section of the article shows, correct sizing is difficult, but possible.
  2. "Sealless Eccentric Pumps for Isocyanates ," by Paul Cardon, Mouvex Industrial Products Manager, Pump Solutions Group (PSG), is a three-Web-page article. The Union Carbide disaster at Bhopal, India is reviewed showing the volatility and toxicity of isocyanates and making the case for eccentric disc pumps for use with these organic compounds.


"Renewable Electricity Generation" is a five-page, September 2012, fact sheet from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); it was written by David Moore and includes one page of endnotes. It features EERE-DOE's successes in extending renewables into the country's energy mix in specific areas: solar, wind, geothermal, wave and tidal energy, and hydrogen and fuel cells.

"Securing Clean, Domestic, Affordable Energy with Wind," by Kathleen O'Dell, NREL, is a two-page, October 2012, fact sheet from the Wind Program at DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. It discusses the U.S. market for wind and the research and development efforts underway at the Wind Program.


"Wind Turbine with the World’s Largest Rotor Goes into Operation," by staff, appeared in the Vol. 4 No. 41 (likely October 2012) issue of North American Clean Energy Wind News. This article describes the testing of this offshore turbine in Denmark's waters.

The following two articles appeared in the October 2012 issue of Wind Systems:

  1. "The Evolution of the Gearbox Oil Change" was written by Aaron Sage, COO for Sage Oil Vac. The author traces the changes in the mindset about, and the practice of, changing gearbox oil. In the process, the necessity of keeping gearbox oil fresh and very clean comes through.
  2. "Rotor Blade Leading Edge Erosion – Real Life Experiences" was authored by Lisa Rempel, Director of Quality Assurance, Complete Wind Corporation. The possible ways for this type of erosion to cut short the life of turbine blades are well-described and clearly illustrated.


The following four articles were written by staff and published in the Vol.4, No. 42 (likely, October 2012) issue of North American Clean Energy Solar News:

  1. "Conergy Installs 725 kW Solar Solution for Almond Producer, T&P Farms" announces that solar energy will be used to hull and shell almonds in the company's farming operations in the outskirts of Arbuckle in California.
  2. "New Tools to Determine Wind Energy & Solar Power Potential on Contaminated Lands" refers to "decision trees" that will help municipalities across the country make sound decisions with their vacant lands. "Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites" is an EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) Web page which includes links to both solar decision trees and wind decision trees along with other useful information.
  3. "Researchers Reveal How Solvent Mixtures Affect Organic Solar Cell Structure" shows that solar cells that are polymer-based are comprised of acceptor and donor layers. The article describes how these layers work together to produce energy. Research reveals that unlike what has been believed, it is not necessary to keep each acceptor layer wholly out of contact with the donor layer; in fact, high efficiencies can be reached with some contact occurring as long as each layer is relatively small.
  4. "The Solar Cell that Also Shines: Luminescent ‘LED-type’ Design Breaks Efficiency Record, Illuminates 50-Year Mystery" sheds light on why solar cells have not achieved the theoretical maximum of efficiency for converting photons into energy.

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. Permission to copy or disseminate all or part of this material is granted, provided that the copies are not made or distributed for commercial advantage, and that each is referenced by title with credit to the Washington State University Extension Energy Program. Copying, reprinting or dissemination, electronic or otherwise, for any other use requires prior written permission from the Washington State University Extension Energy Program.

last changed 11/29/2012