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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for October 07, 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 September 2013 issue of Biomass Magazine; the second and third articles were both written by Anna Simet, Managing Editor of Biomass Magazine:

  1. "Dedicated Feedstock Forerunner,” by Sue Retka Schill, Senior Editor of Biomass Magazine, describes a company’s effort, with government financial assistance, to grow crops to fuel its cellulosic ethanol plant. The article includes a sidebar, “Managing Invasiveness Risk.”
  2. "On Board with Energy Crops” reports that Portland General Electric (PGE) has been researching the possibility of switching fuels at its Boardman Power Plant, the last operating coal plant in Oregon. If feasible, torrefied biomass may replace coal at the plant thereby avoiding two unpalatable options for the company: closing the plant or meeting emissions requirements by 2020.
  3. "Real Green Heat” is a case study of a five-story apartment building in Hamburg, Germany, whose façade is a system of photobioreactors that produces heat and power from the algae growing on it.


One Way to Solve Fracking’s Dirty Problem,” by Kevin Bullis, was published in the September/October issue of MIT Technology Review. The author explains the GE-conducted research which, he suggests, could lead to a solution. GE believes it has an energy-efficient technology that can do the job.


The following three articles were carried in the September 2013 issue of HPAC Heating, Plumbing, Air Conditioning Magazine:

  1. "Changing Direction,” by John Siegenthaler, PE, explains the mechanics and functions of flow reversal and describes specific applications where flow reversal is needed.
  2. "Getting It Right” was written by Mike Miller, National Business Development Manager at Uponor Canada Ltd. The author describes what actions will optimize a radiant system. Hebegins by showing how differently radiant loops are laid in comparison to mechanical piping. He follows with strategies for controls.
  3. "The Variable Flow Renaissance,” by Steve Thompson, Director of Residential Product Management, Taco Inc., defines variable flow, explains suitable applications for it, and, also, clears up some common misconceptions about it.


Insulation and Climate Change” was authored by Richard N. Wright, Chair of the Sustainability Topical Committee of the Consultative Council of the National Institute of Building Sciences; it was published in the August 2013 issue of Insulation Outlook – note that issues of this journal appear on the Web quite a bit later than the hard copy is released to subscribers. The article addresses how insulation can be brought into effective service in the increasing extreme weather events associated with climate change. It, also, includes a very informative sidebar, based on information from the US DOE’s EIA (Energy Information Administration), that briefly summarizes the changes in the types of energy that Americans have relied upon over the years.


The following two articles appeared in the September 2013 issue of Maintenance Technology:

  1. "Fouled Heat Exchangers? Try Electronic Water Treatment,” by staff, explains what fouling is, how it occurs, what it negatively affects (energy efficiency, for one), and what to do about it.
  2. "Moisture Protection of Electronics” was written by Cody Hostick of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He presents Best Practices associated with accomplishing the task of keeping electronics dry.


"Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips" is a Web page from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office of the U.S. Department of Energy. The site is now offering many tips for energy savings for the cooler months.

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.