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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for October 28, 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.


“Green Building Report: BIM and Building Efficiency” is a four-part report about building information modeling (BIM) that appeared in the September 2013 issue of Building Operating Management; the first three parts were written by Terrence Alcorn the fourth by Jacob Kriss:

  1. Part 1: How BIM Can Improve Building Efficiency
  2. Part 2: BIM Contract Requirements Help Standardize Results
  3. Part 3: Survey: How BIM Is Being Used And Where It Will Go In The Future
  4. Part 4: USGBC Offers Resources To Ease LEED v4 Transition.


The following three articles appeared in Biodiesel Magazine’s September/October 2013, Quality, Testing and Standards issue which highlighted questions about fuel quality and the biodiesel industry’s attempts to answer them:

1.     “Biodiesel's Quality Evolution,” by Ron Kotrba, Editor, Biodiesel Magazine, reports that while the recession and reduced government funding have played a role in slowing the growth of biodiesel, the major problem has been the poor quality of the fuel.  The biodiesel industry has been addressing that problem with some measurable success.

2.     “Biodiesel Quality: An Industry Imperative” was co-authored by Lisa Mortenson, CEO, Christopher Young, Director of Operations, and Steven Sabillon, QC/Lab Manager; all of Community Fuels.   This is the story of how one particular biodiesel company worked to meet higher standards of product quality with attention to better and more efficient processing.

3.     “The Quick and the Mobile,” by Ron Kotrba, Editor, Biodiesel Magazine, explains that while portable biodiesel analyzers cannot be used to show that ASTM requirements have been met, they do have an important role to play in the effort to improve fuel quality.


The following two articles were published in the September 2013 issue of Building Operating Management:

1.     Metropolitan Square Earns LEED-EBOM Gold is a short, but interesting, article about an existing Washington D.C. commercial facility that earned the certification.  The article includes a list of the sustainability actions that, together, ensure the facility will continuously improve in a number of areas.

2.     “Retail Energy Management,” by Naomi Millán, Senior Editor, Building Operating Management, is a three-part article covering the retail sector may get the most out of an energy management approach:

  1. Part 1: How Adopting Energy Management Strategies Helps Retailers Be More Energy Efficient
  2. Part 2: Retailers Say Energy Management Systems Need to Take Disparity Between Facilities into Account
  3. Part 3: Energy Management Systems: Lessons Learned at Kohl's, Adidas, Westfield


“Showcase: Elevators,” by Karen Kroll, Contributing Editor for Building Operating Management, appeared in the September 2013 issue of that journal; it considers various aspects of elevators including maintenance and the need to consider modernization:

  1. Part 1: Consistent Elevator Maintenance Is Critical to Uninterrupted Operation
  2. Part 2: Specify What Elevator Maintenance Contract Does and Does Not Cover, Consider Safety Codes When Planning Elevator Maintenance
  3. Part 3: How to Know When It's Time to Modernize Elevators
  4. Part 4: Showcase Products: Elevators



The following two articles, from the September 2013 issue of Hydro Review, suggest the possibility of changes for hydro plants that may be for the better:

1.     “Cost-Effective Passage Design for High-Head Hydro Facilities” was co-authored by Ryan Greif, Water Resources Engineer at Mead & Hunt, Kai Steimle, Aquatic Ecologist with Newhalen Associates LLC, Richard Brown, Senior Research Scientist at PNNL, and Dan Gessler, Vice President Director of Colorado Operations at Alden Research Laboratory.  This article reports on research that suggests a less expensive and more effective and safer way to move fish.

2.     “Rehabs Squeeze More Power from Existing Plants” was jointly authored by Russell Ray, Managing Editor, and Justin Martino, Associate Editor, both of Power Engineering.  It describes the relatively minor rehabilitation work at three power plants: Cheoah in North Carolina, Webbers Falls in Oklahoma, and Badger Hydro in Wisconsin.   Without exception, the plants will run much more efficiently, producing much more power (as much as 45% more in one case) than before their rehabs began.


Practical Considerations for Converting Boilers to Burn Gas” is a three-Web-page article that was jointly authored by Lawrence Berry, Vice President, Operations, and Nathan Schindler, Product Manager, Fuel Conversions, both of Combustion Components Associates; it was published in the October 2013 issue of Power.  The authors describe how to keep power plants operating when coal becomes an untenable fuel.  They cover a host of things that need to be considered when a conversion to natural gas is undertaken.  


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


Making Management of Energy Efficiency Programs More Efficient” was written by Susan Ryba, Marketing Consultant for Hometown Connections; it was carried in the September 2013 issue of Public Power.  It is a discussion of a specific software system for tracking energy efficiency equipment and conservation programs.  It was employed by a utility after it became clear that the utility’s complex data requirements had outgrown the capabilities of MS Excel.

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.