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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for October 29, 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.


"Project: 1315 Peachtree," by staff, appeared in the September 2012 issue of Building Operating Management. This article describes the major renovation of, and addition to, an Atlanta office building while achieving LEED Platinum and enabling the first floor public library to remain in operation throughout the work.

Part 1: Office Renovation for Architecture Firm Achieves LEED Platinum

Part 2: Green Features Reduce Energy Consumption 58 Percent

The following case studies were carried in the September 2012 issue of Interiors & Sources:
  1. "Building a New Port" by Elianne Halbersberg, showcases the new headquarters for the Port of Portland (Oregon); it was designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification. It employs a ground-source heating and cooling system unlike any other in the country.

  2. "Facing Forward, Still Looking Back," by AnnMarie Martin, Senior Editor and E-Content Director, Interiors & Sources, is a case study of the Hays County Government Center in San Marcos, Texas. The new facility is very up-to-date with an emphasis on modern technologies and attention to "green" or sustainable features such as using local limestone and having and attracting visitors to use a central staircase to conserve the energy that the elevator would use. On the other hand, it is steeped in tradition. It has a stunning rotunda as a reminder of the bronze-domed, historic, former courthouse located close by. Additionally, its orientation is another nod to the past: "The building even faces south, as do all courthouses in Texas, with its back to the north – a subtle reference to the Civil War."

  3. "On the Horizon: Salt Lake City Public Safety Building," by Adam Moore, Managing Editor, Interiors & Sources, is about the city's under-construction Public Safety Building which is a near net-zero energy building that is expected to earn at least LEED-Silver certification.

  4. "Tech Meets West," by Robert Nieminen, Editor, Interiors & Sources, features the new City Hall building in Chandler, Arizona. Aimed for LEED-Gold certification, it is located in the walkable, historic downtown to solidify that area as the core of Chandler and to avoid sprawl. It was designed with both the community's past and future in mind. Minimized western exposure, expansive daylighting, and other strategies should result in dramatic energy savings. In one, more unusual, artistic feature, a "second skin" on part of the façade is in narrow strips of perforated steel that move according to wind patterns. These strips protect the building from the sun, as well.


"Solving the Energy Storage Dilemma," by staff, was published in the September 2012 issue of Public Power Magazine. The quick review of, as yet, unsatisfactory options, segues into what is suggested is a better possibility: pumped hydro or compressed air energy storage (CAES).


"Lighting" is a four-part article by Hayden McKay, AIA, FIALD, FIES, Principal of Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design (HLB), and carried in the September 2012 issue of Building Operating Management. The author stresses the planning and preparation required before a successful lighting upgrade can get underway. Interestingly, a daylighting strategy can be implemented in many existing buildings, and, of course, controls will maximize daylighting's potential to save energy and increase the comfort of building occupants:

Part 1: 10 Questions To Ask Before A Lighting Upgrade Begins

Part 2: Determining Goals Of Lighting Upgrade Can Lead To Different Solution

Part 3: Lighting Upgrade Mock-Ups Help Make Options Clear

Part 4: Daylighting and Controls Can Be Part Of Lighting Upgrades


"Food Fight" was authored by Allan Gerlat, News Editor of Waste Age and; it is a four-Web-page article published in the September 2012 issue of Waste Age. Which is the preferable way to dispose of organic materials is under review here: composting vs. landfilling – for LFTG (landfill gas-to-energy) projects. The EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) has a position on it, and that is included in the article. Also, the EU (European Union) has, over the years, been looking into the comparative costs (financial and environmental) of both. A 2002 study, Economic Analysis of Options for Managing Biodegradable Municipal Waste: Final Report to the European Commission, by Eunomia Research and Consulting, taking into consideration the differing approaches of its member countries, includes this statement:

On the balance of evidence that has been presented, it seems that a policy of source separation will be justified where the collection system for source-separated biowastes is carried out in such a way as to optimise costs. Furthermore, where the costs of composting itself are kept to a reasonable level, it becomes likely that the net cost increase will be minimal, and may become negative (as is already the case in several countries) as costs for other treatments increase. It is worth noting that the costs of landfilling and incineration have shown a tendency to rise (owing to controls on pollutants etc.) whereas those for enclosed composting and anaerobic digestion have, if anything, shown a tendency to fall. The costs for composting are likely to be lower under mandatory separate collection to the extent that this increases typical plant scale.

Another (2009) EU study, Final Report - Assessment of the Options to Improve the Management of Bio-Waste in the European Union: ANNEX E: Approach to estimating costs, jointly developed by Eunomia Research and Consulting and by Arcadis, refers to the earlier study and, with modeling, identifies costs in quite specific areas. The cost estimations take into consideration the variations (from one EU country to the next) of composting vs. landfilling in both capital expenditures and operating expenditures.


The following three articles appeared in the September 2012 issue of Wind Systems:
  1. "Making the Cut with HGG Profiling Machines" was authored by Andreas Petrosino, Marketing and Communications Manager, Leica Geosystems, Hexagon. Steel profile cutting is discussed generally and then, more specifically, in the context of the manufacture of certain foundation structures for off-shore wind farms.

  2. "Using Sealants, Lubricants and Surface Treatments in Turbine Manufacturing" was written by Jason Spencer, Director of Business and Market Development, Adhesive Technologies, Henkel Corporation. These products are described and how they protect and extend the life of wind turbines is discussed.

  3. "Wind Turbine Capacity Frontier from SCADA" was jointly authored by Xiupeng Wei and Anoop Verma, both Doctoral Students, and Andrew Kusiak, Ph.D., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering; all of the University of Iowa. Turbine performance compromised by faults and the resulting repair time and cost can be minimized by data envelopment analysis (DEA), which is well-described by the authors.

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© 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.