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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for August 23, 2010

ENERGY NEWSBRIEFS is a weekly current awareness service provided by the Washington State University 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.


"Back to the City," by Hannelore Sudermann, covers some of the long history of farming, which is said to have originated in cities, later moving to the non-urban areas immediately outside them. It, also, discusses the relatively recent development of farming in the Seattle area, beginning as a rural activity on land that has long since been turned into industrial, commercial, and residential space. Now, agriculture is showing signs of a renaissance in urban settings. See this article in Washington State Magazine, Fall 2010


"Efficiency Evaluations," by Carol Brzozowski, is a five-web-page article describing the auditing process including the different types of audits, the advantages, paybacks, and more. While designs for new buildings seem to be highlighted in the article title’s tag line, the energy-efficiency potential of the country’s existing building stock is what is primarily addressed. See this article in Distributed Energy, July/August 2010.

"Energy Audits in HVAC" was written by Barb Checket-Hanks, Service & Maintenance Editor, Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News . This is about energy auditing from the point of view of the HVAC company that does the auditing. This interesting article is in Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, August 16, 2010.


"Energy Use Intensity (EUI)" was jointly written by Kent Peterson, P.E., Vice President and Chief Engineer, P2S Engineering, and Hugh Crowther, P. E., Senior Vice President of Engineering, McQuay International. This article begins with a general definition to explain and a formula to derive the EUI of a building. Then, the authors explain various considerations that must be made to determine the values used in the formula. See this in-depth article in High Performing Buildings, Summer 2010

"Home Size Continues to Decline; Buyers Increasingly Opt for Single-Story Homes," by staff, reports the (slight) size decrease, which is, for reasons cited, expected to be a lasting change. See this article in Green Building News, August 2010; go to the second article on the screen. This article is based on the U.S. Census Bureau's Characteristics of New Housing, a report released on June 1, 2009, and available in several clearly-marked sections; a very brief summary of some major findings is the first link on that page, "Highlights of Annual 2009 Characteristics of New Housing.”


"Beacon Power and Department of Energy Close $43 Million Loan Guarantee for 20 MW Flywheel Plant in Stephentown, New York" is a press release from Beacon Power announcing the loan guarantee. This is a lengthy release which focuses on the proposed project and the flywheel technology that will ensure the regulation of frequency on the Northeast grid more efficiently – and without greenhouse gas emissions – than the traditional fossil-fuel generators. See this press release. "Department of Energy Extends Renewable Energy Loan Guarantee Solicitation" is a very brief U.S. Department of Energy, August 20, 2010, announcement


"Lighting," by Desiree J. Hanford, is a two-part article on night lighting in outdoor spaces, published in the July 2010 issue of Building Operating Management:

Part 1 is "Quality and Quantity Key to Outdoor Lighting." The author discusses the appearance of color in various lamps and the need to avoid over-lighting. Part 1

Part 2 is "Light Pollution, Efficiency are Concerns with Outdoor Lighting." Using reflectors to avoid light pollution and installing certain lamps and sensors to reduce energy use are discussed. Part 2


"Micro-Perks" is a four-web-page article by Dan Rafter, describing the trend toward including natural gas-powered microturbines in onsite power plants located in large office, residential, and industrial buildings. See this article in Distributed Energy, July/August 2010.


Assessing the Near-Term Risk of Climate Uncertainty: Interdependencies among the U.S. States is a 258-page, May 2010 report from the Sandia National Laboratory by Sandia researchers/scientists including George Backus et al. The working assumption for the report is that much climate-change policy will have to be made before certain or near-certain climate-change effects can be scientifically-determined. This Sandia report makes it possible to engage in risk-assessment to help avoid making serious policy errors. The metrics used are from the highly-regarded Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). Read this Sandia report


"Using RCMs to Implement Energy-Efficiency Technologies" is an article describing the benefits of employing RCMs to develop and implement strong energy-saving strategies at schools, academic institutions, and government facilities. It urges utilities to encourage and support the installation of RCMs at their customers' workplaces. A part of the energy savings realized pays for the salary and benefits of the RCM. See this article in Energy Services Bulletin, August 2010.


"A Strategic Approach to Successful O&M," by Sean Keller, Renewables Business Unit Director, DEX, points to the importance of the appropriate management of equipment maintenance. This involves an overall management strategy and a system to which the strategy can be applied. See this article in Wind Systems, July 2010.

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