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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for July 4, 2011

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.


"Urban Agriculture," by Barbie E. Keiser, was published in the May 2011 issue of Searcher. The author quotes the MetroAg Alliance for Urban Agriculture: UA “is the growing, processing, and distributing of food and other products through intensive plant cultivation and animal husbandry in and around cities.” It appears that in the case of many fruits, nuts, berries, and melons, urbanites are already buying local. The article includes a nearly five-Web-page table of UA resources.


"Finer Points of Building Information Modeling" is a three-Web-page article jointly written by Elyse Malherek, Applications Engineer and Building-Information-Modeling Project Manager, and Gregg Laing, Manager of the Software Systems Group – both of McQuay International; the article was published in the May 2011 issue of HPAC Heating/Piping/AirConditioning Engineering. The authors focus on the components of the systems that are modeled for buildings and, necessarily, on the software tools that enable component design.

"LEED-EBOM" is a four-part article by Tristan Roberts, Senior Editor, Environmental Building News, on earning LEED's certification for the operations and management of an existing building; it appeared in the May 2011 issue of Building Operating Management:

Part 1 is Formal LEED-EBOM Certification. This is a caution to facility managers who might be tempted to think that using the LEED certification requirements as guidelines is as good as actually getting the certification. While the former is "a good starting point" the latter is dependent upon third-party verification, and there really is no substitute for that.

Part 2 is Tips on Difficult LEED-EBOM Credits. The author focuses on the credit to be gained from optimizing energy performance within the energy and atmosphere category (EAc1); he discusses it and provides a link to the relevant LEED Web page.

Part 3 is Working with Other Departments on a LEED-EBOM Initiative. Some useful tips are provided to gain necessary support and engagement from other parts of one's company.

Part 4 is How to Maintain (or Improve Upon) Certification. LEED buildings must undergo recertification to maintain their LEED status within one to five years after initial certification. This is a discussion of how best to approach recertification and what to avoid.


"CHP: Cutting It at Sawmills" by Anna Austin, Associate Editor, Biomass Power & Thermal; it was published in the May 2011 issue of that journal. A saw mill plant in Eugene, Oregon, is able to supply all the fuel needed to operate using cogeneration technology. The mill's own bio-waste products made its conversion to cogen an economically sound choice. The author describes what other considerations went into the mill's decision to move to cogen.

"Large-Scale Tests Begin to Convert Flue Gas to Usable Water," by Sonal Patel, Senior Writer, Power, appeared in the May 2011 issue of that journal. The testing is taking place in the Netherlands and is converting flue gases from industrial and utilities plants into usable, even potable, water.


The RELCOST Financial is a software tool to evaluate the financial costs and benefits of energy projects. The RELCOST Financial User's Manual, by Carolyn J. Roos, Ph.D., Washington State University Extension Energy Program was supported by several groups, all listed in the Acknowledgements section of this 112-page document.


"$2.7M for Hydrogen Pilot Plant" was written by Bruce Johnstone and carried in the June 28, 2011, issue of the Leader-Post. It reports on an intriguing research project, financially supported by both the Canadian and the Saskatchewan Provincial governments, that is being conducted at the University of Regina. The university will be testing whether its new "revolutionary" catalyst, already proven at the laboratory level, will work at a pilot plant. Success at this second level would point to the likelihood of success at the very large scale that the commercial sector would require.


"How Much Is Your Air System Really Costing?" is an article by Ron Marshall, Industrial Systems Officer, Customer Engineering, Services, Manitoba Hydro (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), and Bill Scales, Scales Industrial Technologies, Inc. Written for Compressed Air Challenge, it was published in the May 2011 issue of Maintenance Technology. The authors show exactly how very high the cost of using compressed air is. They urge it be used in appropriate applications only, given that other power sources are much less expensive. They offer ways for operations managers to have the energy costs measured and reported, the first steps to take to bring compressed air costs under control, and they suggest how to manage compressed air usage and costs.

RESIDENTIAL EFFICIENCY STRATEGIES Stay Cool, Save Money is a website, revised (and re-named) seasonally, 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 warmer months.


"New York City Backs Tidal Power," is a five-Web-page article by Angela Neville, JD, Senior Editor, Power; it appeared in the May 2011 issue of that journal. The second demonstration program for sinking six hydrokinetic turbines in the East River (New York City) has been successful. The turbines appear to have had very little environmental impact and have been delivering power purchased by Con Edison for delivery to its customers on nearby Roosevelt Island. The plan is to add 30 more turbines for a larger pilot project if pilot licensing can be secured.


"Major Offshore Players Introduce Colossal Wind Turbines, by Sonal Patel, Senior Writer, Power, appeared in the May 2011 issue of that journal. In addition to the 7MW turbines to be built as prototypes late next year, this article discusses other advanced turbines at various stages of production.

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.

© 2011 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.