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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.

 


Microgrid Momentum: Building Efficient, Resilient Power

C2ES: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Mar. 2017, Doug Vine, et. al.
https://www.c2es.org/docUploads/microgrid-momentum-03-2017.pdf

"When Hurricane Sandy cut off power to millions of homes and businesses in the Northeast, a few areas, mostly parts of universities, kept the lights on using their own power generation systems. This ability to sustain electricity service during widespread natural disasters is one reason for the growing interest in microgrids. But they offer other important benefits as well. By increasing efficiency, integrating renewables, and helping manage energy supply and demand, microgrids can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ave energy. For utilities, microgrids can ensure power reliability in remote areas. Microgrids also appeal to those who want to disconnect from utility bills."

How to Plan a Successful Energy Efficiency Upgrade

Building Operating Management, Mar. 2017, by Lindsay Audin.
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/energyefficiency/article/Plan-Audit-Commission-Measure-and-Verify-Steps-To-A-Successful-Energy-Upgrade--17074

"When developing ways to improve energy efficiency in commercial facilities, two words stand out: Plan ahead. While some efficiency options are almost literally plug-and-play, maximizing benefits while avoiding pitfalls involves steps taken long before choices are made and equipment specified. New technologies, incentives, and codes need to be integrated into any strategy for saving money through energy use reduction. Done well, those steps may lead to higher quality, greater savings, lower costs, and happier occupants." An article in 3-parts.

Codes and Standards For Energy Conservation

The Construction Specifier, Mar. 2017, by Anthony Katona.
https://www.constructionspecifier.com/codes-and-standards-for-energy-conservation/

"Concerns with global warming and energy consumption mean design/construction professionals need a better understanding of how these topics affect commercial buildings. This article presents an overview of the effects U.S. model building and energy codes—along with industry standards—have on low-slope roofs (assembled with insulation above the roof deck) and exterior masonry walls."

5 Common Fuel Cell Myths

U.S. Dept. of  Energy, Mar. 9, 2017, by Mike Mueller.
https://energy.gov/eere/articles/5-common-fuel-cell-myths

"We recently added two fuel cell electric vehicles to our fleet (the first for a government agency) and are using them for public outreach. What we’re finding out is that there’s a lot of interest in these cars – and some misconceptions. So, in order to separate fact from fiction, we decided to tackle the top five fuel cell myths."

What You Need to Know About Renewable Diesel

Government Fleet, Mar. 2017, by Shelley Ernst.
http://www.government-fleet.com/channel/biofuels/article/story/2016/03/what-you-need-to-know-about-renewable-diesel.aspx

"What is renewable diesel? The short answer is it’s a fuel that is chemically similar to petroleum diesel, but is 100% renewable and sustainable. In other words, it’s the latest, greenest diesel on the market. But to really understand it, it’s helpful to back up and understand the difference between it and its predecessors, petroleum diesel and biodiesel."

Energy Savings Can Be Fun, But No Need To Turn Off All The Lights

NPR, Mar. 7, 2017, by Ingrid Lobet.
http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/03/07/518175670/energy-savings-can-be-fun-but-no-need-to-turn-off-all-the-lights

"A new company is doing more than just monitoring electricity use. It's making tracking your electrical data fun. Steve Reed of San Diego says he signed up for free with OhmConnect. He was eager to see how much his family could cut back on electricity at times when there is a high demand for it in the area. Soon, he got a text prompting him to lower use for an hour — from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. the next day. The service includes an interactive map of where your electricity is coming from. Curtis Tongue, one of OhmConnect's co-founders, says it makes climate change and pollution less remote and gives people a way to do something purposeful."

Digester Mixing Fundamentals

BioCycle, Feb. 2017, by Craig Coker and Gene Smith.
https://www.biocycle.net/2017/02/14/digester-mixing-fundamentals-2/

"Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a biological manufacturing process where waste materials such as food wastes, animal manures and sewage sludges are converted, in the absence of oxygen, to products such as biogas and digestate. AD is traditionally a liquid process; that is, it often occurs in sealed reactors processing a thin liquid with a 93 to 99 percent moisture content.... Mixing maintains integrity of the decomposition process by improving circulation and consistency, and minimizing volumes of the scum and grit layers."

SnoPUD Launches New Model of Battery Architecture

NWPPA Bulletin, Feb. 2017, by Neil Neroutsos. -- scroll to page 26 of the .pdf.
https://www.nwppa.org/wp-content/uploads/Bulletin_Feb_2017_WEB.pdf

"Later this winter, Snohomish County Public Utility District will bring online its second energy storage system at a substation in Everett, Wash. The battery storage systems aim to transform the marketplace and how utilities manage grid operations. They also are designed to improve reliability and the integration of renewable energy sources, which are rapidly growing in the Pacific Northwest. The projects were made possible in part by a $7.3 million investment from the Washington State Clean Energy Fund."

What the Wall Street Journal Got Wrong About PACE

ACEEE Blog, Mar 2, 2017, by Jim Barrett.
http://aceee.org/blog/2017/03/what-wall-street-journal-got-wrong

"The growth of the PACE [Property Assessed Clean Energy] market has been so remarkable that it’s getting attention outside of the efficiency world as well as inside it. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article calling PACE the “fastest growing loan category.” But in the same article, it ominously compared PACE to the subprime mortgage crisis. If true, this would certainly merit even more attention, this time from regulators and possibly even law enforcement. Fortunately, it’s not."

Best Practices for CHP Development

Power Engineering, Feb. 2017, by Thomas G. Adams.
http://www.power-eng.com/articles/print/volume-121/issue-2/features/best-practices-for-chp-development.html

"Combined heat and power (CHP) projects promise many benefits to a wide array of large energy users, and CHP has a long history of adoption and success in many industries. Despite its wide adoption, many energy users considering the development and installation of a CHP project face a set of tasks and challenges that they are not always fully equipped to handle since their primary business is usually quite different from power and thermal energy production. By focusing on best practices from the start of project development, to execution, and on to long term operation and maintenance, new owners of CHP systems can mitigate risks and maximize the chances of success for their project."
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The Energy Newsbriefs Blog is a continuation of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs. Please bookmark this site and return frequently. Although we will not be accepting comments from within the Blog, we would be happy to hear from you by email at library@energy.wsu.edu