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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.

 


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."

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."

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."

A New Spin On VRF & Ventilation [in a School]

Engineered Systems, Feb. 2017, by John Parris Frantz.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/98147-a-new-spin-on-vrf-ventilation

"A Tennessee district faced an old school HVAC challenge: aging ventilators and space constraints. So this team tried a new-school variation on common VRF retrofits to deliver improved efficiency and critical IAQ: they decentralized the outdoor air, combining enthalpy wheel and VRF components within a single classroom enclosure."

Where To Place Air-Cooled Chillers

Engineered Systems, Feb. 2017, by Kishor Khankari.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/98146-where-to-place-air-cooled-chillers

"Warm discharge plumes sweeping back into air-cooled condensers is nobody’s idea of an ideal performance environment. This CFD study shows how wind speed, wind direction, spacing between chillers, and separation from adjacent buildings all factor into the conversation about the best defense against unwanted hot air."

Mapping Coal’s Decline and Renewables' Rise

MIT Energy Futures, Autumn 2016, by Francesca McCaffrey.
http://news.mit.edu/2016/mapping-coal-decline-and-renewables-rise-0622

"A new study from MIT researchers, however, shows that coal’s economic edge may soon be far thinner than we think. In a working paper for the MIT Energy Initiative, graduate students Joel Jean, David C. Borrelli, and Tony Wu show how replacing current coal-fired power plants with wind and solar photovoltaic generation facilities could provide benefits for the environment and for bottom lines in the near future. The online tool they’ve created to help illustrate this argument is CoalMap, a web application that compares the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) — that is, the minimum electricity price a power plant must receive to break even on investment costs over its lifecycle — of existing U.S. coal-fired plants with the expected LCOE of potential new utility-scale solar and wind generation in the same locations."

DistribuTECH 2017: Why Utilities Are Skeptical About Transactive Energy

UtilityDive, Feb. 14, 2017, by Gavin Bade.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/distributech-2017-why-utilities-are-skeptical-about-transactive-energy/436047/

"If there was ever a power sector issue that could be said to be sexy, it’s transactive energy. The idea itself isn’t particularly flashy — design a system where distributed energy resources (DERs) can receive locational and temporal compensation for the services they offer to the grid in real time. But transactive energy gets much of its attention from its association with the blockchain, a decentralized network that underlies cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin."

Northwest Builds Efficiency Incentives for Manufactured Housing

Clean Energy Finance Forum, Feb. 13, 2017, by Kat Friedrich.
http://www.cleanenergyfinanceforum.com/2017/02/13/northwest-builds-efficiency-incentives-for-manufactured-housing

"Now that Energy Star’s incentive for manufactured housing has reached its sunset date at the end of 2016, who will take the lead in advancing these goals? ...regionally, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), in partnership with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and a group of utilities, has stepped into an innovative role. It is continuing a preexisting program that is providing an example of regional success."
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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