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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.


Category: HVAC/R


Blue Devils Go Green: Duke Converts Steam Plant From Coal to Gas

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, June 2015, by Greg Carnathan and Cheryl Piner.

"University ends 80-year dependence on coal."

Biomass District Energy Provides Economic, Environmental Benefits

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, June 2015.

"When John Cressy became facilities director for Sullivan County, N.H., six years ago, a study of the feasibility of utilizing biomass to reduce reliance on foreign fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions was under way. The study did not meet the county’s expectations, and the entire project was shelved. Then, the Wood Education and Resource Center stepped in and offered to do a new feasibility study. 'The study blew our minds,' Cressy said. 'The numbers looked almost too good to be true.'"

Reusing Existing HVAC Systems and Components

ASHRAE Journal, June 2015, by Ramez Afify.

"During renovations, clients often ask if an existing oversized HVAC system or component can be reused. Budget constraints and timing are often cited.... This article reviews the impact of oversizing the most commonly used HVAC components. It also explores how new designs can be great designs if the engineered system has built-in flexibility, allowing a system to operate satisfactory under different loads and operating scenarios."

Duct Dynasty: Are Smart Vents Really That Smart?

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, May 25, 2015, by David Richardson.

"The concept behind the smart vent goes back to a myth that is decades old. The myth is that if you close the supply registers to rooms you don’t use, you’ll save energy by not heating or cooling those rooms. Sounds logical, right?  To understand some of the interactions these devices can cause with an HVAC system, you have to understand how dampering supply registers affects static pressure and system airflow. It’s also important to know how fans in HVAC equipment respond to these changes in static pressure."

Inverters: Efficient, Comfortable, Quiet: Ductless Technology Moves into Ducted ASHPs

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, May 25, 2015, by Joanna R. Turpin.

"Once the hallmark of high-efficiency ductless equipment, more manufacturers are incorporating inverter-driven compressors into their ducted air-source heat pump (ASHP) offerings. The reasons for this are simple: Inverter technology improves energy efficiency, provides better comfort, and offers quieter operation."

How Energy Recovery Impacts IEQ

Buildings, May 2015, by Janelle Penny.

"Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) are a popular choice for fresh air ventilation, as they allow users to precondition the temperature and humidity of outdoor air using the waste energy from building exhaust. Not only does the fresh air and consistent temperature improve IEQ, the use of exhaust for conditioning reduces the mechanical heating and cooling load to save energy and money. Your occupants could likely benefit from a breath of fresh air – but is an ERV the way to accomplish that? Evaluate this technology for your facility below."

Facility Focus: Large Retailers Increasingly Ready to Tackle Energy Efficiency

Business Energy, May 2015, by Dan Rafter.{"page":10,"issue_id":254619

"Manufacturers are meeting the challenges of clients with large building portfolios and varied store hours."

Duct Dynasty: Residential Duct-leakage Testing

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, June 15, 2015, by David Richardson.

"HVAC professionals across the country are experiencing a recent change that is driven by energy codes. This change is related to duct-leakage testing on new and often retrofitted HVAC systems."

DOAS Gaining Traction in US [Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems]

Air conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, June 15, 2015, by Jen Anesi.

"Commercial building codes are mandating higher volumes of fresh-air intake than ever before. To help meet these ventilation requirements, more and more HVAC contractors and building owners are turning to dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS). These systems most often run in parallel with other systems to deliver 100 percent outdoor air and handle latent loads. The units improve occupant health and comfort, and they are quickly gaining popularity in the U.S."

So, You Have A Boiler System

Engineered Systems, June 2015, by Marcia Karr.

"Whether it takes the form of low-cost adjustments and calibration, targeted replacements within the system, or a more substantial retrofit project when large equipment has run its course, you almost always have a good move available to conserve energy and expense. Boiler retrofits can reduce operating costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide better reliability.  The primary focus of a boiler retrofit is to accomplish these goals without compromising comfort, safety, or quality. This article provides recommendations about three types of retrofits."


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