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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: Commercial

Commercial


Your Own Energy “Island”? ORNL Microgrid Could Standardize Small, Self-Sustaining Electric Grids

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oct. 2014, by Katie Jones.
http://www.ornl.gov/ornl/news/features/2014/a47cc734-54f3-4aec-95ba-df1bbbdb25ad

"Microgrids are designed to not only continue power to local units such as neighborhoods, hospitals or industrial parks but also improve energy efficiency and reduce cost when connected to the main grid. Researchers predict an energy future more like a marketplace in which utility customers with access to solar panels, battery packs, plug-in vehicles and other sources of distributed energy can compare energy prices, switch on the best deals and even sell back unused power to utility companies. However, before interested consumers can plug into their own energy islands, researchers at facilities such as ORNL’s Distributed Energy Control and Communication (DECC) lab need to develop tools for controlling a reliable, safe and efficient microgrid."

Energy Efficiency and Building with Wood

The Construction Specifier, Oct. 2014, by Nabih Tahan.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/energy-efficiency-and-building-with-wood/

"New wood building systems have been developed to offer greater airtightness to minimize energy consumption. The building industry should focus on combining the two aspects of using renewable building materials and energy efficiency to achieve comfortable buildings, while optimizing indoor air quality (IAQ) and reversing the negative effect of climate change."

Saving on Natatorium Energy Costs with Green Options

The Construction Specifier, Oct. 2014, by Ralph Kittler.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/saving-on-natatorium-energy-costs-with-green-options/

"When it comes to designing indoor swimming pool facilities, it is critical to ensure not only a healthy interior environment, but also energy efficiency. New technologies can provide both optimal natatorium environmental control and curtail utility consumption when specified."

EnergyIQ™: Action-Oriented Energy Benchmarking

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
http://energyiq.lbl.gov/

"In isolation, benchmarking can inspire action but provides no practical guidance. With sponsorship from the California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is building the next generation of energy benchmarking methods to address this problem. EnergyIQ—the first "action-oriented" benchmarking tool for non-residential buildings—bridges this gap by providing a standardized opportunity assessment based on benchmarking results, along with decision-support information to help refine action plans."

Vacuum Steam Heating: Past, Present...Future?

District Energy, Fourth Quarter, 2014, by Igor Zhadanovsky.
http://www.districtenergy-digital.org/districtenergy/2014Q4?sub_id=DOwgMT0rNL8TV#pg29

"Every so often, a technology that had been abandoned for a long period of time comes back to life thanks to new developments that make it viable and competitive once again. While it's too early to predict with certainty, this may be the pattern that we see for one of the heating industry's oldest technologies: vacuum steam heating. This article describes the evolution of that technology, its benefits and drawbacks, and a new approach that may make it a cost-effective option in the 21st century.

Designs That Integrate--Applying ASHRAE 90.1

Engineered Systems, Oct. 2014, by Jeffrey C. Martin.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96786-designs-that-integrate-applying-ashrae-901

"ASHRAE 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings, has served as a benchmark for both new and retrofit commercial building design for the last 35 years and continues to lead today’s sustainably minded business culture. With 90.1 or similarly stringent energy codes being adopted by various states and municipalities across the country, it is imperative that owners, designers, and contractors understand the requirements and its implications on the design and budget of a project. Compliance with the standard is often required by law and a prerequisite to obtaining a building permit."

An Untapped Solar Market: The Renewable Potential of Multi-family Housing

North American Clean Energy, Sept./Oct. 2014, by Zach Axelrod.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/18582/an-untapped-solar-market-the-renewable-potential-of-multi-family-housing

"Solar energy is rapidly becoming a popular option for homeowners as a way to save money. But, what about folks who live in apartments or condos? Multi-family dwellings, as they are known, are providing the next potential growth opportunity for the residential solar industry. Now, innovative financing mechanisms allow even low-income families to take part in the benefits of solar power."

DOE Denies Petition; AHRI Sues Over Rule

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, Oct. 13, 2014, by Jen Anesi.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/127811-doe-denies-petition-ahri-sues-over-rule

"On Sept. 23, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) denied a petition from Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and Lennox Intl. Inc. that asked the government agency to reconsider its June 3 final rule establishing energy-conservation standards for walk-in coolers and freezers (WICF). AHRI and Lennox, who argued the final rule was promulgated unfairly and contained nearly unattainable efficiency standards, filed the petition for reconsideration on July 30 in hopes the DOE would review its WICF final rule without the need for court intervention."

Better Information Will Transform Energy Use in Multifamily Buildings

American Council for and Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Sept. 30, 2014, by Lauren Ross.
http://www.aceee.org/blog/2014/09/better-information-will-transform-ene

"Last month, Fannie Mae released the first nationally representative sample of energy and water data for multifamily properties across the United States. The Multifamily Energy and Water Market Research Survey provides an insight into multifamily buildings’ annual spending on energy and water as well as other important trends and metrics. The report also responds to the lack of information on energy use in submarkets in the multifamily sector by providing separate breakdowns for affordable and market-rate units, tenant and owner-paid utility bills, and by building size and other important building features."

National Green Building Adoption Index 2014

CBRE and Maastricht University, 2014.
http://www.cbre.com/o/international/AssetLibrary/Green-Building-Adoption-Index-2014_Final.pdf

"To quantify and understand the dynamics of this growing marketplace for 'green' buildings, we engaged an academic research team...to conduct this study. Their work, the first published results of the CBRE Real Green Research Challenge, is the initial broad effort to map the adoption of  'green' space in the 30 largest U.S. commercial office markets. This publication provides the inaugural results of the Green Building Adoption Index."
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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

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.