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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


Energy Optimization: Hand-Picking Products for Energy Performance

Building Operating Management, Mar. 2015, by Naomi Millán.

An article in 6 parts:
Part 1: Making the Right Choice with Energy Optimization Products and Services Part 2: ROI, Applicability, Operational Impact Influence Energy Decisions
Part 3: Focus on Benefits, Product Credibility in Energy Optimization Purchases
Part 4: Best Practices for Energy Optimization
Part 5: Pilot Programs, Veterans’ Insights Help with Energy Optimization
Part 6: Introducing the Apex Award for Energy Optimization

Energy-Efficient Makeup Air Units

ASHRAE Journal, Mar. 2015, by Hugh Crowther.

"Unless you live in paradise, delivering makeup air to most buildings is expensive. Table 1 shows the amount of work it takes to heat and cool air (based on Chicago conditions) for a standard rooftop unit (a unit that recirculates air with typical air conditioning loads) and a makeup air (MUA) unit."

LCCA for HVAC Systems

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Mar. 2015, by David J. MacKay and Kohler Ronan.

"Practically speaking, there are multiple building design options that can meet programmatic needs and achieve acceptable levels of performance. From a purely financial perspective, the only appropriate design alternative is the solution that satisfies the owner's project requirements for the lowest total cost of ownership. Lifecycle cost analysis (LCCA) is a powerful tool used to determine the most cost-effective option among competing alternatives. Although LCCA has been used for decades to reliably identify cost-optimal design solutions, many building owners and architecture and engineering professionals still rely on simple payback to make project investment decisions."

What Every TAB [Test-And-Balance] Technician Needs to Know About Indoor Air Quality

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Apr. 2, 2015, by William Carson Judge.

"Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) contributes to a substantial number of health problems. ASHRAE Standard 55-1992 addresses the most common factors related to the comfort of occupants within the space. This article outlines the guidelines."

2015 ASHRAE Technology Awards: Energy Efficient Ice Rink

ASHRAE Journal, Mar. 2015, by Art Sutherland.

"An extensive study conducted by Natural Resources Canada determined that a typical 40,000 ft2 (3716 m2) ice rink in Canada will consume an average of 1.5 million kWh of equivalent energy per year. The Westhills Recreation Centre in Langford, British Columbia, is nearly twice as big uses only 768,000 kWh. And, the refrigeration system for the ice surfaces produces so much waste heat that excess is shared with a nearby housing development."

Chilled-Water Piping Condensation Control for Energy Savings and Risk Avoidance

Insulation Outlook, Feb. 2015, by Richard Lubinski.

"Proper mechanical insulation of chilled-water piping is critical. The life-cycle cost savings and risk avoidance made possible by insulating chilled-water piping is vital to the design of a high-functioning system. Chilled-water pipe insulation is the wrong place to attempt value engineering when designing new or replacement piping."

Creative Finance [Energy Efficiency Funding]

Building Operating Management, Mar. 2015, by Greg Zimmerman.

A 5 part article on how to select the best way to fund energy efficiency projects:
Part 1: Finding Best Financing Options for Energy Efficiency Projects
Part 2:‘Threshold Questions’ Help Find Path to Energy Efficiency Financing
Part 3: Financing Tools Include Energy Performance Contract, Energy Service Agreement
Part 4: Utility On-bill Financing an Added Option for Energy Efficiency Projects
Part 5: PACE Financing an Option for More Extensive Energy Efficiency Projects

Case in Point: Symphony Hall Cooling Tower Hits the Right Notes

Engineered Systems, Mar. 2015.

"In an effort to eliminate disruptive airflow noises during performances, the Symphony Hall at The Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta installed cooling towers designed with the benefit of quieter operation."

Energy Optimization In Existing Buildings

Engineered Systems, Mar. 2015, by Mohamed Abaza.

"The importance of focusing on energy optimization in existing buildings is crucial to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In the U.S., existing buildings represent 85-90% of entire building stock (75+ billion sq ft). Buildings are responsible for an estimated 40% of U.S. primary energy use, 72% of electricity consumption, 39% of carbon emissions, and1 13.6% of potable water consumption."

Distribution and Substation Transformers: Design & Installation

Solar Pro, Mar./Apr. 2015, by Alexey Kondrashov and Tobin Booth.

"In this article, we cover the fundamentals of transformer construction and operation. We discuss the general use of distribution and substation transformers in commercial and utility solar applications. We consider important transformer ratings and features. Finally, we summarize factory and field tests. If you do not take these considerations into account, the humble transformer can trip up your whole project. Our goal is to provide a definitive and practical guide that will help you select and specify pad-mounted distribution transformers for commercial and utility solar facilities."
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