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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


Package Boilers Find New Friends

Plant Engineering, Jul/Aug 2016.

"For original equipment or replacements, package boilers offer efficiency, redundancy, flexibility: Advanced controls manage steam ramp-up and ramp-down for better combustion efficiency and heat transfer; improvements create efficiencies as high as 85%."

Capturing the Full Benefits of Demand Flexibility

Rocky Mountain Institute, Aug. 11, 2016, by James Mandel and Ginger Juhl.

"Demand flexibility—allowing household devices like HVAC systems and smart appliances to interact with the electric grid in response to real-time price changes—can save customers money and lower the overall cost of electricity. In our recent paper, The Economics of Demand Flexibility, we analyzed the economics of making common household loads controllable and responsive to electricity price signals."

The Omnipresent and Omnipotent LED

Building Operating Management, Aug. 2016, by Naomi Millan.

3-part article explaining the synergy between LEDs and the Building Internet of Things:
Part 1: LEDs Are An Ideal Platform for the Building IoT
Part 2: Common IoT Applications for LED Lighting Systems
Part 3: SIDEBAR: Overcoming Privacy Concerns With Network Lighting Systems

Innovations in Motor Technology Spark Energy Efficiency

Business Energy, Jul/Aug 2016, by Patrick J. Piper.

"With minimum efficiency regulations increasing two to three times every decade, the engineering preference to make motors more efficient is coming to the fore. Motor manufacturers have been trying to improve the efficiency of their motors for years, however there hasn’t been a new technology to rival ECM motors in efficiency and performance."

Regulation of Commercial Fan Efficiency: An In-depth Exploration of the Department of Energy’s Fan and Blower Rule

Business Energy, Jul/Aug 2016, by Trinity Persful.

"Fans consume 14% of the electricity purchased by industrial and commercial buildings. Yet, fan efficiency has escaped the attention of those who design efficiency into the air systems they specify. That is about to change. The US Department of Energy (DOE) will publish their proposed rule this year covering fans from 1 to 200 horsepower. This new regulation will determine compliance at the design point of the fan."

Update on U.S. Fan Energy-Efficiency Regulation

Heating, Piping, Air Conditioning Engineering, Aug. 2016, by Anthony (Tony) Rossi and Michael Wolf.

"Progress to date and future direction of efforts to reduce fan power consumption."
References ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings and AMCA 205, Energy Efficiency Classification for Fans.

Premium Power Drive Systems

Heating, Piping, Air Conditioning Engineering, Aug. 2016, by Rob Boteler.

"Increasingly in industrial and commercial HVAC applications, electric motors are being combined with power converters to form premium power drive systems (PPDS). When used in variable-flow applications, PPDS can deliver savings unmatched by mechanical speed/flow-control systems."

Squeeze Efficiency from Window Upgrades

Buildings, Aug. 2016, by Robert Nieminen.

"Window replacement isn’t cheap, but neither are existing windows that are out of date and inefficient. The opportunity to upgrade comes around infrequently – possibly as part of a broader energy conservation plan funded by one financial package – so owners must maximize their return."

zEPI FAQ: Zero Energy Performance Index

New Buildings Institute, July 2016.

"The 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) includes many progressive measures that will improve the energy performance of buildings. One important provision describes the Zero Energy Performance Index (zEPI), which provides a scale for measuring commercial building energy performance. zEPI represents a fundamental shift in measurement of building efficiency as it sets energy targets for actual energy consumption rather than using a predictive energy model of building energy performance to calculate a “percent better than code” metric. zEPI sets an energy use intensity (EUI) target for building type and is adjusted for climate. It is also the measure by which a building’s energy efficiency is calculated once operational and occupied based on measured energy use data."

Lending for Energy Efficiency Upgrades in Low- to Moderate-Income Communities: Bank of America’s Energy Efficiency Finance Program

ACEEE, July 28, 2016, by James Barrett and Brian Stickles .

"In 2011, Bank of America launched its Energy Efficiency Finance Program (EEFP) to help families, businesses, and multifamily building owners in low- to moderate-income (LMI) communities increase their energy efficiency and reduce their energy bills.... Under a contract with Bank of America to evaluate this program, we [ACEEE] analyzed data supplied by the participating CDFIs and Bright Power to assess the performance of the loan portfolios as well as the efficiency investments themselves. In general, we found that the loans are performing well. "


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