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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 Monitoring: Real-Time, Real Smart

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

3-part article:
1) Using and Managing Energy Monitoring Data
2) Quick Response to Energy Waste, Quick ROI Among Benefits
3) Bringing Energy Understanding to Occupants, Tenants

Standby Power: Generating Answers

Engineered Systems, Sep. 2015, by Tom Faucette and Sara Lappano.

"As terms like big data, business resiliency, and the “internet of things” enter our lexicon, the availability of power has evolved as one of the hottest topics in facility management and engineering. When discussing the uptime of an electrical system, the conversation starts with the utility company and then almost immediately goes to on-site generation. Depending on your building type and loads, on-site generation facilities can take on many different topologies and sources. We are going to focus on generators, using both natural gas and diesel generators and how to successfully determine which fuel type and system topology makes sense for different facility and load types."

Replacing The "Engine" On Your Boiler System

Engineered Systems, Sep. 2015, by Ray Wohlfarth.

"Pumps, flues, valves, sizing, maintenance... there's a lot more to consider than just the boiler. Keep the car metaphor in mind, and your next replacement might not drive you to despair."

Northwest Power and Conservation Council and Other Planners Systematically Underestimate Efficiency Savings From New Products

NW Energy Coalition, Sep. 30, 2015.

"The region’s soaring energy efficiency gains over the past several years have exceeded expectations. Northwest power planners continue to underestimate both the speed at which new energy efficiency products take over the marketplace and the total amount of achievable energy savings. That can lead to false conclusions about the need for new power plants, resulting in unnecessary expenses that raise consumers’ bills."

New Horizons for Energy Efficiency: Major Opportunities to Reach Higher Electricity Savings by 2030

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Sep. 2015, by Dan York, and others.

"Higher equipment standards and more stringent building codes are squeezing the amount of savings that energy efficiency programs can harvest. No single measure will yield a dominant share of energy savings for utility program portfolios, as have lighting programs in the past. This report examines the next large opportunities for energy efficiency savings. It analyzes 18 measures—including reduction of plug loads, conservation voltage reduction, and smart manufacturing—that could collectively save 22% of total projected electricity use in the year 2030."

Direct-Fired Technology: From Makeup Air to Space Heating

ASHRAE Journal, Sep. 2015, by Thomas Boeckermann, and others.

"Direct-fired heating technology is a safe, energy-efficient, and cost-effective means to provide heating for a wide range of applications. The two main uses—makeup air and space heating—have different applications and require different approaches to deliver the most efficient design. This article summarizes the basic operating principles, safety, energy performance, psychrometric behavior, and recommendations for the use of direct-fired heating units."

New Fluorescent Lamp Rules to Shake Up T8 Category

Lighting Management & Maintenance (LM&M), Aug 2105, by Craig Delouie. (Scroll to page 24.)

"In January 2015, DOE announced new energy standards for general-service fluorescent lamps, which will take effect January 26, 2018. The new rules strengthen energy standards for 4-ft. T8 linear and 2-ft. T8 U-bend, while both strengthening and expanding covered wattages for 4-ft. T5 and T5HO linear lamps. Eight-foot lamps did not see any change."

Inverter Benchmarking Results in Smarter Residential Inverter Solutions

Solar Industry Magazine, Aug. 2015, by Michael Mills-Price.

"Today’s residential and small commercial solar photovoltaic inverter marketplace includes a myriad of solutions and choices... These products are expected to operate in electrically and environmentally harsh environments, with service lifetimes that can approach and exceed 20 years. The PV inverter landscape is also marked by many new entrants and products from established industry players. These dynamic market characteristics increase the importance of thorough due diligence in the inverter selection process. Independent third-party data can be very beneficial in choosing the optimal inverter solution. "

Pond Loop for Ice Refrigeration

ASHRAE Journal, Sep 2015, by Jason Larosh.

2015 ASHRAE Technology Award Case Studies:
"The pond loop geothermal refrigeration system at the Janesville Ice Arena uses an adjacent pond as thermal storage to pull heat from and reject heat to the ice sheet refrigeration system. Other improvements to the arena include a new ice sheet and hot water heating system."

Specifying Acoustical Ceilings in Green Buildings

The Construction Specifier, Aug. 2015, by Kenneth P. Roy.

"Until now, acoustics in commercial office buildings had not been a formal part of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating systems except on a case-by-case basis. The new LEED v4 criteria, however, now takes into account the value of good acoustics in enhancing occupant satisfaction and productivity."


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