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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.

 


Reducing Costs of Residential Solar PV: Through Module & Hardware Innovations

North American Clean Energy, Jul/Aug 2014, by Tom Hood & Sicco W.T. Westra.
http://www.nacleanenergy.com/articles/18223/reducing-costs-of-residential-solar-pv-through-module-hardware-innovations

"To make life easier for solar system owners, several companies are working to lower BoS [Balance-of-System] costs and simplify racking designs and installation efficiencies. For instance, cost-competitive, roof-mounting brackets are one option now available to installers that can accommodate different types of rail supports for solar modules. Support rails with built-in wire clips are another example of a simplified BoS design, which lowers the cost of hardware and installation by five to ten percent."

How Solar Energy Trackers Stack Up: Evaluating Utility-Scale Success

North American Clean Energy, Jul/Aug 2014, by Jay Johnson.
http://www.exosun.net/images/download/press-articles/NACE_201407.pdf

"In terms of photovoltaic's (PVs), solar trackers--motorized structures that shift the position of modules--can significantly increase the production of utility-scale plants by optimizing the angle of incidence between a module and incoming solar rays."

Water Utilities Are Starting to Take Their Own Conservation Advice

Governing, Aug. 2014, by Elizabeth Daigneau.
http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-water-utilities-conservation.html

"Wastewater treatment plants are often the biggest consumers of electricity in their area. Gresham, Ore., and Washington, D.C., are making moves to change that."

Green Building Report: The Real Costs Of Major Energy Upgrades

Building Operating Management, July 2014, by Stefan Domby.
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/energyefficiency/article/Budget-For-Energy-Upgrades-Requires-Fully-Understanding-Real-Costs--15128

"Both in the private and public sectors, building owners and facility managers are focusing on managing energy costs more than ever before. But as we all know, you have to spend money to save money. It's important for facility managers to develop a plan to ensure that they do not run out of money before completion of the project and that the project budget is justified."

Reducing Offshore [Wind] Costs Through Integrated Design

Wind Systems Magazine, Jul. 2014, by James Dobbins, David Quarton, Paul Reynolds, and Joe Phillips.
http://www.windsystemsmag.com/article/detail/684/reducing-offshore-costs-through-integrated-design

"Compared to its land-based cousin, offshore wind is a new energy technology. This relative immaturity as well as the technical challenge of offshore wind means that it is currently around 50 percent more expensive to produce a unit of energy offshore than it is onshore. But the stronger, more consistent wind at sea means that there are real opportunities to narrow the gap and there are several government and industry-sponsored programs aimed at doing just that in the UK, Germany and Denmark — all leading countries in the creation of offshore wind sectors."

Streamlined Motor Management System Boosts Biomass Power Generation [Paper Mill]

Pumps & Systems, Aug. 2014, by Matthias Borutta.
http://www.pump-zone.com/motors/august-2014-streamlined-motor-management-system-boosts-biomass-power-generation

"Trusted gateway connections allow for system growth, efficiency and consistent maintenance at Swedish paper mill.

Paper production requires large amounts of power. The Smurfit Kappa plant in Piteå, Sweden, uses its own biomass boilers to meet part of its energy needs. The cleaning system in place for the high-performance steam generator includes a specialized motor management solution to ensure uninterrupted motor operation."

Hope for the Homeless: Bud Clark Commons [Portland, OR]

High Performance Buildings, Summer 2014, by Jeff Becksfort.
http://www.hpbmagazine.org/File%20Library/Case%20Studies/Summer%202014/040-049_BudClarkCommons.pdf

"...the new LEED Platinum certified building provides residents access to services via a walk-in day center; transitional and temporary beds; and efficient studio apartments for 130 women and men. Rent and utilities are subsidized based on resident income. The Center uses a range of highly efficient systems, including graywater reclamation and one of the largest solar hot water heating systems in the Northwest. The eight-story building is 51% more energy efficient than a similar building as defined by ENERGY STAR Target Finder median building performance."

Community Connection: Lincoln Heritage Public Library [Chrisney, IN]

High Performance Buildings, Summer 2014, by Daniel J. Overbey and William M. Brown.
http://www.hpbmagazine.org/File%20Library/Case%20Studies/Summer%202014/030-039_Chrisney.pdf

"Despite the seemingly impossible set of design and budgetary constraints, a net zero energy design concept helped make the Chrisney Branch Library a reality. It is the first net zero public library in the U.S."

Successful Practices in Combined Gas and Electric Utility Energy Efficiency Programs

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Research Report U1406, Aug. 6, 2014. (Free registration required for access to full report.)
http://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/u1406.pdf

"Compared to single-fuel programs, combined natural gas and electric energy efficiency programs often deliver additional energy and dollar savings at lower cost to utilities and consumers. They also enhance customer satisfaction. Many leading dual-fuel programs demonstrate these benefits. This report presents successful examples of combined natural gas and electric programs—residential, commercial, and industrial—in every region of the country in which there are both types of programs."

Case Study: KVCC Wind Turbine Technician Academy

Wind Systems Magazine, Jul. 2014.
http://www.windsystemsmag.com/article/detail/678/case-study-kvcc-wind-turbine-technician-academy

"In 2008, as U.S. wind energy began its trend of exponential growth, Kalamazoo Valley Community College recognized the need for an industry-responsive education program that would rapidly produce highly trained wind workforce."

About

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.