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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.


How IIOT Monitoring Improves Pump Maintenance

Flow Control, Jul 2016, by Brett Burger.

"The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will eventually connect tens of billions of “things” businesses use to operate with other machines, the cloud, control systems and people. Pumps are squarely on the list of “things,” and like many other big-iron assets that do not generate high-tech publicity, they have much to gain with this surge of technology. Why do we need IIoT pumps? What does an IIoT-enabled pump look like?"

How 3D Printing is Changing Manufacturing’s Trajectory

Flow Control, Jul 2016, by John Hornick.

"Three-dimensional (3D) printers make finished products with one process. Driven by a digital blueprint, they build layer upon layer of fused plastic, metal or other materials. 3D printing has generated a lot of hype. Some people say it is difficult to separate the hype from reality, but doing so is simple. Anything that sounds farfetched probably is not, but it will probably take longer to happen. In a world full of 3D printers, products and blueprints can be designed, customized, created and sold by innumerable companies and home printers."

Looking for a Breakthrough in Cement and Concrete

Rocky Mountain Institute, July 12, 2016, by Robert Hutchinson.

"The toughest climate challenges involve large global industries, with no good substitutes. One of these literally produces the material under our feet—concrete. Every year, each of us in the U.S. uses about one-third of a ton. Fast-growing developing countries use far more. Globally we produce over 4 billion metric tons of Portland cement per year—the key ingredient in concrete and responsible for the majority of its CO2 footprint—driving over 5 percent of total anthropomorphic CO2. RMI’s research on the topic reveals that, to have a chance of significantly shrinking the industry footprint and meeting our Paris goals, revolutionary thinking and significant disruption is needed—a Tesla for cement, as it were."

Google Cuts Its Giant Electricity Bill With DeepMind-Powered AI

Bloomberg, Jul 19, 2016, by Jack Clark.

"The internet giant is using technology from the DeepMind artificial intelligence subsidiary for big savings on the power consumed by its data centers, according to DeepMind Co-Founder Demis Hassabis."

Lunching and Learning: Food for Thought on a Geothermal-Heat-Pump-System Design

Heating, Piping, Air Conditioning, Jun 2016, by Jeffrey Newcomb.

"In the article, Fred, a mechanical engineer, explains his unusual design for a campus chilled-water system to William, a civil engineer. William asks questions and makes observations, system diagrams scribbled on napkins are exchanged, and Fred is left with a new way of thinking about his design. Sound familiar?"

How to Maximize Burner Efficiency

Industrial Heating, Jul 2016, by Mark Lampe. [Free registration required]

"Because energy costs are a major factor for many industrial processes, it makes sense to carefully analyze how the natural gas is being used and whether the system is running at peak efficiency."

Is PACE Moving to Prime Time?

ACEEE, Jul 18, 2016, by Jim Barrett.

"One of the distinctions we often make between energy and energy efficiency is that energy acts more like a cost, and energy efficiency acts more like an investment. Like most investments, energy efficiency works by using an up front expense to generate a stream of economic benefits.... Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is a relatively new strategy for funding efficiency and renewable investments that is really starting to take off."

Puget Sound Energy Launches 'Urban Smart Bellevue' Energy Efficiency Program, Jun 22, 2016, by Bellamy Pailthorp.

"The city [Bellevue] has launched a new energy efficiency program called Urban Smart Bellevue that aims to make it a leader in energy efficiency – largely through simple changes in workplace behavior."

Smart Buildings Center Tool Lending Library

Smart Buildings Center, Jul 2016.

A project of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council, the Smart Building Center (SBC) is hosting a "Tool Lending Library". The diagnostic tools are available to building owners and managers, as well as energy service professionals, for short term data collection on energy using equipment and systems in commercial and institutional buildings in Washington.

Merkley [OR] Announces $52 Million in Energy Loans for Rural Communities

The Gorge Business News, July 7, 2016.

"Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make $52 million in loans available to rural electric co-ops through the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP). RESP is a program designed by Senator Merkley to allow rural electric co-ops to offer their customers low-interest loans from USDA to provide affordable financing for energy efficiency improvements. The customers then pay back the loans through the savings on their electric bills."


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