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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.

 


Grassroots And Grass: How Sacramento Became The Center Of Zero-Energy Housing

FastCoexist/Fast Company, Sept. 29, 2016, by Griffin Hagle.
https://www.fastcoexist.com/3064046/grassroots-and-grass-how-sacramento-became-the-center-of-zero-energy-housing

"California’s unassuming state capital boasts more energy-neutral homes than any other city in America."

Snohomish PUD Lands $3.5 Million Clean Energy Grant

Stanwood Camano News, Sept. 20, 2016.
http://www.scnews.com/news/article_b7c7181c-7ea9-11e6-9e1e-8b2855a54976.html

"To demonstrate new energy technologies including energy storage, a microgrid system, small-scale renewable energy and an electric "vehicle to grid” system, Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) will receive $3.5 million in matching funds from the Washington Clean Energy Fund."

Key To Manufacturing More Efficient Solar Cells

Science Daily, Sept. 28, 2016, Columbia University.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160928151119.htm

"In a discovery that could have profound implications for future energy policy, scientists have demonstrated it is possible to manufacture solar cells that are far more efficient than existing silicon energy cells by using a new kind of material, a development that could help reduce fossil fuel consumption."

Hydropower Isn’t Carbon Neutral After All, WSU Researchers Say

The Seattle Times, Sept. 28, 2016, by Lynda V. Mapes.
http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/hydropower-isnt-carbon-neutral-after-all-wsu-researchers-say/

"Washington State University researchers have learned that reservoirs produce much more methane, a potent greenhouse gas, than previously understood."
Link to access the full-text article: http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/10/02/biosci.biw117

Researchers Make Breakthrough In Biobased Materials

Washington State University News, Sept. 28, 2016, by Tina Hilding.
https://news.wsu.edu/2016/09/28/researchers-make-breakthrough-biobased-materials/

"Washington State University researchers have developed a way to practically separate lignin from wood, a breakthrough that could provide new sources of lignin for advanced renewable fuel and advanced materials applications."

This is One of the Most Efficient Energy Sources Out There. So What’s Holding it Back? [Cogeneration]

Alberta Oil, Sept. 9, 2016, by Nick Wilson.
http://www.albertaoilmagazine.com/2016/09/cogeneration-one-efficient-energy-sources-whats-holding-back/

"Combined heat and power generation, or “cogeneration,” is clean power’s unsung hero. And the oil sands are its ground zero, supplying about 50 percent of Alberta’s 4,821 megawatts of electrical capacity, and pushing the province to the top of Canada’s “cogen” table. It’s not just ultra-efficient; it can be lucrative too. Oil sands operators have earned as much as $2.43 per barrel from power sales to the electricity grid."

Evaluation of Residential Behavior-Based Programs

Lawrence Berkeley Lab, Sept. 21, 2016, by Steven R. Schiller, Anna C. Spurlock, Annika Todd, and Bill Saxonis. (A webinar presentation - 75 mins.)
https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/evaluation-residential-behavior-based

"Residential behavior-based (BB) programs use strategies grounded in the behavioral and social sciences to influence household energy use. These programs have unique evaluation challenges and usually require different evaluation methods than those currently employed for most other types of efficiency programs. This webinar is currently planned to provide an introduction to documenting the energy savings associated with BB programs and examples of how different jurisdictions are addressing BB program evaluation."

How Do You Size a VFD?

Flow Control, Sept. 2016, by Jeff Bergman and Sean Fitzpatrick.
http://www.flowcontrolnetwork.com/how-you-size-vfd

"Confusion often surrounds the proper sizing of variable frequency drives (VFDs), and sometimes, knowing when and how to choose one may be difficult. Actually understanding what a VFD does might make this decision easier and the requirements less difficult to understand."

New Data Reaffirms Carbon Benefits of Biodiesel

National Biodiesel Board, Sept. 14, 2016, by Jessica Robinson.
http://nbb.org/news/nbb-press-releases/press-release-display/2016/09/14/new-data-reaffirms-carbon-benefits-of-biodiesel

"Wally Tyner, a professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, presented his research team’s latest findings today regarding the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of producing biodiesel from soybeans.  Those findings confirm that soybean oil offers very good carbon reduction when used to displace fossil fuel. Tyner is supported by the James and Louis Ackerman endowment."

Tapping In to the Cost-Saving Power of VFDs

Business Energy, Sept/Oct. 2016, by Dan Rafter.
http://foresternetwork.com/business-energy-magazine/be-energy/be-energy-management/apping-in-to-the-cost-saving-power-of-vfds/

"What kind of difference can a variable frequency drive—better known as a VFD—make for a municipality? A significant one. Just look at the town of Mooresville in North Carolina, where a VFD developed by Eaton has not only boosted the energy efficiency of the municipal water treatment plant, but has also extended the life expectancy of a pair of new 800-horsepower pumps at the facility."

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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