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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.

 


Renewable Energy and Microgrids Offer Colleges a Path to Cutting Carbon: Report

Microgrid Knowledge, Mar. 27, 2017, by Lisa Cohn.
http://microgridknowledge.com/renewable-energy-and-microgrids-report/

"It’s no secret that colleges and universities are some of the biggest microgrid users. But a new report says we should see more renewable energy and microgrids at these institutions. The report, from Environment America Research & Policy Center, 'Renewable Energy 100: The Course to a Carbon-Free Campus,' says that the shift to 100 percent renewable energy can be led by colleges and universities eager to become carbon neutral."

The Top 5 States for Utility Grid Modernization and Business Model Reform

Utility Dive, Apr. 3, 2017, by Krysti Shallenberger.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/the-top-5-states-for-utility-grid-modernization-and-business-model-reform/439550/

"From expansive sector redesigns to step-by-step DER [Distributed Energy Resources] dockets, states across the nation are rethinking grid operations and revenues"

Motor Control Centers Enhance Smart Pumping Systems

Pumps & Systems, Mar. 2017, by Glynn Newby.
http://www.pumpsandsystems.com/motors-instrumentationcontrols/march-2017-motor-control-centers-enhance-smart-pumping-systems

"Modern motor control technologies have surfaced that address evolving smart pumping system requirements. They protect pumping systems by simultaneously providing a new level of diagnostics, energy awareness and control, as well as by enhancing operator safety."

Legal-Weed Buzz Fades For Utilities

Bloomberg News, Mar. 30, 2017, by Chris Martin.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-30/a-buzzkill-for-utilities-high-on-hope-for-legal-weed-power-surge

"With local restrictions on marijuana easing across the U.S., power suppliers from California to Maine were expecting a little buzz of their own from newly legitimate pot farmers. After all, a 5,000-square-foot warehouse filled with hydroponic growing systems can draw five times the electricity of a typical industrial user. But after an initial jolt in electricity use, when western states began legalizing marijuana cultivation and sales, demand has fallen off in some areas, according to utilities and analysts."

Smart Manufacturing Must Embrace Big Data

Nature Comment, Apr. 5, 2017, by Andrew Kusiak.
http://www.nature.com/news/smart-manufacturing-must-embrace-big-data-1.21760

"Study and model industrial processes to save money, energy and materials, urges Andrew Kusiak."


Why Rate Design Matters for Energy Efficiency

ACEEE Blog, Mar. 22, 2017, by Brendon Baatz.
http://aceee.org/blog/2017/03/why-rate-design-matters-energy

"Today, most American households pay for electric service via a two-part electric rate. This typically consists of a small, fixed customer charge ($ per month) and an energy rate applied per unit of electricity ($ per kilowatt hour). There are some variations on this model, including energy rates that vary based on time of day or total monthly consumption, but the basic structure of residential rates hasn’t changed much over time. In recent years, utilities have proposed significant departures to this format to address the changing dynamics of the electric utility industry."

Optimize Pumps with Digital Data

Pumps & Systems, Mar. 2017, by David Drake.
http://www.pumpsandsystems.com/pumps-pumps/march-2017-optimize-pumps-digital-data

"The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a wave of innovation that turns machinery into intelligent equipment through cloud-networked sensors and software. IIoT has the potential to become one of the biggest drivers of global productivity in the next decade as machines, technology and humans further integrate and unleash an unprecedented level of efficiency. The pump sector is well-positioned to reap the rewards of what many are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

Lithium-Sulfur: The Next Energy Storage Superstar?

Distributed Generation , Mar. 2017, by Laura Sanchez.
http://foresternetwork.com/weekly/distributed-energy-weekly/lithium-sulphur-the-next-energy-storage-superstar/

"Lithium-ion batteries power many modern devices from cell phones, to cars, laptops, and a multitude of portable electronics.  But their power density is less than ideal. And there appears to be another, perhaps more promising energy storage option on the horizon: lithium-sulfur batteries."

Efficient Freezing, Cooling Need Not Sacrifice Performance [Food Processing]

Food Engineering, Mar. 2017, by Casey Laughman.
http://www.foodengineeringmag.com/articles/96559-efficient-freezing-cooling-need-not-sacrifice-performance

"Careful planning, consistent operations can ensure processors strike a balance between performance and energy conservation."

Advanced Controls Yield Major [Food] Process Improvements

Food Engineering, Mar. 2017, by Wayne Labs.
http://www.foodengineeringmag.com/articles/96557-advanced-controls-yield-major-process-improvements

"You think your dairy processing plant is efficient, but when you do the math, you can’t account for 7 million pounds of lost milk per year. That’s a loss of more than $1 million. In addition, your POTW is billing you more than $80,000 annually for exceeding the maximum permitted levels of fats, oils and greases (FOG) in your wastewater. What’s going on? Seems like money down the drain, doesn’t it? ...Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. Vigilistics, Inc. (now part of SafetyChain Software) production management software was employed to get a handle on what was happening to the “spilt milk."

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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