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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.

 


10 Cooling Tower Maintenance Tips

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, June 22, 2015, by Baltimore Aircoil Co.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/129904-cooling-tower-maintenance-tips

"A well-maintained unit will continue to function at the original optimum efficiency. Over time, a neglected cooling tower’s leaving water temperature will increase, raising energy costs by up to 6 percent for every 2°F increase. However, a well-maintained cooling tower will continue to function at the original optimum efficiency, keeping energy costs low. These simple preventive cooling tower maintenance tips can help users save up to 15 percent on electricity costs. Routine maintenance also helps to conserve water and extend the operating life of cooling equipment."

Expensive Doesn’t Always Mean Efficient: Correctly Sizing, Selecting, and Installing Equipment...

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, June 22, 2015, by Joanna R. Turpin.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/129879-expensive-doesnt-always-mean-efficient

"HVAC systems now come with higher efficiencies than ever, with air-source cooling equipment surpassing the 25-SEER mark and gas furnaces achieving more than 98 percent AFUE. Customers who pay for these highly efficient (and expensive) systems expect them to achieve those ratings and provide superior comfort, and, if they don’t, they are often disappointed and even angry. When high-end equipment does not live up to consumer expectations, the culprit is almost always improper installation.

The bottom line: Properly sizing, selecting, and installing HVAC equipment is critical to ensuring energy efficiency and comfort
."

Technology Solutions Case Study: Overcoming Comfort Issues Due to Reduced Flow Room Air Mixing

U.S. Department of Energy, Building America, March 2015.
http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/03/f20/ba_case_study_reduced
_flow_room_airmixing.pdf


"The U.S. Department of Energy Building America team IBACOS studied when HVAC equipment is downsized and ducts are unaltered to determine conditions that could cause a supply air delivery problem and to evaluate the feasibility of modifying the duct systems using minimally invasive strategies to improve air distribution."

Microsoft’s 2-Year Journey to 285 MW of Wind Energy

Rocky Mountain Institute Blog, Aug. 6, 2015, by Stephen Abbott.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2015_08_06_microsofts_two_year
_journey_to_285_mega_watts_of_wind_energy


"Over the past two years, Microsoft has contracted for 285 MW of renewable power from two off-site wind energy projects. These two wind farms—capable of generating enough electricity to power 125,000 U.S. homes—could not have been built without the long-term off-take agreement provided by Microsoft, demonstrating the large-scale impact that companies can have on renewable energy deployment. The Business Renewables Center (BRC), an RMI-convened initiative and member-led platform, is working to accelerate corporate procurement of off-site renewable energy such as Microsoft’s, by bringing together corporate buyers, project developers, and service providers."

Community Microgrids: A Guide for Mayors and City Leaders Seeking Clean, Reliable and Locally Controlled Energy

Energy Efficiency Markets, June 2015.
http://www.findwhitepapers.com/force-download.php?id=49811

Report "provides big-picture insight into the community microgrid trend, as well as specific advice to help municipalities that are considering microgrid development."

Teaching the Arithmetic of Deep Retrofit Value

Rocky Mountain Institute, July 28, 2015, by David Labrador.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2015_07_28_the_arithmetic_of_deep_retrofit_value

"Does it make business sense to do a deep energy retrofit on a commercial building? Many investors currently overlook the retrofit’s value beyond its energy cost savings, but now their asset managers will be able to do a more complete calculation and paint a fuller picture of a retrofit’s value. Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) have partnered to create a series of online courses that debuted this month."

Enduring Summer’s Deep Freeze

New York Times, July 4, 2015, by Kate Murphy.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/sunday-review/enduring-summers-deep-freeze.html

"Why is America so over air-conditioned? It seems absurd, if not unconscionable, when you consider the money and energy wasted — not to mention the negative impact on the environment from the associated greenhouse-gas emissions. Architects, engineers, building owners and energy experts sigh with exasperation when asked for an explanation. They tick off a number of reasons — probably the most vexing is cultural."

ACEEE Presents Four 2015 Champion of Energy Efficiency in Industry Awards

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Aug. 6, 2015, Patrick Kiker.
http://aceee.org/press/2015/08/aceee-presents-four-2015-champion

"The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) presented four Champion of Energy Efficiency Awards last night at its Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry. The awards recognize leadership and accomplishment in the industrial energy efficiency field. Winners are selected based on demonstrated excellence in industrial leadership, lifetime achievement, research and development, implementation and deployment, or energy policy."

Addressing the Energy-Intensive Marijuana Industry in Oregon

Energy Efficiency Markets, July 28, 2015, by Lisa Cohn.
http://energyefficiencymarkets.com/addressing-energy-intensive-marijuana-industry/

"With recreational marijuana now legal in the state of Oregon, there’s growing interest in how to address the energy-intensive marijuana industry. Until the state works out the details of a law — effective July 1 — legalizing recreational marijuana, it is now only legal to grow medical marijuana in Oregon.  But there’s concern that once the industry gears up later this year, the growers will draw large amounts of energy. In fact, an article in a Portland paper, the Portland Business Journal, asked, 'Is it Time for LEED Weed?'"

NASEO Releases Working Paper on Least Cost, Energy Efficiency Approaches to Address EPA's Clean Power Plan

National Association of  State Energy Officials (NASEO), July 31, 2015.
http://www.naseo.org/news-article?NewsID=755

"On July 31, 2015, NASEO released its working paper “Energy Efficiency Strategies for Clean Power Plan Compliance: Approaches and Selected Case Studies” to support state consideration of “no regrets” and often least-cost energy efficiency strategies for prospective Clean Power Plan (CPP) compliance.  While NASEO has not taken a position on the CPP, we are working to ensure states are given wide flexibility in addressing key reliability, affordability, and other state imperatives. Energy efficiency approaches offer among the most cost-effective means to meet both air quality and energy goals, while also supporting energy system reliability.

The NASEO paper discusses the case for energy efficiency and explores some high-level issues of state compliance strategy
."

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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