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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.

 


Simple Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Environmental Design + Construction (EDC), Apr. 2014, by Jennifer Meek.
http://www.edcmag.com/articles/95530-simple-ways-to-improve-indoor-air-quality

"Help improve the air quality of your building without breaking the bank."

Ban LEED?

Environmental Design + Construction (EDC), Apr. 2014, by Michael J. Berning.
http://www.edcmag.com/articles/95534-ban-leed

"LEED has positively and permanently transformed building design and construction. The integration of LEED with this sector of our economy has led to a substantial increase in the availability of recycled content and environmentally safer products; options for waste diversion and material reuse; energy- and water-efficient equipment; and a whole list of additional positive changes—a nearly complete market transformation in less than two decades! So why is the ACC (American Chemistry Council) so focused on making certain LEED is not used anymore? More importantly, why must you get involved?"

Fuel Cell CHP Passes the Point of No Return

Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production, Mar.-Apr. 2014.
http://www.cospp.com/articles/print/volume-15/issue-2/features/fuel-cell-chp-passes-the-point-of-no-return.html

"The use of fuel cell technology in combined heat and power applications is commonly viewed as being at an early stage of development. However, Arjen de Jong and Martin Horstink argue that significant advances in the last 12 months mean this is no longer the case." 

From Cow to Car [Manure to CNG]

Manure Manager, Mar./Apr. 2014, by Diane Mettler. http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/index.php?i=0&m=1559&l=1&p=6&pre=&ver=flex

"Using their 6.2 million gallon digester, Fair Oaks Farms [Fair Oaks, IN] has converted waste into enough compressed natural gas (Cng) to run their fleet of milk trucks."

The Long Winding Road Toward Efficient Furnaces

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Apr. 24, 2014, by Andrew deLaski.
http://aceee.org/blog/2014/04/long-winding-road-toward-efficient-fu

"The struggle for improved gas furnace efficiency standards may have an end in sight. Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit approved a settlement between the Department of Energy (DOE) and an industry trade group. In the settlement, DOE agreed to pull back efficiency standards completed in 2011 and develop new standards in their place within two years. This new rulemaking represents another opportunity to set strong furnace standards which will save energy and cut consumers’ heating bills."

Employing Best Practices for Increasing Data Center Efficiency

NEMA Electroindustry, Apr. 2014, by David Sonner.
http://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/NEMA/g40829_nema_ei_apr14/#/18

"The data center is one of the most dynamic and critical operations in any business. Complexity and criticality have only increased in recent years as data centers experienced steady growth in capacity and density, straining resources and increasing the consequences of poor performance." Article discusses six approaches to improve performance.

Alternative Energy Fires Up Plants

Design News, Mar. 2014, by Rob Spiegel.
http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=271886&dfpPParams=ind_182,aid_271886&dfpLayout=article

"For decades, renewable energy was the stepchild of the energy mix used to run [industrial] plants. Everyone thought clean energy was a good idea (how could you not?), but it was considered impractical, unreliable, and costly. Recent years have seen a sizable shift in that view. Between government subsidies, government mandates, and improved technology, alternative energies have elbowed their way to the big kids' table."

Boosting Solar Cell Efficiency

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Apr. 2014, by Mark Crawford.
https://www.asme.org/engineering-topics/articles/renewable-energy/boosting-solar-cell-efficiency

"University of Minnesota engineers have added an innovative feature to a standard solar-cell design that boosts its electricity-generating potential by up to 26%. This remarkable improvement may help researchers push the record power conversion efficiencies of dye-sensitized solar cells beyond 12%."

NREL Unlocking Secrets of New Solar Material

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Apr. 2014.
http://www.nrel.gov/news/features/feature_detail.cfm/feature_id=10333

"A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have seen before—and it is generating optimism that a less expensive way of using sunlight to generate electricity may be in our planet's future."

Geothermal Heat Pumps vs. Condensing Boilers [in Schools]

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning, Mar. 2014, by Ramez Naguib. (Free registration required to view full-text.)
http://hpac.com/heating/geothermal-heat-pumps-vs-condensing-boilers

"This article compares the energy performance of two air-conditioning systems common in schools across the United States: condensing-boiler heating systems and geothermal water-source-heat-pump systems. In the case of geothermal water-source-heat-pump systems, the article also compares the performance of new systems to that of systems older than 10 years."

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.