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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.


Part Two: Radiant Heating and Cooling Systems

ASHRAE Journal, Mar. 2015, by Kwang Woo Kim and Bjarne W. Olesen.

"Control of the heating and cooling system needs to be able to maintain the indoor temperatures within the comfort range under the varying internal loads and external climates. To maintain a stable thermal environment, the control system needs to maintain the balance between the heat gain/loss of the building and the supplied energy from the system."

Part One is here -

Solar Power Purchase Agreements: a Toolkit for Local Governments

Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), Mar. 2015. [Requires free registration to view full report.]

"In an effort to reduce solar soft costs and assist local governments and other public entities seeking to install and finance rooftop solar systems, IREC developed a comprehensive toolkit on retail solar power purchase agreements (PPAs), sometimes referred to as solar service agreements. With this new resource, IREC seeks to help overcome the common challenges and costs associated with PPAs by providing a full suite of legal resources and related documents in a highly user-friendly format."

Growing Factory Experiences Air Compressor Control-Gap Issues

Compressed Air Best Practices, Apr. 2015, by Ron Marshall.

"This case study illustrates the importance of verifying the installation after the installation by monitoring the system with data loggers. Sometimes, even with the best intentions, the conditions that exist and the limitations of the control system can cause the system to run inefficiently."

USGS: Happy Earth Day 2015

U.S. Geological Survey Science Features, Apr. 20, 2015, by Jessica Robertson and others.

"The USGS is joining people across the world to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, 2015. To help build environmental awareness, the USGS has outlined some of the critical issues facing our planet as well as science projects underway to address these challenges. Starting with science provides a valuable foundation for managers, policymakers, and other decision makers to make the most informed decisions to protect our changing world."

The Most and Least Eco-Friendly States in 2015

EcoBuilding Pulse, Apr. 21, 2015, by Katie Gloede.

"In honor of Earth Week, WalletHub’s latest study ranks the most and least eco-friendly states. The study found that Vermont is the top state for environmental quality and number two in eco-friendly behavior, putting them at the top of the list. Louisiana, on the other hand, is ranked lowest in 2015 coming in 47th for environmental quality and 50th for eco-friendly behavior."

Mining for Lithium in Geothermal Brine: Promising but Pricey

Power Magazine, Mar. 2015, by Gail Reitenbach.

"Brine, the waste stream of the geothermal power production cycle, is usually considered a nuisance. High in corrosive minerals, even when reinjected, it’s challenging to manage. So when Simbol Inc. showed it had a way to turn this waste stream into a revenue stream by mining it for high-value minerals like lithium, a lot of people got excited. However, just as this article was going to press, a lot of people got laid off."

Centralized & Decentralized PV Power Plants: Vendor Perspectives

SolarPro, Mar/Apr 2015, by Joe Schwartz.

"As the capacity of utility-scale PV plants has increased in the US, so has the capacity of the centralized power-conditioning units used in these projects. Today, many plants utilize factory-integrated skids that combine inverters, medium-voltage transformers and switchgear into packages that range in capacity from 1 MW to 2.5 MW. These integrated systems offer project developers many advantages, including optimized component compatibility, as well as reduced installation time and expense."

Assessing Performance Upgrades: Free Does Not Always Mean Free [Windpower]

North American Windpower, Mar. 2015, by Alex Byrne.

"Wind farm owners and operators need to carefully examine so-called performance upgrades for optimal turbine performance."

Energy Optimization: Hand-Picking Products for Energy Performance

Building Operating Management, Mar. 2015, by Naomi Millán.

An article in 6 parts:
Part 1: Making the Right Choice with Energy Optimization Products and Services Part 2: ROI, Applicability, Operational Impact Influence Energy Decisions
Part 3: Focus on Benefits, Product Credibility in Energy Optimization Purchases
Part 4: Best Practices for Energy Optimization
Part 5: Pilot Programs, Veterans’ Insights Help with Energy Optimization
Part 6: Introducing the Apex Award for Energy Optimization

Energy-Efficient Makeup Air Units

ASHRAE Journal, Mar. 2015, by Hugh Crowther.

"Unless you live in paradise, delivering makeup air to most buildings is expensive. Table 1 shows the amount of work it takes to heat and cool air (based on Chicago conditions) for a standard rooftop unit (a unit that recirculates air with typical air conditioning loads) and a makeup air (MUA) unit."


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