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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.

 


Premium Power Drive Systems

Heating, Piping, Air Conditioning Engineering, Aug. 2016, by Rob Boteler.
http://hpac.com/motors-drives/premium-power-drive-systems

"Increasingly in industrial and commercial HVAC applications, electric motors are being combined with power converters to form premium power drive systems (PPDS). When used in variable-flow applications, PPDS can deliver savings unmatched by mechanical speed/flow-control systems."

California Biomass: Abundant Fuel Needs Policy Solution

Biomass Magazine, Aug. 2016, by Bob Cleaves.
http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/13488/california-biomass-abundant-fuel-needs-policy-solution

"California continues to be a frustrating illustration of the paradox of biomass nationwide: So much fuel exists and needs a place to go, yet many biomass facilities are struggling to stay open. An estimated 66 million dead and diseased trees across California—enhanced by a years-long drought combined with a pine beetle epidemic—means fuels are plentiful, but they aren’t being used for biomass power."

The Intricacies of Pyrolyzer Furnace Design

Biomass Magazine, August 16, 2016, by Bradley Waites, Pamela Buzzetta and Crystal Bleecher.
http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/13482/the-intricacies-of-pyrolyzer-furnace-design

"Designing a pyrolyzer furnace is an intricate process. There’s more to the design than making a carbon steel box, lining the walls with refractory, running some process pipes through it, and heating the pipes with burners. While this may describe the design steps in vague detail, it doesn’t capture the intricacies involved in pyrolyzer furnace design. Knowing what to consider and evaluate can be the difference between success and failure."

Mobile Homes Move Toward Efficiency

ACEEE Blog, Aug. 3, 2016, by Lowell Ungar.
http://aceee.org/blog/2016/08/mobile-homes-move-toward-efficiency

"Do you know which government in the United States is the biggest laggard on energy codes for homes? The federal government. But that’s about to change. -- Manufactured homes and the “HUD Code”."

Squeeze Efficiency from Window Upgrades

Buildings, Aug. 2016, by Robert Nieminen.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/20479/title/squeeze-efficiency-from-window-upgrades/viewall/true.aspx

"Window replacement isn’t cheap, but neither are existing windows that are out of date and inefficient. The opportunity to upgrade comes around infrequently – possibly as part of a broader energy conservation plan funded by one financial package – so owners must maximize their return."

How Increasing Efficiency Can Stem Climate Change Impacts On the Energy-Water Nexus

ACEEE Blog, Aug. 5, 2016, David Ribeiro.
http://aceee.org/blog/2016/08/how-increasing-efficiency-can-stem

"In this post, we explore the roles of energy efficiency and water efficiency in moderating some of the adverse impacts of climate change that we covered in the prior post."

zEPI FAQ: Zero Energy Performance Index

New Buildings Institute, July 2016.
http://newbuildings.org/code_policy/zepi/

"The 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) includes many progressive measures that will improve the energy performance of buildings. One important provision describes the Zero Energy Performance Index (zEPI), which provides a scale for measuring commercial building energy performance. zEPI represents a fundamental shift in measurement of building efficiency as it sets energy targets for actual energy consumption rather than using a predictive energy model of building energy performance to calculate a “percent better than code” metric. zEPI sets an energy use intensity (EUI) target for building type and is adjusted for climate. It is also the measure by which a building’s energy efficiency is calculated once operational and occupied based on measured energy use data."

How Net-Zero Buildings Impact the Grid

GreenBiz, Aug. 8, 2016, by Paul Lee.
https://www.greenbiz.com/article/how-net-zero-buildings-impact-grid

"Buildings account for nearly 40 percent of U.S. carbon emissions (PDF). This means that low emission buildings must be part of our clean sustainable future. Initiatives such as Architecture 2030 and California’s Title 24 are not only helping to pave the way by creating a general framework for sustainable buildings but also pushing the boundary with Net Zero Buildings (NZBs) or Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs) that aim to almost completely offset a building’s adverse climate change impacts. These buildings will produce just as much energy as they consume and will be commonplace by 2020 and 2030."

Next Generation Standards: How the National Energy Efficiency Standards Program Can Continue to Drive Energy, Economic, and Environmental Benefits

ACEEE, Aug. 4, 2016, by Andrew deLaski, Joanna Mauer, et. al.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/a1604.pdf

"Appliance, equipment, and lighting standards have been among the most effective energy efficiency policies, delivering increased savings over multiple rounds of standards for many products. But how much more can be accomplished? What is the potential for additional savings from future standards, specifically for the presidential administration that begins in 2017? This report estimates the savings opportunities from updates to existing standards. We also offer five strategic recommendations for improving the national standards program and further increasing savings."

The Future of Distributed Generation

Rural Electric Magazine, Aug. 2016, by Reed Karaim.
http://remagazine.coop/future-of-distributed-generation/

"Electric cooperatives have a long history of integrating distributed generation (DG) sources. But if you want a glimpse of the future of DG, you’ll find it in the wooded hills and valleys of northern Vermont, where Vermont Electric Cooperative is already living with challenges many co-ops will eventually face."

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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