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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.


Energy Secretary Moniz and Interior Secretary Jewell Announce New National Offshore Wind Strategy to Drive Deployment, Sept. 9, 2016.

"U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced the publication of a collaborative strategic plan to continue accelerating the development of offshore wind energy in the United States, the National Offshore Wind Strategy: Facilitating the Development of the Offshore Wind Industry in the United States, which could help enable 86 gigawatts of offshore wind in the United States by 2050. The strategy details the current state of offshore wind in the United States, presents the actions and innovations needed to reduce deployment costs and timelines, and provides a roadmap to support the growth and success of the industry."

Comparing Polystyrenes: Looking At the Differences Between EPS and XPS

The Construction Specifier, Sep. 2016, by Jason Burgess.

"Insulation is a critical component to specify when designing a functional, cost-effective, and energy-efficient building. One method to insulate a building is by installing 50 to 152 mm (2 to 6 in.) of rigid foam insulation on the exterior side of the wall framing. Two of the most frequently installed types of rigid foam insulation are expanded and extruded polystyrene (EPS and XPS). Both serve the same basic function: providing a means to manage the passage of heat in a building system. However, they differ in important ways."

Benchmarking Boom

Building Operating Management, Sept. 2016, by Richard G. Lubinski.

"... a three-part article on best practices in energy benchmarking as more cities and states make it mandatory."

Pumping Prescriptions: What Happens to Power & Efficiency When a Pump Wears Out?

Pumps & Systems, Sept. 2016, by Lev Nelik.

"When a pump experiences internal wear, its performance drops. Flow is reduced and efficiency plummets. But what happens to power? Does it drop, stay the same or increase? The answer to this question depends on how a pump wears internally. In extreme cases, when the impeller is completely worn, there will be no flow and hardly any power. But in many cases, tight clearance parts, such as wear rings and bushings, are the first to wear."

Biodiesel a Fuel Option for Army Workboats

Engineering360 (IEEE), Aug. 31, 2016, by John Simpson.

"A three-year study to evaluate the feasibility of using biodiesel fuel in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) floating plant operations has concluded that the use of such fuels does not negatively affect engine performance and can reduce production of selected environmentally sensitive emissions."

A New Era of Refurbishment [Hydropower]

Hydro Review, Sept. 2016, by Mark Bitter, Randy Furbush, Jacob Hostler, Adam Lyman, and Loren Nouss.

"To improve performance and get more life out of a unit that had been generating electricity for more than a century, the project's owner decided to use a combination of mechanical refurbishment and polymer composite coatings."

The 8 Most Interesting Things Going On in Solar

EC&M, Aug. 2016.

"Keeping up with the ever-changing world of solar can be a daunting task. Well, we’re here to help. Here are the eight most interesting things going on in the field of solar power right now."

Community-Scale Solar Can Power Corporations, Too

Rocky Mountain Institute, Aug. 31, 2016, by Thomas Koch Blank and Titiaan Palazzi.

"A new option for corporations interested in fueling their operations with clean energy is arising: community-scale solar. An insight brief from RMI’s Shine initiative, which aspires to aggressively accelerate the deployment of community-scale solar systems in the U.S., details the opportunities that community-scale solar offers. Corporations are entering the renewables market in force, and they will find much to like in the community-scale solar market segment."

Buy Energy-Efficient Products: A Guide for Federal Purchasers and Specifiers

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, July 2016.

"In a single year, energy-efficient product purchases could save the federal government almost a half billion dollars worth of energy. By purchasing products that exceed the minimum required efficiency levels, buyers can save the government even more energy and money. Federal employees and contractors must take an active role in ensuring that the government receives products that meet efficiency requirements. This document provides an overview of product purchasing requirements and shows you how to write compliant contracts, find funding, and confirm product compliance."

Net Positive Energy Buildings

ASHRAE Journal, Aug. 2016, by Dylan Connelly and Laura Fedoruk. (Article Summary only.)

"DPR Construction’s retrofitted San Francisco headquarters building achieved approximately 20% net positive energy its first year of operation using efficient systems including HVAC, electrical and PV. And, in late 2015, it was certified as a net zero energy building. The office building demonstrates the capabilities of integrated, innovative, and replicable design. And, it proves that sustainable buildings can reduce energy use and improve indoor environmental conditions, while being cost effective. It has become a hub for learning and collaborating on many sustainably minded design projects."


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