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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.

 


Why Utilities Across the Nation Are Embracing Community Solar

Utility Dive, Jan. 22, 2015, by Herman K. Trabish.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/why-utilities-across-the-nation-are-embracing-community-solar/354164/

"The shared renewables movement is catching on from coast to coast."

5 Ways to Maximize Your Economizer Efficiency

Buildings, Jan. 2015, by Jennie Morton.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/18381/title/5-ways-to-maximize-your-economizer-efficiency.aspx

"Is your air conditioning bill running wild? Get your utility costs under control by adding an air-side economizer. This device draws in outside air as a form of free cooling. While the potential for savings is significant, facility managers can lose all of an economizer’s benefits if they fail to specify the right features and neglect maintenance. Follow these tips to lock in your economizer’s potential."

NREL's CelA Catalyzes Plant Cell Walls Faster

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Newsroom, Jan. 12, 2015.
http://www.nrel.gov/news/features/feature_detail.cfm/feature_id=15445

"Scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed an enzyme that could change the economics of biofuel conversion by converting biomass to sugars up to 14 times faster and much cheaper than competing catalysts in enzyme cocktails today."

Amazon Will Support 150 MW Indiana Wind Farm to Power the Cloud

Utility Dive, Jan. 22, 2015, by Robert Walton.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/amazon-will-support-150-mw-indiana-wind-farm-to-power-the-cloud/355279/

"In November 2014, AWS [Amazon Web Services] shared a long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for its global infrastructure footprint. The company called the power purchase agreement (PPA) backing the Fowler Ridge facility 'an important step toward that goal'."

Selling Into the Sun: Price Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of Solar Homes

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Jan. 2015.
http://emp.lbl.gov/publications/selling-sun-price-premium

"Capturing the value that solar photovoltaic (PV) systems may add to home sales transactions is increasingly important. Our study enhances the PV-home-valuation literature by more than doubling the number of PV home sales analyzed (22,822 homes in total, 3,951 of which are PV) and examining transactions in eight states that span the years 2002–2013. We find that home buyers are consistently willing to pay PV home premiums across various states, housing and PV markets, and home types."

Question Everything When Replacing Commercial Boilers

Engineered Systems, Jan. 2015, by Ray Wohlfarth.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96929-question-everything-when-replacing-commercial-boilers

"Although the majority of the boilers have been installed properly, there have been many that were not. Those boilers that were not installed correctly would have been very costly to fix had we not seen the issues prior to installing the new ones. Any issues with the heating system become your issues once the new boiler is installed."

Commissioning Lighting Systems

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Dec. 2014, by Michael Crow.
http://www.csemag.com/single-article/commissioning-lighting-systems/362af61c61d40f6f4c5af289cdaff515.html

"The complexity of lighting design has made commissioning of lighting controls an essential part of projects. Commissioning for the most part is voluntary; however, if an owner is contemplating U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification or if ASHRAE 90.1-2010 compliance is required, commissioning is mandatory."

Tree-Shaped Wind Turbines Blend Into the Scenery

Discovery News, Dec. 2014, by Tracy Staedter.
http://news.discovery.com/tech/alternative-power-sources/tree-shaped-wind-turbines-blend-into-the-scenery-141230.htm

"Seventy-two artificial leaves that work as micro-turbines adorn the branches and spin silently on a vertical axis. Cables and generators have been integrated into the leaves and branches in a way that puts them out of sight and sound. The beautiful and functional device is the brainchild of French entrepreneur Jérôme Michaud-Larivière, who said the idea for a tree-inspired wind generator came to him one day while sitting in a square, watching the leaves on nearby trees tremble in a breeze. He wondered if energy could be generated in a similar way."


Gaming Consoles Deliver Excitement, Value for the Energy Buck

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Dec. 2014, by Clay C. Perry.
http://www.epri.com/Press-Releases/Pages/Gaming-Consoles-Deliver-Excitement,-Value-for-the-Energy-Buck.aspx

"An EPRI research team compared the energy consumption of the Microsoft Xbox One, Sony PlayStation®4 (PS4), and the Nintendo Wii U consoles while running the popular game Call of Duty®: Ghosts. In a head-to-head, hour-long test – the Wii U consumed 30 watt-hours (Wh) of electricity. Xbox One measured in at 105 Wh, and PS4 weighed in at 124 Wh."

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Used for Energy Storage Products

Energy Harvesting Journal, Dec. 2014.
http://www.energyharvestingjournal.com/articles/7140/atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-used-for-energy-storage-products

"Chemists and engineers at Oregon State University (OSU) have discovered a fascinating new way to take some of the atmospheric carbon dioxide that's causing the greenhouse effect and use it to make an advanced, high-value material for use in energy storage products."

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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