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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.

 


Plant Engineering: Lubrication Guides

Plant Engineering, June 2015.
http://www.plantengineering.com/advertise/lubrication-guide.html

"Friction is the enemy of efficiency. A sound lubrication strategy is essential to keep all the gears in your operation running at their best. The emergence of synthetic lubricants has helped improve the performance of machinery and has become an important part of any maintenance manager’s arsenal in the fight against friction.

The Guide will provide you with a comprehensive look at the available lubricants. This year's guide also considers the important issues of environmental impact of oils, greases and fluids, the need for a strong culture of lubrication excellence, and an in-depth look at some of the new standards in bearings and seals." 

Degrees of Freedom in HVAC Controls Design

ASHRAE Journal, June 2015, by John Varley.
http://tinyurl.com/o7thkam

"Stable control of an HVAC system can only be achieved when the number of controlled variables are less than or equal to the degrees of freedom (DOF), which represents the maximum number of variables in the control system that can be manipulated by it. In complex HVAC applications, the number of points in a system, such as an air handler control sequence, can exceed 100. Therefore, understanding the DOF in such a system is essential in realizing a stable control sequence. This article reviews the process of calculating the DOF and applies it to an air-handling system to inform the HVAC design community of its ease of application and benefits to the design process."

VFD Trends and Solutions for Drive Systems

Plant Engineering, June 2015, by Alex Ward.
http://www.plantengineering.com/single-article/vfd-trends-and-solutions-for-drive-systems/c655baa26fc5bd8e9e7a4e700ce2b7c5.html

"The increase in variable frequency drive (VFD) installations across the globe has meant that drives are being applied in more challenging system environments. Not only is the environment challenging, but drives also have a few inherited issues that can limit the overall system performance. Harmonics mitigation, filtering voltage spikes are two key issues."

Biogas-To-Energy Helps A New York Facility Toward Self-Sufficiency

Treatment Plant Operator, July 2015, by Doug Day.
http://www.tpomag.com/editorial/2015/07/biogas_to_energy_helps
_a_new_york_facility_toward_self_sufficiency


"Ithaca’s clean-water plant has boosted biogas production and energy generation in a project that will yield $9 million in guaranteed savings over a 20-year contract. The Ithaca (New York) Area Wastewater Treatment Facility now generates nearly half its electricity on site, and the plant team hopes a new biogas system can eventually meet most if not all power needs."

Green Doesn’t Mean What it Used To in Today’s Utility Industry: How Utilities are Dealing with Legalized Marijuana

Northwest Public Power Association Bulletin, July 2015, by Lance Robertson. (Scroll of jump to page 26.)
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=2381

"Utilities are looking at a number of issues, concerns, and opportunities, from the amount of electricity the cannabis industry uses to ensuring that the added power demand won’t reduce the reliability or safety of localized electric distribution systems. Many public utilities also are concerned that increased demand for electricity will force them to raise electric rates for all customers, while a handful of utilities see the emerging commercial cannabis industry as an opportunity to boost revenues lost due to the lingering effects of the Great Recession in the Pacific Northwest."

New Program Preps Northwest College Students for Careers in Energy

Northwest Public Power Association Bulleting, June 2015, by Joel Scruggs. [Scroll to page 12.]
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=2352

"Attracting new talent is a key challenge facing the utility industry.... So the Bonneville Power Administration [BPA] has rolled out a new program designed to get more young people engaged. 'We’re giving students an opportunity to explore solutions to real-world technical challenges in the electric utility industry,' said BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer. The program, known as the Northwest Energy Experience (NW Energy XP), pairs teams of university students and faculty across various disciplines with BPA subject matter experts in special study projects."

Evolution Of Internet Of Things Lays Foundation For Next-Generation Smart Buildings

Facility Executive, June 10, 2015, by Heidi Schwartz.
http://facilityexecutive.com/2015/06/evolution-of-internet-of-things-lays-foundation-for-next-generation-smart-buildings/

"The Internet of Things (IoT) offers smart building participants a game-changing opportunity to provide integrated solutions that maximize operational and energy efficiency, enhance innovation, develop remote services, and create valuable insights for end users. IoT is on the verge of breaking new ground as market participants turn the spotlight on flexible, secured, and cost-effective cloud-based applications that will convert building data into a decision-making platform."

The Next Generation of Wind Energy

Buildings, June 2015, by Jenny Morton.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/18947/title/the%20next%20generation%20of%20wind/viewall/true.aspx

"Considering wind energy but don’t have the space for a large turbine? Utility-scale models aren’t the only option that can turn gusts and breezes into renewable power. Unlike its taller cousins, a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) has a compact footprint and can be installed on rooftops or a corner of your property. This design flexibility makes it a suitable alternative for urban locations where a traditional turbine is out of the question. Learn how a VAWT can help your facility generate clean power when space is limited."

Blue Devils Go Green: Duke Converts Steam Plant From Coal to Gas

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, June 2015, by Greg Carnathan and Cheryl Piner.
http://hpac.com/heating/blue-devils-go-green-duke-converts-steam-plant-coal-gas

"University ends 80-year dependence on coal."

Utilities and Customers are Embracing Community Solar -- Is Your Utility Next?

Northwest Public Power Association Bulletin, June 2015, by Joel Scruggs. [Scroll to page 26.]
http://www.nwppa.org/External/WCPages/WCWebContent/WebContentPage.aspx?ContentID=2352

"A quick survey of our utility members showed that while NWPPA utilities in every state they represent have customers and members with solar projects/net-metering projects on their own property, not many have community solar projects. However,  ...the word is out about them and many utilities are weighing the pros and cons of community solar — several members have even built one or are starting the process."

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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