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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.

 


Three Military Bases Partner with Energy Department to Train Veterans for Solar Jobs

U.S. DOE News, Feb. 2015.
http://energy.gov/articles/three-military-bases-partner-energy-department-train-veterans-solar-jobs-0

"This pilot program is enabled by the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge initiative, which allows exiting military personnel to pursue civilian job training, employment skills training, apprenticeships and internships up to six months prior to their separation date. Service members who graduate from the DOE’s solar training program will gain the skills to size and install solar panels, safely connect electricity to the grid, and interpret and comply with local building codes."

Gamified Energy Efficiency Programs

ACEEE, Feb. 2015, by Susan Mazur-Stommen, Kate Farley, and Steven Nadel.
http://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/b1501.pdf

"Gamification turns a real-world activity into a game to make people more likely to do it. Over the past five years, utilities and third-party providers have developed scores of games that motivate and encourage people to save energy. This report describes and analyzes 22 of these games in depth and surveys 31 others. It takes program designers through the steps of developing a game, explains how games motivate players to reduce their energy use, and analyzes the characteristics of the most successful gamified solutions. Preliminary evidence indicates that gamified energy efficiency programs can achieve savings of 3–6% among a sizable number of participants."

The Impact of Energy Efficient Design and Construction on LIHTC Housing in Virginia

Report to Housing Virginia by the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech, Feb. 10, 2015.
http://files.ctctcdn.com/8811fceb001/13f4c1d8-6789-4605-96a0-8565b49cf03c.pdf

"The purpose of this report is to identify and verify possible benefits of the shift in housing policy by the Virginia Housing development Authority (VHDA) to encourage energy efficiency (EE) in the affordable rental stock in Virginia through the LIHTC [Low-Income Housing Tax Credits] program. The research addresses key issues related to energy efficiency and affordable housing through a rigorous measurement of economic impacts for low-income residents, distinguishing the effects of design, construction, technologies and behavior per unit."


Biomass Plants Gaining Steam, But Do They Result in Less Carbon?

Forbes Magazine, Feb. 24, 2015, by Ken Silverstein.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2015/02/24/biomass-plants-gaining-steam-but-do-they-result-in-less-carbon/

"With the Obama administration hammering out its Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions, the biomass industry is positioning itself as a leader in the renewable energy world. With that, a major U.S. utility has struck a deal with other mega-electricity consumers to provide all of their biomass-produced power."

Advancing Elevator Energy Efficiency

ACEEE, Jan. 2015, by Harvey Sachs, Harry Misuriello, and Sameer Kwatra.
http://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/a1501.pdf

"This paper describes recent advances in energy-saving elevator technologies and recommends a path for accelerating the uptake of these new capabilities. New building codes are stimulating the adoption of modern systems that can save more than 40% of current annual energy use. ACEEE recommends actions by manufacturers, ASHRAE, public benefits programs (including utility incentives), voluntary labeling programs, and government to encourage further innovation. We recommend that industry adopt an efficiency rating system and an industry-owned premium product label."

Boiler Design & Selection: What Engineers Should Keep In Mind

Engineered Systems, Feb. 2015, by Mark Avron and Matthew Freeman.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96978-boiler-design-selection-what-engineers-should-keep-in-mind

"In the maze of specification choices, the customer's specific needs should still guide the design. Footprints and retrofits, associated pump/valve costs, and application type all point toward condensing or not, and high- or low-mass equipment. Find your way to long-term performance."

Humidification Options For Commercial Buildings

Engineered Systems, Feb. 2015, by Steven G. Liescheidt.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96977-humidification-options-for-commercial-buildings

"Although industry debate about the research on acceptable humidity levels may continue, there is a growing realization that commercial buildings need some form of humidity control to provide optimum occupant comfort and productivity."

Portland Now Generating Hydropower In Its Water Pipes

OPB (Oregon Public Broadcasting), Jan. 20, 2015, by Cassandra Profita.
http://www.opb.org/news/article/portland-now-generating-hydropower-in-its-water-pipes/

"A Portland start-up has tapped the city’s water pipes as a new source of renewable hydropower that doesn’t disrupt fish migration or stream flows."

Variable Refrigerant Flow [VRF] Is Evolving

Engineered Systems, Feb. 2015, by Marcia Karr.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96976-vrf-is-evolving

"While mechanical energy codes may lag relative to the efficiency targets of some other codes, the expansion of VRF into a wider range of equipment makes it easier than ever to exceed expectations. Perhaps more importantly, its incorporation into heat pumps, dehumidifiers, compressors, and more represents more flexibility in delivering an effective retrofit without a total system overhaul."

Energy Impacts of Laboratory Ventilation Methods

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, Feb. 2015, by Victoria Herman and others.
http://hpac.com/iaq-ventilation/energy-impacts-laboratory-ventilation-methods?page=1

"Laboratory ventilation method—fixed percentage offset or fixed flow per door—has little effect on overall energy consumption compared with other design variables."

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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