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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.

 


State & Future of the Power Industry

Public Utilities Fortnightly & Navigant, June 2016.
http://www.navigant.com/~/media/WWW/Site/Insights/Energy/2016/State-and-future-of-the-power-industry.pdf

Special Report: "What is the state and future of the electric utility industry? That’s a broad topic, much discussed and debated. This special report takes a unique approach to getting a handle on our present and where we’re heading."

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Technologies Get Boost Toward Market

Tri-City Herald, Jul 2, 2016.
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/pacific-northwest-national-lab/article87393392.html

"The Department of Energy has awarded PNNL in Richland about $4.4 million of a total $12 million given to national laboratories from the Technology Commercialization Fund of DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions. PNNL’s winning projects, all nearing commercialization, include:

▪  A solar system that converts natural gas into hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles.
▪  Making fertilizer from coal fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants.
▪  Self-powered acoustic fish-tracking tags for evaluating fish passage at dams.
▪  Material manufacturing techniques to make more durable, longer-lasting components for dams.
▪  A method to join aluminum parts made of different thicknesses and alloys for car manufacturing....and more."

Motors: The Proactive Approach To Voltage Unbalance

Engineered Systems, June 2016, by Thomas H. Bishop.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/97772-motors-the-proactive-approach-to-voltage-unbalance

"Once we distinguish voltage unbalance from voltage variation, the need to tackle the issue intelligently becomes even more clear. Learn about common causes and effects, testing for unbalanced voltages and single-phasing, and ways to correct the problem if it does manage to arise."

A Compressed Air Piping System Assessment

Compressed Air Best Practices, June 2016, by Gary Wamsely.
http://www.airbestpractices.com/system-assessments/pipingstorage/compressed-air-piping-system-assessment

"During an Energy Review at a relatively new health care garment factory, in the Southwest, we found all three of the 100 psig nominally rated rotary screw air compressors were operating at 115-120 psig continuously. We asked the Production Superintendent if this was normal or if something had recently changed. He explained that initially they operated two air compressors but had to begin running the 3rd unit in ‘trim’ mode after some converting machines were up-graded. Then, a new larger converting machine was recently installed and air pressure quickly became a production issue. Since capital funds were tight, the project engineering team determined the third air compressor had sufficient capacity."

President Obama Announces Winner of New Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute and New Manufacturing Hub Competitions

U.S. Department of Energy, June 20, 2016.
http://energy.gov/articles/fact-sheet-president-obama-announces-winner-new-smart-manufacturing-innovation-institute

"President Obama announced on June 20 that the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) will lead the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in partnership with the Energy Department. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, the coalition brings together a consortium of nearly 200 partners from across academia, industry, and non-profits—hailing from more than 30 states—to spur advances in smart sensors and digital process controls that can radically improve the efficiency of U.S. advanced manufacturing. The Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute is the ninth manufacturing hub awarded by the Obama administration."
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will lead a hub in the Northwest.

Think Outside the Troffer

Buildings, Jun. 2016, by Robert Nieminen.
http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/20403/title/think-outside-the-troffer.aspx

"Upgrading outdated, inefficient troffer lighting is not as complex or costly as you think."

Duke Energy & Duke University Team on Microgrid-Ready CHP Project

Microgrid Knowledge, May 25, 2016, Elisa Wood.
https://microgridknowledge.com/microgrid-ready-duke/

"Duke Energy has struck a deal to build a microgrid-ready combined heat and power (CHP) project for Duke University. Pending state regulatory approval, the utility giant will own, build and operate the 21-MW plant under a 35-year agreement with the university."

Solar Microgrid to ‘Green’ North America’s Largest Port

Microgrid Knowledge, May 30, 2016, by Elisa Wood.
https://microgridknowledge.com/solar-microgrid/

"The Port of Los Angeles, North America’s largest port, plans to install a $26. 6 million solar microgrid this year, as it moves toward becoming the first marine terminal to operate solely on renewable energy."

Reducing Energy Consumption with High-Temperature Heating and Ventilation

The Construction Specifier, May 2016, by Marc Braun.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/reducing-energy-consumption-with-high-temperature-heating-and-ventilation/

"The Department of Energy published a study, “Field Demonstration of High-efficiency Gas Heaters,” where it discussed how high-temperature heating and ventilation (HTHV) direct gas-fired heaters dramatically reduce energy consumption when replacing unit heaters in warehouses and other high-bay buildings. These direct-fired technologies—often referred to as ‘make-up air heaters’—have been widely adopted as high-efficiency ventilation units. The surprising thing is specialized versions of these products can accomplish high-efficiency space-heating when ventilation is not required, such as during unoccupied times."

Pushing the Envelope: PNC Tower, World's Greenest High-Rise, Is A Study In Simplicity

Building Operating Management, Apr. 2016, by Ronald Kovach.
http://www.facilitiesnet.com/green/article/PNC-Tower-Worlds-Greenest-High-Rise-Is-A-Study-In-Simplicity--16527

"For all the complexity of its systems and building envelope, the structure that is being touted as the greenest high-rise in the world is also a study in simplicity. The Tower at PNC Plaza, which opened in October in Pittsburgh, is using that most primal of objects — the sun — to help create essential building systems, namely HVAC and lighting. And a gigantic solar-fired version of another fundamental — hot air rising up a chimney — is also a vital part of how the building works. At the same time, it is the sun that has created the structure’s biggest surprises."

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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