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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.

 


Organic Mega Flow Battery Promises Breakthrough for Renewable Energy

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Jan. 2014.
http://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2014/01/organic-mega-flow-battery-promises-breakthrough-for-renewable-energy

"A team of Harvard scientists and engineers has demonstrated a new type of battery that could fundamentally transform the way electricity is stored on the grid, making power from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar far more economical and reliable.

The novel battery technology is reported in a paper published in Nature on January 9. Under the OPEN 2012 program, the Harvard team received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) to develop the innovative grid-scale battery and plans to work with ARPA-E to catalyze further technological and market breakthroughs over the next several years
."

Engaging Small to Mid-Size Lenders in the Market for Energy Efficiency Investment:

ACEEE, Report Number F1401, Feb. 2014.
http://www.aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/f1401.pdf  (free registration required to access)

"On October 18, 2013, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and Energi Insurance Services, with support from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Argonne National Laboratory, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) convened a group of key stakeholders to discuss opportunities for augmenting small bank and lender activity in the energy efficiency space.

This white paper captures key findings from the convening and places them within the context of current research and experience. It goes on to make recommendations to entities within the energy efficiency community to help increase small to mid-size lender activity in the market for energy efficiency financing."


Nearly 143,000 and Counting: Updated State Solar Jobs Numbers for 2013

Solar Foundation, Feb. 11, 2014, by Andrea Luecke, Executive Director and President of The Solar Foundation.
http://thesolarfoundation.org/blog/nearly-143000-and-counting-updated-state-solar-jobs-numbers-2013

"In late January 2014, The Solar Foundation released its National Solar Jobs Census 2013, showing that the U.S. solar industry employs 142,698 solar workers as of November 2013.  In addition to this important piece of national solar labor market research, we have also continued to focus more heavily on employment at the state level."

Arizona Starts Charging Grid-Connection Fees for Solar Rooftops

State & Local Energy Report, Winter 2014.
http://stateenergyreport.com/2014/02/06/news-notes-4/

"In a decision that could have far-reaching impacts on the solar industry, the Arizona Corporate Commission (ACC) voted in November to allow the state’s largest utility to charge a monthly fee to customers who install photovoltaic panels on their roofs."

RTUs Cool More Space Using Less Energy

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Feb. 10, 2014, by Dan Vastyan.
http://www.achrnews.com/articles/125759-rtus-cool-more-space-using-less-energy

"Some industry experts in the HVAC industry consider gas-fired condensing combustion heating systems to be the final frontier in rooftop heating technology.  As seen during the formative years, throughout the development of high-efficiency residential furnaces, several manufacturers boast condensing rooftop equipment on the market. Most product lines available today are in the 90-92 percent efficiency range, but a few approach 95 percent."

Commissioning Beyond the Documents: Using Commissioning as the Basis for Innovation and Improved Performance

HPAC Engineering, Jan. 2014, by James I. Givens.
http://hpac.com/archive/commissioning-beyond-documents (requires free registration)

"Realizing the fundamental intent of commissioning requires an inherent understanding of a facility, the procedures/operations within, and the integration of building systems. This reaches far beyond documents and is where the value in commissioning is found."


VFD, Motor Strategies for Energy Efficiency

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Jan./Feb. 2014, by John Yoon, PE, LEED AP.
http://www.csemag.com/single-article/vfd-motor-strategies-for-energy-efficiency/5d507c13fed1f2680da1f419b85cefa6.html

"A variable frequency drive (VFD) often is specified to save money by reducing energy consumption in pumps, fans, compressors, or any other motor loads that may be found in a typical building. These best practices will provide the engineer with information on how to specify a VFD to meet load conditions while achieving efficiency."

Don't Blow Your Money on a Steam Trap

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Jan./Feb. 2014, by David Grassl, PE.
http://www.csemag.com/single-article/don-t-blow-your-money-on-a-steam-trap/1ea8d3707c39adae4585b425e07b4f31.html

"Steam and condensate leaks cost buildings and industrial plants millions of dollars in lost energy, while increasing emissions from boilers due to increased operation, creating potential safety hazards, and lowering the reliability of operations. This article will review the many factors that impact the reliability, performance, longevity, and maintenance requirements for condensate return piping systems."

Establishing Proper Pressure Drop for Feedwater Flow Control Valves

Power Magazine, Feb. 2014, by S. Zaheer Akhtar, PE.
http://www.powermag.com/establishing-proper-pressure-drop-for-feedwater-flow-control-valves/

"Feedwater control valves play a critical role in boiler operation. One important parameter of their design is the pressure drop at the rated condition as well as off-design conditions. However, conventional methods used for establishing control valve pressure drop cannot be used at face value without reviewing all plant operating scenarios."

What Owners Need to Know About ... Maximizing Boiler Efficiency

HPAC Engineering, Jan. 2014, by Peter D'Antonio.
http://hpac.com/heating/what-owners-need-know-about-maximizing-boiler-efficiency (free registration is required)

"Hydronic heating systems are becoming increasingly common in commercial buildings, playing an ever-expanding role in high-performance design. This article discusses tried-and-true methods of minimizing costly mistakes and maximizing efficiency."

About

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

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.