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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.

 


A New Spin On VRF & Ventilation [in a School]

Engineered Systems, Feb. 2017, by John Parris Frantz.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/98147-a-new-spin-on-vrf-ventilation

"A Tennessee district faced an old school HVAC challenge: aging ventilators and space constraints. So this team tried a new-school variation on common VRF retrofits to deliver improved efficiency and critical IAQ: they decentralized the outdoor air, combining enthalpy wheel and VRF components within a single classroom enclosure."

Where To Place Air-Cooled Chillers

Engineered Systems, Feb. 2017, by Kishor Khankari.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/98146-where-to-place-air-cooled-chillers

"Warm discharge plumes sweeping back into air-cooled condensers is nobody’s idea of an ideal performance environment. This CFD study shows how wind speed, wind direction, spacing between chillers, and separation from adjacent buildings all factor into the conversation about the best defense against unwanted hot air."

Mapping Coal’s Decline and Renewables' Rise

MIT Energy Futures, Autumn 2016, by Francesca McCaffrey.
http://news.mit.edu/2016/mapping-coal-decline-and-renewables-rise-0622

"A new study from MIT researchers, however, shows that coal’s economic edge may soon be far thinner than we think. In a working paper for the MIT Energy Initiative, graduate students Joel Jean, David C. Borrelli, and Tony Wu show how replacing current coal-fired power plants with wind and solar photovoltaic generation facilities could provide benefits for the environment and for bottom lines in the near future. The online tool they’ve created to help illustrate this argument is CoalMap, a web application that compares the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) — that is, the minimum electricity price a power plant must receive to break even on investment costs over its lifecycle — of existing U.S. coal-fired plants with the expected LCOE of potential new utility-scale solar and wind generation in the same locations."

DistribuTECH 2017: Why Utilities Are Skeptical About Transactive Energy

UtilityDive, Feb. 14, 2017, by Gavin Bade.
http://www.utilitydive.com/news/distributech-2017-why-utilities-are-skeptical-about-transactive-energy/436047/

"If there was ever a power sector issue that could be said to be sexy, it’s transactive energy. The idea itself isn’t particularly flashy — design a system where distributed energy resources (DERs) can receive locational and temporal compensation for the services they offer to the grid in real time. But transactive energy gets much of its attention from its association with the blockchain, a decentralized network that underlies cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin."

Northwest Builds Efficiency Incentives for Manufactured Housing

Clean Energy Finance Forum, Feb. 13, 2017, by Kat Friedrich.
http://www.cleanenergyfinanceforum.com/2017/02/13/northwest-builds-efficiency-incentives-for-manufactured-housing

"Now that Energy Star’s incentive for manufactured housing has reached its sunset date at the end of 2016, who will take the lead in advancing these goals? ...regionally, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), in partnership with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and a group of utilities, has stepped into an innovative role. It is continuing a preexisting program that is providing an example of regional success."

Fluid Cooling In Data Centers — If Not Now, When?

Engineered Systems, Jan. 2017, by Kevin Dickens.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/98105-fluid-cooling-in-data-centers-if-not-now-when

"Trends don’t always follow the expected path (or timeline), but the basics remain the basics and increased cabinet density remains inevitable. Let’s revisit the progress of liquid in data center strategy and the tenets of a future-proof(ish) hybrid design for today."

Design of a High-Temperature-Hot-Water-Plant Expansion

HPAC Engineering, Jan. 2017, by Eric Chrencik.
http://hpac.com/heating/design-high-temperature-hot-water-plant-expansion

"There are four main components of HTHW-plant design:
  • HTHW-generator selection.
  • Pump selection.
  • Consideration of system expansion and makeup.
  • Stress analysis and piping layout.
This article discusses all four for a recently completed HTHW-plant expansion at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA."

Idaho Falls Power Completes Refurbishment of 1938 Hydropower Plant

NWPPA Bulletin, Jan. 2017, by John Barksdale. -- scroll to page 12 of the .pdf.
https://www.nwppa.org/wp-content/uploads/Bulletin_Jan_2017_WEB.pdf

"Idaho Falls Power, a department of the City of Idaho Falls and one of the oldest public power utilities in the Northwest, is situated on the Snake River in Southeast Idaho....  Today, IFP now owns and operates five hydroelectric facilities generating 56 megawatts for its 27,000 customers. The oldest of its hydro projects, the Old Lower Plant, was built during the Roosevelt Administration in 1938 under the Works Progress Administration.... Given the age of the generators, turbines, and the plant in general, IFP evaluated rebuilding the units to determine if it was an economically viable option. The analysis demonstrated a return on investment over a 35-year period using several energy cost scenarios. With an estimated rehabilitation cost of $7.8 million, the feasibility was deemed viable in all scenarios."

Energy Storage In 2017: A Different Shade Of Green

Solar Industry, Jan. 2017, by Matt Roberts.
http://issues.solarindustrymag.com/article/energy-storage-in-2017-a-different-shade-of-green

"The rise of renewable energy isn't the only good reason for more energy storage deployment."

Why Net Metering Matters For Commercial Solar, Too

Solar Industry, Jan. 2017, by Graham Smith.
http://issues.solarindustrymag.com/article/why-net-metering-matters-for-commercial-solar-too

"The C&I sector is often overlooked when it comes to the battle over NEM reform.... 2017 promises to hold many more discussions across the nation about NEM reform, from northwestern states like Utah, to the tip of the Northeast in New Hampshire and Maine. As policymakers and industry executives come together to decide on the future of solar, there must also be discussions about the effects of NEM reforms on C&I."
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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