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Industrial Newsbriefs

April 2013

Welcome to this edition of Industrial Newsbriefs, produced by the Washington State University Extension Energy Program, and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Please forward this issue to those of your colleagues interested in industrial energy efficiency. View archive 

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Northwest Food Processors Sustainability Summit

April 17, 2013, Portland, Oregon

The Northwest Food Processors Sustainability Summit is the region's premier gathering of food processors, sustainability/environmental /energy experts, and industry partners working to advance sustainability in the industry. Sessions are focused on practical industrial applications of sustainability management practices. Hear experts and industry professionals present real-life case studies, success stories, and challenges. During the Summit, you will be able to network with companies that are implementing sustainability programs/projects to share and learn from their experiences.


Boilers: Types, Applications, and Efficiencies” was published in the March 2013 issue of Consulting-Specifying Engineer. This article describes how to choose the appropriate boiler for a given application, and stresses the need for controllability in the pursuit of maximum boiler efficiency.

Compressed Air

Compressed air upgrade pays off

One-Year Payback: Food Packaging Plant Saves Energy with New Compressor,” published March 28, 2013, at BC Hydro News, provides a brief case study of a compressed air system upgrade at Golden Boy Foods in Burnaby, British Columbia. With incentives provided by BC Hydro, an estimated energy savings of 181,000 kWh per year was achieved for an out-of-pocket cost of only $9000.

Compressed Air Best Practices

The March 2013 issue of Compressed Air Best Practices is now available for download; this issue’s focus is Food Packaging. Article topics include a meat packager case study; a profile of Atlas Copco; oil-free air compressors; and a bottling plant’s wastewater treatment methods.

Energy Management

Low-cost, targeted efficiency improvements

The Top Five Energy Efficiency Measures for Industrial Businesses,” published March 6, 2013, at, describes five measures which can significantly improve energy efficiency with little or no capital investment. The recommendations leverage the power of data and analytics in assessing where energy is being wasted, so changes can be targeted to bring about the greatest energy savings for the lowest cost.

Energy management at Darigold

Darigold, a dairy and food processing company with several plants in the northwest, has achieved significant success by implementing an energy management system. Their company-wide strategy has yielded huge cost savings, and has also helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Institute for Industrial Productivity highlights the company’s achievements – including lessons learned – in the case study, “Darigold and Their Successful Energy Reduction Strategy.”


WAMSR would re-cycle nuclear waste

Transatomic Power has developed a new type of nuclear reactor which could run on nuclear waste from traditional nuclear plants, drastically reducing the waste’s volume and radioactivity while generating enough electricity to power the entire world for 70 years using only existing stockpiles. The Waste-Annihilating Molten Salt Reactor (WAMSR) is gaining attention from big energy players like Shell, and its team of advisors includes Dr. Richard Lester, founder of the MIT Industrial Performance Center. To learn more, read “And the DOE Energy Innovation Award Goes to… a New Type of Nuclear Power,” published March 1, 2013 at, or watch a TEDx talk by the company’s founders.

Smart IT to improve U.S. manufacturing efficiency

The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) to begin the development of a technology platform for collaborative industrial networked information applications. The platform will utilize smart technologies to actively manage energy use in plants, manufacturing systems, and across entire supply chains. To learn more, read the March 26, 2013, SMLC press release.


Saving energy with VFDs

Your Bottom Line: Manufacturing System Savings” was published in March 13, 2013, in Maintenance Technology. This article by Motor Decisions Matter describes a case study of a rubber manufacturer that saved energy and improved performance by switching to a variable-frequency drive. The plant achieved a less-than-six-year payback based on electricity savings alone.

Policy and Legislation

Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative launched

On March 27, 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, a public-private partnership designed to enhance the competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing sector by increasing energy productivity. The initiative will mobilize EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), federal agencies, research institutions, and private sector partners to promote the growth of energy-efficient technologies and practices such as CHP and the use of low-cost domestic energy sources.

Policy recommendations from ACEEE

Overcoming Market Barriers and Using Market Forces to Advance Energy Efficiency was published in March 2013 by ACEEE. This report examines barriers to increased U.S. energy efficiency, and recommends specific market-related policy changes to help the U.S. reach its energy efficiency potential.

Among the recommendations are a national emissions fee; an adjustment to the structure of corporate tax policy; and the removal of regulatory barriers to CHP.

Boiler MACT rule and biomass

Boiler MACT Impacts Biomass Power,” published March 4, 2013, in Biomass Magazine, describes how the boiler MACT rule will impact existing and future biomass facilities. Pollutant limits for major and area sources are compared. The author recommends that biomass boiler operators develop an action plan in order to meet compliance dates, which range from immediate to within three years.


Emerging Technologies Database

An Emerging Technologies Database,, was recently developed by BPA’s Energy Efficiency Emerging Technology Team and the Washington State University Energy Program. This discovery tool is designed to help electric utilities, researchers, manufacturers, industry leaders, and others gauge and evaluate emerging energy efficiency technologies. To learn more, read the February 26, 2013, BPA press release.

Updated RELCOST Financial template available

A new version of the RELCOST Financial template was released by the U.S. Department of Energy Northwest Clean Energy Application Center in February 2013. The template, originally developed by the Washington State University Energy Program in 2009, is used to evaluate the financial viability of energy projects. A user’s manual is also available.


Pacific Northwest

Future Energy Conference
April 16-17, Portland, Oregon
Future Energy Conference is Oregon’s unmatched forum for learning, networking, and business development with content covering Policy & Economic Development, the Business of Renewable Energy, the Business of Energy Efficiency, and Energy Sector Insights. Now in its seventh year, Oregon's leading clean energy conference connects policy with practice and addresses the industry’s current challenges and opportunities.

Northwest Food Processors Sustainability Summit
April 17, 2013, Portland, Oregon
The Northwest Food Processors Sustainability Summit is the region's premier gathering of food processors, sustainability/environmental /energy experts and industry partners working to advance sustainability in the industry. Sessions are focused on practical industrial applications of sustainability management practices. Hear experts and industry professionals present real-life case studies, success stories and challenges. During the Summit you will be able to network with companies that are implementing sustainability programs/projects to share and learn from their experiences.

Introduction to Energy Data Management
April 23, 2013, Everett, Washington (register by April 9)
In this course, the end-user will learn how to use information available at their facility to identify how energy impacts their business. The training presents methods, tools, and resources that can be employed by the participant in their effort to control energy use. A case study is drawn on to show that when energy efficiency improvements are made, energy costs decrease while (ideally) productivity increases. Attendees are urged to contribute their experiences during the discussion.

Introduction to Strategic Energy Management
April 25, 2013, Missoula, Montana (Register by April 11)
Gain the basic tools that every company needs to manage energy as a controllable cost. Understand energy management as a systematic approach to monitor, control, and conserve energy, and learn how energy management is integral to reducing operating costs. You will leave this training with information that will help you effectively implement an energy management system at your company.

Energy Efficiency of Chilled Water Systems and Cooling Towers
Medford, Oregon
April 25th-26th (registration deadline April 11)
April 25th (chilled water only)
April 26th (cooling towers only)
Chilled Water Systems, which provide cooling for industrial and commercial facilities, often account for a major portion of the energy consumed in these facilities. Attendees will learn how technology improvements can reduce energy costs by more than half. Topics include chiller machinery, refrigerant options, the impact of using variable speed for compressors, and system pumps. In addition, a case study will be presented that shows how an energy-efficient chiller was selected.
The Cooling Tower course addresses efficiency measures and other issues, including cooling tower sizing vs. energy savings, approach control strategies (efficient fan operation), water treatment (including ozone), water conservation and maintenance. This course includes a case study exercise that works through an example of how a cost-effective and efficient cooling tower was selected.

Motor Systems Management Best Practices
May 7, 2013, Yakima, Washington (registration deadline April 23)
This course teaches attendees how to use USDOE MotorMaster+ software, an energy efficient motor selection and management tool, which includes a catalog of over 20,000 AC motors. This tool features motor inventory management tools, maintenance log tracking, efficiency analysis, savings evaluation, energy accounting, and environmental reporting capabilities. The course includes an enhanced user manual with new reporting methods and efficient predictive maintenance practices.

Efficiency Exchange
May 14-16, 2013, Portland, Oregon
Efficiency Connections NW and the BPA Energy Efficiency Utility Summit combine this year to make one Northwest energy efficiency conference: Efficiency Exchange. Utility conservation managers, sector leads, executives, program managers and staff; efficiency industry and public interest groups; and energy efficiency program implementers, evaluators and researchers are encouraged to attend. Participants will connect with their peers, learn and share innovations, and gather ideas to take home.

Energy Efficiency and Data Centers
June 4, 2013, Bend, Oregon (registration deadline May 21)
Attendees will gain a fundamental understanding of how energy is consumed, industry best practices, and opportunities for improving energy efficiency in data centers. Different systems and components will be introduced, exploring how their various components interact and influence energy consumption and efficiency of the data center. The course is not intended to provide comprehensive information on how to design or operate all the equipment and systems discussed, but focuses on system interactions the potentially large opportunities for improved energy efficiency.

Webinars and Online Courses

Adjustable Speed Drives
April 16, 2013, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PST
In the right applications, adjustable speed drives (ASDs) offer great energy-saving potential from high power factor to improved speed control, soft-start capabilities, and more. This webinar will discuss how they work, the savings potential, best applications, sizing, and how to solve variable frequency drive (VFD) power-quality issues.

Developing an Energy Plan
May 21, 2013, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PST
Lack of planning is a significant barrier to reducing energy consumption in your facility. An energy-management plan is a great way to improve efficiency and encourage energy-saving behavior. In addition to cost savings, successful energy-management plans reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower maintenance costs, improve workplace comfort and more. Topics to be discussed include the elements of a seven-step energy plan; making the decision to hire an energy manager; financing; and energy-efficiency tools and resources.

Outside of the Pacific Northwest

2013 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry
July 23-26, 2013, Niagara Falls, New York
Mark your calendars to attend the 10th biennial Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry. Participants from around the world will gather for three days to discuss technical, policy, financing, and program issues related to increasing energy efficiency in industry.  Also, we are delighted to welcome Brian Platt, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Joe Vehec, American Iron and Steel Institute as Co-Chairs of the Summer Study.  Their knowledge and expertise in this field will help design an event you don’t want to miss!


For a listing of other upcoming industrial energy efficiency trainings, visit the following websites:

Energy Events Calendar

Northwest Regional Training Calendar

U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Best Practices Training Calendar

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