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Industrial Newsbriefs

August 2011

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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Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool

The Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST) introduces methods to improve thermal efficiency of heating equipment. This tool helps industrial users survey process heating equipment that consumes fuel, steam, or electricity, and identifies the most energy-intensive equipment. The tool can be used to perform a heat balance that identifies major areas of energy use under various operating conditions and test "what-if" scenarios for various options to reduce energy use.


Sawmill runs on its own wood waste

"CHP: Cutting It at Sawmills," by Anna Austin, Associate Editor, Biomass Power & Thermal, was published in the May 2011 issue of that journal. A saw mill plant in Eugene, Oregon, is able to supply all of its fuel needs using cogeneration technology. The mill uses wood waste from its own plant, making its conversion to cogen an economically sound choice. The author describes what other considerations went into the mill's decision to move to cogen.

Olive oil plant thrives on 'pit power'

Musco Family Olive Co., the largest processor of olive oil in the U.S., is now burning olive pits to provide steam and generate electricity instead of sending them to the landfill. Heat from olive pit combustion powers a boiler which distills wastewater from the plant, and sends pressurized steam through a turbine. The turbine generates enough electricity to power about half of the plant's operations. To learn more, read 'Burning Olive Pits,' published in July 2011 on the ASME website.


The following two articles were published in the June 2011 issue of Biomass Power & Thermal:

"Boilers: Economic Change from Coal to Biomass" was jointly written by James Wise, P.E., Process Engineer, and Gareth Jones, Executive Consultant; both of Baisch Engineering Inc. The authors report that the switch from fossil fuels to biomass can now be accomplished without the extraordinary cost of replacing or drastically modifying boilers. The new technologies that allow for biomass to be used in non- or slightly-modified boilers include torrefaction, pelletization, and gasification, all of which are well-described.

"Maximizing Efficiency" was authored by Anna Austin, Associate Editor, Biomass Power & Thermal. It shows, in useful detail, how municipalities in California, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington D.C. are using biogas as an energy resource.


'Cut Costs and Stay Competitive with Advanced Energy Management,' by Bob Zak of Powerit Solutions, describes energy cost reduction strategies for industrial heating applications. A combination of automated demand response, demand control, dynamic price optimization, and energy efficiency measures is recommended. A sidebar on controlling energy use from heat treaters is also included. This article was published in the July 2011 issue of Industrial Heating.


Belt efficiency calculations

Calculations for comparing the efficiency of V-drives versus belt drives are presented in 'Calculated Savings – Driving Energy Efficiency,' written by Brent Oman of Gates Corporation (a synchronous belt drive manufacturer) and published in the July 2011 issue of Maintenance Technology. The author also points to a calculator tool for the same purpose, available on the company's website.

Advantages of variable frequency drives

'Motor Decisions Matter: Building on Motor Management – Considering VFD Options' explains briefly how a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) works, and how to tell if its adoption will likely result in energy and cost savings for your particular situation. This article was written by Motor Decisions Matter staff, and appears in the July 2011 issue of Maintenance Technology.


Water recovery from industrial vapors

"Large-Scale Tests Begin to Convert Flue Gas to Usable Water," by Sonal Patel, Senior Writer, Power, appeared in the May 2011 issue of that journal. Researchers in the Netherlands are working on a process to convert water vapor from industrial and utility plant exhaust into usable, and even potable, water. In one test case, it is shown that an average 400 megawatt coal-fired power plant could supply twice as much water as it needs for steam generation.


Waste heat for cooling

"Performance Enhancement of a Thermally Activated Cooling System Using Microchannel Heat Exchangers" is a 26-page scholarly paper by Hailei Wang and Richard B. Peterson, both of the School of Mechanical, Industrial, & Manufacturing Engineering at Oregon State University; the paper is recent, but undated. The system combines two processes, an organic Rankine cycle and a compression cooling cycle, to convert 80% of waste heat energy into cooling capability. "Using Waste Heat from Automobile Exhaust," published June 12, 2011, in Science News, summarizes the research.


Volvo Truck plant cuts energy use 30% in one year

With the help of U.S. DOE Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) expertise, Volvo Truck's New River Valley plant in Dublin, Virginia, was able to reduce its energy expenditures by almost 30% in only one year. The plant is one of about a hundred participants in the Save Energy Now LEADER program, whereby companies voluntarily pledge to reduce their energy intensity by 25% in 10 years. To learn more, read the June 27, 2011, Energy Blog post, 'Virginia Manufacturer Keeps Jobs Local by Embracing Energy Efficiency.'


BEE Campaign briefs congress

On July 11, 2011, the Build Energy Efficiency (BEE) Campaign hosted a congressional briefing discussing industrial energy use and the role of energy efficiency in furthering U.S. competitiveness. The briefing included presentations by Carl Castellow, director of industrial energy efficiency at Schneider Electric; Larry Boyd, director of industrial programs with Energy Industries of Ohio; and Dr. Narasimha Rao, division vice president of research and offering development with Nalco. Visit the BEE Industrial Sector page to read about the presentations and view slides.

ASE paper examines barriers to efficiency upgrades in manufacturing

'Crossing the Valley of Death: Policy Options to Advance the Uptake of Energy-Efficient Emerging Technologies in U.S. Industry' is a white paper published on July 11, 2011, by the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE). This well-referenced report examines existing barriers to capital equipment turnover among American manufacturers, and offers detailed policy considerations to accelerate the adoption of promising new industrial technologies.


DOE to fund development of advanced manufacturing technologies

The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, an initiative to develop advanced processes and materials to improve the energy efficiency of industrial facilities, was announced by President Obama on June 14, 2011. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will award a combined $120 Million in grant funding to projects in the research, testing, and verification stages of development. The letter of intent submission deadline is September 1, 2011; application details can be found in the funding opportunity announcement.

National Science Foundation Materials Processing and Manufacturing (MPM)
PD 10-1467
Proposals due: October 1, 2011
The MPM program supports fundamental research on the interrelationship of materials processing, structure, performance and process control. Analytical, experimental, and numerical studies are supported covering processing methods such as molding, forging, casting, welding, hydroforming, composite layup, and other materials processing approaches. Emphasis is placed on environmentally benign manufacturing and virtual manufacturing. Research leading to the development of novel processes and novel hybrid processing techniques to achieve net shape products and complex multi-scale, multi-functional products with superior quality and performance is also supported.

National Science Foundation Manufacturing Enterprise Systems (MES)
PD 10-1786
Proposal window: September 1 – October 1, 2011
The MES program supports research on design, planning, and control of operations in manufacturing enterprises. Research is supported that impacts the analytical and computational techniques relevant to extended enterprise operations and that offer the prospect of implementable solutions. Topics of interest include analytical and computational tools for planning, monitoring, control, and scheduling of manufacturing and distribution operations, and development of methods for optimization of manufacturing enterprises in the presence of a high degree of uncertainty and risk.


Pacific Northwest

Compressed Air Energy Management: 90-Day Collaborative Cohort
August 18-19, 2011
Bellevue, Washington
By participating in this cohort, attendees will learn to calculate the energy cost of compressed air, identify inappropriate uses of compressed air, establish a baseline for tracking improvements, find and fix system leaks, and identify cost saving opportunities. Day 1 offers attendees training in Compressed Air Challenge's Fundamentals of Compressed Air Systems course. Day 2 offers attendees training in implementing a leak detection program and includes hands-on leak locating. After the two-day training, participating facilities receive up to 8 hours of free technical support over the next 90 days as they implement a leak detection program.

Adjustable Speed Drive Applications and Energy Efficiency
August 24, 2011
Longview, Washington
This course addresses the choices available and relevant issues regarding the use of adjustable speed drives (ASD) with electric motors, and demonstrates the energy cost savings and other benefits made possible by this technology. In this course we explore how adjustable speed drives work and ways to assess the savings. Variable frequency drives (VFD) are the most common speed control method and is the major focus of the course content. This training is coordinated by NEEA Industrial Training project and sponsored by Cowlitz County PUD, Columbia River PUD, Bonneville Power Administration, Washington State University Energy Program, and Northwest Food Processors Association.

Compressed Air Challenge - Level 1
Two Dates:
August 30, 2011, Bend, Oregon
August 31, 2011, Klamath Falls, Oregon
Are your compressed air energy costs under control? Even the smallest compressed air system is a relatively large source of energy consumption and cost. Make your company more profitable with the Compressed Air Challenge™, a series of seminars that applies proven techniques to achieve cost-effective solutions. Optimizing your compressed air systems can lead to higher productivity, energy savings, increased product quality and greater efficiency. This course is sponsored by Energy Trust of Oregon, Pacific Power, Oregon Department of Energy, Bonneville Power Administration, Washington State University Energy Program, and Northwest Food Processors Association.

PGE Series: Motors and Motor Controls
Wednesdays, Sept. 21 – Nov. 2, 2011, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Tualatin, Oregon
This seven-week course focuses on how to optimize industrial and commercial system reliability using your motors and motor drive systems. This course will equip participants to better understand the principles of motor fundamentals, improve motor drive systems efficiency, enhance system reliability, and identify system energy savings opportunities.

Efficiency Connections Northwest
November 2 – 3, 2011
Tacoma, Washington
Efficiency Connections Northwest provides an opportunity for participants to tap into the collective knowledge of the efficiency community as national experts join regional innovators to share their success stories. Efficiency Connections Northwest was developed by and for regional utility professionals at both public- and investor-owned utilities and is brought to you by NEEA.

Other Events, Trainings, and Webinars

Webinar: Fundamentals of Pumping System Assessments
August 4, 2011, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST
This free, one hour webinar provides an overview of new ASME EA-2-2009 Standard, which sets the requirements for conducting and reporting the results of pumping system assessments. This webinar is offered by the Hydraulic Institute and Pump Systems Matters.

Tuesday Webcast for Industry: Establishing and Maintaining a Strategic Partnership with the Chief Financial Officer
August 9, 2011, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST
This Webcast will focus on establishing and maintaining a strategic partnership with your company's CFO. This will include how to build a business case for energy efficiency in corporate sustainability investment plans and how to establish your energy program's credibility. Neal Elliot, Associate Director for Research of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, will discuss your 'pitch', being transparent in your approach, demonstrating your project's expected return on investment, and the business impact of sustainability and your energy projects.

Steam Systems Management
August 24, 2011
Downey, California
This 1-day course covers the operation of typical steam systems and discusses methods of system efficiency improvement. The training helps industrial and institutional plant personnel—energy managers, steam system supervisors, engineers, and equipment operators—identify opportunities to improve steam system performance.

Energy Efficiency in Motor-Driven Systems (EEMODS) '11
September 12-14, 2011
Alexandra, Virginia
This event provides a forum for discussion of many motor management topics including: developments in motor and system efficiency, energy management, and how to define system efficiency. EEMODS participants include a wide variety of industry stakeholders involved in manufacturing, marketing, and promotion of energy efficient motors and motor-driven systems.

Steam End User Training – E-Learning
Self-paced online workshop
This course covers the operation of typical steam systems and discusses methods of system efficiency improvement. A brief demonstration of the BestPractices Steam System Tool Suite software is highlighted to help identify and quantify savings from selected potential improvement examples. The training is designed for plant personnel, such as energy managers, steam system supervisors, engineers, and equipment operators, who have steam system responsibilities in industrial and institutional plants.

Steam Systems E-Learning
Self-paced online workshop
This training course will provide an overview of the BestPractices Steam Tool Suite. The training course will begin with a navigational tutorial to guide you on how to move through the three modules. Each training module will demonstrate the capability of one tool and its interactions with the other tools. Interactive quizzes will be used to test your basic understanding of the tools after you complete the course.


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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