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Industrial Newsbriefs

February 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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Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

Innovative applications of CHP

"Less Energy, More Conservation," published in the January/February 2013 issue of Water Efficiency, describes the use of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) in an industrial-scale greenhouse operation. The system provides heat for the greenhouses, and the C02 emitted by the generator is absorbed by the plants. The author goes on to discuss the economic benefits of CHP in a plethora of applications, from industrial processes to hospitals and schools.

Energy Management

Fuel consumption fixes for industrial plants

"Refine Your Fuel Consumption," published January 14, 2013, at, outlines how to save energy in industrial plants by examining the operation of fuel-burning systems such as boilers, steam systems, and process heating. Alternative fuels and cogeneration are also discussed.

Demo of VSD for pump system efficiency

A short video from Motion Industries and Baldor, How to Save Energy by Controlling Water Flow and Pressure, provides a hands-on demonstration of how adjusting a pump's motor speed with a variable speed drive (VSD), rather than restricting the flow with a valve, can significantly improve pump system efficiency. The video, posted in January 2013, is part of an ongoing short video series from Motion Industries.

The role of the audit in energy management systems

"Audits and Adaptation," by Paul Hull, appeared in the November/December 2012 issue of Distributed Energy. The article begins by defining types of energy audits, both a basic three-level type and an ASHRAE-developed three-level guideline. In both cases, each of the three levels are explained so the facilities manager can decide which of them might be suitable for the facility in question. The audit discussion sets the stage for a discussion of energy management systems in the onsite-energy environment.

Compressed air efficiency in a nutshell

"Stop Blowing So Much on Compressed Air," published January 11, 2013, at, provides a concise plan for improving compressed air efficiency: audit the system, eliminate unnecessary use, manage leaks, add controls, and examine and/or replace dryers and filters. Once improvements are made, a continuous improvement plan can help keep things on track.

Industrial Heating

Thermostats linked by self-powered wireless controls

Norampac, a cardboard box manufacturer in Montreal, Quebec, centralized the control of its 25 steam coil air heaters by installing a wireless thermostat system powered by locally available energy sources such as indoor light and temperature gradients. Because the system requires no wires, it was installed without disruption to work patterns, and the centralized control of heating helps the plant reduce its energy use. For information, see " Cardboard Factory Connects Heater Controls with Wireless Communications ," published January 23, 2013, at

The following two articles were published in the November 2012 issue of Industrial Heating:

"Cold Traps," by Dan Herring, President of The Herring Group Inc., describes the cold traps used in plants running thermal operations or freeze-drying operations. They are essential for collecting and converting fumes to solids, for preventing pump back-streaming, and more.

"Making a Material Balance," by Art Morris, shows how to perform the complex, but necessary, task of determining stream inflows and outflows to ensure an appropriate balance for the industrial furnace.


Opportunistic hydropower at Honda

A short video on YouTube, Every Drop Counts, describes a hydropower system built by engineers at a Honda plant in Marysville, Ohio. The system takes advantage of water falling from an existing cooling tower, and captures enough energy to reduce the plant's CO2 emissions by 77,000 pounds per year.


Pump standards missing from U.S. energy strategy

"Water - The Last Frontier of Energy Efficiency," published in the January 2013 issue of Pumps & Systems, makes the case for the adoption of standards for the energy efficiency of pumps in the U.S. Given that pumps and pump systems account for up to 20 percent of global electricity demand, the U.S. should follow the example of Europe and take advantage of this promising demand-level energy-saving opportunity.


DOE launches tool to test energy scenarios

On January 9, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new interactive online tool to help researchers, educators, and students explore future U.S. energy-use scenarios. The Buildings, Industry, Transportation, and Electricity Scenarios (BITES) tool allows users to adjust inputs, such as electricity generation and transportation fuel use, to compare carbon dioxide emissions outcomes and impacts on the U.S. energy mix. To learn more, see the DOE EERE Progress Alert.

Report examines cutting edge energy efficiency programs

A new research report release in January 2013 by ACEEE, Frontiers of Energy Efficiency: Next Generation Programs Reach for High Energy Savings (free login required for download), describes 22 successful, cutting edge energy efficiency programs operating in the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors. The programs tend to focus on high performance, which in the industrial sector usually involves the optimization of processes. The industrial section includes statistics on industrial, CHP, agriculture, and distribution system programs.


Pacific Northwest

NEEA and BPA to host joint conference
In May 2013, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Association (NEEA) and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) will join forces to host a joint energy efficiency conference to serve the combined purposes of Efficiency Connections NW and the Energy Efficiency Utility Summit. The new joint summit,Efficiency Exchange: Where energy meets efficiency, will take place on May 14-16, 2013, in Portland, Oregon. Information can be found on the BPA website, and will be updated as the date draws nearer.

Motor Systems Management Best Practices
February 27, 2013, Yakima, Washington
Motors use more than half of all electricity. Their inefficiencies contribute significantly to expensive peak demand. Efficient motors, optimized controls, improved component sizing and repair, better transmission hardware, and more comprehensive motor monitoring and maintenance could cut U.S. electricity demand by 27% to 40%, save motor users and utilities billions of dollars, reduce pollutant emissions, and enhance productivity. This is training is coordinated by NEEA Industrial Training and sponsored by Pacific Power, Avista, Bonneville Power Administration, Northwest Food Processors Association, and Washington State University-Extension Energy Program.

Energy Efficiency for Air Cooled Refrigeration Systems
February 28, 2013, Shelton, Washington
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. This course is coordinated by the NEEA Industrial Training project and is sponsored by Mason County PUD No. 3, City of Port Angeles, Grays Harbor PUD, Bonneville Power Administration, Washington State University Energy Program, and Northwest Food Processors Association.

Pump System Assessment Tool (PSAT)
March 28, 2013, Spokane, Washington
Developed for plant engineering and operations staff, this course discusses performance problems encountered in everyday applications. The workshop covers practical issues involved in field measurements of fluid and electrical data and presents the Pump System Assessment Tool (PSAT), used to assess the performance of pump systems. Learn how the software functions, what data is required, how to use the software when measured data is not available, and what the assessment results mean. After completing this course, you will understand how to use PSAT to actively determine the best configuration for your pump system in order to achieve optimal energy and cost savings. This course is coordinated by the NEEA Industrial Training project and is sponsored by Avista, Inland Power and Light, Bonneville Power Administration, Washington State University Energy Program, and Northwest Food Processors Association.

Introduction to Energy Data Management
April 23, 2013, Everett, Washington
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
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
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.

Webinars and Online Courses

Boiler and Chiller Maintenance for Maximum Efficiency
February 19, 2013, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PST
Keep your boilers and chillers working at peak performance! When it comes to boilers and chillers, did you know proactive maintenance routines help to achieve maximum fuel and electric efficiency over time? This webinar will identify proven maintenance practices, not only for boilers and combustion burners, but chiller compressors, evaporators/condensers (including cooling towers), economizers, and air handlers. Join us today; prepare for tomorrow.

Achieving Energy Efficiency in Data Centers
March 19, 2013, 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PST
Supporting this unique business segment requires special know-how. Because energy intensity is extremely high in data centers, it is important to know and follow best practices for minimizing electrical consumption in the areas of power conversion (redundancy, DC Power), server load(virtualization, monitoring), and cooling systems (air management, containment, free cooling). This webinar will discuss all of this, and more; including benchmarking, data center site selection, and several case studies. Join us to learn more about the energy consumption of data centers.

GE WEBINAR: Intro to Ammonia Refrigeration
March 26, 2013, 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
GE WEBINAR: Intro to Ammonia Refrigeration
March 26, 2013, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
At this introductory webinar you will learn the basics of reducing energy use, lowering operating costs and improving refrigeration system reliability. The instructor is a highly qualified industry expert who will review basic industrial refrigeration concepts and provide a system overview including typical industrial refrigeration practice, applications, equipment, and configurations.

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.

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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