Bookmark and Share

Industrial Newsbriefs

June 2012

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 

While every URL in Industrial Newsbriefs is checked for accuracy prior to distribution, URLs may change and servers may temporarily fail to connect to working URLs.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

Plug-and-play CHP a game changer

"Plug-and-Play Units Expand US Market for Small-Scale CHP," published in the January-February issue of Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production, explains how pre-engineered plug-and-play CHP systems will expand opportunity for the adoption of CHP on a small scale.  The article includes discussion of ROI (return on investment) as it applies to the pre-engineered systems, the market potential of plug-and-play, and expectations for the future of CHP now that smaller applications can be better accommodated. Seven examples of plug-and-play CHP systems are described.

Waste heat-to-power white paper from EPA

Waste Heat to Power, a May 2012 white paper by the U.S. EPA Combined Heat and Power Partnership, provides an overview of waste heat-to-power systems, particularly CHP in an industrial setting. The paper describes common systems, outlines the most promising industrial applications, and discusses market barriers to adoption.

CHP successful despite slow adoption

"Branching Out with CHP," by Ed Ritchie, appeared in the March/April 2012 issue of Distributed Energy. Although the adoption of CHP in the United States and elsewhere has been slow, the potential for high energy recoup and economic payback has been proven repeatedly by successful installations. The author proves this point by describing seven successful larger-scale CHP projects.

Compressed Air

Lowest pressure determines pipe size

"Keep an Eye on the ‘Dirty 30' for Compressed Air Efficiency," published May 22, 2012, on the Sustainable Plant website, explains how leaks and pressure drops can undermine an otherwise efficient compressed air system, particularly in the final 30 feet between the distribution header and the production equipment. The author recommends sizing pipe based on these low pressure areas, and also outlines recommendations by the Compressed Air Challenge for filters, regulators, and lubricators.

Compressed Air Best Practices

The May 2012 edition of Compressed Air Best Practices is now available for download. This issue's focus is the petrochemical industry; included are articles on centrifugal compression system efficiency, the importance of condensate drains on air system efficiency, and others.

Energy Management

Contract ensures recoup of energy efficiency investments

In "The Energy Performance Contract: It's Better than Doing Nothing," published April 26th, 2012, in Sustainable Plant, Editor-in-Chief Paul Studebaker explains how an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) can provide the necessary incentive for a plant to undertake large-scale energy efficiency projects.  An EPC acts as a guarantee by an energy services provider that the energy saved over a defined time period will compensate for expenses incurred while implementing the project.

Brewery efficiency hinges on precise steam pressure

Matt Brewing Company in Utica, New York, relies on the precise maintenance and regulation of steam pressure to operate efficiently and produce a high-quality product. In "Saving Steam Saves Money," published April 12, 2012, in Control Global, brewing supervisor Rich Michaels describes the brewery's control system and its effects on energy and water consumption. Diagrams and images are provided.

HVAC/R (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration)

The following two articles were published in the March 2012 issue of Consulting-Specifying Engineer:

"Analyze the Life Cycle of HVAC Systems" was co-authored by Cole Roberts, Principal and Energy and Resources Business Leader, Andrew Rhodes, Senior Engineer, and Alexander Hespe, Senior Energy and Sustainability Designer; all of Arup. The authors urge reliance on lifecycle cost analysis (LCCA) as the tool that best discovers the true financial costs and benefits of proposed HVAC systems, but only if the analyses are done correctly. The major part of the article is an informed discussion of LCCA basics which is distinguished from the larger field of LCA (lifecycle analysis) that includes environmental and social costs and benefits.

"When, Where to Use Displacement Ventilation," by Raymond W. Schultz, PE, Cannon Design, shows the conditions under which displacement ventilation (DV) might be a better choice than mixed-flow ventilation, and discusses various design implications when DV is chosen. Equipment specifications and the advantages and disadvantages of DV are also discussed.


World energy leaders convene at CEM

The 3rd Annual Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM), an international forum to advance global energy efficiency, sustainability, and greenhouse gas reduction, took place April 25-26, 2012, in London, England. Among this year's accomplishments are the establishment of a public-private partnership to promote super-efficient equipment and appliances; the formation of a Global Sustainable Cities Network; and the 21st Century Power Partnership, an initiative to develop and deploy smart grid technologies and renewable distributed generation. A brief overview can be found in "Advancing Energy Efficiency at the 2012 Clean Energy Ministerial in London," April 27, 2012, on the Alliance to Save Energy website.

Report cites benefits of manufacturing jobs

The Benefits of Manufacturing Jobs was released in May 2012 by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration. This 10-page report examines why the 4% growth in manufacturing jobs since 2010 represents more than simply employment numbers; the manufacturing sector tends to provide better pay and benefits than the national average, and relies more heavily on highly skilled workers and those with degrees in STEM professions (science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics).

Policy and Legislation

Advanced Manufacturing Office defies budget cuts, so far

On April 25, 2012, the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee recommended an increase in funding for the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO). The $34 million increase was recommended despite an overall expected decrease in funding for the greater DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), of which the AMO is a part. For details, see "USDOE Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) Survives House Appropriations Intact," published April 26, 2012, on the ACEEE website.

MACT rule could be boon for CHP

"Growth of CHP Statutes and Market Signals Align to Foster in U.S. Manufacturing," published April 26, 2012, on the Alliance to Save Energy website, explains why the EPA boiler MACT rule, in conjunction with low natural gas prices and U.S. Department of Energy guidance and assistance, could spur the growth of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) for industrial boiler applications.

National Bioeconomy Blueprint released

A strategic plan to accelerate research and economic development in the biosciences was released by the Obama administration on April 26, 2012. The National Bioeconomy Blueprint is a roadmap for the expansion of biotechnology and biobased products across economic sectors, including agriculture, health care, energy, the environment, and manufacturing. The new strategy includes investment in research, development, and commercialization; streamlining regulations without compromising safety; and the development of training programs and public-private partnerships. 


Conference materials from Future Energy 2012

Conference materials from the 2012 Future Energy conference, held April 25-28 in Portland, Oregon, are now available online. Conference sessions covered a variety of topics relating to energy policy and economic development, the business of renewable energy, the business of energy efficiency, and energy sector insights. To view materials, go to a detailed agenda page (Day 1 or Day 2), and click on the presenter's name.

State and local toolkits from ACEEE

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently added state and local technical assistance toolkits to its energy efficiency resource repertoire. These toolkits act as one-stop policy information and assistance centers for state and local governments seeking to implement energy efficiency programs. The toolkits contain detailed guides for on-bill energy efficiency financing programs and self-directed programs for large customers, and provide extended information on program already being implemented by ACEEE. Learn more on the ACEEE blog.

Thermal Technologies

The following two articles were written by Daniel H. Herring, President, The Herring Group Inc. and published in the April 2012 issue of Industrial Heating

"Acquiring and Using Technical Knowledge" includes a list of actions to take in pursuit of gaining heat-treating expertise. 

"Quench Cracking" explains how the cracking that leads to product failures occurs. Prevention of cracking during heat treatment depends upon both the heat treater's knowledge of the heat treating process and the engineer's understanding of the selection of appropriate materials.


Pacific Northwest

Industrial Refrigeration Systems Energy Management
June 5, Bellevue, WA
With a focus on industrial refrigeration systems that use ammonia as the refrigerant, this training will equip attendees with the knowledge and tools to reduce energy usage and operating costs, and improve the reliability of refrigeration systems. With the knowledge and tools gained, past attendees and their customers have implemented low/no cost strategies resulting in annual energy savings greater than $50,000.

Conveyance Systems Energy Management
June 7, 2012, Portland, Oregon
This training will provide attendees the skills and knowledge necessary to optimize existing pneumatic conveying systems or specify reliable systems to meet conveying requirements. Systems design, operation, component selection, advantages and disadvantages, and other characteristics of different conveying systems will be discussed.

Energy Efficiency of Chilled Water Systems and Cooling Towers
July 18-19, Pocatello, Idaho
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, system pumps, and cooling towers. In addition, a case study will be presented that shows how an energy-efficient chiller was selected.

Adjustable Speed Drive Applications and Energy Efficiency
July 31: Redmond, OR
August 21: Pocatello, ID
August 23: Billings, MT
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 which will cover the benefits of pulse width modulation technology and well as discovering and mitigating harmful electromagnetic interference that can cause motor failure. This course is coordinated by the NEEA Industrial Training project.

PGE Series: Motors and Motor Controls
September 19 – November 7, 2012, Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00 PM, Tualatin, Oregon
In this in-depth course, you'll learn about motor fundamentals, electrical codes, starting, braking, speed control, variable frequency drives, over current protection, overload protection, motor controls and drive system efficiency. Attendees may be eligible to earn up to 21 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for their Oregon or Washington electrical license, professional development credit hours, and will receive a certificate of completion.

Other Areas

ASME 2012 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC2012)
40th North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC40)
2012 5th International Conference on Tribology in Materials and Processing (ICTMP5)
June 4-8, 2012, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
In 2012, two leading world-class conferences in the field of manufacturing will be collocated to better serve the needs of the manufacturing research community. In addition, a leading society in the field of tribology will be participating in this event. These collocated conferences will be hosted by the University of Notre Dame from June 4 to June 8, 2012, in Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.

Webinars and Online Courses

Webinar: Adjustable Speed Drives
June 8, 2012, 1:00-2:00 PM PST
October 4, 2012, 10:00-11:00 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.

Energy Management Opportunities for Industrial Customers
July 9, 10:00-11:00 AM PST
September 25, 8:00-9:00 AM PST
This webinar on industrial energy efficiency will cover the basics, including kW versus kWh, power factor, and more. We will also discuss end-use technologies such as motors, boiler or furnace heating systems, compressed air, industrial heat pumps, induction heating, and HVAC. You will learn to identify top energy-efficiency opportunities and potential savings for each; valuable information that will help you stay within your energy budget.

Webinar: Developing an Energy Plan
August 3, 2012, 8:00-9:00 AM
An energy-management plan is a great way to improve efficiency and encourage energy conservation. In addition to cost savings, a successful plan will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase productivity, lower maintenance costs, and more. From hiring and training an energy manager, to financing an energy plan, this webinar provides the tools and resources to help you develop and implement a successful plan tailored to your needs.


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

Input Requested: Is there something else you would like to see in Industrial Newsbriefs?

If you have thoughts or ideas for what you would like to see in this publication, please email suggestions to Talia Mathews at . We strive to keep this publication as useful and relevant as possible to you, our readers.

Subscribe Free

Past issues available here