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Industrial Newsbriefs

March 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)

A favorable time for CHP

Combined Heat and Power in 2013: Improving Conditions for Adoption,” published February 1, 2013, by the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), summarizes the current state of CHP in the U.S., and explains why the coming years should be favorable for its adoption. Currently, about 7% of U.S. electric generation capacity comes from CHP systems, mainly located in industrial plants. The resiliency and flexibility of CHP, along with an expected drop in the price of natural gas, are predictors of an increase in the adoption of CHP technologies in the industrial sector and beyond.

Funding for regional CHP partnerships

A funding opportunity in support of President Obama’s August 2012 executive order for investment in industrial energy efficiency will make up to $1.5 million available for the creation of Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnerships (CHP TAPs). The CHP TAPs will provide fact-based, unbiased information on CHP, including technologies, project development, project financing, local utilities interfaces, and related state best practice policies. For details, read the February 11, 2013, press release from the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), or download the full funding announcement.

Compressed Air

Compressed Air Best Practices

The January/February 2013 edition of Compressed Air Best Practices is now available for download; this issue’s focus is Biogas. Article topics include compressed air savings at a bioproducts plant; pneumatic biogas dryers; biomass compressors; and how to become a compressed air auditor.

Energy Management

ACEEE’s take on the American manufacturing resurgence

A brief article by Daniel Trombley, Senior Industrial Analyst at ACEEE, examines trends in American manufacturing from the perspective of energy efficiency. While not always addressed directly, efficiency plays a major role in the retention, growth, and reshoring of American manufacturing facilities. See “The Return of American Manufacturing,” published February 12, 2013, at

ISO 50001 goes beyond cookie-cutter solutions

SEP’s Role in Driving Technology Adoption in Manufacturing Plants,” published February 1, 2013, at, describes how the requirements of the ISO 50001 standard work to reduce industrial energy consumption through in-depth measurement and evaluation, rather than with pre-specified equipment and technology upgrades. As a result, technology upgrades are chosen which result in higher-value energy efficiency investments. Learn more about ISO 50001 at

More companies opt in to Green Power Partnership

Intel and Staples were recently added to the list of companies with 100% participation in the EPA Green Power Partnership program. Participants in the program obtain a percentage of their power through a combination of three methods:  renewable energy certificates, on-site generation, and utility green power products. A ranking of the top 50 purchasers in the program is maintained by EPA. Learn more in “EPA Releases Latest Quarterly Green Power Partnership Rankings,” published February 20, 2013 in EERE network news.


Diamond Pet Foods saves energy with LEDs

Diamond Pet Foods chose to outfit its new facility in Ripon, California, with over 500 high-efficiency LED fixtures, an investment which is expected to pay for itself quickly while providing outstanding light quality, durability, and low maintenance. Learn more in “New Diamond Pet Foods Facility Achieves Less Than Two Year Payback with LED Lighting Fixtures,” published February 6, 2013, at

Atlas Box efficiency upgrades

Atlas Box Finds 55% Reduction in Electric Power Consumption,” published February 20, 2013, in Sustainable Plant, highlights the energy-saving projects taking place at Atlas Box & Crating Company. Two Atlas plants were able to reduce energy consumption by 55% with compressed air system upgrades, conversion to LED lighting, and the installation of vending machine energy controls. The conversion to LEDs resulted in the greatest energy savings of the three; still to come are HVAC improvements and an outdoor lighting retrofit.

Next Generation Luminaries announced

On February 14, 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the winners of the fifth annual Next Generation Luminaries Design Competition for outdoor lighting. Thirty-seven designs, including four best-in-class winners, received awards on the basis of color quality, appropriate illuminance, light distribution, glare control, aesthetic appearance and style, serviceability and replacement, value, and energy efficiency.

Policy and Legislation

Tax credits for Advanced Energy Manufacturing

On February 7, 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Treasury announced the availability of $150 million in tax credits for the manufacturing of renewable energy equipment and energy efficiency products. A full list of eligible projects is included in the 48C Manufacturing Tax Credit fact sheet.

ASE commission unveils Energy 2030

The Energy 2030 plan was released February 7, 2013, by the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy, a coalition of energy experts and policymakers convened by the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE). The plan provides a set of recommendations to double U.S. energy production by 2030 while creating jobs, reducing energy costs, reducing energy imports, and cutting CO2 emissions by about one-third. Learn more about the plan and its formation at

WCTA conference report now available

A conference report is available for Clean Energy: The New Public Policy Reality, sponsored January 28, 2013, by the Washington Clean Technology Alliance (WCTA). This first annual event brought together clean energy leaders, stakeholders, and politicians to discuss the current and future direction of clean energy policy. Full audio is available for many presentations, including a speech by Governor Jay Inslee and a panel discussion on energy and national security.

Efficiency an imperative for a sustainable energy future

A January 2013 report by ACEEE, The Long Term Energy Efficiency Potential: What the Evidence Suggests (free login required for access), examines the role and importance of energy efficiency in a future U.S. economy. Past trends have shown energy savings from increased efficiency filling in the gaps as demand rises. With the appropriate policies in place, this trend is expected to accelerate as new energy-efficiency technologies are adopted and improved.

Smart Grid

"Smart Grid at a Crossroads: Refining the Business Case for Advanced Distribution Investments" was written by Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief, Public Utilities Fortnightly; it was published in the January 2013 issue of that journal. This is a review of the topic through interesting interviews with experts from a variety of smart-grid-related firms.

"Smart Grid Triple Play," by Ed Ritchie, was carried in the January/February 2013 issue of Distributed Energy. The word "triple" in the title refers to the threefold advantage that a smart grid can offer: distributed energy, thermal storage, and demand response. They are discussed through particular examples: the participation of New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, Colorado) in the DOE RDSI program, the LonMark International and OpenADR standardization collaboration, energy storage at Great River Energy (Elk River, Minnesota), and others.

Thermal Technologies

Pros and cons of carbides

"Tool-Steel Carbides," by Dan Herring, was published in the January 2013 issue of Industrial Heating. The author reviews the benefits (strength and resistance) and the disadvantage (cracking) of carbides introduced in the heat treatment of tool-steel. Several specific carbides are discussed in the context of how they would perform given particular applications requirements.


Pacific Northwest

NEEA and BPA to host joint conference
In May 2013, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (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.

Industrial Refrigeration Systems Energy Management
March 21, 2013, Pocatello, Idaho
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. Training will focus on technical basics, operation of refrigeration systems, energy efficiency potentials, and case studies of successful energy efficiency projects and implementation strategies. 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. This course is sponsored by Idaho Power, Idaho Office of Energy Resources, Rocky Moutain Power, 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. Registration deadline is March 14.

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
April 25th (chilled water only)
April 26th (cooling towers only)
Twin Falls, ID
May 1-2nd
May 1st (chilled water only)
May 2nd (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

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.

PGE WEBINAR: Intro to Ammonia Refrigeration
March 26, 2013, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
PGE 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.

CHP Webinar: Enabling Resilient Energy Infrastructure
April 3, 2013, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM PST
Natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Ike in 2008, and Superstorm Sandy in 2012 have highlighted the need to protect critical infrastructure facilities, to better prepare for energy emergencies and long-term electric grid outages, and to consider how to rebuild a more resilient grid. These are frequent topics of conversation by state and local policy makers, building and manufacturing facility owners, and disaster preparedness planners. Combined heat and power (CHP) systems can make for critical infrastructures more resilient while making energy more cost- and fuel-efficient for the user, as well as more reliable and environmentally friendly for society at large. This webinar will highlight the role for CHP systems in critical infrastructure resiliency, business continuity, and emergency planning and operations.

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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