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Industrial Newsbriefs


Welcome to this edition of Industrial Newsbriefs, produced by the Washington State University Extension Energy Program. Please forward this issue to those of your colleagues interested in industrial energy efficiency. View archive 

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Compressed Air Best Practices
The March 2014 issue of Compressed Air Best Practices is now available for download; this issue’s focus is Grain and Meat Processing. Article topics include energy-saving pneumatic conveying systems, compressed air flow reduction, and energy-efficient piping systems.

Steel processing compressed air audit
A detailed description of an energy audit at a steel processing plant was published in February 2014 at The article includes calculations of investment costs, pre- and post-renovation energy costs, and payback time, as well as a rundown of the audit process. The audit focuses mainly on the plant’s compressed air system.


Trident Seafoods receives Partners for Clean Air platinum award; other winners get gold
In March 2014, Trident Seafoods of Anacortes, Washington, received the Northwest Clean Air Agency’s Platinum award for its exceptional work to improve air quality. Over the past four years, the plant has upgraded its lighting, refrigeration, dust collection, and exhaust systems, reducing its energy consumption by 20 percent while increasing production by 12 percent. Other award winners include Chemtrade Sulex of Mount Vernon and Fairhaven Shipyard of Bellingham, both of whom received Gold awards. To learn more, see the Northwest Clean Air Agency press release.

Industrial strategic energy management
The CEE Industrial Strategic Energy Management Initiative was published in January 2014 by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), a consortium of gas and electric efficiency program administrators. This publication provides strategies for accelerating the adoption of energy management systems and practices in North America’s industrial sector, and outlines steps that businesses and efficiency programs can take to enhance their energy and cost savings through Strategic Energy Management (SEM).

Energy spike can signal trouble
In the Field: How Keeping an Eye on Energy Consumption Can Prevent Catastrophic Failures” was published in the Spring/Summer 2013 issue of Sustainable Plant. Spikes in energy consumption can signal mechanical issues in industrial equipment. This article provides real-life examples of potentially catastrophic problems in air conditioning, compressed air, refrigeration, and electrical systems revealed through an energy audit.

Average payback time for SEP certification
The average payback time per facility of ISO 50001 energy certification was recently calculated to be 1.7 years by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This figure adds up to a lot of energy savings in a relatively short time period; the same study calculated the average SEP certification cost to be $319,000 per facility. To learn more, read “Superior Energy Performance Program Demonstrates 1.7-Year Payback,” published in March 2014 at Berkeley Lab EETD News.


SEE Action industrial energy program report now available
Industrial Energy Efficiency: Designing Effective State Programs for the Industrial Sector was published in March 2014 by the Department of Energy (DOE) State & Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action) Industrial Energy Efficiency and Combined Heat and Power Working Group.This publication provides state regulators, utilities, and other program administrators with an overview of available industrial energy efficiency programs. In addition, the report assesses key features of successful programs, and identifies new programs that would benefit from additional research and promotion. An executive summary is also available.


Presentations available online from 6th Annual Northwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit
The 6th Annual Northwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit took place in Portland, Oregon on January 15, 2014. Hundreds of attendees from industry, utilities, state and federal government, and energy efficiency organizations participated in the all-day event. Presentations focused on a variety of topics related to industrial energy efficiency, and can be downloaded from the Summit website. More presentations were recently added, so look again if the one you wanted was not there before.


Prepare for Department of Energy pump efficiency regulations
A three-part series on how to prepare for the new DOE pump efficiency regulations was published in the January, February, and March 2014 issues of Pumps & Systems.

Part 1(January issue) contains an overview of the rulemaking process and describes the advocacy role of The Hydraulic Institute, Inc. Part 2 (February issue) explores the DOE framework approach and the reasoning behind The Hydraulic Institute’s advocacy for an “extended product” approach. Part 3 (March issue) further discusses the “extended product” approach and describes the various committees working on key elements of the new rule.

Motor efficiency considerations
The Impact of AC Motor Efficiency” was published in the March 2014 issue of Pumps & Systems. This article provides an in-depth analysis of alternating current (AC) motor efficiency, including a breakdown of the types of energy loss, a discussion of nameplate vs. actual efficiency, a discussion of high efficiency vs. motor speed, and a look at current motor efficiency regulations.


Microwave pasteurization improves safety and flavor
A new pasteurization technique developed by Washington State University researchers uses microwaves to reduce pathogenic organisms and increase the shelf life of food products. According to its developers, the technique results in a higher-quality product and uses far less energy than traditional thermal pasteurization. To learn more, see the February 10, 2014, press release on WSU News.


WEBINAR: Food Processors Waste Heat Recovery Solutions - Part 1
April 9, 2014, 10 a.m. to noon PST

To frame this webinar series, PermaCold Engineering's Chief Engineer, Chuck Marshall, P.E., will present a food processor case study of a full-plant waste heat recovery implementation. This case study will focus on metrics for ranking the opportunities available within various plants, design options and trade-offs, and other vendor-neutral perspectives. Three suppliers selected by the NWFPA Energy Committee, will then present their innovative technologies and answer questions posed by the expert and webinar attendees. This event is sponsored by NEEA and convened by NWFPA.

Pumping Systems Optimization
April 16, 2014, Tacoma, WA

Did you know that the average pumping system efficiency is 40% or less? When pumping systems are not optimized for best efficiency, they will drain your company’s profitably with higher energy and maintenance costs, shorter mean time between repairs, more CO2 emissions and a less reliable system overall. The typical medium-sized plant spends over $1.4 million a year on energy to run their pumping systems. Better system design and optimized pumping systems may result in savings that will average $350K per year on energy alone. In addition, 4,436 tons of CO2 emissions may be avoided by implementing the systems optimization concepts discussed during this course. For irrigation users, the class can show how to lower header pressures without throttle valves and explore ways to modify pumps by trimming the impeller. The course will show how the variable speed drive can save additional power by slowing down the pump speed, which will save energy and reduce cost in the process. With the system running more efficiently, maintenance and operating costs will go down and the mean time between repairs will improve. With these savings opportunities, isn’t it time to find out how much your pumping systems are costing you? There is a limit of two employees per facility; additional registrants will be placed on a wait-list. Registration fee: $139. Register here.

2014 Advanced Manufacturing Conference
April 22-23, 2014, Troy, NY

New York State’s 2nd Annual Advanced Manufacturing Conference, “Make it Smart, Make it Here,” will bring together leaders from industry, government, and academia to address common challenges faced by manufacturers and spotlight opportunities for innovation and growth. The conference will provide manufacturers with a strategic view at emerging ways to leverage the power of smart manufacturing technologies and business best practices, and take advantage of available federal, state and regional resources to manufacture locally and better compete in the global marketplace.

Northwest Food Processors Sustainability Summit
April 24, 2014, Portland, OR

The Northwest Food Processors Sustainability Summit has fast become the region's premier gathering of food processors; sustainability, environmental, and energy experts; and industry partners working to advance sustainability in the industry. Sessions will focus on practical industrial applications of sustainability management practices. Experts and industry professionals will 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 and projects to share and learn from their experiences.

Compressed Air Challenge – Level 2
April 30 – May 1, 2014, Twin Falls, ID
Registration deadline: April 16

Optimizing your compressed air systems can lead to higher productivity, energy savings, increased product quality, and greater efficiency. This advanced training teaches you to develop a system profile and address point-of-use issues, including determining actual air quality requirements, and investigating and reducing highest point-of-use pressure requirements. Suggested prerequisite: Compressed Air Challenge-Level 1. Registration fee: $199. Register here.

Industrial Refrigeration Systems Energy Management
May 20, 2014, Helena, MT
Registration deadline: May 7

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 imple¬mentation strategies. Participants will receive a copy of the Industrial Refrigeration Best Practices Guide, which serves as the course’s technical foundation and a roadmap for making industrial refrigeration systems energy efficient and productive. 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. Registration fee: $139. Register here.

Optimizing Pumping Systems: A Measurement-Based Approach
May 21-22nd, 2014, Pocatello, ID
Registration deadline: May 7

This course focuses on the measurements that are required for any pumping system performance assessment – flow rate, pressure, and electrical data. Common measurement methods and devices are discussed. Various application issues associated with test devices are emphasized. Other issues covered include: time coordination of measurements, known sources of error and their potential impact, estimating parameters that cannot be measured, and conducting hands-on measurements and converting the measured data. Pre-registration is required; no walk-ins allowed for this training. Registration fee: $199. Register here.

Adjustable Speed Drives and Energy Efficiency June 26, 2014, Yakima, WA
Registration deadline: June 12

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, you will explore how adjustable speed drives work and ways to assess the savings. Variable frequency drives (VFD), the most common speed control method, is the major focus of the course, which will cover the benefits of pulse width modulation technology and well as discovering and mitigating harmful electromagnetic interference that can cause motor failure. Additional information on evaluating and specifying VFDs is provided. Registration fee: $139. Register here.

Compressed Air Challenge – Level 1
July 17, 2014, Spokane, WA
Registration deadline: July 3

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 training offers attendees the opportunity to use their own system data in seminar exercises, as well as mastery of compressed air system components and techniques. Attendees can apply training and implement changes immediately upon return to their work place. Registration fee: $139. Register here.

Air Cooled Refrigeration and Energy Efficiency
August 6, 2014, Boise, ID
Registration deadline: July 23

With an emphasis on air cooled split refrigeration systems, attendees will develop the skills and knowledge to reduce the energy use and operating costs of their refrigeration systems while improving reliability. The presentation will address system basics, energy efficiency best practices, and maintenance practices. Case studies will be presented to illustrate opportunities and present effective solutions to common problems. Many of the basic efficiency principles can be applied across other systems to improve efficiency. Attendees will understand how to leverage utility and government programs to help finance efficiency improvements. This training is for non-ammonia refrigeration systems. Registration fee: $139. Register here.

Energy Efficiency of Chilled Water Systems and Cooling Towers August 27-28, 2014, Missoula, MT
Registration deadline: August 13

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.

Registration fee: $139 for one day, $199 for both days. Register here for Chilled Water. Register here for Cooling Towers. Register here for both.

for Chilled Water. for Cooling Towers. for both.



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

Energy Events Calendar

NEEA Northwest Regional Training Calendar

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