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Industrial Newsbriefs

May 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.


Biomass replaces coal at SC plant

On March 12, 2012, a 34-acre, 20-megawatt biomass-fueled cogeneration plant commenced operation at the U.S. Department of Energy Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina. The award-winning plant replaced an outdated coal powerhouse, and will save approximately $944 million in total operational costs over 20 years. To learn more, read the SRS press release.


Guidance for Boiler MACT

"Boiler MACT Technical Assistance" is a two-page fact sheet, published March 2012, from the Advanced Manufacturing Office within DOE's Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) Office. In line with recent federal legislation, new rules promulgated by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will apply to boilers and process heaters in the industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors. This fact sheet gives some history of standards for these appliances and explains how facilities in the three sectors would be affected by the new rules. Both EERE and EPA supply resources to facility owners and managers to help them adapt to the new rules which, by saving energy, will reduce both pollution to the environment and energy costs. 

Compressed Air

Compressed Air Best Practices

The April 2012 edition of Compressed Air Best Practices is now available for download. This issue's focus is the Food Industry; included are articles on the efficient operation of food processing plants; energy assessment standards for compressed air systems; and the benefits of a pneumatic cylinder retrofit.

Energy Management

"The Value Proposition of New Reliability Solutions," is the entry in the "Viewpoint" column, by Paula Hollywood, Senior Analyst, ARC Advisory Group, which appeared in the March 2012 issue of Maintenance Technology. The author explains why asset reliability is a function of process control as it meets work management. She offers three approaches that help ensure reliability by recognizing that interrelationship. 

Grants and Funding

Funding for small business energy innovations

On April 9, 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding for small businesses to advance innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Topic areas include advanced manufacturing, energy-efficient buildings, biomass, hydrogen and fuel cells, solar, wind, and waterpower technologies. For information, read the DOE press release.


Optimizing motor efficiency

"Getting the Most from Motors," by Alice Clamp, was included in the January-February 2012 issue of Public Power Magazine. This is a discussion of motors in industrial plants. It includes attention to the development of high-efficiency motors resulting from federal law, the importance of motor management in the plant, how to develop a plan to do that well, and how important it is to fit efficient motors into an efficient motor system. The article addresses high initial costs, payback, and a long discussion of utility activity in rebates. The article includes sidebars, "EISA vs. EPAct Motors" and "What's in a Name?" 

Alternatives to rare earth elements

"Running Dysprosium-Free" was co-authored by David N Brown, Gregory K. Kroll, David Miller, and Nimit K. Sheth; it was published in the March 2012 issue of Appliance Design (free registration required to view).  It is a discussion of the general problem of new technologies requiring rare elements that are in short supply, and of the specific issue of dysprosium (Dy), a rare element that is also the most magnetic metal known.  The author shows the need for alternatives to Dy in the sintered Nd-Fe-B magnets employed in the main motors of hybrids whose sales keep increasing. One alternative is to switch to Dy-free, isotropic-bonded Nd-Fe-B magnets which work as well in certain defined applications.  The author, also, includes a case study of a motor design.

Worm gear efficiency primer

"Technology Spotlight: Worm Gear Speed Reducer Efficiency and Choices," published in the April 2012 edition of Energy Services Bulletin, explains how to optimize the efficiency of worm gears by choosing the right gear reducer ratio and using proper lubrication. Tables and figures are included.

Policy and Legislation

Tax codes impact value of efficiency upgrades

Depreciation: Impacts of Tax Policy is a 22-page, April 2012, ACEEE Working Paper, by Harvey M. Sachs et al. The authors, observing that depreciation periods are out of sync with equipment-life and treat different owners of the same equipment differently, suggest tax reform as a means to correct these problems. The problems, they assert, are worth correcting since they negatively affect the value of newer, more energy-efficient equipment. This, in turn, discourages building owners to invest in energy efficient equipment for HVAC and CHP systems and for manufacturing processes. 

E3 Initiative for manufacturing

In an April 12, 2012, white paper, Taking Action on Clean Energy and Climate Protection in 2012: A Menu of Effective and Feasible Solutions, the Center for American Progress highlights the E3 Initiative as a means to make American manufacturers greener and more competitive, and recommends the expansion of E3.  The white paper also includes other strategies towards producing more clean energy to grow the economy, reducing pollution while saving energy and dollars, and building more resilient and balanced economies and communities.  To read the report, visit the link above – E3 is mentioned on page 24 of the report.


Energy storage innovations

"Liquid Batteries Level the Load," published February 14, 2012, in MIT News, describes a new type of battery which has the potential to be integrated into the existing energy grid at a non-subsidized price point. In an inspiring TED talk, The Missing Link to Renewable Energy, inventor Donald Sadoway tells firsthand how this promising new technology was developed. 

Capturing waste heat with nanocrystals

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a type of thermoelectric nanocrystal which could potentially be used to recapture waste heat in factories, power plants, and motor exhaust systems. The nanocrystals would be incorporated into a glass fiber material which, when heated, would create an electrical current. To learn more, read "Nanocrystal-coated Fibers Might Reduce Wasted Energy," published April 17, 2012, by Purdue University News Service.


New format for NW Reports

NW Reports, the quarterly publication of the Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA), will now be published in electronic e-magazine and pdf format, as well as in hard copy format for members. The focus of the Spring 2012 issue is Sustainability.

AMO Fact Sheet

Advanced Manufacturing for a U.S. Clean Energy Economy is a two-page, March 2012, fact sheet from the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) of the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) Office at the U.S. Department of Energy. It gives an overview of the AMO and the resources it offers to owners and operators of manufacturing plants. 

EE Global conference materials now available

In March 2012, leaders in energy efficiency from around the world shared ideas and best practices at the 2012 Energy Efficiency Global Forum (EE Global). Materials from many of the sessions are now available online on the conference website; to locate them, scroll through the agenda pages and look for links. Session topics include supply chain efficiency, continual improvement in industry, public-private partnerships, energy efficiency technology trends, and more.


Pacific Northwest

Pumping System Assessment Tool (PSAT) Qualified Specialist
May 15-17, 2012, Eugene, Oregon
This primary goal is to increase end user awareness and knowledge of energy efficiency improvement opportunities for pumping systems. This workshop provides an in-depth discussion of energy efficiency factors for pumping systems, with an emphasis on considering the system instead of just components. Indicators and symptoms of potential energy reduction opportunities are discussed. Application and use of the PSAT software and supporting tools will be emphasized.  This course is coordinated by the NEEA Industrial Training project.

PGE Series: Owning & Operating Efficient Motors
May 22, 1012, Wilsonville, Oregon
This free half-day seminar will explore electric motors and systems and demonstrate where and how you might implement energy efficient motors in your facility. Topics covered include electric motor terms and nameplate data, loads and load matching, losses and efficiency.

PGE Series: Variable Frequency Drives
May 23, 2012, Wilsonville, Oregon
This free, half-day seminar explores how adjustable speed drives are applied and how they can provide a more efficient and effective use of electric power, which lowers energy costs, extends equipment life, and reduces overall maintenance costs.

PGE Series: Air Handling Systems
May 24, 2012, Wilsonville, Oregon
This free, half-day seminar provides a foundation for understanding air conditioning systems and discusses how to minimize the cost of your system. The seminar describes a variety of air-handling systems used in commercial and industrial applications. It introduces typical air system components, constant and variable air volume systems, variable air volume flow control, adjustable speed drives, ventilation, economy cycle, and other energy conservation opportunities.

PGE Series: 2011 NEC/OESC Code Change
June 2, Tualatin, OR
This one-day course is designed to assist the student in learning the changes found in the 2011 National Electrical Code that have changed from the 2008 Edition. The course uses power point slides found in the 2011 Analysis of Change and covers the modifications found in the 2011 Oregon Electrical Specialty Code. This class also covers licensing requirements, changes in the Oregon Statutes, alternate method rulings and Statewide Interpretations.

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 11-19, 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
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.

Webinars and Online Courses

Tax Rebates/Credits Available for Energy Efficiency Actions
Webcast: May 8, 2012
Presenters will share how to increase company awareness of available programs and how to establish inter-company relationships between energy teams and tax departments.
Superior Energy Performance Webinars
This webinar series will provide small, medium, and large manufacturers with the information they need to prepare for implementing an energy management system. The series is divided into four parts and is based on the DOE eGuide and the ISO 50001 standard. Each webinar includes suggested activities tied to the eGuide and helpful to understanding the information presented. Space is limited. Reserve your webinar seat today!

Part 3: The Do and Check Processes of an Energy Management System
May 10, 2012, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST

Part 4: The Act Process and Improving your Energy Management System
May 17, 2012, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST

Webinar: Advances in Lamps and Ballasts
May 17, 2012, 8:00 -9:00 AM PST
A recent industry survey of over 100 lighting manufacturers identified the latest technologies in fluorescent and metal halide lamps and ballasts. Attend this webinar to learn more about recent advances in lighting, from extended T8/T5 lamp life, to cold weather lamps, NEMA Premium ballasts, reduced wattage and high-temperature high bay fluorescents, radio frequency lighting, LEDs, the latest advances in daylighting, occupancy sensors, and more.

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.


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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