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Industrial Newsbriefs

May 2013

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. Please forward this issue to those of your colleagues interested in industrial energy efficiency. View archive 

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Hybrid boiler systems

"Multiple Boiler Option: When and How to Use Hybrid Systems," by Mark Norris, appeared in the March 2013 issue of HPAC Heating, Plumbing, Air Conditioning Magazine. In some situations where multiple boilers are needed, a hybrid boiler system may be the right choice. The author explains when it is advisable to rely on a non-condensing boiler, which is cheaper than a condensing boiler. He also describes how to properly pipe and control a hybrid system.

Optimized fuel and energy cycling at a steel mill

A case study of energy conservation at a steel mill, “Case Study of Optimal Byproduct Gas Distribution in Integrated Steel Mill Using Multi-Period Optimization,” was published at on April 17, 2013. This article describes a plant-wide gas byproduct tracking and accounting strategy, and explains its incorporation into a comprehensive energy management system.

Compressed Air

Recovering heat from air compression

Drive Down your Energy Costs with Heat of Compression Recovery,” published in March 2013 at, describes strategies for recovering waste heat produced by a compressed air system. Included are calculations for determining how much heat is available, methods of heat recovery, and a formula to predict how much energy can be saved.  

Compressed Air Best Practices

The April 2013 issue of Compressed Air Best Practices is now online; this issue’s feature is Plastic Extrusion. Article topics include a plastic extruder case study, dry vacuum pumps to reduce the need for chilled water, effective filtration system design, remote compressor sensing, and a compressed air audit of a powder coating system.

Energy Management

Spring Northwest Reports

The Spring 2013 issue of Northwest Reports, a quarterly publication of the Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA), is now available. The front-page article, “What Processors Need to Know about the Future of Energy,” describes Bonneville Power Association’s role in promoting energy efficiency and reducing energy costs for NWFPA members and its other industrial customers, despite rising rates. Additionally, “What About Water?” (page 10) describes a training program developed by the NWFPA Environmental Affairs and Sustainability committees on industrial water use.


Assessment of hydropower

Quantifying the Value of Hydropower in the Electric Grid: Final Report, published in February 2013 by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), is the culmination of a DOE-sponsored study to define the value of hydropower assets in a changing electric grid. The report assesses the current state of hydropower in the United States, examines ways to increase the value of hydropower, and makes recommendations for further research.

Policy and Legislation

Public comment period for fans and blowers standards extended

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a pre-publication Federal Register extension of the public comment period regarding the framework document for commercial and industrial fans and blowers standards. The comment deadline of May 2, 2013 has been extended to June 3, 2013. For more information, see the Rulemaking for Industrial Fans and Blowers page on the DOE website.

Bipartisan bill for industrial energy efficiency

A bipartisan energy bill, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013, was introduced to the Senate in April 2013 by senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH). The bill aims for the quick deployment of readily available, cost effective energy efficiency technologies for buildings, manufacturers, and the federal government. Further information about the bill, including a summary and a video of the press conference about the bill’s introduction, is available on Senator Shaheen’s website.

Obama budget allocates funds for AMO

The Obama administration’s 2014 budget request seeks $365 million for the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), monies which would be allocated for next generation research and development projects, advanced manufacturing research facilities, and industrial technical assistance. A more precise allocation is yet to be determined. To learn more and see ACEEE’s recommendations to policymakers, read “Administration Commits to Manufacturing in Budget Request—Still Awaiting Details,” published April 15, 2013 at

Ohio EERS exceed expectations

Ohio’s Energy Efficiency Resource Standard: Impacts on the Ohio Wholesale Electricity Market and Benefits to the State presents the outcome of the first three years of the energy efficiency resource standards (EERS) enacted in Ohio in 2008.The report finds that the program has exceeded expectations and could ultimately save utility customers over $5 billion in energy costs. A summary of the report’s findings was posted April 23, 2012, on the ACEEE website.


Pump efficiency

"Pumps and Power," by Paul Hull, was published in the March 2013 issue of Water Efficiency. The author addresses the need for energy efficiency for both temporary and permanent pumping operations, and mentions that pumps account for 95% of all the power used by water utilities. He explains how the Energy Usage Index (EUI) is a helpful measure of consumption, suggests how to select the right pumps for the specific application, and considers the role motors play in pumping efficiency.

The following two articles were published in the March 2013 issue of Pumps & Systems:

"Design Software Increases Hydraulic Efficiency" was written by Arno Gehrer, Ph.D., Research Engineer Andritz Group. The author describes, with illustrations, how a company that designs and builds both custom and standard pumps for various large-scale applications has greatly improved both processes.

"New Optimized Aeration System Reduces Energy Consumption" was authored by Lars Larsson, Global Product Manager, Biological Treatment, for Xylem, Inc. Increases in energy prices and higher quality standards for effluent are squeezing water treatment plants to take a new look at their processes. A municipal plant in southern Sweden has done just that by installing new, energy-efficient equipment to achieve dramatic energy savings.

Power plan to meet demand with efficiency

The Sixth Northwest Power Plan, issued in 2010 by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, aims to meet 85 percent of growth in Northwest energy demand over the next two decades with energy efficiency improvements alone. The Sixth Power Plan Mid-Term Assessment Report, released in March 2013, assesses the progress made so far, and provides a positive and realistic outlook on the future of Northwest power supplies.

Solar Energy

Solar strategies

How to Overcome the Barriers to Solar Energy for Manufacturing Facilities” was written by Scott Schumacher and published on April 3, 2013, at This article provides specific examples of strategies, such as power purchase agreements, renting roof space to a solar tenant, and taking advantage of local, state, and federal incentive programs, that can help manufacturing plants adopt solar energy projects at their facilities.

Solar success stories

Manufacturers Tap the Sun for Clean, Renewable Power is a case study of two Oregon industrial facilities that successfully adopted solar generating facilities with the help of incentive funds from the Energy Trust of Oregon. The facilities – Oregon Iron Works, a steel and metal fabricator, and Knife River Corporation, an aggregate and asphalt company – will save an estimated 30,754 kWh and 37,797 kWh per year, respectively, with their recent installations.


Pacific Northwest

Motor Systems Management Best Practices
May 7, 2013, Yakima, Washington (registration deadline April 23)
This course teaches attendees how to use USDOE MotorMaster+ software, an energy efficient motor selection and management tool, which includes a catalog of over 20,000 AC motors. This tool features motor inventory management tools, maintenance log tracking, efficiency analysis, savings evaluation, energy accounting, and environmental reporting capabilities. The course includes an enhanced user manual with new reporting methods and efficient predictive maintenance practices.

Energy Data Management: A Hands-On Workshop
May 9, 2013, Portland, Oregon
This hands-on course will remove any fear or questions you have about data analysis. You will work in a collaborative environment to explore how to evaluate energy drivers and create statistically significant models to inform energy efficiency decisions. By the end of the day you will have developed an energy model and dashboard. You will gain new and/or deeper understanding of your company’s energy performance using best practices/considerations and basic statistical approaches. You will leave this training having learned how to use Excel-based tools to effectively create a new, or tailor an existing, data analysis process.

Efficiency Exchange
May 14-16, 2013, Portland, Oregon
Efficiency Connections NW and the BPA Energy Efficiency Utility Summit combine this year to make one Northwest energy efficiency conference: Efficiency Exchange. Utility conservation managers, sector leads, executives, program managers and staff, and evaluators and researchers, along with efficiency industry and public interest groups and energy efficiency program implementers, are encouraged to attend. Participants will connect with their peers, learn and share innovations, and gather ideas to take home.

PGE Series: Power Quality 1-Day Course
May 17, 2013, Tualatin, Oregon
This one-day Power Quality course provides practical information that you can apply to prevent and solve power quality and reliability problems. With over 20 years of experience, the instructor will help you learn how to eliminate costly downtime due to power quality and grounding issues, and avoid problems through proper specification and purchase of equipment. The information provided will help you avoid equipment damage and improve productivity. Attendees are eligible to earn 8 hours of CEUs for their Oregon or Washington electrical license renewal. 

PGE Series: Owning & Operating Efficient Motors
May 21, 2013, 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. Electric motors play an important role in the operations of most commercial and industrial facilities. Premium efficiency motors and variable frequency drives can often improve the efficiency of motor-driven systems and reduce energy costs. Topics covered include electric motor terms and nameplate data, loads and load matching, losses and efficiency. Free to PGE commercial and industrial customers. Others may attend based on space; fee will apply.

PGE Series: Air Handling Systems
May 23, 2013, 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. Free to PGE commercial and industrial customers. Others may attend based on space; fee will apply.

Energy Efficiency and Data Centers
June 4, 2013, Bend, Oregon (registration deadline May 21)
This one-day course will help attendees will gain a fundamental understanding of how energy is consumed, opportunities for improving energy efficiency in data centers, and industry best practices. Different systems and components will be introduced, exploring how their various components interact and influence energy consumption and efficiency of the data center. The course is not intended to provide comprehensive information on how to design or operate all the equipment and systems discussed, but focuses on system interactions and the potentially large opportunities for improved energy efficiency.

Industrial Refrigeration Systems Energy Management
June 27, 2013, Twin Falls, Idaho
With a focus on industrial refrigeration systems that use ammonia as the refrigerant, this one-day 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. 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 both energy efficient and productive.

Webinars and Online Courses

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.

WEBINAR: Energy Efficiency Investment Analysis
June 18, 2013, 9:00-10:00 AM PST
Do not let inadequate financial analysis stop a good project dead in its tracks. As you purchase new, energy-efficient equipment in support of your 2013 energy plan, you will need to conduct a payback analysis to justify the investment. This webinar will discuss key financial concepts that lay the foundation for investment analysis, including: simple payback, time value of money, net present value, internal rate of return, and life-cycle cost analysis. We will also review real-world examples. Attending this webinar will help boost your confidence when discussing the justification for energy-efficiency investments with senior management. This webinar is coordinated by the NEEA NW Regional Industrial Training project and is sponsored by Bonneville Power Administration, Washington State University Energy Program, and Northwest Food Processors Association.

WEBINAR: Boiler and Chiller Maintenance for Maximum Efficiency
July 16, 2013, 9:00-10:00 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. This webinar is coordinated by the NEEA NW Regional Industrial Training project and is sponsored by Bonneville Power Administration, Washington State University Energy Program, and Northwest Food Processors Association.

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 of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Joe Vehec of the 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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