Energy efficiency

Sweeping Air Devices For Greener Planes

Read the full story from Cal Tech.

The large amount of jet fuel required to fly an airplane from point A to point B can have negative impacts on the environment and—as higher fuel costs contribute to rising ticket prices—a traveler’s wallet. With funding from NASA and the Boeing Company, engineers from the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech and their collaborators from the University of Arizona have developed a device that lets planes fly with much smaller tails, reducing the planes’ overall size and weight, thus increasing fuel efficiency.

Lighting, Electricity, Steel: Energy Efficiency Backfire in Emerging Economies

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Countries that expect to consume much more energy will likely experience higher levels of energy efficiency rebound, concludes a new Breakthrough report, recently released. Rebound is the phenomenon in which energy efficiency measures increase demand for energy, which diminishes expected energy savings.

Lighting, Electricity, Steel: Energy Efficiency Rebound in Emerging Economies presents three historical case studies of when energy efficiency rebound occurred: lighting from 1700 to present, electricity generation in 20th century America, and iron and steel production from 1900 onward.

The report comes at a time when there is a concerted effort to understand the extent of rebound and how much we can depend upon energy efficiency as a way to reduce energy consumption and thus greenhouse gas emissions. In April, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced for the first time that rebound effects “cannot be ignored,” and that attention to them is essential for “providing a clearer understanding of [efficiency’s] contribution to climate policies.”

The three historical case studies are particularly instructive because they are three sectors in which demand for energy is expected to grow significantly, particularly in emerging economies. Moreover, these sectors have been the focus of much attention from governments and institutions seeking to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions through efficiency improvements.

How Ford aims to drive down its energy costs by $7 million a year

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Ford will invest more than $25 million in LED lighting at its global manufacturing facilities — cutting annual energy use equivalent to running over 6,000 average-sized homes a year.

ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry Call for Papers Deadline Extended

The deadline to submit abstracts for the 2015 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry, “Energy Efficiency: Integrating Technology, Policy, and People,” has been extended to October 31.

Submit abstracts online or visit the Call for Papers Web page for more information about submission options and abstract details.

The Program Committee is looking for creative work in the any of the following panels:

  1. Strategic Energy Management
  2. Sustainability
  3. Smart Manufacturing
  4. Beyond Best Practices
  5. Policy & Resource Planning
  6. Delivering Results

Visit the ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry Web page for more information.

Healthcare Energy End – Use Monitoring

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Hospital facility and energy managers find it challenging to identify the energy inefficiencies in their buildings, because the industry lacks measured energy use data for major hospital end uses, such as cooling, heating, lighting, and plug loads. Historically, when these managers have compared alternative energy efficiency investments for various end-use systems, their benchmarks have been limited to end-use estimates derived from modeling.

To address this challenge, DOE commissioned NREL to partner with two hospitals (MGH and SUNY UMU) to collect data on the energy used for multiple thermal and electrical end-use categories, including preheat, heating, and reheat; humidification; service water heating; cooling; fans; pumps; lighting; and select plug and process loads. Additional data from medical office buildings were provided for an analysis focused on plug loads. Facility managers, energy managers, and engineers in the healthcare sector will be able to use these results to more effectively prioritize and refine the scope of investments in new metering and energy audits.

Energy Department Recognizes 11 Manufacturers for Energy Efficiency Achievements

Building on the Administration’s efforts to double energy productivity and help American businesses save money by saving energy, the Energy Department today recognized 11 companies that have met ambitious energy-efficiency goals through the Better Buildings, Better Plants Program. Across the country, manufacturers spend more than $200 billion each year to power their plants. Through the Energy Department’s Better Plants Program, American manufacturers commit to improve their energy intensity by 25 percent over ten years, or an equally ambitious level for their sector.

“Through cost-effective energy efficiency improvements in their factories, American manufacturers are boosting their energy productivity, saving money and protecting the environment by reducing carbon emissions,” said Secretary Ernest Moniz. “As a result, Better Plants Partners have avoided 18.5 million metric tons of carbon emissions to date, which is about the same as the annual emissions from close to five coal-fired power plants. These companies are demonstrating that significant energy savings can be achieved through smart investments that create jobs and strengthen the U.S. manufacturing sector.”

The Department also announced today that over the last four years, Better Plants Partners have improved the energy intensity of their operations – a measure of a facility’s energy use per unit of output – by about 2.4 percent annually, far exceeding projected business-as-usual rates for U.S. manufacturers as a whole. Demonstrating leadership and showcasing initiatives and strategies that have proven successful, 11 Better Plants Partners recently met their goal to improve energy intensity:

  • BPM, Inc.
  • Celanese International Corp.
  • Holcim (US) Inc.
  • Legrand North America
  • Lennox International Inc.
  • Patriot Foundry & Castings
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Texas Instruments
  • ThyssenKrupp Elevator
  • Toyota
  • Verso Paper Corp.

More than 140 companies currently participate in the Better Plants Program, representing more than 2,300 manufacturing facilities and close to 11 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing energy footprint. Cumulatively, these companies have saved approximately 320 trillion British Thermal Units of energy – equivalent to saving nearly $1.7 billion in energy costs. Earlier this month, the Department welcomed 23 new manufacturers to the Better Plants Program, representing a range of manufacturing sectors.

The Better Buildings, Better Plants Program is part of President Obama’s broader Better Buildings Initiative to help American commercial and industrial buildings become at least 20 percent more energy efficient over the next 10 years. The Initiative also includes the Better Buildings Challenge through which U.S. companies, universities, school districts, multifamily housing owners, and state and local governments have committed to reducing energy use across their building portfolios by 20 percent or more. The accomplishments announced today are summarized in the Energy Department’s Fall 2014 Better Plants Progress Update, released today and available here.

Live Long and Phosphor: Blue LED Breakthrough for Efficient Electronics

Read the full story from the University of Michigan.

In a step that could lead to longer battery life in smartphones and lower power consumption for large-screen televisions, researchers at the University of Michigan have extended the lifetime of blue organic light emitting diodes by a factor of 10…

This research is described in a study titled “Ten-Fold Increase in the Lifetime of Blue Phosphorescent Organic Light Emitting Diodes,” appearing in Nature Communications.