Bookmark and Share

Industrial Newsbriefs

July 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.


Waste to Biogas Mapping Tool

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Pacific Southwest Region recently released a Waste to Biogas Mapping Tool, an interactive map and information center to connect the producers of organic waste (grease, fat, food waste, agricultural residues and other byproducts) with potential users (such as biomass-burning CHP plants and dairy biodigesters). The tool includes information and resources for the states of California, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii. For more information, read the June 7, 2012, news release.


Boilers: Repair or replace?

"Whether to Revamp or Replace Your Boiler," written by Andy Wales of Clayton Industries and published May 29, 2012, in Sustainable Plant, provides basic information for determining whether to upgrade or replace an aging boiler. Types of boilers are discussed, along with a list of considerations.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

Port Townsend plant to reduce emissions with CHP plan

Port Townsend Paper Corp. will soon retrofit its biomass-powered boiler to generate electricity, eliminating the need for supplementary fuel oil to power the boiler. The modifications, which include an upgrade to the system’s pollution controls, are expected to reduce particulate emissions from the boiler by 70% by weight. For information, read "Out of the Stack: A 70 Percent Reduction in Today’s Particulate Emissions is Central to PT Paper Plan," published June 20, 2012, at

CHP for pharmaceutical manufacturing

"Cogen Forms Backbone of Energy Strategy at Biogen Idec," published June 13, 2012, on the Sustainable Plant website, provides an overview of the energy requirements for pharmaceutical manufacturing, and describes how CHP can be integrated to meet them. A successful example is Biogen Idec, a biotechnology company in Cambridge, MA, which generates steam and electricity with its on-site CHP plant.

Compressed Air Best Practices

The June 2012 edition of Compressed Air Best Practices is now available for download; this issue’s focus is Systems Assessment. Article topics include compressor inlet piping, pneumatic valve retrofits, demand (dry) storage, and part loaded compressed air system optimization.

Energy Management

"Leveraging Manufacturing" is a 3-part series written by David Dornfeld, Director, Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability, UC Berkeley, and published on the Environmental Leader website.

Part I, published April 13, 2012, introduces the concept of leveraging and explains how it applies to manufacturing. Characteristics determined during the manufacture of parts, such as the texture of surfaces and level of precision, can have a large impact on the future operational efficiency of the item for which the part is a component. The example of gear finishing is introduced.

Part II, published May 3, 2012, delves further into the example of gear finishing, and explains how "leveraging" involves balancing the energy input for the removal of surface roughness with the energy saved overall by having a smoother gear surface for the lifetime of the end product.

Part III, published June 14, 2012, further examines the relationship between the energy expense of manufacturing choices (in this example, gear surface smoothness) and the energy consumption improvements over the lifecycle of the product incorporating the manufactured part (in this example, automobiles). The author stresses that while in this example the extra energy input for gear grinding was warranted, this might not be true in all situations. Careful analysis is required for the proper leveraging of manufacturing in the supply chain to achieve the greatest overall efficiency.

Intelligent Efficiency

A Defining Framework for Intelligent Efficiencyis a research report released by ACEEE on June 5, 2012 (free login required for download). It describes an intelligent approach to energy efficiency, whereby information and communications technology are utilized to gather, analyze, and transmit energy data over whole systems, enabling smarter energy decisions. The report includes two case studies in Smart Manufacturing: Moving to Closed Loop Controls and Plant-Wide Optimization.

HVAC/R (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration)

The following two articles were published in the April 2012 issue of HPAC Heating/Piping/AirConditioning Engineering:

"Induced-Flow Laboratory Exhaust-Fan Systems," by Anthony J. Rossi, Greenheck Fan Corp., is a discussion of the standards for critical exhaust systems for laboratories and of comparative efficiencies for those systems and for the different fan types they employ.

"Tips for Troubleshooting Evaporative Coolers," by Paul Benich, Warranty Manager, Phoenix Manufacturing Inc., shows, through carefully-developed tips, how to keep evaporative coolers in warehouses and industrial plants in the best working condition.

Innovation Accelerator Challenge to spur manufacturing

On May 29, 2012, the Obama administration announced that $26 million will be awarded through the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, a multi-agency program designed to accelerate and strengthen the manufacturing sector. Projects will be selected which foster job growth and business development via the formation of regional clusters; the clusters will forge connections between manufacturers, government agencies, and private investors.  Approximately 12 projects will be chosen to receive funding.

New Federal investments for energy efficiency in manufacturing

On June 12, 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the award of over $54 million to 13 projects which will develop tools, technologies, and processes to dramatically increase the energy efficiency of manufacturing operations. For more information and to see a list of projects, read the DOE press release.


Videos feature BC industry leaders

BC Hydro Power Smart recently launched four videos featuring efficiency-forward representatives of the food and beverage processing, manufacturing, mining, and wood products industries. The brief videos provide a glimpse into each industrial setting, while a representative of each business discusses the importance of energy efficiency to their operations.

Thermal Technologies

The following two articles were written by Daniel H. Herring, President, The Herring Group Inc., and posted on April 18 and 25, 2012, respectively, on the Industrial Heating website:

"Factors Causing Dimensional Change in Heat-Treated Parts" (part 1) shows that while it is not possible to predict the size change with complete accuracy, it is certainly possible to understand the many variables well enough to be able to make a useful estimate of it. 

"Factors Causing Dimensional Change in Heat-Treated Parts" (part 2) describes specific cases where parts have changed size during heat treatment.


Pacific Northwest

Energy Efficiency of Chilled Water Systems and Cooling Towers
July 18-19, 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
August 21: Pocatello, ID
August 23: Billings, MT
October 4: Roseburg, OR
November 15: Yakima, WA
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.

PGE Series: Motors and Motor Controls
September 19 – November 7, 2012, Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00 PM, Tualatin, Oregon
In this in-depth course, you’ll learn about motor fundamentals, electrical codes, starting, braking, speed control, variable frequency drives, over current protection, overload protection, motor controls and drive system efficiency. Attendees may be eligible to earn up to 21 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for their Oregon or Washington electrical license, professional development credit hours, and will receive a certificate of completion.

Fan Systems Assessment Tool (FSAT)
September 20, 2012
Developed to highlight the benefits of fan system optimization, this training discusses performance and practical issues, as well as introduces the Fan System Assessment Tool (FSAT). You will learn how the software functions, what data is required, what to do when measured data is not available, and how to interpret the assessment results. After completing this course, you will understand how to use FSAT to actively determine the best configuration for your fan 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.

PGE Series: Power Quality 1-Day Course
September 28, 2012
This one-day Power Quality (PQ) 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 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for their Oregon or Washington electrical license renewal. Also qualifies for State of Washington Basic Classroom Credits for Trainees. PGE Special Sponsored Rate: $250 per person, valued at $399.

Webinars and Online Courses

Boiler & Steam System Cost Control: 100 Ways to Save Boiler Fuel (Webinar)
July 10-13, 2012, 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM PST
Presented online in a series of four live two-hour time modules, this seminar is designed to introduce you to the broad range of fuel saving options hidden away in boiler and steam systems, including over 100 ways to slash energy costs, pollution and carbon emissions.

Energy Management Opportunities for Industrial Customers
July 9, 10:00-11:00 AM PST
September 25, 8:00-9:00 AM PST
This webinar on industrial energy efficiency will cover the basics, including kW versus kWh, power factor, and more. We will also discuss end-use technologies such as motors, boiler or furnace heating systems, compressed air, industrial heat pumps, induction heating, and HVAC. You will learn to identify top energy-efficiency opportunities and potential savings for each; valuable information that will help you stay within your energy budget.

Webinar: Developing an Energy Plan
August 3, 2012, 8:00-9:00 AM
An energy-management plan is a great way to improve efficiency and encourage energy conservation. In addition to cost savings, a successful plan will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase productivity, lower maintenance costs, and more. From hiring and training an energy manager, to financing an energy plan, this webinar provides the tools and resources to help you develop and implement a successful plan tailored to your needs.

PGE WEBINAR: What is Power Quality and Why it’s Important
September 12, 2012, 8:00 AM-9:00 AM
This 1.5 hour webinar will introduce you to some of the basic fundamentals of Power Quality, and the steps your organization can take to avoid and/or correct Power Quality Issues. The presenter, Gary P. Larkins with Advanced Power Solutions, has over 20 year of experience in power quality consulting, failure analysis and commissioning.

Webinar: Adjustable Speed Drives
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

Input Requested: Is there something else you would like to see in Industrial Newsbriefs?

If you have thoughts or ideas for what you would like to see in this publication, please email suggestions to Talia Mathews at . We strive to keep this publication as useful and relevant as possible to you, our readers.

Subscribe Free

Past issues available here