Could desalination solve California’s water problem?

Desalination would seem to answer every prayer to fix California’s water shortages. But turning the sea into drinking water is not so easy. The state’s first major desalination plant, under construction in Carlsbad, is a major test for the industry and wary environmental groups.

Source: www.sacbee.com

See on Scoop.itsustainability and resilience

BEMS for Smaller Buildings $6 Billion Growth from 2014 to 2022

The market for building energy management systems (BEMS) for small and medium-sized commercial buildings is expanding as building owners and managers demand more energy savings and easier ways to manage energy use in their facilities, notes Navigant Research.

Source: www.achrnews.com

>" [...]“Lower expenditures on energy management in the small and medium-sized building market, along with the lower penetration of advanced controls and building management systems, has limited the penetration of BEMS in this sector,” said Noah Goldstein, research director with Navigant Research. “Given the increasing importance of energy savings, however, BEMS are poised to be a tool that enables savings in both cost and carbon emissions in small and medium buildings.”

The most rapid growth in the BEMS market for smaller buildings, according to the report, is expected to occur in Europe and Asia Pacific, where new construction and regulation are promoting the installation of BEMS equipment and in turn creating demand for associated services and software. In the North American market, BEMS sales are expected to be concentrated in software, driven by utility and regulatory initiatives that promote energy efficiency and building energy reporting. [...]"<

 

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Operations – Systems & Controls, Maintenance & Commissioning

Electric Vehicle Market – Nissan Tests “Demand Response” Energy Management System

Nissan is assessing the potential of electric vehicles in energy management systems. [...]  is participating in the “demand response” energy supply and demand system testing together with businesses and government authorities in Japan.

Source: green.autoblog.com

>"[...]  Demand response is a strategy to make power grids more efficient by modifying consumers’ power consumption in consideration of available energy supply. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 the supply and demand of electricity during peak use hours in Japan has drawn attention. Under the demand response scheme, power companies request aggregators* to use energy conservation measures, and they are compensated for the electricity that they save.

Usually when energy-saving is requested consumers may respond by moderating their use of air conditioning and lighting. However, by using the storage capacity of electric vehicles and Vehicle to Home (V2H) systems, consumers can reduce their use of power at peak times without turning off lights and appliances. This is particularly useful in commercial establishments where it is difficult to turn power off to save electricity.

The demand response scheme involves assessing the usefulness of energy-saving measures using V2H systems during peak-use periods and analyzing the impact of monetary incentives on business. For example, the testing involves a LEAF and LEAF to Home system which is connected to power a Nissan dealer’s lighting system during regular business hours using stored battery energy. This reduces electricity demand on the power grid. The aggregator is then compensated for the equivalent of the total amount of electricity that is saved. Two or three tests per month will be conducted on designated days for three hours’ each time sometime between 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. from October 2014 through January 2015.

Effective use of renewable energy and improvements in the efficiency of power generation facilities will enable better energy management in the future and help reduce environmental impact. Field tests using EVs’ high-capacity batteries that are being conducted globally are proving their effectiveness in energy management. Additionally, if similar compensation schemes for energy-saving activities were applied to EV owners it could accelerate the wider adoption of EVs and reduce society’s carbon footprint.

Nissan has sold more than 142,000 LEAFs globally since launch. The Nissan LEAF’s power storage capability in its onboard batteries, coupled with the LEAF to Home power supply system, is proving attractive to many customers. As the leader in Zero Emissions, Nissan is promoting the adoption of EVs to help build a zero-emission society in the future. Along with these energy management field tests, Nissan is actively creating new value through the use of EVs’ battery power storage capability and continuing to promote initiatives that will help realize a sustainable low-carbon society.

* Aggregators refers to businesses that coordinate two or more consumers (e.g. plants and offices) and trade with utility companies the total amount of the electricity they have succeeded in curbing."<

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

US EPA Awards Energy Star to 3 CHP (Cogen) Projects

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognised three combined heat and power projects with ENERGY STAR CHP awards.

Source: www.cospp.com

>”[...] Eastman Chemical Company’s Kingsport, Tennessee, Campus plant (pictured) was recognised for its 200 MW CHP system, which includes 17 GE steam turbine generators. The Kingsport industrial campus, one of the largest chemical manufacturing sites in North America, employs nearly 7000 people [...]

Seventeen boilers produce steam to support manufacturing processes, help meet the space heating/cooling needs of 550 buildings, and drive 17 GE and two ABB steam turbine generators with a combined design output of 200 MW. With an operating efficiency of more than 78%, the predominantly coal-fired system requires approximately 14% less fuel than grid-supplied electricity and conventional steam production, saving Eastman Chemical approximately US$45 million per year.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, was granted an award for its 3.8 MW CHP system, powered by a Caterpillar lean-burn low-emissions reciprocating natural gas generator set. The system supplies 60% of the annual power needs for the site and approximately 40% of the thermal energy used to support R&D operations and heat, cool, and dehumidify the facility’s buildings.

With an operating efficiency of more than 62%, the system requires approximately 29% less fuel than grid-supplied electricity and conventional steam production, saving approximately $1.1 million per year.

Merck’s CoGen3 CHP system at its West Point facility was also recognised by the EPA. A pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing, R&D and warehouse and distribution centre, the project is powered by a 38 MW GE 6B heavy-duty gas turbine and recovers heat to produce steam to heat, cool and dehumidify approximately 7 million square feet of manufacturing, laboratory and office space.

The system, designed by Burns & Roe, is the third CHP system that Merck has installed at the 400-acre West Point, Pennsylvania campus. With an operating efficiency of more than 75%, the natural gas-fired system requires approximately 30% less fuel than grid-supplied electricity and conventional steam production.”<

 

 

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Intelligent Efficiency: Evolution of the Energy Efficiency Market

In the past, energy efficiency was seen as a discrete improvement in devices,” says Skip Laitner, an economist who specializes in energy efficiency. “But information technology is taking it to the next level, where we are thinking dynamically, holistically, and system-wide.

Source: www.greentechmedia.com

>” [...] This emerging approach to energy efficiency is information-driven. It is granular. And it is empowering consumers and businesses to turn energy from a cost into an asset. We call this new paradigm “intelligent efficiency.”

That term, which was originally used by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy in a 2012 report, accurately conveys the information technology shift underway in the efficiency sector.

The IT revolution has already dramatically improved the quality of information that is available about how products are delivered and consumed. Companies can granularly track their shipping fleets as they move across the country; runners can use sensors and web-based programs to monitor every step and heartbeat throughout their training; and online services allow travelers to track the price of airfare in real time.

Remarkably, these web-based information management tools are only now coming to the built environment in a big way. But with integration increasing and new tools evolving, they are starting to change the game for energy efficiency.

Although adoption has been slow compared to other sectors, many of these same technologies and applications are driving informational awareness about energy in the built environment. Cheaper sensors are enabling granular monitoring of every piece of equipment in a facility; web-based monitoring platforms are making energy consumption engaging and actionable; and analytic capabilities are allowing companies to find and predict hidden trends amidst the reams of data in their facilities and in the energy markets.

This intelligence is turning energy efficiency from a static, reactive process into a dynamic, proactive strategy.

We interviewed more than 30 analysts and companies in the building controls, equipment, energy management, software and utility sectors about the state of the efficiency market. Every person we spoke to pointed to this emerging intelligence as one of the most important drivers of energy efficiency.

“We are hitting an inflection point,” says Greg Turner, vice president of global offerings at Honeywell Building Solutions. “The interchange of information is creating a new paradigm for the energy efficiency market.”

Based on our conversations with a wide range of energy efficiency professionals, we have identified the five key ways intelligent efficiency is shaping the market in the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector:

The decreased cost of real-time monitoring and verification is improving project performance, helping build trust among customers and creating new opportunities for projects;Virtual energy assessments are bringing more building data to the market, leveraging new lead opportunities for energy service professionals;Web-based energy monitoring tools are linking the energy efficiency and energy management markets, making efficiency a far more dynamic offering;Big data analytics are creating new ways to find trends amidst the “noise” of information, allowing companies to be predictive and proactive in efficiency;Open access to information is strengthening the relationship between utilities and their customers, helping improve choices about efficiency and setting the foundation for the smart grid.

 

[...]“<

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Asia-Pacific Microgrid Market on ‘threshold of exponential growth’

 According to the report, the market generated revenues of US$84.2 million in 2013 and Frost & Sullivan predicts that by 2020 this will rise almost tenfold to US$814.3 million, forecasting a compound annual growth rate of 38.3%.

Source: www.pv-tech.org

>" [...] This growth is expected to come from activity in establishing microgrids for rural electrification in developing countries, and from commercial microgrids in the developed ones. The report cites the examples of Australia and Japan among the developed countries.

Mining operations in remote parts of Australia are one example of reliance on microgrids, powered by on-site generation. This has come traditionally from diesel generators, which are being combined with or replaced by solar-plus-storage. According to several sources the economics for this are already compelling.

Countries with a strong recent history in rural electrification referred to by Frost & Sullivan include Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. In the example of Indonesia, the country’s utilities are aiming to bring electrification to 90% of the rural population by 2025. In total the report covered the countries of Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Australia.

However, despite this recent activity, the report highlights several barriers that are preventing the market reaching its potential. One such example is the high capital cost of installing microgrids in tandem with energy storage systems.  [...]

[...] rising electricity prices in many regions would lead utility companies away from diesel and onto renewables to run their microgrids. It could also encourage “stronger governmental support through favorable regulations, funds and subsidies", as the use of renewable energy for microgrids would require some forms of energy storage, which are still expensive to install [...]

“The utilisation of renewable energy sources, either in standalone off-grid applications or in combination with local micro-grids, is therefore recognised as a potential route for rural farming communities to develop, as well as an opportunity to tackle the health issues associated with kerosene and biomass dependence. For example, the Indian Government aims to replace around 8 million existing diesel fuelled groundwater pumps, used by farmers for irrigation, with solar powered alternatives,” according to Fox. [...]"<

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Microgrid Integration with Public Transportation

Superstorm Sandy crippled much of New Jersey’s critical infrastructure two years ago. Stuck without power at home, many also couldn’t get to work because the operations center for New Jersey Transit flooded, damaging backup power systems, emergency generation, and the computers that control train operations.

Source: theenergycollective.com

>" [...] After a highly competitive grant process, NJ Transit last week received $1.3 billion in federal funds to improve the resilience of the state’s transportation system in the event of devastating future storms. The funds include $410 million to develop the NJ TransitGrid into a first-of-its-kind microgrid capable of keeping the power running when the electric grid goes down.

Microgrids are different from traditional electric grids in that they generate electricity on-site or nearby where it’s consumed. They can connect to the larger grid or island themselves and operate independently.

The NJ TransitGrid will not only generate power on-site but will incorporate a range of clean energy technologies such as renewable energy, energy storage, and distributed generation. This microgrid will also allow NJ Transit and Amtrak trains running on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, the country’s busiest train line, to keep operating during an outage.

Environmental Defense Fund joined state and federal stakeholders, such as New Jersey Governor’s Office of Recovery and Rebuilding and the U.S. Department of Energy, in the early stages of NJ TransitGrid planning. EDF also wrote a letter in support of New Jersey’s application for the funds from the Federal Transit Administration.

The $1.3 billion in total federal funds received by NJ Transit will go toward a range of resiliency and restoration projects across the system, including flood protection, drawbridge replacement, train storage and service restoration, and making train controls more resilient. These funds will also be used to fortify critical Amtrak substations.

Serving almost 900,000 passengers daily, NJ Transit is the third largest transit system in the country connecting travelers to the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. An independent microgrid for NJ Transit will prepare the state for future extreme weather events, which are happening more frequently due to climate change. Furthermore, the use of clean energy resources will make this microgrid a less polluting and more efficient operation for New Jersey’s day-to-day needs."<

 

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News