Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2002

Energy&Environment

LBL’s Energy Division Launches New Energy Efficiency Program
The environmental energy technologies division (EETD) of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories (LBL) has begun a three-year, public-private research initiative that specifically targets reducing the $100 billion spent annually in energy costs for commercial buildings. According to LBL, the California Energy Commission (CEC), the Department of Energy (DOE), private-sector partners and Pacific Gas & Electric, have pledged more than $13 million in research funding. A team of 14 public and private sector partners has been brought together by EETD to carry out certain tasks within the High Performance Commercial Buildings Systems program. 

LBL says the new program will form information technologies to design and operate buildings, as well as integrated design techniques to generate substantial energy savings.

“In California alone, implementation of technologies and practices developed in this research program for both new and existing buildings could reduce overall commercial-sector electricity consumption by 22 percent by 2015,” said Stephen Selkowitz, a principal investigator for the program.

The five areas in which new developments will be made are: life-cycle tools—the information management systems for efficient building design and operations; lighting, envelopes and daylighting—hardware and software to control lighting and ventilation systems, and dynamic window systems that modulate the amount of daylight and solar heat passing through them into the building; low-energy cooling; integrated commissioning and diagnostics; and indoor environmental quality, according to LBL. 

Minnesota Glass Association Provides Gasoline Savings to Members
The Minnesota Glass Association (MGA) is sponsoring an automotive services program in conjunction with Speedway SuperAmerica LLC of Bloomington, Minn. The program is designed to save its members money on gasoline, car washes and oil changes. According to the MGA, members will gain savings of 3 cents per gallon on diesel fuel or gasoline (with no minimum volume required), car washes for as little as $1.25 and a 15-percent discount on oil changes at any participating Valvoline Instant Oil Change station.

GASOLINE M GA’s partnership with Speedway will allow members to save money in areas such as gasoline purchases.

The program works on a credit card system, in which each company gets its own set of SuperFleet cards. Then, each company can determine what information it wants to show up on its receipts, including: date and time of purchase, type of fuel, gallons, price per gallon, driver’s identification, vehicle identification, odometer readings with calculations and department separations. A personal identification number and a variety of other security options from which companies can choose will protect each card.

While Speedway SuperAmerica provides all of these benefits to association members through the SuperFleet Management Program, it also provides the association with additional income for participating in the program, allowing it to maintain its present services and add other value-added member benefits with non-dues revenue, according to the MGA.

DOE Efforts With Aluminum and Glass Sectors May Mean More Efficient Production Methods

PRODUCTION

The Department of Energy (DOE) is taking steps that both aluminum and glass companies may find beneficial.

For starters, the DOE Office of Industrial Technologies’ (OIT) aluminum team has partnered with Northwest Aluminum Co. on a plan that could reduce energy requirements for smelting 25-30 percent. According to OIT the process uses a new cell design with a non-consumable inert metal anode to produce aluminum. It is said to have lower energy intensity, cost less and render fewer environmental impacts than the Hall-Heroult technology. 


The team is also working on a second project, led by Secat Inc., concerning oxidative (oxy) melt problems that account for a nearly 4-percent loss of secondary aluminum during the melting process. “This project is a model partnership, bringing together representatives from the industry, universities and DOE labs,” said Sara Dillich, aluminum team leader. “It will help solve a long-standing problem of the oxidation process. Best of all it will reduce energy losses by up to 50 percent.”

OIT’s glass team also has several projects in the works. The team is sponsoring a high-luminosity, low-NOx burner to be used in oxy-fuel fired glass furnaces. The burner is said to increase thermal efficiency and reduce NOx emissions.

The glass team is also working on an electrostatic batch preheater system that uses waste heat exhausted from glass furnaces to preheat raw materials. The OIT says the technology has the potential to save more than 6 trillion Btu by 2020.


USG

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