Volume 37, Issue 3, March 2002

Energy&Environment

Office of Industrial Technologies Glass Team Researches Energy Efficiency
The “Glass Team” of the Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT), based in Washington, D.C., has introduced several new projects in conjunction with Energy Research Co., PPG Industries and Gallo Glass Co. According to OIT, Energy Research Co. is exploring the use of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for the Measurement and Control of Glass Feedstocks. A LIBS probe is being developed to determine the chemical makeup of glass feedstock before it enters the melting furnace and provide data for a feedback control loop. The technology is expected to improve productivity and product quality, and reduce energy use and emissions. Also involved in this effort are Fenton Art Glass Co., Mississippi State University and Oak Ridge National Lab.

PPG is working with Sandia National Labs (SNL) to develop Process Optimization Strategies, Models and Chemical Databases for On-line Coating of Float Glass. 

OIT says this technology should improve the efficiency of the atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition technique used to deposit tin-oxide coatings on about 110 million square feet of flat glass annually. 

Gallo Glass Co. also is working with SNL on the Monitoring and Control of Alkali Volatization and Batch Carryover. The project is designed to increase furnace life and improve furnace fuel efficiency using LIBS technology, in an effort to minimize energy costs in producing flat glass.

In addition, OIT’s Glass Team has released a CD-ROM, “Resources and Tools for Energy Efficiency and Cost Reduction Now.” The CD provides information about energy-efficient glass technologies, energy analysis software tools and more.

Sales of Conservation Items Up at Home Depot
It seems all the concerns of cutting energy costs may be paying off with consumers. Home Depot recently reported it has seen major sales increases of home energy consumption products for the first five months of 2001.

According to Home Depot, unit sales of items such as insulation products, energy-efficient lighting and solar-reducing window treatments have outpaced last year’s sales. In fact, the company reported that the sale of products such as insulating windows, light-reducing window film and blinds are as much as 25 percent higher than those from 2000. 


USG

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