AEE newsletter March 00

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AEE newsletter March 00 ...

     Association of Energy Engineers

     New York Chapter

     July 2008 Newsletter Part 2


    Today’s generations will be accountable, and how tall we stand remains to be determined. There is still time,

    but just barely. James Hansen, Head of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Focus on Verizon Fuel-Cell Building in Garden City

    By James Bernstein, Newsday, Jun 30 08

    VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS' Long Island headquarters building in Garden City is garnering considerable attention these days, but not because of its architectural grace or style. It's all about the fuel cells.

     A few weeks ago Verizon won the U.S. Energy Department's prestigious Energy Star Award for operating

    the largest commercial fuel-cell site of its kind in the country.

     The 300,000-square-foot building on Zeckendorf Boulevard - in operation since 2005 - uses seven fuel cells, each about the size of a small tractor. The fuel cells, which cost $1 million each, help reduce the Verizon building's reliance on commercial electric power and provide a new layer of network reliability in the event of

    natural disaster, outage or peak commercial power demands.

     The Garden City facility, which provides telephone and data service for about 40,000 customers on Long Island, is also connected to the Long Island Power Authority's grid, as a backup.

     "People from all over the world have toured" the building, where about 1,000 Verizon employees work, said

    Jeremy Metz, the telecommunication company's manager of energy sourcing. Utility executives and engineers

    from South America and Europe have stopped by to see the benefits of fuel cells, which experts say are a key

    part of the energy industry's future.

     Fuel cells, first developed by the National Aerospace and Space Administration for manned spaceflight, are

    widely considered an extremely clean and efficient energy source. They generate electrical power through the

    combination of hydrogen and oxygen, giving off water and heat as by-products.

     "Verizon's Garden City fuel-cell project is a good example of the benefits of using combined heat and power

    and on-site power generation to increase electric reliability and security of critical power loads," said Patricia

    Hoffman, the Energy Department's principal deputy assistant secretary, in presenting the award.

     Metz was part of a Verizon team a few years ago directed by the company to look at alternate energy sources

    for its buildings.

     "There was a recognition that the [LIPA] grid was becoming less reliable," Metz said. "Energy costs were

    going up, and there were opportunities to be more efficient."

     Metz said Verizon has spent less on electricity and oil and has saved $500,000 to $600,000 a year with the

    fuel cells.

     Fuel cells are going to be more commonplace in the future. Earlier this month, UTC Power, a subsidiary of

    Hartford-based United Technologies Corp., said it will supply fuel cells for the Freedom Tower at the site of the World Trade Center and three other buildings in lower Manhattan.

     Fuel cells may not be the world's sexiest topic, Metz acknowledged. "Catalytic converters are dull," he said. "All the things that make our life cleaner are not exciting. But I think it's all pretty remarkable."

    Current NY Chapter AEE Sponsors:

    Association for Energy Affordability Con Ed Solutions Energy Curtailment Specialists

    EME Group Con Edison M-Core Credit Corporation PB Power Syska Hennessy Group

    Trystate Mechanical Inc.

    Consumers Overwhelmed on What Makes a Home ‘Green,’ Paralyzed to Inaction, Study Finds

    Lohas News, Jun 27 08

WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING THEIR HOMES GREEN, consumers are paralyzing themselves to inaction

    based on overwhelming notions of what is required and what it costs, according to Eco Pulse, the newest

    national study on U.S. consumers and green affinity, produced by Shelton Group, a Tennessee advertising

    agency focused on energy, energy efficiency and sustainability.

     When Eco Pulse asked consumers to choose from a provided list of features all of those they thought

    were ―required‖ to make a home green, respondents were demanding. Out of 17 listed features, the average number of features checked by consumers totaled 10.4.

     Top features consumers believed were required included Energy Star? appliances (cited by 82 percent),

    water conserving features (78 percent), and high-efficiency windows and a renewable electric power generation

    system such as solar (71 percent each).

     Juxtaposed with this demanding standard, consumers demonstrated a high awareness gap when asked

    unaided questions earlier in the survey.

     While 55 percent of U.S. consumers said that having a green home is important to very important, when

    asked to then name (unaided) a green home feature, 42 percent could not. Twenty-eight percent cited "solar";

    12 percent cited CFL light bulbs; 10 percent cited energy-efficient or Energy Star? appliances and 10 percent

    cited "the household recycles.‖

     Although most consumers know green buzzwords, when asked "What does the term "green" mean, as in

    green homes, green home products, etc.?" most (56 percent) could offer only generic responses, such as

    "environmentally-friendly‖ or ―eco-friendly." Another eight percent were unable to offer an answer at all. The

    top specific answers were "energy efficient" (eight percent) and "natural or chemical-free‖ (five percent).

    ―Consumers seem to think green homes are an all-or-nothing proposition and because of the real and perceived costs, many are throwing their hands up and saying ‗I just can‘t do all of this‘,‖ said Shelton Group CEO Suzanne Shelton.

     ―For example, consumers‘ heavy top-of-mind emphasis on solar one of the most expensive home upgrades for energy efficiency that can be made is a good case in point,‖ Shelton said. ―For consumers who can only afford to take baby steps, the idea of installing solar panels as ‗required‘ to make a home green – or

    even just greener can be a total deal-breaker.‖

     To Shelton‘s point, when Eco Pulse asked consumers the primary reason to purchase a green home product, respondents‘ answers were more financial than environmental: 49 percent said "to reduce my energy

    bill (save money),‖ 31 percent chose "to lessen my impact on the environment,‖ and 13 percent chose "to make


my home healthier.‖ A majority (78 percent) of consumers said that green products sometimes to always cost


     Interestingly, there is a flip-side to the economic issue on green products. When taken as a whole, the

    vast number of green home products and their collective costs appear to overwhelm consumers. Yet on an

    individual product basis, U.S. consumers do value green product features, and most are willing to pay some

    premium for them.

    In discrete choice testing of three products, with different levels of purchase risk wood flooring, dishwashers

    and general purpose cleaners the product with the green feature (respectively, rapid-growth, sustainable bamboo; Energy Star?; and all-natural cleaning ingredients) commanded both significant purchase favor and a

    price premium.

     In fact, a substantial percentage of the market (ranging from 35 percent for bamboo to 66 percent for

    Energy Star?) valued the green feature so much, their response was almost completely inelastic, meaning those

    consumers continued to prefer the green product regardless of increases in price point. In these controlled, two-

    product comparisons, there was a significant percentage who wanted the green feature, even at a significantly

    higher price point.

     ―When it comes to green and sustainability, the consumer mindset and behavioral patterns are full of contradictions,‖ Shelton said. ―With that said, one of the real take-aways of Eco Pulse that marketers should

    note is the idea of simplicity making green purchase decisions easier and less overwhelming for consumers to get their arms around.‖

Japan Sees a Chance to Promote Its Energy-Frugal Ways

    By Martin Fackler, The New York Times, Jul 4 08

     A view through a window looking onto a commercial complex in Chiba, Japan, that

    uses transparent solar panels on window glass to generate power

KUMAGAYA, Japan With its towering furnaces and clanging conveyer belts carrying crushed rock,

    Taiheiyo Cement‘s factory looks like an Industrial Revolution relic. But it is actually a model of modern energy

    efficiency, harnessing its waste heat to generate much of its own electricity.


     Engineers from China and elsewhere in Asia come to study its design, which has allowed the company

    to slash the amount of power it buys from the grid.

     The plant is just one example of Japan‘s single-minded dedication to reducing energy use, a commitment that dates back to the oil shocks of the 1970s that shook this resource-poor nation.

     Now, with oil prices hitting dizzying levels and the world struggling with global warming, the country is

    hoping to use its conservation record to take a rare leadership role on a pressing global issue. It will showcase

    its efforts to export its conservation ethic and its expensive power-saving technology at next week‘s

    meeting in Japan of the Group of 8 industrial leaders.

     ―Superior technology and a national spirit of avoiding waste give Japan the world‘s most energy-

    efficient structure,‖ Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said in a speech outlining his agenda for the meeting. Japan ―wants to contribute to the world,‖ he said.

     Mr. Fukuda has already urged the leaders of the Group of 8 nations to adopt numerical targets as they

    discuss new ways to curb carbon dioxide emissions, a focus of treaty talks aimed at a new global agreement by

    the end of 2009. The existing pacts, the original climate treaty from 1992 and the Kyoto Protocol, which expires

    in 2012, have been called failures by energy and climate experts.

     The rising cost of energy is expected to dominate the meeting, on Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan.

    President Bush and other leaders are facing calls to expand offshore drilling and to rein in hedge funds and

    other investors blamed for speculating on world energy markets.

     Japan is by many measures the world‘s most energy-frugal developed nation. After the energy crises of the 1970s, the country forced itself to conserve with government-mandated energy-efficiency targets and steep

    taxes on petroleum. Energy experts also credit a national consensus on the need to consume less.

     It is also the only industrial country that sustained government investment in energy research even when

    energy became cheap again.

     ―Japan taught itself decade s ago how to compete with gasoline at $4 per gallon,‖ said Hisakazu

    Tsujimoto of the Energy Conservation Center, a government research institute that promotes energy efficiency.

    ―It will fare better than other countries in the new era of high energy costs.‖

     According to the International Energy Agency, based in Paris, Japan consumed half as much energy per

    dollar worth of economic activity as the European Union or the United States, and one-eighth as much as China and India in 2005. While the country is known for green products like hybrid cars, most of its efficiency gains

    have been in less eye-catching areas, for example, in manufacturing.

     Corporate Japan has managed to keep its overall annual energy consumption unchanged at the

    equivalent of a little more than a billion barrels of oil since the early 1970s, according to Economy Ministry

    data. It was able to maintain that level even as the economy doubled in size during the country‘s boom years of

    the 1970s and ‘80s.

     Japan‘s strides in efficiency are clearest in heavy industries like steel, which are the nation‘s biggest

    consumers of power. From 1972 to 2006, the Japanese steel industry invested about $45 billion in developing

    energy-saving technologies, according to the Japan Iron and Steel Federation.

     The results are visible at the Keihin mill on Tokyo Bay, run by Japan‘s No. 2 steelmaker, JFE Steel.

    Massive steel ducts snake from the blast furnaces and surrounding buildings. These capture heat and gases that

    had previously been released into the air or burned off as waste. Now, they are used to power generators that

    produce 90 percent of the plant‘s electricity. (The plant‘s main fuel remains the coal used to heat its huge blast furnaces.)

     Such innovations allow the mill to produce a ton of steel using 35 percent less energy than it did three

    decades ago, said Yoshitsugu Iino, group leader of JFE Steel‘s climate change policy group. Mr. Iino calculates

    that if the global steel industry adopted Japanese conservation measures, it could reduce carbon emissions by

    some 300 million tons a year.


     But even with corporate efficiency gains, Japan‘s emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse-gas emission from human activities, have grown, largely because of rising living standards and continued reliance

    on coal, according to climate scientists. James E. Hansen, NASA‘s leading climatologist, sent an open letter to

    Mr. Fukuda on Thursday seeking a greater commitment to emissions cuts.

     At next week‘s summit meeting, Japan plans to back an initiative that could make its frugal energy

    levels the new standards for global industries.

     Now, its government is pushing an initiative that could set Japan‘s levels of energy conservation as targets for global industries. Mr. Fukuda has proposed what is called a sector-based approach to new targets for

    reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This means is setting the same numerical goals for all companies in an

    industry, regardless of location. The Kyoto Protocol set mandatory national limits for industrialized countries.

     The sector approach has been embraced by Japanese industry groups, which say their high levels of

    efficiency should become the global standards. This would also give Japanese companies more opportunities to

    sell their energy-saving technologies and skills around the world.

     The Bush administration has focused on developing sector-by-sector partnerships with Japan and other

    countries to find ways to curb emissions, but remains opposed to mandatory limits.

     Kawasaki Heavy Industries, which makes the waste heat generator at the cement factory in Kumagaya,

    started developing the technology in 1979. But the generators were too expensive to sell outside Japan while

    energy prices were low. But overseas orders took off three years ago, after energy prices began rising.

     Since then, the company has sold 64 units, mainly through a joint venture in China.

     ―Japan rushed to embrace these technologies back in the 1980s,‖ said Katsushi Sorida, head of the waste

    heat plant department at Kawasaki Plant Systems, a subsidiary that markets and installs the units. ―Now the rest

    of the world is finally catching up.‖

     Andrew C. Revkin contributed reporting from New York.

    Copyright 200 The New York Times Company

Hawaii: Solar Water Heaters Become a Legal Requirement

    By The Associated Press, Jun 27 08

    HAWAII has become the first state to require solar water heaters in new homes. Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, has signed into law a bill requiring the energy-saving systems in homes starting in 2010. The new

    law prohibits issuing building permits for single-family homes that do not have solar water heaters. Some

    exceptions will be allowed, like for houses in forested areas.

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

Penn Nabs Green-Power Prize

    Forwarded by John Nettleton

    CHAMPIONSHIPS may have eluded Penn on the hardwood and the gridiron this year, but the University blew out the competition in the latest iteration of the EPA‘s College and University Green Power Challenge. Over the past academic year, Penn purchased more energy from renewable sources than any other university tracked by the government agency. Wind power accounted for some 192 million kilowatt hours of electricity consumed on campusnearly half the total amount.


     In recent years, 539 university and college presidents have pledged to eliminate their institutions‘ greenhouse-gas emissions over time. Penn President Amy Gutmann joined that group in 2007 and has

     made environmental sustainability a priority in her administration.

    In Pennsylvania, as in many other states, wind power costs slightly more than electricity from non-renewable sources, such as coal. For Penn, that premium amounted to $620,000 last yearor about 2 percent of the

     full electricity bill, according to Gerald McGillian, director of operations and maintenance administration. Although it is the largest green-power consumer in terms of total volume, Penn trails several of its peers in percentage terms. New York University and Colby College, for instance, power their campuses exclusively

     through wind, biomass, and hydroelectric power. Nevertheless, the trend at Penn has been sharply upward.

     The University began buying wind power in 2004 and has increased its annual purchases nearly fivefold

     since then. T.P.

     ?2008 The Pennsylvania Gazette

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Lottery Adds to Prizes: Now Gas as Well as Cash

    By Carmine Gentile, The New York Times, Jul 8 08

    MIAMI Rising gasoline prices have brought a new twist on the state lottery in Florida.

     Once a week for the next two months, the second-prize winner in the latest lottery promotion, Summer

    Cash, will win free gasoline for life. And some people think that is a better deal than the game‘s first prize, a

    quarter of a million dollars.

     ―If gas keeps going up and up — and I expect it will then I‘d rather have free gas for life,‖ said

    Robert Acosta, who spends about $50 a week on fuel for his four-cylinder Toyota Scion and bought a $5

    Summer Cash ticket in anticipation of the first drawing, this Wednesday.

     Not that a winner‘s right to free gasoline is unlimited. Rather, each winner will be awarded 26 prepaid gas cards, each worth $100, every year until death. Were the 44-year-old Mr. Acosta to win, and live to be twice

    his current age, the total payout to him in free gasoline would be $114,400. That is far short of the first prize,

    particularly since virtually all the gas prize would be paid in future dollars.

     But with a gallon of unleaded regular in South Florida costing an average of about $4.30, some players

    are ready to forgo the math.

     ―Gas has become more precious than cash now,‖ Bernard Feldman said.


     Mr. Feldman, a customer service supervisor at a Miami Beach supermarket that sells lottery tickets, said

    sales of Summer Cash tickets had been steadily increasing since they began on June 30, a trend the state hopes

    will continue throughout the summer.

     ―People seem to like it,‖ said Jackie Barreiros, director of public affairs for the Florida Lottery.

    ―Obviously gas is something that everyone needs right now with prices being so high.‖

     Florida joins states including Georgia, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Washington that have started giving

    away gasoline as a lottery prize. Florida decided to do so after 90 percent of regular lottery players, responding

    to a poll in which a year‘s home mortgage payments were among the other choices, said the prize they would

    most prefer was free fill-ups.

     To be sure, some see the gas prize as a kind of bait and switch.

     ―It‘s not like you can fill up with gas for free as much as you want,‖ said one player, Esther Appel of

    Miami Beach, who bought a Summer Cash ticket last Friday in hopes of winning the $250,000 first prize.

     ―I don‘t know how long I‘m going to be around,‖ said Ms. Appel, 53. ―Besides, what happens when it

    goes up to $5 or $10 a gallon?‖

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

Boat, Moved Only by Waves, Sails to a Seafaring First

    By John J. Geoghegan, The New York Times, Jul 8 08

THE SUNTORY MERMAID II successfully completed late Friday night a 4,350 mile trip from Honolulu,

    Hawaii, to the Kii Channel off the east coast of Japan, marking the longest known voyage by a wave-powered


     The journey was undertaken by a Japanese team to demonstrate that an environmentally sensitive

    propulsion system powered exclusively by waves can operate in real-world conditions.

     The bow-mounted mechanism, which harnesses wave power to provide a dolphinlike tail kick from two

    independently mounted flippers, was designed and built by Dr. Yutaka Terao of the department of naval

    architecture and ocean engineering at the Tokai University School of Marine Science and Technology in Japan.

     The design team originally estimated that the 31-foot-long, three-ton catamaran would average three to

    four knots and arrive off the east coast of Japan about 60 days after its departure on March 16. But, unusually

    good weather and calm seas resulted in the boat traveling an average of only 1.5 knots and the Mermaid‘s maiden voyage ended up taking 111 days. Nevertheless, Dr. Terao and his team were satisfied with the result.

     ―We were able to prove that our propulsion system delivers a 7,000-kilometer voyage,‖ Dr. Terao said

    in an e-mail interview from Japan. ―And we can easily improve the speed. In fact, the improvements have

    already started.‖

     Kenichi Horie, the ecologically minded sailor who captained the Mermaid, has set two world records for

    piloting environmentally sensitive boats, the first in 1993 for the longest distance traveled in a human-powered

    pedal boat, 4,660 nautical miles, the second in 1996 for the fastest Pacific crossing in a solar-powered boat, 148


     At a dockside celebration on Sunday at Shin Nishinomiya Yacht Harbor, Mr. Horie told the gathering:

    ―The time has come for us to shift from fossil fuels. I hope this voyage will increase awareness and interest in

    natural energy.‖

     Mr. Horie, 69, appeared energetic if noticeably thinner after his three and a half months at sea.

     ―I had some food left, so I could have enjoyed the trip a bit longer,‖ he said with a smile. ―But I think


     save it for the next voyage.‖

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company


Flat TV Chemical 'Worse than CO2'

    The Press Association, Jul 2 08

SOARING DEMAND for an industrial chemical used to make flat-screen televisions may be posing a global

    warming threat, say scientists. The gas, nitrogen trifluoride, is 17,000 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas

    than carbon dioxide. Yet it is not covered by the Kyoto protocol on emissions, because it was only made in tiny

    amounts when the agreement was signed in 1997.

     Today the gas is said to be accumulating in the atmosphere, although its levels have not been measured.

    Scientists have calculated that it has a half-life in the atmosphere of 550 years.

     Nitrogen trifluoride, or NF3, is used in the electronics industry mainly to flush out the by-products of

    chemical vapour deposition. This is the process by which thin films are deposited for liquid crystal displays

    (LCDs) - used in flat screen TVs - or silicon chips.

     An estimated 4,000 tonnes of NF3 was produced this year, according to Professor Michael Prather from

    the University of California at Irvine.

     The largest manufacturer, the US company Air Products, based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is building

    two new factories for making NF3 in the US and South Korea, New Scientist magazine reported.

     If all this year's production was released into the atmosphere it would have a warming effect equivalent

    to 67 million tonnes of carbon dioxide - roughly equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of Austria.

     Ironically Air Products' developed NF3 as an alternative to perfluorocarbons (PFCs), greenhouse gases

    which are subject to the Kyoto protocol.

     The protocol covers six man-made greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide,

    hydrofluorocarbons, PFCs and sulphur hexafluoride. NF3 was one of more than a dozen less prominent

    greenhouse gases that were excluded when the protocol was agreed.

    Copyright ? 2008 The Press Association.

Iced Coffee? Iced Tea?

    How About Ice for Campus Air Conditioning?

    By Lawrence Biemiller, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jul 8 08

    IT’S THE TIME OF YEAR when many peoples’ thoughts turn to air conditioning. Most college and university employees take it for granted, but with energy prices continuing to rise, those responsible

    for paying the bills are painfully aware of what a luxury all that cool air has become: The chillers that

    produce cold water to operate large-scale air-conditioning systems are among any college’s biggest users of energy, and they typically run most when electric costs are higheston summer afternoons.

    So some colleges have turned to a pretty basic technology to save money.

     It’s called “ice.”

     The strategy is so simple a kid could understand it: A college runs its chillers at night, when

    electricity prices are lowest, and makes ice in big, insulated tanks. Then, as the day heats up, water

    for the chilled-water lines is run through the ice facility, rather than through the chillers. The University

    of Arizona, which has just installed a second ice plant, expects it to lower the university’s electric


bills by $30,000 a month. The University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University are among other

    institutions that make ice at night and use it for air conditioning during the day.

     In addition to saving money, using an ice-based system can be significantly more sustainable

    than running chillers during peak periods. That’s because electric utilities run their most efficient

    generating plants around the clock, bringing less-efficient plants online as demand increases. Ice

    made at night is, in all probability, made with electricity that has less of a carbon footprint than the

    electricity that would run chillers on a July afternoon. (Not all chillers run off electricity, however

    some are fired by natural gas, while others are driven with steam from campus boilers.)

     Cornell also takes advantage of an even more inventive air-conditioning strategyit siphons cold

    water up from the chilly depths of Cayuga Lake and runs the water through heat exchangers that cool

    water for the campus chilled-water loop. Although the infrastructure was expensive to build, rising

    energy costs make the $60-million initial investment look more attractive every day.


    The Cornell strategy is an example of something that works well until everyone decides that it works

    well then you raise the overall temperature of the lake and change the ecosystem. So as long as it’s a relative handful of buildings on the chill-loop, we’re fine… but once you reach a critical mass,

    the impacts grow sharply.

     Herb Jul 8

Lake Ontario Water Being Used to Cool Toronto

A GIANT COOLING SYSTEM using water from the depths of Lake Ontario is lowering the energy

    consumption of Toronto's financial quarter. The Deep Lake Water Cooling project takes advantage of low

    temperatures at the bottom of the lake to chill a network of pipes that carry water for use in air-conditioning

    systems around the city. The cooling system starts out deep in Lake Ontario, with a city-owned treatment plant

    pulling in water from the lake bed. The city's cold potable water is passed through a bank of heat exchangers

    where it chills water in a second self-contained network of pipes. Those pipes carry the cold water to dozens of

    large offices in the city, where more heat exchangers provide cooling for thousands of workers in those

    buildings. The warmed water is pumped back to a lakeside plant, where it is passed through a final set of heat

    exchangers and the energy is absorbed by the city's potable supply with no noticeable effect on its temperature

    due to the huge volume of water passing through the municipal pipes.

Large Solar Energy Array Set for G.M. in Spain

    By Matthew L. Wald, The New York Times, Jul 8 08


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