Association of Energy Engineers
New York Chapter www.aeeny.org
July 2008 Newsletter Part 2
ON GLOBAL WARMING
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 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
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 campus—nearly 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 year—or 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
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
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 highest—on 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 strategy—it 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