Tag Archives: United States

Energy Efficiency Improvements Essential to Supermarkets’ Success

A division of Epec Engineered Technologies, EC Fans & Drives manufactures EC electric motors specifically for the HVAC and Refrigeration sectors.

 

With the introduction of new energy efficiency standards derived from the U.S. Department of Energy it is a very significant time to introduce our ECplus™ Motor. Anyone involved within the supermarket industry should be aware that profit margins are tight, typically between 1% and 3%. With the ECplus™ Motor you can expect up to 80% savings in energy consumption. The opportunity to save even a 1/8th of a cent would prove to be a drastic improvement in the refrigeration and HVAC industries.

Refrigeration alone accounts for over 35% of the energy consumed in a standard supermarket. Due to the increase in stringent legislation targeting energy savings, commercial refrigerators and freezers have become a main focus. This has resulted in Supermarket Procurement Departments specifying that all new and retrofitted commercial refrigerators and freezers are fitted with electronically commutated motors. Coca-Cola and other leading OEM’s in the commercial refrigeration sector have already begun implementing the cost saving benefits of the ECplus™ Motor and its energy efficient technology.

Simon Gidney, President of EC Fans & Drives, commented “Revised Energy Star efficiency requirements for 2014 have mandated a significant reduction in the power consumption of commercial refrigeration units and EC Fans & Drives are pleased to be working with several major OEM’s in the United States and overseas to provide state of the art electronically commutated motor solutions to help them meet and exceed these new energy requirements.”

The average American supermarket has approximately 400 shaded pole motors in commercial refrigerators and freezers which remain operational at all times.

The efficiency rate of these motors is in the order of 15%. This means that 85% of their energy consumption is transferred as waste heat into the environment, and has to be removed or cooled down again by the refrigeration and air conditioning system, causing additional consumption of energy.

With efficiency rates up to 70% the ECplus™ Motor will dramatically reduce direct energy consumption. Additional energy savings will incur by greatly reducing waste heat. The ECplus™ Motor will also allow supermarkets to significantly reduce their environmental impact.

Visit EC Fans & Drives website for more information about our Energy Saving ECplus™ Motor.
http://www.ecdrives.com/

About Epec Engineered Technologies

For over sixty years, Epec has had a reputation for reliability, on-time delivery, and financial stability. Our continuous investment in people, technology, and new ideas make it easy for our customers to do great work.

The Top 10 Developments in Clean Energy of 2013

clean energy 2014

The end of the year is always a good time for reflection and introspection, but why should we stop at analyzing ourselves?  As 2013 draws to a close, I invite you to take a couple of moments to relive some of the major highlights in clean energy that took place this year. And share your own 2013 clean energy milestones in the comments below.

1) Solar securitization

Solar power used to be considered a field dominated by hippies and people living in fantasyland; it was a long way from becoming available to all Americans. It appears that we have come that “long way;” solar is not only visible in mainstream daily life, but it’s even attractive to major investors. Yes, Warren Buffett has invested billions in renewable energy, but a more impressive milestone for clean power was SolarCity’s solar securitization. The offering was sold for $54 million dollars and carries a BBB+ rating from Standard & Poor’s. This bundling of solar leases allows the industry to be more efficient by allowing SolarCity to continue doing what it does best with a large sum of cash upfront. Securitization is nothing new to the investment field and is common with airplanes, trains, mortgages, auto loans, and life insurance. Now that SolarCity has proved it possible with renewable energy, it could be a major launching pad for the rest of the solar industry to expand and evolve.

2) 10 GW solar club

Solar power had an absolute monster of a year and now five countries (Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, and China) have surpassed installing ten gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic power. Prior to this year, this exclusive club was only populated by Germany and Italy, so the growth is quite impressive. Though Japan had been a world leader in solar prior to 2004, the country’s emphasis on nuclear power stalled alternative energy growth prior to the Fukushima disaster which changed everything. Anxious to replace nuclear energy with clean electricity, a feed-in tariff has led to an explosion of solar growth in Japan that will continue into 2014. The nation is predicted to be one of the top two markets for solar in 2014. China’s central government has made renewable energy a priority as it combats the near-ubiquitous pollution around the country. 2013 was also the first year that solar installations (36.7 GW) exceeded wind installations (35.5 GW).

3) The White House goes solar (again)

Amid the Oil Crisis of 1979, U.S. President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the White House to set an example for the American public. Just two years later, President Reagan ordered the panels to be removed believing that they were a “joke.” For nearly 30 years, the White House sat devoid of solar, but in 2013, President Obama finally made good on his earlier promise to re-install solar panels on the famous residence. Administration officials expect that the PV system will generate 19,700 kilowatt-hours of clean energy each year. Once again, the most important home in America will be a shining example for the rest of us.

4) International finance institutions stop funding coal-fired power plants

Coal-fired power plants don’t just grow on trees; it may seem that way because the polluting energy producer has its fingerprints in nearly every country and is often the dominant energy producer in many of those nations, but power plants need money to be constructed, and a lot of it. So who funds these filthy behemoths? Historically, many of them across the developing world have been financed by international finance institutions (IFIs), but that will no longer be the case after 2013. Just this year alone saw the World Bank, European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, plus numerous national financing entities like the U.S. Export Import Bank and U.S. Trade and Development Agency swear off funding coal plants.  This is incredibly meaningful because developing nations will now need to quench their insatiable thirst for energy with cleaner power.

5) Coal gets retired across America

While it is a great step to halt the future construction of coal-fired power plants at home and abroad, there are still many existing emission sources of the polluting fuel, spewing toxins into the air and environment. According to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, 158 U.S. coal plants have been retired or plan to be retired shortly to date. Mosaic covered the retirement of the largest coal plant in New England, the 1.5 GW Brayton Point plant in October, but other states such as Nevada and Georgia have made amazing strides as well. In Nevada, the Moapa Paiute tribe helped to shutter the Reid-Gardner coal plant and is breaking ground on a 350 MW solar plant nearby to offset the energy loss. Georgia meanwhile, is racing to shut down several plants in compliance with the EPA’s regulations on heavily-polluting emissions sources.

6) Innovative financing for renewables takes hold

In early January 2013, Mosaic crowdsourced $1.1 million of investment for four solar power projects across California, Arizona, and New Jersey. The projects were on the online platform for less than 24 hours before they sold out. By leveraging the power of many, Mosaic was able to bring life to small-scale PV projects that would not have been cost effective had the funding come from a bank or similar lending institution. Mosaic has come a long way since January with nearly $6 million having been invested on the platform by more than 2,500 investors, funding 19 different projects. Mosaic looks to bring on even more projects to the platform in 2014 as it continues to grow and mature. During the holiday season, Mosaic is giving the gift of solar with $25 to new investors for their first investments. That’s enough to match the minimum investment requirement on the platform if you choose to invest no extra money.

7)  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues regulations on future power plants

The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) states that 2.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide are pumped into that atmosphere each year by American power plants. That’s about 40% of the country’s total CO2 emissions. Fortunately, the Obama administration has made good on its commitment to enforcing the Clean Air Act and has instructed the EPA to issue regulations on future power plants. The new legislation states that all future coal plants will need to emit less than 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour produced. New large natural gas-fired plants will be restricted to under 1,000 pounds per megawatt-hour and smaller ones can be under 1,100 pounds per megawatt-hour. Essentially, this renders it cost-prohibitive to build future coal plants and ensures that natural gas plants will not emit more than they currently do. Coal plants are the largest polluters in the country in terms of carbon dioxide, arsenic, and other chemicals, so this legislation is a huge win for pretty much everybody on planet Earth. The EPA is also crafting legislation to affect existing power plants as well, but it will be released sometime in the future and is sure to run into many legal challenges along the way.

8) President Obama’s Executive Order for Renewable Energy

Since his inauguration in 2009, President Obama has sometimes drawn the ire of the green movement for failing to execute and implement policies like he said he would during his campaigns. To his credit, he has taken some steps forward. A major step being his recent executive order demanding that the federal government increase its usage of renewable power to 20% of its energy consumption by 2020. That represents a tripling of current renewable energy usage in just 6 years. Given that the federal government is such a large energy consumer, the large amount of renewable power necessary to achieve this feat will be quite substantial and ensures demand for certain clean energy suppliers. Combine this demand with improving technology and continuously falling prices of clean power, we are left with a recipe for some serious positive change.

9) Carbon Trading Schemes in China Take Off

One of the major sticking points in international treaties towards combating climate change has been the blame game played between developing and developed countries. Specifically, the U.S. has said that developing countries like China need to make a serious effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions before the U.S. does. To China’s credit, they have done exactly that. This year, China has implemented carbon trading schemes (like cap and trade) in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and will have a fourth one in the province of Guangdong very soon. After the European Union, the trading scheme in Guangdong is expected to be the world’s largest with some 240 companies expected to be covered in the market, including state-owned energy companies Datang, Huaneng, and Shenhua. Though the implementation is not expected to be easy or flawless at the beginning, this is a great first step that with time should cover the entire country and will assist China in reaching its goal of reducing emissions per unit of GDP to 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2020. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the Americans to say that the Chinese aren’t pulling their weight when it comes to combating climate change.

10) The Electric Car Has Come Back From The Dead

In 2006, a movie titled “Who Killed the Electric Car?” was released in an attempt to draw attention to the odd and mysterious demise of the first modern electric vehicles (EVs). EVs truly emerged from hibernation in 2013 as it turned out to be a huge year for electric cars compared to 2012 when they really first debuted on the scene. Electric vehicles seem to be facing a chicken or the egg problem – does one buy an electric car without a national (or at least regional) charging system or does a charging infrastructure arise without electric vehicles to charge? This uncertainty, in addition to range anxiety, has stifled demand, but as more and more EVs hit the road, there will be more charging ports available and more people will become aware of the benefits and realities of EV ownership in gasoline-dominated world. This is data is already outdated, as there have been sales reported through November 2013, but the following information via Evobsession is really interesting. From September 2012 to September 2013, total electric car sales are up 448% (33,617 vs. 6,135), Nissan Leaf sales are up 208% (16,076 vs. 5,212), Tesla’s sale are up 8,056% (13,050 vs. 160), Ford’s electric and hybrid sales are up 328% (67,232 vs. 15,708), and Toyota’s electric and hybrid sales are up 9.5% (271,538 vs. 247,878).  Additionally, Norway has seen electric vehicles recently dominate its entire automobile market with the Nissan LEAF as their best-selling car in October, taking the crown from the Tesla Model S, which held that title in September.

Progress very rarely takes a linear path and this year proved to be no exception. There were milestones and missed opportunities, but there is no doubt that 2013 was a big step in the right direction for a healthier planet and estimates for 2014 show that next year will be an even better year for planet Earth.  Do these milestones fit in your top 10 clean energy developments for 2013?  Make your voice heard in the comment section.

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Photo Credit: Clean Energy Developments/shutterstock

Energy Efficiency Projects ‘Becoming Big Business’

While they may lack the sexiness of wind farms and solar panels, run of the mill energy efficiency upgrades such as upgrading an HVAC system or improving insulation can cut carbon emissions at a relatively low cost and areincreasingly becoming big business, according to The Guardian.

The opening up of efficiency projects to investors with a small amount of money – so called “retail investors” has happened mainly in the US so far, the paper reports.

When Maryland-based energy efficiency finance company Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital went public on the New York Stock Exchange in April, it raised $167 million. Simultaneously, its shares became the main vehicle available to retail investors wanting to dip a toe into funding efficiency projects.

Hannon-Armstrong has invested some $3 billion in energy efficiency projects since 2000, and the company expects spending to increase with the injection of new capital from the public offering, the paper reports. CEO Jeffrey Eckel hopes to pay a dividend of 7 percent – culled from energy savings – at the year end. The company’s projects include financing an upgrade to the air conditioning systems of 120 buildings at Fort Bliss, Texas.

Real estate investment trusts, a tax-favored investment vehicle could also prove to be a huge source of funding for building upgrades, the paper reports.

Worldwide, REITs hold $430 billion. Just a tiny fraction of that would “completely dwarf” the amount of money already invested in energy efficiency projects, according to Jesse Morris, an electricity expert at thinktank the Rocky Mountain Institute.

In the UK, Sustainable Development Capital has launched an energy efficiency fund with £50 million ($80 million) from the green investment bank and £50 million from other sources. Project’s include financing the upgrade of an insulation factory in Wales aimed at making steep cuts in its energy use, the paper reports.

The main reason many energy efficiency upgrades don’t happen is, due to funding and in order to free up more financing, it’s going to require scale, according to another Guardian article released in August.

Although huge investment houses such as Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs have billions they’re looking to invest, they aren’t interested in smaller projects, even “small” multimillion-dollar projects. Because each deal requires bankers’ time, the big investors want bundled projects, says the paper.

The paper says Deutsche Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation estimate the US market for energy-efficiency retrofits to be $279 billion.

By: Energy Manager Today Staff

Setpoint Systems Corporation Receives 2013 Best of Littleton Award

Setpoint Systems Corporation Receives 2013 Best of Littleton Award

U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

NEW YORK, NY, August 13, 2013 — For the third consecutive year, Setpoint Systems Corporation has been selected for the 2013 Best of Littleton Award in the Instrument Contractor category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Nationwide, only 1 in 120 (less than 1%) 2013 Award recipients qualified as Three-Time Award Winners. Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2013 USCA Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)

U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a New York City based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Association

CONTACT:
U.S. Commerce Association
Email: PublicRelations@uscaaward.com
URL: http://www.uscaaward.com

Setpoint Systems Corporation Contact:

Setpoint Systems Corporation
Email: info@setpointsystems.com
URL: http://www.setpointsystems.com

 

Case Studies Illuminate Energy Management System Savings

Case Studies Illuminate Energy Management System Savings By: William Opalka- Energy Manager Today

Nissan

The business value of energy management systems and strategies is displayed in a series of case studies from the Global Superior Energy Performance (GSEP) Energy Management Working Group (EMWG).

The case studies consider the outcomes for several companies in Australia and the United States. In one case, the strategy revealed annual energy savings of about 10 percent. In another, the payback occurred in as little as four months.

The case study from the United States examines the costs and benefits of implementing ISO 50001 as part of the US Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program. The Nissan vehicle assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, implemented an energy management system that conforms to ISO 50001 and improved the plant’s energy performance by about 7.2 percent to obtain SEP certification. The system will save the facility $938,000 annually, enabling Nissan to recoup its $331,000 investment in just four months.

The case studies are the first in a series being published by GSEP, an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial, to promote energy management as an opportunity for organizations to significantly reduce energy use while maintaining or boosting productivity.

The industrial and commercial sectors jointly account for approximately 60 percent of global energy use. The Australian companies with their case studies include:

AngloGold Ashanti Australia’s crushing and milling operations save an estimated 50 gigajoules of energy annually;

Billiton Worsley Alumina’s advanced process management system is expected to pay for itself in seven months;

Simplot Australia introduced a program that aims to reduce plant energy intensity by 25 percent over a 10-year period; and

the University of Queensland expanded its energy metering system, which will lead to improved efficiency of its chillers to reduce energy usage by 20 percent.

Coppertree Analytics- Facility Manager

facility

Manage Alarms

Coppertree Insights

The word ‘insight’ carries the idea of a clear and deep perception of a situation. Coppertree Analytics’ Insights are designed to give you a different pair of eyes to look at your facility. Insights give you an awareness and understanding to:

  • The past: see what changed in your facility yesterday
  • The present: see how your facility is performing today
  • The future: see what changes are needed in your facility tomorrow

Mobile Insights

Insights can be accessed via tablets, desktops and any device with a web browser. Or better yet, Coppertree can deliver them to your personnel on duty directly to their mobile devices.

Fault Detection

Our insights are the basis for a more pro-active approach to facility management. Coppertree Analytics’ sophisticated engines are continually examining data from building automation systems, executing fault detection and diagnostic rules and engaging algorithms to perform statistical and pattern analyses. Whether you choose to use our growing library of analytical rules or to create your own rules, setting them up to run on your site is straight forward. once they are set up, they run automatically whether you are looking or not.

Planned Maintenance

Prioritize Time

Traditional scheduled preventative maintenance programs rely on an exhaustive re-commissioning process requiring many man-hours with the final outcome being a deficiency report detailing problems and required fixes. Further man-hours are then required to perform the corrective measures. Coppertree Analytics’ intent is to raise this process to a new level by generating performance reports or score cards from the data collected. This information will help you pinpoint specific problem areas and prioritize the work required to take care of them, effectively automating the report creation process.

Efficient Manpower

Shifting to a planned maintenance approach, the re-commissioning man-hours required in traditional programs can be re-allocated to the man-hours required to take action, hence maximizing your resources, increasing your efficiency and gaining control of what goes on in your facility.

Maintain Performance

Besides performance reports, Coppertree Analytics’ integrity portfolio of services continually probes your building automation system with an array of fault-detection-and-diagnostic rules to give you insights into your building operations. The key in maintaining performance is continuous auditing. It is as if you had a commissioning agent perpetually examining your building and advising on any areas of concern.

Reporting

Golden Standard

As a facility manager, generating reports is not the end in itself; it is the change from the ideal condition that is important. For instance, would you benefit from a detailed report that tells you how your building automation system has changed since the last time a ‘snapshot’ was taken during the initial commissioning? It might be tedious to generate what we call a golden standard report manually, but Coppertree can deliver it to your inbox daily, weekly or monthly through constant comparison between the current state and a Golden Standard you define.

KPI

Coppertree Analytics’ goal is to provide reports that are easy to understand, appropriate for the audience reviewing them and readily available when needed… all this to help you achieve your goals. Key performance indicator reports are excellent auditing tools to measure the overall success or failure of your facility to achieve a specific target. Is like getting a score card for your building and showing you where you need to direct your resources.

Live Trends

Coppertree report libraries range from detailed reports of specific systems or points to summary reports and executive reports available for viewing via web portals on desktops, tablets and mobile devices. The challenge is always to keep your reports up-to-date. Coppertree Analytics’ integration with the building automation system, and it’s abilty to overlay live trend logs on historical data all reporting can be accomplished seamlessly.

If you would like to learn more please visit: Coppertree here or contact a Setpoint Systems Corporation Account manager here for a live Demo!

LEED V4 Has Indoor And Outdoor Environment Elements, Simplified Recertification

LEED V4 Has Indoor And Outdoor Environment Elements, Simplified Recertification: By Brendan Owens

Two areas of LEED v4 facility managers should be aware of are the indoor and outdoor environmental credits, as well as the simplified recertification.

The Indoor Environmental Quality credit category focuses on four areas of performance: air, light, sound, and occupant experience. Credits for interior lighting, daylight, and thermal comfort address improved performance from an occupant experience perspective. The emphasis on performance is echoed throughout the indoor environment category, with a credit available for regularly surveying occupant comfort and making improvements based on the results. A performance-based approach to air quality relies on ongoing testing and the use of products that minimize exposure to volatile organic compounds. A new credit, Enhanced Indoor Air Strategies, encompasses best management practices in the monitoring of indoor air quality. Along with credits for improved ventilation and a ban on smoking in all certified buildings, LEED v4 puts a premium on improved air quality for occupants.

In v4, EBOM focuses on implementing effective maintenance changes rather than changing design elements, which tends to be difficult in existing buildings. For example, the Light Pollution Reduction credit depends on shielding exterior fixtures and taking perimeter measurements, with no interior design requirements. Additionally, projects are rewarded for conserving resources if they make no alterations or furniture purchases during their EBOM certification process.

6. The Outdoor Environment

Site Management Policy, a new prerequisite in EBOM, reflects a more holistic approach to sustainable site management. LEED v4 emphasizes the potential for projects to positively impact and sustainably manage their sites, with improved clarity on how to comply with requirements.

For LEED v4 EBOM, credit achievement in the Sustainable Sites category is more flexible and performance-based than in previous versions of LEED. USGBC has added an off-site conservation option in the Site Development — Protect or Restore Habitat credit that allows projects to promote and financially support biodiversity in an off-site environment. For building sites without space available for on-site restoration, this option opens this credit to a much wider variety of projects, regardless of location.

Where possible, documentation for credits in the Sustainable Sites category has undergone a significant reduction to ensure that the focus for project teams remains on achieving credits rather than documentation.

7. Simplified Recertification

LEED v4 was created with recertification in mind. In keeping with a focus on performance, EBOM projects must recertify every five years (though they are eligible for recertification as often as every 12 months). The ongoing data tracking built into the new version will help projects document their progress and adherence to operational protocols and procedures, which is critical to ensuring that projects maintain and even improve their performance on an ongoing basis.

USGBC provides recertification guidance to help building owners and managers gauge the performance of their buildings; such guidance includes information on how to transition from LEED v2009 to LEED v4, and how to meet performance requirements for certain credits. To be as transparent as possible, the establishment (initial certification) and performance (initial and recertification) requirements are now clearly outlined within the credit language.

Recertification will focus on documenting performance, meaning projects will only have to establish static project features one time, during the initial certification, leaving time to focus on improvements in other parts of the building.

The new version of LEED puts a premium on continued leadership and ease of use. With LEED v4, USGBC is striving to make high performance a part of every building, regardless of age or use type. The launch of LEED v4 in November is critical for the next generation of LEED-certified buildings, one big step toward green buildings for all.