Green Energy Technologies & Development
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Green Energy Technologies & Development
The latest news & developments in clean and sustainable energy technologies.
Curated by Duane Tilden
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"Behind the Meter" Energy Storage Solution Manages Peak Demand Charges for Buildings

"Behind the Meter" Energy Storage Solution Manages Peak Demand Charges for Buildings | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

Sharp Electronics Corporation's [...] 30 kW storage system is coupled with Baker's existing 90 kW solar PV system. Baker Electric, a key channel ally of Sharp, has selected theSmartStorage® solution to help cap expensive utility demand charges for its commercial building customers.

Duane Tildens insight:

>" [...] 

Peak demand charges are the fastest growing part of utility bills for commercial and industrial customers and can represent up to 50 percent of a company's monthly utility bill. The SmartStorage® energy storage solution is a unique battery-based demand management system designed to reduce commercial and industrial buildings' peak electricity use. It combines Sharp's intelligent energy management system with cutting-edge hardware, operating seamlessly as a stand-alone solution or when deployed along with a solar system.

"Baker Electric brings decades of experience offering innovative technologies to its customers, including solar solutions in recent years. Their PV solutions coupled with our SmartStorage® energy storage solution provide a powerful duo for building owners wanting to lower peak demand usage without disrupting their day-to-day operations," commented Carl Mansfield, General Manager of Sharp Electronics Corporation's Energy Systems and Services Group.

The SmartStorage® system employs sophisticated, predictive analytics and controls to manage the release of energy from the battery, resulting in high performance, high system efficiency and world-class reliability. The SmartStorage® system can also 

make existing solar installations economically viable where they otherwise would not be.

Baker Electric's SmartStorage® system installation is backed by Sharp's innovative 10-year Asset Management Service Agreement which provides all routine and unscheduled maintenance coupled with a 10-year demand reduction performance guarantee.

"Our customers have come to expect the highest quality, highest performing products available on the market. After an exhaustive search in identifying the best solution to help lower demand charges for our customers and our own facility, we chose Sharp's SmartStorage® system, not only because it exceeds the quality standards we are known for, but because we also have confidence in Sharp standing behind its product by offering its unique 10-year Asset Management Service Agreement and performance guarantee," said Ted Baker, CEO of Baker Electric.

The SmartStorage® energy storage solution has undergone more than 18 months of field testing benefitting from Sharp's world-class attention to quality and safety. The energy storage component of Sharp's SmartStorage® system consists of state-of-the art lithium-ion batteries, which have been tested, listed and labeled as compliant with UL safety standards.

 [...]"<
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Global Distributed Energy Storage Capacity Expected to Increase Nearly 10-Fold

Global Distributed Energy Storage Capacity Expected to Increase Nearly 10-Fold | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

The worldwide capacity of distributed energy storage systems is expected to increase nearly 10-fold over the next 3 years, according to a new report from Navigant Research, which analyzed the global market for distributed energy storage systems through 2024.

Duane Tildens insight:

>" [...] 

The primary conclusion of the report is that distributed storage is one of the fastest-growing markets for energy storage globally, thanks to the focus of rapid innovation and intense competition, causing the market to greatly exceed market expectations. This growth and subsequent demand has led to grid operators, utilities, and governments looking to encourage storage installations that are physically situated closer to the retail electrical customer.

According to the report from Navigant Research, worldwide capacity of distributed energy storage systems (DESSs) is expected to grow from its current 276 MW, to nearly 2,400 MW in 2018.

“Distributed storage is among the fastest-growing markets for energy storage globally,” says Anissa Dehamna, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “In particular, residential and commercial energy storage are expected to be the focus of technological advances and market activity in the coming years.” [...]

Two specific types of DESS are classified in the report: Community energy storage refers to systems installed at the distribution transformer level; Residential and commercial storage, on the other hand, refer to “two behind-the-meter applications targeted at either homeowners or commercial and industrial customers.” Together, these two technologies include lithium ion (Li-ion), flow batteries, advanced lead-acid, and other next-generation chemistries, such as sodium metal halide, ultracapacitors, and aqueous hybrid ion.

Similarly, the two categories of DESS each have specific market drivers. Community energy storage is being driven by the improved reliability yielded in case of outages, load leveling and peak shifting, and improved power quality. Almost as importantly, community energy storage systems can communicate with a grid operator’s operating system, allowing the operator to mitigate disruptions to the grid.

Given its primary use as an energy cost management solution, the prime driver behind commercial storage systems is the rate structure for customers. "<

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New California Housing Community Goes Zero Net Energy

New California Housing Community Goes Zero Net Energy | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

California has set a goal for all new residential construction in the state to be ZNE by 2020 and all new commercial construction to be zero net energy by 2030. Spring Lake uses no natural gas and receives most of its power from photovoltaics. 

Duane Tildens insight:

>"The $13 million Spring Lake project in Woodland has 62 affordable apartments and townhomes for agricultural workers and their families.  [...]

“The community will generate at least as much energy as it consumes,” says Vanessa Guerra, a project manager with Mutual Housing California, a Sacramento-based non-profit that develops sustainable affordable housing communities.

The California Energy Commission adopted zero net energy goals in its 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR). It further defined what ZNE buildings are and laid out the necessary steps and renewables options for achieving the ZNE 2020 goals in the 2013 IEPR. 

The project was financed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Citibank, Wells Fargo Bank, the California Department of Housing and Community Development and the City of Woodland."<

Pat Heffernan's curator insight, March 21, 2015 8:50 AM

#ZNE is a positive trend, but much of the country continues to lag. #Vermont


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Commission Targets Energy Efficiency Standards for Computers and Monitors

California regulators are intensifying efforts to wring every possible electron out of common household devices.
Duane Tildens insight:

>" [...] The California Energy Commission just released the latest in a long line of energy-efficiency standards [...]. Past targets have included refrigerators, air conditioners, flat-screen televisions, battery chargers and dozens of other appliances and electronic devices.

The commission is writing proposed minimum power consumption standards that it estimates would save 2,702 gigawatt hours a year of electricity. That's roughly the combined usage of the cities of Long Beach, Anaheim, Huntington Beach and Riverside. Utility customers could shave a total of $430 million off their annual electric bills, or about $20 a year for a household that owns one desktop computer, one laptop and one monitor.

Computers and monitors are among the leading users of energy in California and "spend roughly half their time ... on but not being used." Commissioner Andrew McAllister said.

Boosting efficiency is a good deal, he said. For example, a $2 investment in manufacturing a more power-stingy desktop computer would save $69 over five years, he said.

Electronics manufacturers question the commission's arithmetic. They prefer voluntary efficiency programs, such as a 2012 manufacturers' agreement that reduced the energy consumption of cable and satellite television set-top boxes. Consumers saved $168 million in 2013, according to an industry report.

California should let electronics makers develop their own products, said Douglas Johnson, vice president for technology policy for the Consumer Electronics Assn. "We don't wait for regulations to make products more efficient."

Aggressive energy-efficiency standards, the commission argues, has helped California keep its per-capital electric power consumption flat for the last 30 years, while the rest of the country's has seen power use jump 40%. [...]"<

 

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Bio-Gas Waste Treatment System Installs Remote Fuel Station for Fleet

Bio-Gas Waste Treatment System Installs  Remote Fuel Station for Fleet | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
MADISON, WI--(Marketwired - Mar 3, 2015) - BioCNG, LLC announced that the St. Landry Parish Solid Waste Disposal District's BioCNG Vehicle Fuel Project, which was fully commissioned in 2012, will be expanded to include an additional BioCNG system and a remote CNG fueling station. BioCNG, which partnered with the District...
Duane Tildens insight:

>"[...] 

The expansion is part of a contract between St. Landry Solid Waste and Progressive Waste Systems. In exchange for continuation of its existing waste hauling contract with the District, Progressive Waste has agreed to purchase new CNG-powered trucks, and will have access to the increased BioCNG generated from the expanded system. The expanded project will also provide BioCNG fuel to additional St. Landry Parish clients.

St. Landry Parish Solid Waste Disposal District executive director Katry Martin, said, "The fact that the hauler that delivers waste to the Parish landfill will fuel its trucks with the biogas generated from the landfill is a true example of the power of renewable energy sources and a preview of the future of biogas."

The St. Landry Parish BioCNG Vehicle Fuel Project received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) 2012 Project of the Year award. The system was originally designed to serve public works trucks and the sheriffs' vehicle fleet. Now, with a new fuel purchaser, the District will increase on-site BioCNG production and provide an off-site CNG fueling station. The District can transport the BioCNG to the off-site location in a compressed gas tube trailer. [...]"<

 
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Big Box Retailer Extends Contract to 2020 for Retrofit to LED Lighting

Big Box Retailer Extends Contract to 2020 for Retrofit to LED Lighting | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

 Eco-Shift Power (OTCBB: ECOP), one of Canada's leading energy management and lighting firms, together with their wholly-owned subsidiary, Sun and Sun Industries Inc. ("Sun Industries") announce the extension of a contract with a Fortune 500 National Retailer undergoing a sustainable shift to highly efficient LED technologies.

Duane Tildens insight:

>" [...] Sun Industries announced in November the award of a three year contract to conduct a national roll-out of audits and lighting retrofits for the National Retailer. This open contract, recently extended until January 31, 2020, means Sun Industries will be retrofitting roughly 110 stores each year for the next 5 years. This extension will increase the contract value to over Five million dollars [$5,000,000.00]. The value is made up of $500K this year followed by $1.5M each year for the following three years, leaving room for potential project extensions or further retrofits.

With an exemplary goal of reducing energy consumptions and becoming more environmentally friendly, this retailer has made a decision to upgrade all of its locations to new LED lighting technologies. The new lighting systems will provide quality lighting, improved efficiency, and a clean in-store appearance. Having conducted retrofits and lighting upgrades for this client in the past, Sun Industries has provided them with a host of environmental benefits including;

Mercury Reduction from the removal of fluorescent lampsDecrease of CO2 emissions generated from electrical utilitiesReduced contribution to landfill waste

"These are exactly the type of groups we want to be getting involved with as our values and environmental consciousness align perfectly," states Alistair Haughton, ECOP's CEO. "When groups have a focus on the triple bottom line -- people, planet, profit -- and actively try to reduce their footprint, our job becomes much easier as we not only have to focus on the monetary savings but can thoroughly discuss the environmental benefits as well," continues Haughton. [...]"<

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Sub-micrometer carbon spheres reduce engine friction as oil additive

Sub-micrometer carbon spheres reduce engine friction as oil additive | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Tiny, perfectly smooth carbon spheres added to motor oil have been shown to reduce friction and wear typically seen in engines by as much as 25%, suggesting a similar enhancement in fuel economy. The researchers also have shown how to potentially mass-produce the spheres, making them hundreds of times faster than previously possible using ultrasound to speed chemical reactions in manufacturing.
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Aluminum Superatoms - High Temperature Superconducting Materials

Aluminum Superatoms - High Temperature Superconducting Materials | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

Superconductors can carry electricity with no resistance and are used for specialized applications like MRIs, maglev trains and particle accelerators. Superconductor-based electronics would be extremely efficient because they would generate no waste heat, but he fact that they would only work at temperatures close to absolute zero makes them impractical.

Duane Tildens insight:

>" [...] 

Scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) have made steps toward discovering a new family of superconductor materials that work at relatively high temperatures, with possible applications in physics research, medical imaging and high-performance electronics.

As electrons travel through an integrated circuit, they regularly bump into microscopic imperfections within the conductive wire and veer off course, creating electrical resistance and releasing waste energy as heat. Waste heat is a big inconvenience to both designers and end-users of electronics, but it simply can’t be avoided using the materials currently at our disposal.

[...] Thirty years ago, a new class of so-called "high-temperature superconductors" was discovered, although the name can be deceiving because these still require temperatures below 135 K (-135 °C or -210 °F) to operate, which still makes them impractical for use in electronics.

Now the USC team led by professor Vitaly Kresin has discovered hints of yet another family of superconductors which work at relatively high temperatures. Specifically, they found out that while single atoms of aluminum only turn superconductive at very low temperatures (around 1 K), so-called "superatoms" (clusters of evenly spaced atoms that behave as a single atom) of aluminum turn superconductive at much higher temperatures, around 100 K.

Superconductivity takes place when so-called Cooper pairs form within a material. These are pairs of electrons that are very faintly attracted to each other and activate a mechanism whereby the electrons don’t veer off course, and therefore lose heat, whenever they bump into an imperfection within the material. Because the attractive force between the electrons, which happens only under certain conditions, is so weak (two electrons would normally repel each other), even a small amount of external energy (which could be given off in the form of heat) can upset this equilibrium. This is why superconductors only work at very low temperatures.

Kresin and team built a series of aluminum superatoms between 32 and 95 atoms large. For superatoms containing 37, 44, 66 and 68 aluminum atoms, the scientists found evidence that Cooper pairings were taking place, turning the material into a superconductor.

The researchers suggest that creating superatoms of different metals could lead to the discovery of similar superconductors that work at relatively high temperatures. While the threshold temperature was 100 K (-280 °F, -173 °C) for an aluminum superatom, different materials are likely to turn superconductive at different (hopefully much higher) temperatures.

"One-hundred Kelvin might not be the upper-temperature barrier," says Kresin. "It might just be the beginning."

Should one of these materials operate as a superconductor at room temperature, it would likely have huge impact on the worlds of electronics, medical imaging, microscopy and electric motors, just to name a few. "

A paper describing the advance appears on the journal Nano Letters.

Source: University of Southern California

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Clothes Dryers Latest Home Appliance to Obtain Energy Star Certification

Clothes Dryers Latest Home Appliance to Obtain Energy Star Certification | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
For the first time in six years, Energy Star certification, a standard seal of approval for energy efficiency, has been expanded to include another major household appliance. Clothes dryers, perhaps the last of ...
Duane Tildens insight:

>" [...] Clothes dryers, perhaps the last of the major household appliances to be included in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's program, became available in 45 Energy Star models starting Presidents' Day weekend, according to the EPA. 

"Dryers are one of the most common household appliances and the biggest energy users," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

While washing machines have become 70 percent more energy-efficient since 1990, dryers — used by an estimated 80 percent of American households — have continued to use a high amount of energy, the agency says. [...]

"Refrigerators were the dominant energy consumer in 1981. Now dryers are the last frontier in the home for radical energy conservation," said Charles Hall, senior manager of product development for Whirlpool.

Energy Star-certified dryers include gas, electric and compact models. Manufacturers offering them include LG, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag and Safemate.

All of the energy-efficient models include moisture sensors to ensure that the dryer does not continue running after the clothes are dry, which reduces energy consumption by around 20 percent, the EPA says.

In addition, two of the Energy Star-approved models — LG's EcoHybrid Heat Pump Dryer (model DLHX4072) and Whirlpool's HybridCare Heat Pump Dryer (model WED99HED) — also include innovative "heat pump" technology, which reduces energy consumption by around 40 percent more than that, the EPA and manufacturers say. 

Heat-pump dryers combine conventional vented drying with heat-pump technology, which recycles heat. The technology, long common in much of Europe, is similar to that used in air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

Although Energy Star models can cost roughly $600 more than comparable standard models, Hall said the higher cost is more than balanced out by energy savings and up to $600 rebates offered by government and utility incentive programs.

But the real impact will be felt once the transition to Energy Star models is complete. According to the EPA, if all the clothes dryers sold in the U.S. this year were Energy Star-certified, it would save an estimated $1.5 billion in annual utility costs and prevent yearly greenhouse-gas emissions equal to more than 2 million vehicles. 

To earn the Energy Star label, products must be certified by an EPA-recognized third party based on rigorous testing in an EPA-recognized laboratory."<

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Clean Power Plan Seen as Historic Opportunity to Modernize the Electrical Grid

Clean Power Plan Seen as Historic Opportunity to Modernize the Electrical Grid | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

Following the launch of the Clean Power Plan, concerns were raised about how adding renewable energy to the grid would affect reliability. According to a new report [...] compliance is unlikely to materially affect reliability.

 

image source:  http://phys.org/news/2010-10-electric-grid.html

Duane Tildens insight:

>"[...] 

Report lead author Jurgen Weiss PhD, senior researcher and lead author said that while the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) focused on concerns about the feasibility of achieving emissions standards with the technologies used to set the standards, they did not address several mitigating factors. These include:

The impact of retiring older, inefficient coal plants, due to current environmental regulations and market trends, on emissions rates of the remaining fleet;Various ways to address natural gas pipeline constraints; andEvidence that that higher levels of variable renewable energy sources can be effectively managed.

“With the tools currently available for managing an electric power system that is already in flux, we think it unlikely that compliance with EPA carbon rules will have a significant impact on reliability,” reported Weiss.

In November 2014, NERC issued an Initial Reliability Review in which it identified elements of the Clean Power Plan that could lead to reliability concerns. Echoed by some grid operators and cited in comments to EPA submitted by states, utilities, and industry groups, the NERC study has made reliability a critical issue in finalizing, and then implementing, the Clean Power Plan. These concerns compelled AEE to respond to the concerns by commissioning the Brattle study.

“We see EPA’s Clean Power Plan as an historic opportunity to modernize the U.S. electric power system,” said Malcolm Woolf, Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs for Advanced Energy Economy, a business association. “We believe that advanced energy technologies, put to work by policies and market rules that we see in action today, will increase the reliability and resiliency of the electric power system, not reduce it.  [...]"<

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Why Demand Response will shape the future of Energy

Why Demand Response will shape the future of Energy | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Matching supply to demand is crucial when it comes to energy — and this concept can help us do it.
Duane Tildens insight:

>" [...] Our energy grid is not designed to put out a steady amount of energy throughout the day. Rather, it is designed to crank up or wind down depending on the amount of energy that's being demanded by the markets.

 That means there's a baseload of generation that's always on — churning out steady amounts of relatively cheap, dependable power night and day. This has typically been made up of coal and nuclear plants, which can produce large amounts of power but can't be made to cycle up and down efficiently in the face of fluctuating demand. On top of the baseload, you have an increasing amount of intermittent sources as the world transitions to renewable energy technologies like wind and solar. And then, on top of these intermittent sources are so-called "peaking" plants, often running on natural gas and sometimes diesel or even jet fuel. These can be deployed at very short notice, when there's either unusually high demand or when another source isn't available (e.g. the sun isn't shining enough for solar), but are expensive, inefficient and disproportionately polluting.  One of the most effective ways to meet this challenge also happens to be the simplest — reward people for not using energy when it's in highest demand. 

An old idea whose time has come
Demand response, as it is known by those in the industry, is really not all that new. Many utilities have offered cheaper electricity rates for off-peak hours, encouraging consumers to shift their habits and reduce the pressure on the peak. Similarly, energy producers around the world have partnered with energy-hungry industries to ask them to power down at times of high demand. What's new, however, is an ever more sophisticated array of technologies, meaning more people can participate in demand response schemes with less disruption to their daily lives. [...]


A more sophisticated approach
On the commercial side, demand response has been a strategy for some time because it took very little infrastructure to implement — just an energy-hungry business ready and willing to cut its consumption in times of need, and able to educate its workforce about how and why to do so. Here too, however, the concept is becoming a lot more sophisticated and scalable as technology allows us to better communicate between producers and consumers, and to coordinate the specific needs of the grid. And as distributed energy storage becomes more commonplace, consumers may not even have to modulate their overall use — but rather allow the utility to switch them to battery power when grid supply is constrained. [...] 


A huge potential to cut peak demand
A report from federal regulators suggests that U.S. demand response capacity had the potential to shave 29GW off of peak demand in 2013, representing a 9.9 percent increase over 2012. When the U.K.'s National Grid, which manages the nation's transmission infrastructure, put out a call for companies willing to cut consumption at key times, over 500 different sites came forward. The combined result was the equivalent of 300MW of power that can be removed from the grid at times of need. And constrained by its rapid growth of renewables following the Fukushima disaster, Japan is now looking at shoring up its grid by starting a national demand response program in 2016. [...]"< 



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What is "Levelized Cost of Energy" or LCOE?

What is "Levelized Cost of Energy" or LCOE? | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

As a financial tool, LCOE is very valuable for the comparison of various generation options. A relatively low LCOE means that electricity is being produced at a low cost, with higher likely returns for the investor. If the cost for a renewable technology is as low as current traditional costs, it is said to have reached “Grid Parity“.

 

Duane Tildens insight:

>"LCOE (levelized cost of energy) is one of the utility industry’s primary metrics for the cost of electricity produced by a generator. It is calculated by accounting for all of a system’s expected lifetime costs (including construction, financing, fuel, maintenance, taxes, insurance and incentives), which are then divided by the system’s lifetime expected power output (kWh). All cost and benefit estimates are adjusted for inflation and discounted to account for the time-value of money. [...]


LCOE Estimates for Renewable Energy

When an electric utility plans for a conventional plant, it must consider the effects of inflation on future plant maintenance, and it must estimate the price of fuel for the plant decades into the future. As those costs rise, they are passed on to the ratepayer. A renewable energy plant is initially more expensive to build, but has very low maintenance costs, and no fuel cost, over its 20-30 year life. As the following 2012 U.S. Govt. forecast illustrates, LCOE estimates for conventional sources of power depend on very uncertain fuel cost estimates. These uncertainties must be factored into LCOE comparisons between different technologies.

 

LCOE estimates may or may not include the environmental costs associated with energy production. Governments around the world have begun to quantify these costs by developing various financial instruments that are granted to those who generate or purchase renewable energy. In the United States, these instruments are called Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). To learn more about environmental costs, visit our Greenhouse Gas page.

LCOE estimates do not normally include less tangible risks that may have very large effects on a power plant’s actual cost to ratepayers. Imagine, for example, the LCOE estimates used for nuclear power plants in Japan before the Fukushima incident, compared to the eventual costs for those plants.

Location

An important determination of photovoltaic LCOE is the system’s location. The LCOE of a system built in Southern Utah, for example, is likely to be lower than that of an identical system built in Northern Utah. Although the cost of building the two systems may be similar, the system with the most access to the sun will perform better, and deliver the most value to its owner. [...]"<

 


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WTE Power Plant Saves by 1.3 Million GPD of Water Daily with Tertiary Water Treatment & Recycling

WTE Power Plant Saves by 1.3 Million GPD of Water Daily with Tertiary Water Treatment & Recycling | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Covanta’s Delaware Valley energy-from-waste facility in Chester, Pennsylvania, has saved 1.3 million gallons a day from local water supplies by installing Ge...
Duane Tildens insight:

>" [...] The Chester facility generates up to 90 megawatts of clean energy from 3,510 tons per day of municipal solid waste. Previously, the plant used 1.3 MGD — or nearly 5 million liters a day — of municipal drinking water in its waste conversion process, costing the company thousands of dollars in daily water purchases.

To reduce facility operating expenses and the consumption of local water resources, Covanta Delaware Valley upgraded the facility by installing GE’s RePAK combination ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) system as a tertiary treatment package. The new system enabled the plant to reuse 1.3 MGD of treated discharge water from a nearby municipal wastewater treatment plant for the facility’s cooling tower.

GE installed two RePAK-450 trains, each producing 450 gallons per minute of purified water. As a result, Covanta Delaware Valley has eliminated the need to purchase 1.3 MGD of local drinking water a day, which results in a substantial financial savings in addition to the environmental benefits.

GE’s RePAK equipment was delivered in 2014, with commissioning taking place the same year, making Covanta Delaware Valley the first North American company to deploy GE’s RePAK technology.

Covanta chose a combined water treatment technology approach because the typical organic and dissolved mineral content of the wastewater requires additional treatment to be suitable for use as cooling tower makeup. RO was selected as the technology of choice, and UF was required as the pretreatment solution.

GE’s RePAK combined treatment system reduces the equipment footprint up to 35 percent as compared to separate UF and RO systems. By combining the UF and RO into a common frame with common controls and GE’s single (patent-pending) multi-functional process tank, GE also is able to reduce the capital costs and field installation expenses when compared to the use of separate UF system and RO systems with multiple process and cleaning tanks, the company says."<

 



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Smart Grid Testbed For Industrial Electrical Grid Innovation

Smart Grid Testbed For Industrial Electrical Grid Innovation | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Industrial Internet Consortium announces first energy-focused testbed.
Duane Tildens insight:

The Communication and Control Testbed for Microgrid Applications, the first energy-focused testbed, was today [Mar 27/2015] announced by the Industrial Internet Consortium.

Member organisations including Real-Time Innovations (RTI), National Instruments, and Cisco, will collaborate on the project, working with power utility firms CPS Energy and Southern California Edison. Additionally, Duke Energy and power industry organisation Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) will be also involved.

In order to put an end to renewable energy waste in neighbourhoods or businesses, a new architectural innovation was found to be needed.

Today's power grid relies on a central-station architecture, which is not designed to interconnect distributed and renewable power sources such as roof-top solar and wind turbines. The system must over-generate power to compensate for rapid variation in power generation or demands.

The Communication and Control Testbed will introduce the flexibility of real-time analytics and control to increase efficiencies, ensuring that power is generated more accurately and reliably to match demand.

The solution proposes re-architecting electric power grids to include a series of distributed microgrids which will control smaller areas of demand with distributed generation and storage capacity.

These microgrids will operate independently from the main electric power grid, but will still interact and be coordinated with the existing infrastructure.

In order to ensure a coordinated, accepted architecture based on modern, cross-industry industrial internet technologies, companies taking part in the venture will work with Duke Energy and SGIP.

The Communications and Control framework will be developed in three phases, with initial developments being tested in Southern California Edison's Controls Lab in Westminster, CA.

The final stage of the project will culminate in a field deployment that will take place at CPS Energy's "Grid-of-the-Future" microgrid test area in San Antonio, Texas.

Stan Schneider, RTI's CEO and IIC Steering Committee member, said: "The smart grid is a critical infrastructure component of the Industrial Internet of Things.

"The IIoT will span industries, sensor to cloud, power to factory, and road to hospital. This key first step will address a significant barrier to the efficient use of green energy." [...]"<

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European Pioneers Energy Efficient Glass Recycling Solution

European Pioneers Energy Efficient Glass Recycling Solution | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

With ever increasing recycling targets to meet, manufacturers of glass bottles and jars need to make sure that they can feed their furnaces with the highest quality of cullet (recycled glass) and maximise the energy and carbon saving benefits that this offers.

Duane Tildens insight:

>"[...] When it is delivered to the glass plant, cullet is typically stored in outdoor bunkers, where it is subject to variations in the climate, particularly during winter months. If it has accumulated significant levels of water, snow and ice, it will require higher temperatures, and thus more energy, to remelt it in the furnace.

The task facing the operations team at Ardagh’s Nienburg plant in Germany was to find a simple and environmentally effective solution. The obvious approach is to pre-heat the “frozen” cullet prior to feeding it into the furnace. But because a traditional preconditioning process can use a lot of energy, an alternative approach of capturing heat already  generated elsewhere in the plant was sought.

Investigations showed that the most likely source of waste heat was around the furnaces. The challenge would be to find the best way of recovering and transporting this hot air to the cullet. It was met by drawing hot air at 80°C across the furnace, blowing it into a specially developed heat exchanger charged with energy to raise the temperature to 120°C and piping it to the bunkers. 

This approach has proved the most energy efficient means of defrosting, drying and preheating the cullet. Annual energy savings of 116,000 Euros have been achieved at Nienburg, together with an annual  CO2  reduction of 334 tonnes. 

Johan Gorter, Ardagh Group CEO, Glass, Europe, commented: “This is one of many planned actions we are taking throughout our European plants as we strive to meet the very highest sustainability performance standards. “ [...]"<

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US Energy Storage Capacity to Triple in 2015

US Energy Storage Capacity to Triple in 2015 | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Over triple the amount of energy storage capacity -- 220 megawatts worth -- is expected to come on-line this year.
Duane Tildens insight:

>" [...] 2015 looks set to be a milestone year for advanced energy storage solutions. Some 220 megawatts worth of energy storage capacity will be deployed across the nation in 2015 – more than three times the 2014 total, according to an inaugural market research report from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association (ESA). The organizations see growth continuing “at a rapid clip thereafter.”

The number of grid-connected electrochemical and electromechanical storage installations that came on-line in 2014 totaled 61.9 megawatts of power capacity, the organizations found, up 40 percent from 44.2 MW in 2013. One leading distributed energy storage pioneer delivered over a third of the total.  [...]

Utility deployments dominated the fast emerging U.S. market for advanced energy storage systems in 2014, accounting for 90 percent of newly-installed capacity. So-called “behind the meter” installations at utility customer sites – commercial and industrial companies, government facilities, schools, hospitals and municipalities – made up 10 percent of the 2014 total.

But installations of “behind the meter” energy storage systems picked up sharply in the fourth quarter of 2014, GTM and ESA note. Going forward, GTM expects behind-the-meter installations will account for 45 percent of the overall market by 2019.

Advanced energy storage system deployments are also concentrated in states that have and/or are in the process of instituting market regulatory reforms and supportive policies, including mandates and incentive programs. GTM and ESA singled out California and states where PJM is responsible for grid operations and management – all or part of 13 states across the eastern U.S. and the District of Columbia – as early leaders.

“The U.S. energy storage market is nascent, but we expect it to pick up more speed this year,” GTM Research SVP Shayle Kann was quoted in a Greentech Media news report. “Attractive economics already exist across a broad array of applications, and system costs are in rapid decline. We expect some fits and starts but significant overall growth for the market in 2015.”

 [...]"<
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Are Virtual Power Plants the Next Generation in Electrical Utilities?

Are Virtual Power Plants the Next Generation in Electrical Utilities? | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Germany's energy giants are lumbering behind the rapid advance of renewable energy. They might stay afloat for a while, but they don't seem flexible enough to achieve a turnaround, says DW's Henrik Böhme.
Duane Tildens insight:

>"

Decentralization is the buzzword. And the power required elsewhere, say, for street lights, electric motors, or the bakery nearby will be largely generated through renewables. Even large industrial compounds will be in a position to generate enough electricity for their own needs.

Nuclear power stations will all have been switched off by then, with only a few coal-fired or gas-fired plants still in operation. One way or another, Germany's power landscape is bound to undergo dramatic changes.

That's been obvious for a couple of years now. But the German utilities' age-old business models don't seem to be working anymore. All they know is big and heavy - they're used to nuclear and coal power stations guaranteeing billions in profit, year-in year-out, and they seemed to secure their earnings without any trouble. And then they grew fat and began making mistakes.  [...]

Then came the Fukushima nuclear disaster four years ago, leading to the German government's decision to phase out nuclear energy completely by 2022. That dealt a severe blow to Eon, RWE and co. which hadn't really understood the thrust of the country's energy transition anyway.

The utilities in question are now frantically trying to rescue what they still can. They're cutting away some of the fat. Costs are being cut, employees are being laid off and selected divisions are being jettisoned. The companies have rediscovered private clients by offering them networking technology.

But people don't trust those giant, de facto monopolist firms anymore. Younger companies can do the same just as well, and often far more efficiently. Take "Next Kraftwerke", a Cologne-based start-up. They run a virtual power station where power is collected from many smaller facilities and redistributed in the process. This is pretty close to what a future energy supply system will look like.

According to Silicon Valley researcher Peter Diamandis, 40 percent of the world's current biggest companies will have ceased to play an important role some 10 years from now. On current performance, among those to fall will most likely be Eon, RWE and others."<

  
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Brewery's Waste Treatment Bio-Gas Power Micro-Turbines for Grid Power

Brewery's Waste Treatment Bio-Gas Power Micro-Turbines for Grid Power | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Sierra Nevada taps waste-to-energy technologies as a way to close operational loops and demonstrate responsible brewing practices.
Duane Tildens insight:

>"[...] 

Biogas benefits

Sierra Nevada operates breweries in Chico, California, and in Mills River, North Carolina. While the Chico facility has been in operation since 1980, the Mills River brewery didn’t break ground until 2012. Both facilities operate anaerobic digesters for treating brewery effluent water. Each facility uses the biogas produced from the digesters a little bit differently. In Chico, the biogas is used to offset natural gas production for use in its boilers. The Mills River digester is also used in the boilers but is also being fed into two 200-kilowatt microturbines from Capstone of Chatsworth, California, which will generate electricity to power the operation.

McKay says the first anaerobic digester was installed in Chico in 2002, well before the technology had gained traction in the United States. The digester, manufactured by Veolia Water Technologies subsidiary Biothane, Pennsauken, New Jersey, is an upflow anaerobic sludge bed. The biogas produced from the digestion process is cleaned and treated by a biogas skid designed by Fuel Cell Energy, Danbury, Connecticut, before it is used in the boilers. When the digester was initially installed, Sierra Nevada had planned on using the biogas in its fuel cells, but the inconsistent flow of biogas from the digester was problematic for the fuel cells without a buffer zone.

“We just decided we would send the biogas all to the boilers because the boilers could definitely use it,” says McKay.

The fuel cells were installed in Chico in 2005 and are considered “old technology” by today’s standards, according to McKay. The company is currently deciding on a replacement for the fuel cells which is planned to be completed by the end of the year. Fuel cells, microturbines and other engine technologies have all been considered as potential replacements.

“Ideally we would like to produce electricity from any biogas we are producing at the wastewater treatment plant,” McKay says, adding, “It is fine to use in the boiler, but we would prefer to make electricity because it would be closing the loop a little bit better.” [...]"<

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11 Energy Storage Project Developers To Watch

11 Energy Storage Project Developers To Watch | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
Competition in the young energy storage market is heating up nicely. SunEdison's announcement today of its purchase of an energy storage startup is the latest example of that. This is a good time to look at who are the other developers in this market, which is driven by a federal rule [...]
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Climate Change, Pole Shift & Solar Weather

Climate Change, Pole Shift & Solar Weather | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

Scientists tell us that our magnetic poles have reversed in the past, and that they will again. The last one occurred 780,000 years ago. The average time period between reversals is 450,000 years, but there isn’t really any pattern, it is random. We are overdue by average only.

Duane Tildens insight:

>" [...] 

Accelerating

This is indisputable – the speed at which the magnetic north pole is moving (not necessarily in the same direction) has recently become much faster. Because this is the entirety of our studies, we don’t know what was normal prior to the 1500s… [...]

 

Not only are the poles moving rapidly – the strength of our magnetic field is diminishing as well:

Rapid changes in the churning movement of Earth’s liquid outer core are weakening the magnetic field in some regions of the planet’s surface, a new study says.

“What is so surprising is that rapid, almost sudden, changes take place in the Earth’s magnetic field,” said study co-author Nils Olsen, a geophysicist at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen.

…The changes “may suggest the possibility of an upcoming reversal of the geomagnetic field,” said study co-author Mioara Mandea, a scientist at the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam. [National Geographic]

 [...] Possible Triggers

Scientists have not yet worked out what causes a magnetic reversal, but recent studies of Mercury suggest that the solar wind and particles from the Sun have an effect on planetary cores. My interpretation is that a massive solar storm could be thestraw that breaks the camel’s back and trigger a reversal if the Earth is ready for one. The Electric Universe folk have also suggested that a highly-charged comet passing by could also do the trick. Or perhaps ocean currents, after being affected by climate change, are the trigger? And if climate change is caused by the Sun, then that ties in nicely with the first theory.

Another theory comes from  Rich Muller:

where “lighter components, like oxygen, sulfur, and silicon . . . rise toward the core-mantle boundary (CMB).” Accumulating like sediment on the floor of the ocean, these “fall” upward from the core onto the surface of the mantle, which is uneven like the topography of the Earth’s surface. When enough sediment collects, it tumbles like an avalanche, into the outer core, thereby cooling it.

Rare events could trigger really big avalanches at the CMB, however. When a massive asteroid or comet slammed into Earth’s surface at an oblique angle, the lower mantle would jerk sideways, shearing off whole mountains of sediment. As the sediments slide up, a downward-sinking mass of cool iron could completely disrupt large convection cells. Although variously oriented local fields within the core would remain strong, at the surface Earth’s dipole magnetic field would collapse.

And according to Gary Glatzmaier reversals are rooted in chaos theory:

The resulting three-dimensional numerical simulation of the geodynamo, run on parallel supercomputers at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, now spans more than 300,000 years.

Our solution shows how convection in the fluid outer core is continually trying to reverse the field but that the solid inner core inhibits magnetic reversals because the field in the inner core can only change on the much longer time scale of diffusion. Only once in many attempts is a reversal successful, which is probably the reason why the times between reversals of the Earth’s field are long and randomly distributed.

 [...]"<

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Wide Bandgap Semiconductors - LED's and the Future of Power Electronics

Learn More: http://go.usa.gov/ZH5e Hidden inside nearly every modern electronic is a technology -- called power electronics -- that is quietly making our wor...
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Vanadium Flow Battery Competes With Lithium and Lead-Acid at Grid Scale

Vanadium Flow Battery Competes With Lithium and Lead-Acid at Grid Scale | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

The company claims LCOE [Levelized Cost of Energy] is less than half the cost of any other battery technology available.

Duane Tildens insight:

>"[...] 

Imergy Power Systems just introduced its third-generation vanadium flow battery, claiming it offers a low-cost, high-performance energy storage solution for large-scale applications, including peak demand management, frequency regulation and the integration of intermittent renewable energy sources. 

The ESP250 has an output power capability of 250 kilowatts and 1 megawatt of energy storage capacity. It's suited for both short- and long-duration storage, with available energy ranging from two to 12 hours of output duration. The 40-foot batteries (each about the size of two shipping containers) are designed to be deployed individually or linked together for larger-scale projects. [...]

Where Imergy has been able to edge out its competitors is on material cost. Vanadium is abundant but expensive to extract from the ground. Imergy has developed a unique chemistry that allows it to use cheaper, recycled resources of vanadium from mining slag, fly ash and other environmental waste.

With this chemistry, the levelized cost of energy for Imergy’s batteries is less than half of any other battery on the market right now, according to Hennessy. Vanadium flow batteries are orders of magnitude cheaper than lithium-ion batteries on a lifetime basis because they can be 100 percent cycled an unlimited number of times, whereas lithium-ion batteries wear down with use, according to the firm. Despite the compelling cost claims from Imergy, lithium-ion has been the predominant energy storage technology being deployed at this early point of the market. And very few flow batteries are currently providing grid services.

Imergy’s capital costs are lower than every other battery technology except lead-acid, Hennessy added. But he believes the company can hit that mark (roughly $200 per kilowatt-hour) by the end of the year by outsourcing contracts to manufacturing powerhouse Foxconn Technology Group in China. Delivery of the ESP250 is targeted for summer of 2015.

At this price, Imergy says the ESP250 offers an affordable alternative to peaker plants and can help utilities avoid investing more capital in the grid. Some might disagree with the claim that grid-scale storage can compete with fast-start turbines and natural gas prices below $3 per million Btu. But according to Hennessy, it all comes down to the application. Batteries can’t compete with gas at the 50-megawatt scale, but they can compete with gas at the distribution level.

“Batteries that are distributed have a huge advantage over gas, because when you buy gas down at the low end, you’re paying a lot more than $3 to $4 per MMBtu, because you’ve got to pay for all the transmission down to the small end,” he said.

Demand for cost-effective energy storage is growing as intermittent renewables become cheaper and come on-line in higher volumes. GTM Research anticipates the solar-plus-storage market to grow from $42 million in 2014 to more than $1 billion by 2018.

Imergy sees a ripe market in the Caribbean, parts of Africa and India, Hawaii and other places where the LCOE for solar-plus-storage is already competitive. As costs continue to fall, New York, California and Texas will also become attractive markets."<


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Minimum Efficiency Standards for Electric Motors to Increase - DOE

Minimum Efficiency Standards for Electric Motors to Increase - DOE | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

DOE's analyses estimate lifetime savings for electric motors purchased over the 30-year period that begins in the year of compliance with new and amended standards (2016-45) to be 7.0 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu). The annualized energy savings—0.23 quadrillion Btu—is equivalent to 1% of total U.S. industrial primary electricity consumption in 2013.

Duane Tildens insight:

>"

Nearly half of the electricity consumed in the manufacturing sector is used for powering motors, such as for fans, pumps, conveyors, and compressors. About two thirds of this machine-drive consumption occurs in the bulk chemicals, food, petroleum and coal products, primary metals, and paper industries. For more than three decades the efficiency of new motors has been regulated by federal law. Beginning in mid-2016, an updated standard established this year by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for electric motors will once again increase the minimum efficiency of new motors.

The updated electric motor standards apply the standards currently in place to a wider scope of electric motors, generating significant estimated energy savings. [...]

Legislation has increased the federal minimum motor efficiencies requirements over the past two decades, covering motors both manufactured and imported for sale in the United States. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct) set minimum efficiency levels for all motors up to 200 horsepower (hp) purchased after October 1997. The U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 updated the EPAct standards starting December 2010, including 201-500 hp motors. EISA assigns minimum, nominal, full-load efficiency ratings according to motor subtype and size. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 also requires DOE to establish the most stringent standards that are both technologically feasible and economically justifiable, and to periodically update these standards as technology and economics evolve.

Motors typically fail every 5 to 15 years, depending on the size of the motor. When they fail they can either be replaced or repaired (rewound). When motors are rewound, their efficiencies typically diminish by a small amount. Large motors tend to be more efficient than small motors, and they tend to be used for more hours during the year. MotorMaster+ and MotorMaster+ International, distributed by the U.S. Department of Energy and developed by the Washington State University Cooperative Extension Energy Program in conjunction with the Bonneville Power Administration, are sources for cost and performance data on replacing and rewinding motors.

Improving the efficiency of motor systems, rather than just improving the efficiency of individual motors, may hold greater potential for savings in machine-drive electricity consumption. Analysis from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that more than 70% of the total potential motor system energy savings is estimated to be available through system improvements by reducing system load requirements, reducing or controlling motor speed, matching component sizes to the load, upgrading component efficiency, implementing better maintenance practices, and downsizing the motor when possible."<

 

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Determining the True Cost (LCOE) of Battery Energy Storage

Determining the True Cost (LCOE) of Battery Energy Storage | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it
The true cost of energy storage depends on the so-called LCOE = Round-trip efficiency + maintenance costs + useful life of the energy system
Duane Tildens insight:

By Anna W. Aamone

"With regard to [battery] energy storage systems, many people erroneously think that the only cost they should consider is the initial – that is, the cost of generating electricity per kilowatt-hour. However, they are not aware of another very important factor.

This is the so-called LCOE, levelized cost of energy(also known as cost of electricity by source), which helps calculate the price of the electricity generated by a specific source. The LCOE also includes other costs associated with producing or storing that energy, such as maintenance and operating costs, residual value, the useful life of the system and the round-trip efficiency. [...]

Batteries and round-trip efficiency

[...] due to poor maintenance, inefficiencies or heat, part of the energy captured in the battery is released … or rather, lost. The idea of round-trip efficiency is to determine the overall efficiency of a system (in that case, batteries) from the moment it is charged to the moment the energy is discharged. In other words, it helps to calculate the amount of energy that gets lost between charging and discharging (a “round trip”).

[...] So, as it turns out, using batteries is not free either. And it has to be added to the final cost of the energy storage system.

Maintenance costs

[...] An energy storage system requires regular check-ups so that it operates properly in the years to come. Note that keeping such a system running smoothly can be quite pricey. Some batteries need to be maintained more often than others. Therefore when considering buying an energy storage system, you need to take into account this factor. [...]

Useful life of the energy system

Another important factor in determining the true cost of energy storage is a system’s useful life. Most of the time, this is characterized by the number of years a system is likely to be running. However, when it comes to batteries, there is another factor to take into account: use. [...]

More often than not, the life of a battery depends on the number of charge and discharge cycles it goes through. Imagine a battery has about 10,000 charge-discharge cycles. When they are complete, the battery will wear out, no matter if it has been used for two or for five years.

[...] [However] flow batteries can be charged and discharged a million times without wearing out. Hence, cycling is not an issue with this type of battery, and you should keep this in mind before selecting an energy storage system. Think twice about whether you want to use batteries that wear out too quickly because their useful life depends on the number of times they are charged and discharged. Or would you rather use flow batteries, the LCOE of which is much lower than that of standard batteries?

So, what do we have so far?

LCOE = Round-trip efficiency + maintenance costs + useful life of the energy system.

These are three of the most important factors that determine the LCOE. Make sure you consider all the factors that determine the true cost of energy storage systems before you buy one.

Image credit: Flickr/INL"

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Continuous Monitoring Solution Designed for Facility and Energy Management

Continuous Monitoring Solution Designed for  Facility and Energy Management | Green Energy Technologies & Development | Scoop.it

Verisae and Ecova partner to combine technology and service across nearly 3,000 facilities for an innovative and smart operational approach ...

 

image source:  http://energymanagementsystems.org/faqs-on-developing-energy-management-systems/ ;

Duane Tildens insight:

>" Verisae, a leading global provider of SaaS solutions that drive cost reductions in maintenance, energy, mobile workforces, and environmental management, and Ecova, a total energy and sustainability management company, are pleased to announce the success of their growing partnership to help multisite companies solve their toughest energy, operations, and maintenance challenges.

The continuous monitoring solution combines Verisae’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology platform with Ecova’s Operations Control Center (OCC) to empower data-driven decision making. The solution analyses operational data in real-time, and has the capability to look for issues and anomalies to predict equipment failure and automatically identify inefficiencies causing higher energy consumption.

Ecova’s fully-staffed 24/7/365 OCC investigates inbound service calls, alarms, telemetry data, and work orders to determine the source of energy, equipment, and system faults and, where possible, corrects issues remotely before they escalate into financial, operational, or comfort problems. Trouble tickets and inbound calls are captured and tracked in the Verisae platform to provide companies with visibility into any operational issues. Combining data analytics that flag potentially troubling conditions with a service that investigates and resolves issues increases operational efficiencies and improves energy savings.

“Companies are constantly challenged to cut costs while maintaining quality, performance, and comfort,” says Jerry Dolinsky, CEO of Verisae. “Our combined solution helps clients address these challenges so they can reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies without impacting value.”

[...] "<

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