Winter Olympics 2050 — Dubai, UAE?

Posted by Ben Fowler on Dec 8, 2016 10:00:00 AM

I originally posted this in 2014. But, with Killington recently hosting a World Cup race in November, and given how much they relied on artificial snow, it seemed appropriate to bubble it back up. Snowmaking can be an extremely energy-intensive activity. With fewer solidly snowy winters, can skiing be sustainable [PDF]?

-Ben

The 2014 Winter Olympics being held in Sochi, Russia are located at one of the warmest locations in the history of the games. Setting aside for now the slow creep of a warming climate, Sochi, located at the eastern shores of the Black Sea, is a humid subtropical climate with an average winter temperature of around 50F during the day and still above freezing at night. In the higher elevations in the nearby Caucasus Mountains, where the events are taking place, daytime temperatures still average above freezing during the day. So, while it is a far better location for the actual “winter” portion of the games than the palm-tree-lined streets of the city of Sochi proper, it still is not the ideal location to host the Winter Games.

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Topics: Sustainability, Public Policy

LED Lighting as the Future of Demand Management

Posted by Jennifer Chiodo on Nov 30, 2016 10:00:00 AM

I had hoped to share my recent sci-fi story about future decisions that might need to be made around a demand-constrained grid in the era of extreme heat waves and self-driving electric vehicles.  But, fiction is not the point of this blog.  If you want to receive a copy of the story, feel free to request it – we monitor comments.  In this post, I’ll discuss a little of the back-and-forth we’ve been having regarding the New England Grid [PDF] and demand constraints. 

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Topics: Sustainability, Energy Efficiency

How Demand Limiting Can Help Control Energy Costs

Posted by Walker Calderwood on Nov 23, 2016 10:00:00 AM

As a follow up to my previous blog post on peak shaving, this week I’m going to cover demand limiting.  This is another peak shaving strategy that we are also using on the project I mentioned in my last post.  Demand limiting is different than energy storage in that instead of using the same amount of energy from different sources than the grid to peak-shave, the amount of energy being used is limited to achieve the same peak shaving goal.  I would like to note that there is no reason these two strategies can’t be used together - we are actually using both strategies on a current project to achieve the customer’s peak shaving goals.

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Topics: Energy Efficiency

RS-485– Part 3: Red Flags and How to Avoid Them

Posted by Rick Stehmeyer on Nov 17, 2016 2:00:00 PM

Note: This is Part Three in a series of posts on RS-485. | Part 1 | Part 2

In part 1 and part 2 of this series on RS-485 we covered the basics.  Let’s take some of that knowledge and talk about what most often goes wrong with RS-485.  I want to give you the ability to red flag common mistakes and some knowledge that will help repair the most common issues.  I am going to take some of the knowledge we gained from the last two posts and put it into context for both existing RS-485 installations and new ones.   I’ll discuss this in the form of red flags that will trigger the discussion.

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Topics: Building Performance & Technology

ASHE Construction in Healthcare Workshop

Posted by Katie Mason on Nov 10, 2016 12:00:00 PM

I recently attended the Health Care Construction (HCC) Certificate workshop in Seattle, Washington. This event, organized by ASHE (American Society for Healthcare Engineering) and WSSHE (Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering), was directed towards contractors, facility managers and construction project managers in healthcare. ASHE offers many certifications, workshops and education opportunities for different audiences in healthcare. This post will discuss this workshop and a few points I found particularly important (there were many!). 

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Topics: Standards and Metrics, healthcare

HFC Refrigerants Are on the Way Out

Posted by Ben Fowler on Nov 7, 2016 12:00:00 PM

An Amendment to the Montreal Protocol

Last month, representatives from over 170 nations gathered in Kigali, Rwanda to negotiate and ultimately agree to an amendment to the Montreal Protocol—the landmark international treaty, signed in the late 1980’s, which led to the phase-out of the manufacture and use of ozone-layer-depleting chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants (CFCs). The 2016 amendment focused on phasing out hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants (HFCs) which, while safer for the ozone-layer than CFCs, are themselves very powerful greenhouse gasses with far more global warming potential than CO2.

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Topics: Sustainability, Public Policy

Saving New York City from Rising Sea Levels

Posted by Eveline Killian on Oct 26, 2016 12:00:00 PM

I fell asleep to a TED Talk while visiting New York City the other night, but a startling statement brought me back to consciousness.  New studies predict the oceans could rise by close to two meters (more than six feet) by the end of the century.  That’s double original estimates and only 83 years from now - in our kids’ or at least our grandkids’ lifetimes!

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Topics: Sustainability, Public Policy

Turning Big Data into Actionable Intelligence

Posted by Jennifer Chiodo on Oct 12, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Energy efficiency program evaluation sounds so arcane, most people, I’m sure have no idea that there are large cohorts of people (cohort is a word we use frequently in evaluation) who spend their lives verifying the results, the savings, from energy efficiency programs.  Because energy efficiency program evaluation (evaluation hence forth in this blog) is outside the realm of day to day life, most of us are completely unaware it exists.  This post is about my vision for how evaluation and real life (in the commercial, institutional, industrial (C&I) building operations world in which I work) could intersect in ways that could make buildings, programs and evaluation better and lower costs for ratepayers. 

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Topics: Energy Efficiency, Evaluation Measurement & Verification (EM&

Peak Shaving To Save Money on Your Facility’s Electric Bill

Posted by Walker Calderwood on Oct 7, 2016 9:30:00 AM

On a current project that Cx Associates is consulting on, the client has a goal of reducing their building’s peak demand charge.  For commercial customers, peak demand charges are usually charged based on the peak kW demand of the building or facility during a certain time (e.g. 1-4 PM) of the day.    If there is a peak kW outside of this specific time frame, there is no “peak demand charge” from the utility for this peak kW.

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Topics: Building Performance & Technology

Ireland’s Energy Sources: How Green is the Emerald Isle?

Posted by Katie Mason on Sep 28, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Inspired by a recent vacation to Ireland, I was compelled to research Ireland’s energy sources and what forms of renewable energy they are utilizing. Ireland is not a large country (slightly smaller than Indiana, geographically) and is not densely populated with the exception of a few cities. My vacation toured the southwest/western coast as well as Dublin on the east coast. In this blog post, I will discuss what I learned about Ireland’s energy sources and how the country is utilizing renewable energy.

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Topics: Sustainability, Public Policy

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