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efficiency

A Franchise Organization for Decarb

By Energy Rant No Comments
About every six months, while participating in a strategic planning, leadership, marketing, or business development meeting, I hear “we should be doing decarb,” or “we’ve been talking about decarb for years, and that’s all we do is talk about it.” “We’ll be right back here talking about it a year from now.” Whoa! First, what is decarb? My guess is most people would say reducing the consumption of hydrocarbons in a catalytic process with airborne oxygen to produce heat which may be used for heating, power generation, or locomotion – while producing coproducts of gaseous water, carbon dioxide, and minuscule...
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Specious Beliefs in Code Gods

By Energy Rant No Comments
I received a lot of feedback on last week’s Code Compliance Villains, which described blunders that occurred as part of my high-efficiency boiler installation. Such mistakes would likely erode 50% of the estimated savings claimed in a deemed savings document. Efficiency issues included: Improper outdoor temperature sensor location giving false inputs to the controls. High boiler water temperature setpoints resulting in lower operating efficiency. Heat exchanger piped in parallel, rather than counterflow, resulting in higher boiler water temperatures and less efficiency. The problem with efficient equipment and energy codes is that equipment is tested in the lab, and hands are...
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energy rant with doug scott

Special Rant Vlog with Performance-Based Ratemaking Guru, Doug Scott

By Energy Rant, Featured Energy Rant No Comments
This week, we’re continuing our discussion on GEBs (Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings) with our special guest Doug Scott. Doug is the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Great Plains Institute and is a great resource for performance-based ratemaking which is a key component of GEBs for both customers and utilities. Check out our fun conversation with Doug!
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carbon reduction

Opening Salvo to Grid-Interactive Buildings

By Energy Rant No Comments
To help accommodate intermittent renewable solar and wind power generation while minimizing grid and supply-side energy costs, the Department of Energy, its national labs, and our industry are exploring possibilities to use buildings as grid resources. The acronym de jour is GEBs, for grid-interactive, efficient buildings. What about the I? A focus group decided that gebs sounds better than giebs; therefore, GEBs[1]. Potential GEB benefits include: Accommodating large penetrations of renewable energy by shaping loads to take excess power when it is available for use when it is not available. Decarbonization. Energy conservation. Less-expensive energy supply. More customer control over...
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Case Study in Energy Transition

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No one will confuse me with Simon Sinek, a great speaker, but one thing I can do is nail my timeslot. If I’m mindful of the time I have available, 20 minutes, etc., I will nail it – except one time[1]. That was last fall as I was doing my fourth rendition of electrification for the Wisconsin Public Utilities Institute. I update my presentation every year for current data and trends because the audience deserves it. But I tried too much stuffing for that bird. After several practice runs, I was consistently 10 minutes over the time limit. I thought...
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Energy Demand Management

Energy Demand Management for Mad Dogs

By Energy Rant No Comments
Does every decision boil down to a binary choice? A binary choice is a decision between two alternatives, like yes or no, and do or do not.  This applies to determining what ‘is’ and ‘is not’ a factor in decision making. For example, deciding that the color of a car you may be considering ‘is’ or ‘is not’ important is a binary choice. This is how we slice through the peanut butter, decide what matters, and get on with it. We narrow down and hone into what is essential. Binary decisions are primitive, as demonstrated in a December post featuring...
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zero net energy

Zero Net Cost for Zero Net Energy – Melt the Calf

By Energy Rant No Comments
Have you ever thrown a cat into the deep end of a swimming pool? Neither have I, but I bet they wouldn’t like it. Likewise, status-quo program evaluators will not like what’s coming down the pike for several reasons, starting with one in this post for residential and commercial new construction programs. A few weeks ago, I read a post from fellow small-time blogger (speak for yourself, Jeff) Joel Gilbert. His topic was low carbon foods. He wrote, “But, I offer this observation [about the food craze]:  I have never seen such a groundswell of enthusiasm around these ideas.  Perhaps...
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grid modernization

Grid Modernization Risk and Protest

By Energy Rant No Comments
God, it’s great to be back writing again. On that note, here is a quote, “There’s an old saying: Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die.” I’ve been under a rock all my life because I had never heard that one. It’s the opening line to this NIMBYism and grid modernization article. This subject, ironically, is one of the very first ones I wrote about over ten years ago in Renewable NIMBY. According to the article coopted by Energy Central and written by ersi (what it stands for is anyone’s guess), and references the DOE,...
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impact

Inch or Mile? Indispensable Thumbs Guide Impact Evaluation

By Energy Rant No Comments
Hi. How’re you? Jeff Ihnen here. I’m back and almost live. I’ve been away on several temporary assignments that are starting to wind down. We are thrusting forth into the 11th year of the Energy Rant! Indispensable Thumbs Unless you have broken one, lost one, or had one immobilized, you probably have no idea of the value of your thumb and its equivalent, the big toe. I’m sitting on an airplane as I bang this out, munching a bag of almonds. Thumb and a finger. Thumb and a finger? That’s how you and I and anyone with a fully functioning...
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climate

Little People Take on the Climate Industrial Complex

By Energy Rant No Comments
My undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum at South Dakota State University included requirements for six credits of humanities and nine credits of social sciences. What is this? Who needs this stuff? Walk on the Slippery Rocks I actually enjoyed most of these courses, one of which was philosophy. What a flaky class. There was no work. There were no exams. The goofball professor spewed philosophy and moderated discussions of paradoxes and whatnot. One of those discussions was whether South Dakota should be America’s garbage dump, for princely fees of course. Essentially, should we trade self-induced exploitation for money so we can...
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