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fluid dynamics


Fish Fried Conversations of Efficiency

By Energy Rant No Comments
As described last week, net savings and program attribution are measures of an efficiency program's influence on making a project happen for utility customers. There is a range of influence that energy savings has in motivating customers to do a project, and that range is 0% to 100%, while accurate attribution results may be 90% or better. The role of energy savings in a decision can be largely irrelevant in determining attribution. How? Non-energy benefits! The situation reminds me of fluid dynamics, a core course in mechanical engineering. There are major friction losses and minor friction losses. Major losses are...
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Clean Energy Disconnect Between Say and Do

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
This article, Americans could pay more for clean energy.  But will they really?, from Utility Dive reminds me of my own life experiences with squirrelly people.  They talk a good game, but where is the action?  It also reminds me of the folly in precise net-to-gross, or attribution studies. The article highlights findings of a University of Michigan study regarding consumer concerns over energy prices and the environment.  The findings include: Ninety three percent say energy prices are affordable. The threshold for unaffordable is a 140% increase! Energy markets are inelastic (I said this a long time ago). Self-reported willingness...
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EE, Policy, and Irony

By Energy Efficiency, Government, LEED, Stimulus No Comments
As my crop of silver hair continues to expand, I have become more of a historian, particularly when it comes to cause and effect, and peoples’ behavior.  I step back and observe what is happening and what has happened as a result of this or that policy.  Theories are nice, and they may be well thought out and make sense but if they fail miserably, should we double down and try it again?  Policy isn’t like launching rockets or breaking the speed of sound. For those things, you can test, observe failure/problems and make adjustments.  For example, Chuck Yeager was...
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Oil Slick Musings

By Energy Rant, Government, Sustainability No Comments
It’s been about a month since I prognosticated and reflected on the BP disaster in the golf.  Let’s see how things have unfolded.  My predictions: Political food fight Underestimated disaster Lack of “what if” on BPs part Where is the outrage? First, I said politicians would engage in a political food fight while Rome burns.   Sure enough, less than a week after that post, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee assembled a dog and pony show to poke executives of BP, Transocean, and Halliburton with a stick in the eye.  Actually, it was like a dog show alright –...
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Jacque – Fix My Car

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
There is a running joke in our business that electrical engineers don’t know anything about energy efficiency.  It is only a joke.  One of the sharpest energy guys I have interviewed was a physics major who started on the ground floor of an energy efficiency consulting firm filling orders of equipment they also happened to sell.  In 10 years he worked his way up to really understanding how buildings and their complex systems work and he became a manager of a team of energy engineers teaching his group how buildings work and how to model them. This article made laugh...
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