Improving Energy Efficiency Carly Mackay Morgan Stewart Haley Soelberg Lauren Young
Textbook Information Summary • Energy efficiency is the percentage of total energy input into an energy conversion device or system that does useful work and is not converted to low quality essentially useless heat. Improving the energy efficient of car motor, home heating system of other energy conversion devices involves using less energy to do more work. • 84% of all commercial energy used in the Unites States is wasted. About 41% of this energy is waster automatically because of the degradation of energy quality imposed by the second law of thermo dynamics. 43% is wasted unnecessarily, mostly by using fuel wasting motor vehicles, furnaces, and other devices and by living and working in leaky poor insulated, poorly designed buildings. • Life cycle cost: initial cost plus lifetime operating costs.
Advantages of reducing energy waste • Prolongs fossil fuel supplies • Reduces oil imports • Very high net energy low cost • Reduces pollution and environmental degradation • Buys time to phase in renewable energy • Less need for military protection of middle east oil resources • Improves locals economy by reducing flow of money out to pay for energy • Creates local jobs.
How can we use wasted heat? • The second law of energy tells us that we cannot recycle energy. • The best way to slow the rate at which heat flows into the environment when high-quality energy is degraded is- • Insulate it thoroughly • Eliminate air leaks • Equip it with an air-to air heat exchanger to prevent buildup of indoor air pollutants.
How can we save energy in the Industry? Three important ways to save energy and money in industry are: • Cogeneration, or combined heat and power systems, in which two useful forms of energy are produced from the same fuel source. • Replacing energy-easting electric motors. Running electric motors consumes about half of all electricity produced in the United States. Most of these motors are inefficient because they run only at full speed with their output throttled to math the task. • Switching to high-efficient lighting.
How can we save energy in transportation? • The best way to save energy and money in transportation is to increase the fuel efficiency of motor vehicles. Are electric cars the answer? • Conventional battery powered electric cars are extremely quiet, need little maintenance and can accelerate rapidly. They produce no air pollution, but using coal and nuclear power plants to produce the electricity needed to recharge their batteries produces air pollution and nuclear waste. Oh the negative side, electric cars can travel only 81-161 kilometers before needing a 3 to 8 hour recharge and batteries must be replaced about every 48000 kilometers at a cost of at least 2000. Because of high cost and a lack of consumer interest, in 1999 major car companies abandoned their production of electric cars. Are hybrid and fuel cell cars the answer? • One type of highly efficient car uses a small hybrid electric internal combustion engine that runs on gasoline or some other liquid fuel and a small battery to provide the energy needed for acceleration and hill climbing. Another type of super efficient car is an electric vehicle that uses fuel cells. Fuel cells consist of two electrodes immersed in a solution that conducts electricity.
Improving Energy Efficiency in Buildings Urban Options On a smaller scale, Urban Options, in Lansing Michigan, renovated a house built in the 1920’s with modern energy conservation and renewable energy equipment. Foam insulation was added to the walls and attic, better windows were put in to capture the sun’s heat, and high efficiency heating and lighting were installed. They also used special photovoltaic shingles on the roof that convert sunlight directly into electricity. Compared to a typical home in the area, the Urban Options house keeps warm with only one quarter the natural gas used in a typical home. In other words, over three quarters of their heating bill has disappeared! In addition, the solar shingles supply more than half the home’s electricity.10 You can visit Urban Options and see its educational displays in person or via the Internet (www.urbanoptions.org). There are numerous examples of energy efficiency breakthroughs right here in Michigan. For example, in downtown Detroit, General Motors overhauled the Renaissance Center office complex of 5.5 million square feet. They installed more efficient heating and cooling equipment, lights, and office equipment. They installed window-shading devices to reduce the amount of air conditioning the building needs each year. They redesigned the offices located near the outside of the building to let the light from the outside further into the building, reducing the need for electric lights. They also started using waste heat from a Detroit Edison power plant to heat the building in the winter. As a result, they save $500,000 per year in energy bills. The money they save on electric and gas bills will pay for the energy efficiency improvements in less than 5 years. It will also prevent the release of 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), 157 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and 53 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) each year.9 http://www.urbanoptions.org/RenewableEnergy/EnergyEfficiencySuccessStories.htm
Energy Efficient Vehicles
5 Test Questions 1. 84% 2. 41% 3. Department of Energy 4. Initial cost plus lifetime operating costs 5. The efficiency of each step in the energy conversion process. 1. How much commercial energy used in the United States is wasted? 2. How much energy is wasted automatically because of degradation of energy quality imposed by the second law of thermodynamics? 3. What is DEO? 4. What is the life cycle cost? 5. The net energy efficiency of the entire energy delivered process for a space heater, water heater, or car is determined by?
U.S. Energy Secretary: Change Can Happen FastMichelle Nijhuis for National Geographic MagazineMarch 2, 2009 Steven Chu, the nation’s new Secretary of Energy, sat down with National Geographic to outline his plans for greater energy efficiency. Secretary Chu expressed the need to develop an inexpensive way to capture and store the carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. He suggests that the United States should be taking a leadership position in developing technologies for all types of carbon capture and that there are new technologies that need to be looked at. When asked whether the U.S. should focus on building nuclear reactors or more coal-fired power plants, Secretary Chu responded, “I think nuclear power has its problems… But the safety is better and will continue to get better, and nuclear power is far better for climate than coal.” Regarding the need for greater efficiency now to counteract some of the impending environmental repercussions, Secretary Chu cited that energy efficiency can be improved very quickly. Appliance standards and using fuels made from gases and biowaste would yield almost instant results, but capturing carbon will take some time. In the next four years the Department of Energy hopes to garner research that will lead to really new ideas about sources of energy and ways of using our energy more efficiently. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/03/090302-steven-chu-interview.html By Haley Soelberg
The Energy Challenge: Turing Glare Into Watts Matthew L. Wald for The New York Times March 2, 2009 In this article Matthew Wald reports on a source of energy that is gaining popularity: solar power. But this isn’t the standard shiny panels bolted to the roofs of houses. This kind of solar power involves covering acres of desert with mirrors that focus intense sunlight on a fluid, heating it enough to make steam which turns a turbine and generates electricity.This idea isn’t new, but due to increasing worry for the environmental repercussions of fossil fuels, it’s being looked at as the energy alternative with the most promise. According to Wald, “solar plants do tend to produce peak power during the hottest part of the day, when demand is highest and electricity is costly, so at certain times they are already competitive with plants using natural gas. And they have an advantage over the other widely available form of renewable power, wind turbines: they are more predictable.” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/06/business/06solar.html?_r=1 By Haley Soelberg
China, US Look to Energy Efficiency The United States and China are both prioritizing the issue of climate change. They are looking to energy efficiency as a primary means to reduce carbon emissions and as an area for new jobs and economic growth.President Obama promised government investment in three areas that he called "absolutely critical" to America's economic future. The first one on his list was energy.However, President Obama went on to praise China, and not the United States, for making the greatest strides towards the goal of energy efficiency. Some scientists say the two countries also contribute the most to climate change. They are the top two emitters of greenhouse gases, producing one half of the world's carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use. Liu Qi, a vice administrator at China's National Energy Administration, says China will continue to push energy conservation to reduce emissions and fight climate change. Both the United States and China are promising big spending on economic stimulus packages in the coming years. Their commitment to addressing climate change will in part be tested by how much money they are willing to allocate to the development, implementation and monitoring of energy-efficient programs. http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-03-05-voa11.cfm By Morgan Stewart
San Antonio is a leader in energy-efficient buildings San Antonio is the third-largest metropolitan market for energy-efficient buildings. San Antonio has 53 Energy Star-rated buildings, according to the EPA. H-E-B, has the single most number of Energy Star facilities in San Antonio with 38 properties. Houston has the most number of Energy Star buildings in the state with 168 properties. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has the second-highest number of buildings with 81 properties. Austin has the fourth-highest number of buildings with 51 properties. These four metropolitan areas had a total of 404 Energy Star-qualified buildings in 2008, which collectively resulted in $130.7 million in energy cost savings. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/stories/2009/03/02/daily31.html By Morgan Stewart
Project Aims To Improve Energy Efficiency Of Computing Surprisingly, the information technology energy has the same carbon footprint as the airline industry. This article discusses how scientists are teaming together to redesign computers to be more efficient. This project is called the Green Light Project and “its plan [is] to connect scientists and their labs to more energy-efficient ‘green’ computer processing and storage systems using photonics - light over optical fiber.” This project is much needed and will likely reduce the technology industry’s carbon footprint drastically. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080728193231.htm By Carly Mackay
Energy efficiency must be major part of US energy policy This article discusses how improving energy efficiency is vital and how it is critical for it to be part of the U.S.’s energy policy for any progress to be made. It also talks about how improving energy efficiency will allow the U.S. to stop importing so much oil from foreign nations and develop our own methods and ultimately help our economy. We are behind the time and need to desperately pick up with greener technologies and be more eco-friendly in our daily lives since the U.S. is the number one emitter of CO2 in the atmosphere. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-09/aps-eem091608.php By Carly Mackay
In today's computers, energy efficiency trumps speed Today consumers are more worried about energy efficiency over speed of the item. Because technology has come such a long way, people aren't concerned with speed when it comes to phones, computers, and video games. They are more worried about the quality of the picture and how much can the processor do using a certain amount of watts. A typical PC sold today has two or four processing cores, but Intel is now working on a new architecture for graphics processing units (GPU), a lightning-fast processor used to deliver sharp graphics. The architecture, dubbed " Larrabee,” will be based on more cores than any processor they have ever released. Products made using this architecture are expected to hit the market later this year or early in 2010. http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=in-todays-computers-energy-efficien-2009-02-25 By Lauren Young
Obama orders new energy standards for household productsBy Jordan Lite Obama ordered the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to set standards to improve the energy efficiency of bulbs and other power-sucking household appliances, including air conditioners, ovens and dishwashers. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA) required DOE to establish efficiency standards for household appliances by a series of dates in 1988, 1989 and 1992. The agency missed the deadline for 22 categories of products. Obama's order requires the agency to set tougher rules by this summer on fluorescent and reflector lamps, microwaves, gas ovens and stoves, drink vending machines and commercial boilers and air conditioners. http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=obama-orders-new-energy-standards-f-2009-02-06 By Lauren Young