Subject: UFTO Note - New EIA report on Industry Mergers
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 17:25:52 -0800

Happy Holidays!  See you in the next thousand years...

UFTO Note - New EIA report on Industry Mergers

An early Christmas present!  This week's issue of the " Electric Utility Restructuring Weekly Update" arrived via email today, instead of Friday.  (If you're not a subscriber, I recommend signing up for it.  It's also available on the Internet at

This item caught my eye.  It's an impressive compilation of data on utility mergers. the Update's writeup came from the Sustainable Energy Coalition "Weekly Update," Dec. 19, 1999

In a report titled, "The Changing Structure of the Electric Power Industry, 1999: Mergers and Other Corporate Combinations," the Energy Information Administration finds that competition is causing the number of mergers to increase rapidly. There have been twenty-two mergers completed by investor-owned utilities (IOUs) over the last three years and another twenty-five mergers will most likely be completed by the end of 2000. In addition, by the end of 2000, approximately fifty-one percent of all IOU power production will come from the ten largest IOUs. The twenty largest IOUs will have seventy-three percent of all IOU power generation capacity. Since 1997, IOUs have been divesting or have divested over 300 power plants, usually selling at prices that are 1.5 to 2.5 times their book value. Nuclear power plants have sold for far less than their book value.

The report can be retrieved [as a PDF file] at:

The complete executive summary from the report is included below.

The EIA has a wealth of information about the industry.
   Home page:   http://www.eia.doe.gov/

One particularly interesting resource:
 -- Status of State Electric Utility Deregulation Activity Monthly
     A map/chart of the status of deregulation activities by state.


The Changing Structure of the Electric Power Industry 1999:
Mergers and Other Corporate Combinations

December 1999

Executive Summary

Since the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, which opened the U.S. electric power industry to the start of competition,1 investor-owned electric utilities (IOUs) have been under pressure to cut costs, to become more efficient, and to expand their products and services. Mergers, acquisitions, asset divestitures, and other forms of corporate combinations have become widespread as IOUs seek to improve their positions in the increasingly competitive electric power industry.

Since 1992 IOUs have been involved in 26 mergers, and an additional 16 mergers are pending approval. One effect of these mergers is that the industry is becoming more concentrated. In 1992 the 10 largest IOUs owned 36 percent of total IOU-held generation capacity, and the 20 largest IOUs owned 56 percent of IOU-held generation capacity (Figure ES1). By 2000, the 10 largest IOUs will own an estimated 51 percent of IOU-held generation capacity, and the 20 largest will own an estimated 73 percent.


Subject: UFTO Note - Wind Turbine Co Making Progress
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999


We first reported about WTC's work in an UFTO Note 12 Dec 1996. The story is the same, except for the tremendous progress they've made in less than 3 years -- pretty much according to their original plan!

The material below was adapted from the executive summary of their current business plan.

Wind energy is the fastest growing segment of the renewable energy industry and is by far the most economic form of grid-connected renewable electricity. Today, wind generated electricity costs as little as 5¢/kWh, and installed global wind energy capacity has increased by more than 25% annually since 1990. It now exceeds 11,000 MW. In 1998 alone, over 2,000 MW with a value exceeding $2 billion was installed. This figure is expected to increase to $5 billion by 2003.

The Wind Turbine Company ("WTC") has developed new wind turbine technology that promises to slash 30% or more from the cost of wind generated power compared with today's wind turbines. WTC did a ground-up, total system-level design of a 2-bladed downwind turbine (i.e. the turbine rotor blades operate downwind of the tower) whose principal advantage lies in its ability to shed excessive wind loads. This is in contrast to conventional upwind machines (i.e. blades upwind of the tower), which must be built sufficiently strong, rigid and consequently heavy, to absorb all foreseeable wind loads and avoid catastrophic blade-tower strikes.

Since the wind pushing on the blades causes them to bend in the direction the wind is blowing, blades oriented downwind of the tower can be made much less rigid than blades upwind of the tower. WTC's turbine will weigh only 60% as much as a comparably rated 3-blade, upwind turbine. Its lighter weight will permit WTC's turbine to operate higher above ground (100 meters or more) than is economic for upwind turbines, thus exposing it to higher winds resulting in more energy production. Lower weight and higher energy capture combine to provide a substantial reduction in the cost of wind generated electricity. The design incorporates a "yaw" braking mechanism to dampen the response to sudden changes in wind direction, a feature lacking in earlier downwind designs by Carter and others.

Windfarms using the WTC Turbine will be able to will produce power for an unsubsidized price of 3.5¢/kWh or less, including all capital and O&M.

WTC was founded in 1989 and has invested over $6 million in its technology. In 1995, WTC was selected by DOE for a $22 million contract to develop a 250 kW proof-of-concept ("POC") turbine, followed by two full-scale 1000 kW wind turbines, over a 6-year period. This is the second largest wind energy contract ever awarded by DOE and the largest contract ever awarded by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). The POC turbine should be operational in early 2000. (I have a photo I can send on request - jpeg format).

In 1998, WTC received a $950,000 contract from the California Energy Commission to develop a 500 kW commercial prototype to be developed early in 2000, following completion of initial POC testing. This unit will be operational in mid 2000. Commercial sales of 500 kW units will start in 2001, when WTC also plans to begin development of a 1000 kW commercial prototype.

To overcome market penetration barriers due to developers taking a wait-and-see attitude over concerns about technology and financial risk, WTC will develop and operate its own windfarms. In parallel with its manufacturing operation, WTC will establish project development and operating entities to manage windfarms using WTC's equipment.

WTC's initial project development strategy is to focus on the U.S. market where there is ample opportunity and relatively easy and inexpensive accessibility for Company personnel to ensure successful windfarm development and operation. WTC has already begun discussions with potential project participants and sources of financing for two separate projects. WTC is also looking to form partnerships with existing independent power developers to further leverage its project development effort.

WTC is now seeking up to $5 million in additional funding to satisfy match funding requirements under its NREL and CEC contracts, hire additional staff, develop its initial windfarm opportunities, and establish strategic partnerships with potential suppliers and customers. A detailed Business Plan is available upon execution of WTC's Confidentiality Agreement.

For further information, please contact:

Lawrence W. Miles, President
The Wind Turbine Company, Bellevue, WA  98004
   425-637-1470           MilesLW@msn.com

Sanford J. Selman, Managing Director
Energy & Environmental Ventures LLC
Weston, CT  06883
   203-227-4111     sselman@eeventures.com


Subject: UFTO Note - CEC Energy Innovations '99 Conference
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999

CEC Energy Innovations '99 Conference
       October 25-27, 1999,  San Diego

The agenda alone fills 4 pages (see UFTO Note 24 October 99), so this note will cover some general themes and highlights. The original conference brochure is available online in pdf format, and Powerpoint presentations from the conference will be made available there in the near future:    http://www.energy.ca.gov/research/PIER/EI99

I will be glad to provide additional contacts and information on any area of partcu lar interest.

Our last major coverage of PIER appears in:
 UFTO Note, 23 Nov 1998, "CURC Annual Conf. 11/98"
    http://www.ufto.com/clients-only/uftonoteslist.html  {password required}


-- Keynotes and Guest Speakers

- State Senator Debra Bowen (keynote) -- California is still learning about life under restructuring. Concerns that G&T investment is insufficient. Legislative push for expedited siting, but supply side not the only answer--demand side measures cheaper and faster. Consumers get no price signal about time of use - need to "de-insulate" them from real costs.

- State Assemblyman Roderick Wright (keynote) -- from poorest district in California. Dubious about restructuring bill (AB1890), as it addressed none of the root causes of high energy prices--though that was the primary motive in the first place. If taxpayer money is used for R&D or other energy programs, he needs to balance that against other needs, and be assured that his constituents actually benefit.

- Bill Reichert (luncheon speaker) .. from garage.com, a prominent Silicon Valley incubator of startups .. presented some hard truths about venture capital and technology business.

- Karl Rabago (banquet speaker), now with the Rocky Mountain Institute, recounted the message contained in Amory Lovin's new book "Natural Capitalism", which sees the mainstreaming of sustainability, eco-commerce, waste elimination, etc. as having a historical significance comparable to the Industrial Revolution.


-- Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program

"The Nation's Most Comprehensive Ratepayer-funded Public Interest Energy Research Program" is gradually maturing, as the transition projects are wrapping up (close-out funding of projects that IOU's had in place prior to restructuring), and the various programs establish their goals and directions.

Provides funding to public and private entities for research, development and demonstration activities that advance science and technology not adequately provided for by competitive or deregulated markets. Funding is available for environmentally preferred advanced generation, renewables, end-use efficiency, environmental research and strategic research.

PIER Program Manager:
    Ron Kukulka,    916-654-4185,  rkukulka@energy.state.ca.us

PIER is organized into 6 Areas, each with a designated manager.

- Renewables
   George Simons,   916-654-4659,  gsimons@energy.state.ca.us

- Environmentally-Preferred Advanced Generation (EPAG)
   Mike Batham,     916-654-4548,  mbatham@energy.state.ca.us

- Residential and Commercial Buildings
   Nancy Jenkins,   916-654-4739,  njenkins@energy.state.ca.us

- Industrial / Agricultural / Water
   Ben Mehta,       916-654-4044,  bmehta@energy.state.ca.us

- Energy-Related Environmental
   Kelly Birkinshaw,  916-654-4542, kbirkins@energy.state.ca.us

- Strategic Science and Technology
    Tom Tanton,     916-654-4930,  ttanton@energy.state.ca.us

Each program briefly presented its 1999/2000 Funding Proposal, based on their respective Issues, Mission and Objectives, and indicated amounts going to sole source or collaboratives/interagency, to competitve RFPs, and to memberships (e.g. EPRI, GRI, etc.) In each area, with total budgets ranging from $9 to $15 Million, some contracts are already approved, some are in negotiations, and some have not yet been initiated.
  (I have prepared Word docs with the details that were presented, adapted from files provided to me by PIER. They will be posted on the UFTO website.  Let me know if you want them in the meantime.)

Energy Innovations Small Grant Program

This program provides grants of up to $75,000 to small businesses, academics, small non-profit organizations and individuals to prove the feasibility of research and development concepts relating to PIER objectives. It operates like the federal SBIR programs, but with a considerably faster solicitation and award cycle.

   Philip Misemer,  916-654-4552    pmisemer@energy.state.ca.us

- Synergy with other Programs
    Calif Board for Energy Effic oversees $280M/year
      [buydown of renewables implementation]
    Calif Utility Research Council  (future role is uncertain)
    Calif PUC - Doesn't have a role, and doing an excellent job at not
     doing anything about R&D --  Utilities haven't requested in rates.


Transferable Knowledge from Other Forums (Tuesday)

- Lessons Learned in NREL Industry Growth Forums
     Lawrence (Marty) Murphy, NREL,
      303-275-3050    lawrence_murphy@nrel.gov
NREL periodical ly sponsors Industry Growth Forums, intended to help aspiring, start-up, or expanding renewable energy businesses. The next Forum will be held in early year 2000, in the Seattle area, and highlights will be provided here as details are defined. For more details on Forums as well as the many valuable lessons learned download the document, "NREL Industry Growth Forums Lessons Learned" June 1999, NREL/MP-720-25870 (PDF 369 KB).

Also see:

- Where We Are and Where We're Going
     Janet Joseph, NYSERDA
       518-862-1090    jj2@nyserda.org
Summarized the program, as the only other "public benefit" state level R&D program besides PIER.

- Gaining Market Acceptance of Innovative Technologies
    Keith Davidson, Onsite Sycom Energy Corp.
      760-710-1712    kdavidson@onsitesycom.com
A good overviewof "innovation" as the term applies to distributed generation and combined heat & power (CHP), with a review of Tecogen's experience in the early '80s.

- Building Bridges Connecting Research Results to Consumer Benefits

Mohawk Research Corp.
  Marsha Rorke,  301-762-3171, mohawkresearch@email.msn.com
  Sam Westbrook, 206-780-8269, kands@nwlink.com

Summarized in 20 minutes the contents of a 3-4 day workshop that Mohawk has given over 50 times to personnel at national labs and elsewhere who want to pursue commercialization of lab technology. Key points include recognition that various stages of a development or company require very different skill sets and kinds of people, and the entrepreneur should be clear on when he plans to pass the reins to others. Also, a "commercialization plan", focused on what it is that you are going to make and sell, is different from the business plan, which comes later and says how you're going to do it.

The workshop textbook is: "From Invention To Innovation," 1999, DOE/GO-10099-810. For a copy, email Sally_Evans@nrel.gov (remember to include your mailing address.) Or call 202-586-1478 to receive a free copy as well as information on DOE's Inventions and Innovations Programs.
   An earlier (full text) version is available at:

 Ken Gudger, Global Energy Partners
 Jerome Foster, Pentech Energy Solutions
 Jeff Colborn, Metallic Power, Inc.

Leadersof three startups, each at a different stage, spoke about their experiences and how they went about developing and pursuing their business plans.  Some memorable phrases:
 "Get a customer before you quit your day job."
 "Be sure the customer understands (what you're selling), trusts
    that you can deliver, and has the will to do his part."
 "As soon as you take a dollar from anybody, you're working for them
    [so don't be so hung up about control]."
 "Be honest about yourself, and what role is appropriate for you."


On the second day, pane l sessions were held in parallel for each of the PIER subject areas, so one had to choose which ones to go to. Many of the presentations will be put up on the PIER website in due course.

    Morning -- Renewables; EPAG; and Buildings
  Afternoon -- Food/Ag/Ind; Strategic; and Environment

Most of the panel presentations were reviews of completed or ongoing PIER-funded projects, or other related programs. There was also a poster exhibition with two dozen displays on other PIER sponsored work.

For details on all projects:
    1998 Annual Report - PIER Program, P500-99-004,  March 1999
          (hardcopy also available)


Panel I - Renewable Energy Technology

   I.A.  Making Renewables Cost-Competitive
      Larry Berg, Larry Berg & Associates
      Steve Gatto, BCI

   I.B. Renewables as Distributed Generators
      Merwin Brown, NREL
      Thomas Hoff, Clean Power Research
      Henry Zaininger, Zaininger Engineering

    I.C. Non-energy Benefits of Renewables
      Nancy Rader, Nancy Rader Renewable Energy Consulting
      Dan Shugar, PowerLight Corp
      Loyd Forest, TSS Consulting


Panel II - EPAG for Distributed Generation (DG)

   II.A. Energy Providers: Planning to Use EPAG in DG Applications?
      Al Figueroa, San Diego Gas & Elec and CURC
      Roland Risser, PG&E
      David Berokoff, SoCalGas
      Mike Burke, NewEnergy

   II.B. What are the Future Product RD&D Needs for EPAG Mfgs.
      George Wiltsee,* Capstone Turbine
      Mark Skowronski, Allied Signal
      Ron Wolk, Wolk Integrated Technical Services
      Jim Schlatter, Catalytica

   II.C. What are the Current and Planned R&D Programs in DG?
      Andy Abele, S. Coast Air Qual Mgt District
      Scott Samuelsen, National Fuel Cell Research Center, UC Irvine
      Daniel Rastler,* EPRI
      William Liss, GRI
      Abbie Layne, U.S. DOE
        [Adv Turb.; Indust Technol, etc. - Major workshop Nov.8-10]


Panel III - Building End-Use Energy Efficiency

   III.A. Technologies and Strategies for Buildings in Hot Inland Climates
      Lance Elberling, PG&E
      Randy Folts, Pulte Homes Corp
      Malcolm Lewis, Constructive Technologies Group, Inc.

   III.B. Drivers for Energy Efficiency
      Cliff Federspiel, Center for the Built Environment, UC Berkeley
      Doug Mahone, The Heschong Mahone Group
        [Daylighting Improves Productivity]
      Gregory Thomas, Gregory Thomas and Associates

   III.C. How Energy Efficiency Can Affect Affordability and Property Value
      Eric Haftner, ELH Development
        [Comparative investment qualities of energy efficiency measures]
      Rob Hammon, ComfortWise
      Greg Watson, ICF Consulting
        [Homeowners and Energy Efficiency: Rational?]


Panel IV - Food/Agriculture/Industrial/Water Energy Efficiency

   IV.A. Water: Issue of the New Millennium
      Keith Carns, EPRI
      Jeff DeZeller, Metropolitan Water District
      Lory Larson, SoCalEdison
      Greg Leslie, Orange County Water District

 IV.B. Innovations in Food and AgriculturalProduction Systems
      Ken Solomon, CalPoly San Luis Obispo Univ
      Alan Pryor, SoilZONE Inc.
      Dee Gram, R and E Enterprises
      Sharon Shoemaker, Calif Inst  Food & Agric Research (CIFAR), UCDavis


Panel V - Strategic Research

   V.A. Feet Firmly Planted on the Ground - Near Term Benefits
      Joseph Eto, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
      Art Iverson, Spinel Power Technology
      William "Woody" Savage, PG&E
  V.B. Eyes on the Stars - Incorporating the Long View
      Alexander Glass, Executive Director, BARTA
      Dave Hawkins, Cal ISO
      Dave Lema, Special Advisor to the Governor
      Gail McCarthy, EPRI


Panel VI - Energy-Related Environmental Research

   VI.A. Solutions to Current/Expected Environmental Issues
      Sonja Mahini, EPRI
      Vince Mirabella, SoCalEdison
      Don Rose, Sempra Energy
   VI.B. A New Perspective: New Approaches to Issue Resolution
      James Cole, Univ of Calif President's Office
      Paul Chu, PISCES, EPRI
      Norman Miller, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
      Kelly Birkinshaw, CEC


UFTO Note - Calif. Interconnection Workshop Dec 6
    Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 10:47:08 -0800

Just received this note a few minutes ago from Jairam Gopal, the head of CADER.

It appears that California is gearing up to follow in the footsteps of Texas and New York, and do something about interconnection requirements.

Subject:  Hello everyone:
    Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 10:21:22 -0800
   From:  "Jairam Gopal" <Jgopal@energy.state.ca.us>

Hello everyone:
 Please see the CEC Web site at:


for the following posted documents:

1) CEC's Nov. 3 Order Instituting Investigation on Interconnection issues.
2) Siting Committee's notice of first interconnection workshop to be
 held on December 6.

As you are aware, this OII follows the CPUC Decision of the earlier proceeding on Distributed Generation and Distributed Competition.

The CEC will lead the proceedings on Interconnection Issues and will kick off the process with the above mentioned workshop on December 6, 1999. If you are on the service list of the earlier CPUC proceeding, you should receive a hard copy of the Notice by mail.

Chair, CADER
Jairam Gopal
(916) 654-4880  (tel)
(916) 654-4753 (fax)
e-mail:   jgopal@energy.state.ca.us


Subject: UFTO Fwd - Dist. Pwr R&D Solicitation
    Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 11:52:38 -0800

[Commerce Business Daily: Posted in CBDNet on November 8, 1999]
[Printed Issue Date: November 10, 1999]  [cbdnet.access.gpo.gov]

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 1617 Cole Boulevard,  Golden, CO 80401-3393
SOL 0-380    DUE 112299
POC Judith A. Foster; Telephone (303) 384-7387; e-mail judith_foster@NREL.gov
DESC: DOE Distributed Power Program - Distributed Power System Integration Research and Development The National Renewable Energy Laboratory anticipates issuing Letters of Interest (LOI) to solicit research and development efforts from members of the Distributed Power Community and related industries. The anticipated effort will be directed to include modeling, field testing, and analysis to determine the means of integrating distributed power resources, including renewable energy, combined heat and power, and hybrid systems into the electricity system in a manner that enhances reliability, safety, and power quality. The solicitation will be open to U.S. organizations and/or teams with activities directly related to distributed power and electric power system integration and operation. The Distributed Power Program system integration research and development activities are being conducted for the DOE by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colorado). The proposed work areas may include, but will not be limited to, issues such as universal distributed and electric power system interconnection technology including current and advanced/future designs; requirements and tests for interconnection; interconnection equipment performance and functional characterization and installation test method design, development, validation and documentation; command, control, communication, monitoring, and remote and on-site intelligent controls for interconnection; interconnection equipment/technology body of tests and procedure for certification of equipment and installation; design and development requirements for the establishment of an industry-wide accreditation and certification 3rd party body for accrediting facilities/entities for certification testing and for certifying interconnection equipment as well as for on-site interconnection approval; field testing and analysis (data analysis) of selected and configured distributed systems already installed in the field and represent an aggregated system for validating and confirming various established electric system/distributed resource models; analysis of current and potential distributed power markets, and institutional, regulatory and market barriers; design and analyze business/economic and technical models and characterizing future distributed power infrastructures that are conducive to open markets and customer choice; and, design and document the procedure (handbook) on how to establish an interconnection agreement that represents a common approach and recommended improvements that will help all parties involved with interconnection. Proposals received in response to the anticipated LOI will be accepted only if submitted by a U.S. organization or a team led by a U.S. organization. Successful offerors must demonstrate significant price participation (cost sharing) with each proposal. Subject to the availability of funds, multiple Firm-Fixed Price awards are anticipated. Current plans are to limit each award within a range of $50,000 to $300,000 (maximum) with anticipated 50 percent price participation (cost sharing). Organizations desiring a copy of the solicitation setting forth the LOI requirements should make written request within 14 days of this announcement at the above address, referencing Synopsis No. 0-380. The LOI is anticipated to be issued within 21 days. This is not a request for proposal. Telephone requests will not be accepted.
EMAILADD: judith_foster@nrel.gov
CITE: (W-312 SN399022)


Subject: DOE Adv Turbine Systems Conference
    Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999

This note just received from Abbie Layne, DOE program manager for the
advanced turbine program.

The DOE ATS Annual Program Review Conference will be held on Nov 8-10,
1999 in Pittsburgh, PA.

 The most efficient turbine systems in the world will be highlighted
at our conference, a topic of high interest to the Power Generation
and Turbine Industry today. This program covers all projects that the
DOE and industry/academia/labs are jointly performing.

We still have about 100 slots open and believe there are many who
would like to attend but do not know about the meeting. The PDF file
with the meeting flyer is attached, and also more information can be
obtained at the FETC website " www.fetc.doe.gov" under "Events".

Thanks, Abbie Layne


                      Name: ATSFLYR.PDF
                       Type: Portable Document Format (application/pdf)
                  Encoding: base64


Subject: UFTO Note - DOE Vision 21 Energy Plants of the Future Solicitation
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 1999

Here's a major opportunity to get DOE funding for good ideas.  The website has additional materials, including a download link for the solicitation itself.
|   Edward Beardsworth                    edbeards@ufto.com
|   951 Lincoln Ave.                       tel 650-328-5670
|   Palo Alto CA 94301-3041                fax 650-328-5675
|          ***  UFTO  ***      http://www.ufto.com

U.S. Department of Energy


 Issued on October 1, 1999

Energy Department Opens First Major Competition For Vision 21 Energy Plants of the Future

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has opened the competition for companies to begin designing a new type of energy facility that could change the way people think about fossil fuel power plants in the 21st century.

Called Vision 21, the new class of fossil fuel plants would produce electricity, chemicals, fuels or perhaps a combination of products in ways tailored to meet specific market needs.

Employing the latest in emission control systems, plus potentially revolutionary breakthroughs in such technologies as gas separation membranes, fuel cell-turbine hybrids, and carbon sequestration, Vision 21 energy facilities would have virtually no environmental impact outside the plant's immediate "footprint."

The plants would also be among the first to be developed and designed using advanced visualization and modeling software. Such "virtual demonstration" technology might eliminate the need for some of the expensive engineering and pilot facilities that have been necessary in other large scale development efforts.

The Energy Department will offer up to $30 million for winning projects, with each of the initial projects expected to receive from $1.5 million to $2.5 million. Private industry will be required to provide at least 20 percent of each project's cost.

The initial set of projects would run for up to three years and would establish the design foundation and analytical capabilities for future development efforts.

The key to Vision 21 will be to integrate the 'best-of-class' technologies from across the fossil fuel spectrum - for example, the most fuel-flexible gasifiers and combustors, the most effective way to remove pollutant-forming impurities, the latest in fuel cell and turbine systems, and the most affordable ways to manufacture liquid fuels and chemicals.

Individually, none of these technologies are likely to achieve the increasingly stringent environmental and cost requirements that energy companies will confront in the 21st century. Integrated together, however, these advanced systems could provide consumers with affordable power and fuels along with unprecedented levels of environmental protection.

The Energy Department's Federal Energy Technology Center is issuing the solicitation and plans to accept proposals throughout the coming year. Beginning around January 31, 2000, the department will announce project selections every four months. The due date for proposals for the first evaluation period is November 30, 1999. Proposals are being requested in three areas:

Technologies that will make up the "modules" of Vision 21 plants, for example, in such areas as advanced gas separation and purification, heat exchangers, fuel-flexible gasifers, advanced low-polluting combustion systems, turbines, fuel cells, and chemical and fuel synthesis processes.

Systems integration capabilities needed to combine two or more of the modules;

Advanced plant design and visualization software leading to a "virtual demonstration" of a Vision 21 plant.

The Energy Department has set a timetable to have Vision 21 technologies and designs ready for use by private industry in building commercial facilities by around 2015. Many experts forecast that the next major wave of U.S. power plant construction will begin around this time.

The Energy Department, however, expects the Vision 21 program to begin benefiting the energy industry well before 2015. The program is expected to produce spinoff technologies - possibly low-cost oxygen separation, better catalysts for the chemical industry, lower cost manufacturing processes, and improved pollution control systems -- beginning as early as 2005.


Subject: UFTO Note - DOE Distrib Power Review & IEEE Interconnection Working Group
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999

** DOE Distributed Power Program Review and Planning Meeting
** IEEE SCC21 P1547 Interconnection Working Group
      Arlington, VA, September 27-30, 1999


** DOE Distributed Power (DP) Program Review and Planning Meeting

-- Welcome and Introduction
   -- Dan Adamson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Power Technologies
-- Distributed Power in DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  -- Dan Reicher, Assistant Secretary, EE

DP covers a wide gamut of topics, from village power and rural electrification to industrial power parks, partially self-powered office towers (incl. PV), combined heat and power (CHP) and all varieties of renewable energy. There are three "elements of success" that must be met -- technologies, markets, and policies. A number of DOE programs involve DP, and there are several cross-cutting initiatives: CHP, Million Solar Roofs, Buildings for the 21st Century, Bioenergy, and Distributed Power (i.e. to address interconnection issues). A DP website is under construction.

-- An Industry Perspective -- Beverly Jones, Consolidated Natural Gas

Broad trends are setting thestage for DP: industry restructuring, gas/electric convergence, and the role of information technology in energy. All of these are changing the buyer seller relationship dramatically, as the distinct "one-point" of contact is replaced by myriad complex and overlapping interactions. As the slow process of policy change proceeds, the action is mostly at the state level, where there are many opportunities to bring up DR issues arise. States are competing for jobs, and see energy prices/markets as a key determinant. There is less urgency at the federal level, and the lack of standardization is a big problem. One area that's particularly important--tax policy, especially depreciation rates for DR investments, which should be faster than for traditional generation and distribution facilities.

-- Creating Value Streams for Distributed Resources -- Dave Hoffman, Celerity Energy

Barriers to DP growth include 100 years with a regulated monopoly system, with it's concerns about reliability, and the credibility, reliability and costs of DR. Market pressures and technology are driving change. Celerity's business is acquiring options on peaking capacity from existing gensets, which will be linked via networks and bid into th e power market.

-- Program Overview -- Joe Galdo, DOE Program Manager

A workshop Dec 98 made recommendations for DOE program actions for DP:
-Interconnection (standards, documentation of the problem,
  system integration modeling, and equipment certification)
- Outreach to state regulators
- Quantify benefits
- Model (building) codes and ordinances

The program is organized around three main topics:
- Strategic Research (concepts for advanced system control, etc.)
- Systems Integration (address safety, reliability, etc issues.
   Analysis, modeling, hardware testing, interface hardware
   and software)
- Regulatory and Institutional Barriers

FY99 Program -- $1.2 Million funding -- planning, support IEEE standards working group, document interconnection barriers, outreach to stat es.

-- Documenting Barriers to Distributed Power -- Brent Alderfer, Competitive Utility Strategies

[DP is not new.  DOE commissioned a major study to examine what is currently being done.]

A report is due in the next 2 months, detailing 70 case studies of current interconnection experience and practices. Sizes ranged from 300 watt PV to 100 MW combined cycle.

DP "barriers" are seen differently by utilities--who are concerned with safety, reliability, risk, liabilities, and who don't want "gadgets and gizmos" on the grid. Some utilities simply refuse any (non-QF) connection.

Standby tariffs range widely ($1 to $250/kw/yr). These are arbitrary now, often set to discourage DP. In the future, however, real markets may probably show as wide a range, but for entirely different reasons.

Uplift tariffs are usually based on entire radial system, even if transaction only uses a portion.

Restructuring by states generally has no impact on barriers. Some utilities have embraced DP (O&R 10 years experience using reciprocating gensets owned by 3rd parties to defer substation additions) Southern Co, while opposing FERC restructuring of G&T markets, is actively hooking up cogenerators.

-- Interconnection Standard Development -- Richard DeBlasio, NREL

   [brief overview of SCC21 working group progress]

-- Technical Assistance to States and Localities -- Gary Nakarado, NREL

Assumed (interconnection) goals are uniform technical requirements, minimized cost, standardized contracts, and costs commensurate with DP system size. PV has paved part of the way. Standards alone won't assure adoption of DP. For example, net metering laws can limit utility's ability to resist.

[DOE "State Energy Alternatives" -- this website gives specific information on the potential of selected renewable energy resources in each state as well as background information on each state's electricity sector
     http://www.eren.doe.gov/state_energy/  ]

 [The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) provides assistance to state regulators.
     http://www.rapmaine.org/ ]

-- Environmental and Economic Impact Assessment -- Howard Gruenspecht, DOE Office of Policy

The administration's restructuring proposal addresses DP issues.
       (See: http://www.doe.gov/policy/ceca.htm)

A pdf document (the 3rd one listed on the webpage) is an explanatory memo for the proposed legislation, and discusses DP issues in several aspects:

from CECA Supporting Analysis, Chapter 3, page 34

Distributed Power

"The revised Administration proposal includes a package of provisions designed to promote the adoption of efficient combined heat and power and distributed generation technologies. It proposes the development of nationally applicable interconnection standards, clarification of depreciation treatment to assure that distributed generation installations are not subject to unfavorable schedules for the depreciation of structural components, and State-level consideration of stranded cost recovery mechanisms that do not impede cost-effective and energy-efficient combined heat and power projects. It also promises continued efforts by the EPA and the DOE to explore and implement regulatory approaches that recognize the environmental benefits of combined heat and power technologies."

Secretary Richardson held a "Midwest Electricity Summit" in Chicago on October 8, with several dozen invited stakeholders (utilities, regulators, local government, etc.) to discuss industry issues. Anyone is welcome in the audience. His prepared remarks are posted at: http://www.doe.gov/news/speeches99/octss/midwest.htm

Another is to be held somewhere in the Northeast in a couple of weeks -- details tbd.

-- Where Are We Going?  A framework for planning White Paper on Interconnection and Controls for Large-Scale Integration of Distributed Energy Resources -- Phil Overholt, DOE Program Manager, Transmission Reliability; Joe Eto, LBNL

This was a presentation of the 2nd of the 6 draft white papers.

See: 20 Sep99  UFTO Note-CERTS Draft White Papers
     01 Mar99  UFTO Note-CERTS-New DOE Prog in Elec. Reliability

  (There's still time to provide comments on any of the 6 papers.
     See 20 Sept note for details.)

-- How Do We Get There? -- Five-Year Planning (Breakout Sessions)

- Interconnection Standards, Certification and Testing
- Interconnect Hardware and Software
- Addressing Regulatory and Institutional Barriers
- Planning Analysis and Tools

These were facilitated sessions to develop recommendations for near and longer term destinations, R&D requirements, recommended program activities and resources. A summary is being prepared by DOE and should be available in 6-8 weeks.

UPDATE: It looks DOE's DP program will have a budget of about
         $4 million in FY2000.


IEEE SCC21 P1547 Interconnection Working Group
   Sept 28-30

Topical Presentations:

The first morning of the 3 day meeting was a series of presentations to further the mutual understanding of technical issues.

-- VAR Control from a DR Perspective (T.-E. Moen, ABB)
A detailed technical disc ussion of voltage source inverters (VSI) and how they can be an economic option for supplying VAR's into a network.

-- Distributed Resources in Downtown Networks (N. Ioannou, BGE) Downtown grid networks, covering perhaps 5% of the total US system, are very different from standard radial networks. There are two types which are very different from each other: grid (or secondary) and spot (or isolated). DP can be connected to either, though it can't push power into a spot network.

-- EEI Interconnection Study Update (M. Davis)
Progress is continuin g. Outlined a 7 step process to determine interconnection requirements, beginning with identifying the type of generator, i.e., induction (externally or self-excited), synchronous (cylindrical or salient pole) or inverter (line or self commutated) and then on to defining characteristics of the distribution system, etc. A great deal of material has been added to the Working Group's "Resource Document", a 2 inch thick compendium of information that backs up the standards development.

-- Shifting the Balance of Power: Grid Interconnection of Distributed
Generation (Brendan Kirby, ORNL and Nick Lenssen,E SOURCE)

Examines the various issues that hinder DP deployment, mostly coming down to utility resistance, lack of uniform requirements and processes (which are based on large units, and are too extensive for most DP). Points out that loads aren't very different from DP--both can cause harmonics, ripple, DC, fault current, etc., yet they receive very different treatment. Main difference is intentional injection of power. Existing system built for one way power, but in future may be configured to take better advantage of DP. DP are ideal ancillary service providers, but usually excluded from markets. Need to deal with conflict that utilities are both guardians of the public good, and a competitor in the same system. (This will be published as an E-Source report, with a summary version more generally available. I have a copy of the vugraphs if anyone wants them.)

[Note: check out  http://www.homepower.com re the "guerilla solar" movement--people hooking up to the grid without permission.]

-- Proposed Revisions toNEC by EEI Elec Light & Power Group (P. Amos, ConEd)

-- Proposed New NEC Article on Fuel Cells  (K. Krastins)
      (See email forwarded to UFTO list on 31 August)


I have email and tel #'s for everyone mentioned above, and some additional hard copy information. Please let me know if you want more details on any o f the above.


Subject: UFTO Note - CADER/DPCA Symposium on Distributed Resources
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1999

[I'll be attending the DOE Distributed Power Program Review and
Planning Meeting in Washington next Monday September 27, followed by
the IEEE working group session.]

UFTO Note - CADER/DPCA Symposium on Distributed Resources

San Diego  Sept 13-14

(see program/agenda at  http://www.cader.org)

The meeting was very well attended, exceeding expectations, with roughly 400 registered.  It included keynotes by notables (Larry Papay of Bechtel, Dan Reicher, Ass't Secty, EE/DOE, and David Rohy, Calif Energy Commissioner) and two days of parallel sessions on "Policy", "Technologies" and "Markets".  It was impossible to be in 3 places at once, however the 2" thick binder provided copies of the vugraphs from most of the presentations.

A dominant theme:  it is not a matter if, or even when, but only of how fast, distributed generation will be deployed on a major scale. In fact, DG is already here, and has been for a long time, in various forms and applications.  If it truly is a "disruptive technology", then we can expect it to lurk below the surface, serving in various niche applications, until a crossover occurs and it emerges an a major scale.

The biggest issue seems to be interconnection with the grid. Advocates see utilities as putting up strong resistance.  One speaker, Edan Prabhu,  explained it terms of distribution departments, at the low end of the totem pole in utilities, trying to protect themselves and their "turf" from this dangerous invasion of "their" system.  He explained how the good guys meet the "nice guys"--DG advocates vs. the well-meaning protectors of the system.

There was considerable muttering in the back of the room as speakers from the California utilities claimed to be doing all they can. Repeatedly, we see instances where utilities can handle interconnections just fine, when they want to.  In other situations, however, they seen as throwing up roadblocks and delays.  Ironically, utilities are entirely comfortable with large motors, which feed back fault current when voltage disappears, but this same issue is seen as a huge problem for DG.

As Dan Reicher explained in his comments, nine states have now gone ahead to establish some kind of interconnection standards for small scale generation, while the long term answer is to have one new national standard.  The IEEE work under Dick DeBlasio is key to this, and DOE also supports the development of advanced hardware and software for interconnection.

There was a very good summary of the remarkable events in Texas, where a process has moved with unprecedented speed to cut through the confusion and arrive at an interim set of workable policies.  The proposed rules are available online:

A hearing is scheduled for October 25.  The presentation was given by Nat Treadway, a former PUC analyst, who is now on his own.  713-669-9701,   treadway@alumni.princeton.edu
New York state has a similar initiative for small DG (under 300 KVA). A commission staff proposal was issued in July, however timing of a decision is uncertain.  Comments were due by September 20.     http://www.dps.state.ny.us/distgen.htm
In California, the PUC took longer than expected to announce a decision on a staff recommendation to split their rulemaking proceeding into two parts -- Distribution Competition, and DG Implementation Issues.  A draft decision to do this was finally announced Sept 21, and is now available online (2 documents) at:
The California ISO presented an interesting comparison of technical requirements for large generators on the system with what might be needed for DG. Generators need to have sophisticated communications and control capabilities that the ISO can monitor and talk to directly. The ISO is implementing the "ANALOPE" system to do some of this over the internet (there is a strong need to certify bids and contracts--i.e. failsafe digital signatures). Once this is established, it may pave the way for the use of internet technology to communicate with DG's and enable them to participate in the California energy and ancillary services markets.
 (Contact: David Hawkins  916-351-4465   dhawkins@caiso.com)
The Technology sessions featured presentations by makers of microturbines, fuel cells, reciprocating engines, dish stirling, storage, and renewables.  Discussions on "Markets" ranged from the "sleeping giant" of international electric demand, to combined heat and power and the use of smart technology to capture market value. Selected items may be featured in future UFTO Notes.


Subject: UFTO Note - Regensys Large Scale Utility Energy Storage
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1999

UFTO Note - Regensys Large Scale Utility Energy Storage

National Power (U.K.), has announced a new electricity storage technology - called Regenesys - in which a flowing electrolyte is charged and then and stored in tanks for later use.  It has a high speed of response, supplies real and reactive power and is therefore suited to many different applications on a power system.

The Regenesysª system is based on regenerative fuel cell technology, (sometimes known as redox flow cell technology).  Two electrolytes flow through the fuel cell on either side of an ion exchange membrane.  By applying a voltage across the electrolytes they change state and become "charged".  The "charged" electrolytes pass out of the fuel cell to be stored in tanks. Just like a rechargeable battery, the process can be easily reversed. The "charged" electrolytes flow back through the fuel cell and electricity is produced.

The two electrolytes are concentrated solutions of sodium bromide and sodium polysulphide.  The technology is environmentally benign, modular, comparatively easy to site, and separates the power rating from the energy storage capacity.  These features make it suitable for energy storage applications in the 5 - 500 MW range which require storage times from fractions of a second to 12 hours or more.

Following successful trials of a Regenesys pilot plant at a power station in South Wales, the company will build its first full scale commercial plant at Didcot in Oxfordshire.  Detailed designs are now complete for up to a 15 MW  and 120 MWh utility scale energy storage plant.  The plant would be housed in a low-rise building, occupying a compact site conservatively estimated at less than 0.5 hectare (1.2 acres). This generic design could be used for a number of applications within the power industry.

The total installed capital cost will be approximately $150/kWh.  With continued technical improvements, National Power has set an eventual target price of US$80/kWh.

A storage plant with these cost and performance characteristics will provide significant technical and financial benefits in the operation of a network, from more efficient use of plant (generation, transmission and distribution), and from improved system performance. Storage can also significantly enhance the value of electricity produced by renewable generators, such as wind turbines.

The only available existing large-scale energy storage techniques are pumped hydro or compressed air energy storage, which have severe geographical limitations.  Regensys would provide a real alternative. Other  energy storage techniques such as batteries, flywheels, superconducting magnetic storage and supercapacitors have different capacity characteristics, and are not well suited to large scale applications.

National Power has formed a new business unit within its Commercial Division to develop the Regenesys technology in the UK and overseas.

Contact: Barry Davidson     barry.davidson@natpower.com          tel 011-44-1235-444-991


  (I also have a PDF file of their brochure)

====  Some Additional Technical Details ===============

Regenerative fuel cells are a separate class of electrochemical device, which have inert electrodes acting only as an electron transfer surface. The electrodes do not take part in the electrochemical process and so do not limit the energy storage capacity of the regenerative fuel cell.   This approach allows the complete separation of power, determined by the module's electrode area, and energy, determined by the storage tank volume.

There are many electrochemical couples that have been assessed for use in flow battery systems. The Regenesys system uses electrolytes of concentrated solutions of sodium bromide and sodium polysulphide. These salts are readily soluble and present no adverse hazards in handling or storage.  They are abundant and available at the necessary degree of purity at moderate cost.   The use of other bromide and sulphide salts was investigated during the development phase, but the increased electrochemical efficiency would not necessarily repay the additional costs of the alternatives.

The simplified overall chemical reaction for the cell is given by:

         3 NaBr + Na2S4 <==> 2 Na2S2 + NaBr3

The conversion of electrical to stored chemical energy and back again can be repeated indefinitely with high turnaround efficiency.  There is no memory effect associated with the specific electrochemistry of the Regenesys system, and a full charge/discharge cycle can be completed without limitation of a theoretical maximum depth of discharge.

When commissioned the plant will have the ability to start up in less than 10 minutes or, if held in stand-by mode with the modules filled with electrolytes, in seconds.  The plant will have a high rate of dynamic response.  When running, the plant will be operated fully connected to the grid, capable of turning from a state of fully charging to fully discharging or any state in between in the order of 0.02 seconds.  This performance makes the plant suitable for a number of ancillary service applications such as voltage control and frequency response. In stand-by or shutdown mode there is no self-discharge of the electrolyte stored in the tanks.

The Power Conversion System (PCS) provides the interface between the AC network electrical supply and the variable operating voltage of the DC modules.  The four quadrant converter system is designed to transfer both reactive and real power simultaneously and independently from each other.

The PCS allows the operator to select from a wide range of operating modes.
- Pre-defined schedule
- Load following
- Voltage control mode
- Frequency regulation
- Power System Stabilisation
- Constant VAr
- Constant AC power
- Self-commutated to operate as a UPS, or to provide Black Start

And, practical peak shaving and dispatch optimization on networks, which has been limited by the availability of suitable technology.


Subject: UFTO Note - CERTS Draft White Papers - Grid of the Future
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999

Consortium for Electric Reliability Technology Solutions (CERTS)
     Grid of the Future

   White Papers  ---  August 30, 1999

    Prepared for the:
      Transmission Reliability Program
      Office of Power Technologies
      Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE

Attached are the six DRAFT white papers prepared for the CERTS program by the various participants (labs and others), which have been made available to UFTO for review and comment.  These were presented at an invitational workshop last Friday Sept. 17.  Apparently Hurricane Floyd dampened the attendance but not the enthusiasm.

Plans are to close the written comment period at the end of the month, finalize the white papers, and then use them to develop a multi-year research plan for DOE.

Comments should be directed to:
      Joe Eto,   LBNL,   510-486-7284,   JHEto@lbl.gov

(The six papers are together in a single zipped folder/directory.  If you have trouble downloading or unzipping, I can supply them as word documents instead--total 2 MB)

1. scenario300899.doc

The Federal Role in Electric System Reliability RD&D During a Time of Industry Transition:  An Application of Scenario Analysis;  Joseph Eto, LBNL

2. integdr030999.doc

Interconnection and Controls for Reliable, Large Scale Integration of Distributed Energy Resources;  Vikram Budhraja, Carlos Martinez, Jim Dyer, Mohan Kondragunta, Edison Technology Solutions

3.  rcntevnt010999.doc

Review of Recent Reliability Issues and System Events;
John F. Hauer, Jeff E. Dagle, PNNL

4.  bulkpowr070999.doc

Review of the Structure of Bulk Power Markets;
Brendan J. Kirby and John D. Kueck, ORNL

5.  realtime300899.doc

Real-Time Security Monitoring and Control of Power Systems; G. Gross (UIUC), A. Bose (WSU), C. DeMarco (UWM), M. Pai (UIUC), J. Thorp (Cornell U) and P. Varaiya (UCB) PSERC

6.  uncertai010999.doc

Accommodating Uncertainty in Planning and Operations;
M. Ivey, A. Akhil, D. Robinson, J. Stamp, K. Stamber, Sandia, K. Chu, PNNL


(Excerpt from:
 UFTO Note - CERTS-New DOE Prog in Elec. Reliability, 01 Mar 1999)

FY 99 activities for DOE include work in five areas, the first of
which is:

           "Grid of the Future"

The first year of a two year planning study to identify emerging gaps in reliability technology R&D.  In the first year, CERTS will lay the groundwork for the development of a federal R&D roadmap by preparing six white papers, which will be the basis for industry-wide stakeholder workshops on:

(1) alternative scenarios for the future of the electric power system, including a detailed articulation of the technological assumptions underlying each of these futures;

(2) assessment of the technology and control R&D needs for widespread integration of distributed resources;

(3) recent reliability issues review, including in-depth analysis of technological and institutional aspects of recent reliability events (e.g., summer 1996 WSCC events; winter 1997 northeast ice storms; winter 1998 San Francisco outage, etc.);

(4) review and assessment of the current structure of U.S. bulk power markets and provision of reliability services (including 1998 price spikes in mid-west and west, and absence of meaningful opportunities for demand response);

(5) assessment of the technology and control R&D needs for real time system control;

(6) assessment of the treatment of uncertainty in planning and operational models.


Subject: UFTO Note - NIST Workshop-Technical Implications of Deregulation
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 1999

It's been 5 years since the first UFTO visit to NIST, and we've had continuing contacts ever since.  Our colleagues there have recently announced an upcoming workshop that may be of interest.

"Challenges for Measurements and Standards  in a Deregulated Electric Power Industry"

 A Workshop focused on the Technical Implications of Deregulation

  --> For details, go to:
     (ignore the password request--just click on "cancel")

Key Bridge Marriott, Arlington, VA  (near downtown Washington, DC)

December 6-8, 1999

Sponsored by:
  -NIST  (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
    -EEEL (Electronics and Electrical Engineering Lab)
     -Electricity Division

Technical Co-Sponsors: IEEE, DOE, NST, ERPI and NEMA

Deregulation promises to spur significant change in the electric power industry. To compete successfully and to provide the high levels of services that customers expect, companies will have to adapt to a new business climate, while effectively integrating emerging technologies into their operations. Thus, this historically regulated industry will be challenged to identify its technology needs in a changing and uncertain environment. To help the industry respond effectively, this workshop will address technical challenges related to measurements and standards that are needed to ensure continued reliable generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power.

The technical impact of deregulation on the industry's measurement and standards infrastructure will be assessed from the perspectives of the electric utilities, power producers, electrical equipment manufacturers, meter manufacturers, federal and state regulators, government agencies, and standards-writing bodies. Sessions for this two-day workshop will focus on:

 - measurement needs for transmission and distribution,
 - international and voluntary standards needs of a deregulated
     electric power industry,
 - communication and control systems protocols and standards,
 - competitive metering,
 - distributed generation, and
 - power quality.

The workshop will feature three or four plenary speakers each morning, and their comprehensive overviews of the technical topics will be complemented by panel sessions each afternoon. Panels will consist of recognized experts from all sectors of the electric power industry and relevant government agencies. The workshop's published proceedings will identify key technical challenges facing the industry as it undergoes fundamental change, and it will discuss potential solutions. Copies will be distributed to all attendees.

Registration fee: $350 (includes reception, two lunches, and proceedings)

For questions and comments about this workshop, contact:

  James K. Olthoff,  301-975-2431,  james.olthoff@nist.gov
    Electricity Division, NIST
      Gaithersburg, MD

Technological and Economic Assessment of the Changing Measurement and Standards Needs of the Electric Power Industry

With restructuring of the electric power industry looming in all 50 states, NIST has initiated efforts to anticipate needs for measurements and standards that may arise as the industry transitions from a system of monolithic utilities to a diverse collection of firms competing to generate, distribute, and meter the power that goes to homes and businesses. In its role as the nation's measurement authority, NIST has commissioned a study of technology and marketing trends in the transmission, distribution, and generation sectors of the electric power industry. Researchers will assess measurement and standards needs identified by power industry experts interviewed during the study.

The results of the study will be presented in a report, which will be distributed to the attendees of the workshop. An overview of the report and the conclusions therein will be presented in the first plenary talk of the workshop.

In May 1997, The Electricity Division at NIST published a planning document entitled:

"Measurement Support For the U.S. Electric Power Industry  in the Era of Deregulation with Focus on  Electrical Measurements for Transmission and Distribution"

It is available in "html" and "pdf" format.
     -->  http://www.eeel.nist.gov/811/plan_ep.html

A earlier draft of this document was offered to UFTO companies for comment.
        (ref: UFTO Notes: 28Jan97 and 14Nov96)

The Division continues to seek input on its program to provide metrology support to the US electronic instrumentation and test equipment industry.
     -->  http://www.eeel.nist.gov/811/comments.html

Subject: UFTO Note - Gridcom Powerline Sensors
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 1999


Gridcom Powerline Sensors

A remarkable new type of low cost and easily installed intelligent powerline sensors are nearing commercial readiness.  They come in three flavors:

  - Medium Voltage Single Phase Overhead  (4 - 69 KV)
  - Medium Voltage Single Phase Underground
  - Low Voltage Single and Multi-phase Underground  (e.g., 208 V)

The medium voltage devices simply clamp on the cable, and measure voltage and current without a connection to ground or a phase-to-phase connection.  There is no penetration of  cable voltage insulation.  (It is not applicable to coax or multiple conductor configurations--only single unshielded cables.)  The underground units are self-powered by the power line, and the overhead ones use batteries that will last 5 years or more.

They are said to be approximately ten times cheaper to buy and install, and offer far greater capabilities than anything else on the market.  Measurement accuracies (I, V, P) are quoted at better than 3%, though the units invariably do much better.  It is not a revenue meter, however.

Evaluation units are available now, and the first production units will be ready before the end of the year.  Five utilities (including one or two UFTO companies) have been testing overhead sensors.

The sensors measure current and voltage and can be equipped to measure and/or detect a number of additional conditions or quantities including temperature, moisture, specific substances, light, acceleration, and vibration.  Underground sensors utilize two-way powerline carrier communications over the existing lines and overhead sensors communicate through two-way low power RF systems.

Each sensor has its own local on-board intelligence to perform data processing and analysis.  In typical applications the sensors calculate true rms voltage and current, power factor and harmonic content.  Peak rms quantities and fault recognition capabilities can also be employed.

The sensors report by exception, when polled, or at determined times.  Since data is processed at the sensors, communications bandwidth requirements are relatively low.  Only processed data or observed data related events (like faults, voltage dips, or high current limits) are reported -- not extensive strings of raw data.

Typical functions of these sensors (both overhead and underground) include:

- Detection and location of faults
- Measurement of power quality
- Identification of grounding and cable insulation issues
- Detection of non-technical losses
- Detection of unanticipated loads
- Confirmation of recloser, sectionalizer and other switch operations
- Support capacitor switching algorithms
- Monitoring distributed generation


Infrastructure Monitoring
  - Distribution Automation
  - Operations Support
  - Fault Detection, Classification and Location
  - Power-line losses
  - Power Factor and VAR Monitoring
  - Switch Operation Confirmation
  - Planning Studies
  - Circuit Design

Condition Based Maintenance
  - Cable Burnout and Circuit Limiter Detection (low voltage U/G)
  - Equipment Health Status (Fuse, Cutout, Transformer, Switch)
  - Tree Trimming Effectiveness

Beyond the Meter Services
  - Power Quality
  - Sub-metering and Beyond-the-Meter Distribution Networks
  - Harmonic Analysis

The underground sensors were initially developed for Consolidated Edison’s Secondary Underground Network Distribution Automation System (SUNDAS).  The objective was to develop a comprehensive sensing system that would be relatively inexpensive to purchase, install, operate and maintain.

Con Ed has tested experimental versions of the low voltage underground sensors in their Battery Park City and Harlem networks.  These tests demonstrated the capabilities of these sensors to monitor powerline conditions and to detect variations in line conditions associated with circuit limiter loss, arcing faults, changes in network protector relay status and unusual changes in power flow patterns.  Based on the performance of the experimental sensors, Con Edison will install GridCom sensors throughout the Hunter network with installations beginning this fall.

US Patent No. 5,892,430: Self-powered powerline sensor
The company's website has a lot of information and pictures:

Contact: Rich Wiesman,  781-684-4387    rwiesman@foster-miller.com

Subject: UFTO Note - Alchemix - Two Emissions Control Breakthroughs
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999


UFTO Note - Alchemix - Two Emissions Control Breakthroughs

Either one of this company's two technologies are revolutionary.  While they both sound too good to be true, it's just possible that they're for real.  The company's president, Robert Horton understands that people will be skeptical--he is himself, but takes the view that these things will either work or not.  If they do, the implications are extraordinary.

They aren't asking anybody to give them money until/unless the proof of the technology has been demonstrated.  They've raised $2M already, have 13 employees, and tests are scheduled next month at AEP and  Southern Co.

We first heard about this company at the Environmental Capital Network Forum in San Francisco last winter.  At that time, they had planned to discuss only the first technology, but decided at the last minute to present the second one also.  There has been a lot of progress since then.  The text presented here is adapted from company materials.

The two technologies are:

1.  Ash Conversion Technology (ACT) ? aims to produce a range of cementitious products from coal ash inside coal-fired utility boilers.

2.  Catalytic Reduction Technology -- Raphite™ is a naturally occurring low cost volcanic material which acts as a catalyst at elevated temperatures.  Combustion gas oxides including SO2, NOx and possibly CO2 have been demonstrated to be substantially reduced after contacting Raphite coated surfaces at a temperature of approximately 900 F.   It has the potential to reduce dramatically the cost and complexity of emissions control.

In the year 2000, Alchemix expects to offer coal-fired boiler operators turnkey services which will reduce ash disposal costs for clients and bring combustion gas emissions into regulatory compliance for a fraction of the cost of alternative approaches.  At the same time, new liabilities to plant operators from ponded or solid refuse will be curtailed.

These services will be offered, on an intermediate to long term basis, on behalf of Alchemix by established and respected combustion engineering companies.  Their incentive is compensation based on revenue rather than time, and the ability to offer low cost, long term services to a much expanded customer list.

Contact: Robert Horton, Chairman
    Alchemix Corporation, Carefree, AZ
    480-488-3388    alchemix@att.net

More Details

1.  Ash Conversion Technology (ACT)

ACT aims to produce a range of cementitious products from coal ash in coal-fired utility boilers.  It converts a waste stream with an average disposal cost of $16/T to a cement additive having a market value exceeding $40/T.

The process eliminates the need for calcining, the heating process usually required for cement production which produces great amounts of combustion gases and CO2 .  This is significant, as the cementmaking is reported to be, per pound of product produced, the most polluting industrial process.  The calcining of lime associated with cement production accounts for four percent (4%) of all CO2 released to the atmosphere worldwide. When demonstrated at bench scale, a five percent (5%) increase in energy efficiency has also been observed from the application of the ACT.

While characterization and acceptance of new cements may take years, an intermediate product, low carbon fly ash, can be produced now from the application of ACT.

Alchemix has an agreement with R.W. Beck, a leading combustion engineering company, and has ongoing discussions with  Essroc Cement Corporation, the sixth largest cement company in the U.S., to fund the development and commercialization of the ACT. These agreements call for R.W. Beck to install and operate ACT. Essroc’s role would be to buy and distribute the products produced. To date, technology verification work conducted in June and July of 1999 at Pennsylvania State University has demonstrated the ability to produce low carbon fly ash. Data are not yet available indicating the quality of higher value products.

ACT is implemented by injecting supercritical water into the combustion gas stream in the boiler, downstream of the combustion zone, while combustion gases and the minerals they contain are still at high temperatures.

- Carbon present in the fly ash reacts with the water to form Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen.
- The Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen burn.
- Ash minerals become highly reactive and cementitious.
- Combustion of unburned carbon reduces particulate pollution significantly.
- Low carbon ash or various geopolymer cements can be selectively produced.

ACT makes it possible for coal-fired utility boilers to perform as mineral conversion devices simultaneously with their designed use as electricity generators.  ACT is easy and inexpensive to employ as it involves only the measured injection of water into the combustion gas stream.  The process converts directly -- within the utility boiler -- inorganic minerals which are usually emitted and collected as fly ash, into a salable low carbon fly ash cement additive or a variety of cements.

2.  Catalytic Reduction Technology (Raphite™)

Raphite is a naturally occurring volcanic material which acts as a catalyst at elevated temperatures.

- Raphite would be  installed in and on exhaust ducts leading from combustion zones of coal-fired boilers (quickly and at low cost).
- Raphite has been shown to substantially reduce combustion gas oxides including SO2, NOx and possibly CO2 when contacting Raphite coated surfaces at a temperature of approximately   900 F.

No other single control technology effectively reduces both SO2 and NOX, and there is no commercial technology claiming measurable CO2 reduction.  Where elemental carbon can be captured or reburned, added fuel efficiency is possible.

The cost of implementation will be low.  Raphite's active ingredients are combined in nature, so it requires only low cost mining and grinding prior to application, unlike other catalyts which require a combination of refined and rare metals.

Alchemix will offer Raphite technology, through an established combustion engineering partner, as a turnkey service.  Alchemix is considering an exclusive engineering contract with a leading combustion engineering firm.  That firm would advance necessary funds for commercialization and support Alchemix until financeable contracts are in hand. Alchemix has exclusive rights in the US for all uses of Raphite related to coal combustion.

Independent proof of concept testing at Four Corners by APS indicated 83% SO2 reduction and complete elimination of NOX. A measurable reduction of CO2 was also indicated.  These excellent results were from field tests which were not optimized.  Additional work towards commercialization at Four Corners is anticipated.

Additional work will be required to identify and understand all of the variables impacting the performance of Raphite.

The combined cost of available SO2 and NOX reduction strategies typically range from $20 to $45 per ton of coal burned. The prospective capital and operating cost to implement Raphite is expected to be less than $5 per ton.

More comprehensive field tests are now scheduled at Southern Research Institute and the 1300 MW Mountaineer plant of AEP.   A portion of the costs of these tests are being paid for by Southern Companies and AEP, the two largest investor owned electric utilities in the world.  Together they represent thirty percent (30%) of the coal fired utility capacity in the US,  and are aggressively seeking lower cost solutions to multibillion dollar compliance issues.

Subject: UFTO Forward - DOE Distributed Power Program Review and Planning Meeting
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 13:59:24 -0700
From: Ed Beardsworth <edbeards@ufto.com>

Just received this notice a few minutes ago...

Below you will find details regarding a Distributed Power for the 21st Century program review and planning meeting.  Please register promptly if you plan to attend.  Registration forms should be emailed to  kimberly_taylor@nrel.gov

DOE Distributed Power Program Review and Planning Meeting

As a result of recommendations from stakeholders at a workshop on removing technical, regulatory and institutional barriers to distributed power, held in December 1998, a Distributed Power Program was initiated at the Department of Energy to address these barriers. The focus of the FY1999 program activities has been on addressing near-term barriers, namely, documenting interconnection issues, supporting the fast-track development of a uniform national interconnection standard, and providing technical assistance to state and local governments as they consider legislative and regulatory actions impacting distributed power.

To continue to build on the results of last December's workshop, DOE will be having a Program Review and Planning Meeting in conjunction with a meeting of the IEEE SCC21 distributed power interconnection working group, September 27-29, 1999, at the Holiday Inn National Airport in Arlington, VA.   This meeting will provide an opportunity for you to evaluate the program=s early efforts and to help formulate multi-year plans to address longer-term R&D needs.  These longer-term needs will focus on capturing the full value of distributed power in an electricity market in which customers can sell power, employ load management, and provide operations support services (ancillary services) as easily as the utility, in an automated and adaptive electric power system. As we move into the next century, distributed power will provide the ultimate choice of electricity supply for consumers and  will be the real foundation of competition in the electric power industry.

Please join your Distributed Power colleagues in this important meeting.

-----------------------(additional information sent as follow-up)--------------
Just got word from Dick DeBlasio at NREL about the IEEE Working Group meeting and the DOE planning workshop.  A decision was reached to open the IEEE meeting to everyone.

"Ed - the IEEE meeting SCC21 P1547 will be on Sept 28-30th, 1999 for 2 1/2 days following the September 27th DOE DPP review and planning meeting.  The idea is that all are invited to all 3 1/2 days of meetings . Its one meeting that includes a full IEEE SCC21 P1547 working group session for 2 1/2 days and a DOE planning meeting.  I hope that helps.  Dick"

Subject: UFTO Note- Science Mag. Energy Issue
Date: Fri, 06 Aug 1999
Science Magazine's recent (July 30) issue is a special edition with a major series of articles on Energy.  Here are the table of contents, abstracts, and full text of the lead articles, which I downloaded from their website.  If you want any of the articles, but don't have access to either the magazine, or full text downloading (which may require a subscription), let me know.

Science Magazine, July 30, 1999

A Responsible Energy Future.
   pg. 662. (Editorial) [Full Text]

Powering the Next Century.
   pg. 677. (Introduction to special issue) [Full Text]

(Abstracts below for these 14 articles)

    Bright Future--or Brief Flare--for Renewable Energy? pg. 678-680.

 2. ENERGY: Solar Homes for the Masses.   pg. 679.

 3. NEXT GENERATION AUTOMOBILES: U.S. Supercars: Around the Corner,
    or Running on Empty? pg. 680-682.

    Toyota's Hybrid Hits the Streets First, pg. 681.

    Bringing Fuel Cells Down to Earth, pg. 682-685.

    Company Aims to Give Fuel Cells a Little Backbone. pg. 683.

    Turning Engineers Into Resource Accountants. pg. 685-686.

     In This Danish Industrial Park, Nothing Goes to Waste. pg. 686.

 9. A Realizable Renewable Energy Future.  John A. Turner, pg.

10. Underinvestment: The Energy Technology and R&D Policy Challenge.
    Robert M. Margolis and D. M. Kammen,  pg. 690-692.

11. Photovoltaic Technology: The Case for Thin-Film Solar Cells.
    A. Shah, et. al.,   pg. 692-698.

12. Ceramic Fibers for Matrix Composites in High-Temperature
    Engine Applications.
    P. Baldus, M. Jansen, and D. Sporn,  pg. 699-703.

13. Thermoelectric Cooling and Power Generation.
    F. J. DiSalvo,  pg. 703-706.

14. Environmental Engineering: Energy Value of Replacing Waste Disposal
    with Resource Recovery.  R. Iranpour, et.al., pg.706-711.

Powering the Next Century  (Introduction to special issue)
Richard Stone and Phil Szuromi

Twenty-five years ago, Science devoted an entire issue to what then was perceived as a major threat to Western society: the energy crisis. Some authors presciently wrote of conservation and improved fossil fuel recovery, while others missed the mark by heralding new eras of nuclear and alternative energy. For a deeper understanding of that turning point between energy naïveté and energy realism, see articles from that and subsequent issues posted at our Web site.

Unexpectedly cheap oil prices in the United States, impossible to foresee in the immediate aftermath of the crisis, are rooted in both economics and politics. Greater oil resources are now available thanks to new reserves and enhanced recovery technologies. [The extent of existing oil resources is under debate (Science, 21 August 1998, p. 1128).] Oil-exporting nations have not maintained the political resolve to keep oil prices inflated by limiting production, and the Persian Gulf War demonstrated the resolve of Western nations to use force to protect oil resources in the Middle East.

Western policy-makers are now debating how to rein in the environmental costs of oil use, such as oil spills and rising concentrations of greenhouse gases. To meet the pollution reduction challenges, energy producers are blazing trails in energy efficiency and reviving alternative energy sources. This special issue explores the science and policy of emerging technologies. Most are works in progress. Fuel cells, for example, are limited largely by ion transfer rates across fragile membranes, whereas the efficiency of heat engines is limited in part by the operating temperatures of metals; ceramics are being explored as hardier alternatives. Improving thermoelectric devices for refrigeration requires finding materials with high electronic conductivity but low thermal conductivity, properties that normally tend to increase or decrease together.

Alternative fuels are also being developed, but they face their own hurdles. Using hydrogen in fuel cell vehicles, for example, would require billions of dollars to create the infrastructure to deliver the gas. Meanwhile, the present infrastructure could become vastly more energy efficient--a shortcoming the young field of industrial ecology is trying to address. Many resources that could be recycled, such as waste water or flare gas, often are not. Where political will translates into legislation, such as California's demand for alternatively fueled vehicles and the deregulation of its electricity market, investments in new technologies have happened. Where political will has faltered, such as not establishing firm targets for carbon dioxide emissions, developments have been slow.

In his editorial in that 1974 issue of Science, Phil Abelson noted, "Had we been driving smaller, less gas-consuming cars, there would have been no energy crisis. Some other forms of transportation consume less gasoline, and their use should be encouraged." The logic remains irrefutable a quarter of a century later. Advances in energy technology will likely need to be assisted, however, by changes in our own habits of energy use, willingly or not.


A Responsible Energy Future  (Editorial)
Rush Holt*

Affordable energy is the lifeblood of modern society. Without it, the network of transportation, agriculture, health care, manufacturing, and commerce deemed essential by many of the world's inhabitants would not be possible. Yet our use of energy releases sulfur dioxides, metals such as cadmium and mercury, and greenhouse gases and other noxious pollutants that damage our quality of life. Moreover, when we use fossil fuels, we make ourselves dependent on an energy source that cannot be relied upon forever.

With the apparent conditions in the United States today, what could induce us to change our energy habits now? Almost daily, gasoline prices reach record lows, and U.S. citizens have not waited in line for gas for decades. Our fossil fuel engines and turbines burn more cleanly and more efficiently now than ever before.

Nevertheless, the truth is that our current system of energy use is unsustainable; our energy habits will have to change. For, although fossil fuel supplies are limited, total energy use will rise rapidly in coming years as global economic development continues. What is more, according to many scientists, current greenhouse gas emissions--let alone any greater emissions in the future--threaten to produce serious environmental changes.

Some scientists have predicted that projected greenhouse gas emissions for the coming decade could produce climate changes as significant as an increase of 5º to 6ºF (2.8º to 3.3ºC) in average global temperature, a one-half meter rise of sea level, and even an increase in the intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms. Worst-case scenarios? Perhaps. But other negative effects of fossil fuel pollution, such as smog, acid rain, water contamination from leaky fuel tanks, oil refinery emissions, and oil spills, are already very real in many regions of the globe, in both industrialized and developing nations. Even without global warming, these immediate problems are enough to warrant change.

For developing countries, cheap, polluting, and inefficient technologies are often the only affordable option. The United States is in a position to develop better alternatives. We should take the initiative. Our current investment in research and development in energy is nothing short of irresponsible. The U.S. national energy product exceeds $500 billion annually. Yet barely 1% of that amount is invested in R&D. The President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has recommended that the Department of Energy's applied energy-technology R&D budget be nearly doubled to $2.4 billion by 2003. In my view, this recommendation should be considered a minimum figure.

This money would be well spent. Those who position themselves to manage the coming changes in energy use will stand to gain enormously. American companies would profit from the development of more efficient, cleaner--and therefore more desirable--technologies; the American economy would benefit from the expertise built up by further research; and American citizens would benefit from a cleaner, safer environment.

Just as the federal government has a responsibility to invest now in basic medical research to ensure the health of present and future generations, so it has a responsibility to invest now in basic energy research to ensure both our near-term and long-term economic and environmental health. The justification for this commitment seems clear to many of us trained in science and technology. Yet with energy prices low, the necessary political will may be lacking. Will apprehension about negative effects--greater pollution and global climate change--provoke people to examine our energy habits and take action? Or will the possible economic opportunities attract attention and provoke action? A huge potential market awaits, promising an opportunity to enhance the quality of life of all the world's people. Meanwhile, researchers and policy-makers must continue to seek ways to make relevant to our communities the nature of our global energy challenges and opportunities.

The author is a U.S. Congressman from central New Jersey, a physicist, and the former Assistant Director of Princeton University's Plasma Physics Laboratory.


Abstract 1 of 14

ENERGY: Bright Future--or Brief Flare--for Renewable Energy?

Kathryn S. Brown

PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA--Solar, wind, and other forms of renewable energy are making surprising gains as some U.S. states open their power markets to competition. But with fossil fuel prices near all-time lows, experts are split on whether alternative energy can maintain its momentum. Concerns about climate change are the strongest force pulling in favor of renewables, but if the Kyoto climate change treaty falters and global warming forecasts become less dire, the fossil fuel era is likely to continue into the foreseeable future.

Abstract 2 of 14

ENERGY: Solar Homes for the Masses
Alexander Hellemans

Near Amersfoort, the Netherlands, the NV REMU power company is leading a $13 million project to build 500 houses with roofs covered with photovoltaic panels--the world's largest attempt at so-called "building-integrated photovoltaics." By the time the homes are finished next year, they should be drawing 1.3 megawatts of energy from the sun, enough to supply about 60% of the community's energy needs.

Abstract 3 of 14

U.S. Supercars: Around the Corner, or Running on Empty?
David Malakoff

GOLDEN, COLORADO--A collaboration between automakers and the federal government to develop high-mileage, low-emission cars is set to unveil its first prototypes--probably diesel-electric hybrids--next year. However, critics charge that the program is betting on the wrong technologies by emphasizing polluting diesel engines instead of potentially cleaner technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells; others question why the government is subsidizing the effort when Toyota has already built a fuel cell car on its own dime (see sidebar). Moreover, with the United States' current low gas prices, observers don't expect to see consumers cruising in the new supercars anytime soon.

Abstract 4 of 14

Toyota's Hybrid Hits the Streets First
Dennis Normile

TOKYO--As U.S. automakers struggle to draft blueprints for their future fuel-efficient cars (see main text), the Toyota Motor Co. has beaten them to the punch with a gas-electric hybrid that gets about double the gas mileage and spews half the carbon dioxide of similarly sized sedans. What's more, the Prius has made it to market without the benefit of taxpayer-sponsored research and without any looming domestic requirements for zero-emissions vehicles.

Abstract 5 of 14

Bringing Fuel Cells Down to Earth
Robert F. Service

Automakers are banking on fuel cells, used to run equipment aboard spacecraft, to power the first zero-emission vehicles; the type of fuel that supplies the cells could determine how deeply
these cars penetrate the market. Engineers and clean-air experts say the simplest and cleanest option is hydrogen gas itself, while car and oil companies would prefer to equip vehicles with
miniature chemical factories to convert liquid fuels, such as gasoline or methanol, into hydrogen gas that can be fed into fuel cells. Critics, meanwhile, argue that the converters likely will
be expensive and prone to breaking down.

Abstract 6 of 14

Company Aims to Give Fuel Cells a Little Backbone
David Voss

ELKTON, MARYLAND--Before fuel cell-makers can challenge utility companies for our business, they must first lower the price and ratchet up the power of their devices. A crucial part of the strategy is to improve the membrane assembly, which serves as catalyst, electrode, and chemical separator. Researchers are achieving promising results using fluoropolymers, but cost remains an obstacle.

Abstract 7 of 14

Turning Engineers Into Resource Accountants
Jocelyn Kaiser

A new discipline is trying to persuade companies that tracking the flow of materials and energy over a product's lifetime makes good business sense. The philosophy has begun to pay off--mainly in Europe--in everything from appliances designed with reusable parts to schemes for capturing precious metals that may otherwise end up in landfills or riverbeds. However, a cradle-to-grave approach to doing business hasn't yet caught fire in the United States.

Abstract 8 of 14

In This Danish Industrial Park, Nothing Goes to Waste
Jocelyn Kaiser

If there's anything that sums up the hopes of industrial ecology (see main text), it's a tiny pipeline-laced town in eastern Denmark called Kalundborg, where companies have been swapping byproducts like gypsum and waste water for up to 25 years. This "industrial symbiosis" is drawing keen interest from policy-makers in the United States, although opinions vary on its odds of success.

Abstract 9 of 14

A Realizable Renewable Energy Future
John A. Turner

The ability of renewable resources to provide all of society's energy needs is shown by using the United States as an example. Various renewable systems are presented, and the issues of energy payback, carbon dioxide abatement, and energy storage are addressed. Pathways for renewable hydrogen generation are shown, and the implementation of hydrogen technologies into the energy infrastructure is presented. The question is asked, Should money and energy be spent on carbon dioxide sequestration, or should renewable resources be im plemented instead.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO. E-mail: jturner@nrel.gov

Abstract 10 of 14

Underinvestment: The Energy Technology and R&D Policy Challenge
Robert M. Margolis, 1* Daniel M. Kammen 2*

This Viewpoint examines data on international trends in energy research and development (R&D) funding, patterns of U.S. energy technology patents and R&D funding, and U.S. R&D intensities across selected sectors. The data present a disturbing picture: (i) Energy technology funding levels have declined significantly during the past two decades throughout the industrial world; (ii) U.S. R&D spending and patents, both overall and in the energy sector, have been highly correlated during the past two decades; and (iii) the R&D intensity of the U.S. energy sector is extremely low. It is argued that recent cutbacks in energy R&D are likely to reduce the capacity of the energy sector to innovate. The trends are particularly troubling given the need for increased international capacity to respond to emerging risks such as global climate change.

1 Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) Program, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ .
2 Energy and Resources Group (ERG), University of California, Berkeley, CA .
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: margolis@princeton.edu; dkammen@socrates.berkeley.edu

Abstract 11 of 14

Photovoltaic Technology: The Case for Thin-Film Solar Cells
A. Shah, 1 P. Torres, 1* R. Tscharner, 1 N. Wyrsch, 1 H. Keppner 2

The advantages and limitations of photovoltaic solar modules for energy generation are reviewed with their operation principles and physical efficiency limits. Although the main materials currently used or investigated and the associated fabrication technologies are individually described, emphasis is on silicon-based solar cells. Wafer-based crystalline silicon solar modules dominate in terms of production, but amorphous silicon solar cells have the potential to undercut costs owing, for example, to the roll-to-roll production possibilities for modules. Recent developments suggest that thin-film crystalline silicon (especially microcrystalline silicon) is becoming a prime candidate for future photovoltaics.

1 Institute of Microtechnology (IMT), University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
2 University of Applied Science,  Le Locle, Switzerland.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: peter.torres@imt.unine.ch

Abstract 12 of 14

Ceramic Fibers for Matrix Composites in High-Temperature Engine Applications
Peter Baldus, 1 Martin Jansen, 2* Dieter Sporn 3

High-temperature engine applications have been limited by the performance of metal alloys and carbide fiber composites at elevated temperatures. Random inorganic networks composed of silicon, boron, nitrogen, and carbon represent a novel class of ceramics with outstanding durability at elevated temperatures. SiBN3C was synthesized by pyrolysis of a preceramic N-methylpolyborosilazane made from the single-source precursor Cl3Si-NH-BCl2. The polymer can be processed to a green fiber by melt-spinning, which then undergoes an intermediate curing step and successive pyrolysis. The ceramic fibers, which are presently produced on a semitechnical scale, combine several desired properties relevant for an application in fiber-reinforced ceramic composites: thermal stability, mechanical strength, high-temperature creep resistivity, low density, and stability against oxidation or mo lten silicon.

1 Bayer AG, ZF-MFA, Leverkusen, Germany.
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung, Stuttgart, Germany.
3 Fraunhofer Institut für Silicatforschung, Germany.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Abstract 13 of 14

Thermoelectric Cooling and Power Generation
Francis J. DiSalvo

In a typical thermoelectric device, a junction is formed from two different conducting materials, one containing positive charge carriers (holes) and the other negative charge carriers (electrons). When an electric current is passed in the appropriate direction through the junction, both types of charge carriers move away from the junction and convey heat away, thus cooling the junction. Similarly, a heat source at the junction causes carriers to flow away from the junction, making an electrical generator. Such devices have the advantage of containing no moving parts, but low efficiencies have limited their use to specialty applications, such as cooling laser diodes. The principles of thermoelectric devices are reviewed and strategies for increasing the efficiency of novel materials are explored. Improved materials would not only help to cool advanced electronics but could also provide energy benefits in refrigeration and when using waste heat to generate electrical power.

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. E-mail: fjd3@cornell.edu

Abstract 14 of 14

Environmental Engineering: Energy Value of Replacing Waste Disposal with Resource Recovery
R. Iranpour, 1* M. Stenstrom, 2 G. Tchobanoglous, 3 D. Miller, 4 J. Wright, 5 M. Vossoughi 6

Although in the past, environmental engineering has been primarily concerned with waste disposal, the focus of the field is now shifting toward viewing wastes as potential resources. Because reclamation usually consumes less energy than producing new materials, increasing reclamation not only reduces pollution but saves energy. Technological innovations contributing to this shift are summarized here, and are variously classified as emerging technologies or research topics, as either new departures or incremental improvements, and as opportunistic innovations, or examples of a unifying strategy. Both liquid and solid waste examples are given, such as a recent discovery of effects in disinfecting microfiltered reclaimed wastewater with ultraviolet light. In addition to its value in reducing pollution and conserving energy, this reorientation of environmental engineering could contribute to a more general shift toward greater cooperation among organizations dealing with the environment.

1 Applied Research Group, Hyperion Treatment Plant, Los Angeles Sanitation, Santa Monica, CA.
2 Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
3 Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UC-Davis, Davis, CA
4 Tech Research, Los Angeles, CA
5 Dept of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.
6 Biochemical and Bioengineering Research Center, Sharif University, Tehran, Iran.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: rezairanpo@aol.com

Copyright © 1999 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Subject: UFTO Fwd - Green Power News -- Green Branding
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999

Terry Peterson of EPRI sends out several notes a week to an email list, where he comments on current events in renewable energy. It's primarily for EPRI members, but temporary 'free preview' subscriptions are available and he's added my name to the list in anticipation of my supplying him reciprocal information. (Contact him directly if you want to be put on the list for a preview.)


Below is an item he sent out this morning.  He gave me permission to forward it to you. It makes two very important points:

1.  Retail customers haven't rushed to switch suppliers in California -- yet -- but people who say this means restructuring is a flop are missing the point entirely. There isn't much reason to switch now, but wait until the stranded asset recovery transition is completed, and then see what happens.

2.  Most customers who have switched do it to go green, and are even willing to pay more, not less, for the opportunity.  Everybody has been too fixated on "cost" of renewables -- "price" (and "brand") are what are really important. Precisely the point Karl Rabago made in his keynote speech to the CURC Conference (Nov 97 -- see UFTO Note Nov 13, 1997).

The Harvard Business Review article looks interesting, too.  Which cereal do you buy?

(Thanks, Terry.)


 Subject:  California's green power market reported heating up
    Date:  Fri, 30 Jul 1999 11:15:28 -0700
    From:  Green Power News <GreenPowerNews@epri.com>
      To:  Green Power News <GreenPowerNews@epri.com>

California's retail electricity competition has gotten off to a pretty slow start, owing to several factors that tended to discourage residential customers from taking action to switch providers, including an across-the-board 10% rate reduction and an effectively wholesale market price for competing electricity suppliers to beat. In the first year only about 1% of all residential customers bothered.

Enron, for one, found the heat in that kitchen unbearable and stopped marketing residential products. However, several other marketers have stayed the course and, from the press release below, it seems their patience is beginning to pay off.

As noted below, although the total number of switchers to date is comparatively small, the vast majority of them have opted for green power. Since the present California energy market provides very little economic incentive for switching, that testifies to two facts: The great majority of electricity customers are relatively satisfied with their present provider; And green power is clearly a product with "premium brand" potential.

That last point will become very important as the electricity industry learns to stop operating on "level 1" of building brand equity (What are the tangible, verifiable, objective, measurable characteristics of products, services, ingredients, or components that carry this brand name?) and moves toward "level 4" (What does "value" mean for the typical loyal customer?) and "level 5" (What is the essential nature and character of the brand?). If this notion intrigues you, and you don't think that level 1 captures all the differences between Safeway's and Kellogg's corn flakes, please read S. Ward, et al., "What High-Tech Managers Need to Know about Brands", Harvard Business Review, July-August 1999, pp. 85ff.

 Company Press Release

Summer Heats up for California's Green Power Market

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 23, 1999--California Green power providers report a new surge of customer enthusiasm.

Two companies, GreenMountain.Com and Commonwealth Energy, report signing up customers at a record pace. A third, The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) announced plans to buy all the power available from a new green power facility that begins generating in September, in order to meet recent high customer demand.

All three organizations offer products certified by Green-e, a renewable electricity certification program. To date, over 90 percent of California customers who switch electricity providers are receiving green power -- electricity produced using renewable resources such as wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and small scale hydropower.

"Last month was our most successful month ever in terms of sales," said Rick Counihan, Director of California Public Affairs for Green Mountain Energy. "We are greatly encouraged by the speed with which green power is catching on in California," Counihan continued.

Jay Goth, Vice President of Commonwealth Energy, said that "Each week we set new records for the number of customers that switch to our 100 percent renewable power offering. In the San Diego area alone, 43 government entities are now buying our green power."

California Public Utilities Commission Reports support the marketers' statements showing that customer requests for green power are up almost 90 percent from earlier in the year.

Customers have directly benefited from a statewide credit for renewable energy purchases that allows green power providers to offer renewable-based electricity at a price below that offered by the state's three major utilities.

In addition, a grassroots education program being conducted by leading environmental organizations such as the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies and Global Green, USA, in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Marketing Board, is helping educate customers on the environmental benefits of green power purchases.

"Still much work remains to be done," said Karl Rabago, Chair of the Green Power Board which governs the Green-e Program, "but the strength of California's green power market shows that when customers hear about it, they get it -- buying green power is a choice they can make to create a healthier environment for us all."

The Green-e, a renewable electricity certification program, is administered by the Center for Resource Solutions, a non-profit organization dedicated to building human capacity and institutions for energy, economic and environmental sustainability.

Based in San Francisco's Presidio, the Center administers national and international programs that preserve and protect the environment through the design of innovative strategies and increased utilization of sustainable technologies.

Contact:  Center for Resource Solutions, Meredith Wingate or Suzanne Tegen, 415/561-2100 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 This news item comes to you as a service of EPRI's Renewables and Green Power Marketing Target. If you are not a Green Power News subscriber and wish to become one--or are one and wish not to be--please send me an email request. Thank you.

Terry M. Peterson
Manager, Solar Power & Green Power Marketing
EPRI Palo Alto CA   TPeterson@epri.com   650-855-2594

Visit the Renewables website:  http://www.epriweb.com/gg/rgpm/

Subject: UFTO Note - NY DG Interconnect Proposal
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999


New York Staff Proposal for Distrib Gen Interconnection

 The report was issued by Staff Wednesday July 21 in accordance with the 45 day SAPA (State Administration Procedures Act).  The Technical and Non Technical reports and the Staff proposal report are available on the NYS DPS website in pdf format.

New York State Standardized/Interconnection Requirements For Distributed Generators 300 Kilovolt-Amperes or Less Connected In Parallel With Radial Distribution Lines

 - Staff Interconnection Proposal

 - Technical Report Dealing With Standard Interconnection Requirements

 - Non-Technical Report Dealing with Application Process and Contract Documents

The above two reports were submitted to staff by a collaborative effort of parties including utilities and manufacturers of distributed generation technologies as well as other interested parties. These reports were submitted in response to the Chairman's request, that staff strive to standardize and streamline existing interconnection requirements, while not impacting the safety and reliability of New York's electric infrastructure, and not adding to ratepayer costs. Staff will prepare a proposal based on these reports, that will be available for comment via the State Administrative Procedures Act (SAPA). Staff's proposal will also be posted to this website. After comments are receive and evaluated, staff will prepare recommendations for Commission consideration.


Subject: UFTO Note - PowerLine Communications Breaththrough Claimed by Media Fusion
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1999


UFTO Note - PowerLine Communications Breaththrough Claimed by Media Fusion

(Preface:  I am usually the last person to disbelieve and write off a dramatic breakthrough story, but this one has me shaking my head.  If any of you have made contact, heard the pitch directly, and especially if you've signed their nondisclosure and seen some details, I'll be very interested to hear what you think of it.)

Media Fusion is a mysterious small company in Dallas TX that is making amazing claims for their "PAN", or Powerline Area Network.  Here are some words from their website:
        ( http://mediafusioncorp.net )

"Media Fusion's technology is a proprietary method and system (pat. pend.) that uses the magnetic field and electric power lines.

In simple terms, Media Fusion's Advanced Sub-Carrier Modulation™ process writes data within the electrical magnetic wave surrounding the power line, utilizing proprietary software and hardware. This then enables the electrical power grid to carry telephone, radio, video, Internet and satellite data to any destination at near light-speed.

Each home or business subscriber is provided with an easy-to-install communications package that will include a controller and several outlet connectors that can hook up phones, computers, TVs and any other communicating appliance to the network. Each connector has a unique identity that is characterized by the system."

One of our UFTO colleagues has heard the company's in-person presentation, and came away with no better understanding of how this is supposed to work than he had before.  When I asked the company for a copy of their standard presentation vugraphs, they refused.  The website provides absolutely not a clue about how the technology is supposed to work.  In conversations, they say 30-40  companies have signed an NDA.  They say this is the only way they'll open up about the technology, whose patents are pending.  They also say companies are lining up to give them money, and that technology demonstrations are imminent.

Meanwhile, the claims border on the fantastic.  Ultra high bandwidths.  Indefinitely long range.  A completely new and different concept, involving the injection of data onto the magnetic field that emanates from the power system and can be felt anywhere and everywhere.  This from a conversation with Luke Stewart, inventor of the technology, who utters a bizarre array of high tech buzzwords, but little that could be related to any familiar concepts of power systems or telecommunications.  He is reported to be "self-educated" and a genius, someone who worked directly with Bill Gates, who's reported to think him the smartest guy Gates had ever encountered.  I could find no patents issued to him, or anything else about him.

There has been some bigtime press coverage.  The company's website has copies of articles that appeared in Interactive Week, and on CNET.

The author of the CNET piece told me he'd not been able to learn anything more about the technology, and that he took a chance on the story, based on the support the company has from some Congressmen and retired high ranking military people.

The company did provide me with a 10-page document called "Powerline Communications Industry Update", which has a pretty good summary of power line communications technology all over the world - and why they all have problems -- maybe the best thing to come out of it.  I'll send a copy on request.

Subject: UFTO Note - IEEE Stds for DR Interconnection
Date: Fri, 09 Jul 1999


IEEE Standards Group Tackles DR Interconnection Issues

The IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee 21 (IEEE SCC21) oversees the development of standards in the area of fuel cells, photovoltaics, distributed generation, and energy storage.

-- SCC21 coordinates efforts in these fields among the various IEEE societies and other appropriate organizations to insure that all standards are consistent and properly reflect the views of all applicable disciplines.  SCC21 reviews all proposed IEEE standards in these fields before their submission to the IEEE Standards Board for approval and coordinates submission to other organizations.  (To learn more about IEEE Standards activities, go to:  http://standards.ieee.org/ )

"Standard for Distributed Resources Interconnected with Electric Power Systems" is the task of a new working group (one of 19  under SCC21).  Their project authorization request (PAR) P1547 got the final go ahead in March '99 to develop a "uniform standard for interconnection of distributed resources with electric power systems and requirements relevant to the performance, operation, testing, safety considerations, and maintenance of the interconnection."

Working Group Chair -- Richard DeBlasio (NREL)
               Vice Chair -- Frank Goodman (EPRI)
               Vice Chair -- Joseph Koepfinger (Duquesne), and
  Working Group Secretary -- Thomas S. Basso (NREL).

For a good and timely overview, see this recent testimony before the US Senate:

"Testimony on Interconnection of Distributed Resources before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, US Senate"   June 22, 1999,
     by Tom Schneider,Vice Chair, Energy Policy Committee, IEEE/USA,

The P1547 Working Group, whose membership is approaching 200, has met already several times since the initial organizational meeting in December, and will continue to meet as often as every 2-3 months. The last meeting was held Jun 28-30, in Chicago.  Future meetings are set for Sept 27 (tentative - precise date to be determined), in Washington DC, then Dec 1-2, in Tampa.

At the September meeting, there are tentative plans to hold an open informational session, which might be good to attend.  Also, the Summer Power Meeting in Edmonton (July 18-22) will have DR as a major theme ("Track 3"), with a panel session on interconnection.

There's an aggressive schedule to put together a DR standards document for submission to the IEEE Standards Board -- to have a final draft ready by March 2000.  Individuals and small groups are working on writing assignments to prepare the various sections.  The group has already produced and assembled a great deal of valuable information, and have worked out detailed classification schemes for types of DR interconnection equipment and configurations.  Probably the most important attribute is size of the DR, and the size of the system it's connected to--the larger the DR, as a fraction of the system, the more involved the requirements.

Overall, this is a huge undertaking.  According to one estimate, there are at least 18,000 "combinations," considering the number of different kinds of distribution circuits, inverter types, size ranges, and "issues" to address.  An analysis by EEI (Interconnection Operations and Planning Group) has identified 30 issues, times 3 converter types (inverter, and synchronous, and asynch generator), times 5 distribution circuit types.  (Some of the 30 issues include nuisance fuse blowing, reclosing, islanding, overvoltages, harmonics, switchgear ratings, lineworker safety, etc.)  A major goal of this project is to minimize the time and expense required for protection studies and eliminate customization of solutions, by providing a common analysis framework and prequalification of equipment.

Individual states are under ratepayer pressure to come up quickly with their own jurisdictional DG interconnection rulings, and there are major programs in Europe, so it's all the more important to avoid the complications of multiple (possibly conflicting) sets of requirements.  Fortunately, many other IEEE committees already have standards related to interconnection topics or components, e.g. for power quality, relaying, etc.  The ongoing cooperative consensus approach to the P1547 DR standard should help accelerate the development of a technically sound, uniform interconnection standard.

It's seems surprising that relatively few utilities are represented on the Working Group, despite the often stated belief that DR is going to be hugely significant.  (Industry organizations are actively participating, however, along with equipment makers and others.)  The companies that are involved seem to embrace the DR concept and appear to be positioning themselves to prosper by it.  (Some other companies are getting reputations as obstructionists, throwing obstacles and delays at every proposed installation.)

Participation is the best (only) way to tap into this rich array of information on the subject (all in hardcopy with minutes of the meetings!), and to track and influence developments.  Industry experts who contribute their time and energy get a chance to make a difference.

Contact: Dick DeBlasio, 303-384-6452,  dick_deblasio@nrel.gov
                Tom Basso,  303-384-6765,  thomas_basso@nrel.gov

Subject: UFTO Note - LBNL CO Occupational Dosimeter
Date: Wed, 07 Jul 1999 09:52:35 -0700

(One of a series of notes detailing results of recent visits to
Lawrence Berkeley National Labs-LBNL)

CO Sensor - Occupational Dosimeter

A new lightweight, inexpensive, accurate carbon monoxide (CO) sensor and monitoring system has been developed by scientists LBNL and Quantum Group Incorporated (QGI, San Diego), under a cooperative R&D agreement (CRADA).

The original impetus was to create a device to do population exposure studies, since outdoor measurements of levels of CO (as required by the Clean Air Act) don't relate to deaths and acute poisonings caused by CO.  CO poisoning deaths (500-1000 per year) occur indoors, involving accidents, misuse of heaters, unvented gas flames, and auto exhaust.  19,000 poisonings were reported by poison control centers in 1995.

There is limited understanding about carbon monoxide exposure risks, partly because there has been no affordable way to accurately measure CO in the field.  Some of the current methods of measurement require expensive, heavy equipment or unwieldy air bag samplers. Others are relatively inexpensive and lightweight, but they are not accurate or sensitive enough to provide credible quantitative results for a large number of sites.

To fill this gap, LBNL and QGI developed the new CO sensor, which can clip onto a person's clothing. It can be used as an occupational dosimeter, which measures a worker's average exposure, or as a residential passive sampler measuring exposure in a home or office over a one-day to one-week period.  Analysis is simple—the device is placed into a standard lab spectrophotometer which, by measuring its color change, instantly indicates how much carbon monoxide the sensor absorbed. A single sensor can be reused many times.

To test the sensor's performance, a study was done of the CO exposure of workers at San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center, where propane powered forklifts are active throughout, and trucks drive up to interior loading docks.  (The Center already had installed a number of measures to reduce CO exposure.)  Workers wore sensors and commercially available diffusion tube devices.  CO levels were also measured by traditional means.

The tests showed that the device measured average workshift CO exposures accurately to within one part per million. The commercially available diffusion tube under-reported CO exposures by an average of about 3 parts per million.

QGI is now looking for private-sector partners for distribution and is developing plans to manufacture and market the CO occupational dosimeter.

See press release May 17, 1999, at:

Contact:  Michael Apte,   MGApte@lbl.gov,     510-486-4699

Quantum Group (San Diego CA) produces a line of CO detection products including detectors for residential and RV use, appliance safety shut-off, and ventilation controls.

Mark Goldstein, President,    619-457-3048  x103   fax  619-457-3229
Michelle Oum,  Director, Sensor R&D,     x110

Subject: UFTO Note - LBNL Building Technology
Date: Wed, 07 Jul 1999 09:49:31 -0700

(One of a series of notes detailing results of recent visits to
Lawrence Berkeley National Labs - LBNL)

Building Technology Dept.    http://eetd.lbl.gov/BT.html

Commercial Building Systems, Simulation, Windows & Daylighting, Lighting, and Applications
LBNL has one of the largest US building RD&D activities; active since 1976 in this field, approx. $18M per year in funding currently; with about $12M from DOE and remainder from other sources, addressing most major aspects of building energy use, including hardware, systems, software, indoor environmental issues.
    Stephen Selkowitz, Dept. Head,   510-486-5064    seselkowitz@lbl.gov


Diagnostics for Building Operation and Commissioning
Commercial buildings alone consume about 15% of all energy at a cost of $85 billion annually. Half of this consumption is wasted, compared to what is cost-effectively achievable.  To realize these savings requires a careful examination of the process by which buildings are designed, built, commissioned, and operated, using a life-cycle approach.

A multi-year project is underway to develop and apply technology to improve building operation and maintenance.  In a collaborative effort among researchers, building owners, utilities and private industry, an interdisciplinary team has been gathered to:
   - Assess the current state of performance technology
   - Develop an appropriate information gathering and diagnosis capability
   - Test this new diagnostic system in real buildings


Information Monitoring and Diagnostic System (IMDS)
  160 Sansome, San Francisco

The first IMDS has been installed and is now operating in an 18 story 100,000 sq ft, class A, San Francisco office building, built in 1964.

The IMDS includes 56 sensors, 34 calculated fields (for a total of 90 monitored data points), computer-based communications, data archival and retrieval capabilities, diagnostic information processing, data visualization, and other components that meet the needs expressed by building owners and property management companies.  Existing proven hardware and systems were used, and the focus is on obtaining detailed accurate technical data (e.g. sufficient for calculations for a performance contract).  Note this is a passive system, performing measurements only, and not control of equipment.  A detailed specification is to be published.

This system implements a top-down approach, with diagnostic and information visualization algorithms, at three levels.
   - Level I diagnoses whole-building performance at the aggregate level,
      comparing to other buildings with similar energy services.
   - Level II examines major end-use systems, and
   - Level III focuses on major subsystems.

Savings opportunities of 10% were identified in the first four months.  Life cycle cost issues have come into play, for example, improper rapid cycling of equipment.  The active participation of the building's innovative owner and operators should help publicize the effort and influence others in the industry.  More recent findings suggest that the IMDS has proven extremely useful to the on-site building operators, helping them to improve control of the entire building.

Project Team Leader:  Mary Ann Piette, 510-486-6286,  mapiette@lbl.gov
The project homepage:      http://eetd.lbl.gov/btp/iit/diag/

"Development and Testing of an Information Monitoring and Diagnostic System for Large Commercial Buildings," (paper presented at the ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, August 1998).

There is a detailed "Virtual Tour"  at:      http://poet.lbl.gov/tour/
A project overview appears at:    (http://eetd.lbl.gov/ciee/BuildingSystems.html)


Building Life-Cycle Information Support System (BLISS)

BLISS is intended to provide a distributed computing environment for managing, archiving, and providing access to the wide variety of data and information that is generated across the complete life-cycle of a building project.

         -- > Identify Contraints/Opportunities -- >
     ** Design  -- >   Construction -- > Commissioning  -- >
   Monitoring  -- >   Operations/Maintenance -- >
                       Retrofits/Use changes -- >
                     Re-evaluate Opportunities -- > **

BLISS requires standardization in both a common building database model and in the mechanisms for transferring this information between tools.

The project has three major elements: (1) to specify the distributed software architecture, (2) to develop a life-cycle building model database schema, and (3) to develop a mechanism to capture and update "design intent" throughout the life cycle. The distributed systems architecture describes how various software components communicate, and the building model schema specifies the structure and semantics of the database (e.g. how performance metrics are defined and represented quantitatively).

BLISS is being developed within the evolving software specification from the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI). The IAI is a non-profit alliance of the building industry with six international member chapters. Its mission is to integrate the industry by specifying Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs) as a universal language to improve communication, productivity, delivery time, cost, and quality throughout the building life cycle.

Currently, Metracker is a tool being developed to help capture design intent via a number of performance metrics and then track changes in those metrics over the life of the building. The data schema is built on the IAI building data model. It is being tested on a new building in Oakland CA.
Contact Rob Hitchcock,   510-486-4154,    rjhitchcock@lbl.gov


Remote Building Monitoring and Operations(RBMO)

A prototype system has been developed which permits remote monitoring and control of multiple commercial buildings across the Internet from a single control center. Such a system would be used by owner/operators of multiple buildings, such a school districts, governments, universities, large retailers, utility companies, building management firms, etc.  Average savings estimated at 15% would come from reducing energy waste from equipment that runs when it does not need to, set point optimizations, and correcting operations and control deficiencies.

The project was initiated as a demonstration of the use of internet protocols and open systems for building monitoring, permitting integration of equipment from multiple vendors.  It addresses similar IT issues of authentication, access-security, etc., which arise in a major Lab program on sharing scientific instrumentation over the internet.

The project includes the following components.

An Internet-to-building-EMCS (Energy Management Control System) gateway which speaks CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) protocol atop TCP/IP on the Internet side and either (preferably) BACnet atop TCP/IP, or a proprietary EMCS communications protocol, to the building EMCS.

Development of applications-level object specifications for HVAC objects, e.g., chillers.

A remote building monitoring and control center which will provide data visualization, database management, building energy simulation, and energy usage analysis tools.

Deployment and testing of the system in multiple buildings with diverse types of EMCS systems. Our goal is to assess scalability of the system to large numbers of buildings, both in terms of performance and accommodating heterogeneity of control systems and HVAC systems.

Remote control of HVAC systems - this awaits the availability of a secure CORBA implementation.

   Frank Olken 510-486-5891 olken@lbl.gov


Simulation Research

The Building Energy Simulation User News is a quarterly newsletter for the DOE-2, BLAST, SPARK, EnergyPlus and GenOpt programs. Sent without charge, the newsletter prints documentation updates, bug fixes, inside tips on using the programs more effectively, and articles of special interest to program users. The winter issue features a cumulative index of all articles ever printed. Current issues are available electronically (below). All issues are available via regular mail, by request.

To subscribe or to request a back issue, contact: Kathy Ellington, KLEllington@lbl.gov

DOE-2 is a computer program for the design of energy-efficient buildings. Developed for DOE, DOE-2 calculates the hourly energy use and energy cost of a commercial or residential building given information about the building's climate, construction, operation, utility rate schedule, and heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment. A new version, DOE-2.2, includes an integrated SYSTEMS-PLANT program based on circulation loops with tracking of temperatures and flows, luminaire/lamp modeling of lighting systems, a window-blind thermal/daylighting model, input value defaulting using expressions, and expanded building component libraries.

EnergyPlus - A new-generation building energy simulation program based on DOE-2 and BLAST, with numerous added capabilities. Developed by the Simulation Research Group, the Building Systems Laboratory at the University of Illinois, the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Lab, and DOE.

GenOpt - A tool for multi-dimensional optimization of an objective function that is computed by a simulation program. This project at LBNL is sponsored by the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Swiss National Energy Fund, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and DOE.

SPARK [Simulation Problem Analysis and Research Kernel]
A program that allows users to quickly build models of complex physical processes by connecting calculation modules from a library.

BDA: Building Design Advisor - A computer program that supports the concurrent, integrated use of multiple simulation tools and databases, through a single, object-based representation of building components and systems. Based on a comprehensive design theory, the BDA acts as a data manager and process controller, allowing building designers to benefit from the capabilities of multiple analysis and visualization tools throughout the building design process. The BDA has a simple Graphical User Interface that is based on two main elements, the Building Browser and the Decision Desktop.

International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) - With international partners, develop Industry Foundation Classes(IFC) and an integrated building information model for describing buildings. Develop methods for allowing applications, such as CAD and energy analysis, to interoperate with the information model. Interoperability will allow diverse building drawing and simulation tools to share the same building description and to exchange results, thus simplifying building design, construction and operation.

RESFEN - A PC-based computer program (using DOE-2 as the simulation engine) for calculating the heating and cooling energy performance and cost of residential fenestration systems. RESFEN is free on a CD.


Windows & Daylighting

    Stephen Selkowitz     510-486-5064    seselkowitz@lbl.gov

- > Glazing Materials Research - Low-Emittance and Solar Control; Static spectral filters; Deposition Processes

- > Characterization facilities/optical lab for in-house research, manufacturers, and to support product rating and related standards activities.

- > The Optical Data Library provides glazing layer (peer-reviewed) optical data for over 800 commercially available products; this data is used with the WINDOW and Optics software.

- > New Materials:  track of new materials R&D around the world--strong ties to IEA.

- > Manage the DOE Electrochromic Initiative - 2 labs, 4 manufacturers
Electrochromics or "smart windows" have the potential for becoming an important element in building load management due to their ability to control perimeter cooling loads and lighting loads, both of which are major elements of building peak demand. Occupant control of window shading systems is notoriously unreliable.  A smart window whose solar heat gain coefficient can be modulated over a 5:1 range provides a significant new opportunity.  While coating development work continues at LBNL and with industry partners, a German product is being purchased by LBNL to test in an office building in Oakland, with a focus on control integration and load management issues.

- > Advanced Systems development, testing, evaluation

- > Window Properties - determining the thermal and optical performance of window systems

- > Daylighting - LBNL has recently recieved substantial funding from California utilities to help convert RADIANCE, a lighting and daylighting research tool that is highly accurate but hard to use, to a desktop environment design tool with a user friendly interface and link to CAD software. A first version will be released in 1999; improved version with additional capabilities in 2000.

- > Residential performance - support Energy Star program; Annual Energy Ratings

- > Commercial Glazing Performance- ramping up R&D in this area, beginning with development of a design guide for architects and engineers. Later will be looking at advanced facade systems and their role in intelligent buildings.  Innovative building skins are seen as not only energy savers but as building features that enhance the quality of the indoor space.


Lighting Research

The Lighting Research Group researches and develops fixtures, controls, and software which employ and promote energy efficient lighting. The group is primarily funded by DOE, although some funding is provided by industry for specific projects.  The group is recognized as one of the main players in the lighting industry, as both technology developers and as observers/influencers.  As such they have an indepth awareness of technological developments, issues and trends in the industry.

Research projects include sources, controls, fixture design, and human factors.  Software for lighting design is a major R&D area.  The test lab has the equipment which is essential for testing and designing energy efficient lighting fixtures, including a goniometer, integrating sphere, and spectro-radiometer for measuring light output.  There is also an electric power analyzer for testing power and power quality of light sources.

The lab has in-house and collaborative work in new kinds of light sources that are being developed -- solid state, electroluminescent, white LED, and organic liquids.

Their work to design the (non-halogen) compact fluorescent torchiere has led to the commercial availability on a wide scale of these much safer and more efficient lamps.  Several universities did free exchange programs for dormitory residents, and now some utilities are doing it for their customers.
   (see website for more details:  http://eetd.lbl.gov/btp/lsr/torchiere.html)

Of interest to utilities, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) are growing in popularity, but there are issues about price, quality, and longevity.  Some imports have low prices, but don't last as long as they should.  To deal with this, some utilities are specifying an unecessarily high number of life hours.  Specifications need to incorporate the issue of how often lights are turned off and on, but current testing procedures don't deal with this effectively.  LBL is proposing a new approach to life testing, but lacks the funding to demonstrate it.

"Bi-level" light switching is cost effective, and it is now in the building code for the state of California.  (two switches--one controls 1/3 of the lighting in a room, and the other controls the remaining 2/3).  Other effective measures are photosensors (for daylighting) and occupancy sensors.  But it is important to solve the right problem.  Hotels got little benefit from occupancy sensors, because guests rarely leave lights on when they're out of the room.  The biggest waste was found to come from bathroom lights left blazing as a night light -- providing a dimmed setting would work better.

Recently, LBL combined low-glare, lower level ambient lighting with custom designed task light fixtures, in a US Post Office sorting facility.  Occupancy sensors turned the task light on only when the clerk was present.  Task light levels were improved while overall energy was reduced by 70%.


Lighting Software

RADIANCE -  A suite of programs for the analysis and visualization of lighting in design.  Input files specify the scene geometry, materials, luminaires, time, date and sky conditions (for daylight calculations). Calculated values include spectral radiance (ie. luminance + color), irradiance (illuminance + color) and glare indices. Simulation results may be displayed as color images, numerical values and contour plots.  The primary advantage of Radiance over simpler lighting calculation and rendering tools is that there are no limitations on the geometry or the materials that may be simulated. Radiance is used by architects and engineers to predict illumination, visual quality and appearance of innovative design spaces, and by researchers to evaluate new lighting and daylighting technologies.     (for UNIX)

(Advanced Daylighting and Electric Lighting Integrated New Environment)
ADELINE is an integrated lighting design computer tool developed by an international research team within the framework of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Solar Heating and Cooling Programme Task 12.  It provides architects and engineers with accurate information about the behaviour and the performance of indoor lighting systems. Both natural and electrical lighting problems can be solved, in simple rooms or the most complex spaces. ADELINE produces reliable lighting design results by processing a variety of data (including:geometric, photometric, climatic, optic and human response) to perform light simulations and to produce comprehensive numeric and graphic information.   (for PC)

SUPERLITE 2.0 is a lighting analysis program designed to predict interior illuminance in complex building spaces due to daylight and electric lighting systems. SUPERLITE enables a user to model interior daylight levels for any sun and sky condition in spaces having windows, skylights or other standard fenestration systems.

LBL Lighting publications are available (some can be downloaded) at:

Steve Johnson    510-486-4274     sgjohnson@lbl.gov


Home Energy Saver


The Home Energy Saver(HES) website, announced in March '99, brings advanced building simulation software to an interactive website to help consumers identify the technologies that will save them the most energy and money.

The Home Energy Saver quickly computes a home's energy use on-line based on methods developed at LBNL. By changing one or more features of the modeled home, users can estimate how much energy and money can be saved and how much pollution prevented by implementing energy-efficiency improvements. All end uses (heating, cooling, major appliances, lighting, and miscellaneous uses) are included.

The Home Energy Saver's Energy Advisor calculates energy use and savings opportunities, based on a detailed description of the home provided by the user. Users can begin the process by simply entering their zip code, and in turn receive instant initial estimates. By providing more information about the home the user will receive increasingly customized results along with energy-saving upgrade recommendations.

Developed for the ENERGY STAR Program (EPA and DOE).

The HES Mission Statement   ( http://hes.lbl.gov/hes/mission.html ) explains the way the program seeks to work with and support private-sector vendors, by complementing their efforts, not competing with them.

Nor is it intended to compete with private vendors of web-based software who seek revenues from utilities who license their products.  Nevertheless, utility partnerships with HES are still possible, and indeed some have already begun.

Contact: Rich Brown, 510-486-5896,   REBrown@lbl.gov

Subject: UFTO Note - LBNL Insurance Program
Date: Wed, 07 Jul 1999 09:44:52 -0700

(First of a series of notes detailing results of recent visits to
  Lawrence Berkeley National Labs-LBNL)

Insurance Loss Protection Through Sustainable Energy Technology

LBNL has begun a new and novel area of inquiry, exploring how energy relates to insurance-loss risks.  The program is opening a number of fascinating new areas, and opening lines of communication between the insurance industry and the many different players in energy and environment.

Utilities have begun to initiate collaborations with insurance companies: there are many interesting and innovative opportunities for cross marketing and introduction of new types of customer services, product differentiation, and customer retention measures.

See Program website at http://eetd.lbl.gov/insurance

Contact:  Project Leader: Evan Mills,   510-486-6784,   emills@lbl.gov

Climate Change Risks
It is clear that weather-related natural disaster losses are becoming more and more severe, and possibly uninsurable.  Global warming may or may not be responsible for global climate change, and greenhouse gases and energy consumption may or may not be major contributors to warming or climate change.  Nevertheless, there is a growing view that something needs to be done, hastened by the growing scientific consensus about the linkages.

This article provides a good review of these ideas:
   "The Coming Storm - Global Warming & Risk Management"
       Risk Management magazine, May 1998, pages 20-27.

The insurance industry - in Europe, particularly - is tackling the issue head-on, realizing that they have the most at risk and the most to lose.  If energy impacts need to be reduced, then insurers have a stake and a role to play.  A leading group of international insurers and reinsurers, led by companies in Europe and Asia, has joined together as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Insurance Industry Initiative on the Environment.   (This kind of effort isn't new. Historically, the industry has lead developments such as establishing fire departments and the Underwriter's Laboratory.)
      http://eetd.lbl.gov/CBS/insurance/UNEPinvite.html    (more on UNEP)

Direct Risk/Loss Reduction -- "No Regrets"
Even if you don't believe in global warming, there are many untapped opportunities to reduce insured risks through the application of energy-efficient and renewable-energy technologies and services.  The promotion of technologies and services for insurance loss reduction and loss prevention is as old as the fields of insurance and risk management, but this research is finding a whole new category of technology to be applied.

This approach provides a "no-regrets" opportunity for insurers, as the risk-reducing benefits offer distinct immediate value, irrespective of the timing or extent of damages related to global climate change.

Example--Halogen torchiere lamps consume a lot of energy, and pose a significant fire hazard.  Replacing them with compact fluorescent torchieres reduces both.  An insurance company and utility cofunded a program to do this in college dorms.
     See:      http://eetd.lbl.gov/cbs/EMills/arkwright.html

LBNL identified 78 technologies and techniques that can help reduce insurance losses and manage risks.  See   LBNL Report #41432, August, 1998
       ( http://eetd.lbl.gov/CBS/insurance/LBNL-41432.html  )

The most common physical perils addressed were power failures, fire and wind damage, and home or workplace indoor air-quality hazards.  These can potentially reduce insurance losses for many types of coverage -- boiler and machinery, builder's risk, business interruption, commercial property insurance, completed operations liability, comprehensive general liability, contractors liability, environmental liability, product liability, professional liability, service interruption, workers' compensation, health/life insurance, and homeowners insurance.

Subject: UFTO Note - UK Renewables Review
Date: Thu, 01 Jul 1999

UFTO Note - UK Renewables Review
(Renewables are being taken up faster in Europe than in the US, with commitments at all levels of government and industry, so it's important for us to follow developments there closely.)
 The UK Department of Trade and Industry has some very interesting stuff on its website, at:    http://www.dti.gov.uk

In particular, they issued a major report recently. Here is a notice about it.

In March, Energy Minister John Battle set out the Government's blueprint for the future of renewables, reaffirming its commitment to developing the industry and boosting research and development expenditure to £43 million over the next three years. Launching the Consultation Paper "New and Renewable Energy ? Prospects for the 21st Century", which reports on the outcome of the Government's review of new and renewable energy policy, Mr Battle said:

"The Renewables Review paper demonstrates that there is tremendous potential for renewables to become a fully competitive part of UK energy supply. The Government intends working towards a target of renewable energy providing 10% of UK electricity supplies, cost-effectively, as soon as possible. This report seeks views on the issues raised to enable the Government to frame its future policy. I look forward to receiving those views and plan to make a further announcement about our way forward in due course".

Responses should be made by 28 May 1999 to Neil Hornsby, Energy Technologies Directorate, DTI, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET. Copies of the Review are available from: DTI Publications Orderline, Admail 528, London SW1W 8YT, Tel: 0870 1502 500, Fax: 0870 1502 333, e-mail: dtipubs@echristian.co.uk. The document is also available on the Internet at:

   - >>      http://www.dti.gov.uk/renew/condoc
At this link, there are pdf and word downloads available of the report itself. Also provided --  a 277 page pdf document:  "Supporting Analysis for New and Renewable Energy", which appears to be a very comprehensive report on all types of renewables.

  Found in:  NEW REVIEW,   ISSUE 40,  May 1999
  The Quarterly Newsletter for the UK New and Renewable Energy Industry

 Also Recommended:
  Canadian Association for Renewable Energies Association
Their free weekly email newsletter is a great source of information.
(This is where I learned of the item above)