energy efficiency

A novel way to create sheet metal could generate big energy savings in motorized machines.

Purdue University engineers are getting a $1.5 million federal grant to begin studying the new process and its applications this summer.

The three-year project will focus on adding larger amounts of silicon to the small steel parts that help power electric motors.

Silicon helps the steel waste less electricity, says Purdue materials engineer Kevin Trumble, but adding enough to make a difference isn’t easy.

U.S. Navy / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnavy/

A recent ranking of Indiana's energy efficiency puts it 42nd in the country—down from a peak of 27th in 2013. But there is  a hidden cost associated with efficiency measures—public health.

Speaking at Purdue University’s Dawn or Doom technology conference, engineering professor Andrew Whelton had a seemingly counterintuitive message.

“Many of the technologies being used in plumbing systems, that are resulting in water and energy savings, we do not really understand the potential for them to contribute to disease in buildings," Whelton says.

Chris Johnson/Purdue Research Foundation / https://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/2016/imi-exterior.jpg

 R. Byron Pipes keeps a Tupperware box of carbon fiber knick-knacks inside his office at Purdue Research Park's Indiana Manufacturing Institute—a building so new it doesn’t even show up on Google Maps.

Apart from a large orange blob, (an interesting polymer-experiment-gone-wrong, he says), the knick-knacks—hinges, chains and molds—are all made of the same feather-light, stormy-gray material: carbon fiber composite.

Erica Gibson / WBAA News

A new Purdue research facility aims to improve manufacturing of lighter-weight and more energy-efficient cars, airplanes, and wind turbines.

Officials broke ground on the Indiana Manufacturing Institute Tuesday in the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette.

Engineering professor Byron Pipes points to the Boeing 787 commercial airplane as an example of what the technology is used for.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

“Worse than doing nothing” – that’s how critics describe Indiana’s new energy efficiency effort crafted by Governor Mike Pence and the General Assembly. 

Environmental and consumer advocacy groups say the new energy efficiency program is going to drive up costs for residential consumers. 

Under the approved legislation, each utility company must develop its own energy efficiency program…and they can raise rates to cover any revenue they lose because of decreased energy usage. 

Energy Efficiency Bill Awaits Gov's Signature

Apr 8, 2015
Richard Rutter / https://www.flickr.com/photos/clagnut/

An energy efficiency plan requested by Governor Pence is on its way to his desk.

The Senate has given final approval to a bill requiring electric utilities to submit conservation plans to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission every three years.

Senate Utilities Chairman Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) says by going through the IURC instead of an outside agency, the plan will be cheaper than the Energize Indiana plan implemented by former Governor Mitch Daniels – a program that was repealed by the legislature last year.

Matthew / https://www.flickr.com/photos/purplemattfish/

Republicans rejected an attempt in a House committee Wednesday to limit what’s called “lost revenue recovery” for utility companies in the state’s proposed energy efficiency program.

If energy efficiency programs succeed, consumers use less energy, which means utility companies get less money.

New Energy Efficiency Program Faces Criticism

Mar 2, 2015
Armistead Booker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/armisteadbooker/

Despite its easy approval by the Senate, legislation establishing a new energy efficiency program for the state faces heavy criticism from environmental and consumer advocacy groups.  Much of the outcry comes because of what’s known as “lost revenue recovery.”