Sustainable Engineering

July 7, 2009
A new series of workshops cover ecodesign and life-cycle-assessment techniques useful for companies trying to field environmentally sustainable product designs.

Bentley Systems Inc., (800) 236-8539

IDEC Corp. (800) 262-IDEC (4332),

Sustainable Minds LLC,
(617) 401-2271,

How to be sustainable
A new series of workshops cover ecodesign and life-cycle-assessment techniques useful for companies trying to field environmentally sustainable product designs. Put on by a company called Sustainable Minds LLC in Cambridge, Mass., the workshops are said to help give a practical understanding of life-cycle assessment using the firm’s on-demand software for modeling and evaluating the potential environmental and human health lifecycle impacts of a product in early-stage concept design.

The workshops aim to help product teams understand the impact of their design decisions holistically and early enough in the process so they create a greener product from the start. The one-day intensive hands-on workshop is called “Mastering Environmental Impact Assessment in the Design Process” and will take place at various locations in the fall.

Bright LEDs come to IP67 uses
New LED light strips from IDEC Corp., Sunnyvale, Calif., are said to be the brightest in their class at up to 67.2 Lumens/W. Housed in reinforced glass, they sport IP67f protection against water, dust, and oil. Typical applications are in machine tools or outdoor equipment. A polycarbonate plastic cover with IP67 protection is also available for such uses as food processing. Dubbed the LF1D Series, the lights retain 70% of their initial luminance at 50,000 hr. The light strips are cool white (temp: 5,700 K) and come in a slim (10 × 1 LED array) or wide type (7 × 2 LED array) and work from 24 Vdc. The housing is die-cast aluminum with a stainless-steel front cover.

How green is your building?
Software helps tell The Energy Performance Series software is billed as the first for building-energy design, analysis, and simulation. Developed by Bentley Systems Inc., Exton, Pa., the software has been available in the U.K. where it was used in the design and construction of high-performance “green” buildings such as Terminal 5 Heathrow and CityPoint, London. The U.S. version makes it possible to better understand and accurately predict the energy consumption, CO2 emissions, operating costs, and occupant comfort of both small and superlarge projects. It also provides the tools to design, analyze, and simulate building-energy systems.

Bentley’s Energy Performance Series maximizes point accumulation under LEED Energy and Atmosphere Credit 1, the emerging standard for evaluating a building’s energy performance. The software uses two differently purposed simulation engines to analyze buildings: the EnergyPlus engine, the standard developed by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, and the independently developed Tas engine which handles fast evaluation of multiple options, quick testing of concepts, and comprehensive analysis of large and complex buildings.

Soda machines get their own efficiency standards
Proposed new standards released by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) would cut the average energy use of the most common new cold-beverage vending machines by about 42%. The proposals reduce energy use of the increasingly popular glass-front machines by 35 to 42% compared to basic machines available today. For the older style, solid-front machines, energy use is reduced by just 15%. Estimates are that 3 million beverage vending machines sit in the U.S., or 1 for every 100 Americans, According to Noah Horowitz, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) who pioneered research into vending machine energy use. Many machines used as much as 3,000 to 5,000 kW-hr annually in the mid-1990s. With the new standards, per-unit energy use will be no more than about 1,400 to 1,800 kW-hr annually. Once the new standards take effect in three years, each typical new machine will save about $320/yr in energy use compared to an older machine.

Altogether, according to DOE, the proposed new beverage machine standards could save about 10 billion kW-hr of electricity over 30 years. The standards would save vending machine property owners about $250 million over 30 years.

Edited by Leland Teschler

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