Water Flow Diagram as a First Step to Developing a Strategic Water Management Plan

Through our daily support of our clients’ sustainability initiatives, the CleanFuture team is constantly working to find efficiencies and new ways to manage costs, energy, water, waste streams, and other environmental impacts.

Water is a ubiquitous resource and one of the most important substances on earth.  All plants and animals must have water to survive. Without water there would be no life on earth.

Water is of strategic importance to the food industry; necessary in agriculture to grow crops to produce food, and also as an ingredient and an element in making food products.

Yet because of water’s ubiquity and relatively low cost, water use is often overlooked as an input cost to be managed.

developing strategic water management programs for the food industry similar to strategic energy management is recent work by CleanFuture. Strategic energy management is embodied by a set of processes that empower an organization to implement energy management actions and consistently achieve energy performance improvements. Strategic energy management allows for continuous energy performance improvement by providing the processes and systems needed to incorporate energy considerations and energy management into daily operations.

Water can be managed strategically just like energy!

The first step to managing any such resources is to understand the sources and uses as a foundation for developing and implementing a strategic water management plan; data collection and establishing a baseline are critical first steps.

Recently CleanFuture worked with several food manufacturers on water assessments to develop a water balance for their facility. A water balance is a systematic survey of all water-using equipment, appliances, fixtures, and practices at a facility. A water balance inventories and categorizes water use at a facility:

  • Water Supply Input – identifies all water supplies for a facility and their respective volumes.
  • Process Water Use – identifies all the areas and estimated volumes within the facility where water is lost or consumed.
  • Wastewater Discharge – identifies all of the facility’s wastewater discharges and volumes.

This can be visualized in a simple input/output diagram showing inputs (A), uses (B), and outputs (C) as shown in the diagram below.



Instead of a “black box” a better way to visualize is with a Sankey diagram, a specific type of flow diagram in which the width of the arrows is proportional to the flow quantity.  Here’s an example Sankey diagram for the general example above:


A water flow diagram using a Sankey diagram provides a much more insightful visualization so we tried using a Sankey diagram to show a water balance at a small commercial bakery.  Water use at the bakery is mainly for cleaning at two sanitation areas, each with a pan washing machine and a large 3 compartment sink.  Water use was measured using an ultrasonic flow meter on various equipment, fixtures, and pipes throughout the facility.  Here’s the resulting water flow diagram:



Do you know where and how water is used at your facility?

CleanFuture’s John Thornton to speak at IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference 2016 on “Ways to Drive Costs Out of Your Transportation Business”

CleanFuture founder, John Thornton, will speak on a panel on “Ways to Drive Costs Out of your Transportation Business” at the upcoming IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference, October 16th to 19th in Tampa, Florida.

The formula for driving out transportation costs seems simple: less hours consumed by a refrigerated trailer unit leads to less fuel burned, which in turn lowers maintenance costs and reduces a distributor’s carbon footprint. And all of this equals greater bottom-line profits. But what does it take to get there?

Led by an independent foodservice distributor who has realized great cost savings and an energy solutions provider who has a passion for electric transportation alternatives, attend this session to learn what distributors can implement in their fleets and in the warehouse to produce a positive impact on their bottom line.

At the end of this session, attendees will be able to:
• List energy improvement solutions that can be applied throughout a distributor’s operation.
• Discuss how electric standby reefer units reduce fuel consumption;
• Compare and contrast big spend versus small spend strategies.

Don Durm, Vice President, Customer Solutions, PLM Trailer Leasing

Steve Stidham, Director of Operations, Food Supply Inc
Ed Harmon, Ally Channel Manager, Georgia Power
John Thornton, President, CleanFuture, Inc.

CleanFuture to Speak on Electric Infrastructure at CARB Clean TRU Technologies Webinar

John Thornton will participate in a webinar hosted by California Air Resources Board (CARB) where staff and clean technology manufacturers discussed clean transport refrigeration unit (TRU) technology options.

See link to the handouts, a video will be posted at a later date.

See below for the agenda:


Clean TRU Technologies Webinar
August 31, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (Pacific Daylight Time)

9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions Danielle Chambers

9:10 a.m. Background                                                                       Rod Hill

9:20 a.m. Proposition 1B Funding                                                   Deep Ghosh


9:30 a.m. Electric Reefer Solutions                                                 Bryan Lake

9:45 a.m. Thermo King                                                                      Paul Barbaro

10:00 a.m. Carrier Transicold                                                         David Brondum

10:15 a.m. Shorepower Technologies / CleanFuture                   John Thornton

10:30 a.m. Boreas Nitrogen Cooling System / JFE Industries     Fred Norvell

10:45 a.m. Air Liquide                                                                     Guerric Malicet

10:55 a.m.  Q&A/Discussion

Gap Analysis on Electrified Parking Spaces (EPS) and Truck Stop Electrification in the Northeast

A gap analysis on electrified parking spaces (EPS) and truck stop electrification (TSE) was presented at the Northeast Clean Freight Work Group at a meeting about preparing applications for alternative fuel corridors.







CleanFuture’s John Thornton to Speak on Idle Reduction Technologies: How to Lower Your Fuel Consumption and Save Money

CleanFuture principal John Thornton will be delivering a presentation on idle reduction technologies at the Louisiana Alternative Fuels Conference & Expo on April 14, 2016 at the Cajundome Conference Center in Lafayette, Louisiana.LAF 2016 Conference & Expo

Drive Oregon and Oregon Innovation Plan recommended for investment by legislators

Yesterday the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development passed SB 5528, the biennial budget for “Business Oregon,” the Oregon Business Development Department. The Budget now heads to the full Ways and Means Committee for consideration.
The budget includes some key provisions to support major opportunities to lower Oregon’s stubbornly high unemployment and lagging personal income levels. These include:

The Oregon Innovation Plan

The Oregon Innovation Plan is now in its third round of funding and has delivered impressive results for the state. The Subcommittee allocated sixteen million dollars this biennium for the Innovation Plan, a suite of initiatives to enhance industry innovation and the commercialization of research. The funding will go toward three industry initiatives and three signature research centers. The industry initiatives include improving innovation and productivity in the food processing industry (IPC) ($500k), catalyzing Oregon’s emerging electric vehicle industry through Drive Oregon ($1.2 million), and putting Oregon on the map for wave energy development and manufacturing through Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET) ($2.5 million). The Signature Research Centers include the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnology Institute (ONAMI) ($5.3 million), Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center (BEST) ($3.8 million) and the Oregon Translational Drug Institute (OTRADI) ($2.8 million).

In the midst of a historic recession, the Oregon Innovation Plan developed by the Oregon Innovation Council has been successful at incubating new ideas into growing businesses, helping established industries become more competitive and creating a new economic future for all Oregonians. In less than four years of state funding, the six initiatives of the Oregon Innovation Plan have brought $195 million in federal and private grants back to Oregon and are on track to generate more than $7 for every dollar the legislature has invested, not to mention the creation of 1117 jobs and the incubation of 15 new companies.

For more details on how the funding will be used, visit http://www.oregon4biz.com/Innovation-in-Oregon/.

Northwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit coming to Portland

3rd Annual Northwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit

Bringing industries and partners together to support and advance industrial energy efficiency

Find out how your industry peers use energy efficiency as a competitive advantage.  Hear real-life energy savings success stories (and challenges) from industry personnel.  Case study examples include:  Strategic Energy Management; Quick Starts to Energy Efficiency; Emerging Applications of Existing Technology; and Energy Information Systems.

Network with companies who are implementing energy efficiency programs and projects; share and lean from their experiences.

Connect with energy services providers about technical and financial opportunities to help you save energy.

You should attend if you are involved in plant operations, plant engineering, energy management, sustainable practices, energy efficiency programs, services or products, or are interested in industrial energy efficiency.

Date:  January 19, 2011

Location:  Oregon Convention Center – 777 NE MLK, Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97232

See here for additional information about the Energy Summit or send an email

Smarter Policy for a Smarter Grid: The First Smart Grid Oregon Public Policy Conference

Smarter Policy for a Smarter Grid: The First Smart Grid Oregon Public Policy Conference

November 9, 2010, World Trade Center, Portland

The aim of this first Smart Grid Oregon Public Policy Conference is to help public and utility officials, regulators, legislators, city and county governments and other stakeholders in Oregon and the Region gain a better understanding of the Smart Grid and policy decisions that will need to be addressed in the coming years.   This conference is intended to inform knowledgeable, forward-looking public leaders of the many Smart Grid activities taking place today in the Region and World that can be useful in crafting a visionary public policy.

Smart Grid Oregon is dedicated to making Oregon a leader in the implementation of Smart Grid technologies and in supporting companies that build and market Smart Grid products and services. A visionary public policy is a critical factor in achieving our goals.

The electric system is being challenged to evolve more rapidly than at any time in its history.   Public policies are also placing extraordinary demands on our hydro power resources which in turn will lead to increasing costs of electric power in coming years.

We can approach all of these changes as a threat or an opportunity.   The opportunity is that the rapid advance in information technology over the past several decades provides a wealth of new, low-cost and standardized ways of improving the management of our electrical system.   The application of such advanced information technology to the electrical system is generally referred to as the “Smart Grid”.

However, in order to take full advantage of what Smart Grid technology can do for us, many of our “sacred” assumptions and historic ways of regulating and managing the electric utility business can become impediments to growth if we don’t understand the opportunities and make changes in public policy in a timely manner.

The US ARRA investments in Smart Grid Investment and Demonstration programs, combined with other Federal, Regional and State investments in accelerating the definition and implementation of Smart Grid (or “Smarter” Grid) technologies are bringing a bewildering array of new Smart Grid data and information to the public forum.  Cataloging, evaluating and turning this information into useful public policy decisions will occupy policy makers for years to come.

Click here for more information and to register.


7:30-8:30AM      Registration

8:30-9:30AM      Welcome and Keynote:  Public Policy in Context: Where are we Today and Where are we Going?

Keynote speaker Roy Hemmingway will put the current electric utility public policy questions in perspective.  How did we get here and what are the challenges facing public policy in the future?  Roy is uniquely qualified to set the stage for the day’s discussion.  As past member of the Northwest Power Planning Council, past Chair of the Oregon PUC and energy advisor to three governors, Roy understands the issues in Oregon and the Northwest.

9:30-10:30         The Pacific Northwest Regional Smart Grid Demonstration Project: National Visibility and Public Policy Implications.   This session will provide an overview of the $188 million Project and how it will inform public policy in Oregon and the Northwest for years to come.   The project will expand existing electric infrastructure and test new combinations of devices, software and analytical tools in homes and on the grid in 12 Pacific Northwest communities. Information from consumers involved in the study will flow back to the Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center located at Battelle’s Richland campus, for analysis. There researchers will quantify the costs and benefits of smart grid technology at both the local and regional level. The data generated from the demonstration project is expected to enable a level of grid performance and transparency to real-time grid status not currently attainable. Public and private sectors will then be able to use this information to reduce the operating costs for utilities, which are usually passed on to consumers.

10:30-11:00         Networking break

11:00-12:00         Other Regional Smart Grid Investments and How they will Impact Public Policy.   Tentative: Representatives of an Oregon Public Utility District, Portland General Electric and Drive Oregon will discuss different types of Smart Grid activities and their implications for public policy.  .

12-1:30PM          Lunch Keynote:  Reshaping Public Policy for the New Age of Electricity

Keynote speaker Kurt Yeager, past president and CEO of the Electric Power Research Institute and currently Executive Director of the Galvin Electricity Initiative, has unmatched experience in dealing with state, national and international electric utility public policy.  He is working with electricity experts, innovators and entrepreneurs to design and build Perfect Power System models of a smart, efficient electric power system that cannot fail the consumer.    He also leads the Initiative in driving the electricity policy changes necessary for system transformation at the state and federal levels.

1:30-2:30 PM    The Federal Government Electric System Agenda and its Impact on State and Local Public Policy.

Speaker Chris Hickman is ideally suited to address this topic.   With recent Federal legislation and funding from the 2009 ARRA, US Government policies and investments are accelerating changes in the electric system at an unprecedented rate.   The DOE, DOC NIST, FERC, NERC, DOD, BPA and EPA are all pursuing major initiatives that impact the state and local electric utility business.   How can Oregon and the Region take maximum advantage of these investments without losing our unique characteristics?       Chris has served on the boards of the IEEE Power Engineering Society, the GridWise Alliance and Avistar, an unregulated subsidiary of PNM and several non-profit organizations.  He is a frequent speaker to regulatory organizations such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Congress and also at a variety of industry leadership conferences.    Hickman spent over 13 years in various executive-level positions at PNM Resources (New Mexico) more recently was an executive at Ice Energy, SureGrid, and at Cellnet Technology.   

2:30-3:30PM      What Can we Learn from other States (specifically California)?

Our neighbor to the south is an undisputed leader in tackling climate change by remaking their electrical system.    But the rapid implementation of leading edge technology and changing public policy has not been without a few hiccups.   Understanding California’s policy changes and their consequences can help Oregon and the region navigate with fewer bumps along the way.   Speakers Lauren Navarro of the Environmental Defense Fund and Andy Campbell of the California PUC (tentative) have been deeply involved in California’s leading edge Smart Grid activities.  Navarro represented EDF working with the CPUC on the recent adoption of a comprehensive plan to maximize the environmental and consumer benefits in the smart grid plans of state investor-owned utilities, PG&E, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE).     Andrew Campbell has served as Chief Energy Advisor to Commissioner Nancy Ryan at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) since February 2010.  Prior to joining Commissioner Ryan’s staff, Mr. Campbell served as Senior Energy Advisor to Commissioner Rachelle Chong.  Mr. Campbell has also worked in the CPUC’s Division of Strategic Planning.

3:30-4:00PM     Networking Break

4:00-5:00PM     BPA Initiatives and their impacts on State and Local Policy

The Bonneville Power Administration is at the center of Regional power system public policy and changes.   BPA is aggressively investing in numerous initiatives that will illuminate and impact public policy for years to come.   Understanding these will be critical to developing forward-looking public policy changes.

5:00-5:30PM      Introduction to the Smart Grid Oregon’s Public Policy Agenda and Wrap-up

5:30-6:30 PM     No Host Reception

Who Should Attend?

The Conference is aimed at all those stakeholders in the State and Region with an interest in and ability to impact public policy for the electric utility system.   Attendees would include interested legislators and staff, PUC Commissioners and staff, representatives from the State Department of Energy and the Executive branch, public and private utility officials, county and local officials, board members of cooperatives and municipal utilities, electricity consumers and other officials and executives with a stake in the business.   Attendees need not be experts on the electrical system or the rapid advances being made in applying new technical solutions to managing the system.


This is the first of its kind conference in Oregon.  Attendees will gain an appreciation of the range and impact of various investments taking place in our Region and how they will inform public policy decisions for years to come.   Attendees will also have an opportunity to meet and talk with others engaged in understanding the changes occurring and how to best manage them for public benefit.

Click here for more information and to register.

Drive Oregon (electric vehicle group) clears hurdle

A key state economic agency says Oregon should plug $2.45 million into its growing electric vehicle sector and that support for the fledgling industry could spur significant gains.

Though there are still several steps before the industry receives funding, the news is good for dozens of organizations that either provide research and design to the electric vehicle sector or manufacture vehicles, charging stations, batteries and components.

Their collaborative plan for growing the industry, called Drive Oregon, received a funding recommendation from the Oregon Innovation Council Aug. 16, emerging at the top of 23 contenders in a competitive review. It was the only new initiative recommended for funding by the council this biennium, along with five others currently supported by the state.

Oregon InC, as the council is also called, acts as an economic development adviser through a partnership with research universities and the private sector. Council members include business heavyweights, legislators and academic leaders who evaluate new pitches from industry.

Sectors that win the council’s favor have seen big benefits. But earning its recommendation takes work. Each contender must provide a careful plan for success, and industry leaders also have to prove they have the time, the leadership and the resources to turn a state investment into new companies and jobs. Since 2005, only five other sectors have made the cut.

Now, if the Oregon Business Development Department Commission and the legislature sign on, $2.45 million would convert Drive Oregon into a nonprofit corporation that could use state funds to leverage federal and other grants, plus private investments.

“We would be looking at having Drive Oregon actually supply some of the services necessary to go after those resources,” said Mark Frohnmayer, founder of Arcimoto, a Eugene company that builds electric vehicles, and a member of the steering committee for Drive Oregon.

“We’ve mapped out some 40-plus organizations that are already participating in (the sector). One of the very common threads we found though was a lack of capital resources to really get stuff off the ground,” he said. “By specifically constituting this initiative around assisting companies in this space with their needs, we think that’s going to help kickstart, not only startup and incubation points, but bringing products into the space.”

If funded, Drive Oregon would face a daunting to do list: create 166 jobs in two years, establish a regulatory and testing framework for the next generation of ultra efficient vehicles; stoke collaboration between researchers, companies, utilities and government; and marry Oregon’s existing clean tech companies with other manufacturing, software and high tech businesses.

John Doussard, a policy analyst for the Oregon Business Development Department who works with Oregon InC, said the council found several reasons to support the plan.

“We’ve already got the beginnings of national leadership here in Oregon,” he said.

With a federal goal of putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, Doussard said Drive Oregon stands a good chance of bringing money here, particularly while Portland stands out as one of the largest consumer markets for electric vehicles in the nation.

Though Oregon’s budget crisis will be a significant hurdle to funding Drive Oregon in 2011, Doussard expressed optimism. Oregon InC’s recommendation will weigh heavily in the plan’s favor is clear.

Other sectors that have won the council’s backing have seen steady state funding and solid growth.

Five other initiatives recommended by Oregon InC support nanotechnologies and micro-level manufacturing; the development of green building materials and alternative fuel sources; commercialization of therapies to fight infectious diseases; development of wave energy, and innovation among Oregon’s food processing and seafood industries.

Seeded with $42 million in state money since 2007, the initiatives have lured $195 million back to Oregon. They played a role in launching 15 new companies and developing products from portable kidney dialysis machines to new drugs to fight malaria. Officials say the initiatives help create and retain more than 660 jobs, and provide research and development assistance to 155 companies.

The Oregon Business Development Department Commission will vote on the Drive Oregon initiative Sept. 24.

From:  Sustainable Business Oregon by Lee van der Voo

Driving Oregon’s Future

A group of state and local government, higher education, and businesses — including PGE — is working to expand the electric vehicle infrastructure in Oregon, to bring the newest electric vehicles to market here and develop new business opportunities that benefit the environment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails