Water Flow Diagram Measures Water Efficiency at Industrial Plants

Water efficiency can be measured at industrial plants with a water flow diagram or water balance to show sources and use of water. Water is a ubiquitous resource yet 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 as an ingredient in making food products.

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

CleanFuture Speaks on Electric Infrastructure at CARB Clean TRU Technologies Webinar

John Thornton speaks on TRU electric infrastructure in California Air Resources Board (CARB) webinar where staff and clean technology manufacturers present 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:

Read more

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.


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

OREV Steps Up with Proposal to Make Oregon a Leader in Electric Vehicles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                June 10, 2010

OREV Steps Up with Proposal to Make Oregon a Leader in Electric Vehicles

Group gains momentum along with Oregon’s EV market, technology, and policy strength

PORTLAND, Oregon – The Oregon Roundtable for the Electric Vehicle Industry (OREV) submitted a proposal last week with a $2.45 million plan to establish Oregon as a world leader in the design, manufacture, and integration of ultra-efficient vehicles and related infrastructure and technologies.  The proposal was submitted to the Oregon Innovation Council in response to a request for Key Industry Innovation Initiatives.

The proposed initiative will build OREV’s ability to achieve key goals for Oregon:

  • Leverage federal and private funding to enable Oregon’s continued leadership in Electric Vehicles (EVs).
  • Connect Oregon University System institutions, utilities, state and local government entities and EV industry stakeholders to efficiently develop and commercialize next-generation transportation technologies.
  • Foster collaboration between Oregon’s existing clean tech, manufacturing, smart grid, software and other sectors to participate in the EV supply chain.
  • Create skilled, family-wage jobs to build the next generation of transportation solutions.

“The EV industry – with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, components, and infrastructure – represents a huge opportunity for Oregon,” said John Thornton, lead author of the group’s proposal.  “But we will only capture these jobs, and the energy security and environmental benefits, if we act now and turn our early EV readiness into a long-term strength.”

A key strategy is to win a leading share of large federal programs, aimed at EV deployment and EV-related manufacturing, by rallying the state’s strong existing capabilities in a coordinated and focused effort.

Oregon’s strength in EVs goes back many years, combining the state’s high-technology industry and a history of environmental leadership.  The Oregon Electric Vehicle Association (OEVA) has long been the gathering place EV enthusiasts, along with providing education and outreach and an annual EV Awareness Day.  More recently, the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) was formed in 2005, directing research expertise at multiple Oregon universities to look at transportation improvements, increasingly including EVs.

But the state lacked a means of gathering the many industry players who were working on vehicle electrification.  In early 2009, the Portland Development Commission (PDC) identified this emerging cluster, and worked with Business Oregon to convene and support the group – which later became OREV.  The group now includes over 40 companies and organizations working across the electric vehicle arena.  More information is available at www.OR-EV.org.

The interest in EVs continues to build, with activities nearly every week.  Portland General Electric (PGE) recently took EVs to the streets, featuring a range of vehicles in the Starlight Parade.  And on Friday, June 11, PGE, Portland State University, and OTREC will host ‘E.V. Road Map 2,’ featuring presentations by national experts, and providing an update on continuing EV initiatives in Oregon.

As a likely early-adopter market for EVs, Oregon has garnered international attention through the state’s high hybrid electric vehicle concentration.  This helped earn the state a position as one of just five test markets for the largest rollout of electric vehicles and an associated charging station network in U.S. history.  The initiative will bring nearly 1,000 Nissan electric vehicles to Oregon in 2010, along with nearly 2,000 charging stations.

The public sector is a key factor favoring the success of Oregon’s EV players.  Companies including Cascade Sierra Solutions, Shorepower Technologies, Entek, EnerG2, and Revolt Technology have already won significant federal support for their job-creating work in EVs.

At the state level, recent modifications to Oregon’s Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) include a credit for EV manufacturing.

Key upcoming leverage opportunities include a bill co-sponsored by the state’s own Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR).  The “Electric Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010” proposes an $11 billion package to create 5 to 8 “deployment communities” to jump-start the electric vehicle industry in the U.S.  With a concerted effort and support from the Oregon Innovation Council, OREV aims to make Oregon one of the winning deployment communities. 

In its proposal, OREV also plans to help members target the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Incentive Program (ATVMIP), which includes $20 billion of DOE funding. 

“We have done a fantastic job in green buildings, and now we need to focus on transforming our transportation system,” said Thornton.  “It’s another local example of innovation and high density deployment leading to a strong sector, job creation, and exportable products.”

Contacts from the OREV Steering Committee:

Tim Miller
President and CEO
Green Lite Motors Corporation
Cell: 503-490-3014
Email: TimMiller@GreenLiteMotors.com


Trevor Steele                                                          
Director of Government Relations                
Arcimoto LLC                                                          
Cell: 541-954-0065                                              
Email: trevor@arcimoto.com                         


Japan-U.S. Smart Grid Market Trends of the Future

Here’s an event by the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) on comparisons of smart grid trends in the U.S. and Japan I’ve been helping with:

Global companies are closely eyeing the opportunity in the now-developing and popular smart grid market. Currently, the U.S. is the hot spot for smart grid development and is also attracting Asian companies from Japan, China and Korea, who are interested in deploying their smart grid technologies in the U.S. However, a majority of the U.S.-based smart grid technology companies in this market are unaware of the opportunities outside of the U.S.

This seminar will offer opportunities to learn what is happening in the smart grid market in Japan and the U.S. Furthermore, in this seminar you will learn ideas on how Japanese and U.S. smart grid companies could complement each other to grow the market together.

The general difference in the current implementation of the smart grid in Japan and the U.S. is that the U.S. seems more business-focused, aiming to reduce energy costs and develop infrastructure, while Japan seems more society-focused, seeking to reduce carbon emissions as a whole. Japan already has a reliable grid and is pushing for advanced integrated control including demand-side to be ready for intermittent renewable energy sources. In the United States, however, there’s a need for highly reliable transmission and distribution networks.


Registration and NetworkingWelcome Remarks

Panel Discussion: Japan-U.S. future smart grid trends
 Chenyi Chiu, Strategic Engineering Manager, Panasonic R&D Company of America
Stephen G Eichenlaub, Managing Director, Intel Capital
Tim Van Slambrouck, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, DENT Instruments


    What is happening in the Japanese smart grid market/technology (composite smart grid including EVs)?
    What is happening in the U.S smart grid market/technology (composite smart grid including EVs)?
    What are the difference and similarities between Japan and the U.S smart grid market/technology? How can they complement each other to grow the market together?

Moderator: Jeff Hammarlund, Adjunct Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow, Portland State University


Closing Remarks

Networking and Adjourn

Join us for an opportunity to advance a close working relationship between Japan and the U.S. to develop and deploy the smart grid in each nation.  Register here.

Planning the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities – Interactive Conference 2010

Conference Announcement

Planning the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities

Interactive Conference on June 15th, 2010 / 8:00 am – 3:30 pm
Join faculty and students of Portland State University and
government, business, and community leaders as we learn,
discuss and collaborate on how the technologies of the
Smart Grid can support sustainable communities at
Two World Trade Center, 121 SW Salmon StreetPortland, Oregon

 Sponsors: Portland State University, Portland General Electric

Climate Solutions, Smart Grid Oregon, and others

Agenda Highlights

  • Morning Keynote Speakers
    What is the Smart Grid and how can it support more sustainable communities?  Allen Schurr, IBM Vice President for Strategy and Development, Global Energy and Utilities
  • Morning Presentations on Three Case Studies
    • Testing utility-scale battery storage as a Smart Grid option: Portland General Electric’s Feeder Advanced Storage Transaction (FAST) Project
    • Applying the Smart Grid to an eco-district or neighborhood energy project: the proposed Portland State University’s Eco-District and the North Pearl Energy Project
    • A strategy for connecting electric vehicles and the Smart Grid in the Portland Metro area
  • Lunch Keynote Speaker
    Austin’s Pecan Street Project:  One Model for Integrating the Smart Grid into a Comprehensive Sustainable Development Strategy.  Jose Beceiro, Board Member, Austin’s Pecan Street Project, and Director of Clean Energy Economic Development, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce
  • Afternoon Roundtable Discussions and Feedback on our Case Studies
    • Portland General Electric’s Feeder Advanced Storage Transaction (FAST) Project
    • Applying the Smart Grid to an eco-district or neighborhood energy project
    • Connecting electric vehicles and the Smart Grid 
  • Reflections on the day and recommendations for next steps from our keynote speakers and other conference participants

Who Should Attend
Leaders in government, business, IT and communications regulators, utilities, Smart Grid technology vendors, planners, engineers, architects, home and building owners

Register Now Advance registration is required. Cost:  $25.  Space is limited and registration requests will be accepted in the order they are received.

As your host, Portland State University will facilitate discussion around the recent outcomes and findings from our interdisciplinary graduate class,  Planning the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities.  At this interactive conference, participants will collaborate to identify Smart Grid components and priorities that will support a more sustainable energy plan for the energy demands of the Pacific Northwest.

The “Smart Grid” has caught the attention of political, business, and community leaders from the White House to Northwest communities and electric utilities. And for good reason.

Its champions tell us the Smart Grid will allow us to use many of the same technologies, concepts, and models behind the internet to transform our electric grid from a centralized network largely controlled by utilities to one that is less centralized….more                         

Energy Storage and the Smart Grid – April 21st with TiE Oregon and Business Oregon

Energy storage is increasingly perceived as a necessary and vital component of any future smart grid, yet meaningful energy storage is still a scarce and missing component.  The discussion on April 21st will focus on:

  • Value chain elements of the energy storage industry
  • Who are local champions of energy storage
  • What are the interests of the investment community
  • What does the policy and regulatory framework look like
  • How do customers value energy storage

Join our panel to better understand the technologies, trade-offs, market segments and future potential of energy storage.

Our 3 panelists are:

  • Dylan Steeg, Director Intel Capital, Intel’s global venture capital organization. Dylan is responsible for several cleantech and semiconductor sectors, including photovoltaics, smart grid/demand response, datacenter energy efficiency, and semiconductor manufacturing
  • Dan Nicollet, Co-founder, Supercritical Energy, a pioneer of Supercritical Fluid Technology applied to distributed energy generation and storage on the electric grid
  • Marcus Wood , Partner and Chair of the Energy and Telecommunications (ENTEL) practice group Stoel Rives, . He focuses his practice on energy provider and energy facility developer clients.

The panel will be moderated by John Thornton, Founder, Clean Future, a consulting firm providing business and technical expertise at the convergence of energy, mobility, sustainability and the Smart Grid.


When: Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Venue: Stoel Rives,
26th Floor, 900 SW Fifth Avenue,
Portland, OR 97204
Register Now  
  6:00 p.m.: Registration/Reception
6:45 p.m.: Panelists
8:00 p.m.: Q&A & conclusion
  Sponsored by:  


 Related Post:

The Benefits of Energy Storage and how it helps the Smart Grid – Oregon

Planning the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities (Version 2.0) – Spring 2010

I’m sharing the announcement for the second term of “Planning the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities (Version 2.0)” as I also did for the first term in this sequence.  If you have an interest in developing a deeper understanding of the Smart Grid, relating technologies and applications, policies and regulations, and challenges then this is an excellent course to take.  I can’t wait to see the closing conference in June since the Smart Grid Projects / Case Studies look great.  See below for the announcement:

Announcing the second term of this innovative interdisciplinary course series that explores a set of emerging concepts, technologies, applications and business models, and the complex trade-off decisions related to the transformation of the nation’s century-old, centralized power grid into a climate, renewable-energy, and consumer friendly “Smart Grid.”  The course is designed to serve both:

  • Graduate students in engineering, information technology, public administration/policy, urban planning, business, economics, and related fields, and
  • Current and emerging leaders from the utility, information technology, public administration, urban, transportation and water resource planning, business, and other fields.

This course series offers a cross-disciplinary approach, deepening individual areas of expertise in the context of teamwork.  The Winter term course established a basic Smart Grid literacy (see Winter syllabus); the Spring term course applies this knowledge base to specific case studies.  (See below for more information on these case studies, or visit the course website.)  Other topics will be explored that were not addressed during Winter term with the help of  nationally and regionally known guest speakers. While helpful, it is not necessary to have taken the first term to benefit from the second.

The course includes lectures, active learning strategies, individual and group projects, class presentations from guest speakers and seminar participants, and field trips.  The series concludes with a closing regional conference that gives course participants an opportunity to present their findings along with those of regional and national experts.  To ensure a “cutting edge” research seminar setting, enrollment will be limited to thirty-five students.

2010 Course Faculty

Jeffrey Hammarlund, Adjunct Professor, Mark O. Hatfield School of Government, Portland State University, and President, Northwest Energy and Environmental Strategies

Conrad Eustis, Adjunct Professor, Portland State University, and Director, Retail Technology Development, Portland General Electric

Linda J. Rankin, Adjunct Professor, and Research Scientist, Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, Portland State University

They will be joined by a number of nationally and regionally known experts.

See here for registration or more information.

Spring term:                      March 30 – June 8, 2010

Closing Conference:       June 15, 2010 (Tentative)

Read more

Merging Green Buildings, Smart Energy Efficient Buildings and Smart Grid

In his article “Linking Green Buildings and the Smart Grid will Spawn a Green Energy Ecosystem,” Patrick Mazza offers insights about the relationships and opportunities between smart grid and smart, green buildings:

A new energy ecosystem is emerging that connects smart, green buildings with a smart, green grid to optimize energy flows. Since commercial and industrial buildings represent around 40 percent of U.S. energy use, and homes another 30 percent, this represents the most significant opportunity for energy efficiency and mass-scale renewable generation.

 But creating this new green energy ecosystem means linking what are today heavily “stovepiped” separate systems within buildings and between buildings and the grid. It also means expanding the definition of green buildings to include the digital smarts that connect diverse systems.

The sad truth is that many green buildings today are neither highly efficient nor particularly intelligent, and this is a missed opportunity,” wrote Paul Ehrlich of the Building Intelligence Group in an article previewing the conference. “We have the potential to deliver green intelligent buildings that are sustainable as well as able to deliver high-performance, low-energy usage.”

“The idea that buildings could give and take energy — that’s where the opportunity presents itself,” he said. With growth in net zero energy buildings, “We’re going to see more emphasis on intelligence in buildings” to measure and manage energy and revenue flows. “My whole vision is having the smart building meet the smart grid.

Smart buildings and the smart grid are two elements of the digital information revolution that are spreading tendrils toward one another. As they meet, they will provide huge benefits in terms of more efficient energy use, integration of on-site energy demand and generation with the grid, and better-functioning buildings that are safer and better places to work and live.

Greater automation and control can be done that go well beyond buildings’ energy management systems.  For instance, automated demand response systems can adjust a building’s energy load to accommodate peak demand conditions.  Typically much demand response is done manually, with a call to the building manager to shut off lights and other electrical loads.

Green buildings are often primarily about materials.  Energy efficiency and energy management are an important part too and are increasingly being integrated into green building designs.  Though green buildings are not necessarily “smart” buildings in the context of integrating  each building with other buildings nearby nor the electrical grid.    We have a long way to go before  whole districts of smart green buildings interacting with one another via smart grid technologies to optimize the whole.

See also:  Wiring the Smart Grid for Energy Savings: Integrating Buildings to Maximize Investment to understand more about buildings (not necessarily green buildings) and the smart grid.