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52 u Energy Choices

Positives: The established infrastructure and func-


tionality of rail transport is universally accepted.
Prognosis: Current rail transport relies primarily
on diesel fuel to power the engines. As the cost of
fuel and cost of properly handling CO
2
emissions is
raised, technological advances being made in elec-
tric rail transportation could reach parity with cur-
rent diesel technology allowing for a change to oc-
cur. Currently, there is no incentive for rail transport
companies to upgrade or change existing facilities.
Additional Sources of Information:
Federal Railroad Administration
http://www.fra.dot.gov/
5.0 EFFICIENCY & CONSERVATION
One of the major sources of energy in the future
will be using energy more efciently. Each unit of
energy saved through better efciency in produc-
tion, transmission or end use and energy reductions
(conservation) reduces the amount of energy which
must be produced from existing or new energy
sources.
5.1 ENERGY CONSERVATION VS. EFFICIENCY
Dr. Sriram Somasundaram, FASME; FASHRAE
Pacic Northwest National Laboratory
Some consider energy conservation synonymous
with energy efciency. Others think conservation
results in fewer or lower quality energy and energy
services. More appropriately, energy conservation
involves keeping energy from being lost or wasted.
Energy efciency means producing the desired ef-
fect or product with a minimum of energy input.
Energy Conservation: Energy conservation is a so-
cietal mindset and an individual choice. To some it
conjures up visions of making sacrices or changing
a way of life to accommodate having less amenities
or being uncomfortable in order to save energy. But
comfort and conservation are not incompatible. En-
ergy conservation usually means being more careful
in the way energy is used or habit improvement.
From a societal perspective, it is possible for indi-
viduals to have a quality standard of life and comfort
while consuming less energy.
Each individual also has the option of further
steps by foregoing some luxuries in the desire to be
greener, simpler, or just reduce costs. Some analysts,
including many outside the U.S., embrace energy
conservation as an umbrella term for energy ef-
ciency, with changes in personal habits and changes
in system design (such as spatial planning, product
redesign, and materials reuse.)
Energy conservation examples include thermo-
stat turn-down, programmable thermo-stats, and us-
ing mass transport.
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5.0 Efciency & Conservation t 53
Energy Efciency: Professionals engaged in en-
ergy efciency have different views of its meaning.
To engineers, efciency involves a physical output/
input ratio. Economists think further in terms of
monetary output/input. Some extend the meaning
to doing more and better with less, improving the
productivity of efforts with less monetary (and en-
ergy) input.
In the end, energy efciency is aimed at deliver-
ing the same or better comfort, performance, jobs,
productivity, cooling, heating, lighting, affordability,
control, and/or quality with less money, pollution,
energy, and waste.
Examples if energy efciency efforts include:
Installing or replacing heating/cooling systems
that use less energy while maintaining comfort-
able temperatures.
Installing or replacing windows with ones with
lower heat or cooling loss.
Driving the same number of miles in a fuel ef-
cient car without sacricing comfort, power,
safety, or style.

Prognosis: New technologies, market prices, and


government support continue to give incentive and
opportunity to learn and implement energy efcien-
cy activities. Some think that the second law of ther-
modynamics underpins a potential improvement in
energy efciency of almost an order of magnitude
during the 21
st
century. Note: The second law of
thermodynamics is a general principle which places
constraints upon the direction of heat ow and the
best possible efciency of heat engines.
Additional Information Sources:
Alliance to Save Energy
http://ase.org/section/_audience/consumers/
conservationvsefciency
Rocky Mountain Institute: http://www.rmi.org/
Keith, F., Chapter 1: Introduction to Energy Manage-
ment and Conservation, Handbook of Energy Con-
servation, 2007, CRC Press, FL
Jochem, E., Energy End Use Efciency in World En-
ergy Assessment, 2000 pp. 173217, U.N. Develop-
ment Project, NY
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