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Sustainable research, operations and community

Turn Down the Lights!

October is "Energy Awareness Month"

Hand turning off light switchWith colder weather on the way, it's a good time to think about our energy consumption—both at home and at work. Employees are asked to remember to do these things as a good steward of PNNL resources:

  1. Turn off overhead lights when not in use, or when task lighting will do.
  2. Turn off or set your computer to sleep at night.
  3. Request a smart power strip from Sustainability if you have three or more peripherals at your workstation.
  4. Instead of using a space heater, put in an F&O service request to address heating issues.
  5. Work in a lab? Shut down equipment that's not in use or request a timer from Sustainability.
  6. Store lab samples in a freezer? "Chill up" your ultra-low temperature freezer to -70°C or the warmest appropriate temp. See related article below.
  7. Making a new equipment purchase? Ask ^Procurement for help finding the most efficient model.

Cutting back our energy use at PNNL saves money and the environment—and this aligns with our mission to "transform the world." To find out more about what employees can do and what PNNL does as an organization to reduce our roughly $100,000-per-week energy bills, visit our website.


Sustainability Superheroes Lead Change

Sustainability Superheroes - Colette Sacksteder, Kristin Victry and Ron Moore (pictured above l to r)Change is hard for some of us, especially when we've been used to doing things the same way forever. Once they learned that "chilling up" their ultra-low-temperature (ULT) freezers would save energy and prolong the life of their freezer, but not affect their research, three PNNL researchers adopted the change. Then they kept going, taking it upon themselves to inform their peers about the small change that could benefit PNNL's bottom line. Several researchers agreed that making the change made good sense for their research—and for the environment.

Colette Sacksteder, Kristin Victry and Ron Moore (pictured above l to r) successfully led their peers to set back 29 of PNNL's 65 ULT freezers in BSF and EMSL and are saving PNNL an estimated:

  • 54,000 kwh/yr or $2,700/yr
  • 650,000 kwh or $555,000 over the average lifetime of the units.

3820 "test-bed" project: research controller installed for building efficiency

Sustainability Superheroes - Colette Sacksteder, Kristin Victry and Ron Moore (pictured above l to r)If you walk the east hallway in the new Systems Engineering Building (3820), look up! There's a viewing window in a ceiling tile where you can see an R&D controller that's been installed on the HVAC system. The devices allow R&D staff, working with Building Operations Control Center (BOCC) staff and core teams, to demonstrate grid integration, energy efficiency routines, and diagnostics for buildings.

Sharing operational experience between R&D and the BOCC helps achieve a smart campus, in turn, R&D has a real test-bed to apply strategies and evaluate the impacts on occupants. Additionally, the technology will be used in a multi-campus project with UW and WSU next spring for load shedding and trans-active control. If you want to learn more, watch this video.

VOLLTRON, an open source distributed sensing and control platform developed by R&D staff for the DOE Building Technologies Office, is being used to support multi-building load curtailment and other efficiency algorithms.

PNNL Facilities & Operations is always looking for opportunities to use our facilities as a "living laboratory" to test new concepts in energy and environmental science and technology in our own buildings. Email Sustainability to share ideas for research-facilities collaborations.


Brochures for Businesses Available

Brochure available for business useTransferring technology that makes a difference is one of the ways we deliver economic value to our community. Two new marketing brochures for business and industry are available—one short and one longer. They describe what PNNL offers businesses; explain the advantage of working with us; list our portfolio areas; and describe the ways companies can work with us (agreement mechanisms, including ACT, etc.).


Fostering Next Generation of Scientists and Engineers

Delta High School Gets a Big New Home

Delta High SchoolA bronze plaque greets visitors at the front door of Delta High School's new home in Pasco. The plaque was purchased by Battelle to congratulate the first graduating class in 2013. It has the signatures of the students and the teachers who were part of that effort. This fall, the new school opens and allows for full capacity, which is 400 students. Delta High was a community effort that grew from a discussion by founding members Battelle, Washington State University Tri-Cities, and the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland school districts about the possibility of a STEM high school in the Tri-Cities. The new 23,000-square-foot-facility was made possible thanks to funding from the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Washington State Legislature, local school districts and our community.