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A cooling tower allows building owners and operators to take advantage of low cooling water temperatures and higher rates of heat rejection per square meter inherent in evaporative cooling systems. A well maintained cooling tower enables cooling systems to perform at optimum efficiency, reliably and cost-effectively, with contractors who maintain cooling systems able to service their customers with comprehensive and routine cooling tower maintenance programs that should maintain cooling performance for many years. Humble cooling tower Unfortunately, the humble cooling tower is often the forgotten component of the water cooling system when it comes to maintenance, but extremely high up the table when it comes to safety, so while certain tasks are regularly carried out others can be overlooked. A well maintained cooling tower should be able to reliably deliver its design fluid temperature A well maintained cooling tower should be able to reliably deliver its design fluid temperature and flow rate relative to the ambient condition indefinitely, but since its heat transfer operation creates a natural ‘air-scrubber’ environment, removing impurities from the cooling air as well as the circulating water, the cooling tower needs regular routine inspections and maintenance to continue performing at its best, and a small deterioration in performance should be expected, but easily managed. Cooling towers use large volumes of ambient air to take heat away from a process through sensible and non-sensible cooling. Critical maintenance activities Non-sensible cooling is a term that describes heat rejection through evaporation, where air will gain moisture until it reaches saturation, which is when the air is fully laden with water at 100% RH. This increase in water content requires energy to occur and this is obtained by taking heat out of the circulating water, reducing the temperature of the water in the process. Sensible cooling also occurs, which is where the colder inlet air reduces the temperature of the water due the difference in the air and water temperature, and in turn heats up as it travels through the heat exchange media. Because of this, one of the most critical maintenance activities of cooling systems is to ensure that the heat transfer has the best conditions to occur. Air moving equipment Maintenance on the air moving equipment will focus on the condition of the fans themselves The best conditions mean that the airflow is optimal, the heat exchange surfaces are clean and correctly installed, and the water distribution is balanced and operating correctly. Unless it is a natural draft cooling tower, the airflow will be created by fans which are driven by motors that are either directly attached to the fans or operate through gearboxes or fan belts. Maintenance on the air moving equipment will focus on the condition of the fans themselves, ensuring that the blade angles are set to achieve the necessary airflow if they can be adjusted and that the gearboxes or belts are operating properly with sufficient lubrication in bearings and gearboxes. Heat exchange media The heat exchange media in the cooling tower should be selected to offer the best trade-off between the tendency to foul and the amount of heat exchange surface. Maintenance on these components focuses first on the cleanliness of the heat exchange surfaces, as well as ensuring that the correct type of heat exchange media is being used and that it is properly fitted. The distribution systems in cooling towers are also essential to efficient operation Incorrect fill type or poor installation can lead to the packs becoming blocked quickly or could result in higher pressure drops reducing airflow. Poorly fitted fill packs can lead to air bypassing the water through gaps in the fill pack and results in loss of thermal performance and higher drift rates. The distribution systems in cooling towers are also essential to efficient operation. Heat exchange surfaces Heat exchange surfaces are only effective if there is a steady flow of water over them, blocked or broken nozzles can lead to an imbalance of water flow which results in variations of wetting rates or even dry spots throughout the fill where the airflow will be less effective. Water flow, airflow and heat exchange surface are the essential ingredients in cooling tower thermal performance, but these three critical subsystems don’t make up the entire system. The remaining systems are related to safety, access and containment, which carry a significant importance when concerned with the safe and effective operation of a cooling tower. Preventing direct sunlight Cooling towers are ultimately maintainable through a series of interconnected subsystems These systems include drift eliminators that prevent harmful water droplets from leaving the cooling tower, air inlet honeycombs that prevent direct sunlight from entering the cooling tower and reduce airside contamination, access systems that allow safe access for maintenance and the general fabric of tower to provide containment of fluids and protection to operators. All these things should be considered in a comprehensive maintenance plan which goes beyond cleanliness to ensure that you have not only a safe system but a high performing system. Cooling towers are ultimately maintainable through a series of interconnected subsystems that can all be relatively easily and cost effectively replaced. By allowing correctly maintained systems to operate at peak efficiency, they will work safely for many years.
In what can only be described as a very turbulent year, many businesses have had to shut their doors and have all but forgotten about the general upkeep of their sites. With priorities shifted to keeping companies afloat and staff employed, maintenance and servicing has taken a backseat, and many systems will be deteriorating unnoticed. It goes without saying that one of the first tasks that employers will have to tackle when returning to work is a deep clean. As we are still in the throes of a pandemic, a clean and disinfected workplace is the number one priority that needs to be ensured, before any staff can be welcomed back to work. This should be closely followed by maintenance of the site’s equipment. Importance of regular HVAC maintenance Regular HVAC maintenance is extremely important as it keeps systems performing efficiently and effectively Regular HVAC maintenance is extremely important as it keeps systems performing efficiently and effectively. The nature of HVAC maintenance does change depending on the time of year, and with some sites being shut for months and through different seasons, managers will need to review their current equipment to ensure it is compliant and working correctly as soon as possible as signs of normality start returning and facilities begin to reopen. While warehouses and factories may have still been operating in some capacity over the last 12 months, many office buildings have seen little to no employees for more than a year in some cases, therefore, risking deterioration and even damage to their systems going unnoticed and untreated. But with so many pieces of equipment at each site, it is often hard to know where to start and what to prioritize. Following HVAC manufacturer’s recommendations In order for businesses to keep functioning as best as they can and to avoid any more disruption, those in charge of maintenance and servicing need to be educated on how the conditions of a system affects the type of work it needs. Manufacturer’s recommendations should also be taken into account. To help define what these are and how to approach them, mechanical and electrical engineers recommend: The coils and pipes in HVAC equipment that are responsible for heat transfer are checked regularly, because if the equipment gets dirty, it won’t transfer heat and energy as well. Checking controls annually to ensure that the HVAC system is running properly, as control calibration can alter. By scheduling regular check-ups, accurate operation is maintained. Maintaining equipment with fans quarterly to maximize longevity. Three key areas include monitoring the impellers, belts and bearings for any dirt, wear and tear, friction or erosion. Keeping an eye on filters, as when they are clogged, it increases the pressure drop in a system, which makes fans work harder to maintain the same airflow. A quarterly clean is usually sufficient for most filters. This is also true of strainers in systems. Optimizing HVAC and electrical equipment With spring now upon us, businesses need to optimize their HVAC and electrical equipment for maximum efficiency With spring now upon us, businesses need to optimize their HVAC and electrical equipment for maximum efficiency. This includes reviewing the sequence of operations for a morning warm up and cool down. However, it’s important to remember that because of prolonged closures over the last 12 months, autumn and winter checks, and in some cases, even summer checks were not able to be carried out in 2020, so before the spring work begins, backdating the maintenance is a good place to start. Ensuring buildings’ energy efficiency With the help of experts, HVAC maintenance doesn’t have to be time-consuming and overwhelming, but it’s a critical part of maintaining an energy-efficient building that is both comfortable and reliable. With regular servicing and some basic knowledge of what is required, sites can maintain optimum efficiency all year round. Noise complaints can also be an issue, if HVAC maintenance isn’t carried out regularly. Spring is a good time for businesses to perform services on their equipment, prior to the summer months starting and should be used to ensure that condenser coils and air handler filters are both clean. The dirtier the equipment, the noisier and less efficient it becomes, which is bad news for any business. Preparing buildings for staff returning to work When a building is returning to normal occupancy after a lengthy closure, additional checks must be considered before reopening is discussed. When a building is initially mothballed, it must be prepared for long term vacancy, but many businesses will not have had this opportunity before the national lockdown, which basically entails that these checks will not have been carried out. After a building becomes unoccupied, it is not the case that maintenance activity should also stop After a building becomes unoccupied, it is not the case that maintenance activity should also stop. At the very least, the frequency of existing planned maintenance will change, but in some cases, more maintenance tasks are required in order to keep the site ticking over. This includes flushing of water systems, Legionella testing and insurance inspections to keep the property functional and compliant. Countering health and safety issues As the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted across the United Kingdom and many businesses are gradually reopening, it will present health and safety problems that have not been faced before and will very likely see a surge in services and maintenance being required. With this in mind, it is vital that maintenance becomes a priority as normal service is resumed to not only ensure efficiency, but also to make sure that no employee or visitor to a site is put in danger. Emerging from a surreal 12 months, there is no doubt that companies will still face challenges, so it is crucial that avoidable maintenance problems do not become one of them, so don’t delay in booking routine checks.
Manufacturers continue to make improvements in heat-pump technology, including higher efficiencies, contractor-friendly designs, and innovative extras like two-stage compressors that allow them to run at lower speeds and cut down energy use and homeowners’ bills. Below is a sampling of six of the latest products to hit the heat pump market. Nortek Global HVAC introduced the W-Series of air conditioning and heat pump equipment for residential and light commercial applications, completing its redesign of Gibson®, NuTone®, and Frigidaire® branded 1.5- to 5-ton, single-phase air conditioning units and heat pumps. The redesign offers contractors a ‘good-better-best’ strategy (the premium F-Series, the mid-range E-Series, and the economically-priced W-Series) to accommodate varying consumer price ranges. Coil-Protecting wire guard The W-Series heat pump is available in 14- and 16-SEER models. Standard features include Copeland scroll compressors and a liquid line filter-drier for field installation in an accessible position to facilitate easy periodic change-outs. It also has a coil-protecting wire guard that adds cabinet structural integrity and holds a plastic mesh in place to safeguard against hail and accidental contact damage, plus an anti-corrosive polymer drain pan with more drainage holes to eliminate potential standing water. On the unit’s exterior cabinet, above the refrigerant access port, is a weather-proof QR code called ‘Charge Me’ that can be scanned to access Nortek’s charge assist tool. “The new W-series of heat pumps recently introduced by Gibson, Frigidaire, and NuTone features a high-tech way to charge,” said Dave Garvin, product manager, Nortek Global HVAC. Variable Speed Heat Pump Rheem’s next generation Prestige® heat pump harnesses the power of the new EcoNet Smart Thermostat “The proprietary website helps account for subcooling, fixed orifices, thermostatic expansion valves, ambient temperature at time of charging, lineset length, and other variables that can trip up contractors when charging any heat pump brand.” The Rheem® Prestige® Series EcoNet®-Enabled Variable Speed Heat Pump features a contractor-friendly design, which means expanded valve space and triple service access, for fast and easy install and repairs. Corner-service access allows optimal access to internal components, while individual louver panels speed coil cleaning and cabinet reassembly. Plus, Rheem’s next generation Prestige® heat pump harnesses the power of the new EcoNet Smart Thermostat, which provides control, monitoring, and one-touch alert capability. Proper installation and reduced time “Rheem’s Prestige Heat Pump powered by our EcoNet Smart Thermostat keeps contractors in control,” said Ryan Teschner, product manager for Rheem Mfg. “From real-time alerts and system notifications to a charge mode capability, which allows for proper installation and reduced time on the job, Rheem’s heat pump increases job site efficiencies and reduces labor costs for contractors.” The hybrid electric Voltex® from A. O. Smith has an energy factor (efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day) of 2.3, and is Energy Star® qualified. “Heat pump water heaters use electricity to pull heat from the surrounding air rather than generating their own heat,” said Brandon Stepanek, national field marketing manager at A. O. Smith. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions Carrier’s Hybrid Heat systems automatically switch between electric and gas heating “This means that they can be a logical choice for dedicated green home builders interested in enhancing energy efficiency. Because a heat pump water heater uses energy efficiently, it can save customers up to 10 percent on energy bills, which adds up to thousands of dollars over the life of the water heater,” he continued. “The significant reduction in electricity use also has a direct effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” Carrier’s Performance™ Series heat pumps offer a range of efficiencies that start at 14 SEER and reach 17.5 SEER and up to 9.5 HSPF. Combining a gas furnace, an electric heat pump, and a compatible thermostat, Carrier’s Hybrid Heat systems automatically switch between electric and gas heating to optimize the efficiency of each fuel source, helping defend homeowners against utility cost fluctuations. They have Energy Star designation. Carrier indoor furnace “Our microtube coil technology saves space and provides lasting comfort with its corrosion-resistant construction,” the company stated. “In addition, some models include innovative extras, like a two-speed compressor for added benefits like higher efficiency and even, consistent comfort. When installed with a custom-matched Carrier indoor furnace or fan coil and a Côr® Wi-Fi® thermostat, our two-stage heat pumps can operate on low stage up to 80 percent of the time to keep airflow and temperatures even and consistent while adding humidity control during cooling operation.” Heating operation is rated down to minus 5˚F outdoor temperature Fujitsu General America Inc. recently debuted the RGLX Series, three medium-static pressure ducted indoor units for the single-zone Halcyon mini split line. They have sufficient static pressure to heat or cool a whole house. Heating operation is rated down to minus 5˚F outdoor temperature. The 12,000-, 18,000-, and 24,000-Btuh models are Energy Star qualified. V-Shaped heat exchanger Units are available in seven sizes ranging from 12,000 to 48,000 Btuh, with efficiency ratings up to 21.3 SEER. The evaporators are slim enough to fit most ceiling spaces, making them ideal for hidden installations, while the condensing units can be installed below a window or in a narrow space. The new models can be installed in applications that require static pressure up to 0.80 inches of water column and offer maximum piping lengths of up to 246 feet. A built-in drain pump with 33.5 feet of vertical lift comes standard. “The combination of the V-shaped heat exchanger, air stabilizer, and the energy-efficient DC fan motor results in high efficiency and quiet operation,” Fujitsu wrote in the product specs. Customized indoor comfort The Goodman GSZC18 Heat Pump features the next-generation Copeland Scroll™ two-stage compressor coupled with Goodman’s ComfortBridge® communicating technology to deliver up to 19 SEER and 10 HSPF performance. ComfortBridge ‘off-the-wall’ technology gives contractors more installation options and intelligent controls. It works with any thermostat, including single-stage ones. ComfortBridge constantly gathers data, making automatic adjustments for peak performance ComfortBridge constantly gathers data, making automatic adjustments for peak performance, using the minimum energy needed for consistent, customized indoor comfort. A companion CoolCloud™ app connects technicians wirelessly via Bluetooth to ComfortBridge. Advanced ComfortAlert™ Diagnostics constantly monitor the system, reducing failures and pinpointing trouble spots. “Our 18-SEER heat pumps provide high-efficiency, energy-saving indoor comfort with the ease of installation as compared to less sophisticated products,” said Cory Gottfredson, senior product manager, Outdoor Split Systems for Goodman. Compressor crankcase heater “We have incorporated ComfortBridge technology to optimize installation while allowing homeowners to use any thermostat. This truly enhances both operation and installation, freeing contractors from hassles and leaving money in the hands of homeowners where it belongs.” The scroll compressor inside the GSZC18 is designed with fewer moving parts, and the high-efficiency, two-speed electronically commutated condenser fan motor with advanced fan design provides quiet airflow. Other features include SmartShift® technology with short-cycle protection, a bi-flow liquid-line filter-drier, suction line accumulator, high- and low-pressure switches, coil and ambient temperature sensors, a transformer, compressor crankcase heater, high-capacity muffler, and a color-coded terminal strip for non-communicating set-up.
Rheem, a renowned global manufacturer of HVAC and water heating solutions, recently unveiled the industry's most efficient hybrid electric water heater. Named ProTerra for its unmatched efficiencies, this ENERGY STAR certified water heater from Rheem is over 400 percent more efficient compared to any standard electric tank-type water heater in market and is more eco-friendly than ever at up to 4.0 UEF. "Rheem is committed to developing cutting-edge products that benefit end-users and our environment," said Ankur Maheshwari, Senior Product Manager, Rheem. "Our top-of-the-line ProTerra water heater can save homeowners money upon purchase in the form of a $300 federal tax credit, and because the system requires minimal power to operate, its carbon footprint is the lowest in its class." adjust water temperatures The ProTerra's compact design makes it a perfect tank replacement for even the home's smallest spaces. The system is available in the widest selection of gallon sizes in its category – 40, 50, 65, 80 – to support various hot water needs, and the ProTerra with LeakGuard model is now the industry's only hybrid water heater with built in leak detection and auto shutoff that limits water loss from the tank to no more than 20 ounces. LeakGuard protects the home against water damage, providing peace of mind for end-users. This all-new hybrid water heater also has Rheem's exclusive EcoNet Wifi technology built in. Once connected through the EcoNet mobile app, users can monitor the system from any location, adjust water temperatures for controlled comfort and receive maintenance alerts to ensure the system continues to run smoothly without interruption. detailed system diagnostics Plumbers can access detailed system diagnostics through Rheem's Contractor App Additionally, through the EcoNet mobile app, users can access Rheem's Hot Water Availability feature which indicates how much hot water is available in the tank, preventing any cold shower surprises. Other advanced features include scheduling around peak electricity rates, an energy usage tracker to manage consumption without sacrificing comfort and five operating modes to balance between energy usage and hot water availability. Plumbers can access detailed system diagnostics through Rheem's Contractor App, which shortens service visits and improves credibility in the field. The ProTerra has all serviceable components on the front of the unit, which also saves plumbers valuable time on a jobsite. Another benefit to plumbers is the unit's zero clearance requirement on the sides. This makes earthquakes straps easy to install, providing an extra benefit in California where earthquake straps are code. efficient water heater "Our ProTerra hybrid water heater is not only the most efficient water heater available; it is also NEEA Tier 4 certified and comes with CTA 2045 adaptor with full Demand Response capability out of the box," said Scott Cohen, Senior Manager, Rheem. "This level of product efficiency is Rheem's ongoing priority when developing new innovations and supports the company's 'Greater Degree of Good' sustainability initiative which includes reducing GHG emissions by 50 percent." The ProTerra qualifies for the highest level of energy rebates, will save homeowners up to nearly $500 in annual energy costs1 and will pay for itself within two years2. For more information on utility rebates, the local utility provider can be contacted or the website can be visited.
During the Annual Meeting, members of the association for the region’s HVACR manufacturers elected Mr Brian Suggitt, Managing Director, Systemair UAE, as President supported by Mr Tariq Al Ghussein, CEO of local company Taqeef as Vice-President. Thanks to continuous growth in previous years, the member gathering saw the approval of lower membership fee structures for its members, which ensures the longevity of the Association for the years ahead. The new Board further consists of Mr Asim Ansari (Export Sales Manager, Airedale), Mr Dani Elamana (Technical Director, Camfil Middle East), Mr Rafael van Eijcken (General Manager, Baltimore Aircoil Middle East), Mr Frank Taaning Grundholm (VP - Global HVACR Sales, ABB), Mr Iyad Al Jurdy (Senior Manager, LG Electronics), Mr Srinivasan Rangan (Director of Marketing and Product Management, Rheem MEA), Mr Naveen Sivakumar (Head of Marketing and Business Development, Danfoss) and Mr David Jacobs (VP and Managing Director EMEA, Baltimore Aircoil) as Born Board member elected by the Eurovent Association. Making a difference by driving change I am excited to see so much energy and enthusiasm in the new board" Eurovent Middle East has seen considerable growth and development since its inception and saw an unprecedented number of technical meetings in 2019. The industry body was active on multiple regulatory issues, supporting authorities with combined feedback from the industry, and its members with clarifications and the resolution of potential regulatory obstacles to free trade. In his third consecutive term steering the Association, Mr Suggitt has introduced a special theme for this year, “Making a difference by driving change.” The evolution of the group has been a remarkable example of the power of co-creation, as the newly elected President shares, “I am excited to see so much energy and enthusiasm in the new board.” Power of co-creation and cooperation “The development of the association from the beginning to now underlines the power of co-creation and cooperation. What we have achieved so far may not be immediately noticeable but would have never been able without the contributions and dedication of our members. We are competitors in the field, but what the field looks like is our common concern.” This should also encourage additional companies to consider a membership" Mr Tariq Al Ghussein, newly elected Vice-President adds, “People begin to gradually understand the benefits and opportunities an association provides. Having been in the board for over a year now and seeing the work, which was done, assures me that the path we’ve followed is the right one. I can only emphasise again that the region needs much more cooperation among the industry and its various partners, be it government entities, consultants or contractors.” Reduced membership fees Speaking on the reduced membership fees and other changes, Mr Markus Lattner, Managing Director of Eurovent Middle East explains, “It was initially planned to lower the fees when we reached a certain threshold of revenues. The growth in membership since the beginning allows us to make this step earlier than intended and thus easier for our members in an economically more difficult time.” “This should also encourage additional companies to consider a membership. Further steps include extending our reach into Egypt and Pakistan and publishing dedicated technical recommendations to provide guidance on key technologies. The acclaimed HVACR Leadership Workshops will be continued with Building Retrofit, Cold Chain and Data Centre Cooling events over the next three months.”
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