2LA flammable refrigerants
The pandemic not only raised concerns about public health but also increased public awareness of the impacts our buildings have on the planet. A healthcare facility’s purpose is to serve the health of the community and promote public wellness. Hospitals account for 4.4% of global emissions, so to truly protect the health of the community, healthcare leaders need to make sure they are also protecting the planet. Public Health Issue The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)...
Emerson, a globally renowned software, technology, and engineering solutions company that provides innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and residential markets, has announced new leadership in its HVACR Technologies and Digital & Connected Technologies business groups. New Leadership Appointments John Schneider will serve as President of the HVACR Technologies - America's business, at Emerson. He has served in several senior leadership roles within Emerson, includi...
NevadaNano, the globally renowned innovator in gas detection sensor technology, has announced its partnership with Emerson, to jointly develop refrigerant gas detector products, which will provide a solution to the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry, for refrigerant leak detection. NevadaNano - Emerson partnership “We are proud to partner with Emerson to develop essential solutions that can help lower the impact of existing HVACR equipment on the gl...
A landmark UN scientific study has once again highlighted the short window available to prevent irreversible climate change. Businesses are coming under pressure to dramatically accelerate their net-zero carbon initiatives. This comes at a time where market dynamism is returning across a range of key sectors following a downturn triggered by the pandemic. Businesses are also being pressured by stakeholders to recover revenues lost during the pandemic and to start rebuilding commercial activity...
The current Biden Administration’s renewed focus on climate change has expedited the phasedown of high-GWP refrigerants, kicked off by the passage of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, part of the December 2020 COVID stimulus bill. As the AIM Act phase-down schedule progresses, higher-GWP HFC refrigerants, while viable, have the potential to have a limited useful life and ultimately be eliminated. In response to pending changes, Johnson Controls has announced it will use...
Hitachi introduces a new line of high-efficiency single-zone, mini-split systems, PRIMAIRY mini-split systems. Designed to meet the unique needs of small to mid-size properties such as shops, restaurants, and classrooms, the PRIMAIRY system is an energy-efficient and cost-effective option. Hitachi quality is evident throughout the product line. Features of the product line include: Brushless DC fan motors provide stable, precise, energy-efficient operation. Compact units and long piping ru...
Johnson Controls, the provider of smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, announces the Quantech™ QWC4 Water-Cooled Screw Chiller has been added to the brand’s expanded chiller portfolio. The Quantech™ QWC4 chiller uses variable speed drive technology to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions by as much as 30 percent when compared to traditional chillers. Throughout most locations, the variable speed drive saves energy during 99 percent of operating hours spent at off-design conditions, which include reduced load and/or reduced entering condenser water temperature. Managing refrigerant charges Since the Quantech™ QWC4 screw chiller is capable of handling a higher-pressure lift than a centrifugal chiller, it can be used in both thermal storage and heat-pump applications. The variable speed drive technology provides the chiller flexibility in handling high-lift applications with the highest efficiencies available. This allows the chiller to use a wide range of heat-rejection methods, including an open cooling tower, dry cooler, adiabatic cooler, heat recovery, or heat pump. The chiller utilizes the R-134a refrigerant, which has zero ozone depletion potential The Quantech™ QWC4 chiller also reduces environmental impacts by directly managing refrigerant charges and potential leak points. The chiller utilizes the R-134a refrigerant, which has zero ozone-depletion potential and features an innovative design that reduces the number of potential leak points by 35 percent when compared to conventional compressor designs. It also incorporates a falling-film evaporator that allows for the refrigerant charge to be lowered by as much as 30 percent compared to standard chillers. Delivering impactful sustainability The Quantech™ QWC4 chiller supports OpenBlue Healthy Buildings by Johnson Controls – a complete suite of connected solutions that deliver impactful sustainability, new healthy occupant experiences, and respectful safety and security to many industries including workplaces, hospitals, schools, enterprises, and more. Quantech™ will be hosting a webinar covering water-cooled chillers on Thursday, June 24th at 2:00 p.m. (EST) The ‘Water-Cooled Chillers 101’ webinar will take a deep dive into the features and benefits of water-cooled screw and scroll chillers, including the Quantech™ water-cooled chiller portfolio.
After extensive research, testing, and evaluation, Johnson Controls, the provider of smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, has selected R-454B, a lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant, to replace R-410A in its ducted residential and commercial unitary products as well as air-cooled scroll chillers. Systems using the new refrigerant will be available for Johnson Controls, YORK®, Luxaire®, Coleman®, Champion®, TempMaster®, Fraser-Johnston®, Guardian®, Evcon™, and Quantech® branded products in North America, as well as specific international markets where codes are in alignment. High-GWP refrigerants This decision was made as the HVAC industry is preparing to phase out high-GWP refrigerants, such as R-410A, which are now being formally addressed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the recently passed American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act. The AIM Act directs the EPA to phase down U.S. hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) production and use by approximately 85 percent over the next 15 years. Johnson Controls has determined R-454B be the best-in-class replacement refrigerant After evaluating several low-GWP alternatives on a variety of performance and market metrics, such as safety, capacity, efficiency, reliability, availability, and longevity, Johnson Controls has determined R-454B to be the best-in-class replacement refrigerant – a decision echoed by other HVAC manufacturers. R-454B has the lowest EPA SNAP approved GWP for unitary applications of all ASHRAE classified A2L (low-toxicity, mild flammability) refrigerants on the market, coming in at 466. Maximizing environmental benefits This is one-fifth the GWP of R-410A, far lower than the pending 750 GWP limits being proposed and offering the longest-term viability. “Utilizing R-454B was a clear decision, but one that took years of in-depth research, testing, and evaluation,” said Chris Forth, Executive Director of regulatory, codes, and environmental affairs, Ducted Systems, Johnson Controls. “This decision maximizes environmental benefits, which will help to avoid, if not completely avert, a second, near-term transition for the unitary sector. As the AIM Act phase-down schedule progresses, higher-GWP fluids such as R-32, while viable today, have the potential to be eliminated as an option due to their high-GWP values. Johnson Controls will continue to evaluate lower-GWP alternatives for future possibilities.” Improving system efficiency Existing R-410A equipment built prior to that date can be sold and installed indefinitely" In addition to reducing environmental impact, R-454B is more compatible with existing R-410A equipment designs, requires a less or similar refrigerant charge, and can reduce the energy use of HVAC systems and improve system efficiency. The similar operating characteristics with R-410A will make for a smoother transition for distributors, wholesalers, and contractors. “It’s important to note that these pending mandates from the EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) would only apply to the sale of new residential and commercial unitary equipment as well as air-cooled scroll chillers. As the pending regulations stipulate a specific manufacturing cutoff date of January 1, 2025, for residential and light commercial unitary products and January 1, 2024, for air-cooled scroll chillers, existing R-410A equipment built prior to that date can be sold and installed indefinitely,” said Forth. Rule-Making processes “EPA and CARB are scheduled to begin their formal rule-making processes this year, which will determine how long of a servicing period will be granted for R-410A equipment currently in service.” As we approach the refrigerant transition cutoff dates, safety standards and building codes must be updated prior to a widespread market introduction of mildly flammable, low-toxicity A2L refrigerants such as R-454B. Extensive, multi-year research and testing have been conducted by ASHRAE, AHRTI, and others to ensure A2Ls can be safely deployed. Proper training will be critical to ensure the safe use, transportation, and storage of A2L refrigerants. Johnson Controls is committed to ensuring the safe transition to R-454B by providing in-depth training for its contractors and technicians prior to the pending refrigerant transition dates.
When the air conditioner is running properly, it should be nearly silent and should not have any frost or ice build-up. However, when paying attention to the system, home owners will have very likely seen part of it icing up at times. How air conditioners work Before digging into what causes air conditioners to freeze, home owners should understand how they work in the first place. The air conditioner circulates refrigerant between the outdoor condensing unit and the indoor evaporator coil. It cools the home by absorbing the heat from the air moving through the HVAC system and venting it outside. Regulating the pressure of the refrigerant To accomplish this, the system must regulate the pressure of the refrigerant To accomplish this, the system must regulate the pressure of the refrigerant. When the pressure goes down, the refrigerant gets cold. When the pressure increases, the refrigerant gets hot. The refrigerant at the evaporator coil should be low, making it cold and allowing it to absorb the most heat. Then, the compressor increases the pressure, allowing it to effectively transfer the heat to the air moving through the condensing coil. If the pressure cannot be regulated or if the air is not moving through effectively, the system may experience a freeze. Listed below are the four most common causes of an air conditioner freeze-up: Dirty coils As air moves through the system, it deposits airborne contaminants on the evaporator coil. Eventually, these particles restrict the flow of air moving through the coil. The dust particles create an insulating effect on the coils. In both cases, the refrigerant cannot absorb the proper amount of heat, which keeps the evaporator coil too cold. This lack of heat leads to freezing in the coil and areas farther down the refrigerant line. To deal with these contaminants, the AC system should be carefully cleaned annually, during routine maintenance period. Clogged air filters The air filters are critical to keeping these particles out of the system and protecting them from excessive build-up. However, it is also the gateway to the system for the air needed to circulate. If the filters are clogged, then air cannot flow through the system properly, leading to the same issue as dirty coils. Home owners should check the air filter regularly, in order to keep air flowing freely. Most experts recommend changing the filter about every three months, depending on the filter type and air quality. However, the life of the air filter can be extended by checking it monthly and gently vacuuming the intake side. Ineffective circulating fan The circulating fan is responsible for drawing air into the system, through the coil and pushing it back out. Like the evaporator coil and air filter, contaminants settle on the fan wheel, reducing how much air it moves. In addition to collecting these contaminants, the fan motor itself can also cause an issue. As the motor ages and nears the end of its service life, it may not spin as rapidly. This again reduces the amount of air it draws into the system. Refrigerant leaks The system must have a certain amount of refrigerant circulating to operate correctly. If it is too little, the compressor cannot create the pressure needed. This causes the pressure in the lines leading to the compressor to drop, which in turn leads to a freeze. A leak is what causes the refrigerant level to be too low. These leaks may be minor and will build over time, or they may be major and very noticeable. Either way, they both result in the same frozen system. Importance of regular system maintenance If home owners suspect that there is a freeze in their AC system, they should turn it off and allow it time to thaw If home owners suspect that there is a freeze in their AC system, they should turn it off and allow it time to thaw. While it is thawing, they can double-check their air filters, so as to be sure that they are clean. If the issue still persists, home owners can consider calling a qualified technician to troubleshoot the problem. Preventing these issues is the best way to protect the system, and that can be done with annual routine maintenance. During a maintenance visit, a technician will clean the coils and fan, check the refrigerant level, and test each component. Once the maintenance is completed, home owners will know that the system is ready to handle all the heat and humidity that the summer throws at it. AC maintenance and repair expert Island Heating & Air Conditioning has been the trusted name for air conditioning maintenance and repair, around the Oak Harbor region, in Washington, USA, for over 35 years. The company’s technicians are also experts in indoor air quality (IAQ) and heating installation, repair, and maintenance. Interested individuals can call to schedule their home’s air conditioning maintenance or repair appointment with one of the expert technicians.
The release of the new Optyma™ condensing units and MTZ/NTZ compressors—following the qualification of valves and line components in 2020—means Danfoss has the widest portfolio of A2L-ready refrigeration solutions compatible with R1234yf, R454C, and R455A refrigerants. With increasingly strict requirements to lower the Global Warming Potential (GWP) level of refrigeration systems, cooling professionals have an opportunity to start the green transition today by switching to A2L refrigerants with a GWP level below 150. And because change takes time, Danfoss will guide you through the refrigerant transition with frontline knowledge of growing requirements—and provide the products that are A2L-compliant and safe to install. The perks of being A2L-ready The transition to ultra-low GWP refrigerants is just on the horizon, with the next high-GWP HFC phase-down step coming at the end of 2021 with a 55% reduction versus the 2015 baseline. A2L refrigerants offer cooling professionals a cost-effective option that maintains a conventional system design while significantly minimizing the GWP level. In practice, a refrigerant like R1234yf offers a 99% reduction in GWP compared with A1 refrigerant R134a—achieving that result without any added complexity. The comprehensive range of A2L-ready condensing units, compressors, and components ensures that we are prepared for the green transition when you are. Danfoss Optyma™ condensing units The new Danfoss Optyma™ Slim Pack and Optyma™ Plus multi-refrigerant condensing units feature a future-proof design compatible with both A1 and A2L refrigerants—all in a single unit. You get the same highly serviceable units you know and love, designed to operate with A2L refrigerants safely and without complexity: “A2L refrigerants are environmentally-friendly solutions that meet increasingly tough restrictions—but do require specific safety testing and design due to their mild flammability. The new Optyma™ condensing units have been ignition-proof tested in independent laboratories and designed with risk-mitigation precautions, such as a sealed electrical box, holes, and louvers to ensure the refrigerant’s dilution—giving installers peace of mind,” says Rogerio Salhab Federici, Head of System Solutions at Danfoss Climate Solutions. This powerful combination translates into an economically viable solution that one can implement today Featuring a high energy-performance ratio, the updated Optyma™ condensing units enable one to gain higher energy efficiency while reducing energy consumption and indirect emissions. This powerful combination translates into an economically viable solution that one can implement today—backed by the complete portfolio of A2L-ready components. Multi-refrigerant, A2L-ready compressors Complementing the new condensing units, light commercial and commercial compressors are A2L-ready. The well-known MTZ and NTZ reciprocating compressors—for mid and low-temperature applications respectively—are now qualified for use with R454C and R455A refrigerants and come in a multi-refrigerant setup. Plus, the scroll version will be A2L-ready by Q3 2021—giving you a complete range of compressor solutions compatible with ultra-low GWP refrigerants.
Atlas Copco has acquired the operating assets of MidState Air Compressor and will be a part of Quincy Compressor LLC. The company is a distributor of compressors and provider of service that covers Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts in the United States. Part of Quincy Compressor LLC They offer a wide portfolio of air compressors, dryers, and related HVAC services for domestic and commercial applications The company has about 15 employees and is based in Berlin, Connecticut, USA. They offer a wide portfolio of air compressors, dryers, and related HVAC services for domestic and commercial applications. “MidState Air Compressor has a strong reputation and a large, loyal customer base, which is supported by an experienced and dedicated team of employees,” said Vagner Rego, Business Area President Compressor Technique at Atlas Copco. Strategic acquisition Vagner Rego adds, “This acquisition allows us to focus on growing our business and continue to strengthen our market presence in the region.” The purchase price is not material relative to Atlas Copco’s market capitalization and is not disclosed. The acquired business will become part of Atlas Copco’s Quincy Compressor LLC, which is part of the Industrial Air Division, within the Compressor Technique Business Area of the company.
Danfoss has expanded its popular range of microchannel heat exchangers, with a new version optimized for use with low-density, low-GWP refrigerants like R1234ze and R515B. The new, world-first technology solves a key design challenge for OEMs transitioning to ultra-low GWP refrigerants such as R1234ze and R515B—especially in large air-cooled chillers using screw and centrifugal compression. Typically, the low density of these refrigerants makes system performance highly sensitive to pressure drops. But thanks to optimized micro-channel tube geometry, the new, optimized microchannel heat exchangers (MCHEs) provide the ideal balance between maximum heat rejection and internal refrigerant pressure drop. As a result, OEMs can realize a 20% reduction in refrigerant pressure drop at the component level and transition more easily to low-GWP, low-density refrigerants. CO2 reduction goals This change marks over a decade of innovation in MCHE as the key technology for high-efficiency systems that require a lower refrigerant charge. It enables OEMs to realize CO2 reduction goals while reaping all the benefits of customized MCHEs: High energy performance Lower refrigerant charge Sustainable build These new MCHEs also mark a step forward for Danfoss in its broader roadmap for tackling energy efficiency and refrigerant change. The ultra-low GWP refrigerant R1234ze is an increasingly popular choice for HVACR applications, as it’s widely available with a GWP below 5 and has the lowest flammability of all A2L-rated refrigerants. R515B is also growing in popularity, as it has an AR5 GWP of 299 and an ASHRAE A1 safety classification. low-density refrigerants Jeff Tucker, Head of Micro Channel at Danfoss, explains: "The climate crisis is the biggest challenge we face, and the innovations we’re seeing today will play a crucial role in our global future. So we’re really excited to be creating new opportunities for our customers to transition to low-GWP, low-density refrigerants—and see the impact that has on CO2 emissions and energy efficiency." "While the new MCHE technologies mark a big step towards this goal, it is not new to Danfoss", adds Luigi Zamana, Danfoss global senior director of Marketing A/C and Heat pumps. "We were pioneering with Danfoss Turbocor back in 2014, then we have developed and qualified a wide portfolio of expansion valves, sensors, and line components. With the potential of these medium-density refrigerants, we’re not stopping there. We will be introducing a range of large scroll compressors. So expect more exciting new developments soon."
The past six months have been busy for those in HVAC as offices are updated and made safe for people to return. In addition to the various standard checks that need to be carried out, more care is being taken in relation to air movement and filtration to prevent the spread of disease. There is evidence that at least some of the COVID-19 virus can remain suspended in the air and infectious for up to 3 hours. While this is not the main form of transmission, it is vitally important, especially as we are seeing a second increase in infections, that all measures are taken to prevent the spread of the disease. Sick building syndrome In addition to the fundamental elements of HVAC in public buildings, the sector should be looking to the future of technological use; whether COVID-19 is completely wiped out or lingers in the population, we may be at risk of more new diseases in the future. Although maintenance is one of the least visible of building services, it has long played an important role in ensuring the health of buildings. Decades ago, the concept of sick building syndrome was first introduced, showing quite how important our environment is to health. Now, we are being reminded of this on a daily basis in ways that have never been under such scrutiny. We are suddenly hyperaware of what we have touched and who else is breathing our air. In many ways, this new awareness of the unseen is a boon for the sector that has so long been behind-the-scenes, but it also puts it to the test. Potentially stagnant pockets There are numerous recommendations from experts on how to increase safety Governmental guidelines have not specifically required that ventilation and air conditioning be increased in the workplace. Yet, there are numerous recommendations from experts on how to increase safety. At the low-tech end of the spectrum, the use of ceiling and table fans to increase movement in potentially stagnant pockets of air has been suggested. At the other end, technologies that have long been growing in popularity, such as remote monitoring, will really come into their own in the coming months. A particular challenge for the industry as workers return to the office under social distancing guidelines will be accessing certain areas for maintenance. For as long as the virus remains in the population, risk assessments for work will be more complex and non-essential jobs will likely be put on hold where possible. Optical remote sensors Intelligent technology and monitoring systems are already driving the market and will play a role in minimizing contact with others when visiting a site. There is already a great range of tools available: wired sensors, wireless sensors, and optical remote sensors. These allow organizations to monitor vibration, temperature, acoustics, and the power of numerous assets remotely and in real-time. Any issues can be addressed as soon as they arise, minimizing the cost and time that an engineer may need to be in the building. Installing these technologies while buildings are still unoccupied or only partially occupied will also reduce the risk of exposure of engineers to the virus and will improve the efficiency and prolong the life of important assets. Whether a second lockdown takes place or not, these tools will protect building services. Motion-Activated air conditioning Other sensor-based features such as motion-activated air conditioning also have great potential Other sensor-based features such as motion-activated air conditioning also have great potential. These can manage the new hygiene anxiety which pervades public places at the moment. In the longer term, they can be a means of building sustainability practices into the workplace, using power only when needed. Internet of Things (IoT) features such as occupancy sensors have long been growing in popularity to create buildings which are more energy-efficient and promote productivity. Many of these features are demonstrating added value during the pandemic. Occupancy sensors, for example, can be used to ensure that buildings do not exceed safe numbers for social distancing. HVAC systems will be integrated ever further into the IoT approach. Some features of virus reduction, however, have posed a challenge for systems. Air conditioning systems Air conditioning systems, for example, can best reduce the risk of viral transmission through increasing the amount of air which is brought in from the outside into the systems. This will reduce the amount of recycled air but will also increase the temperature fluctuations within the buildings. Other recommendations have included reviewing ventilation strategies, increasing ventilation operating times, deep cleaning filters, and replacing filters more often. Cutting corners on anything which reduces the risk of virus spread will only be a greater loss to the client All of these can potentially see an increase in time and cost required by the client at a time where many companies have been stretched financially. Cutting corners on anything which reduces the risk of virus spread will only be a greater loss to the client in the long run if their employees lose time to illness but it still may be a temptation. Strong working partnership FM providers must work closely with clients to understand their individual fears and needs in such turbulent times. For Anabas, we believe demonstrating expertise and experience is a means of reassuring organizations that they are in safe hands. The future of the pandemic is still unpredictable. While its elimination is hopeful, it is still well worth the investment for many organizations to install the tools which minimize the risk of infection of COVID-19 - or any future infections. Clients are looking for certainty in an uncertain world and data-driven insights and real-time monitoring are ideal ways to provide this. However, the reassurance that comes with a strong working partnership will also be more important than ever. Communicating developments and what they mean for the client, as well as assuring them their priorities are understood can set a provider apart.
Sustainability and environmental impact are core issues of the HVAC market in 2020 or any year. During the last year, HVACinformed.com has addressed multiple facets of sustainability in some of our most popular articles. This retrospective will highlight some of the sustainability articles published during 2020 at HVACInformed.com. An HVACInformed.com Expert Panel Roundtable commented on various aspects of sustainability, including the responsibility of HVAC manufacturers to develop more sustainable, energy-efficient products that can reduce a building’s reliance on fossil fuels. Energy consumption pattern Honeywell has launched a platform that incorporates newer technology. Combining self-learning algorithms with building automation, Honeywell Forge Energy Optimization is a cloud-based system that analyzes a building’s energy consumption pattern and adjusts its settings. Heat networks, or district heating, are becoming an ever-greater part of the industry’s involvement Pete Mills of Bosch Commercial & Industrial outlines how cities are using ‘heat networks’ to achieve carbon emission targets in the United Kingdom. Heat networks, or district heating, are becoming an ever-greater part of the industry’s involvement in larger-scale schemes. The ability to help the decarbonization of heat both now and in the future has made them an attractive solution to the new-build sector, as well as those undergoing deep renovation works. Centralized heat generator Generally, heat networks are defined as a system of supply pipes with a centralized heat generator (Energy Center) that serves multiple domestic or non-domestic dwellings. These are usually in different buildings, but sometimes within a single large building like an apartment block or a university campus. Some U.S. cities are taking the lead to make building performance standards mandatory, thus providing additional incentive for customers to invest in new, more efficient and climate-friendly HVAC technologies. New York City has deployed its Carbon Mobilization Act, which will cut six million tons of CO2 annually by 2020. Washington D.C. adopted the first Building Energy Performance Standard, which will reduce energy use in buildings by more than 20%, thereby lowering carbon dioxide emissions by a million tons annually. Improving environmental performance Newer buildings tend to be designed to be ‘green’, but what about older existing buildings, which still represent the largest share of environmental impact? There is more work to be done in the retrofit sector; and improving environmental performance of older buildings often involves ‘deep retrofits’ that are costly and impact multiple factors inside a building. In the COVID-19 era, there is also growing concern about needs such as circulating outside air, increasing humidity, and improving filtration systems even as older buildings seek to become greener. The consistent theme is a need to work toward better-designed, more energy efficient and healthier buildings The consistent theme is a need to work toward better-designed, more energy efficient and healthier buildings. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is moving forward with rulemaking that sets limits and deadlines to decrease the use of refrigerants with global warming potential (GWP) in the commercial refrigeration market and in the residential and commercial stationary air conditioning equipment markets. Air conditioning systems California regulations are widely expected to influence the direction of other states seeking to regulate GWP of refrigerants. The addition of biodiesel lowers the carbon content (and thus the environmental impact) of heating oil. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions, including nitrogen oxide. The process of making biodiesel from renewable and organic sources also boosts the environmental profile. The Wyss Institute at Harvard University has developed an evaporative cooling system that uses a specially coated ceramic to cool air without adding humidity. Researchers say the approach can yield more affordable and environmentally friendly air conditioning systems for the future.
The impact of HVAC systems on the spread of the novel coronavirus has been a hot topic since the beginning of the pandemic. However, it is striking that, even given all the discussions and guidance, there is still a lot that we do not know. Vaguely speaking, we know that crowded spaces with poor ventilation and/or low humidity levels tend to promote virus spread that filtration can help to remove the virus, and that measures such as UV-C radiation can help to disinfect indoor air. But even those suggestions are far from definitive and may be undermined by future study. In general, we ‘think’ that HVAC systems are a factor in spreading the virus, but we are not sure. Air flow Obviously, because the coronavirus is new, much information about the relationship between HVAC and virus spread is based on studies that were carried out in previous years related to other germs, such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, which are similar to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. But can this previous testing and studies really be extrapolated to apply to the new disease? The answer is that no one really knows; therefore, such information basically amounts to educated guesses. There have been some studies since the pandemic began about how HVAC and air flow impact disease spread, some of them in China. However, these studies involve smaller sample sizes and come with caveats, disclaimers, and fine print contained in footnotes about the limitations of the conclusions. Hypotheses are often formulated, but typically the authors have not conducted aerodynamic testing or used other techniques to confirm them. HVAC and the transmission of pathogens A rush to provide useful (if flawed) information is understandable in the midst of an emergency More study is needed, and more time is needed to complete those studies and expand our base of knowledge on this important subject. A rush to provide useful (if flawed) information is understandable in the midst of an emergency. Acting on imperfect information has likely saved thousands of lives. But that success does not diminish the need to pursue more detailed and accurate information. Those pursuits will likely extend years into the future and well past the aftermath of the pandemic. Studies are needed in specific areas to round out the knowledge base and prepare us to better understand the impact of HVAC on disease spread in the next pandemic. There are no clear answers, and the role of a building’s HVAC systems in transmission of pathogens requires more attention. Further areas of study Among other areas, we need studies to cover: Epidemiologic factors to measure the role of ventilation, recirculated air, and to adequately quantify ventilation rates Use of computer simulations to more accurately track the spread of fine-exhaled droplets. More robust examination of the direct role of HVAC in transmitting and removing viable viruses within respiratory droplets or short-range aerosols. More research by multi-disciplinary teams that include HVAC engineers, epidemiologists, virologists, infectious disease experts, and other experts working together. Broader studies should cover the fields of epidemiology, engineering and aerodynamics/aerobiology. More partnerships between building facilities management departments and those tasked with preventing infection. Will the pandemic change HVAC? The pandemic has impacted the HVAC market in many ways. As more of us spend time at home, we become more concerned about issues of air quality and indoor comfort. Some of the changes in our work-life patterns will likely be permanent, which will have a lasting impact on how office buildings are used – and how they are heated and cooled. It may be that the global pandemic changes the HVAC market for good, both challenging us to expand our technologies and providing opportunities to enhance our businesses. In the future, 2020 may become a pivotal date in the history of the HVAC market – a date after which nothing is ever quite the same. Establishing a sound scientific basis to direct the changing role of HVAC ‘after Covid’ will enable the industry to invest in safer technologies and innovative approaches to drive the future of the industry – and of the world.
The Wyss Institute at Harvard University has developed an evaporative cooling system that uses a specially coated ceramic to cool air without adding humidity. Researchers say the approach can yield more affordable and environmentally friendly air conditioning systems for the future. ‘cold-SNAP’ system The ‘cold-SNAP’ system uses a water-repellent nano-scale surface coating that is applied selectively to surfaces of a 3D-printed ceramic heat exchange. The result is much cooler buildings with less humidity. ‘cold-SNAP’ is short for cold superhydrophobic nano-architecture process. The invention uses evaporative cooling, which happens when hot air is put in contact with water. As the water evaporates, it cools the air but adds moisture. Use of the water-repellent coating separates the moisture from the cool air to provide an inexpensive source of cooler, dryer air that can cool a building in lieu of traditional air conditioners. Evaporative Cooling technology The hydrophobic coating is selectively applied to components that will manage the flow of dry air The approach is a union of old and new – combining ceramic, one of the oldest, cheapest and most widely available building materials, with the novel hydrophobic surface coating developed by Wyss Institute. Because ceramic is malleable, the heating exchange unit can be produced via extrusion or 3D printing of a single piece, with its shape adjusted to maximize surface area available for heat transfer and evaporation. The hydrophobic coating is selectively applied to components that will manage the flow of dry air. Variation on indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) systems The specialized coating separates incoming hot air from outgoing wet air, allowing the hot air to be cooled by circulating water without adding humidity to the inside of a building. ‘cold-SNAP’ is a variation on indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) systems, which use complex heat exchange units that make them difficult and expensive to manufacture. Researchers say the approach can create low-cost, efficient air-cooling units to meet the world’s increasing demand while using 75% less energy. The system can be up to four times more efficient than conventional air conditioners as measured by the coefficient of performance (COP), the ratio of cooling to required energy. ‘cold-SNAP’ was designed by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and designers from the Wyss Institute’s Adaptive Material Technologies Platform, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), and the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (HCGBC). Integration into evaporative cooling systems The new technology could be integrated into existing evaporative cooling systems and sold as environmentally friendly air conditioners in a variety of climate zones. It could even be manufactured into the facades of buildings, thus cooling the space within, using only the energy needed to pump water to the system. With global warming causing a rise in the Earth’s average temperature, worldwide demand for air conditioning systems that do not contribute to that climate change increasingly will be in demand. A growing middle class throughout the world is also contributing to demand. No humidity added to the air ‘cold-SNAP’ does not add humidity to the air and works well in humid, tropical climates, as well as dry, hot climates Because ‘cold-SNAP’ does not add humidity to the air, it works well in humid, tropical climates (where it is sorely needed) as well as in dry, hot climates like the Middle East. Traditional electric air conditioners use mechanical vapor compression to convert a chemical refrigerant back and forth between its liquid and vapor forms, absorbing heat during vaporization and then removing moisture during condensation. Traditional systems use a large amount of energy to cycle the refrigerant, which increases costs, not to mention the refrigerants contribute to global warming. Historically, the environmental impact of such systems was a hidden cost that was not considered. Wyss Institute Validation Project In 2019, ‘cold-SNAP’ was named a Wyss Institute Validation Project, which puts it on track to become commercialized. The validation program seeks to ‘de-risk' technologies and demonstrate that they can be scaled up for commercialization. The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University emulates Nature’s design principles to engineer new, ‘bio-inspired’ materials and devices with high-impact applications in healthcare, manufacturing, robotics, energy, and sustainable architecture. The cross-disciplinary faculty, technical staff, students, and fellows undertake high-risk research and technology development.
Secure I.T. Environments Ltd, one of the UK’s design and build companies for modular, containerized, and micro data centers, announces that it has been awarded a contract to upgrade the air conditioning units at a Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust data center. The existing air conditioning solution had been in place since the data center was originally designed and built by Secure I.T. Environments in 2009 and 2010. Air handling systems The new contract will form part of the Trust’s investment and upgrade program and will bring about substantial energy efficiency improvements, once live before the end of 2021. Four GEA 18D Multi-DENCO® down flow close control direct expansion air handling systems and Four DENCO ambient air-cooled condensers will be installed. Chris Wellfair, Projects Director at Secure I.T. Environments, added “We are thrilled to be continuing our long-standing work on these data centers, which we originally designed, installed, and have maintained for a number of years. Cooling technology is always improving, and it will rewarding to help the trust achieve even greater energy efficiency and cost savings over the lifespan of this upgrade.”
Since fluorinated gases, due to their atmosphere warming potential, are subject to increasing regulations, global supermarket chains need future-proof concepts to cater to their commercial refrigeration needs. One of the great long-term options to meet these stores’ commercial refrigeration requirement is CO2-based system. CO2 (R744) has proven itself to be a reliable and cost-effective natural refrigerant. CO2 systems are the chosen HVAC systems for larger supermarkets, both for their environmental reasons and power consumption efficiency, as developments in technology continue to reveal their performance gains, particularly in Central and Northern Europe. CO2-based systems in Norway's COOP stores FREOR has supplied the Norway-based retail stores with energy-efficient CO2 refrigeration equipment COOP PRIX store in Heggenes and COOP EXTRA store in Hvervenkastet, Norway are excellent examples of a major retailer’s choice to transition to HFC-free (hydrofluorocarbon-free) CO2 cooling. FREOR has supplied the Norway-based retail stores with energy-efficient CO2 refrigeration equipment, which were installed by the company’s partner in Norway, NordDisk. COOP stores were equipped with FREOR’s multi-decks - JUPITER Glass Doors for vegetables, dairy and meat products, semi verticals - PLUTON SPACE for pre-packed meat product refrigeration, and freezer islands - HELLA for various types of frozen produce. Green Wave CO2 by FREOR Green Wave CO2 by FREOR is the broad line of remote products, adapted to operate on CO2 refrigerant, in the central refrigeration system. CO2 is an environmentally sustainable refrigerant, with no major effect on global warming, in case of leakage and is well suited for colder climate countries, such as Norway. Natural refrigerants are future-oriented solutions, as they are not subject to any legislative requirements, under the global HFC phase-down, including the Kigali Amendment, to the Montreal Protocol and the European Union (EU) F-Gas Regulation.
NevadaNano, an innovator in gas detection sensor technology, announced that Gastronics, Inc, a U.S. based gas detection manufacturer known for being a pioneer in wireless gas detection, has incorporated NevadaNano’s Molecular Property Spectrometer™ (MPS™) technology into its wired and wireless product offering. “Gastronics, a company that is known for its vision in problem-solving solutions, recognized the unique capabilities and value our MPS flammable gas sensors bring to their customers,” said Ralph Whitten, President of NevadaNano. Improving leak detection “Known for leveraging state-of-the-art technology, the company is setting the standard with its next-generation wired & wireless solutions using NevadaNano technology.” The Gastronics range of products utilizing the MPS sensor greatly improves leak detection and worker safety in industries including oil and gas, chemical, tank storage facilities, pipeline, and many others. The MPS Gas Transmitter with the MPS sensor provides a classification of the gas type NevadaNano’s MPS sensor technology, with built-in environmental compensation for temperature, pressure, and humidity, detects and quantifies 14 of the most common hydrocarbon gases with the one factory calibration, a feature referred to as TrueLEL. The MPS Gas Transmitter with the MPS sensor provides a classification of the gas type, which includes hydrogen, H2 mix, methane, light gas, medium gas, and heavy gas. Gas concentration readings It delivers accurate gas concentration readings across the full environmental range, including rapid environmental transients with best-in-class accuracy while minimizing false positives. Bud Dungan, President of Gastronics, states, “By integrating the MPS sensor into our product range, we can now offer our customers the most accurate combustible gas leak detection for multiple gases using just one sensor. The no field calibration requirements for the life of the MPS sensor is a very significant shift from industry practices and will be of great value for all our customers. We are proud to be the first to offer this technology in both a fixed wired and wireless product.”
Thermo King® customer Bottomley Enterprises greens up the holidays for millions of people across the United States each year. For many people, the holidays are simply not complete without a traditional tree, wreath, garland, swag, or some type of tabletop greenery – the fresh evergreen smells are often that final touch that make gatherings with family and friends memorable. And while millions flock to their local box stores for these holiday treasures, the odds are good that the products originated from the Blue Ridge Mountains and were delivered with love by Thermo King Customer Bottomley Enterprises. Producing exceptional quality “Our farm ships to large box retailers, the who’s who of retailers,” said Ken Kaelin, president of Bottomley Enterprises, the transportation arm for Bottomley Evergreens and Farms, which has been producing exceptional quality and service for nearly 30 years. What started out as a small family farming business in the hills of North Carolina has grown to produce a large variety of vegetables – think cabbage, corn, cilantro, collards, sweetcorn, pumpkins, green beans, and more, that feed consumers throughout the U.S. It also became one of the largest suppliers of holiday greenery in the eastern United States. The farming business led to the creation of Bottomley Enterprises in 2004 as founder Mitchell Bottomley fulfilled his dream of owning his own trucking company. While the businesses operate separately, Bottomley Enterprises still hauls the farm’s products. Home-Grown products Bottomley has depended on Thermo King refrigeration units to preserve the quality of the home-grown products From its beginning, Bottomley Enterprises has depended on Thermo King refrigeration units to preserve the quality of the home-grown products it transports. “The company started with just a couple tractors and trailers. Today, we are running a fleet of 70 tractors and 120 refrigerated trailers – all with Thermo King Precedent® S-600 units and a few legacy units that are used at the farm,” said Ken. “That number represents 40 percent growth within the past 15 months alone. Our trucking arm has enjoyed fast growth through our great culture, solid customer base and dedicated employees who understand that service is everything. All of this has really allowed for an exciting evolution for our companies.” Remote setting control Indeed, service is king for the Bottomley businesses, “And that’s a big reason why we have always chosen Thermo King to protect our products,” said Mitchell, who owns the company with his mother, Martha. “We are proud Thermo King users – it’s the only unit we have because we can depend on them. We love our Thermo King units.” The company not only depends on the refrigeration capacity of the units but also the telematics technology built into each unit. “We count on the TracKing® telematics,” said Ken. “The scrutiny of food safety and the ability to have visibility throughout the supply chain is like quenching a thirst for shippers. It helps us keep insurance and liability costs down. It offers remote setting control. It helps us track each load. It’s essential these days.” Keeping products safe Thermo King Central Carolinas also takes care of our reefer service work" Beyond the product is the service Bottomley receives from its home dealer Thermo King Central Carolinas and the entire Thermo King dealer network. “The partnership we get from Ben Cox, our service representative, is outstanding – he really is an extension of our employee team. He helps us manage our equipment and maintenance needs, and he provides our drivers with the product and operational information they need to run the unit efficiently – and keep our products safe.” “Thermo King Central Carolinas also takes care of our reefer service work, ensuring the equipment is tuned up and ready to go – this is wildly helpful to us. And if service is needed when our 120 team drivers are out on the road, we have an entire network to call on – that is added peace of mind,” said Ken. Refrigerated transport business Peace of mind is particularly important this time of year, when so many are depending on a fresh selection of trees and greenery at their local stores so they can decorate their homes with traditional holiday décor. The Bottomley family is poised to continue delivering for the long haul having recently opened a 33,000 square foot new trucking terminal in Mount Airy, North Carolina, that will accommodate many years of growth and create new jobs. “They have built a legacy – in both their farming business and the long-haul refrigerated transport business, and it truly is a pleasure to partner with them and see their continued successful growth,” said Ben.
Welsh plumbing, heating and green energy company, Heatforce, has entered into a two-year sponsorship of Glamorgan Cricket Club in association with Viessmann. The spectator terrace at Glamorgan Cricket’s Sophia Gardens Stadium, Cardiff, will be renamed ‘The Heatforce/Viessmann Terrace.’ Heatforce’s close relationship with Viessmann has led to the decision to explore a new audience, and to provide support for the Club. Local installation partner Sophia Gardens will host the World Cup champions when England take on Pakistan “As a Glamorgan Cricket supporter myself, I’m delighted that we are joining forces with Viessmann, to support the Club and to raise our brand awareness in the local area. We have big ambitions – just like the cricketing side – and we are very pleased to be able to back a Welsh sporting side, especially in these challenging times,” said Paul Maddocks, CEO of Heatforce, which has been serving homeowners in Wales for 35 years. Graham Russell, Viessmann’s Managing Director, said: “Viessmann is very happy to sponsor Glamorgan Cricket, together with our longstanding local installation partner, Heatforce. Having supported Welsh rugby in recent years, we’re looking forward to having a presence at Sophia Gardens and introducing our heating products to a new sporting family.” “Like many others, we can’t wait to get back to spectator sports and some decent cricket weather, and we don’t have to wait too long to be able to support Glamorgan from the new ‘Heatforce/Viessmann Terrace’.” Sophia Gardens will host the World Cup champions when England take on Pakistan, on Thursday 8th July 2021.
Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS), the exclusive provider of Zoned Comfort Solutions® and a supplier of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heating and cooling systems, is pleased to support METUS distributor, S. G. Torrice Company, in its donation of Mitsubishi Electric equipment to Homes For Our Troops, a nonprofit organization that builds and donates specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 veterans, to enable them to rebuild their lives. S. G. Torrice Company supplied equipment to outfit Homes For Our Troops’ control/equipment room in their Taunton, Massachusetts office. Specially adapted homes The new equipment replaces a malfunctioning 8-year-old system. The donated Mitsubishi Electric equipment included: (1) A/C Outdoor unit (PUYA12NKA7) (1) Wall-mounted Indoor Unit (PKAA12HA7) (1) Low Ambient Wind Baffle (WB-PA4) (1) Wall-mounted Remote Controller (PAR-40MAAU) “Homes For Our Troops does incredible work for injured veterans by building specially adapted homes so they can rebuild their lives,” says Stephen Torrice, president, S. G. Torrice Company. “We’re honored to support an organization whose focus is to support those who have sacrificed their previous way of life for our country.” Financial planning services Since 2004, Homes For Our Troops has been building and donating custom homes nationwide for injured post-9/11 veterans so they can rebuild their lives. These specially adapted custom homes enable veterans to focus on their recovery in a safe environment, and regain their freedom and independence. Veterans also receive financial planning services for long-term success after the home is built. S. G. Torrice Company is a full-service, family-owned HVAC distributor founded in 1958 by veteran Samuel G. Torrice. The company is headquartered in Wilmington, Massachusetts and has 12 locations serving residential and commercial HVAC dealers in Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
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