LG Electronics Inc. made public its commitment to transition completely to renewable energy by 2050 as a key component of its sustainability strategy. The announcement in the LG Electronics Sustainability Report comes on top of its earlier commitment to carbon neutrality through the Zero Carbon 2030 initiative in which LG has pledged to reduce carbon emissions in the production stage to 50 percent of 2017 standards by 2030. The transformation will be implemented region by region starting in No...
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...
The EME3625MD, a new, 3-inch deep, stationary Ruskin louver, approved by Miami-Dade, for its wind-driven rain resistance, is designed for structures in high-velocity hurricane zones that require louvers with basic impact protection. EME3625MD louver Mechanically fastened to add to its strength, the vertical louver also offers improved air and water performance over Ruskin’s previous Miami-Dade approved model, the EME3625DFLMD, and is AMCA 540 (Missile D) and 550 listed. We designed the...
Carrier is honored to have three heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units in three different subcategories selected as finalists in the 17th annual Product of the Year Awards conducted by Consulting-Specifying Engineer® magazine. Companies submitted their new and improved products introduced in North America between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, to be judged for this distinguished award. Carrier is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the pioneering global provider of...
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy, and sustainable building solutions, has significantly upgraded the testing lab facilities at its residential HVAC manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kan. upgrading HVAC testing facility The nearly US$ 15 million investment includes the addition of seven test chambers, automated testing and model shop equipment, and a new building, which adds 2,000 more square footage space, bringing the plant’s total testing facilities to 1...
GE Appliances. (GEA), a Haier company is opening its newest production line making 4-door refrigerator models – the fastest-growing segment in high-end refrigeration – at its Louisville-based headquarters and largest U.S. manufacturing site. More than 245 new manufacturing jobs have been added to support the new production line. Foremost appliance manufacturer “Since 2016, GE Appliances has invested $1 billion in new products, technology and its U.S. operations, and created...
ABB has signed up to a pilot study with ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC) to explore how Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and advanced analytics can optimize energy use and reduce a facility’s carbon footprint. Singapore-headquartered STT GDC, which is one of the fastest-growing global data center operators, is leveraging the digital transformation expertise of technology leader ABB as it bids to become net carbon-neutral by 2030. Modeling and Validation ABB is studying historical data to establish how digital solutions would impact existing operations and energy use ABB is conducting the pilot in two phases, beginning with initial data exploration, modeling and validation, studying historical data to establish how digital solutions would impact existing operations and energy use. Once proven, it will be followed by AI control logic testing in a live data center environment. STT GDC aims to achieve at least 10 percent in energy savings from its cooling systems, which is the largest consumption of electrical power in a data center after IT equipment. Live Data Center “Our group’s AI roadmap will take a big leap forward with this pilot program. The vast amounts of data that can be captured and harnessed in a live data center environment makes for a strong base for AI applications, which can also be applied to other business processes including capacity planning, risk mitigation and predictive maintenance,” said Daniel Pointon, Group Chief Technology Officer, ST Telemedia Global Data Centres. “This, and other initiatives around alternative energy sources, water efficiency, construction technology and innovative cooling solutions, are being carried out by our research and development team based in Singapore.” Development Process The ABB team is currently developing AI-based optimization models for the entire data center cooling plant, including the upstream chiller and distribution systems. The AI project is also unlocking new opportunities for efficiency improvement at a granular level within the data center. STT GDC will be able to use AI-generated insights, leveraging cutting-edge ABB Ability™ Genix for industrial analytics and AI, to track and analyze data generated by monitoring systems in the data center, and better facilitate dynamic cooling optimization. Supporting Data Centers ABB has a strong track record of supporting data center operators with best-in-class technology “We look forward to supporting the STT GDC team in their efforts to drive digitalization and energy efficiencies,” said Madhav Kalia, Global Head of Data Center Automation at ABB. “At ABB, we have a strong track record of supporting data center operators with our best-in-class technology solutions. We are committed to exploring the synergies between our offerings with STT GDC as it embarks on an ambitious plan.” STT GDC is one of the fastest-growing data center providers, with a global platform of data centers in the world’s major business markets. It has more than 130 facilities across Singapore, UK, India, China, Thailand, South Korea, and Indonesia.
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy and sustainable building solutions, has launched the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program. As part of the program, Johnson Controls will give US$ 15 million, over the next five years, to support academic scholarships at non-profit community colleges. Community college Program Starting in the 2021‒2022 academic year, Johnson Controls’ program will endow a total of US$ 1 million to ten community colleges across the U.S. In addition to the funding, Johnson Controls employees will support the community colleges through volunteering and mentorships. The grants support the expansion of associate degree and certificate programs in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), fire and security, and digital building automation systems, all areas where the U.S. Bureau of Labor is predicting an increased need for skilled trade expertise in the coming years. Providing in-demand knowledge and skills A core objective of the program is to change the trajectory of the lives of students from underserved communities A core objective of the program is to change the trajectory of the lives of students from underserved communities, by equipping them with in-demand knowledge and skills that will support employment and a pathway for life-long careers upon graduation. “Just as smart, healthy buildings are critical to our well-being, well-educated and trained technicians are crucial to keeping our environments operating safely and efficiently. As a leader in the building industry for over a century, Johnson Controls is honored to share our expertise with the country's leading community colleges,” said Grady Crosby, Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at Johnson Controls. Providing funding for institutions Grady Crosby adds, “The Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program supports institutions through its funding and supports their students through volunteerism and mentorships. We believe this will empower people to build life-long careers that will transform their lives and their cities.” The initial ten community colleges receiving grants are located in cities, where Johnson Controls has a significant customer base and employee presence. Funding for each community college differs based on its needs. In general, colleges will use the support to purchase and develop classroom materials, learning technologies, and student scholarships. Mentorship for students Local Johnson Controls employees in each market will serve as volunteer educators, providing students with counseling and real-world experiences. This mentoring will be directly incorporated into various college programs and also provide a pathway for student internships, and entry-level employment opportunities at Johnson Controls. 2021-2022 Community College Partnership award recipients include: Kennedy-King College (Chicago, IL): Founded in 1911, Kennedy-King College is part of the City Colleges of Chicago, a system of two-year education institutions. The college will use its funding to establish an HVAC certification boot camp, develop a job shadowing and field experience course, as well as provide students with their own HVAC toolsets. Suffolk County Community College (Selden, NY): Founded in 1959, Suffolk County Community College is a public community college, sponsored by SUNY and Suffolk County, NY. The college will use its funding to invest in state-of-the-art training simulators and the growth of a guided mentoring program, featuring Johnson Controls employees supporting peer mentoring and career counseling. Montgomery College (Rockville, MD): Founded in 1946, Montgomery College is a public community college in Montgomery County, Maryland. The college will use its funding to expand program marketing to local, low-income communities, hire additional faculty to serve as retention and recruitment associates, and create a Building Automation Systems lab. Community College of Baltimore County (Baltimore, MD): Founded in 1957, Community College of Baltimore County is a public community college with campuses across Baltimore County, Maryland. The college will use its funding to hire additional faculty and grow a guided mentoring program, featuring Johnson Controls employees supporting peer mentoring and career counseling. Lone Star College (Conroe, TX): Founded in 1992, Lone Star College is a Texas community college in The Woodlands, north of Houston. The college will use its funding to provide financial assistance for students to obtain HVAC toolkits, PPE, and learning materials, as well as tuition support. Further, the college will use the funding to grow programs that encourage students to go beyond HVAC/R certification courses and complete a full Associates Degree. Henry Ford College (Dearborn, MI): Founded in 1938, Henry Ford College is a public two-year college in Dearborn, west of Detroit, Michigan. The college will use its funding to expand the Energy Technology-HVAC program into modular units that will also be developed into open-source, online educational resources that can be shared and further developed by other learning institutions. Further, the college will purchase HVAC simulators, featuring industry-standard components. Essex Country Community College (Newark, NJ): Founded in 1968, Essex County College is a public community college in Essex County, New Jersey. The college will use its funding to purchase learning materials and training technologies, as well as create a partnership with CompTIA to expand IT certification programs for careers in IT and help desk positions. Camden County College (Blackwood, NJ): Founded in 1965, Camden County College is a public community college serving western central New Jersey and the greater Camden area. The college will use its funding to expand its HVAC technician training and Programmable Logic Controller Certificate of Achievement programs. Further, the college will develop a Programmable Logic Controller certificate program specifically tied to using Johnson Controls technology. Georgia Piedmont Technical College (Clarkston, GA): Founded in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College is part of the Technical College System of Georgia, serving students in the greater metro Atlanta area. The college will use its funding to purchase additional lab equipment for the Building Automaton Systems program and upgrade hands-on training simulators. Further, the college will refresh its commercial refrigeration and welding programs, and update related program marketing to underserved communities. Milwaukee Area Technical College (Milwaukee, WI): Founded in 1912, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a public, two-year vocational-technical college. The college will use its funding to expand local recruitment for HVAC career training, as well as upgrade lab and training equipment. Cutting carbon emissions in buildings construction According to a 2020 report from the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, part of the United Nations’ environment program, the buildings construction industry accounts for 40% of total global energy-related carbon emissions. And three-quarters of those emissions are attributable to building operations. Yet, the current renovation rate of buildings is less than one percent. It will take commitment and expertise across generations to reverse the damage already done to the environment and then continue with a new, sustainable way of life. Specialty knowledge is needed to develop more sustainable spaces and deploy and maintain operational and informational technologies that drive healthier buildings. Therefore, Johnson Controls is investing in the technicians of tomorrow, today.
GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, announced a new Vertical Terminal Air Conditioner (VTAC) poised to reinvent the design of Single Packaged Vertical Units (SPVU). The GE Zoneline Ultimate V10 was designed in collaboration with hotel and residential property owners and architects, to create a new way of installing the air conditioning chassis that makes installation 60% faster. GE Zoneline Ultimate V10 With additional features like ultra-quiet cooling, onboard diagnostics and SmartHQ WiFi capabilities, the GE Zoneline Ultimate V10 is a low maintenance unit providing guest comfort and reliable performance. “At GE Appliances, our goal is to design products that meet owners’ needs and create custom solutions for their environment,” said Kristi Saathoff, Senior Director of Product Management for GE Appliances. Kristi adds, “The Zoneline UltimateV10 is designed, engineered and assembled in the U.S. This allowed us to integrate customer feedback into our design to eliminate the most common pain points for the category, shorten lead times for customers, and add connected and diagnostic capabilities. This product is exemplary of our commitment to design and engineer innovative HVAC products that fit the needs of the North American marketplace.” Featuring new chassis and platform design The product, manufactured in Selmer, Tennessee, features a new chassis and platform design The product, manufactured in Selmer, Tennessee, features a new chassis and platform design with industry-exclusive features and multiple patents pending. GE Zoneline engineers collaborated with builders, property managers and architects to design the Insta-Platform, an innovative platform that is paired with a quick-install plenum and a perfect fit chassis, making the Ultimate V10 the easiest-to-install system on the market today. GE Zonelines are the industry’s quietest PTACs and GE Appliances has applied that knowledge to this product. The UltimateV10 is already the preferred VTAC for quiet performance and sound quality, when tested against competitors. In testing, 91% of participants preferred the Ultimate V10 air conditioner for superior sound quality and quieter operation. Onboard diagnostics and optional WiFi module Other features that optimize the guest and owner experience include onboard diagnostics that provide clear and fast diagnostics data. The units are also available with an optional WiFi module that integrates with GEA’s SmartHQ system allowing property managers to monitor multiple units remotely. “I have used GE Zoneline products in my hotels for years, and GE Appliances has proven to be a reliable partner for SINA Hospitality,” said Ravi Patel, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sina Hospitality. Ravi adds, “I am building a new Residence Inn property in Charleston, West Virginia and look forward to seeing this innovative product installed there. GE Appliances builds reliable products, and I am impressed with the features and quiet operation of this new VTAC. I look forward to our continued partnership.” GE Zoneline UV-C solution GEA is improving indoor air quality for hotel guests with an industry-exclusive kit for GE Zoneline PTACs GEA is improving indoor air quality for hotel guests with an industry-exclusive kit for GE Zoneline PTACs that uses UV-C light technology. The GE Zoneline UV-C solution is a perfect fit kit for Zoneline PTACs and designed to treat indoor air, as it cycles through the unit. Using a high-powered LED array for maximum intensity and efficiency, this new technology applies UV-C light to air as it passes through the unit, focused and channeled where most air movement occurs to reduce airborne virus concentrations. UV-C kit customized for GE Zoneline PTACs The new UV-C kit is customized for GE Zoneline PTACs and can be installed to existing products. The kits will be available in the coming months. Soon, GE Appliances will also offer GE Zoneline units with UV-C-technology factory installed. “Clean air is critical to ensuring guests and residents’ well-being,” said Brigitte Mader-Urschel, Commercial Director for HVAC at GE Appliances, adding “This kit is a great option to increase indoor air quality. It works when added to existing Zoneline PTACs and can also be added to new units. GEA invented the PTAC category, and we continue to innovate and respond to the changing needs of our customers and the environment.”
Danfoss has received planning permission from Midlothian Council for a new £25 million Low-Carbon Innovation Center in Edinburgh, UK. Located in the Shawfair Business Park, the center will provide a home for Danfoss teams working on next-generation, climate-friendly technologies in hydraulics, digitalization, and electrification, plus include new manufacturing facilities. Center Plans Covering 75,000 square feet, the facility will serve as the Center of Excellence for Danfoss’ Digital Displacement® technology. Digital Displacement® radically improves productivity and control in off-highway and industrial applications, while delivering significant reductions in CO2 emissions. The center will also house Danfoss Editron – Danfoss Power Solutions’ electrification division – and anchor the activities in the Electric Powertrain Integration for Heavy Commercial Vehicles (EPIC) program. Together with partners Meritor and Electra Commercial Vehicles, Danfoss Editron has secured funding from the UK’s Advanced Propulsrion Centre and Innovate UK to develop a next-generation, zero-emission electric powertrain for commercial vehicles, providing OEMs with an advanced solution designed to meet global CO2 reduction targets. The new center will become Danfoss’ UK headquarters for decarbonization programs. Operationally Carbon-Neutral Innovation Center will be the first building in Danfoss’ global portfolio to be operationally carbon-neutral The UK Low-Carbon Innovation Center will be the first building in Danfoss’ global portfolio to be operationally carbon-neutral, an important first step for the company to achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral in all of its global operations by 2030. The building will recover the energy used during production and testing processes as its primary heating source, with a heat pump available as a backup if required. The building’s electricity consumption will also be covered by a Green Power Purchase Agreement. According to estimates, the annual energy savings for heating the center will be approximately 75% less than a conventional, similar-sized building. Authority Comments Commenting on receiving confirmation of the planning approval, Danfoss‘ Digital Displacement® Operational Director Brian Kennedy said: “These are exciting times for Scotland, with the critical COP26 Climate Change Conference scheduled to take place in Glasgow later this year where we will be presenting our technologies, products and solutions front and center. Investing £25 million into this new UK Low-Carbon Innovation Center demonstrates our commitment to our 2030 carbon neutrality goal and aligns with the goals and vision of COP26.” Jeff Herrin, Vice President of Global R&D, Danfoss Power Solution and executive sponsor for the UK Low-Carbon Innovation Center, added: “Danfoss has a long history of bringing innovative solutions to the most challenging problems in the world. Our new UK Low-Carbon Innovation Center and the game-changing technologies housed within will strengthen our resolve and leadership position by taking real action and bringing together the best technical minds in the world to lead the fight against climate change.” Operational Estimate The Danfoss UK Low-Carbon Innovation Center will be fully operational by the end of 2022. At the time of opening, Danfoss expects 110 team members to be based at the facility, 30 of whom will be new hires. The Low-Carbon Innovation Center has a maximum capacity of approximately 200, which Danfoss estimates will be reached within four years of opening.
South Korea’s first commercialized hydrogen electric boat has been unveiled at the 2021 Busan International Boat Show, winning the event’s Best Boat of the Year award. Developed by Vinssen, the Hydrogenia vessel is powered by a Danfoss Editron electric drivetrain and sub-system. In late 2020, the South Korean government announced an US$870 million initiative to encourage the development of eco-friendly shipping to reduce pollution caused by the country’s marine sector. The 2030 Green Ship-K Promotion Strategy, a central part of South Korea’s plans to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2050, specifically targets the advancement and wider use of low-carbon ship technology, including hydrogen fuel cells and propulsion systems. The initiative has set a goal of reducing the country’s shipping greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in the next 25 years and 70% by 2050. About Hydrogenia Hydrogenia is 32.8 ft long, has a maximum capacity of six people, and can operate at 10 knots for six hours Hydrogenia is 32.8 ft long, has a maximum capacity of six people, and can operate at 10 knots for six hours. The vessel’s futuristic design is based on the geometric shape and natural beauty of glaciers and rocks. It has undergone testing and demonstration at the Ulsan Hydrogen Realization Center, South Korea's only demonstration facility specialized in hydrogen piping supply. The vessel has also been presented to the country’s leader President Moon. Advantageous for shipbuilders Danfoss Editron’s electric drivetrain system includes an EMI machine, electrical inverters, and DC-DC converters. The company’s compact and lightweight technology enables space and weight savings, leaving more design freedom in small vessels such as Hydrogenia. The high efficiencies offered by Danfoss Editron’s system are also advantageous for shipbuilders as they deliver better operational performance. Benchmark to deliver marine projects Vinssen is planning to build a further 50 boats using similar hydrogen electric technology over the next year. The successful application of Danfoss Editron’s unique multiple-parallel inverters in a single machine will be used as a benchmark to deliver larger marine projects, such as ferries and tugboats. Carbon neutral by 2050 Steve Kim, Danfoss’ Head of North East Asia, commented: “The unveiling of the Hydrogenia boat demonstrates the pivotal role we play in marine electrification, both in hydrogen and battery-powered vessels. We will continue to help South Korea achieve its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 by contributing to the ongoing electrification of the country’s transportation industry, with a focus on its shipbuilding sector." "Our multi-function inverter modules can be easily integrated with other energy sources, such as hydrogen fuel cells, without additional costs for research and development. Our standardized inverter technology also guarantees the fastest lead time from testing to commercialization.” High value-added industry Chil Han Lee, CEO of Vinssen, added: “President Moon was extremely interested in the commercialization of the Hydrogenia vessel. If the government's institutional and policy support for the commercialization of hydrogen electric boats continues, it will enable South Korea to lead the world in hydrogen ship technology that will grow into a high value-added industry.”
The EU Ecodesign regulation 2019/1781 for low-voltage induction motors and variable speed drives comes into effect, paving the way for millions of motor-driven applications to reduce their energy consumption. Although electric motors consume about 45 per cent of global electricity, they are often not seen while in use. The issue is that too many motor-driven systems in use are inefficient which is why ABB is working with customers, partners, academia and governments to raise the awareness of just how much energy high-efficiency motors and drives can save. Solutions available from ABB today surpass not only the regulatory demands coming into effect today but also those scheduled for July 2023, when the Ecodesign regulation expands further. Within the podcast, Morten shares insight into the prevalence of motors and drives in our everyday lives, and how they can drastically improve energy efficiency. The invisible network around us “Electric motion touches your life several times a day, even though you’re not aware of it. Motors and drives are ever-present, from ensuring that clean water reaches your home and running trains, to building, construction and the production of the food you eat." “So, all around us in the world there are more than 300 million motors and drive systems and sub-systems that are installed, which enable the right quality of life that we all want.” Energy efficiency in a box “The electric motor uses and controls electromagnetic fields to create the movement to make it turn. The variable speed drive is probably less known in the general public but I call it a box of energy efficiency. Inside the box sits power semiconductors and electronics that are used together with software to create the right speeds and torque to control the motor.” – a much more efficient method than the previous common practice of using brakes to control the speed. “In that way, you're able to save from 25 per cent and up to 40 percent, even 50 per cent of energy compared to running a motor at full speed as we would do without any speed control.” Why the EU Ecodesign regulation is important One of the key elements to achieve sustainability goals and targets in cities is energy efficiency, something which can be greatly impacted by motor and drive technology. “I’m happy to see good progress with the energy levels of what we call IE3 being valid from today, July 1st 2021 and going to the IE4 which is the next level of energy efficiency in 2023. But we can do much more because new technologies are already available.” ABB has motor and drive solutions available which meet IE5 efficiency class – the highest level of efficiency met by any design to date. “Over the course of 2020, ABB’s installed base of high-efficiency motors and drives enabled 198 terawatt-hours of electricity savings, which is more than three times the total annual consumption of Switzerland. By 2023, it's estimated that the expansion of our installed base of motors and drives will help customers save an additional 78 terawatt hours of electricity per year – more than the annual consumption of Chile.” “I believe industrial energy efficiency has the single greatest capacity for combating the climate emergency. It is essentially the world's invisible climate solution. With high-efficiency motors and drives that power most of the critical process around us, we can keep the world turning while saving energy every day.”
As our urban centers grow, so does our demand for key resources, such as energy. Currently, cities are accountable for over 60% of resource use and an estimated 70% of global carbon emissions. In the Middle East particularly, countries have experienced unprecedented population growth, increased economic activity and consequently, increases in energy consumption. Integration of sustainable systems Fortunately, industry leaders and governments are placing sustainability at the heart of regional plans for urban development. The integration of sustainable systems is no longer a value-added benefit, but rather a necessary requirement. I believe a vital element for sustainable development in our cities is energy management. Energy is a costly commodity representing an average of 25% of all operating costs in office buildings. This cost, however, can be reduced by using energy management to optimize HVAC systems employed in a building. Effective energy management Energy management involves proactive tracking, systemic management and thoughtful optimization of energy consumption in a building, with the goal of improving energy efficiency. The concept of energy efficiency takes into account a variety of factors; we must consider system design, quality of installation and maintenance, efficiency rates and personal use. If we assume a system is designed with greatest efficiency in mind, its effectiveness is still deeply impacted by installation, maintenance and use. ‘Performance drift’ issues One challenge we face with the efficiency of HVAC systems is ‘performance drift’ One challenge we face with the efficiency of HVAC systems is ‘performance drift’. When first installed, and even in the first few months, HVAC systems operate immaculately. Over time, however, component efficiency and system conditions ‘drift’ away from the originally installed operating curve, meaning that efficiency and performance of the system can degrade incrementally. The deteriorating performance of HVAC systems has consequences, such as unnecessary use of energy, resulting in higher costs and emissions, in addition to reduced comfort for building occupants. Energy efficient HVAC pumps In order to truly have an impact on energy consumption, a holistic approach must be adopted. Only by carefully examining and optimizing each part of the HVAC system, can we then find ways to improve it. In my experience with Armstrong Fluid Technology, in the last decade, the technology for HVAC pumps has been enhanced to provide up to 70% energy efficiency savings through demand-based control and parallel pumping technology. These innovations enable the pumps to operate at optimum levels, consuming as little energy as possible. Innovative smart technology Systems that incorporate innovative smart technology enable more accurate system performance analysis and optimization. Pumps can function as highly accurate flow meters that provide valuable insight for building managers and operators. Data from the intelligent connected pumps can be collected through active performance management software, which enables the HVAC system to learn, predict and optimize to deliver even greater energy efficiency and cost savings through maintained optimized performance. Systems incorporating innovative smart technology enable more accurate system performance analysis Active performance management software Active performance management software enables real time and historical data reporting that directly demonstrates system efficiency and savings. Given the global shift towards sustainable building construction, legislation on energy reporting is inevitable, therefore employing systems with this in-built capability can prove to be extremely beneficial in the future. The software can also help maintain client comfort at all times by enabling predictive maintenance. Systems can provide alerts when they detect faults, allowing for early replacement before a full breakdown. This can be particularly helpful in mission critical applications such as hospitals. Importance of analyzed data in system optimization Without the ability to analyze data, buildings managers and operators cannot properly optimize mechanical systems Evidently, collecting data is essential for many reasons, including preventing, and even reversing, the loss of energy efficiency. Without the ability to analyze data, buildings managers and operators cannot properly optimize mechanical systems, which results in unnecessary energy use, insufficient maintenance practices and any related costs. There may be hesitation in the industry to incorporate more sophisticated systems as they require initial investment, however, the returns from using more efficient mechanical systems are impressive. Executing energy upgrades for HVAC systems Simple payback on energy upgrade projects is usually reached within 3 to 5 years. Furthermore, energy savings continue for the life of the system. Properly executed energy upgrades deliver up to 40% savings on energy consumption related to HVAC operation. Savings on that level for a large facility can be impactful for business operations. Energy efficiency is not ‘visible’ but has the potential to have a transformative effect on climate change, if embraced on a large scale. If we consume energy only as we need to, then we consume less of it. This, in turn, reduces our consumption of fossil fuels and consequently our greenhouse gas emissions. Aside from short-term benefits, such as costs savings and increased operation efficiency, energy management has the ability to help conserve energy for generations to come. Embracing energy saving solutions If we embrace innovative energy saving solutions in the building services industry, then we can begin to make a difference. With the recent launch of plans for sustainable development, such as the Dubai Master Plan 2040, green infrastructure, supporting solutions, will thrive. The global shift towards embracing sustainability has made individuals and organizations call into question their impact on our planet. Embracing sustainability is no longer a preference but a strategic business approach that helps to create long-term value on a social, economic and environmental level. The role of energy efficiency, and the systems that enable it, will inevitably play a key role in creating more sustainable buildings, communities and cities.
Post-COVID workplaces will inevitably look different. Changes to working patterns will drive more agile and sociable workplace design. But regulations must keep up with developments. In late January, the UK Government proposed the ‘future of buildings standards’. These proposed updates come at a time when many landlords and site managers will be contemplating changes in response to altered workplace use and demand. As workplaces begin to reopen, organizations have an opportunity to improve and future-proof sites. Challenges in the post-COVID workplace Research, including surveys from YouGov and CIPD, has found that those able to work from home would prefer to work remotely for at least part of the week. Many organizations are expecting to move to a hybrid approach. This poses a challenge for managers. Sites that continue to use previous layouts are potentially wasting large amounts of costly space with individual workplaces that are rarely at full occupancy. On the other hand, those that choose to downsize will need to introduce effective booking or management systems to prevent overpopulating. New layouts must comply with space measures, for example ensuring safe and accessible fire exits, and cater to varying use. Systems such as heating and ventilation may see demand fluctuate over the course of a single week. Sites that continue to use previous layouts are potentially wasting large amounts of costly space with individual workplaces that are rarely at full occupancy. Different working styles pose different challenges and facilities providers will need to be kept in the loop. Hot-desking, for example, may be a popular way to streamline space but increases the need for cleaning and sanitisation so cleaning providers must be aware of these changes and adapt their solutions. Managing building systems effectively may be more important than ever in the post-COVID era. Mental and physical health have been thrust into the limelight. As a population, we have been forced to become more conscious of public spaces that may spread disease. People are increasingly focused on improving their physical health as a result. This new awareness may well be carried into the workplace. The trauma and challenges of a global pandemic have also made more people conscious of their mental health. Remote working has both benefited and tested workers. Managers will be responsible for creating workplaces in which their employees can thrive or risk them opting to stay at home. Building systems can have a huge influence on the well-being of workers. Increased natural light and biophilic design are well known for their benefits to wellbeing but a researcher from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that improved ventilation can significantly improve worker wellbeing and, as a result, productivity. His research suggests that on average doubling the ventilation in workplaces, at a cost of $40 USD per head could produce a productivity boost worth $6,500 USD per head. Choosing the right Heating and Ventilation systems Post-COVID building design needs to reflect new priorities as well as evolving working patterns and do so in a way that is safe, efficient, and compliant. Organizations must take time to consider how their sites are operating and which features may compromise employee experience. We are entering a new era of working and even employees may find their preferences change from what they imagine as they get used to hybrid working. Certain safety and compliance measures can come at a cost to comfort. For example, many organizations have increased the amount of fresh air introduced through ventilation systems as a means of reducing the risk of COVID transmission. This improves safety but reduces the system’s capacity to maintain a constant temperature. Organizations will want to adapt workplace systems and processes to suit new working patterns, but it is hard to predict those patterns. Many people imagine bookending their week with work from home days but those looking for quiet space may choose to use the office on its least popular days. Different teams will have different demands on space and resources and their working patterns will adjust accordingly. It is crucial, therefore, that managers keep track of changes to office space and adjust accordingly. Finding rarely used spaces and introducing sensor-activated heating and lighting is one option that may significantly improve efficiency, making the office cheaper and greener to run. Understanding space use can also be used to prioritize facilities management services so as not to overstretch staff. Data-led solutions The reality is that modern building systems are usually designed for a site working at full capacity. Over the past year, many have been vacant or functioning at low capacity. As a result, additional care has been required e.g., flushing pipes for legionella. Adapting to hybrid working will demand its own adjustments that cannot be made through guesswork. Research from McKinsey and Co. finds that workplace technological transformation has been accelerated by years due to the pandemic. Systems such as passive infrared occupancy sensors or workspace booking systems are becoming near-ubiquitous as they allow managers to make accurate adjustments. Such data-led solutions will be at the heart of workplace evolution and will continue to offer a return into the future. These systems can be used to improve workplace efficiency by more accurately catering services to use. This will create cheaper and greener buildings. These user-friendly spaces will also be more appealing to workers, encouraging them to come together for creative work rather than opting to work remotely. The post-COVID workplace actively attracts its users by providing features that remote work cannot. Workers will expect their workplaces to demonstrate care for mental and physical health and productivity. We will undoubtedly see even more pressure from organisations to create greener spaces as the UK aims for net-zero by 2050. Thus, healthy buildings and healthy users should be at the fore of employers’ minds as they reopen their workplaces. This is an opportunity for organizations to create real positive change in their workplace that continues to offer a return in the coming years.
With ongoing efforts from governments across the globe to reduce carbon emissions and with an ever greater focus on sustainability, it is vital that the HVAC sector does its part in becoming more environmentally conscious. And, while there have been steps to become more sustainable, there is a huge amount that still needs to be done to make sure that many of the targets that have been set are attainable. In buildings, both large and small, industrial heating accounts for roughly two thirds of industrial energy demand and around a fifth of global energy consumption. Figures like this show the need to have efficient and environmentally-friendly HVAC equipment in place to make the crucial steps towards reducing the contributions these systems make to our carbon footprint. High energy consumption in construction sector A 2019 report by The International Environment Agency (IEA) showed that the buildings and construction sectors combined were responsible for over 30% of global energy consumption and nearly 40% of carbon emissions. This is indicative of the steps the sector needs to take to play its role in a more eco-friendly society, some of which are already underway. However, much more needs to be done if the UK is to reach its goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. As we envisage what a post-COVID world might look like, businesses and governments are continuing to put sustainability and lower carbon emissions at the forefront of their planning and the HVAC sector is certainly no exception. But with change in the sector a daunting prospect, decision-makers often don’t know where to start. Smart Technology use in HVAC systems Smart HVAC uses sensors that integrate with a building’s automation system With the constant growth and greater deployment of smart technologies within the HVAC sector, this is certainly a way that systems can become more efficient. Smart HVAC uses sensors that integrate with a building’s automation system. These sensors then collect information about conditions throughout the building. Heat waves are now a far more common occurrence in the United Kingdom. The Met Office estimates they are up to 30 times more likely and will be a bi-annual occurrence by 2050. It is important that any uptake in HVAC usage doesn’t lead to a drastic increase in emission generation. This is one of the areas where smart systems will become crucial. Many scientists have been unequivocal in their sentiment that heat waves are a cause of greater emissions and expect temperature records in the UK and Europe to be broken more regularly, so sites will need to be equipped to handle these conditions. Regulating temperature with hand-held devices With wireless systems now much more commonplace, temperatures can be controlled easily from hand-held devices. With these new technologies, those managing the systems can also benefit from remote monitoring and maintenance, reducing the need to travel to the site for yet another environmental incentive. To accompany the smart systems, equipment including smart thermostats can be installed to maximize HVAC efficiency. Other smart systems available to businesses include smart furnaces and air conditioning units that are far easier to operate than their traditional counterparts. Reducing unnecessary ventilation While global temperatures continue to rise, air conditioning usage has increased and has contributed to greater levels of energy usage. A huge amount of needless emissions are generated by unnecessary ventilation, contributing heavily to heat loss and overall energy wastage. Recirculation of air is a traditionally lower energy cost method of retaining heat and keeping emissions low, however, we must be mindful of the risks associated with recirculating air. The risk of circulating diseases is negated somewhat with heat recovery ventilation, which both removes the risk of disease spreading and improves energy consumption. Efficiency performance of new AC units Air conditioning units in particular contribute significantly to a building’s energy consumption Air conditioning units in particular contribute significantly to a building’s energy consumption, equating to 10% of the UK’s electricity consumption and as such it is important that we bear in mind ways to counteract the emissions this creates. Global energy demand for air conditioning units is expected to triple by 2050, as temperatures continue to rise year on year. The efficiency performance of new air conditioning units will be the key, when it comes to ensuring that escalating demand does not equate to greater emissions. Another issue for suppliers and manufacturers to address is differing rates of consumption for AC units in different countries, with units sold in Japan and the EU typically more efficient than those found in China and the US. Modularization Modular HVACs have also become increasingly popular in recent years. Modular HVACs are responsible for heating, cooling and distributing air through an entire building, with their increase in popularity largely down to their greater levels of energy efficiency, cost effectiveness, flexibility and substantial ease of installation and maintenance. Modular HVACs can be tailored specifically for workspaces and they often allow work to be done on the systems without disturbing the workforce, achieved primarily through rooftop placement. Commercial workspaces are larger and often require differing needs to residential properties and can cater to a wide range of the specific requirements of work and commercial spaces. As we strive for lower carbon emissions, it seems that this trend will continue and will become a key area in reducing emissions that HVACs have traditionally generated. System maintenance and training To meet government and industry requirements, many new buildings will require HVAC systems that can be maintained simply in order to perform in a more energy efficient way. Many companies are looking at ways to become climate neutral and significantly reduce their footprint Many companies are looking at ways to become climate neutral and significantly reduce their footprint. Companies are following the likes of German-based company, Wilo Group, who have announced they are committing to sustainable manufacturing by developing a new carbon neutral plant and HQ in the next few years. Lowering carbon footprint As we continue to move towards an ever more environmentally conscious society, it will be of paramount importance for companies, governments and the public to think about ways in which we can lower carbon emissions. Smart technologies will certainly be at the forefront of this, negating many needless journeys and making it easier for industries to adjust settings and tackle issues remotely. Greater levels of training will help equip us with the tools to make sure we are best placed to reduce emissions and be more sustainable as a result. While the steps outlined above do show some progress and measures we can take, there is far more that we can do as a sector to significantly reduce HVAC’s carbon footprint and once we have moved beyond the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this will surely be at the front of industry leader minds.
It’s shaping up to be a long, hot summer for HVAC contractors and their customers. Disruptions in the nationwide supply chain that began during the COVID-19 pandemic still have not been resolved. Shutdowns last summer played havoc with the supply of parts, and suppliers are still playing catch up, as raw materials remain scarce. Furthermore, prices are going up among some components and key raw materials. Waiting times for parts can run into weeks or even months. Supply shortages of HVAC equipment Summer weather increases the demand for HVAC equipment, especially in hotter climates. A spike in air conditioner demand is generally welcomed by most contractors, but supply shortages make it difficult to deliver on customer needs. Managing a backlog of impatient customers is a new challenge for many HVAC companies. The shortages impact materials, such as steel, aluminum, copper and plastics, whose costs are expected to rise in coming months. Among metals, the price hikes could be 20 to 30%, while prices of plastics could almost triple. Copper futures recently reached an all-time high, and steel price indexes are also at record levels. Shortages of electrical components Shortages have been reported of copper and electrical components, such as motors and compressors Shortages have been reported of copper and electrical components, such as motors and compressors, which are specific to the units that use them. There is also a shortage of microchips that are components in high-efficiency systems and furnaces, and resins used in the evaporator coil pans are scarce. Some HVAC supply firms have had difficulty obtaining evaporator coils used in air conditioners. Specialty items such as control boards have a wait time of up to two to three weeks, or longer. Shortages projected till end of 2021 The shortages are projected to continue until the end of 2021. Even as small shipments trickle in, they are often sold quickly. The situation is unfamiliar to the HVAC trade, which has traditionally not had issues with equipment availability. Shortages in the HVAC market are a reflection of broader supply and cost challenges of the construction market. Prices for goods used in residential construction have increased almost 10% over the past 12 months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Higher transportation costs impact supply chain Higher transportation costs are impacting both the supply chain and HVAC contractors. Personnel shortages continue to plague many HVAC companies, too, and a technician shortage is also contributing to longer wait times in some areas. A scarcity of labor has been a 20-year challenge for the HVAC industry, but it is reaching new levels as days go by. Order in advance and stockpiling equipment Alternatively, HVAC contractors may seek to switch brands to help ease availability issues One approach contractors are taking to the problem is to order equipment in advance and stockpile it for when they need it. One Denver contractor reportedly ordered almost a million dollars of equipment in advance. Alternatively, HVAC contractors may seek to switch brands to help ease availability issues. Identifying a manufacturer that has stock available can ease the inconvenience of customers having to wait for new equipment. need for regular HVAC maintenance Another approach is to educate homeowners about the importance of maintenance, such as changing filters, which can avoid a need for larger repairs involving equipment that is in short supply. Maintenance service is doable because it doesn’t require new equipment, replacements or add-ons that can be hard to come by. Unfortunately, among consumers, maintenance may have been delayed or ignored during the pandemic, which is aggravating the urgency of the current situation.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an emerging tool for a long list of applications, including the ability to analyze and ensure optimum performance of an HVAC system. Emerson’s Sensi Predict smart HVAC solution is an example of how AI can boost the capabilities of HVAC. It has been recognized with a Silver Edison Award in the Innovative Services – AI category. Sensi Predict smart HVAC solution Sensi Predict combines inputs from 10 sensors in an HVAC system and analyzes the performance of heating and cooling systems in real time. Intelligent monitoring alerts home owners and their contractors, when HVAC systems are not operating at full efficiency. The alerts, which can be accessed on a smartphone, can predict and prevent problems, ensure corrective maintenance, lower utility costs, and prolong the life of an HVAC system. Fault detection and diagnostics are a new frontier in HVAC technology, delivering a seamless and simple user experience. Sensi Predict HVAC system configuration Here is how the Sensi Predict system is configured: Sensors monitor the temperature of the air flowing from the HVAC system into the home, and also the return air temperature, coming from the home back into the system. Sensors also monitor temperatures in the liquid and vapor lines in the refrigerant loop, and the indoor and outdoor control lines, communicating back and forth from the thermostat to the outdoor unit. Other sensors monitor the current draw and indoor voltage of indoor units, and current and voltage to the outdoor units. Data from the sensors is used to analyze how well the HVAC is operating, including detailed monthly performance checks, with results issued to the home owner and the contractor. If a warning is detected, an alert will be sent in real time. 24/7 monitoring The 24/7 monitoring is summarized in a personalized home owner portal and monthly performance reports The 24/7 monitoring is summarized in a personalized home owner portal and monthly performance reports that include any alerts, loss of performance, runtime and estimated cost and filter status. Actionable alerts tell when a problem is detected, sent via an email with a straightforward explanation and recommended action. “Our heating and cooling systems are critical to the health and comfort of our families and the environment, yet we have little visibility into how they perform on a day-to-day basis,” said Jamie Froedge, Executive President of Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions business. The Sensi Predict systems seek to provide additional visibility. Sharing real-time system insights The Edison Awards highlight top-tier new product innovation, service development and human-centered design. Named after inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, the awards recognize and honor global innovation. The award to Emerson’s Sensi Predict system recognizes it as a 21st-century solution to the maintenance of home heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, sharing real-time system insights, in order to help home owners monitor performance and prevent unexpected problems. Maximize system lifetime and minimize energy costs “We are honored to be recognized for this innovative technology that provides both awareness and peace of mind, when it comes to an essential component of the home,” said Jamie Froedge. Sensi Predict also provides benefits related to installation, by validating a quality install and eliminating call backs. Over time, it maximizes system lifetime and minimizes energy costs. service and maintenance information In terms of maintenance, the system provides information to ensure that all contractor truck rolls generate revenue and decrease the average time on site. The 24/7 monitoring limits home visits to only when needed and increases transparency to the customer of suggested repairs and upgrades. Home owners can access the Sensi Predict Homeowner Portal on the official website for detailed information, based on real-time data about how their system is functioning and its performance history, energy usages and costs and predicted maintenance needs.
What do customers want from their HVAC company? It’s a challenging question, and the answers reveal a path to a more successful and customer-centric company. There are numerous articles written that offer consumers advice on choosing an HVAC company. In the simplest terms, wouldn’t it be possible to ‘reverse engineer’ that advice to provide a roadmap to guide HVAC companies in how to succeed? Addressing consumer concerns Often, consumers’ concerns surround whether a company is a reputable and/or a well-managed business. Answering questions about basic requirements, such as insurance should be easy. Another element of consumer-oriented advice on choosing an HVAC company is to find one that is qualified to do the job. For example, able to work on the specific type of equipment a consumer has, whether central air conditioning, humidifiers, heating sources, or whatever. From the perspective of the HVAC contractor, this advice points to a need for constant training and updating of skills related to various equipment types. Seeking HVAC specialists Customers may be looking for specialty service, specific to a certain type of equipment or type of installation Consumers are also advised to seek out specialists in the work they need doing, whether a repair, a new installation or related to a specific type of equipment. Contractors must both understand their own strengths and weaknesses and be able to communicate them clearly to put customers at ease. Consumers will also be looking for contractors, who are experienced in repairing the brand or type of system they have. Customers may be looking for specialty service, specific to a certain type of equipment or type of installation. Contractors should constantly evaluate their skills-sets, their strengths and weaknesses, and provide full transparency to enable customers to make the most informed decisions. Better to walk away from a job than to overextend or misrepresent a contractor’s skillset. Such overreach never ends well and can damage a contractor’s broader reputation. HVAC contractors come in all sizes Customers will also be looking to evaluate the size and stability of the HVAC company that they work with. HVAC contractors come in all sizes, of course, and the size of a company does not necessarily reflect on the quality of work. However, stability and a good reputation are essential, especially for a smaller company or one-man shop. Consumers are often advised to ask for references, especially if dealing with a smaller contractor. HVAC businesses can be proactive in this regard by keeping references handy and even collecting customer testimonials to share with prospective customers. Positive reviews a key indicator Online reviews, hopefully all positive, are another element that can help to put prospective customers’ minds at ease. Ideally, if an HVAC contractor is doing a good job, positive reviews, testimonials and references will happen organically. Consumers are often advised to ask for certifications to document an installer’s skillset, so keeping up with the related paperwork will ensure that a customer is comfortable with any contractor’s skill level. Specific HVAC contractor license requirements Specific contractor license requirements vary by state and even at the local level Specific contractor license requirements vary by state and even at the local level. Required license numbers should be displayed on websites and promotional materials, and most states have an online directory listing of licensed contractors. Be attentive to other requirements, too, such as the special EPA certifications required to use refrigerant. Consumers expect their HVAC contractors to guide their buying decision, whether determining the correct size HVAC unit to serve a specific home size, analyzing flow rates, or recommending systems to meet specific needs. Striking a balance between simplicity and technical detail Delivering on these expectations requires a delicate balance between simplicity and technical detail. The customer needs to be comfortable that the installer knows his stuff but does not want to be overwhelmed by arcane technical discussions or puzzling acronyms. Best by far is to keep it simple (and be willing to provide additional detail – described in layman’s terms – if the customer has questions). Membership in local trade associations can provide additional credibility to a contractor, and provide additional sales and networking opportunities, too. Importance of warranties Warranties are another critical issue for consumers. Everyone offers manufacturers’ warranties, but there is an opportunity for HVAC contractors to offer even more, whether an extended warranty, inclusion of labor, as well as parts, work guarantee on repairs, and/or an extended maintenance contract. Availability 24/7 could enable a contractor to take work away from a competitor Customers should be warned that maintenance or repairs performed by an unqualified company may void the manufacturer warranty. Availability in an emergency or on short notice is another way HVAC companies can differentiate themselves among consumers. Availability 24/7 could enable a contractor to take work away from a competitor who is closed for the weekend. Emphasizing on customer services Customer service also requires a personal touch, so an ability to communicate well with potential customers can generate extra business. Emphasize listening skills and make sure customers know they are being heard. In all dealings with customers, be straightforward and honest in order to build long-term trust. To grow a successful HVAC business, prepare proactively to answer the questions customers are most likely to ask.
Teknotherm Marine España S.L. (Teknotherm) has landed its first new building contract. Teknotherm Marine España S.L. will deliver the complete HVAC maintenance and service, including installation work, on a suction dredger, to be built by Nodosa Shipyard. HVAC service for Omvac Catorce Nodosa Shipyard will build and design the 63.3 meters dredger, called Omvac Catorce, for Canlemar. Canlemar is dedicated to carrying out all kinds of maritime works, such as deepening and maintenance dredging in ports and bays, and construction of docks. Omvac Catorce is the third dredger that Canlemar has ordered with Nodosa Shipyard. Omvac Catorce will have a dredging capacity of 1200 m3 and a dredging depth of 30 m. The ship accommodates a crew of 10. The ship will comply with the IMO TIER III regulations of the International Maritime Organization, regarding the control and reduction of polluting and greenhouse emissions. With its adaptation to these regulations, this dredger will be able to navigate and operate anywhere in the world.
ABB has successfully completed the commissioning of the Induction xP Plus profiler system on PM3 at Bilt Graphic Paper Products Limited (BGPPL), Ballarpur, India, with remote support from China. Marking the first time that an ABB cross-machine direction control engineer has provided remote commissioning support for an upgrade of this kind, the modernization project was successfully and seamlessly delivered due to the world-class domain expertise of the team. Induction xP Plus Cross Direction ABB’s new Induction xP Plus is the best-in-class cross direction (CD) caliper profile control to achieve maximum induction heating in the shortest time possible, for reduced product variability and rapid corrections to sheet finishing profiles. The actuator heats the calendar roll with an alternating magnetic field, creating heating eddy currents that cause the roll to expand. First-of-its-kind remote commissioning for ABB, made possible by the team’s strong domain expertise This narrows the nip between rolls and compresses the paper for reduced caliper and increased smoothness, offering papermakers advanced caliper profiling and sheet finishing capability. It is an integral part of the ABB Ability™ Quality Management System (QMS), which is based on the flagship digital platform, ABB Ability™ System 800xA. Authority Comments “As part of our mill modernization, we decided to replace the existing ABB CD caliper control system (ThermoProfiler) with the latest Induction xP Plus profiler for PM3 at our Ballarpur plant, where we produce premium uncoated woodfree writing and printing paper, as well as high-quality office paper from 100 percent virgin wood fibers,” said Mr. Uday Kukde, General Manager and Unit Head, BGPPL, Ballarpur. “This upgrade to a newer, more reliable product was critical in order to improve our efficiency, safety and quality by reducing product variability, breakdown and inventory cost.” “This has been a significant, first-of-its-kind remote commissioning for ABB, made possible by the team’s strong domain expertise,” said Rajmohan Arumugam, Engineering Manager – QMS, ABB. “Despite it being a complex task, the team overcame all logistical and health and safety hurdles and ensured that the entire process ran smoothly and exceeded customer expectations.” BGPPL Bilt Graphic Paper Products Limited (BGPPL), a subsidiary of Bilt Paper B.V., manufactures coated and uncoated woodfree paper as well as copy paper from multiple facilities located in the state of Maharashtra. BGPPL, which exports its paper products to more than 55 countries, has a total capacity of 670,000 metric tons per annum across three mills.
Located in Worcester Massachusetts, Doherty Memorial High School is typical of many schools designed in the 1960’s. With two classroom wings joined together by hallways and anchored by an auditorium and gymnasium, the red brick school is home to approximately 1500 students. After 40 years, the school needed to replace the original hot water boilers and unit ventilators serving the upper and lower classroom wings. To design their new heating and ventilating system, the school enlisted the services of Shooshanian Engineering (SEi), Boston, Massachusetts. Outdoor air ventilation The original system design incorporated two gas fired hot water boilers sized to provide individual classroom unit ventilators with enough heating capacity to condition both the return and outdoor air loads. Rooftop exhaust fans pulled room air from each class-room to complete the ventilation process. ERVs recycle energy from building exhaust air to efficiently precondition outdoor air ventilation As recommended by the EPA and DOE, SEi evaluated the use of Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) as part of the new design. ERVs recycle energy from building exhaust air to efficiently precondition outdoor air ventilation, thereby reducing annual operating costs and boiler size requirements. After evaluating several ERV strategies, including fixed plate and run around loop, SEi determined that an ERV incorporating Airxchange rotary energy recovery wheels provided the best value. Estimates of installation and operating costs were evaluated for two designs: one with ERV and one without. As expected, the ERV based design provided the lowest operating cost. Capital equipment savings However, SEi was pleasantly surprised to discover the ERV based design, incorporating a smaller boiler and less expensive fan coil units, also provided the lowest installed cost. The capital equipment savings, made possible by incorporating Energy Recovery Ventilation in the design, more than offset the added cost of the ERV’s resulting in an instant payback. Installation included thirteen rooftop ERV units, each supplying from 1200 to 4600 cfm of ventilation air along with a single boiler to replace the two original boilers. Existing exhaust ducts provided exhaust air to the ERVs while new ductwork was added to deliver fresh outdoor air to each classroom. The design called for removal of the outdoor air intakes in the walls and installation of fan coil units in place of unit ventilators. Automated Logic software Performance of the new system is monitored using Automated Logic software Performance of the new system is monitored using Automated Logic software. The new system has received positive comments from teachers who expressed appreciation for the added fresh air and the ability of the classrooms to come up to temperature quickly at the beginning of the school day. “Even at the coldest temperatures the comfort of the supply air is amazing,” said Jeffrey Lassey, Director of Facilities with Worcester Public Schools. “You can feel the class-room come up to temperature much faster than with the old unit ventilators, and with the ERV system, we’ve reduced our energy costs considerably,” he added. Reduction in energy use over a 20 year period is expected to save approximately 3400 tons of CO2 emissions and $625,540 at current energy prices. Reducing energy consumption “Selecting the ERVs was a good shift away from unit ventilators, since it significantly reduces our energy consumption. This is particularly important because the cost of energy is heading nowhere but up.” - Jeffrey Lassey, Director of Facilities Worcester Public Schools. NSTAR, the local gas utility serving the city of Worcester, provides incentives for installation of energy efficient equipment through an energy rebate program funded by its commercial customer base. For the installation of an ERV based system and reduced boiler size, Doherty Memorial High School was awarded a $32,000 rebate from NSTAR. “Make sure to select Energy Recovery Ventilation from the outset in the design process in order to take full advantage of utility rebates slated for energy efficiency.” - Tom Angelo, NSTAR.
Working alongside Sunflag Iron and Steel Company Ltd. in Bhandara, India, global technology company ABB has achieved successful integration of its ABB Ability™ Data Analytics Platform for metals, tying together all manufacturing and operational data of steel melt shop and rolling mills to improve production planning and plant performance optimization. The plant, which has a capacity to produce 500,000 metric tons of high-quality special steel per annum, now has the platform to integrate data sources across 17 operational areas, including non-ABB systems. A key example is that information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) has converged to positively impact Sunflag’s steel melt shop (SMS) and rolling mills. ABB Ability™ Data Analytics Platform ABB integrated with the existing automation systems for process and quality monitoring in real time, aligning with user-friendly operator dashboards available via a web page on mobile. The platform enables identification and diagnosis of issues or use of extra resources. “Together we’re looking forward to realizing the full benefits of enhanced operations and quality,” said Ragunath Satyan, Industry Lead for Metals, ABB India. “ABB Ability™ Data Analytics Platform for metals will provide clear advantages in terms of monitoring and troubleshooting daily process and quality issues.” It is one of the first global implementations of ABB’s integrated plant monitoring system in the metals industry “We have ensured that Sunflag Steel’s people have visualization of real time plant operations on the most modern dashboards. This will allow for better decision making and will ultimately show returns in productivity, quality and resource efficiency.” digital transformation engagement It is one of the first global implementations of ABB’s integrated plant monitoring system in the metals industry, and is part of a long-term vision across process industries for a future where the physical and digital worlds are connected, scalable and harness machine learning potential. The project has been part of a wider digital transformation engagement with the customer, with ABB providing domain expertise for systems that improve overall process visibility to enable data driven business decision making. resource efficiency “We’re proud to have had the opportunity with Sunflag Steel to showcase and implement ABB Ability™ Data Analytics Platform for metals for all manufacturing and operational data of steel melt shop and rolling mills on site,” added Ragunath Satyan. ABB Ability™ solutions combine ABB’s deep domain expertise with connectivity and software innovation to empower real time, data-driven decisions for safer, smarter operations that maximize resource efficiency and contribute to a low-carbon future. A large portfolio of digital solutions helps organizations automate, optimize and future proof their business to achieve new heights of performance and drive sustainable progress.
The mining industry uses a variety of corrosive chemicals in the extraction process of minerals such as gold, silver, platinum and other valuable raw materials. In the extraction of gold, for example, chemicals that are used in the process (ie., sodium hydroxide and sodium cyanide), require to be constantly heated at certain temperatures in large containers (up to 50,000 gallons). Replaceable heating elements These temperatures also require precise controls in order to maintain their consistency and effectiveness. The mining industry has used Wattco immersion heaters to help them solve this problem. With the help of highly resistant alloys used with our tubular elements, seamless tubing as well as a well calculated watt density, Wattco was able to provide replaceable heating elements that would heat up the chemical solutions to efficient levels using digital SCR controllers to help maintain the required temperatures. Skid mounted systems were also used in sister facilities that assisted in transport A redundancy system was also engineered to allow for emergency situations and help protect the valuable product and avoid any downtime in the process. Skid mounted systems were also used in sister facilities that assisted in transport and modularized the heating system in anticipation of additional heating and power requirements. Benefits of Wattco immersion heaters are as follows: Even dangerous and corrosive liquids can use electric heating to assist in the extraction of valuable commodities without the use of flammable heating source such as gas. Safety and virtually maintenance free electric heating can be used in large tanks without the need of access holes from the side of the tank. Precise controls can be used to maintain sensitive temperatures in dangerous areas.
With help from celebrity investors like Dan Aykroyd and Aerosmith, House of Blues has been an iconic franchise in live music since 1992. The popular Boston location that opened in 2009 next to Fenway Park is a prime spot for concerts and private events. A packed schedule that leaves little downtime for the repair of the club’s HVAC equipment means that reliability and ease of maintenance are extremely important factors when making purchasing decisions. In 2016, energy recovery wheels in two rooftop air-handlers became blocked after six years of exposure to airborne particulates. Comfortable indoor environment Although efforts were made to unclog the damaged wheels, cleaning in place was not an option due to concerns that water and cleaning fluids could damage the ductwork and ceilings below. Without working energy recovery wheels, the heating and cooling systems were forced to work overtime, at increased cost, to provide a comfortable indoor environment for the 2000-plus concert goers. At House of Blues, airborne particles from the large crowds continue to clog the new wheels The building’s service contractor, Cullen Mechanical, determined that the wheels were beyond repair and needed to be replaced. Cullen’s engineers knew from past experience that simply replacing the wheels without solving the cleaning problem would invite the same undesirable maintenance situation. At House of Blues, airborne particles from the large crowds, special effects vapors, and confetti would continue to clog the new wheels if the energy transfer matrix could not be periodically maintained. Energy transfer segments When selecting replacement wheels, Cullen prioritized both ease of installation and the ability to clean or replace the energy recovery matrix once the units were in operation. As they’ve done in the past, Cullen chose Airxchange aftermarket replacement energy recovery wheels as the best solution moving forward. Airxchange offers a unique wheel design that allows a single person to remove pie-shaped energy transfer segments with basic hand tools to be cleaned outside of the cabinet. The refresh capability of Airxchange wheels means that they can be cleaned as often as the application dictates and counted on to last for the life of the HVAC system. In contrast to Airxchange wheels, the only cleaning or repair solution for the original wheels at House of Blues was to replace the entire wheel structure every 5-6 years, at great time and expense to the building owner. Rooftop air-Handling units An engineer from Airxchange presented Cullen Mechanical with a 6-8 hour wheel replacement plan After an onsite visit, an engineer from Airxchange presented Cullen Mechanical with a 6-8 hour wheel replacement plan that minimized HVAC system downtime, ensuring that the two units would be operational for the start of that evening’s show. Because of constraints of the air-handler designs, which blocked the removal or installation of fully assembled wheels, Cullen selected replacement wheel kits from Airxchange. These replacement kits could be easily carried through the theater and up the stairs to be quickly assembled within the cabinet of the rooftop air-handling units. In contrast, bringing any other manufacturer’s similarly sized wheel to the same rooftop would invite the cost and complexity of having a police detail shut down the sidewalk on Boston’s busy Lansdowne Street in order to operate a crane. HVAC comfort applications The replacement wheels were fully assembled and tested at the factory before being partially dismantled to fit into the unique access points of the air-handlers. Once the old wheels were removed by the service contractor, the two Airxchange wheels were assembled inside of the cabinets in less than four hours. Cullen took additional steps to reduce their client’s energy costs and HVAC system downtime Recognizing that entertainment venues often require more frequent cleanings than traditional HVAC comfort applications, Cullen took additional steps to reduce their client’s energy costs and potential HVAC system downtime. In addition to installing a fully serviceable wheel, they also ordered a complete set of replacement segments for each unit. Energy recovery wheels With a spare segment set on hand, operators can save time and maintenance costs by completely restoring the performance of any wheel in about 15 minutes. Once removed, dirty segments can be restored and prepared for the next cleaning cycle by soaking overnight in a cleaning solution. After the first successful winter in operation Cullen reports that the replacement wheels have lived up to the Airxchange Replacement Solutions motto; ‘Restore, Replace, Relax.’ And though there may be plenty of sad songs performed on their stage, the facility crew at House of Blues can now whistle a happy tune when it comes to maintaining their new energy recovery wheels.
Round table discussion
The practice of working from home soared during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and many observers see a likely continuation of the trend, as infection risks gradually subside. Both environments – home and office – depend on HVAC systems to keep occupants comfortable (and safe!). Therefore, the industry stands to be impacted whichever way the trend plays out. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: How will remote working affect residential and commercial HVAC?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software and other technologies to facilitate connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet. Use of the IoT is expanding among both business and residential applications. However, there are hurdles to overcome, including security, privacy and networking challenges. As more HVAC devices embrace the IoT, we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the HVAC market?
New technologies continue to drive change in the HVAC market. HVAC’s image as a mature and stable industry can overshadow the high level of innovation taking place. Meeting environmental challenges and creating more cost-efficient systems are among the forces fueling the change. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the next big product trend in the HVAC market?
Automated After Hours HVAC Software And How You Can Quantify Its ValueDownload