To help facilitate remote HVAC management during the on-going COVID-19 global pandemic, Armstrong Fluid Technology has announced that it will extend, until the end of 2020, the offer of free subscriptions for its cloud-based remote asset management and analytics service platform, Pump Manager. “The original offer of three free months of Pump Manager service to new customers was scheduled to expire in August but we recognize that there is still a need to maintain social distancing wherever...
NearU HVAC Services announced the successful completion of its acquisition of Hagan Heating and Air, in Anderson, South Carolina. This marks NearU's fourth acquisition in six months. Under NearU's ownership, Hagan will strategically join forces with Carolina Heating Services, another NearU company that is based in nearby Greenville, South Carolina. Paul Hagan, the Founder of Hagan Heating and Air, will continue to lead the company's customer service efforts. Hagan heating and Air "Hagan Heatin...
Breathing safe fresh air is essential for healthy living, especially considering the majority of COVID-19 transmissions result from the aerosolization of the virus from coughing, sneezing and breathing. CIMR Tech, a provider of clean air defense solutions, helps to achieve a safe return to indoor spaces and drive economic recovery. In July 2020, Auburn University's McCrary Institute and Air University released a report proposing a "multi-layered air defense for critical infrastructure." CIMR&re...
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the power provider in the United States, is offering incentives to businesses and schools to install UV-C germicidal lights to fight germs in indoor air. Customers that buy from TVA’s Preferred Partners Network can receive a $30-per-ton incentive toward adoption of approved UV-C technologies, which remove viruses and bacteria from indoor air. “Schools and businesses realize they need solutions to purify indoor air, and we want to help them insta...
Building Information Management (BIM) software creates an intelligent 3D model of a design or building project and provides documentation, coordination and simulation through each step of the project’s lifecycle, from planning to design, building to operation and even maintenance. Use of a 3D model enables stakeholders across various disciplines to visualize and understand every detail of a project before it is built, makes it easier to document a project, and facilitates communication amo...
HVAC industry veteran Steven R. Scarbrough has been named senior vice president and general manager of Air Conditioning Technologies for LG Electronics USA. Scarbrough, who brings nearly two decades of experience to his new role at LG, will be responsible for leading LG’s commercial, residential, and applied air conditioning business in the United States. Based at LG’s U.S. air conditioning headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, Scarbrough reports to Senior Vice President DJ Kang, who...
Residential and commercial heating contractors can hone their boiler technology skills and knowledge by participating in Weil-McLain’s virtual 2020 School of Better Heating training program from September 15-17. The School of Better Heating program is an annual series of comprehensive condensing boiler technology training seminars from the North American designer and manufacturer of hydronic comfort heating systems. 2020’s program is a three-day virtual training session, each featuring instruction on condensing boilers, including Weil-McLain’s new ECO® Tec high-efficiency premium residential boiler. The training sessions are: Day 1: Residential September 15, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT Topics: Hydronic System Fundamentals Domestic Hot Water Hydronics Wiring & Controls: ECO® Tec Day 2: Residential September 16, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT Topics: Residential High-Efficiency Boiler Installation Hydronic Wiring & Controls: Ultra™ & Evergreen® boilers Evergreen, Ultra, GV90+® Service Workshop Day 3: Commercial September 17, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT Topics: SVF™ SlimFit® Commercial Cast Iron Steam & Hot Water Boiler: Features & Benefits Objectives Courses will cover the following objectives: Design, construction and operation of condensing boilers Installation of venting, piping and wiring Controls, set up and programming Startup, maintenance and troubleshooting Registration is required for each event contractors plan to attend, and participants may elect to attend one, two or all three days. Participants will earn a coupon for attending that may be redeemed for Weil-McLain residential and commercial high-efficiency products.
Uponor announces the appointment of Chris Hartwick as General Manager, Uponor Canada, with a strategic focus on Canadian sales, marketing, customer service and customer engagement. “We are thrilled to have Chris take on the leadership of the Canadian team. He brings both deep knowledge and new insight from industry experience. He is a demonstrated business leader with a proven track record of coaching and development,” Chris Budion, Vice President, Uponor North America said. Distribution-Based territories “He is known as a business innovator, and I am confident he will help our Canadian factory and manufacturer representative partners accelerate their already great track record of growth.” Hartwick most recently served as Director of Sales for Commercial Building Services, in the United States and Canada, at Xylem Inc. where he led both direct sales and distribution-based territories. Previously, he was Vice President of Xylem Canada Company and Managing Director for the Canadian Applied Water Systems division, where he led the business in all functions. Hartwick is a graduate of Xylem’s Executive Development Program, focusing on disruption and delivering accelerated growth. In 2012 while with Grundfos, he was selected ‘Best of the Best’ from amongst 35 global sales winners.
LG Air Conditioning Technologies has launched the new LG Pro Dealer Program, providing residential and light commercial HVAC contractors with access to premier benefits, state-of-the-art training and comprehensive dealer support. Designed to assist dealers in selling, installing and servicing the company’s award-winning product portfolio, the LG Pro Dealer Program will provide even greater resources and incentives to help drive growth for HVAC contractors. The program enhances the LG Excellence Contractor program, which had experienced an average annual growth rate of 50 percent since 2016. The newly minted LG Pro Dealer Program offers contractors greater product and technology education, along with recognition and incentives for providing competitive differentiation in their respective market areas upon completion of the program. Partnership incentives and more Program benefits include technical, business, sales, and marketing support, as well as financial and partnership incentives. All current LG Excellence Contractors will be automatically transferred into the new program. The LG Pro Dealer program debuts with a new portal for one-stop access to all program tools and resources for seamless management, added consumer financing services and access to bolstered training programs focused on technical expertise and sales effectiveness. Under a new tiered achievement model, the LG Pro Dealer program offers increased loyalty and rewards points for certain tiers, as well as the opportunity for recognition at the LG Pro Dealer National Meeting. Technical expertise and support “At LG, we understand that training and product expertise equate to contractor confidence, leading to overall growth and consumer trust,” said Sean Boyer, Senior Director of Operations, LG Air Conditioning Technologies USA. “That’s why we’re doubling down to arm our dealers with more tools and resources. By expanding their technical expertise and support, we will ultimately drive sales for their overall business success. Our partners are our biggest asset and this enhanced program ensures we are providing a higher level of value, including access to state-of-the-art training and premier benefits.” To qualify as an LG Pro Dealer program participant, HVAC contractors must be nominated by an LG Distributor, participate in a local LG Contractor Opportunity meeting and complete a series of online training courses on LG’s products and applications. Access to benefits Upon completion of program requirements, LG Pro Dealers will have access to the following benefits: New portal for one-stop access to all program tools and resources for seamless management Access to advanced training programs, including virtual options and hands-on opportunities with the technology at state-of-the-art LG Academies Priority listing on the LG Dealer locator and access to consumer sales leads Extended 12 years cumulative limited warranty on compressor parts for qualified registered LG residential/light commercial products Access to branded marketing materials, including advertisements, literature, truck decals and promotional items Priority technical support
Manufacturers continue to make improvements in heat-pump technology, including higher efficiencies, contractor-friendly designs, and innovative extras like two-stage compressors that allow them to run at lower speeds and cut down energy use and homeowners’ bills. Below is a sampling of six of the latest products to hit the heat pump market. Nortek Global HVAC introduced the W-Series of air conditioning and heat pump equipment for residential and light commercial applications, completing its redesign of Gibson®, NuTone®, and Frigidaire® branded 1.5- to 5-ton, single-phase air conditioning units and heat pumps. The redesign offers contractors a ‘good-better-best’ strategy (the premium F-Series, the mid-range E-Series, and the economically-priced W-Series) to accommodate varying consumer price ranges. Coil-Protecting wire guard The W-Series heat pump is available in 14- and 16-SEER models. Standard features include Copeland scroll compressors and a liquid line filter-drier for field installation in an accessible position to facilitate easy periodic change-outs. It also has a coil-protecting wire guard that adds cabinet structural integrity and holds a plastic mesh in place to safeguard against hail and accidental contact damage, plus an anti-corrosive polymer drain pan with more drainage holes to eliminate potential standing water. On the unit’s exterior cabinet, above the refrigerant access port, is a weather-proof QR code called ‘Charge Me’ that can be scanned to access Nortek’s charge assist tool. “The new W-series of heat pumps recently introduced by Gibson, Frigidaire, and NuTone features a high-tech way to charge,” said Dave Garvin, product manager, Nortek Global HVAC. Variable Speed Heat Pump Rheem’s next generation Prestige® heat pump harnesses the power of the new EcoNet Smart Thermostat “The proprietary website helps account for subcooling, fixed orifices, thermostatic expansion valves, ambient temperature at time of charging, lineset length, and other variables that can trip up contractors when charging any heat pump brand.” The Rheem® Prestige® Series EcoNet®-Enabled Variable Speed Heat Pump features a contractor-friendly design, which means expanded valve space and triple service access, for fast and easy install and repairs. Corner-service access allows optimal access to internal components, while individual louver panels speed coil cleaning and cabinet reassembly. Plus, Rheem’s next generation Prestige® heat pump harnesses the power of the new EcoNet Smart Thermostat, which provides control, monitoring, and one-touch alert capability. Proper installation and reduced time “Rheem’s Prestige Heat Pump powered by our EcoNet Smart Thermostat keeps contractors in control,” said Ryan Teschner, product manager for Rheem Mfg. “From real-time alerts and system notifications to a charge mode capability, which allows for proper installation and reduced time on the job, Rheem’s heat pump increases job site efficiencies and reduces labor costs for contractors.” The hybrid electric Voltex® from A. O. Smith has an energy factor (efficiency based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day) of 2.3, and is Energy Star® qualified. “Heat pump water heaters use electricity to pull heat from the surrounding air rather than generating their own heat,” said Brandon Stepanek, national field marketing manager at A. O. Smith. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions Carrier’s Hybrid Heat systems automatically switch between electric and gas heating “This means that they can be a logical choice for dedicated green home builders interested in enhancing energy efficiency. Because a heat pump water heater uses energy efficiently, it can save customers up to 10 percent on energy bills, which adds up to thousands of dollars over the life of the water heater,” he continued. “The significant reduction in electricity use also has a direct effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” Carrier’s Performance™ Series heat pumps offer a range of efficiencies that start at 14 SEER and reach 17.5 SEER and up to 9.5 HSPF. Combining a gas furnace, an electric heat pump, and a compatible thermostat, Carrier’s Hybrid Heat systems automatically switch between electric and gas heating to optimize the efficiency of each fuel source, helping defend homeowners against utility cost fluctuations. They have Energy Star designation. Carrier indoor furnace “Our microtube coil technology saves space and provides lasting comfort with its corrosion-resistant construction,” the company stated. “In addition, some models include innovative extras, like a two-speed compressor for added benefits like higher efficiency and even, consistent comfort. When installed with a custom-matched Carrier indoor furnace or fan coil and a Côr® Wi-Fi® thermostat, our two-stage heat pumps can operate on low stage up to 80 percent of the time to keep airflow and temperatures even and consistent while adding humidity control during cooling operation.” Heating operation is rated down to minus 5˚F outdoor temperature Fujitsu General America Inc. recently debuted the RGLX Series, three medium-static pressure ducted indoor units for the single-zone Halcyon mini split line. They have sufficient static pressure to heat or cool a whole house. Heating operation is rated down to minus 5˚F outdoor temperature. The 12,000-, 18,000-, and 24,000-Btuh models are Energy Star qualified. V-Shaped heat exchanger Units are available in seven sizes ranging from 12,000 to 48,000 Btuh, with efficiency ratings up to 21.3 SEER. The evaporators are slim enough to fit most ceiling spaces, making them ideal for hidden installations, while the condensing units can be installed below a window or in a narrow space. The new models can be installed in applications that require static pressure up to 0.80 inches of water column and offer maximum piping lengths of up to 246 feet. A built-in drain pump with 33.5 feet of vertical lift comes standard. “The combination of the V-shaped heat exchanger, air stabilizer, and the energy-efficient DC fan motor results in high efficiency and quiet operation,” Fujitsu wrote in the product specs. Customized indoor comfort The Goodman GSZC18 Heat Pump features the next-generation Copeland Scroll™ two-stage compressor coupled with Goodman’s ComfortBridge® communicating technology to deliver up to 19 SEER and 10 HSPF performance. ComfortBridge ‘off-the-wall’ technology gives contractors more installation options and intelligent controls. It works with any thermostat, including single-stage ones. ComfortBridge constantly gathers data, making automatic adjustments for peak performance ComfortBridge constantly gathers data, making automatic adjustments for peak performance, using the minimum energy needed for consistent, customized indoor comfort. A companion CoolCloud™ app connects technicians wirelessly via Bluetooth to ComfortBridge. Advanced ComfortAlert™ Diagnostics constantly monitor the system, reducing failures and pinpointing trouble spots. “Our 18-SEER heat pumps provide high-efficiency, energy-saving indoor comfort with the ease of installation as compared to less sophisticated products,” said Cory Gottfredson, senior product manager, Outdoor Split Systems for Goodman. Compressor crankcase heater “We have incorporated ComfortBridge technology to optimize installation while allowing homeowners to use any thermostat. This truly enhances both operation and installation, freeing contractors from hassles and leaving money in the hands of homeowners where it belongs.” The scroll compressor inside the GSZC18 is designed with fewer moving parts, and the high-efficiency, two-speed electronically commutated condenser fan motor with advanced fan design provides quiet airflow. Other features include SmartShift® technology with short-cycle protection, a bi-flow liquid-line filter-drier, suction line accumulator, high- and low-pressure switches, coil and ambient temperature sensors, a transformer, compressor crankcase heater, high-capacity muffler, and a color-coded terminal strip for non-communicating set-up.
Johnson Controls, the global provider for smart and sustainable buildings, and the administrators and board members of Monroe Township Public Schools (MTPS) are working together to secure an energy-efficient future for the school district. Both entities have entered into a $24.1 million turnkey Energy Savings Improvement Plan (ESIP) contract in an effort to transform the environment, operation and energy efficiency of the facilities. The project is driven and funded entirely by energy and utility rate savings along with $1.2 million of New Jersey Clean Energy Program incentives and rebates. Johnson Controls is guaranteeing $29 million in energy savings across all six of the schools in the district over the course of the twenty-year agreement. Reducing the carbon footprint A total of 3 million kWh units of electric and 81k therms of natural gas will be saved annually In addition to the fiscal savings accrued upon completion of the project, which reduce the use of capital improvement budgets in the process, a total of 3 million kWh units of electric and 81k therms of natural gas will be saved annually. This initiative will reduce the carbon footprint across the district’s school buildings by approximately 5 million pounds of CO2 emissions. A complete overhaul of the heating and ventilation systems at Holly Glen Elementary School will take place during the summer of 2020. Advanced lighting upgrades will also be installed in all schools as will mechanical and electric systems updates. Robust energy management control systems for ongoing maintenance and management are planned across the buildings, as well. "Through this partnership, we are pleased to help the district unlock trapped capital by leveraging the use of guaranteed energy savings to offset the cost of the upgrades." — Paul Napoli, account executive at Johnson Controls. Guaranteed energy savings The project will also provide much-needed benefits to the local economy in terms of the construction jobs it will create" “Through this partnership, we are pleased to help the district unlock trapped capital by leveraging the use of guaranteed energy savings to offset the cost of the upgrades,” said Paul Napoli, account executive at Johnson Controls. “The legacy of this ESIP project will not only create energy and operational savings, it will improve the places and spaces for student learning and faculty performance for years to come. In these uncertain times, the project will also provide much-needed benefits to the local economy in terms of the construction jobs it will create.” The Facilities Committee of the Board of Education composed of Frank Torcasio, Fred Powell and Anthony Ayres, along with the administration were the key stakeholders overseeing the interests of the school district, from the RFP selection process to the development of the Energy Savings Plan. Enhanced physical environment The successful outcomes could not have been achieved without the support of the entire board, including Barbara Chamberlain, Therese Bonmati, Mike D’Andrea, Jennifer Lewis-Gallagher, Andy Schwaiger, and Jack Don. A special thank you also goes out to the Township of Monroe Council and the Municipal Utilities Authority Board for their assistance on this project. Our collaboration with Johnson Controls will allow us to enhance our district’s physical environment “Our collaboration with Johnson Controls will allow us to enhance our district’s physical environment through necessary infrastructure upgrades, while directly helping to improve student achievement,” said Lynn DiPietropolo, assistant superintendent of the Monroe Township Public Schools. Modernize equipment “Operational cost reductions within this project will pay dividends in productivity gains within our key facilities personnel,” said Butch Berglund, former district facilities manager. Johnson Controls has a long history of working with K-12 schools and educators throughout North America to create environments that inspire and engage both students and faculty. Through Performance Infrastructure™ projects, the company has helped 1,018 schools modernize equipment and building systems, improve infrastructure and energy spend, and address on-going maintenance needs.
Carrier Global Corporation, a global provider of innovative HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies, and Cushman & Wakefield, a global real estate services firm, have agreed to collaborate to introduce Carrier's premier healthy building solutions for Cushman & Wakefield's clients through Carrier's Healthy Buildings Program. "By working with Carrier, Cushman & Wakefield can offer differentiated services and solutions as part of its 6 Feet Office concept to our clients," said Bryan Jacobs, President of Global IFM, Cushman & Wakefield. "This collaboration will position us to exceed our clients' expectations by helping to deliver safer, healthier and more productive work environments." Safe indoor environments The pandemic has intensified the urgency and need for solutions that help provide a safe return to the office. This strategic collaboration will allow Carrier to provide Cushman & Wakefield clients the tools to assess a building's readiness for occupancy, upgrade applicable advanced technologies and optimize indoor environments to be safer, healthier and more efficient. Carrier's Healthy Buildings Program offering can benefit Cushman & Wakefield clients through a broad portfolio of advanced services and technologies – from improving indoor air quality, delivering remote services to managing ventilation in buildings and implementing touchless solutions. Healthy building solutions "Carrier is excited to work with Cushman & Wakefield to deliver advanced healthy building solutions to Cushman & Wakefield clients to enable safer re-opening and ongoing building operations," said Rajan Goel, Senior Vice President, Carrier Building Solutions Group, and part a of Carrier's Healthy Buildings Program. "Our collaboration will identify and deploy new, innovative solutions to help Cushman & Wakefield create facilities that are healthier, safer, more efficient and productive." The collaboration is under a memorandum of understanding whose terms are non-binding and are subject to negotiation of mutually acceptable technical and commercial terms and conditions.
Control Systems have always played an important part in the function of HVAC systems and for many years were centered around the safe and optimum performance of the hardware deployed. Every HVAC system is a closed-loop process, with inputs fed into control logic that determines the best course of action to achieve the desired output. Energy management and integration into Building Information Management saw the advent of energy-saving techniques like free cooling and night-time purge reduce mechanical cooling loads, whilst occupation data allowed greater holistic management of systems. These are well-recognized practices that are being refined using predictive weather data, additional focus on heat recovery and more environmentally energy sources. Control Systems have always played an important part in the function of HVAC systemsThe scope of the typical systems loosely described above are around the management of systems on one site and their operation and maintenance tends to be centered around that particular location. Multi-site Development & Management The UK temperature-controlled warehousing market tends to develop on a project-by-project basis that fosters the site-by-site focus of ongoing management and maintenance. For multi-site logistics operators and manufacturers and distributors with a multi-site portfolio. this approach has the following disadvantages: Disparate system KPI data collection and reporting Setpoint adjustment left to untrained operators who apply their individual assessment of compliance risk and often don’t consider the financial and operational implications of fine-tuning (or meddling) Enterprise-wide energy management is difficult to control Duplication of staff tasked with reporting and maintenance Inconsistency of measurement and interpretation Slow response to system failures Poor interpretation of operational processes that impact system efficiency Portfolio Management The distinction here is that a portfolio of temperature-controlled sites is managed centrally instead of independently. The enabler to the solution is the rapid Energy management and integration into Building Information Management saw the advent of energy-saving techniquesdevelopment of access control systems and data communication. The next step is vital in the customer engagement process; what do they want to see? What’s important and what is not? How often do they want to see it and in what format? From experience of going through this process this is a voyage of discovery for the warehouse operator in understanding the stakeholders in their business. Quality and compliance managers are the obvious starting point, facilities managers, finance managers who are tasked with reducing energy costs, customer service and the end customer. Alongside the KPI monitoring, Jet Environmentals created a hierarchy of alarms management that alerts the right people with system information, that triggers a sequence of actions driven by the data. Trends are monitored to predict where there might be a problem on the horizon so action can be taken before there is an issue. Faults and failures are alerted instantly and corrective action alerts sent to the right people. Conclusion The continuous development of HVAC controls and reliability of secure data connections has provided a means of improving performance, lowering cost and building trust in provider/user relationships. To be successful, the roll-out of such a project requires the willingness and collaboration of all parties and the groundwork defining stakeholder requirements is vital in defining a scope that meets expectations.
In the summer of 2018, a customer was facing a real problem – their resident satisfaction at two properties needed some work, and they were just about to hit the hot summer busy season – which can be notoriously difficult if residents experience air conditioning issues. Fortunately, they were able to implement a preventative maintenance and HVAC asset management solution at one of their properties. At this property the customer wound up doing only 3% unplanned replacements out of 300+ units – and had a customer satisfaction score of 97%. Unfortunately, they did not have time to implement this solution at another one of their recently acquired properties and wound up with 17% unplanned replacements on 700+ units and a 77% resident satisfaction score. Finding Relevant HVAC Solutions The search for a HVAC technology solution that is focused on energy efficiency and provides multifamily and commercial property owners with ease and insight into their HVAC property management needs, can be daunting.Property owners have several boxes to check: proactive maintenance, environmentally friendly solutions, always with an eye to the bottom line. HVAC is one of the largest consumers of energy in commercial and multi-family properties, accounting for up to 40% of a building’s energy consumption. It may be hard to believe, but in totality, businesses are wasting over 60% of the energy they purchase every year. And the inefficiencies can build upon one another. HVAC systems are typically the largest consumers of energy in commercial and multi-family properties, accounting for up to 40% of a building’s energy consumption. There is also the matter of the state the HVAC system in play. Poorly installed or malfunctioning units can increase energy consumption by another 30%. Add to that another 18% energy increase from poorly optimized heating and cooling processes and it is possible to see up to 90% of energy costs directly related to HVAC. Considering Energy Costs HVAC is one of the largest consumers of energy in commercial and multi-family properties, accounting for up to 40% of a building’s energy consumption. Not only is high energy use costly for business operations, but it has an impact on the environment through the carbon that HVAC systems emit. That is why technological innovation and a reputable contractor network for commercial and multi-family building HVAC investments is a crucial consideration for commercial building owners. Commercial and multi-family properties that ‘back burner’ system innovation at this critical time will find it increasingly difficult to compete and maintain their resident satisfaction ratings by staying ahead of the inevitable replacement and repairs. Building owners must make time to consider what the future of big data and smart platforms looks like. In our world of data, implementing HVAC services like this are no longer a luxury; they are a necessity. In fact, commercial buildings can attain a savings of roughly 18% on whole-building energy consumption from installing smart technologies to optimize services. Adopting Smart Technology Partnering with the right service provider will have a dramatic effect on the ultimate success or failure of an HVAC rollout in several areas such as acquiring quality, cost-effective equipment, ensuring compliant and thorough installation, accessing knowledgeable and rapid repair personnel who can also maintain equipment on an ongoing basis. Whether your company is looking to adopt HVAC smart technology for the first time or replacing an out-of-date solution, here are a few factors to consider that will help in making your choice when embarking on a HVAC contractor network. Commercial buildings can attain a savings of roughly 18% on whole-building energy consumption from installing smart technologies Look for an experienced professional It may be tempting to seek an HVAC professional based on the lowest bid received, but there are other considerations that must be taken into account. Look for a solution provider with industry experience and a history of demonstrated success in managing technology from roll-out to deployment. When you meet with potential partners, insist on viewing live solutions. A network of contractors Look for an HVAC professional that is connected in their local community. Other considerations include the size of their contract network and are those contractors well-vetted? Ensure that the network has a reputation for meeting deadlines and affirms that it can meet yours. Ask if there is one point of contact for the life of the job, too. It’s an important detail to know who your point person is and with whom you will be contacting for the questions that will arise along the way. Have an eye to the future Ensure that the HVAC technology under consideration possesses the capability to handle large volumes of data and a large number of users at the same time. Ask some questions about the peak season and confirm the contractor has planned ahead and thought through a scenario of how to prioritize repairs during a heat wave, for example. What about considering predictive analytics? What benchmark performance measures do they have in place? Do they use state-of-the-art remote monitoring, giving them a 360-degree view of your entire property portfolio? No hassle, no waiting Although larger than the residential market, commercial demand gains will increase at a slower rate due to an expected slowdown in commercial construction activity. As 2021 is quickly approaching, the market changes can present both dynamic opportunities and challenges for technology platforms. What’s key here is availability of product and services. Ensure that the contractor has the resources to accomplish your objectives. Are they vendor neutral? Consider and compare the price of labor and equipment. Also, confirm that there are multiple channels of ordering paths for optimization. How to choose your solution The installation and implementation of all of a building’s HVAC assets should consider how the condition analysis of each unit captured. Make certain there is a clear representation of how data is being collected from your contractors and that you understand your role in consuming and interpreting that data. Ask about the kind of alerts and sensors that will be used and how the data collected is then presented to you. The technology provider should be able to provide guidance into which building metrics should be measured and offer technology solution that gives property owners visibility into their entire asset portfolio, empower managers, and make precise decisions about HVAC condition and energy-efficiency. Building owners must make time to consider what the future of big data and smart platforms looks like The reason why most residents do not renew their leases is because of poor staff performance and assistance. Technology solutions are now considered mission-critical for property managers, owners, and investors who want to excel at HVAC service needs. If the HVAC is in disrepair for too long a period, tenants will move onto another property. According to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program, companies spend more than $20 billion on energy, annually. By replacing air conditioning equipment that has been in operation for 10 years, facilities can save 20-50% on energy and maintenance costs. Taking some steps toward technology via a contractor network can help ensure excellent staff performance and assistance, resulting in higher residential satisfactory ratings, tenant retention, as well as energy and cost savings. For a look at Motili’s Survival Guide in its entirety, please visit: https://lp.motili.com/ebook
Building HVACR systems rely increasingly on variable speed drives (VSDs) – known sometimes as variable frequency drives (VFDs) - to optimize the energy efficiency of their electric motors. However, it makes sense to pay attention to the significant impact that VSDs and other equipment can have on the network’s power quality. Here, we look at how ultra-low harmonic VSDs can improve the power quality in buildings by eliminating troublesome harmonics at their source. Typical examples of low voltage VSD applications in HVAC systems include pumps (chilled water and heating circulators, booster sets), fans (supply, return, smoke extraction, cooling tower), and cooling compressors. These applications are typically run by VSDs as they can save a great deal of energy. HVACR systems are often designed for peak loads, yet most of the year they run at partial loads. VSDs control the speed of the motor to match the needs of the application and, compared to other methods for needs-based ventilation, VSDs are very energy efficient. Power quality is an important aspect that should be considered from the early design stage of a building. This is because poor power quality affects the energy efficiency and can also result in potential disturbances to electrical systems and even premature failure of critical equipment. Although there are multiple factors that can influence the power quality of an electrical network, in this article we are focusing on the phenomena called power line harmonics. Where do harmonics come from? In an ideal situation a building’s alternating current (AC) power supply has a pure sinusoidal wave form with a frequency of either 50 or 60 Hertz (Hz), depending on the region of the world. In practice, this pure sine wave does not exist in a building’s power network as there are non-linear loads that create harmonics. These harmonics cause the sine wave to deviate. VSDs are not the only equipment that create harmonics. They also result from other non-linear loads such as EC (electronically commutated) motors, LED or fluorescent lighting, computers, uninterruptible power supplies and basically every single type of modern electronic device. Direct on-line motors and light bulbs do not cause harmonics as they are linear loads. Power quality is an important aspect that should be considered from the early design stage of a building Harmonic disturbances should not be confused with radio frequency interference (RFI). Harmonics are multiples of the base frequency and are therefore relatively low in frequency, typically below 2,500 Hertz (Hz). In contrast RFI is usually above 150 kilohertz (kHz). RFI disturbances can be radiated and/or conducted. Harmonics are always conducted. The impact of harmonics is measured as a percentage value known as the total harmonic distortion (THD). This is the ratio of the RMS (root mean square) harmonic content to the RMS value of the fundamental frequency. Where no voltage or current harmonics exist the THD is zero percent. As the level of harmonics increases, the THD value increases. THDi is the total harmonic distortion on current and THDu or THDv is the total harmonic distortion on voltage. A single 4 kW drive even with 100 percent THDi will not trash the whole network. Rather, it is important to consider the cumulative effect of harmonic distortion at the point of common coupling (PCC) – the point where the building’s local network connects to the local utility distribution network. Why are harmonics troublesome for HVAC installations? An electrical network where there are high levels of harmonic distortion can experience a wide range of problems including: Premature failure and reduced lifespan of equipment, especially due to overheating of motors, transformers, cables, circuit breakers and fuses Reduced energy efficiency Nuisance tripping of breakers and fuses Unstable operation of backup generators Unstable operation of sensitive electronic devices Flickering lights These issues can have a significant economic impact during all phases of the lifespan of the HVAC installation, especially in a critical facility such as a data center. Initially, there is the cost of either sizing equipment to handle harmonics or investing in harmonic mitigation. Then there is also the repair and replacement costs associated with premature equipment failure. High levels of harmonics also result in additional heating of equipment, which means electricity that could be used to power equipment is lost as heat. Harmonics also affect the true power factor which has an overall impact on the power network’s quality and efficiency. Approaches to handling harmonics One approach to tackling the overheating created by the harmonic current is to oversize some of the key electrical infrastructure. For example, transformers and cables may be increased in size. Oversizing of backup generators is also a common way to mitigate some of the other challenges created by harmonics. An alternative approach is to mitigate the harmonics produced by VSDs. High levels of harmonics also result in additional heating of equipment A standard six-pulse drive does not feature harmonic mitigation. This type of drive is used because of its lower cost and small footprint. The exact current distortion varies according to the design, with typical values between 90 and 120 percent THDi. Adding a DC choke or input line AC reactor to the standard drive increases the impedance. This decreases THDi levels to between 35 to 45 percent, which is recommended generally as the starting point. If calculations and surveys show the need for a further reduction in THDi then the drive should be upgraded to a better harmonic mitigation technology. Passive filters Passive filter solutions can be added on the supply (line) side of the drive. Their performance can be variable as some designs provide poor harmonic mitigation at partial loads, or when there is already existing voltage distortion on the plant’s power supply. Typically, passive filters result in a THDi between 5 and 10 percent, depending on the filter design. Active filters Active harmonic filters work much like noise cancelling headphones. The filter measures the current distortion and then supplies a counter-waveform to cancel it out. This is an effective method for achieving THDi levels between 4 and 7 percent. Multi-pulse solutions Another standalone solution is a multi-pulse package. But this occupies a large footprint – even a relatively small 23 A, 18-pulse package capable of reducing THDi to 5 to 6 percent is around the same size as a domestic refrigerator. Active front end – ULH drives In an active front end (AFE) drive, a rectifier based on insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) technology enables it to draw nearly pure sinusoidal current. An LCL (inductor-capacitor-inductor) filter helps to remove the possible higher switching frequency noise caused by the IGBTs. The result is a THDi between 3 percent and 5 percent, hence this design is also known as a ULH (ultra-low-harmonic) drive. ULH drives are the most compact solution that can achieve a THDi below 5 percent. They also have excellent harmonic performance at partial loads. And as a single, compact package, ULH drives are easy to install. Power factor is also important In addition to harmonics, it is also important to consider power factor (PF). This is a term that describes how effectively an electrical network uses the power it draws. True power factor considers both the displacement power factor (also known as cosφ) and distortion power factor (that is a function of the amount of harmonic current). In the very best case, a network will have a PF of unity. In some cases, utilities might impose penalty charges on buildings with a poor power factor. Adding a standard VSD to a motor will improve its displacement power factor but add to the distortion. ULH drives mitigate harmonics which positively affects the true power factor. This drive also has the ability to compensate reactive power which improves the displacement power factor of the installation. HVAC installations must handle harmonics When designers and operators of HVAC systems appreciate the importance of harmonic mitigation then the improved reliability and longer equipment life soon shows a positive return on investment. A particularly elegant and cost-effective solution is to deploy ULH drives that mitigate harmonics at source, rather than the band-aid solution of external filters.
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.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved, the need has become obvious for stronger unity among brands and ecosystems to enable products within smart environments to work together more easily. Working to serve that need is the Zigbee Alliance, which seeks to promote collaboration in the Internet of Things by creating, evolving, and promoting universal open standards that enable all objects to connect and interact. Their effort took off when Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance announced an industry working group in December 2019 to take the “best of market” technologies from leading smart home standards, portfolios and ecosystems and to develop a “super spec” that will be open, inclusive and a significant industry shift in the smart home market. smart home automation system “Zigbee Alliance has been for a while now working on openness and interoperability, which has led us to the Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP), which is looking to unify the environment, under one technology, one certification program and one logo,” says Chris LaPré, Zigbee Alliance’s IoT Solutions Architect. “It really does fuel IoT possibilities, whether in HVAC or any other sectors.” There is a stronger need for unity, which is why we are developing Project Connected Home over IP" Project CHIP is a royalty-free connectivity standard that unifies brands and ecosystems into a single smart home automation system that operates any other technology based on Internet Protocol (IP). The intent is to simplify product development for device manufacturers, broaden consumer choice, and to ensure easy discoverability, deployment and engagement to fuel connected living. unifies that environment “We have noticed that, as the IoT has evolved, there is a stronger need for unity, which is why we are developing Project Connected Home over IP,” says Jon Harros, Zigbee Alliance’s Director of Certification and Testing Programs. “It fits with the Zigbee Alliance’s goal to unify systems, and to focus on everyone using the same application at the top. It unifies that environment, whether you are integrating your system with Amazon Echo devices or connecting to Google Home.” Participating in development of Project CHIP are 125 companies of various types from around the world working together with more than 1,100 of their experts serving across sub-committees to formulate specifications and fine-tune the project. Although the technology is being developed for the home market, the specifications have been formulated with an eye toward expanding into the commercial market in the future. home system technologies Development of open, interoperable systems provides greater freedom for consumers to choose among the many technology choices on the market, without being tied to a single brand or ecosystem. Zigbee Alliance certifications and memberships span the globe, with roughly a third in Europe, a third in North America and a third in Asia. Involvement in Europe is slightly higher than the other regions. Alliance members represent manufacturing sites all over the world. Project CHIP is a newer initiative of the Zigbee Alliance, which previously developed Zigbee Pro to enable home system technologies to operate using IEEE 802.15.4 wireless signals on the 2.4GHz radio band over a self-healing true mesh network. The original Zigbee protocol is used for many applications around the world, including HVAC. smart temperature devices HVAC developers who have specific use cases should have a look at the work of the alliance Members of the Zigbee Alliance include HVAC companies such as Lennox, Stelpro and Belimo, among others. Carrier is a recent company that has joined the Zigbee Alliance. Smart thermostats, including the popular Ecobee, have used the Zigbee protocol. More than 100 different devices have been certified as thermostats or smart temperature devices. Harros urges other HVAC companies to become more involved with the Alliance. “We want them to come and have a look to see what we are doing and get involved,” he says. “This is where the work is being done as we unify the environment and bring together all the devices and ecosystems to work together.” HVAC developers who have specific use cases should have a look at the work of the alliance, he adds. certification transfer program Among the strengths of the Zigbee Alliance are years of experience certifying products, which includes testing them and confirming that they comply with the promoted specifications and functionality. The specifications are open standards that are developed in cooperation with all the companies that are Zigbee Alliance members. Another route is the certification transfer program, in which a company chooses a certified white-label product, becomes a member of the Alliance, and then rebrands the product while retaining the certification. “It helps them get products on the market quickly while they build their own knowledge base,” says Harros. "All our work is focused on standardizing the behavior and functionality of products and making sure everyone is following the same standard to get interoperability,” says Harros. “Members all contribute to the standards.”
Panasonic has conducted research that verifies that hydroxyl radicals contained in water can inhibit the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The nano-sized electrostatic atomized water particles are generated by applying high voltage to moisture in the air. The patented technology - brand-named 'nanoe X' - is already used for air and surface purification in Panasonic’s air conditioning systems. The research suggests that the technology might be useful in fighting the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in addition to its use to inhibit odors, pollutants, allergens, and other viruses. The research was conducted in collaboration with Mayo Yasugi, Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Science, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University. Here is a clarification from Panasonic: "While Panasonic makes a wide range of products that generate these type of free radicals, none of these products has been tested for efficacy in the inhibition of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on surfaces or in the air. We continue to monitor the latest research and study the matter, and in the event that scientifically sound research shows our product/s to be effective in helping to inhibit this virus, we will work with the appropriate regulatory bodies to ensure all information is validated." inhibit pathogenic microorganisms Hydroxyl radicals contained in water are characterized by being strongly oxidative and highly reactive. Panasonic has conducted research on the technology since 1997 and has verified its effectiveness to inhibit pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses) and allergens, breaking down PM2.5 components that have adverse effects on the human body. In 2012, Panasonic conducted a virus clearance test with a third-party organization and confirmed the effectiveness of each of four categories in terms of biological characteristic. Based on the result, Panasonic announced that “hydroxyl radicals contained in water” technology could be expected to have an inhibitory effect on new viruses. evaluate product performance The virus infectious titer was measured and used to calculate the inhibition rate SARS-CoV-2 is an example of a new type of virus, and now testing (in July 2020) has confirmed that the hydroxyl radicals contained in water do in fact have an inhibitory effect, according to Panasonic. The testing was carried out in a closed laboratory environment and was not designed to assess efficacy in uncontrolled living spaces. The comparative verification was conducted in a 45L test space that contained the novel coronavirus with and without exposure to hydroxyl radicals contained in water. Over 99% of novel coronavirus activity was inhibited within three hours. Panasonic emphasizes the verification was designed to generate basic research data and not designed to evaluate product performance. A piece of gauze inoculated with the virus solution was placed in a petri dish and exposed to hydroxyl radicals contained in water for a pre-determined time. The virus infectious titer was measured and used to calculate the inhibition rate. creating healthy environments The same test was performed three times to confirm reproducibility. The reactive components generated by “the electrostatic atomized water technology” are “wrapped and contained” in the water particle, so the substances have a longer life and are delivered to wider areas than usual ions. Panasonic says it will continue to pursue the potential of “hydroxyl radicals contained in water” technology to address possible risks associated with air pollution such as new pathogenic microorganisms, with the aim of creating healthy environments for people around the world.
Nicknamed the gateway to Southern California, the city of Ontario, as well as neighboring city Montclair, is home to the third largest elementary school district in California, the Ontario-Montclair School District (OMSD). Founded in 1884, the district also incorporates portions of the city of Upland, and unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County, comprising 24,000 students in 26 elementary schools and six middle schools. Ontario-Montclair School District Ontario-Montclair School District’s overall mission is simple yet speaks volumes to its dedication to all students, to do whatever it takes to guarantee its commitment in providing the highest quality education for all students. To meet this mission head-on, OMSD contracted with TMAD Taylor Gaines, a professional engineering consulting and services firm. Ontario Montclair School District was interested in reducing their overall energy costs by 20%" “Ontario Montclair School District was interested in reducing their overall energy costs by 20%, they along with other school districts throughout California were mandated to reduce their overall energy costs,” said John Simmons, RCDD, LEED AP, and Project Manager for TMAD Taylor Gaines. He adds, “We initially ran some numbers based upon information we found on Bard HVAC’s website, and through consultation with Geary Pacific Supply, Bard’s largest West Coast distributor.” Geary Pacific, distributor of new HVAC units Based upon the scope of the projects in consideration, the money available to fund them and the overall cost of the units in consideration, as well as overall potential energy savings, TMAD Taylor Gaines recommended that OMSD select Geary Pacific as the distributor of the new HVAC units. “We considered other companies as part of our overall recommendation but in all honesty we were impressed by a couple of things. First, Bard Manufacturing had a wealth of product and technical information about their products on their website, including case studies of other customer successes. That in combination with Geary Pacific’s previous experience working successfully with the School District made our recommendation a simple one,” added John Simmons. Bard wall-mounted HVAC units deployed “Our District was already familiar with Bard because we had success using some of their other wall mounted units on several of our modular school buildings,” said Craig Misso, Director of Facility Planning & Operation at Ontario Montclair School District, adding “Our goal was to not only upgrade our facilities and make them more energy efficient, but also work to reduce some of the HVAC noise inside the classroom, as well as save on the purchase, operation and maintenance of all of the units at our schools.” TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific’s approach was to do the retrofit in several phases. The pilot project encompassed one site, Sultana Elementary School, which included 24 re-locatable buildings, made up of both newer and some older construction. Bard WG*S Step Capacity Series units with CO2 sensors TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific started doing groups of schools, encompassing 14 different building sites “Sultana was a great school for the pilot because there were a lot of little issues to contend with and work through,” stated Simmons, adding “The Bard WG*S Step Capacity Series units with Energy Recovery Ventilators and CO2 sensors worked great and we were initially very surprised at how quiet they actually operated.” After that, TMAD Taylor Gaines and Geary Pacific started doing groups of schools, encompassing 14 different building sites. Group one included 6 schools and approximately 83 units while Group 2 included 8 schools and 101 units. It was during the second group of installations that TMAD Taylor Gaines realized that putting in units that required the installation of underground gas piping was not the best solution for all classrooms. Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units That’s when Geary Pacific recommended utilizing Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units with Energy Recovery Ventilators and CO2 sensors in about 1/3 of the overall installation. “Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 units are some of the most energy-efficient HVAC units on the market today,” said Maury Tiernan of Geary Pacific, adding “Plus the operational sound level is extremely low and is greatly appreciated by the students and teachers.” John Simmons said, “We were really pleased at how easily these units were able to be retrofitted into the re-locatable classrooms. There are almost no changes and smooth sailing in almost all cases.” Quiet, efficient operation The dramatic reduction in operating noise levels was an added improvement and benefit for which Craig Misso was particularly proud. “At Sultana, we invited some of the teachers and our principal over to see the new classrooms. Our principal asked, ‘Why aren’t the new HVAC units running’? I had to laugh, because I knew they were on. They were just so quiet nobody could tell that they were working. That moment sold every teacher on the Bard units,” added Craig Misso of Ontario Montclair School District. “From the very beginning, Geary Pacific became our partner in the success of the project,” stated Simmons, adding “Always available to answer questions on-site and knowledgeable about all aspects of the product and installation I can honestly say they can’t do anything wrong by me. Geary Pacific and the engineers at Bard Manufacturing came through in every way possible and more.” Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment expert Bard’s HVAC products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency Over thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s HVAC products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. With features like self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for any school. Energy and cost savings “The Bard units reduced ambient classroom noise levels by over 75% and further gave us a 50% savings in energy,” said Misso, adding “This savings allowed us to also install software on our computers that automatically turns off the lights and the AC, when the classrooms are unoccupied, which further increased our savings. Our hope is to have the funds necessary to install all 280 Bard units as specified by TMAD Taylor Gaines.” Misso concluded, “Geary Pacific has been extremely professional and service oriented throughout the project. Because of our School Board’s commitment to energy conservation, our District will receive a dual reward, recognized energy savings and efficiency with an enhanced classroom environment for our students and teachers. We couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Living in the McLean County Unit District No. 5 region ensures one thing that children will receive one of the finest educations available. With one of its high schools ranked in the Top 50 Public High Schools in Illinois and listed in U.S. News & World Report’s Nation’s Top Schools, Unit District No. 5 is the place where excellence in education takes on a new meaning. Replacing antiquated HVAC systems But excellence doesn’t come without a price. In the current economic environment, maintaining and improving upon existing school facilities remains one of the most significant challenges for administrators and educators alike. That’s why officials turned to a solution that proved both unique and highly practical, when six schools in the district faced antiquated HVAC systems, nearing the end of their life-cycle. Upgrading and retrofitting school HVAC systems CM Engineering and Earth City Distributing understand the challenge of maximizing facility investment dollars CM Engineering and Earth City Distributing understand the challenge of maximizing facility investment dollars when it comes to upgrading and retrofitting school facilities. They also realize the key role those facilities play in keeping a school educationally competitive. The first schools from the Unit 5 School District to undergo retrofits included Oakdale Elementary School and Glenn Elementary School. Each school had ceiling limitations which made a conventional rooftop boiler-chiller system impractical. “We wanted a system that would be easy to service and maintain, provide cooling and be energy efficient,” said Jeff Monahan, Director of Maintenance for McLean County Unit District No. 5. Bard QTEC ground source heat pump installed “We had experienced earlier success working with a school in McComb, Illinois, where using a new type of piping system and the Bard QTEC ground source heat pump saved us over 50% in installation costs,” said Kirk Mescher, President of CM Engineering. Kirk adds, “Using Bard Manufacturing’s QTEC product in the Unit 5 School District applications was not only practical, it was the win-win solution in terms of reliability and efficiency in operation.” Between 2006 and 2008, 112 Bard QTEC units were installed in 6 schools. “Between CM Engineering’s unique design approach and Bard’s very efficient QTEC unit, the installation at all of the Unit District No. 5 schools couldn’t have gone any better, “ said Mike McManus, Owner of Earth City Distributing, a local Bard distributor, adding “Not only are the units energy-efficient and incredibly quiet when operating, they can be easily accessed for service.” Bard’s wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Over thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing Company began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to wide-scale research and development (R&D). With features such as self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard Manufacturing Co. delivers state-of-the-art products that provide tangible solutions for any school’s needs. Enhanced serviceability The QTEC’s serviceability is also a contributing factor to Unit District No. 5’s overall success “What we got by using Bard Manufacturing’s QTEC product was an HVAC system that not only provided heating and cooling, but did so while also providing more than a 40% savings in total utility costs, without upgrading windows or insulation,” said Jeff Monahan. The QTEC’s serviceability is also a contributing factor to Unit District No. 5’s overall success. “I love the fact that the units are virtually maintenance-free,” stated Monahan, adding “They’ve basically reduced our service calls to near zero.” Energy estimate from CM Engineering “Whenever any of our school clients are open to the idea of having an in-room unit installed, we always spec the Bard QTEC units. In fact, in all the years, since we’ve been in business, we’ve never installed anything else inside a classroom,” said Kirk Mescher, President of CM Engineering. With Unit District No. 5, CM Engineering initially gave them an energy estimate that proposed they could provide the schools with heating and cooling at no additional operating cost. Energy and cost savings Mescher adds, “Not only were we able to achieve that goal, but because of the Bard QTEC units, we were able to surpass it, helping the schools reduce their overall utility costs significantly, in some cases by over 40%.” He further stated, “For any school, anywhere in the country trying to save money on installation, service and energy costs, not to mention lowering overall ambient noise in a classroom, these are significant enough results that simply can’t be ignored.” Quiet and comfortable QTEC units Bard’s QTEC unit is designed to be installed inside the classroom, fully engineered to be quiet and comfortable Success with the retrofit of their six schools has, in fact, led McLean County Unit District No. 5 to approve installation of additional Bard QTEC units in a seventh school during the summer of 2009. Bard’s QTEC unit is designed to be installed inside the classroom, fully engineered to be quiet, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. QTEC units are designed and tested to operate at 20% above federal standards with easy installation features that make servicing fast and simple. Bard’s QTEC units can provide the following features: A one-piece factory unit with individual room climate control Designed for fast installation and easy servicing Sound deadening insulation Simple utility hookups Integrated energy recovery ventilator Controlled dehumidification A rating for efficiency that is 20% above Federal Standards
In the spring of 1999, Wilkes County, North Carolina had a difficult and challenging problem to contend with. With an ever-increasing student population the school system faced the daunting task of building four new middle schools to improve its countywide school facilities. Committed to excellence in teaching and to the belief that all students can learn, Wilkes County Schools strive for student success through a partnership of school, home and community. Building on funds already allocated by the State Board of Education, Wilkes County Schools received approval for up to $24 million in additional funding from the County Commissioners. Because of the needs of the growing middle school student population countywide, it was decided that one school would be built in each of Wilkes County’s four school districts – Central, West, North and East. Budget constraints Wilkes County Schools turned to the heating and cooling expertise and experience of the Bard Manufacturing Company But the challenges didn’t end with the County’s approval to build. Staying on budget would be an even greater challenge, given all of the amenities, and opportunities for greater learning that the school system wanted to provide for its students. Aware of the impacting impression a new school has on individual students, Wilkes County remained determined to build its schools so they were aesthetically pleasing, both inside and out, and comfortable throughout every season. That’s when Wilkes County Schools turned to the heating and cooling expertise and experience of the Bard Manufacturing Company. Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Thirty years ago, Bard began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country. Providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment, Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, patented ventilation packages, unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice by many school officials. With three state-of-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. With features like self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for today’s modern school facilities. Bard’s Contribution What we liked best overall about the Bard units was having control over the environments in each of our classrooms" Wilkes County Schools were already familiar with Bard Manufacturing and its products, having successfully installed and operated Bard’s previous generation of wall-mounted units nearly 15 years ago in its other school facilities. “What we liked best overall about the Bard units was having individual control over the environments in each of our classrooms,” said Phil Couch, Maintenance Director and Assistant Superintendent for Wilkes County Schools. "When Wilkes County first suggested Bard units for the design, we were skeptical – we didn’t know a lot about Bard and we were more comfortable using the traditional four-pipe system,” said Frank Williams, Partner, Pinnacle Architecture. “However, now that we’ve seen how Bard units work, we’re comfortable recommending them wherever the incremental design makes sense. Teachers love the control, and we like the simplicity of installation!” Energy efficient Bard first developed its incremental wall-mounted cooling units in 1963. Since that time, Bard has made many advances and enhancements to its units, making them ideal for new schools and classroom renovations. Aware of Wilkes County Schools’ desire to also make their new facilities aesthetically pleasing, as well as energy-efficient and comfortable to learn in, Bard recommended its QTEC self-contained cooling unit. QTEC - The Quiet “Hidden” Technology QTEC units are designed and tested to operate at 20% above federal standards with easy installation features The QTEC unit is designed to be installed inside the classroom – fully engineered to be quiet, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. QTEC units are designed and tested to operate at 20% above federal standards with easy installation features that make servicing fast and simple. Bard’s QTEC units can provide the following features: A one-piece factory unit with individual room climate control Design for fast installation and easy servicing Sound deadening insulation Simple utility hookups Integrated energy recovery ventilator Controlled dehumidification Wilkes County Schools’ Results Wilkes County opened its four new schools in time for the 2002 fall semester and they were able to do it on budget, thanks to Bard. “Bard’s experience working with school systems around the country helped us design, engineer and install the best system we could have hoped for,” said Couch. “Not only do the units operate quietly, they’re energy efficient. They also save us money on our maintenance costs because we can work on them ourselves with our own in-house maintenance staff.” Comfortable environment And because Bard QTEC units take up less space and are less costly to install over traditional boiler/chiller systems, Bard also helped save Wilkes County Schools $3.5 million on their overall construction costs. Wilkes County Schools then used these savings to fund four computers in each classroom, and three computer labs for each school. “Working together with Pinnacle Architecture, Bard not only helped us create a comfortable environment for our students to learn in, they enabled us to purchase, through savings, additional technology equipment,” said Couch.
One won’t find bustling cities or lots of traffic in Montgomery County and that is just the way residents like it. Montgomery County is located in south-central North Carolina, an hour drive from Charlotte and just under two hours from Raleigh and Fayetteville. Eighty percent of the county comprises the geologically pristine Uwharrie National Forest, which provides a beautiful, scenic backdrop for quiet, country living. With children under 18 accounting for just over 25% of the local population, Montgomery County Schools' mission is to ensure that all students are prepared for the opportunities by addressing the challenges. Cost-Effective solution One of these challenges was directly related to a new elementary school – Green Ridge Elementary School - the district was planning to build in the town of Biscoe. “We recently completed building another school in the district that used a combination boiler/chiller to heat and cool the school”, said Bill Mingin, Maintenance Director for Montgomery County Schools. All Seasons recommended utilizing the wall-mounted design of Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 unit “Unfortunately, we found the high cost of fuel oil combined with the high cost of installing this type of system, forced us to come up with a better, more cost-effective solution for Green Ridge.” That’s when Montgomery County Schools turned to Drayton Stott of All Seasons Commercial HVAC Distributors, the local Bard dealer. Overall construction costs “I was very familiar with Bard because we had great success using some of their wall mounted units on several of our retrofitted schools,” said Mingin. “We were hoping, however, to reduce some of the overall operational noise and costs within the new building even more.” That’s when All Seasons recommended utilizing the wall-mounted design of Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 unit – albeit on the outside of the building. “The Bard Quiet Climate 2 units are some of the quietest HVAC units on the market today,” said Stott. “Green Ridge Elementary School also benefitted from a reduction in overall construction costs, including cement work, steel framing, the cost of running ductwork and construction of a maintenance and mechanical boiler/chiller shed.” Utilizing the Quiet Climate 2, Stott was also able to also provide each room and teacher with individual control over their room’s temperature. Enhanced operational efficiency “This enhanced operational efficiency in several ways, including better and more even temperature control throughout each classroom,” said Mingin. “Plus, if any particular unit needed maintenance, it wouldn’t mean that the whole system had to be shut down. By having the units installed on the outside of the building we could work on the units without disturbing the teachers or the students inside.” The school had the added benefit of turning units off or on as needed" “The school had the added benefit of turning units off or on as needed depending on whether or not individual rooms were in use.” Another big improvement was the overall cost and installation of the Bard system. “Our mission is to provide our students with the educational building blocks that will prepare them to ultimately compete in a global economy,” said Donna Kennedy, Principal of Green Ridge Elementary School. Wall-Mounted heating “Working with Bard, we were able to save Green Ridge Elementary over $800,000 in installation and purchasing costs over a conventional system. That savings gave us the opportunity to purchase a complete technology package for our school, including smart boards and computer labs in every classroom. As a former AC service technician, I have to say that I’m extremely impressed with the Bard Quiet Climate units– they actually make no noise at all,” said Matt Wolf, a teacher at Green Ridge Elementary School. “They make teaching and learning a quiet, comfortable experience.” Over thirty years ago, Bard began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, and energy efficiency, with unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice for schools. Self-Programming energy monitors Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for any school With three state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. With features like self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for any school. “With the Quiet Climate 2 units our teachers and students never have to worry about room temperature interfering with classroom learning,” said Kennedy. “Whenever we have a weekend community activity, teachers tutoring in off hours, or classes going on night, we know we can make those spaces comfortable without wasting energy in unused classrooms.” “Our experience with Bard products over the years in retrofitted schools has been excellent and the Green Ridge Elementary School results confirm that Bard performs as well in new schools as they do in older, existing school buildings,” said Mingin. “Bard’s ability to give us individual room dehumidification is another benefit that’s hard to quantify – we just don’t have any of the problems associated with high humidity.”
Darlington Middle School is in Darlington, South Carolina, located in the eastern region of the state along the I-95 Corridor. The school serves approximately 1,025 students. Committed to excellence in teaching and the belief that all students can learn, the staff strives for student success through a partnership of school, home, and community. The Choice Larry Stegner is the Maintenance Director for Darlington County Schools, who is responsible for roughly 2.1 million square feet of space in his schools. Larry said why he chose to utilize the Bard system in his new school. In 2006, the team was hard at work constructing Darlington Middle School. The decision to use the Bard system was easy in this case. The district made a proactive decision to standardize systems wherever practical. Reliability and maintenance From a maintenance standpoint, all the troubleshooting and repairs required are done outside the building" Larry said, “In the classrooms, we have gone exclusively to a Bard exterior wall-mounted unit. There are several reasons for this; the cost of a 4-pipe system is almost cost-prohibitive for us in a classroom setting. In addition, if that system goes down, the entire school is down. With the Bard system, if we lose one unit we only affect one classroom.” Larry shared about the reliability and maintenance of the Bard system. He said, “The instances that I have lost a Bard unit are rare.” “From a maintenance standpoint, all the troubleshooting and repairs required are done outside the building so we never disturb the classroom and we can service them ourselves.” Design Attributes During the design process, the Darlington County Schools team saw value in the Bard System. Larry shared some attributes the design team discovered through the process. “Something that impressed us with Bard that I wasn’t aware of, was the availability of colors. When we ordered them, we could get them in a variety of cabinet finishes.” Larry shared if there were any objections by the architect to using this system. He had these insights, “Architects don’t particularly like them, they don’t like things hanging on “their” buildings and messing up “their” lines. With the Bard units and building in a complementary color selection, they virtually disappear on the building. You don’t even see them.” “We used the dark bronze units on Darlington Middle School because they matched the trim finish, and it looks like an architectural component of the building.” Classroom Preferred Solution While energy prices continue to rise, the district’s energy demands increase as well The district staff was persistent in selecting Bard’s Classroom Preferred Solution for their new school, primarily because of the economics of the system, ease of maintenance, and the ability to control each classroom independently. Like most districts today, energy efficiency and reducing operating costs play a significant role in Darlington County. While energy prices continue to rise, the district’s energy demands increase as well. Modern teaching methods and practices require the use of current technologies. Today, students must be prepared for a modern globally competitive world. Educators must have the tools and resources available to educate their students. This new reality translates to more technology in the classroom, such as computers and Smartboards. Increased demands Schools utilizing the Bard Classroom Preferred Solution have realized substantial energy savings Additionally, the demands on educational facilities have increased dramatically. Today, schools serve beyond the traditional 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. schedule. With increasing demands for workers to equip themselves to be competitive in today’s economy, often ones find adult education classes being taught in the evening. On occasion, drivers education courses are taught after school. It is not a rare occurrence to drive by Darlington Middle School on the weekend and see the school packed with students, parents, teachers, and community members for extracurricular activities. These enhancements to children’s education and community involvement in the schools serve as an invaluable asset to everyone. Schools utilizing the Bard Classroom Preferred Solution have realized substantial energy savings through optimal building performance strategies. Taking advantage of the unprecedented flexibility of this system allows the facility staff to tailor their operating strategy to the specific use of their schools. Conditioning For example, when Mr. Stegner has an adult education class using one classroom in the evening, this system conditions that single classroom. In a more traditional HVAC system (4-Pipe/ Central), one would condition an entire building or wing to use one classroom. Obviously, this strategy would significantly increase energy/operating costs. When it comes to HVAC systems on the market today, comfort and noise are a concern. That’s not nearly as valuable as hearing from someone who lives and works with the building and its systems. Mr. Stegner and Mrs. Carlita Davis, the Principal, shared about their experiences with the comfort and noise of this system. Ease of maintenance Darlington County made a decision to move to Bard’s Classroom Preferred Solution because of its reliability Darlington County made a conscious decision to move to Bard’s Classroom Preferred Solution because of its reliability, ease of maintenance, and efficiency. On being asked if there are ever complaints about noise, Mr. Stegner said, “We never have complaints about noise in this school. I don’t think you even know it’s there and that’s how it should be.” “Naturally, comfort is a major concern in the education environment. We want to ensure the teachers are comfortable in their working environment. It’s important to make sure students are comfortable so they can focus on learning.“ In a school the size of Darlington Middle, universal comfort can be a challenge for traditional systems. Larry, on concerns around comfort in the school, said, “I have never heard a complaint about the comfort of a classroom in this school. It is a lot easier to make our teachers and students comfortable with each classroom having its own individually controlled unit.” Aesthetics The Bard Classroom Preferred Solution can be tailored to adapt to one’s building design. A variety of colors and applications along with the flexibility to reach their goals during the design process. Darlington County had never heard a complaint or concern over the appearance of their buildings. In addition to colors and size, one can choose to locate the system components inside or outside the building, while virtually attaining the same results. Reliability “Of all the systems, units, and manufacturers we have and work within our district, Bard’s systems give us the least amount of trouble,” says Larry Stegner, Facilities Director Darlington County. “This system has been really good for our school, I can’t name any issue we have had with the heating and cooling system. I know it’s very economical for our district,” says Carlita Davis, Principal.
Tuscumbia, Alabama was first settled in 1815. Originally the site of a Cherokee Indian village, Tuscumbia was also home to the first railroad west of the Allegheny Mountains. Today, Tuscumbia has retained its original charm. With a population of just over 9,000, Tuscumbia also enjoys one of the best school systems in the state of Alabama. It is this singular desire to support its rich educational system which prompted Tuscumbia’s City Board of Education to pursue a plan to remodel two of its more than 40 year old school buildings. chilled water HVAC systems It was decided that one central air handler also needed to be installed in each building “We wanted to give our students a comfortable environment in which to learn and recognized that we had a number of things that needed to be updated, including both schools chilled water HVAC systems, and we had to do so within a budget with no margin of error,” said Royce Massey, Superintendent, Tuscumbia City Schools. Since new building codes require that a certain amount of fresh air be delivered to each classroom based on the number of occupants, it was decided that one central air handler also needed to be installed in each building. To help with the renovations, Tuscumbia’s School Board hired Parker Architects who in turn hired Paul Smith and Associates. air conditioner units “At first we specified Bard’s standard gas/electric wall mount air conditioner units with an additional roof top make up air unit for each school,” said Paul Smith, PE, Environmental Systems Corporation. “Unfortunately, after final bids were collected from all of the contractors involved, the project came back nearly $200,000 over budget.” Thirty years ago, Bard began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country. Providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment, Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, patented ventilation packages, unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice by many school officials. provide tangible solutions We also decided to add energy recovery ventilator cassettes and the dehumidification option to each unit" With three state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. With features like self-diagnostics and self-programming energy monitors, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for today’s modern school facilities. After the bids were returned, Tuscumbia’s School Board and Parker Architects realized that they had to find a way to resolve the cost barrier or they would have to forgo the bulk of renovations. energy recovery ventilator “Bard really came through when the bids came back,” said Massey. To solve the problem, John Hayes, who works for the George Wheelock Company - one of Bard’s distributors in Alabama - proposed eliminating the two central make up air units and adding features to the Bard WG units that would allow each to provide fresh air to each classroom. “It required some re-engineering of the units on Bard’s part,” said Hayes. “We also decided to add energy recovery ventilator cassettes and the dehumidification option to each unit.” These features would allow each unit to pre-treat the outside air - removing heat and moisture in the summer, adding heat in the winter - and also adding dehumidification, allowing each unit to control humidity in each space. WG Series Wall Mount The WG Series is designed to be mounted on the exterior wall surface of the classroom – fully engineered to be quiet, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and secure. All of Bard’s WG Series units are designed to meet or exceed federal standards with easy installation features that make servicing fast and simple. Bard’s WG Series units provide the following features: A one-piece factory unit with individual room climate control Optional ventilation packages including energy recovery Controlled dehumidification Simple utility hookups Integrated energy recovery ventilator Easy installation, maintenance and service no additional installation costs Because of Bard’s initiative and everyone’s willingness to work together, we were able to complete the product" “Bard’s willingness to come forward and work towards a solution helped to save the project,” said Brad Bernard, Parker Architects. By eliminating all of the ductwork and subsequent demolition of each hallway ceiling, as well as changing the lighting, wiring and plumbing within the ceiling, Bard saved the Tuscumbia School Board over $300,000. “As part of the savings, there were no additional installation costs because the new features came Bard factory installed with each unit,” said Smith. Bard’s experience working with school systems around the country helps them design manufacture and support the best HVAC system currently on the market. traditional HVAC systems Not only can Bard save its customers money on the installation of traditional HVAC systems, Bard’s units, like the ones installed in Tuscumbia, can save their customers money on their maintenance costs because they are simple to maintain and service. “It’s win-win for everyone involved,” said Massey. “Because of Bard’s initiative and everyone’s willingness to work together, we were able to complete the product, on time and within budget - allowing our students to get the best education in an environment that’s comfortable and one that fosters their hard work and creativity.”
Round table discussion
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?
Welcome to our Expert Panel Roundtable, a new feature of HVACInformed.com. We will be asking timely questions about the HVAC market and seeking out experts in the field to provide responses. Our goal is to promote a useful exchange of information on a variety of topics and to create a forum for discussion of important issues facing the industry. Launching this new feature in the middle of a global pandemic made choosing our first question quite easy. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What has been the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the HVAC market?