The Housing Minister, Chris Pincher, announces a series of ambitious new targets for a green building revolution. Designed to lower energy consumption and help protect the environment, the new standards will affect all homes and businesses – existing and new build. The new targets include measures to ensure: All new buildings are constructed to be highly energy efficient. Building work in existing buildings must meet new standards. Measures to tackle overheating in existing homes to...
In its quest to strengthen global efforts of designing a more resilient, sustainable electric world, Schneider Electric, the pioneer of the digital transformation of energy management and automation, is all set to showcase pioneering energy management innovations and partner programs at the Hannover Messe 2021. To address the global urgency of climate change and the 21st century’s most significant challenges of the accelerating energy transition and growing demand for energy, Schn...
Air conditioning technologies and solutions firm, LG Electronics USA is continuing to pave the way for the future of connected buildings, with the expansion of its award-winning controls platform, LG MultiSITE. Empowering building owners and operators to optimize their operations and efficiency, especially with Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems, the MultiSITE lineup is packed with advanced features that deliver more building synergy and accessibility than ever before. LG MultiSITE contro...
Schneider Electric, the pioneer in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, today announces the release of new generation of TeSys Giga series Motor Starters. The iconic TeSys Giga series has been reimagined with the latest smart digital innovations to deliver a simpler, more sustainable, safe and secure customer experience for panel builders, consulting engineers, system integrators, facility managers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) further building on pr...
Marley Engineered Products introduces the CUH Series Custom Cabinet Unit Heater, which delivers supplemental comfort heat in a contemporary design to match modern and future architect specifications. The unit is operated by the new SmartSeries® Plus, a digital touchscreen control capable of running a fully programmable internal schedule as well as connecting to a BACnet Building Management System. “The Marley Cabinet Unit Heater offers 16 air inlet/outlet combinations that are a...
Schneider Electric unveils several Industries of the Future innovations and called for stronger cross-industry collaboration at the all-digital Hannover Messe 2021. Schneider Electric believes that through universal automation, digital energy, and innovation, industrial enterprises with achievable sustainability goals will lead the global economic recovery while safeguarding our natural environment. “Industry is undergoing a massive paradigm shift further toward digitalization,&rd...
Carrier China recently hosted the “2021 Carrier Air Conditioning Festival,” a new event for attendees that demonstrated and reinforced Carrier’s history of innovation and the strength of its portfolio, at its new campus in Shanghai. Carrier China is a part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), the leading global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. The “2021 Carrier Air Conditioning Festival” featured the Carrier Air Conditioning Museum, where visitors could explore the history and development of HVAC solutions as well as Carrier’s importance throughout the industry’s transformation. Visitors can also experience the company’s comprehensive solutions in commercial and light commercial equipment, service and building automation systems at the ~2,000 square meter center featuring interactive displays. green and healthy building solutions “Since the invention of the first modern air conditioning system in 1902, Carrier has been committed to the transformation of HVAC solutions,” said Titus Yu, Managing Director, North Asia HVAC, Carrier, “2021 is the first anniversary for Carrier as a standalone public company. We adhere to our founder’s pioneering spirit, with technological innovation as our driving force, and we continue to provide efficient, green and healthy building solutions in China.” Carrier China jointly exhibited with Carrier Commercial Refrigeration at the China Refrigeration Exhibition, together highlighting their offerings in commercial and light commercial HVAC, one-stop logistics and cold chain solutions.
On 25 March 2021, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the implementation of the Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) Directives, in which it calls on the European Commission to regulate Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) as well. The resolution is not binding on the Commission but is nevertheless a significant milestone in the efforts to enshrine IAQ into legislation. It confirms there is growing appreciation among legislators of the importance of clean air indoors, reflecting an ambition which Eurovent has been advocating for consistently. Zero Pollution Action Plan As part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission is working on a Zero Pollution Action Plan and reviewing its air pollution legislation, including the AAQ Directives. Eurovent submitted feedback to the Commission on both initiatives, stressing the need to legislate IAQ as well, especially in the context of the review of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). In parallel, the European Parliament drafted an own-initiative report on the implementation of the AAQ Directives to serve as input in the review. Various industry stakeholders were consulted in the development of the report, with legislators showing a keen interest in IAQ. study on air pollution and COVID-19 Earlier this year, the European Parliament had requested a study on air pollution and COVID-19, in which indoor air pollution was a recurring theme as well. The resolution, which was ultimately adopted by the plenary on 25 March, echoes the concerns voiced by Eurovent and its partners, and includes many references to IAQ: Recognition that the legislation covering Indoor Air Quality is fragmented (V.) Request to investigate the consequences of indoor air pollution and possible legislative remedies (5.) Encouragement to set up schemes for the replacement of old residential heating and cooling systems (34.) Call to strengthen public information and awareness campaigns on air pollutants and their impact on human health (57.) Petition to the Commission to regulate IAQ independently or as part of the EPBD (61.) review of the AAQ Directives The publication of the Zero Pollution Action Plan is expected still in Q2 2021. The Commission will launch a public consultation on the review of the AAQ Directives in Q3 2021, with a proposal expected in Q3 2022. The public consultation on the review of the EPBD was launched recently and will remain open until 22 June 2021. The consultation is complemented by a series of 5 stakeholder workshops in which Eurovent is participating. The Commission proposal on the review of the EPBD is expected in Q4 2021.
Pelion, the connected IoT device service provider, and subsidiary of Arm, jointly announced a partnership with Johnson Controls, the pioneer for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings. This partnership will accelerate innovation in connectivity, security and intelligence at the edge for Johnson Controls OpenBlue technology. “This partnership combines Johnson Controls deep domain expertise in healthy buildings with Pelion’s device and edge management capabilities to usher in an era of truly smart, updateable facilities at cloud scale.” said Mike Ellis, chief customer and digital officer for Johnson Controls. Device management security “OpenBlue’s AI capabilities at the edge will consolidate diverse points of intelligence distributed across various floors, sites or even continents into insights and actions, creating an updateable building that can self-heal and evolve over its lifespan.” This innovation mirrors the automotive sector, where software, multiple sensors and AI-trained models have transformed the industry by enabling autonomous driving and software updates that blend data to continually improve vehicle capabilities and experience. Connected device platform Pelion’s connected device platform will standardize the onboarding process" Johnson Controls is applying the concept to the built environment. They will leverage Pelion’s flexible device management capabilities to unite diverse device types and application layers to feed AI models that respond to dynamic workloads. “Johnson Controls has the strategic foresight to rely on a partner to streamline the complexity of IoT device management security and secure firmware updates over the air,” said Hima Mukkamala, CEO of Pelion. “Pelion’s connected device platform will standardize the onboarding process for all systems, including the edge and endpoint devices that run on them, plus offer world-class public key infrastructure for secure and simple integration with third-parties.” Constrained temperature sensors This secure, open, and flexible approach to device management will allow OpenBlue to run any device and hardware configuration, from hardware gateways to constrained temperature sensors. In order to provide sustainable, low cost and low power intelligent processing at the edge, the partnership will utilize proven energy-efficient processors from Pelion’s parent company, Arm, which are a key part of Johnson Controls’ distributed hardware deployment.
To help improve public transit safety and support economic recovery, Thermo King, a strategic brand of global climate innovator Trane Technologies, launches a new air purification solution for buses that continuously purifies the air while the bus is in operation. Thermo King’s Air Purification Solution has been independently tested and proven to be 98% effective in deactivating certain viruses, including a surrogate for the virus that causes COVID-19. Healthier air quality “Our public transit customers understand that riders may feel apprehensive about getting back into their normal routines and taking public transportation,” said Karin De Bondt, president of Thermo King Americas. “Customers and consumers face a wide range of claims in the market regarding air purification. We offer a proven solution, tested and validated by third party experts, that provides safer, healthier air quality for drivers and passengers while in transit.” Thermo King’s exclusive Air Purification Solution is integrated in the bus HVAC unit Thermo King’s exclusive Air Purification Solution is integrated in the bus heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit. The solution leverages a filter, paired with an innovative cleaning technology, to capture and deactivate certain viruses like the virus that causes COVID-19, bacteria and volatile organic compounds as the air is exchanged. It was tested extensively by an independent laboratory following guidelines of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Supporting economic mobility “Public bus transit is a major driver of economic stability in cities across the U.S., with millions of people who rely on it every day,” said De Bondt. “As passengers feel confident about resuming public transport, they will have greater access to jobs and schools, supporting economic mobility across socio-economic groups. Resumption of public transport also lowers the carbon footprint, supporting more sustainable cities.” In 2019, Americans took 9.9 billion trips on public transportation, with 87% of these trips having a direct economic impact on local economies. According to the American Public Transportation Association, at the height of the pandemic in 2020, some cities experienced a nearly 90% decline in bus ridership. Volatile organic compounds Trane Technologies has been at the forefront of helping to create safer environments for homes Trane Technologies has been at the forefront of helping to create safer, healthier, and more efficient environments for homes, buildings and transportation around the world. In 2020, the company introduced the Center for Healthy and Efficient Spaces (CHES) and convened an external advisory council to support these efforts. More on Thermo King’s air purification solution features: Leverages an innovative graphene-enhanced photocatalytic oxidation (GPCO) device coupled with a pre-filter. The pre-filter collects particulate matter while the GPCO device produces oxidants that deactivate various pathogens as the air passes through. Graphene’s properties enhance the performance and safety of the solution beyond what was possible with previous-generation photocatalytic oxidation products. The solution allows operation while passengers are present and does not emit harmful byproducts such as ozone and removes harmful VOCs such as formaldehyde. Additional background on independent tests: Thermo King’s Air Purification Solution was tested at air flow rates that simulate the air changes per hour common in transit buses. The independent laboratory tested multiple types of contaminants, including viruses and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). While not tested against COVID-19 specifically, the lab used MS2 Bacteriophage, a common surrogate used for the SARS-CoV-2 virus known to cause COVID-19. All test results were processed and validated by a third-party industry expert who is also an ASHRAE fellow, and a member of the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force. Thermo King’s solution was proven to be 98% effective within 20 minutes of turning on the device. Thermo King’s Air Purification Solution should be used in conjunction with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health authorities such as face coverings and social distancing.
Clean Air Group Inc. has announced its acquisition of Bioclimatic Air Systems of Delran, New Jersey. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Clean Air Group, based in Fairfield, owns the AtmosAir Solutions bi-polar ionization technology which is installed in HVAC systems and emits ions into the air in occupied spaces. The AtmosAir Solutions technology is used in commercial properties, schools and airports around the world.
Johnson Controls, a pioneer for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, announces it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Silent-Aire, a provider of hyperscale data center cooling and modular critical infrastructure solutions. This all-cash transaction is valued at up to $870 million, including an upfront payment of approximately $630 million and additional payments to be made subject to the achievement of post-closing earnout milestones. Silent-Aire specializes in the design, engineering, and manufacturing of mission-critical custom air handlers and modular data centers for hyperscale cloud and colocation providers. Data center solutions Silent-Aire's portfolio of data center solutions allows for rapid deployment of critical infrastructure in flexible configurations, with a focus on quality, scalability, and speed-to-market. Silent-Aire's revenue for the fiscal year 2021 (May) is expected to approximate $650 million. Johnson Controls has a significant opportunity to increase our focus on the data center vertical" "With Silent-Aire, Johnson Controls has a significant opportunity to increase our focus on the data center vertical and accelerate growth in this attractive end market by combining the strengths of our global scale in manufacturing and service, with leading-edge innovation and a broad portfolio of technologies dedicated to serving hyperscale providers," said George Oliver, Johnson Controls chairman and CEO. "This acquisition perfectly aligns with several of our key strategic growth initiatives and underscores our focus on creating shareholder value," Oliver continued. greater geographic reach "We are incredibly excited to welcome Silent-Aire to the Johnson Controls family as we look to build upon their success of nearly 30 years of innovation, operational expertise, and deep customer relationships." The continuous migration of applications to the cloud (SaaS) has resulted in unprecedented demand for computing power and the rapid expansion of data center infrastructure. Hyperscale providers have unique capabilities in deploying large-scale computing power Over the last several years, this trend has overwhelmingly favored the development of hyperscale cloud and colocation facilities. Hyperscale providers have unique capabilities in deploying large-scale computing power with increasingly more efficient, more rapidly deployed solutions and with greater geographic reach. To accomplish this, hyperscalers require trusted global partners, such as Silent-Aire, that provide highly efficient, sustainable, and reliable products along with consistent and dependable execution. Traditional design barriers "Silent-Aire grew up with the cloud and our DNA translates what it means to be a Hyperscale Data Center Company," said Lindsey Leckelt, Silent-Aire, Co-CEO. "Being an innovative partner with early adopters, we broke through traditional design barriers that pushed energy initiatives in what led to how most Hyperscale Data Centers are cooled and engineered today," he continued. "The culture in our business captures this unique skill set and is scaled through to our engineering, operations, and manufacturing teams to keep up with the explosive growth of cloud providers. Johnson Controls shares our vision to scale as a Data Center Platform business, which will enable us to serve our partners globally." Silent-Aire is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, and has approximately 3,000 employees globally, with a legacy of providing mission-critical data center technology, a commitment to customer-centricity, and a clear focus on sustainability. Fostering environmental excellence The transaction is expected to close in the fiscal third quarter of 2021 "Sustainability has been a major focus as we've grown our family business throughout our history," added Dan Leckelt, Silent-Aire, Co-CEO. "Maintaining our growth to match our customers' demands has taken us from 30 employees to 3,000 over this period," Leckelt continued. "Through this growth, our global expansion to Europe provided a glimpse of the opportunity the rest of the world has to offer. As a measure of continuing long-term sustainability for our customers and employees; while pushing technological advances fostering environmental excellence, a partnership with Johnson Controls Inc. provides Silent-Aire the best opportunity to succeed." Subject to the receipt of regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in the fiscal third quarter of 2021. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive and add $0.07 to $0.09 to Johnson Controls adjusted EPS from continuing operations in fiscal 2022.
In what can only be described as a very turbulent year, many businesses have had to shut their doors and have all but forgotten about the general upkeep of their sites. With priorities shifted to keeping companies afloat and staff employed, maintenance and servicing has taken a backseat, and many systems will be deteriorating unnoticed. It goes without saying that one of the first tasks that employers will have to tackle when returning to work is a deep clean. As we are still in the throes of a pandemic, a clean and disinfected workplace is the number one priority that needs to be ensured, before any staff can be welcomed back to work. This should be closely followed by maintenance of the site’s equipment. Importance of regular HVAC maintenance Regular HVAC maintenance is extremely important as it keeps systems performing efficiently and effectively Regular HVAC maintenance is extremely important as it keeps systems performing efficiently and effectively. The nature of HVAC maintenance does change depending on the time of year, and with some sites being shut for months and through different seasons, managers will need to review their current equipment to ensure it is compliant and working correctly as soon as possible as signs of normality start returning and facilities begin to reopen. While warehouses and factories may have still been operating in some capacity over the last 12 months, many office buildings have seen little to no employees for more than a year in some cases, therefore, risking deterioration and even damage to their systems going unnoticed and untreated. But with so many pieces of equipment at each site, it is often hard to know where to start and what to prioritize. Following HVAC manufacturer’s recommendations In order for businesses to keep functioning as best as they can and to avoid any more disruption, those in charge of maintenance and servicing need to be educated on how the conditions of a system affects the type of work it needs. Manufacturer’s recommendations should also be taken into account. To help define what these are and how to approach them, mechanical and electrical engineers recommend: The coils and pipes in HVAC equipment that are responsible for heat transfer are checked regularly, because if the equipment gets dirty, it won’t transfer heat and energy as well. Checking controls annually to ensure that the HVAC system is running properly, as control calibration can alter. By scheduling regular check-ups, accurate operation is maintained. Maintaining equipment with fans quarterly to maximize longevity. Three key areas include monitoring the impellers, belts and bearings for any dirt, wear and tear, friction or erosion. Keeping an eye on filters, as when they are clogged, it increases the pressure drop in a system, which makes fans work harder to maintain the same airflow. A quarterly clean is usually sufficient for most filters. This is also true of strainers in systems. Optimizing HVAC and electrical equipment With spring now upon us, businesses need to optimize their HVAC and electrical equipment for maximum efficiency With spring now upon us, businesses need to optimize their HVAC and electrical equipment for maximum efficiency. This includes reviewing the sequence of operations for a morning warm up and cool down. However, it’s important to remember that because of prolonged closures over the last 12 months, autumn and winter checks, and in some cases, even summer checks were not able to be carried out in 2020, so before the spring work begins, backdating the maintenance is a good place to start. Ensuring buildings’ energy efficiency With the help of experts, HVAC maintenance doesn’t have to be time-consuming and overwhelming, but it’s a critical part of maintaining an energy-efficient building that is both comfortable and reliable. With regular servicing and some basic knowledge of what is required, sites can maintain optimum efficiency all year round. Noise complaints can also be an issue, if HVAC maintenance isn’t carried out regularly. Spring is a good time for businesses to perform services on their equipment, prior to the summer months starting and should be used to ensure that condenser coils and air handler filters are both clean. The dirtier the equipment, the noisier and less efficient it becomes, which is bad news for any business. Preparing buildings for staff returning to work When a building is returning to normal occupancy after a lengthy closure, additional checks must be considered before reopening is discussed. When a building is initially mothballed, it must be prepared for long term vacancy, but many businesses will not have had this opportunity before the national lockdown, which basically entails that these checks will not have been carried out. After a building becomes unoccupied, it is not the case that maintenance activity should also stop After a building becomes unoccupied, it is not the case that maintenance activity should also stop. At the very least, the frequency of existing planned maintenance will change, but in some cases, more maintenance tasks are required in order to keep the site ticking over. This includes flushing of water systems, Legionella testing and insurance inspections to keep the property functional and compliant. Countering health and safety issues As the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted across the United Kingdom and many businesses are gradually reopening, it will present health and safety problems that have not been faced before and will very likely see a surge in services and maintenance being required. With this in mind, it is vital that maintenance becomes a priority as normal service is resumed to not only ensure efficiency, but also to make sure that no employee or visitor to a site is put in danger. Emerging from a surreal 12 months, there is no doubt that companies will still face challenges, so it is crucial that avoidable maintenance problems do not become one of them, so don’t delay in booking routine checks.
As part of the UK Government’s stated commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, gas boilers, along with other fossil-fuel burning boilers, are to be banned in newbuild homes from 2025 under the Future Homes Standard. Although the ban has received a widespread welcome in principle, there has been criticism. Environmental groups have criticized the ban for not going far enough in tacking the escalating climate crisis, and the construction and home-building industries have criticized it for the challenges it brings in achieving a viable home-heating alternative in such a short space of time. Placing significant demand Despite the criticism, the ban doesn’t go far enough; applying to newbuild homes only, with, as yet, no plans to phase out gas heating in existing homes. New heating technology has to be ready to roll out before 2025, whether it’s to 160,000 homes per year (the annual approximate figure of new homes built) or the UK’s entire housing stock of 29 million. Despite the criticism, the ban doesn’t go far enough; applying to newbuild homes only The Home Builders Federation, in reaction to the Future Homes Standard, has said, “It’s going to be a challenge and a huge area of work.” And it is widely acknowledged there is significant demand placed on the building and HVAC industries to produce a long-term, viable solution. Challenges include the creation of new, cost-effective designs of energy infrastructures, and implementation in time for the short deadline of less than four years away. Gas boiler heating systems From energy design engineers to developers, suppliers, and energy companies, everyone in the supply chain is affected in delivering a solution that UK homeowners can afford and that developers can supply. The communications challenge also cannot be underestimated, to bring along the public to the reality that homes cannot, ultimately, continue to be heated by the gas boilers they are so familiar with. The most likely low-carbon alternative to gas boiler heating systems is generally acknowledged to be heat pumps and heat networks, powered by renewables. It has been estimated by the Committee on Climate Change that by 2030 there will be 2.5 million heat pumps in new homes. Heat pumps offer comparable heating power to gas boilers and are powered by low-carbon electricity. Heat pumps have great potential for saving carbon; approximately 25-85 tCO2 per home over an average lifetime, reducing carbon emissions by 90%. Existing gas system But hydrogen is expensive to produce and although the existing gas system could be readily used for supply But for heat pumps to provide the level of warmth, particular in winter, and summer, weather in the UK, their effectiveness relies on excellent insulation, including triple glazing and adaptations to walls, floors, and ceilings. And while there has been a drive to get our draughty homes better insulated in the UK in recent years, with various grants and funding, this will be particularly crucial for newbuilds going forward. Hydrogen boilers could be an alternative to gas boilers. Hydrogen produces no emissions when burnt, only water and heat. But hydrogen is expensive to produce and although the existing gas system could be readily used for supply, and by consumers already familiar with a boiler system, it is not yet seen as a full solution to the replacement of gas. Technically qualified workers Trials are due to be carried out in the north-east with hydrogen-ready boilers. But the impending deadline and challenge for production and systems to be ready and tested, for mass implementation is unrealistic. Even before the Future Homes Standard was announced, there was an acknowledged shortage of skills. Engineering UK, in a recent survey, found that an additional 1.8 million engineers and technically qualified workers would be needed by 2025 in order to meet demand. But the impending deadline and challenge for production and systems to be ready and tested Nearly a third of HVAC firms have declared a skills shortage, with many feeling there is a crisis in the sector of sufficient qualified workers who can satisfy the new regulations. Now the demand is set to rise with the ban, as well as Brexit. A large proportion of qualified HVAC workers are sourced from the EU, further compounding the crisis of the skills shortage already faced. Zero-Carbon technologies From imagining life without a gas boiler to a young person seeing their future career in engineering and renewable energy, effective communications and campaigns could go a long way. Targeted lifestyle campaigns, with positive, compelling case studies of homes of the future being powered by green, zero-carbon technologies could help to drive the momentum for innovation from a domestic base. Talent strategies could also combat the reality of an ageing and diminishing workforce in HVAC and other sectors. It’s vital now, more than ever, that young people see a career in renewable and eco-living technology as, not only rewarding but futuristic, global, and sophisticated. Any alternative to gas heating has to be affordable for UK households, and therefore for housing developers to adopt. Fuel poverty is a real risk. Energy-Saving measures The right help needs to be in place to support the development and take-up of the alternative According to the Committee on Climate Change, it costs £4,800 to install low-carbon heating in a new home, but £26,300 in an existing house while there are various funding initiatives for households adopting energy-saving measures, the right help needs to be in place to support the development and take-up of the alternative. Not just for newbuild homeowners, but beyond 2025 when existing households are called upon to switch. The Home Builders Federation have said of the Future Homes Standard, “Ambitious deadlines pose enormous challenges for all parties involved including developers, suppliers, energy companies in terms of skills, design, energy infrastructure and the supply chain.” Low-Carbon heating technology But there is also a stated dedication to achieving what can be realistically achieved, proving that there is a genuine commitment to ensuring our brighter, cleaner future and planet with low-carbon heating technology. The ultimate challenge now will be in Government, agencies, and industry working together, in a dedicated way, to be realistic about, and tackle the challenges across the board so the right solution for our home-heating future can be achieved, in time, and ready for a rollout for the new homes we build from 2025.
With the roadmap laid out for the government to guide us out of lockdown, the end of the pandemic seems as though it could be in sight. However, HVAC units remain outdated in hotels, hospitals, schools, and offices and there is a worry that COVID-19 can still spread quickly and easily through air vents, mitigating the effects of lockdowns and vaccinations. Dr. Rhys Thomas, Chief Scientific Officer at infection mitigation specialist PP-L and a frontline NHS doctor, says that the government’s neglect of using HVAC solutions to reduce transmission is a major oversight. Airborne transmission indoors By failing to follow the lead of other nations that are now recognizing the importance of ventilation in relation to the airborne nature of the virus, the UK’s approach hasn’t been as comprehensive or as forceful as it could be, with quietly introduced, piecemeal changes to regulations being too little, too late. At the moment, some governments don’t want to come out and admit that COVID-19 is an airborne hazard and that their failure to recognize it as such has led to higher infection and mortality rates and suffered even greater impacts from new variants. Research shows that 80% of the spread of the virus is through airborne transmission indoors– the inhalation of infected droplets that are moving around in the room’s air currents or ventilation systems– which a two-meter distance or the opening of the window is unlikely to combat. New quarantine hotels The UK was geared up for an influenza-like pandemic rather than an airborne one The airborne nature of COVID-19 is what has caught governments off guard and meant we are still playing catch-up while new variants are starting to appear, which was also always to be expected. In terms of preparedness, the UK was geared up for an influenza-like pandemic rather than an airborne one, such as the challenge posed by a SARS coronavirus. As with all airborne illnesses, the greatest risk of transmission is indoors and in confined spaces such as public transport, office buildings, factories, and even potentially the new quarantine hotels which are being introduced to prevent the spread of the virus. The governments ‘hands, face, space’ messaging cover the opening of windows to help with airflow, but the reality is much more complex. Latest SARS Coronavirus The risk of infection indoors is vastly higher than outside, and current advice simply isn’t enough. There’s a perception – even in hospitals – that fresh air is clean air. I’ve been shocked to see hospitals that I’ve visited assuming that simply opening a window is enough. That is simply not the case – the air needs to be disinfected by ultraviolet light for it to be clean enough to prevent the spread of coronaviruses. I saw this in practice in the first SARS pandemic in 2003, where UV was used and proved incredibly effective in South East Asian hospitals once again against the latest SARS Coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The spread of the virus around the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which hit global headlines in January 2020 when more than 700 passengers and crew tested positive for COVID-19, has become a case-in-point for the theory behind the airborne transmission. Killing airborne contaminants Part F of the Building Regulations on ventilation has been updated and is out to consultation Researchers from Harvard and the Illinois Institute of Technology developed a computer model of the cruise ship outbreak, which found that the virus spread most readily in microscopic droplets light enough to linger in the air. The research added to the pressure already being placed on the World Health Organization to recognize the airborne dangers of the virus, including an open letter signed by more than 200 experts. The key point here is that there has been some level of recognition from various government departments that the virus is airborne, and they have mitigated accordingly. Part F of the Building Regulations on ventilation has been updated and is out to consultation, and the Health and Safety Executive’s COVID-Secure Guidance for the Workplace on Ventilation has also been quietly updated in recent weeks to recommend the use of ultraviolet air filtration systems, which are proven to kill airborne contaminants. Key communication issue These UK regulations are now, at last, starting to get more aligned to other global institutions’ recommendations such at the renowned Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who support the importance of ventilation and UV devices to significantly reduce infection risk. This is a positive step, but the key communication issue is that if the government don’t fully endorse and be more vocal about the airborne threat of COVID-19, and regulatory changes being made, then neither will the wider public. This is a huge issue because the government is already preparing for this virus to be around in some form for many years to come. With 40 million doses of vaccine set to arrive in 2022 and an overall supply line that is set to last until 2025, it’s clear that there is an acknowledgment that this will be a long fight. The SAGE scientists like Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance are also referring to this virus as endemic now. Long-Term readiness The government is already building long-term readiness and diluting the risks by using different suppliers With 407 million doses of vaccine on order, the government is already building long-term readiness and diluting the risks by using different suppliers, but without the acknowledgment of the airborne risks, this can only do so much – it needs to be a joined-up, blended approach. Prevention is better than the alternative because in this case, there is unlikely to be a cure for a virus that spreads and mutates at the rate this one does. Trying to keep ahead of this virus is a dangerous game. It is incredibly adaptable and there is an awful lot of guesswork about predicting the spread and virulence of new and more easily spread strains. Ongoing lockdowns are simply not an option and are increasingly ineffective as people struggle with the monotony and isolation they bring. We need to get on the front foot and not only rely purely on medicine to help solve this crisis. Air filtration systems Engineered solutions like UV-C (also known as UVGI) and air filtration systems are needed wherever possible to help cut this virus at the knees and stop transmission in the first instance. These solutions are now being brought in by several industries and many countries around the world are specifically recommending them because they are recognizing that the guidelines in their current form aren’t doing enough. Those industries such as food manufacturing and production that rely on having people on the ground and in their factories are having to look beyond what they are advised and finding solutions that actually do work. Hospitals, schools, and hotels are the next places that need to be looking at this kind of response, especially with the government’s travel regulations meaning that potentially infected travelers are being kept in potentially inadequately ventilated spaces that could actually accelerate contagion spread to other travelers or staff. Action needs to be taken now, or we risk the further unnecessary spread of this dangerous pathogen.
The most likely scenario for the next 12 months in the United Kingdom is far lower risk of serious COVID-19 illness due to the vaccine. However, there will be big swings in R rates, and there is uncertainty about how effective vaccines will be against COVID variants. The ‘R’ rate is the number of people one infected person will pass a virus on to, on average. As the scenario plays out, and more companies open for business, issues of indoor air quality will continue to be top of mind. The UK cannot stay in lockdown forever, so the big question becomes: What will happen when R rates rise again? Significant illness transmission “People have become far more concerned about building safety issues because we are dealing with a deadly virus that transmits when people don’t realize they have it,” says Andrew Hobbs, CEO and founder of Surrey-based air quality and HVAC specialists Better Indoors. HAIs, including COVID, are still a major issue in National Health Service hospitals The guidance of increasing ventilation air changes and using passive systems like filters and UV has been the only mitigation for dealing with indoor air quality (IAQ) issues for many years, yet homes and offices still allow significant illness transmission, says Hobbs. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), including COVID, are still a major issue in National Health Service hospitals in the UK, and R rates generally rise when physical distancing measures are relaxed. Air purification solutions “It is because ventilation and passive processes do not destroy viruses at the point of transmission and until we introduce technologies that do, we will always be stuck in this loop,” says Hobbs. Better Indoors works to create the safest possible indoor environments for homes, offices, factories and on transport. Their active air purification solutions destroy viral emissions at the point of transmission – an essential feature for controlling indoor R rates, according to the company. “We are the UK’s exclusive distributor of unique technology that has been around for over 20 years and is used in millions of applications around the world,” said Hobbs. “This attribute is proving to be a key differentiator as firms race to futureproof their buildings and make their indoor spaces as safe as possible for staff and customers.” Master exclusive distributor Better Indoors is a master exclusive distributor to RGF Environmental Inc. Better Indoors is a master exclusive distributor to RGF Environmental Inc. of the United States, with a territory in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. Better Indoors supports agents and wholesalers, providing training and education on how to specify, install and provide aftersales services. They also have a strong relationship with various operating businesses of Volution plc for their ventilation products. Passive technologies have been strongly promoted, as have ionization-only technologies. Less well promoted have been RGF Environmental’s photohydroionisation (PHI) and Reflective Electro Magnetic Energy (REME) technologies, which have had major impact where they have been installed. Photohydroionisation mimics nature’s air cleaning process indoors by creating an equilibrium concentration of ionized hydrogen peroxide molecules throughout the indoor space. More effective process These molecules react with viruses on contact, revert to water vapor and oxygen afterwards, and are replaced with new ones from the units. The process is continuous, safe and effective, says Hobbs. REME units contain an additional process of bipolarionization for particulate agglomeration also. Products include in-duct, in-AC units and standalone, plus individual units containing individual technology pieces to complement existing infrastructures. Our technology is the safest for COVID and every single future virus that comes along" Not all potential technologies have been tested in the fight against the novel coronavirus. If they had, the resulting guidance should include technologies that kill the virus at the point of transmission, which are safe and proven with millions of users. “Our technology is the safest for COVID and every single future virus that comes along,” says Hobbs. “You cannot get a safer more effective process than one that kills a virus at the point of transmission that is not dependent on the actions of behaviors of anyone or anything.” Offering maximum protection “We have learned the main route for viral illness transmission is in the air,” says Hobbs. “It is therefore essential that we future-proof our buildings and indoor spaces to the best extent possible so they offer maximum protection for when the next deadly pathogen comes along but also to minimize common illnesses going forward. The best possible protections come from IAQ processes that physically destroy viral emissions at the point of transmission rather than relying on moving it somewhere first like all filter and UV processes.” There are very few testing techniques that properly test certain technologies" One of the biggest misconceptions in IAQ is the difference between whether a particular passive IAQ process actually works and the limitations of how it works, Hobbs notes. “This is constantly misrepresented, misunderstood, and there are very few testing techniques that properly test certain technologies.” Technologies under consideration For example, the effect and performance of UV technologies are significantly limited by line of sight, inverse square law and dwell time, but this is rarely if ever mentioned, he adds. “Yes, it works but only if certain severely limiting conditions are met,” says Hobbs. “Furthermore, the industry-accepted testing metrics are designed for passives and not active systems, and this needs to be addressed also.” None of the other new technologies under consideration, such as Far UV, will be able to destroy the virus at the point of transmission because of their already known physical limitations. “We have been arguing for months that our active technology must be made mandatory for indoor spaces because it is the only method that can stop R rate rises regardless of which variant we have,” says Hobbs.
Innovation is a driving force behind most industries, including HVAC. Keeping up with industry research, and looking toward the future, helps HVAC professionals to anticipate upcoming changes to the industry, and to be prepared when they happen. There is no shortage of innovation in the sphere of HVAC. I recently came across some interesting designs (and one product already on the market!) that provide a useful glimpse into the types of projects that may shape the HVAC industry of tomorrow. Large-Scale Air Purification System A new purification system on the horizon provides higher levels of purification and sanitation for large-scale applications such as hotels and other big businesses. It also seeks to protect HVAC service employees from exposure to viruses when they service a system. Rather than filter out viruses, the system destroys them with photocatalysis, which uses a semi-conductor to create radicals to zap the viruses. Photocatalysis has been around for decades but is only now becoming refined enough to provide a marketable solution. Promethium, the company seeking to bring the filtration to market, evolved from the work of two the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) students, and a University of California (UC) Berkeley graduate. The technology can be used in several ways – from water purification to energy generation – but purifying air is the first priority. Each unit is customized for a specific application, but a “basic” standard unit starts at around $10,000 and can clean 40,000 square feet of space, enough for a casino gaming floor, for example. The project won $250,000 in a contest sponsored by UNLV’s Lee Business School and has also signed a research agreement with Purdue University. It should be ready to go to market this year. Dual-Mode Heating and Cooling Device Duke University is demonstrating the heating and cooling capabilities of nanomaterials, including a dual-mode heating and cooling device that could lower HVAC energy costs by nearly 20% in the United States if widely deployed. The invention combines mechanics and materials science to either harness or expels certain wavelengths of light. Depending on conditions, rollers move a nanomaterial sheet back and forth to expose either heat-trapping materials on one half or cooling materials on the other. Designed at the nanoscale, one material absorbs the sun’s energy and traps existing heat, while the other reflects light and allows heat to escape. Flair’s Smart Vents are DIY devices that fit into existing floor and wall register slots in standard sizes The cooling portion of the sheet has ultra-thin silver film covered by an even thinner layer of clear silicon. Together, they reflect the sun’s rays like a mirror. The unique properties of the materials also convert energy into mid-range infrared light, which does not interact with the gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere and easily passes into space after it is emitted. For heating, an ultra-thin layer of copper is topped by a layer of zinc-copper nanoparticles, which interact with the copper beneath them to trap light onto the surface, thus absorbing more than 93% of the sunlight’s heat. The “reversible thermal contact” allows users to switch between two modes of heating or cooling. The device would be especially useful in the world’s temperate climate zones that require both heating and cooling during the year – and sometimes requires both within a single 24-hour period. Do-It-Yourself Smart Vents Flair’s Smart Vents are do-it-yourself (DIY) devices that fit into existing floor and wall register slots in standard sizes. The vents control airflow across individual rooms to boost efficiency. Electronics for the low-profile devices are contained in a casing that rests under the floor level. They can be hard-wired for power or can use two C batteries. The Smart Vents work with smart thermostats and/or with Flair’s Puck cylindrical devices that include temperature control and monitoring. The Smart Vents coordinate their open/shut status depending on temperature needs. For example, the vents can be used to equalize the temperature and route heating and cooling intelligently. It can provide a solution if one room is too cold when cooling or too hot when heating. The approach is aimed at approximating the results of zoned HVAC systems at much lower costs and to replace existing wall ducts.
The cruise ship industry has cracked the code on keeping passengers and crew safe from the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread, including changes to on-board HVAC systems to use more outside air and to filter out particles as small as the novel coronavirus. The industry, which voluntarily suspended worldwide operations at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, under the guidance of international and national health authorities, plans to resume worldwide operations fully later in 2021. Health protocols to mitigate COVID-19 risk The cruise ship industry resumed sailing in parts of Europe, Asia and South Pacific in July 2020 The cruise ship industry resumed sailing in parts of Europe, Asia and South Pacific in July 2020 and completed more than 200 sailings by the end of 2020. The success of these early sailings demonstrated the effectiveness of new protocols to mitigate risk of COVID-19 among passengers, crews and at destinations. The industry will resume operation in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and elsewhere in 2021. Cruise operators, such as Royal Caribbean, have implemented new HVAC systems as part of the protocols. Supplying 100% fresh and filtered air Royal Caribbean says its HVAC system now continuously supplies 100% fresh and filtered air from outdoors to all indoor spaces. There is a total air change up to 12 times an hour in staterooms and about 15 changes per hour in large public spaces. Fan coil units provide an extra layer of protection in local spaces, such as public venues and staterooms, continuously scrubbing the air of pathogens and using MERV 13 filters to capture aerosols between 1.0 and 3.0 microns with 90% efficacy. Bio-aerosol assessment study Royal Caribbean participated in a bio-aerosol assessment of its ‘Oasis of the Seas’ ship by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The study involved releasing billions of 1-micron aerosol-sized microspheres, each containing a uniquely DNA-barcoded inert virus surrogate, at pre-selected spaces throughout the ship. The test was intended to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the vessel’s indoor air management strategies and to understand spread of aerosols through the HVAC system. Low risk of cross-contamination of air Testing results led to minimal changes, such as ensuring air exchanges are close to hospital standards and using MERV 13 filters Over a week aboard the Oasis of the Seas, scientists released billions of the individually tagged microspheres and then tracked where they went and how long they lingered in the air, and on surfaces. Testing results led to minimal changes, such as ensuring air exchanges are close to hospital standards and using MERV 13 filters. The study confirmed that cross-contamination of air between adjacent public spaces is extremely low and undetectable in most test cases. Royal Caribbean’s Healthy Sail Center determined seven important elements the cruise line can do to manage indoor air and keep it clean. These elements include: Enhanced filtration to the highest level possible Optimize airflow patterns Use negative pressurization in isolation rooms Minimize unfiltered, re-circulated air Increase number of air changes per hour Use portable HEPA filters in congregate areas Maximize outdoor functions and physical distancing Facilitating return to operation of cruise ships At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, between March 1 and July 10, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered nearly 3,000 cases of COVID -19 or suspected COVID-19 infections and 34 deaths across 123 cruise ships. In October 2020, the CDC lifted its no-sail order, laying out guidelines for big-ship cruising to resume operations in U.S. waters. The Cruise Lines International Association (CIA), which represents 95% of the cruise ship industry, has said its members will return when the time is right and that timing will be based on factors, including input from scientists and medical experts. Cruise companies also have new technologies available to them now. For example, the Italian company, Integra provides an air sanitizer that uses an odorless disinfectant to combat airborne illnesses. It can be installed in 15 minutes.
Fish and chip shop supplier Henry Colbeck has taken delivery of three new 26-tonne MAN rigid trucks, each mounted with a Carrier Transicold Supra® 750 unit. Carrier Transicold is a part of Carrier, a pioneering global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. The new MAN TGS trucks, which join Henry Colbeck’s Coatbridge operation, replace older vehicles and feature bespoke bodies from Gray & Adams with separate access points to individual storage sections. The consistent performance and reliability of Carrier Transicold’s Supra 750 unit, in conjunction with excellent aftersales support, was key to securing the order and moving Henry Colbeck closer to being an all-Carrier fleet. Supra 750 “When I joined the company, my main focus was to review and improve efficiencies across the business,” said Hugh O’Brien, Operations Director, Henry Colbeck. “We were running fridges from a range of manufacturers, which made keeping them all operational complicated and expensive. We took our first Carrier unit in 2013 and haven’t looked back – their impressive reliability has allowed us to consolidate our fleet in Scotland; 12 of the 13 rigids operating out of Coatbridge are now Carrier-cooled, and we’ll be making it 13 as soon as we can.” The powerful Supra 750 units provide constant airflow to the compartments in the body, independent of engine speed, offering both rapid pull-down and accurate set point control. This allows Henry Colbeck to transport a wide range of chilled or frozen products to fish and chip shops, as well as restaurants, across Scotland. The new vehicles also feature Carrier Transicold’s DataCOLD™ 600 temperature recorder, which provides easy access to a wealth of information on the performance of the units. refrigerated commercial vehicle The new vehicles join Henry Colbeck’s total refrigerated commercial vehicle fleet of 33 similar MAN rigids “What makes the Supra stand out from the crowd is the level of control it gives us, particularly when it comes to maintaining the integrity of the cold chain. This is something our customers have to prove when they face any health and safety inspections, so having the ability to print the relevant data directly from the unit thanks to the DataCOLD system is superb,” added O’Brien. The new vehicles join Henry Colbeck’s total refrigerated commercial vehicle fleet of 33 similar 26-tonne MAN rigids, split between the company’s Coatbridge site and its main base in Gateshead. comprehensive everCOLD™ The new rigids will be in operation for five years, working five days per week and are expected to clock up around 70,000 miles per year. The Supra units are each backed by Carrier Transicold’s comprehensive everCOLD™ fixed cost full-service maintenance package, which includes annual temperature control testing and certification, full regulatory checks, and access to the company’s oneCALL™ 24/7 incident management service. Now a fourth-generation family business, Henry Colbeck was founded in 1893 and is the oldest fish and chip shop supplier in the UK. The company’s Coatbridge site opened in 1998, allowing Henry Colbeck to supply more than 2,000 customers across the north of England and Scotland.
Carrier Commercial Refrigeration won orders in different countries in Europe to supply warehouse refrigeration systems for critical COVID-19 vaccine cold storage. While details of the projects are not being disclosed, Carrier Commercial Refrigeration is providing the critical temperature control components for a safe, effective cold chain thanks to its turnkey capability. Carrier Commercial Refrigeration is a part of Carrier Global Corporation (NYSE: CARR), the leading global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. Sensitivity of pharmaceuticals and vaccines requires an accurate control of the temperature throughout the cold chain to maintain efficacy. Carrier Commercial Refrigeration has a long track record of warehouse installations and a comprehensive line of refrigeration systems for the safe storage of pharmaceuticals, including vaccines. warehouse applications Key differentiators of Carrier’s warehouse applications: Precise temperature control up to +/-2 Kelvin 24/7 Remote monitoring experts on stand-by to react to potential alarms 760+ technicians throughout Europe to ensure installation and maintenance “Maintaining the temperature integrity of pharmaceuticals and vaccines is critical. Our turnkey approach ensures customers have full control over their storage cold chain,” said David Moon, President, Carrier Commercial Refrigeration. “From project design to rapid installation and operations follow-up, Carrier experts are on standby to support these special installations.” Ensuring strong control of the pharmaceuticals cold chain starts from the design phase. Carrier’s refrigeration experts have a deep understanding of the installation needs of customers. Carrier has a robust and reliable range of refrigeration units for warehousing applications that allow for the right product selection according the specificities of each site: the right refrigeration output for the designated surface, positive or negative temperatures to reach until -45°C, precise temperature control and redundancy when needed, all managed by user-friendly and flexible controllers. centralized remote monitoring service Carrier Commercial Refrigeration will continue to work with customers for other potential solutions Once the design phase is finalized, Carrier expert field teams bring the installation to life. The teams also provide support and maintenance in a timely manner thanks to the large geographical coverage, providing refrigeration technicians in many European countries. Carrier also offers a centralized remote monitoring service with refrigeration experts on standby 24/7 to react to potential alarms. This capability is especially important for critical installations such as those storing pharmaceuticals or vaccines, which can benefit from real-time monitoring. Carrier Commercial Refrigeration will continue to work with customers for other potential solutions that could further contribute to a healthier, safer and more effective cold chain.
Manteca Unified School District plans to use OptiClean air scrubbers in every classroom to provide improved indoor air quality across its facilities To prepare for its facilities fully reopening to students and staff, northern California’s Manteca Unified School District has installed 1,500 Carrier OptiClean™ Dual-Mode Air Scrubber & Negative Air Machines to purify the air in classrooms across its 30 schools. OptiClean The OptiClean units will help to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) for the district, as its more than 27,000 students, teachers and staff return to campuses. Carrier is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the pioneering global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. “We’ve spent the last several months analyzing every facet of our organization in order to develop a comprehensive strategy designed to create a healthier environment for our students and staff,” said Dr. Clark Burke, Superintendent, Manteca Unified School District. “The air quality in our area is often affected by the extensive local agricultural industry and lately, regional wildfires have also contributed to poor air quality. After reviewing a number of indoor air quality solutions available, we are confident that the OptiClean product is the right fit for our needs. By placing an OptiClean unit in each classroom, we feel that we’ll not only help improve our IAQ, but also provide peace of mind to our students, their parents and staff.” indoor air quality Manteca Unified School District is one of several to choose OptiClean equipment as part of its IAQ solution “Schools and school districts continue to evaluate the IAQ of their facilities and what can be done to help improve those environments for their students and staff,” said Justin Keppy, President, NA Residential & Light Commercial, Carrier. “We’re pleased to be working with Manteca Unified School District by providing one part of the solution for healthier and safer indoor environments. Our OptiClean units can help reduce contaminants in classroom air and inspire confidence for parents, students, teachers and staff as school districts safely return to in-person learning.” Manteca Unified School District is one of several in California to choose OptiClean equipment as part of its IAQ solution. Among others are southern California’s San Bernardino City Unified School District and Alvord Unified School District. The two recently purchased 3,700 and 1,500 units respectively, in anticipation of the return of their collective 80,000 students, teachers and staff. OptiClean Air Scrubber The OptiClean Dual-Mode Air Scrubber & Negative Air Machine has been named one of TIME’s 100 Best Inventions of 2020. It was developed through rapid innovation in early 2020 to help support infectious isolation rooms in hospitals as a negative air machine. TIME featured the OptiClean Air Scrubber & Negative Air Machine in the Medical Care category of its prestigious annual list that recognizes 100 ground-breaking inventions that are making the world better and smarter. OptiClean is one of a number of solutions offered through Carrier's Healthy Buildings Program, which was recently expanded to help K-12 students, teachers and staff safety return to in-school instruction. The new BluEdge K-12 program provides an outcome-based approach to help schools easily select the best IAQ kits for their needs, with attractive pricing and easier implementation.
Carrier Commercial Service secured a three-year service agreement with Jefferson Regional Medical Center (JRMC) in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Under the BluEdge™ Elite service agreement, Carrier will maintain more than 100 heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) assets totaling 2,500 tons of cooling, as well as the hospital’s Carrier i-Vu® Building Automation System. Carrier is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the pioneering global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. The service agreement is for a three-year period and is the most comprehensive package Carrier Commercial Service offers to help ensure building comfort, efficiency and support, which will help meet the medical center’s operational goals. BluEdge The BluEdge service platform is Carrier’s new service and aftermarket offering that provides customers superior service throughout the lifecycle of their HVAC equipment. Through a deep understanding of customer needs and ongoing investments in cutting edge digital tools, BluEdge can help customers achieve enhanced equipment efficiency and performance – key components of Carrier’s Healthy Buildings Program. They understand how imperative it is for our equipment to remain online and effective" “Working with Carrier Commercial Service has been a true collaboration with the team taking into account what is best for our facility,” said Danny Holcomb, Facilities Manager, JRMC. “They understand how imperative it is for our equipment to remain online and effective. Choosing the Elite level of service was the ultimate peace of mind for the critical work we do.” Jefferson Regional Medical Center serves as the major referral center for an 11-county area of South Arkansas, with a patient base of approximately 220,000. remote monitoring “We’re proud to offer our highest level of service to JRMC,” said Gary H. Bobb, Vice President, Global Aftermarket, Commercial HVAC, Carrier. “Predictive analytics, continuous emergency support, remote monitoring and Carrier® SMART Service are the pillars of our successful service solution. Our team of highly-trained technicians are integrated into the facility and committed to keeping the building healthy and efficient.” Carrier’s Commercial Service organization offers building solution assessments, modernization projects and factory-certified service for all brands of equipment.
Robotic kiosks that provide automated and contactless dispensing of groceries for consumers are being sustainably refrigerated by Carrier Transicold NaturaLINE® units, the container refrigeration systems to use the natural refrigerant carbon dioxide (R-744). Carrier Transicold is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the pioneering global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. Typically used on marine shipping containers to protect perishables and frozen food shipped between continents, NaturaLINE units are also proven performers on land. The units store perishables and now transfer groceries directly from retailer to consumer through an advanced kiosk made by Estonian robotics innovator Cleveron. Cleveron 501 kiosk For more than a decade, Cleveron has developed “click and collect” automated solutions for a variety of applications, and the grocery kiosk is among its newest. At a time when consumers’ health and safety is the highest priority, the Cleveron 501 kiosk offers a convenient and touchless 24/7 alternative to in-store shopping or pickup, as well as home delivery. Carrier was selected as our preferred partner because of its long history in the field of refrigeration" The 20-foot and 40-foot long refrigerated shipping containers equipped with NaturaLINE units were a natural choice for the Cleveron 501 application, according to Mihkel Ilp, Chief Operating Officer, Cleveron. “We realized that combining refrigerated shipping containers and our robotics would enable us to create a product that is easy to transport and quick to install, and that also delivers solid cooling and withstands the forces of nature,” Ilp said. “Carrier was selected as our preferred partner because of its long history in the field of refrigeration and shipping containers, and because Carrier offers the NaturaLINE system with R-744 refrigerant.” ultra-low Global Warming Potential NaturaLINE unit’s natural refrigerant has an ultra-low Global Warming Potential (GWP) value of 1, the lowest among all other container system refrigerants currently in use, which have GWPs ranging from hundreds to thousands of times greater. Ilp added NaturaLINE’s sustainability appeals to its customers, many of which are large multi-national grocery retailers with significant green initiatives, working toward carbon neutrality. When the customer arrives, a code is scanned from their phone, and the kiosk quickly dispenses their order NaturaLINE units are recognized for tight temperature control, a factor that is important given the variety of locations where Cleveron 501 kiosks are located. They can be installed in parking lots near grocery/retail operations, near office buildings, in busy city centers and other locations where retail space is scarce or expensive. temperature-controlled compartment The system is easy to use. Customers place orders online and are given a time for pickup. The retailer then picks, bags and places frozen and perishable items in totes that the Cleveron 501 kiosk automatically stores in the appropriate temperature-controlled compartment. When the customer arrives, a code is scanned from their phone, and the kiosk quickly dispenses their order. To date, Cleveron 501 kiosks using Carrier Transicold’s NaturaLINE units have been deployed throughout Europe in grocery/retail environments, sharing a footprint with sustainable in-store R-744-based systems by Carrier Commercial Refrigeration Europe. Cleveron 501 systems have also been deployed in the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Supporting Cleveron’s touchless grocery kiosk application, the NaturaLINE unit is part of Carrier’s Healthy, Safe, Sustainable Cold Chain Program to preserve and protect the supply of food, medicine and vaccines.
Hawkes Place is a property like no other. Situated in Sevenoaks, Kent, one homeowner has created a truly unique building where every room is connected through home automation devices. Designed and built by Tony Gotts as a personal project, the three-bedroom, one-storey property was the first smart home he had built. The unique design sees each room completely curved, with no square corners in sight. With the entire house automated, including audio, lighting, heating, blinds, and front door access, the property has been built to a high standard to create a truly remarkable home. Controlled entrance system To support the installation, Mr. Gotts called upon the experience of the electrical contractor, Luke Kavanagh of Lake Home, who suggested one single supplier cover all of the home’s automation needs. To transform his property into a smart home, the owner wanted to connect the heating, lighting, blinds, and audio, while also incorporating a controlled entrance system. In addition, each room of the house required its own touch screen control system. Hawkes Place was the first property with which the owner had utilized home automation systems to this extent, and therefore an easy-to-use all-encompassing system was required. Door entry system Every room in the property had at least one element of smart technology installed Electrical contractor, Luke Kavanagh, recommended Legrand’s User Interface range, including its MyHOME Up system, coupled with its Bticino door entry and Nuvo audio systems. “As soon as I understood the brief, I immediately recommended the Legrand suite of smart home products,” Luke comments. “I contacted Chris Janes at Legrand, who drove out to Kent to discuss the different options with the homeowner in person. This was really useful as it enabled the owner to see exactly what was possible for the size of the property.” Every room in the property had at least one element of smart technology installed. Throughout the house, the heating, lights – both inside and outdoor – and blinds are all controlled by the MyHOME Up system, providing the end-user with full control at all times. The accessibility of the house was also enhanced, thanks to the use of a Bticino door entry system. Audio distribution system Additionally, the Legrand Nuvo multi-zone audio distribution system was installed throughout the property. Allowing audio to be managed and controlled in numerous rooms, users can connect music and audio streaming services and play in all areas of the home. For this project, one major advantage is the ability to bring together control of door access, as well as the lighting, heating, and blinds, on mobile phone apps. In addition to this, 7-inch touch screen panels were installed into every room, allowing complete control. For the installer, Legrand’s MyHOME Up system served two key benefits: its ease of installation and the functionality for the end-user. Once connected to the BUS system and the app is installed, the devices will set-up automatically. Intense training courses The app allows the installer to easily access multiple devices when starting up the system Luke comments: “Coming from an electrical background, the simplicity of Legrand’s systems means we are able to support project managers transform properties into smart homes. I don’t have expertise in IT, and I find that other similar systems require technical knowledge in order to complete the installation, which often includes expensive and intense training courses.” One of the key benefits of a MyHOME Up installation is that the innovative app supports the connection of all devices and is easy to control for both the installer and end-user. The app allows the installer to easily access multiple devices when starting up the system, thanks to the self-learning procedure, while the user can then manage their home automation scenes at any time. Confidently creating scenes Luke continues: “The whole installation process was very easy, not just from my point of view but the end user’s as well. The customer has gone from being a smart home novice to confidently creating scenes which improve day-to-day living habits. Since the installation was completed, we have already successfully recommended the system on another three projects.” In addition to installation and account support, Legrand also offers free training courses. The MyHOME Up range can be installed after just one day’s training, and installer Luke Kavanagh utilized this free service before installing the system. Luke adds: “I had previously undertaken a number of Legrand’s training sessions, including a session in Belgium, as well as for MyHOME Up. It is a really good program, and makes the system incredibly easy to install for anyone in the profession.” Creating smart scenes YouGov’s Smart Homes 2018 Report indicated that almost one-quarter of Britons own one or more smart home devices The course explains the role of smart devices in the home, and shows how creating smart scenes and actions can help end-users decrease their energy usage and waste. Free to attend, the training program is ideal for contractors and system integrators and takes place at Legrand’s state-of-the-art training center in Birmingham. Home automation is not new. In fact, YouGov’s Smart Homes 2018 Report indicated that almost one-quarter of Britons own one or more smart home devices, excluding smart meters, while one in ten have two or more. High customer satisfaction While adoption is becoming more common, electrical installers and contractors are tasked with the challenge of understanding this often-complex technology, to enable them to enhance their services to customers. Taking advantage of training from manufacturers, like Legrand, can make the installation much easier, while also providing high customer satisfaction. Luke Kavanagh concludes: “This project is an excellent example of how a simple, slick and extremely efficient home automation system can be installed. The Legrand products are very easy to install and the customers are always left smiling, testing new combinations each day. While not all systems are the same, I would recommend taking advantage of any available training because it not only equips you with the ability to install effortlessly, but it also provides the knowledge to answer any customer questions.”
Round table discussion
The practice of working from home soared during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and many observers see a likely continuation of the trend, as infection risks gradually subside. Both environments – home and office – depend on HVAC systems to keep occupants comfortable (and safe!). Therefore, the industry stands to be impacted whichever way the trend plays out. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: How will remote working affect residential and commercial HVAC?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software and other technologies to facilitate connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet. Use of the IoT is expanding among both business and residential applications. However, there are hurdles to overcome, including security, privacy and networking challenges. As more HVAC devices embrace the IoT, we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the HVAC market?
The pandemic of 2020 presented unique challenges to the HVAC market, and in many instances, responding to those challenges relied on technical innovation. It’s safe to say that the pandemic accelerated several technology trends, redirected others, and overall raised the stakes in the industry’s ongoing challenge to meet customer needs across a wide spectrum. But what comes now? We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable to weigh in on this question: What technologies and trends will define the HVAC industry in 2021?