During the online meeting of the Eurovent Product Group ‘Energy Recovery Components’ (PG-ERC) on 16 November 2021, the participants unanimously elected Thomas Richter (Head of Product Management, Hoval), former Vice-Chairman of the group, as its new Chairman. Nomination approval The nomination of Mr. Richter was endorsed by 100% of PG-ERC participants. He will succeed Peter Mueller, who served as PG-ERC Chairman for four years. Thomas Richter, who is the Head of Product Managemen...
Molekule is bringing its Air Mini+ and Air Pro air purifiers, powered by patented PECO technology, to the United Kingdom and Europe for the first time. Molekule, the globally renowned air purification solutions company that reinvented air purification with its ground-breaking PECO technology, has announced that its award-winning air purifiers will be available to consumers in the United Kingdom and across Europe, directly via Molekule’s website. Expansion in UK and Europe Molekule&rsquo...
HVAC systems typically operate on a schedule. Heating, cooling and ventilation systems start and stop at fixed times of the day, scheduled around when and how a building is used. But, shouldn’t the number of occupants in a building or a room have an impact on how the HVAC system operates? Considering occupancy, when addressing HVAC needs, is an especially timely approach, given that building schedules are less predictable now, since the COVID-19 pandemic changed work patterns, possibly fo...
The pandemic not only raised concerns about public health but also increased public awareness of the impacts our buildings have on the planet. A healthcare facility’s purpose is to serve the health of the community and promote public wellness. Hospitals account for 4.4% of global emissions, so to truly protect the health of the community, healthcare leaders need to make sure they are also protecting the planet. Public Health Issue The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)...
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is seemingly drawing to a close, living, working and learning at home is set to continue. Under this new normal, home electricity use is expected to double by 2050. Simultaneously, as climate change devastates communities around the world, we are faced with a moral and economic obligation to cut CO2 emissions from houses. Our goal is to build Net Zero houses and we can't get there fast enough. Fossil fuels use in heating systems Many countries continue to rely...
ARC Thermal (ARC Thermal Products) has launched WHIZ (Wireless Heated Infrared Zone) heating solution, which provides thermal warmth for individual workstations, in factories, warehouses, distribution centers, and other industrial buildings. This is a cost-effective, energy-efficient, low-carbon, heating solution. Heating poorly insulated, large industrial spaces has always been a problem, particularly as heat rises, where there are high ceilings. WHIZ (Wireless Heated Infrared Zone) system T...
Aircuity, the front-runner in creating healthy and sustainable buildings, released new data showing that its clients in the life sciences industry are achieving record-setting levels of energy savings and environmental quality in their critical laboratory spaces and across their portfolios. According to the analysis, more than 50 life sciences organizations are using Aircuity’s platform to save 158,353,872 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually, while simultaneously saving more than one billion (1B) in MBTUs. This does not include the vast success in Higher Education, Healthcare, and Medical research that we report separately. According to a report from BIO, the biotech industry’s green initiatives could mitigate the equivalent of 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year by 2030, or about half of the country’s annual CO2 emissions. Delivering energy savings HVAC systems represent 30% of total energy use in commercial buildings and in laboratories, the rate rises to 60–70% “The global life sciences industry has grown rapidly over the past decade, with its dramatic upward trajectory only strengthened by the COVID-19 and the critically important drive to Net Zero,” said Dan Diehl, CEO of Aircuity. “Aircuity’s platform delivers deep energy savings and better indoor air quality while reducing operating expenses and creating safer labs.” Decarbonization Heating/ventilation/Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems typically represent 30% of total energy use in commercial buildings, whereas in laboratories – like the ones inherent in most life sciences companies – this rate increases to 60–70%. As many cutting-edge life sciences companies are now further focusing on decarbonizing and deep energy efficiency as part of a larger corporate ESG commitments, turning to Lab efficiency is often the biggest opportunity to reach these aggressive but critical important targets. Aircuity experience Aircuity reduces HVAC energy use by 40-60% and helps to significantly decrease clean energy As the front-runner in demand control ventilation, Aircuity has more than 20 years of experience with the top-tier companies in Life Sciences worldwide, including Eli Lilly, Illumina and Takeda. Aircuity’s platform addresses both their demand for deep energy and carbon savings with improved working and research environments – safer, healthier and more productive. Net Zero Labs “Life science companies now realize that labs are typically the most carbon intensive areas in their portfolios and are focusing on leveraging proven concepts for a future of Net Zero Labs,” Diehl says. “Implementing Aircuity reduces HVAC energy use by 40-60% and helps to significantly decrease clean energy and HVAC supply systems providing a first cost diversity savings which can provide an infinite ROI. Other co benefits include reduced deferred maintenance, improved sequence modifications and better life cycle costs; all while creating healthier IAQ for occupants.”
Johnson Controls, the global front-runner for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, extended its collaboration with the University of North Dakota (UND) through a new $219M project to revitalize campus housing. The ‘Buildings-as-a-Service’ (BaaS) project incorporates the risk reduction mechanisms of Public-Private Partnership (P3) contracts so that UND provides monthly payments for the upgrades and services rather than providing valuable upfront capital for the project. Powered by OpenBlue Enterprise Manager, the revitalization project includes the construction, renovation, and long-term operations & maintenance (O&M) of multiple new and updated student residence halls. The 30-year contract value is estimated at $219 million over its lifetime and is set to resolve significant deferred maintenance items at the university, improve the student experience by modernizing the facilities, and provide “flatlined” budget costs through the guaranteed monthly availability payments. Customer Goals Higher education customers are addressing deferred maintenance while improving campus infrastructure “UND is providing visionary leadership by completely revitalizing their housing program while managing risk through this highly effective and targeted long-term investment,” said Maureen Blase, Vice President and General Manager, Performance Infrastructure at Johnson Controls. “Higher education customers increasingly are looking to address significant deferred maintenance while undertaking campus infrastructure improvement. Buildings-as-a-Service supports these improvements in a creative and customized way and because performance key performance indicators are built into the contract, customer goals are guaranteed.” First phase design-build-finance The first phase of the project includes a design-build-finance-maintain contract for the construction of two new student residence halls, the renovation of an existing housing facility, and the demolition of obsolete student apartments and residence halls. In total, approximately 1,000 new beds will be added to the campus and over 370,000 square feet of campus buildings will be impacted. As part of the construction and renovation, Johnson Controls will implement Metasys® building automation systems (BAS), chilled water systems, and air systems in the managed facilities. To ensure all energy, cost, and performance targets are met over the 30-year period, the residences will be integrated and managed with OpenBlue Enterprise Manager. These connected, data-powered implementations will modernize residence halls to deliver long-term student satisfaction and maintain comfortable conditions while maximizing energy efficiency. investment in students wellbeing Johnson Controls performed over $6M in HVAC updates to the campus in 2020, replacing air handling units and filtration “The campus experience is of the utmost importance when considering capital improvements." – Mike Pieper, Associate Vice President for facilities at UND. “We remain committed to delivering healthy, safe and comfortable campus environments to students and staff. The updates being made to our housing facilities are an investment in our current and future students’ wellbeing and overall experience at our university.” experts’ cost analysis The BaaS model transfers certain project operational risks to Johnson Controls. Design decisions made over the 30-year contract will be made based on experts’ cost analysis of the full building lifecycle, ensuring predictable expenditures throughout the term. The structure of the contract also gives UND the flexibility to continue to grow and update additional spaces in the future. second large infrastructure contract This marks the second large infrastructure contract Johnson Controls has secured with UND, as Johnson Controls constructed and now operates the university’s new steam plant. Additionally, as part of the university’s COVID-19 response, Johnson Controls performed over $6M in HVAC updates to the campus in 2020, replacing air handling units and filtration. To continue these COVID-19 mitigation efforts and promote indoor air quality, all residence halls included in the BaaS project will be equipped with dedicated outside air supply units. Johnson Controls has a presence in over 2,800 higher education institutions in North America.
Johnson Controls, the global front-runner for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, announced that its OpenBlue digital platform technologies will be rolled out across Derwent London's portfolio. This rollout will drive the digital transformation of Derwent London's estate, enabling new possibilities for operational efficiency, occupant experiences, and sustainability in one dynamic solution. net-zero carbon development After a successful pilot at its White Collar Factory building, Derwent London is adopting a suite of Johnson Controls OpenBlue technologies – including OpenBlue Enterprise Manager and OpenBlue Central Utility Plant optimization – across 22 of its buildings in London. This represents approximately 55% of its total estate by area and includes Derwent London's net-zero carbon development The Featherstone Building. About OpenBlue Enterprise Manager Enterprise Manager delivers the next generation of intelligent building capabilities OpenBlue Enterprise Manager is a comprehensive suite of applications from Johnson Controls designed to monitor and improve energy efficiency, tenant satisfaction, asset performance, maintenance operations, space performance, and ultimately the comfort of all occupants. Enterprise Manager delivers the next generation of intelligent building capabilities. The system uses cloud-based AI and advanced analytics to deliver a complete holistic view of energy consumption, energy efficiency improvements, equipment faults, and resource breakdowns by building, floor and tenant. Overall, Johnson Controls OpenBlue solutions will enable Derwent London to deliver high-value ROI-driven business cases. OpenBlue Central Utility Plant OpenBlue Central Utility Plant is responsible for the efficient and effective management of the biggest consumer of a building's energy – the Central Plant. Using AI and Machine Learning, the software constantly adjusts and optimizes thousands of variables every 15 minutes, significantly reducing baseline energy load, while keeping occupants comfortable. Johnson Controls OpenBlue digital platform and services for optimizing buildings are capable of driving significant improvements in energy efficiency and corresponding carbon emissions. Implementing OpenBlue solutions OpenBlue solution represents a technology ecosystem with the potential to help map out new capabilities "We're pleased to partner with Derwent London by implementing our OpenBlue solutions to deliver smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, all underpinned through cutting edge technology," said Mike Ellis, Chief Customer & Digital Officer at Johnson Controls. "The challenges of COVID-19 and the drive to get ahead of climate change have made us all rethink both the spaces we occupy and the wider environment around us. Across our built environment digital solutions are rising to the fore as a tangible means of making our infrastructure more sustainable and future-fit while helping us get more from the spaces we interact with every day." "Our OpenBlue solution represents an exciting technology ecosystem with huge potential to help map out new capabilities for both spaces and places as we look to build the world of tomorrow today. Now more than ever, as we lean into technology to take smart from a concept to reality, we have an incredible opportunity to set a new standard in buildings that puts the power in the hands of those who occupy them." expanding use of Johnson Controls' technologies "After a very successful pilot, it made sense to expand the use of Johnson Controls' innovative technologies across more of our buildings," said Nigel George, Executive Director at Derwent London. "The ability to analyze and understand energy and building performance data across our portfolio brings many benefits. Johnson Controls' technologies will enable our property managers and occupiers to monitor and report on the steps we're all making to operate buildings more sustainably. We look forward to this relationship strengthening further as we move to become a net-zero carbon business by 2030."
Carrier invites hospitality professionals, including owners, operators, managers, and engineers, to a global webinar focused on delivering the latest insights in creating safer, healthier hotels. Industry professionals can register for the November 17, 11 a.m. ET webinar. Carrier is part of Carrier Global Corporation, the foremost global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable, and intelligent building and cold chain solutions. Webinar schedule The hour-long webinar will present the latest, scientific research on delivering a healthy hotel and actionable insights to address the current challenges faced by hotels — from severe labor shortages and low guest occupancy to increased demands from guests for safe and healthy stays. A live question and answer session will be offered. A link to the recording will be available to those who register for the event and are unable to join the live presentation and Q&A Dr. Joseph Allen, Director of the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, will present research connecting human cognitive and performance benefits to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), which can result in a better night’s sleep and greater satisfaction for guests. He will also provide recommendations for building infrastructure improvements for a healthier indoor environment supported by the latest research studies since the start of the pandemic. Speakers Carrier speakers will include Greg Alcorn, Vice President, Healthy Buildings, and Rusty Steele, Director, North America Enterprise Account Leader, Carrier Building Solutions Group. The Carrier presentation will focus on sharing solutions that increase guest confidence and help hotels thrive with optimized operations and increased brand growth. If interested in the session but unable to join the live presentation and Q&A, a link to the recording will be available to those who register for the event.
Eurovent Market Intelligence (EMI) has published its special annual report on the HVACR industry in 2021. It mainly investigates the market’s post-pandemic situation by product, country, and application, including a 5-year forecast (2020-2024) for each subchapter, as well as the main market drivers and challenges. The main information in the report ‘European HVACR Market: Post-Pandemic Trends and Key Challenges’, is a synthesis of qualitative survey results from the HVACR manufacturers (203 respondents from 19 countries), interviews conducted with professionals in the HVACR sector, macroeconomic data, and the EMI database. Market Situation The report shows that the post-pandemic recovery was formed differently among European markets. Some markets accelerated well particularly in the first half of 2021 but experienced a slowdown in the second half; while others remained stagnant in the first half, expecting to gain pace during the second half of 2021. Some of the biggest European HVACR markets expect double-digit growth in 2021 to compensate for the loss of 2020. Residential market growth The residential market expects the highest growth in 2021. This is due to domestic heat pumps which now come with many incentives. Health and data centers declined in 2021 despite the unusual development they had in 2020, however, they continue to grow. A dedicated chapter on key challenges can be found in the report as well On the other hand, the HVACR forecasts for transport, hotels, leisure, and entertainment remained at the bottom of the list with no visible recovery. In the refrigeration sector, industrial refrigeration has taken the lead on recovery in 2021. Almost all product groups have entered a recovery period at different speed rates in 2021, except for chilled beams, which have remained stagnant. For most products, a strong rebound from the pandemic was visible in the first half of the year, however, the market slows down during the second half of 2021 due to other challenges. HVACR industry faces challenges even after COVID-19 The HVACR industry continues to be challenged even after the COVID-19 peaks. Some of the main concerns regarding the industry are the post-pandemic developments such as supply chain problems and European regulations. A dedicated chapter on key challenges can be found in the report as well. The 114-page report contains all the detailed information including charts, qualitative comments, and trends. It is available for sale at a price of 6.000 EUR (excl. VAT).
Motili’s latest video outlines the importance of seasonal preventative maintenance and ensures HVAC systems are able to transition without failure from the cooling season to the heating season. HVAC maintenance list Fall is here! And so is the heating season. Motili offers a complete HVAC maintenance list for the heating season, to help maintain energy efficiency of HVAC systems. Air filters The change of seasons is the perfect time to change out an HVAC system’s air filter. Not only is it easy to do, but it provides several benefits, such as improved energy efficiency and cost savings. Changing the air filter also helps prevent unnecessary stress on the HVAC system. An air filter that has not been changed, since the last summer season, is likely filled with particulate matter and needs to be replaced immediately. Inspect the HVAC system The fall season is a good time to inspect at the HVAC system for maintenance and repair. Remove any leaves or sticks that have gathered around the compressors. Residents should also take a look at the system to ensure there are no leaks or structural damage. A quick look around and cleanup of an HVAC system can help it run longer and more efficiently. Inspect the boiler system Corrosion is often associated with boiler systems. Now is a good time to take a look at the boiler systems, in order to ensure there are no water leaks. It’s also important to check for air leaks around doors and windows, and fix with caulking or weather stripping, so as to ensure optimal energy efficiency. A quick inspection and fix can help keep the house warmer for longer, and also keep the furnace from running hard, so as to maintain a building’s ideal temperature. Shut down AC system for the season At the end of the cooling season, it is recommended that the air conditioning side of the HVAC system be shut off. When doing this, residents should take a few minutes to clean the compressor with a brush and vacuum. This simple maintenance can help set up the HVAC system for success over the upcoming year, while also maintaining its energy efficiency for long. Inspecting and maintaining HVAC systems Just a quick inspection and cleaning can provide significant energy efficiencies" “It’s important to evaluate a building’s HVAC every season, as well as maintain its filters and the environment around the system. Just a quick inspection and cleaning can provide significant energy efficiencies, which are so important when it comes to the environmental impact of the system, as well as the cost to maintain it,” said Matthew Sallee, the Vice President (VP) of Sales, Multi Dwelling and Commercial, at Motili. Matthew Sallee adds, “Inspecting and maintaining an HVAC system in these straightforward ways helps ensure it will be available and working for the upcoming cooling season, as well.” Property management technology platform Motili brings contractors, operations teams, and the industry’s most advanced property management technology platform together, in order to assess and complete HVAC work requests, from start to finish. Motili automatically schedules, dispatches, manages, and invoices job requests and its predictive analytics improve budgeting accuracy, by predicting product life cycle. Motili leverages its nationwide network of over 2,000 contractors and 1,000 distribution centers, in order to provide HVAC and hot water services, across the United States of America, to customers both large and small in size.
Seasonal transitions are the perfect time to take inventory and inspect a building’s various systems. We’ve been reminded for years that when we set our clocks back, we should also replace the batteries in our smoke detectors. The same thought process can be applied in support of seasonal preventative maintenance for a building’s HVAC system. Now that the cooling season has passed for a large part of the country, it is time to ensure that HVAC systems have been shut down properly for the winter months. A few simple checks and changes help ensure that the HVAC system is able to transition without failure, from the cooling season to the heating season. Enhancing energy efficiency of HVAC systems Home and building owner inspections can go a long way in increasing the energy efficiency of a system or in mitigating a more complex system failure. Taking a few minutes to inspect an HVAC system for irregularities can help keep repair costs and energy waste to a minimum. Here is a short and easy to complete HVAC inspection check list to execute to help maintain the system and ensure it runs in an energy efficient manner as the outdoor temperature begins to fall. Air filters The change of seasons is the perfect time to change out an HVAC system’s air filter The change of seasons is the perfect time to change out an HVAC system’s air filter. Filters are a key point in a building’s HVAC system, helping keep dust, pollen and larger particulate matter out, and potentially saving it from damage. HVAC equipment accounts for 40 percent of energy usage in a building, so any actions that positively affect energy efficiency are impactful. Not only is changing filters easy to do, but it also provides several benefits, such as improved energy efficiency, cost savings and it helps limit unnecessary stress on the HVAC system, by keeping the air entering it as clean as possible. Dirty, unchanged filters are a leading cause of issues with an HVAC system. The bottom line is that an air filter that has not been changed since the summer needs to be replaced. Inspect the HVAC system Now is a good time to walk around and view the entirety of a building’s HVAC system. How does it look? Make sure the system is clean and in good repair. Examine the ducts to ensure they are clean, undamaged and venting properly. If they are dirty or if there is suspicion that they are clogged, a duct cleaning by a professional may be needed. Remove any leaves or sticks that have gathered around the compressors. Clean the coils of any debris with a garden hose. Trim back any trees or bushes, which are in close contact with the unit. Make sure the condenser unit is still level. If it is not, it can impede the flow of refrigerant and oil, thereby leading to costly repairs. Take a look at the HVAC system to make sure there are no leaks, cracks or structural damage. A quick scan around and cleanup of an HVAC system can help it run longer and more efficiently. Inspect the boiler system Inspect the boiler system by looking for signs of old leaks, which can include stains around the boiler Corrosion is often associated with boiler systems. Inspect the boiler system by looking for signs of old leaks, which can include stains around the boiler or warped floorboards under radiators. Also, be on the lookout for water spots on the ceiling that is below the floor with radiant heat pipes. Make note of any corrosion you find throughout the system, including on the radiators, valves and other components. It’s a smart idea to have a professional inspect a boiler system each year, in order to maintain its functionality and ensure it is running safely, and optimally for a long time. Air Leaks An inspection may also reveal air leaks around doors and windows. These small leaks can add up to significant heat loss and energy costs. If sunlight is peeking through the areas around the perimeter of a window, door or skylight, there’s an air gap to be filled. A quick fix with caulking or weather stripping can ensure optimal energy efficiency. Also, inspect window panes for any cracks, as they will need to be replaced. Furthermore, double check that the windows and doors all close and lock properly. If they don’t, there’s an air leak that needs repair, as well. An inspection of doors and windows can keep a house warmer longer, and help keep the furnace from running over time to maintain a building’s ideal temperature. Shut down AC system for the season At the end of the cooling season, it is recommended that the air conditioning side of the HVAC system be shut off. When doing this, take a few minutes to clean the compressor with a brush and vacuum. Cover the unit with an insulated, waterproof cover that completely covers the whole unit. Secure the cover tightly, so it stays in place over the winter. This simple maintenance can help set up the system for success next year, while also maintaining its energy efficiency. Need for proactive system inspections and maintenance It’s important to evaluate a building’s HVAC system every season, as well as maintain its filters It’s important to evaluate a building’s HVAC system every season, as well as maintain its filters and the environment around the system. Being proactive about systems inspections and maintenance is the best way to keep a system running at peak efficiency, saving money and the environment, as well as providing peace of mind. With a few simple actions, home and building owners can keep their HVAC systems in good shape for longer, and be ready to go for the next season ahead. Motili’s predictive analytics improves budgeting accuracy Motili brings contractors, operations teams and the industry’s most advanced property management technology platform together, to assess and complete HVAC work requests, from start to finish. Motili automatically schedules, dispatches, manages and invoices job requests, and its predictive analytics improves budgeting accuracy, by predicting product life cycle. Motili leverages its nationwide network of over 2,000 contractors and 1,000 distribution centers, in order to provide HVAC and hot water services, across the United States of America, to customers both large and small in size.
I am writing this the day after the Autumn Spending Review, which among many measures, included a huge focus on how the Government wants to ‘level up the country’, creating a new post-pandemic economy, with higher wages and higher skills. Part of this is the £500 million ‘Multiply’ scheme, which aims to increase numeracy and basic mathematics for adults in the United Kingdom via in person tutoring, digital training and flexible courses. Lack of basic skills to access digital training It is laudable, but there is an elephant in the classroom here, a lot of people do not have the basic skills and confidence, to access digital training and these are the ones, who are in danger of being left further behind. What does this have to do with heating their homes? It comes down to access and confidence around tech and that begins in the home. Smart technology inaccessible to most people During the COVID-19 pandemic, we heard from far too many people, who simply couldn’t get to grips with the tech We work at the sharp end of this, with many years of experience showing us that while smart tech and smart homes sound fantastic (and for the majority, they are indeed), however, for too many people, it remains inaccessible. They are the most vulnerable and they need help. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we heard from far too many people, who simply couldn’t get to grips with the tech and they were suffering as a result. Widespread adoption of digital control systems In a welcome drive to improve the energy efficiency of electric heaters, more sophisticated digital control systems have seen widespread introduction. However, for people who are not digitally savvy, they are now presented with a product that they struggle to use as intended. Sadly, many are subsequently bypassing the very systems designed to improve efficiency and resorting to basic manual control of their appliances. For many users, the complicated programming and multiple overrides is even leading to them having no heat at all. manual settings of heaters lead to High Energy consumption In too many cases, these energy-saving thermostatic controls have caused more anxiety and the energy-efficient controls are not being correctly used. Additionally, due to the heaters being left on manual settings, there are many cases of higher energy consumption than needed. The gadgets are great, but if you can’t understand them or use them, they are redundant and can even be counterproductive. System diagnostics Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a home visit was not even an option for many customers Ordinarily, we would schedule a visit to diagnose these types of problems, but this can take too long, which causes frustration and affects the well-being of the customer. Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a home visit was not even an option for many customers, who were self-isolating. However, new computer modeling research from Harvard University warns that intermittent measures may need to be maintained well into 2022, therefore, social distancing will remain a key concern for our vulnerable community. Current solutions for the digital savvy Current solutions available are for the digital savvy, however, these still do not provide early fault finding and they are not accessible to a huge part of our society, approximately 5.3 million adults, who have never used the internet in the United Kingdom and 53% of these adults are aged 75 plus. We decided to do something about this, by devising a robust solution that will eliminate multiple site maintenance visits and provide immediate solutions, without customers needing to understand digital technologies. CAVE smart thermostat with intelligent remote communications As a result, this winter will see the launch of Trust Electric Heating’s CAVE product, a smart thermostat for the confined, adults, vulnerable and elderly people. CAVE builds on our existing digital thermostat technology, further developing it to include intelligent remote communications. This will allow remote access to program the system, monitor/manage energy use and to diagnose and solve a variety of faults that would traditionally require a visit from an engineer. Transforming CAVE into a stand-alone product There are over 8 million adults over 70 years old in the UK, who are classed as vulnerable The pace of development has been accelerated by a strategic Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Huddersfield and backed by Innovate UK, who awarded us with a further development grant, earlier in 2021, to transform CAVE into a stand-alone product that will work on all electric radiators. There are over 8 million adults over 70 years old in the UK, who are classed as vulnerable and around 1.5 million adults (some not over 70) have been asked to self-isolate due to their underlying health conditions as they are classed as our shielded society. For these individuals the present pandemic has changed their life significantly. Remote monitoring, diagnosis and control of electric heating systems CAVE is a web-based technology that enables remote monitoring, diagnosis and control of electric heating systems, providing help and support for this critically overlooked group. In an era, when the pace of change is already so fast, sometimes it pays to slow down a little and adjust the speed, as there are a lot of people who we must not leave behind in the digital economy.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) has become an area of emphasis among those in the HVAC industry and on a national level. Homes, offices, schools, and everything in between are being reevaluated with the ambition of having the best IAQ possible. Maintaining a high level of air quality is an important factor in encouraging a cleaner indoor breathing environment, which can lead to the better overall health and well-being of our families and communities. Clean air is especially important now with more waves of COVID-19 hitting and the onset of seasonal sicknesses like the flu and colds on the horizon. Now is the time for HVAC manufacturers to implement solutions to make returning to everyday life more seamless as we venture back out into the world. Mechanical HVAC equipment offers the perfect opportunity to improve IAQ in commercial facilities. Facility managers choosing to opt for enhanced air quality should focus on three areas for unit upgrades: controlled ventilation, dehumidification, and filtration. While there are countless minor changes one can make to improve IAQ, such as using exhaust fans to increase circulation, HVAC upgrades are the best and most efficient option to give building occupants the IAQ they need for maximum comfort and safety. Out with the old, in with the new Ventilation and the ability to control it are a necessity in maintaining a high level of air quality. Being able to control how much outdoor air circulates inside gives facility managers a tool to not only improve IAQ but also create consistent comfort for the building occupants. Controlled ventilation creates an avenue to help occupants breathe easier, feel better and be more proactive Outdoor air tends to be cleaner than indoor air, so bringing air in from outside is vital. Controlled ventilation creates an avenue to help occupants breathe easier, feel better and be more proactive in your space. With the proper HVAC upgrades, you can make sure the ventilation rate is controlled in a manner that will be most beneficial and effective for specific situations. By pushing indoor air out and bringing new outdoor air in, you are effectively limiting the number of harmful pathogens from the commercial space. Limiting particles in the air It is important to make sure your HVAC system is running smoothly and efficiently, especially during a time like now when airborne pathogens are prevalent. With COVID-19 continuing to affect people, maintaining excellent IAQ is certainly a priority. The removal of particulates from indoor air is a necessary process for HVAC systems. The ASHRAE recommendation for filtration is now MERV 13, which has increased from MERV 8 or MERV 10 in past years. The ability of the MERV 13 filter to grab smaller particulates floating in the air is a great advantage in maintaining IAQ. With an upgrade in HVAC filter equipment, dust, smoke, and other particulates can be reduced and greatly benefit air quality. Finding the humidity sweet spot If you live or work somewhere humid, you understand how miserable it can be outside, especially in warmer months. Even with temperature-controlled air inside, humidity can be present indoors. This can lead to not only an uncomfortable feeling inside but also a potentially harmful breathing environment. Mold, mildew and organic growth can all result from inadequate moisture removal. With the proper equipment, your indoor air will be less humid, leading to a continued high-level IAQ That is why dehumidification is such an important aspect of keeping us comfortable and safe inside. The sweet spot when it comes to relative humidity is between 40 and 60 percent. If your HVAC can handle higher latent loads associated with outdoor air, you should not experience the sticky feeling that will come along with a humid space. More importantly, dehumidification assists in lowering the chances of mold or organic growth appearing indoors. Hidden mold or mildew can cause issues that may affect your respiratory system. With the proper equipment, your indoor air will be less humid, leading to a continued high-level IAQ. Upgrading your HVAC As we continue to learn more about the benefits of maintaining excellent IAQ, it is clear HVAC upgrades are part of the process. Having clean and fresh air in our indoor spaces has many advantages, especially when occupants are confined to common areas. Safety and well-being are priorities when dealing with the air we breathe. Efficiency makes a difference in IAQ performance, so making sure you have the most reliable HVAC equipment is a great way to improve indoor air quality and maintain an excellent IAQ. IAQ directly impacts the health, comfort, and even some of the learning outcomes of occupants in a space Pulling contaminants from the air through filtration, removing moisture with dehumidification, and bringing in fresh air from the outside by ventilation are all solutions for maintaining a high IAQ. It is through proper equipment and upgrades that we can continue to keep occupants safe and comfortable as best we can. IAQ directly impacts the health, comfort, and even some of the learning outcomes of occupants in a space. Improving each of these factors is important in creating a comfortable indoor environment that encourages an increase in fresh and clean air.
Natural gas heating and cooking are coming under more scrutiny, especially their negative impact on indoor air quality. In particular, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emitted from gas stoves and furnaces aggravate childhood asthma. The issue has been obvious for years but is now getting renewed attention of regulators. Gas heating and cooking are popular throughout the United States and Europe. One estimate is that a third of U.S. homes use natural gas for cooking, which has been promoted for decades as a “clean” alternative. Need for Indoor air regulation The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to regulate outdoor air, but not indoor. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has jurisdiction over performance standards of consumer appliances but does not view gas ranges as a “significant contributor” to adverse air quality or a health hazard. (CPSC says they are “aware of recent studies.”) Building codes require that gas furnaces and water heaters be vented outside, but there are fewer requirements for ventilation of natural gas cooking stoves. Negative impact on health As awareness grows of the negative impacts on indoor air quality, gas cooking and heating will be targeted by regulators As awareness grows of the negative impacts on indoor air quality, it is more likely gas cooking and heating will be targeted by regulators. Natural gas-burning stoves and furnaces produce an array of pollutants with adverse health effects, including particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and formaldehyde. If a massive transition away from natural gas becomes likely, there are opportunities for the HVAC market. Removal of gas appliances Recent research has helped to focus media attention on the issue, including reports from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Older research was highlighted in a 2013 analysis of 41 studies on the subject, showing that children living in homes with gas stoves had a 42% higher incidence of asthma symptoms. The COVID-19 pandemic’s trend of staying and cooking at home has exacerbated the problem. Long-term exposure to elevated NO2 has also been correlated with a higher risk of COVID-19 death, according to an Emory University study. Because of the risks, the New England Journal of Medicine published an editorial recommending that new gas appliances be taken off the market. Switching to electrical appliances Around 40 cities and towns in California have adopted ordinances to require all-electric appliances California is the first state to address the health threats of gas appliances. In the Golden State, about two-thirds of homes rely on gas as the primary cooking and/or heating fuel. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has proposed that a statewide transition to electric appliances would provide substantial health benefits. CARB also supports better ventilation standards. Around 40 cities and towns in California have adopted ordinances to require all-electric appliances in new residential buildings. Indoor pollution and high prices Older homes and lower-income households are especially at risk. The UCLA research emphasizes that smaller spaces housing more people and with poor ventilation are more susceptible to higher levels of indoor pollution. Unvented gas-burning space heaters (which are illegal in California) can be even more dangerous than stoves because they tend to be used for longer periods. Another trend that could impact demand for gas systems is the rising price of natural gas, now 99% higher year-to-date. The price is expected to continue going up and could double again if there is a cold winter. More consumers may be looking at alternatives, including electric heat pumps – more opportunities for HVAC professionals.
‘Net zero’ is an unavoidable reality in the continuing fight against climate change. For example, both the United Kingdom and the European Union have set targets of having net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. These objectives are in line with a commitment to global climate action under the Paris Agreement. Net zero - carbon neutral Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. It’s another term for ‘carbon neutral’. Any activity that creates carbon emissions must be offset by corresponding actions that remove an equal amount of emissions. Examples might be to plant trees that remove CO2 from the atmosphere or to re-purpose emissions-free energy for additional uses. For the HVAC market, the goal of net-zero emissions presents a variety of challenges For the HVAC market, the goal of net-zero emissions presents a variety of challenges. More than 40% of today’s CO2 emissions come from buildings and 30% of energy in buildings is wasted. According to a 2018 International Energy Agency (IEA) report, around 20% of the electricity used in buildings is related to HVAC, and the number is set to more than triple by 2050. Connected systems and real-time data analytics Fortunately, the HVAC industry has developed technology tools to address the challenge, including real-time data analytics and connected systems, to scrutinize how and where energy is being used, and to optimize efficiencies and building performance. In addition to helping to eventually achieve net-zero emissions, these activities will also provide cost savings. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic shutdown highlighted the potential impact of lowering greenhouse gas emissions. During the pandemic, global greenhouse gas emissions declined by 7% compared to the previous year, according to research from the University of East Anglia, the University of Exeter and the Global Carbon Project. However, the emissions have resumed as global economies have recovered. Public-private cooperation to achieve net-zero emissions Achieving net-zero emissions will involve many stakeholders and will require public-private cooperation that includes local governments, building owners and other businesses. Part of the solution is regulation, as governments encourage construction of green buildings. Meeting the objectives involves not just internal systems and infrastructure in a building, but also the materials used, including options, such as smart glass windows and solar panels. There is also an opportunity to educate the public on the positive role that buildings, including HVAC systems, can play in the campaign to eliminate climate change. The public often associates pollution with vehicle exhaust, for example, and may not realize the role that building systems can have on the environment, for better or worse. Leveraging technology to reduce emissions Leveraging technology to reduce emissions in the buildings sector can have a positive impact on the environment Leveraging technology to reduce emissions in the buildings sector can have a positive impact on the environment and on public opinion of the industry’s role to achieve green goals. The role of the HVAC industry should not be overlooked. There are resources available to help guide the path. For example, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program provides a rating system that covers the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of buildings worldwide. U.S. Federal, state and local governments are positioned to require or reward LEED certification, including tax credits, zoning allowances, reduced fees or expedited permitting. building energy efficiency and electrification US President Joe Biden has also announced an initiative to invest federal dollars in building energy efficiency and electrification, with a goal of modernizing and upgrading the nation’s buildings to be affordable, resilient, accessible, energy-efficient, and electrified. Fortunately, manufacturers in the HVAC market as a whole are focused on providing energy-efficient and sustainable technologies to drive the net-zero future of the industry.
High school seniors and their parents weigh multiple factors, when choosing a college or university. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of one factor has shown a marked increase. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is now among the top-three aspects that an applicant and their parents would consider, when choosing a college, according to one survey. Growing awareness of IAQ Growing awareness of IAQ presents an opportunity, as the HVAC industry seeks to serve the higher education market. If air quality is a deal breaker for new students, the opportunity is that much more urgent. A recent survey by professional services firm, JLL confirms that health and safety is at the top-of-mind for parents, and their high school seniors. Some 48% of surveyed parents ranked campus cleanliness and indoor air quality among the top-three most important factors, when choosing a college or university. Campus cleanliness and indoor air quality Also, a total of 84% of parents rank cleanliness and indoor air quality as either ‘important’ or ‘somewhat important’. Campus cleanliness and indoor air quality (IAQ) ranked behind ‘quality of academics’ in the top spot and ‘affordability’ in the second position. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unlikely that health and IAQ concerns would have even been mentioned in such a survey Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unlikely that health and IAQ concerns would have even been mentioned in such a survey. The high ranking of the issue in the current survey reflects heightened health concerns, brought on by the pandemic. In fact, 42 percent of parents noted in the survey that their sentiment toward campus cleanliness and indoor air quality increased, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Students and staff on campus will continue to demand transparency and the highest standards around cleanliness, and air quality,” said Ron Gregory, Executive Vice President North America, JLL Higher Education. Environmental sustainability Environmental sustainability has also emerged as a factor in student recruitment. Some 21% of parents have become more interested in an institution’s commitment to sustainability, during the pandemic. Poor ventilation systems became a big concern, as COVID-19 virus spreads through educational institutions and other facilities. HVAC has gained a higher profile, as a factor that can help to mitigate the spread of the virus. Retrofits can make the difference In the HVAC market, newer systems tend to be more environmentally sustainable and can ensure compliance with the latest regulatory requirements. However, even retrofits can make a difference, especially ‘deep retrofits’ that can address concerns about circulating outside air, increasing humidity and improving filtration systems, as older buildings seek to become greener. Broadly speaking, poor IAQ can negatively affect the health and learning of students of any age Broadly speaking, poor IAQ can negatively affect the health and learning of students of any age. The presence of mold, for example, can increase risks of asthma and other respiratory diseases. Students in well-ventilated classrooms have been shown to achieve higher scores on standardized testing. Greater concern about IAQ and the risks of COVID-19 virus spread have combined to provide new business for HVAC companies that offer useful tools, in order to increase ventilation and even kill germs. Importance of preventative maintenance Keeping campuses clean also impacts a family’s perception of a campus. Some 86% of parents rank the ‘look and feel’ of a campus, as either ‘important’ or ‘somewhat important’. Also, 88% of parents say the physical condition of buildings is either ‘important’ or ‘somewhat important’. As a component of a campus’s physical presence, HVAC systems are part of the solution, when seeking to ensure a campus is seen as modern and appealing. Preventative maintenance is also a factor, in HVAC as well as generally speaking. “Savings generated from preventative maintenance can go back into facilities upkeep, creating an overall better, cleaner and more modern experience for students,” said Kevin Waver, President of JLL Public Institutions at JLL.
As part of the Evotech Technical Services Group, a national HVAC engineering company founded in 2003, Evotech Air Quality (Evotech) is a growing team of engineers, technicians and data scientists passionate about the air we breathe. Evotech helps UK businesses and organizations create safe working environments by transforming indoor air quality. They began offering the Airthings for Business solution in June 2020 for accurate, accessible air quality data. In this case study, Evotech shall explore their installation at No1. Whitehall in Leeds. Indoor air quality "Airthings share our belief that everyone has the right to breathe clean air, and today the importance of indoor quality has never been greater. Using their industry-leading sensor platform, we have been able to provide our customers not only with enhanced indoor environmental surveillance, but, by integrating their technology with other 3rd party systems, we are creating greater end-user value through improved building performance and optimization.’’- Evotech. Evotech saw indoor air quality, pre-COVID-19, becoming the next asbestos health crisis Evotech saw indoor air quality, pre-COVID-19, becoming the next asbestos health crisis. In the UK, we have legislation for electric, gas, water hygiene, and safety, etc. but not for air quality. Then COVID-19 struck and indoor air quality (IAQ) became even more important. Enhanced environmental sensors Their objective was to help their clients provide safe, healthy indoor spaces, using IOT technology advancements. To do this, they provide enhanced environmental sensors above and beyond what a traditional building management system provides. By utilizing real-time data from Airthings IAQ sensors, they can optimize how buildings perform and achieve greater levels of energy efficiency. What’s more, Airthings sensors can alert them to issues with the HVAC system, so they could resolve it quickly, even before clients reported it. Improving operational management and energy efficiency Ensuring the health and wellbeing of employees and visitors Building management system Evotech really does offer the best to their clients, while drawing data from the Airthings solution Evotech really does offer the best to their clients, while drawing data from the Airthings solution via our API, they can also integrate with other IoT solutions and tailor to the needs of each client. For No. 1 Whitehall, Airthings air quality data enabled them to optimize a building management system using accurate IOT environmental data, monitor in real-time how the building performs, and respond to environmental changes and HVAC plant failures proactively. In early September, Evotech installed 22 Wave Plus for Business sensors at their client site, No.1 Whitehall Riverside Leeds, a circa 12,000 sq.m modern multi-tenanted office building. Let’s see how they got on! Incoming fresh air Insights, confidence, and comfort. Live monitoring of environmental conditions has given Evotech’s operational team real-time insight into on-site HVAC performance and provides their client with the confidence that their indoor spaces are safe and healthy. No. 1 Whitehall uses humidifiers designed to condition incoming fresh air No. 1 Whitehall uses humidifiers designed to condition incoming fresh air in order to keep indoor humidity at optimal levels. These are maintained in line with SFG20 guidelines, and Evotech visits them quarterly throughout the year to undertake scheduled maintenance to ensure that building occupants enjoy the healthiest air. Planned maintenance visit However, in early December 2020, the Airthings sensors reported low humidity levels throughout the building. After investigating, it was found that some of the humidifiers had stopped due to component failure. This can happen to anyone. Evotech knew instantly and ordered parts to replace them quickly. They got the humidifiers back online before the humidity levels dropped even lower. They demonstrated excellent foresight and a quick turnaround time simply by being able to access air quality data remotely thanks to the Airthings Dashboard and API integration. “Without the deployment of the Airthings sensors on site this HVAC plant failure would have gone unnoticed until our next scheduled planned maintenance visit, due many weeks later, or possibly until we attended site following occupant complaint(s).” – Evotech. Fully functioning chiller High temperatures were reported by the Airthings sensors in June 2021 on several floors In May 2021, the Airthings sensors reported unusually warm readings of 29 degrees Celsius at No. 1 Whitehall. As a result, an engineer was instantly deployed and a pressure issue was found in the chilled water system, which they were able to rectify immediately, allowing the air temperature to return to normal levels. Similarly, high temperatures were reported by the Airthings sensors in June 2021 on several floors in the building. Again, Evotech’s engineering team was immediately sent to investigate and identify a small refrigerant leak in one of the chiller circuits. Without the air quality data, they would have had to rely on tenant complaints. Instead, using the air quality data, they were proactive and returned the comfort cooling system back to full use. Acting immediately reduced the amount of refrigerant wasted and prevented the system from expending extra energy trying to cool a building without a fully functioning chiller.
US$ 4.6 million in projected energy and operating cost savings empowered the Charleroi Area School District, a western Pennsylvania public school district to renew assets and improve indoor air quality for shared learning spaces. After their immediate responses to COVID-19, many schools reassessed ventilation assets and started vetting plans to ensure healthy indoor air going forward. To green light a fiscally responsible solution, Charleroi Area School District (CASD) needed a way to overcome humidity and boiler issues interrupting learning without adding excessive burdens on community resources. Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization technology ABM’s custom solution created a projected US$ 4.6 million in energy and operating cost savings ABM’s custom solution created a projected US$ 4.6 million in energy and operating cost savings. In addition to improved lighting, HVAC and building controls, the project added Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization technology, a pathogen and particle control measure for ventilation systems, to every facility. Prioritizing healthy air and fiscal responsibility together after assessing CASD assets, operations, and goals, ABM technical experts were able to identify opportunities to improve facilities for students and teachers, while reducing energy and operating costs. By creating that savings, the project empowered CASD leadership to protect air quality and community resources going forward. “Together we have been able to solve HVAC issues that have interrupted the learning process in the past,” said Dr. Ed Zelich, Superintendent of Charleroi Area School District, adding “Consequently, we’ve been able to obtain sustainable, efficient air quality improvements that are safeguarding our learning environments for the future.” Energy Performance Contracting Program ABM’s Energy Performance Contracting Program enables investment in indoor air quality (IAQ) for shared learning environments and community sustainability goals by driving costs out of operating budgets and redirecting savings to critical needs. Facility upgrades included energy conservation measures for seven facilities across the district, including Charleroi Elementary Center, Charleroi High School, and the Sports Complex. Highlights of the project include: Replacing aging boilers and ventilation equipment Re-commissioning and optimizing HVAC systems Building automation system upgrades, including new sensors for monitoring IAQ Needlepoint Bi-Polar Ionization installations Installing water conservation upgrades Replacing high-efficiency transformers in electrical power distribution systems LED lighting upgrades Roofing and building envelope improvements
The Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant is located on the Olkiluoto Island on the Eura River and it is owned by Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO). The nuclear power plant units Olkiluoto 1 and Olkiluoto 2 (OL1 and OL2) consist of two BWRs (boiling water reactors), each producing 890MW of electricity. OL1 was first connected to Finland’s national grid in September 1978 and OL2 followed in February 1980. Since then, Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has systematically modernized the OL1 and OL2 plant units during annual outages and modernization projects to ensure safe and efficient operations, currently planned until 2038. Heatmasters was on-site again during this year’s annual outage, utilizing the heat treatment solutions during the repair of valves in OL1 and OL2. Annual Outages 2020 The annual outages at the OL1 & OL2 plant units were carried out with some adjustments due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There were several measures taken to safeguard the health and safety of every individual involved in the annual outages. All larger maintenance works which were not critical in terms of safety or availability were postponed to a later date. However, there were still multiple significant works taking place including reactor refueling. With a total of 730 contractor employees, 4800 work phases were carried out. The total duration of the annual outages was approximately four weeks. Heatmasters On-Site Heat Treatment During the project, Heatmasters was working with Recion Oy, an industrial service provider carrying out projects throughout Europe and delivering prefabricated products globally with niche expertise in high-pressure piping solutions. The operators required additional background checks and multiple safety certificates related to working at the plant Heatmasters provides custom-tailored heat treatment solutions and industrial services anywhere in the world, with a focus on flexible and cost-efficient solutions that do not compromise on quality. The operators are specialized in on-site works taking place across a multitude of industries with high standards and quality requirements. For this project, in addition to their decades of heat treatment experience, the operators required additional background checks and multiple safety certificates related to working at the plant. Maintenance schedule The wizards were already familiar with the work being done as they had prior experience working at the plant units during previous years. The maintenance work went smoothly, even though the current COVID-19 situation added some things to take into consideration. Upon arriving at the site, the heat treatment specialists passed through a disinfection station and were given personal protective equipment such as masks. They also received detailed instructions in advance from TVO’s annual outage coronavirus group at the site. During the first week, the team transported equipment to the site in OL2 and prepared everything for heat treatment. Transporting equipment to the site is always a complex process within facilities such as nuclear power plants due to strict safety measures and reporting. HM406T transformer HM406T2 is a semi-automatic preheating unit, suitable for on-site preheating of metal parts The heat treatment operators utilized the HM406T transformer with several resistive heating mats during this project. The HM406T2 is a semi-automatic preheating unit, suitable for on-site preheating of metal parts. These thyristor-controlled transformer units have been designed with usability in mind, their simple and lightweight structure allows effortless mobility and efficient pre-heating at any location. Along with the experienced operators, it was the perfect solution for this project which required moving around on-site. Due to the location of the job, there were further restrictions regarding loose equipment & tools. This meant Heatmasters could not attach heating mats to parts being treated with clips and bands as is usually done. The heat treatment specialists on-site had a creative solution and used thermocouple wire to attach the heating elements to the valves which were being pre-heated. After the first week, pre-heating had gone well, and one valve was repaired in OL2 and the team moved to the other plant unit. Digital documentation At OL1, two valves would be pre-heated & repaired. Moving equipment from one plant unit to the other did not take as long since it was already at the plant area, which was taken into consideration during planning and we had two valves that required pre-heating at OL1. Of course, all heat treatment processes were digitally documented, and the process was done by the extensive quality management system, ensuring the highest level of customer service and quality. The work phases were completed successfully and the annual outages of 2020 were completed as the Olkiluoto 1 plant unit (OL1) was once again connected to the national grid and electricity production on the 8th of June, 2020. Annual outage maintenance Working with Heatmasters at during the annual outage maintenance works has been great" “Working with the Heatmasters team at Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant during the annual outage maintenance works has been great, in a working environment which presents extremely challenging conditions and high standards,” said Miika Vähäkangas, Welding Coordination & QC/A, Recion Oy. In addition to on-site pre-heating and post-weld heat treatment (PWHT), Heatmasters provides custom-tailored solutions including: Heat treatment of large workpieces in fixed or portable temporary furnaces Refractory dry-outs Wide range of industrial services (NDT, surface treatment, welding, etc.) High-tech heat treatment equipment (furnaces, transformers, temperature control systems, etc.) Modernizations for all manufacturer’s heat treatment equipment
During the final months of 2020, the Wizards of Metal left Finland and headed towards Uruguay during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Equipped with Heatmasters heat treatment units, the specialists would be working with Andritz personnel to replace bends and ties on several superheaters, during which on-site heat treatment work was required. These works happened during the plants’ annual outage maintenance project, officially called “PGP 2020 (Parada General de Planta)”. Montes del Plata Mill The Montes del Plata Mill is a eucalyptus wood pulp mill located in Southern Uruguay. It is run as a joint venture between Stora Enso and Arauco. The Montes del Plata Industrial Complex is environmentally friendly, incorporating the latest technological advancements which guarantee minimal environmental impact, meeting all environmental regulations established by the European Union (IPCC), and operating according to the industry’s best available techniques (IPPC-BAT). Montes del Plata owns 190 000 hectares of land and leases 56 500 hectares of land and the company has incorporated standards of responsible forest management – FSC® and internationally recognized PEFC™-, which certify 100% of its plantations. Montes del Plata is also the largest private power generator in Uruguay, the third-largest producer after the hydroelectric stations of Salto Grande and Palmar. The mill delivers its surplus energy of around 500 GWh per year to Uruguay’s national grid, which equates to around 5% of the country’s total energy needs and is a contributor to the country’s conversion of its energy matrix to renewables, minimizing fossil fuel use. The Mill’s Pulp Production Process Wood is transported to the industrial complex after which it is converted into chips to reduce and standardize their size 1) Wood Chipping Wood is transported to the industrial complex on trucks and barges, after which it is converted into smaller pieces called chips to reduce and standardize their size whilst facilitating the digestion process. 2) Cooking The chips enter the digester. A mixture of water and chemicals called white liquor is added to the chips, causing cellulose fibers to separate from lignin, a high-energy wood component, at high pressure and temperature. 3) Bleaching The pulp from the cooking process is filtered, washed, and then bleached. This changes the color of the pulp from brown to white. 4) Drying White sheets pass through dryers until the water content is less than 10%. After this, they are cut, grouped into bales, and packaged. Atmospheric emissions are 99% water vapor meeting the most demanding environmental standards Chemicals and wood components from this process are concentrated and burned, generating steam and electricity. Non-combustible components are reintegrated into the pulp production process. The plant’s energy and chemical inputs are recovered and reused, making the Kraft process economically and environmentally viable. Atmospheric emissions are 99% water vapor and meet the most demanding national and international environmental standards, just as liquid effluents do. Scope of Project and Heat Treatment The scope of the works was to replace 6 bends and 48 pairs of ties in the superheaters II, III, and IV of the recovery boiler (RB). The works (including transport of equipment) were completed during 6 days in November 2020. During the replacement of the bends and ties, annealing was required. Annealing is a heat treatment process that changes the properties of a material to increase its ductility and reduce its hardness, making it more workable. In addition to the superheater bends and ties, the drainage incisions from the pipes were also heat treated. Heat treatment certificates of each heating process were required, and our innovative equipment ensured that fast and accurate digital documentation was available. Heat Treatment Equipment Heatmasters received positive feedback regarding the equipment’s compact design The wizards of metal were equipped with two HM406T_R26 heat treatment units which have a power output of 40kW and 6 heating channels. These fully automatic thyristor-controlled heat treatment units for the annealing of metal parts have been designed with usability in mind: their simple and lightweight structure allows effortless mobility and efficient heat treatment works at any location. The wizards received positive feedback regarding the equipment’s compact design, which allowed the units to stay in place on the narrow hallways of the plant without causing any issues and reducing time spent moving equipment during the works. The units’ computerized state-of-the-art temperature control system provides digital, easy, and accurate setting, controlling, monitoring, and digital documentation of the heat treatment process, even remotely. This also means that an external temperature recorder is not required. These units are also almost maintenance-free, ensuring cost-efficient and trouble-free heating operations. COVID-19 Precautions “Due to the ongoing pandemic, many restrictions and safety measures were in place during the project. Our heat treatment specialists were tested and entered quarantine before travel and arrival at the site. Protective equipment was always worn and contact between workers was limited using plastic screens, separated shifts, and restrictions to the amount of personnel within each area.” “Unfortunately, some of the wizards could not travel to Uruguay due to possible COVID-19 exposure. This caused some shifts in the scope of the works, but thanks to the personnel’s great work ethic and some help moving and packing equipment from our partners on-site, the company was able to complete the works within the planned timeframe.” Heat Treatment Specialists The equipment and tools were also suitable for the works at the Montes del Plata Mill “We are extremely satisfied with the work completed by Heatmasters despite the challenges caused by the pandemic. A great effort was required to get the job done on schedule and Heatmasters heat treatment specialists were flexible and their commitment to work was exemplary.” “It was easy to work with the “wizards of metal” because they are professionals and know what they are doing. The equipment and tools were also suitable for the works at the Montes del Plata Mill,” said Jukka Repo, Service Engineer, Recovery Boilers at ANDRITZ OY. Custom-tailored solutions Heatmasters look forward to future challenges utilizing knowledge and long-term experience in high-quality heat treatment and industrial services. In addition to on-site pre-heating and post-weld heat treatment (PWHT), Heatmasters provides custom-tailored solutions including: Heat treatment of workpieces in fixed furnaces Heat treatment of large workpieces in portable temporary furnaces Refractory dry-outs Wide range of industrial services (NDT, surface treatment, welding, etc.) High-tech heat treatment equipment (furnaces, transformers, temperature control systems, etc.) Modernizations for all manufacturer’s heat treatment equipment
Indoor air quality and affordable building ventilation are increasingly important for businesses fighting to stay open and operable during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Casinos, with their 24/7 operating schedules and high levels of tobacco smoke and other indoor air contaminants, face a unique challenge to maintain optimum indoor air quality at an affordable cost. Airxchange energy recovery wheel technology was specifically designed to operate in demanding casino environments to deliver improved fresh air ventilation and dramatically reduced energy costs. Solution To Improve Ventilation And IAQ The Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, IN sought a fresh solution to improve ventilation and indoor air quality at its 400,000-square-foot gaming vessel located on Lake Michigan. The property, owned by Caesars Entertainment, had an original HVAC system designed with energy recovery wheels to offset the long heating season, control humidity in the summer, and improve indoor air quality with clean outdoor air year-round. However, after 12 years of continuous operation, the system’s original aluminum wheels became plugged with tar and contaminants and routine maintenance became ineffective and inefficient. The casino’s management was in dire need of a maintainable and affordable long-term solution to provide fresh, clean air for the patrons who ultimately drive the casino’s bottom line. The Airxchange Advantage The Horseshoe Casino partnered with Airxchange to replace the original 10 ft. diameter wheels with a practical energy recovery wheel solution to ensure easy maintenance, durability, and uninterrupted operation to match the casino’s 24/7 schedule. Airxchange provided on-site assistance and ongoing customer service to ensure the wheels were built and operating Airxchange’s rugged polymer energy transfer medium is fully segmented and removable for cleaning as needed. No special equipment or training is required to clean the energy recovery media making it possible for on-site facility teams to maintain factory-level wheel performance, airflows, and energy savings for the life of the equipment. An additional set of segments limits downtime to under an hour per routine cleaning schedule. Airxchange’s stainless steel wheel design alleviated corrosion concerns associated with the property’s unique location on Lake Michigan. The field assembled frame and wheel design were compact enough for barge transport without the need for heavy machinery. Airxchange provided on-site assistance and ongoing customer service to ensure the energy recovery wheels were built and operating to factory specifications while adhering to the property’s operational requirements. Proven Results Airxchange’s reliable, service-friendly wheel design answered the Horseshoe Casino’s call for an affordable fresh air solution. Tobacco smoke and odors are eliminated at the source for a more comfortable customer experience, and the rooftop HVAC units operate more efficiently to dramatically reduce energy costs. A follow-up air quality study recorded the lowest CO2 values on record which can now be maintained thanks to the cleanable wheel design and higher airflows not achieved with the original wheels. Impressed with the results, energy payback, and exceptional customer service provided throughout the Horseshoe Casino project, Caesars Entertainment has implemented Airxchange’s unique energy recovery wheel solution in several other properties nationwide.
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.
Round table discussion
For schools, improving indoor air quality (IAQ) is a basic function of HVAC systems, which also ensures a high comfort level for students, teachers and staff. Schools can be a lucrative market for HVAC systems, but there are challenges, such as long sales cycles and the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the challenges for HVAC in serving the education/schools market?
Shifting demographics suggest a need for ‘new blood’ in the HVAC industry. It has never been a more important time to attract new applicants into the industry. Fortunately, there is a range of exciting opportunities for applicants of any age, including new disciplines and skills needed as HVAC systems transform in the digital age. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the emerging career opportunities in the HVAC industry?
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?
Automated After Hours HVAC Software And How You Can Quantify Its ValueDownload