Emerson, a globally renowned software, technology, and engineering solutions company that provides innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and residential markets, has announced new leadership in its HVACR Technologies and Digital & Connected Technologies business groups. New Leadership Appointments John Schneider will serve as President of the HVACR Technologies - America's business, at Emerson. He has served in several senior leadership roles within Emerson, includi...
Trane Technologies, a global climate innovator, has completed the acquisition of Farrar Scientific, which the company initially announced in a press release on September 13, 2021. Acquisition of Farrar Scientific Farrar Scientific is a critical supplier for bioscience and biopharmaceutical customers that provides proprietary technology, to fill an unmet need for flexible, modular and efficient ultra-low temperature processing and storage, including cooling and heating/thawing. “We are d...
Airthings, the globally renowned company in indoor air quality (IAQ) solutions for consumers, businesses, and professionals, has announced a new product addition to its portfolio, View CO₂ for Business. Battery-operated, wireless sensor The new battery-operated, wireless sensor will empower schools and offices everywhere, in order to take charge of their air quality, by warning them when carbon dioxide (CO₂) exceeds recommended levels and indoor air quality deteriorates. View CO₂ for Business...
PowerPay, one of the fastest-growing home improvement financing technology company in the country, has announced integration with Sales Builder Pro platform, developed by Intelligent Mobile Support (IMS), the industry renowned company for HVAC proposal software solutions. The integration will provide current and future Sales Builder Pro users with access to superior consumer financing options by PowerPay. PowerPay offers consumer financing solutions with 0% dealer fees and rates starting at 4.9...
TZOA, pioneers of smart air quality technology for HVAC professionals and their home owner customers, have announced that they have become HAVEN (HAVEN IAQ) and launched the HAVEN Central Air Controller. HAVEN Central Air Controller Along with the bold new look and brand, comes an entirely fresh approach to air quality management. Combined with the existing HAVEN Central Air Monitor, the HAVEN Controller builds an ecosystem that makes any HVAC system smarter and homes healthier, by detecting h...
Armstrong Fluid Technology has announced the availability of new Parts Kits for more than two dozen pumps and circulators. This includes all Design Envelope pumps (permanent magnet motors, intelligent vertical multistage and intelligent variable speed) and select models of fire pumps and circulators. Armstrong’s new Parts Kits Consisting of engineered combinations of Armstrong genuine parts, the Parts Kits include all the replacement parts and related hardware that is required to complet...
New research reveals that 22nd October, 2021, over a week before the clocks go back, will be the day when the majority of the United Kingdom turns on their central heating, for the autumn and winter seasons. The research, commissioned by Toolstation, one of Britain’s fastest growing suppliers of tools, accessories and building supplies, found that 60% of households were worried about being able to afford to keep their home warm, during the harsh winter months. Toolstation research on UK’s central heating needs Over half of households (51%) were also concerned about the costs of keeping their power on, over a long period and have argued with other members of their household, about when to turn the heating on for winter season, while 54% were worried about the costs of their lighting, during the darker months. The research also highlighted some worrying trends, revealing that only 28% of households check whether their radiators are working correctly, before they're ready to use them in the winter season. The research also found that 21% of households only service their boilers every five years, despite professional advice that boilers should be checked annually. Plumbers expect high service call-outs to fix broken boilers Toolstation surveyed plumbers and electricians, to get their thoughts on avoiding heating and electrical pitfalls Toolstation surveyed plumbers and electricians, to get their thoughts on avoiding heating and electrical pitfalls, during the autumn months. 43% of plumbers said they expected to see a sharp increase in service call-outs to fix broken boilers, blocked waste pipes and leaking central heating pipes. The survey also revealed that 63% of plumbers highlighted leaking or broken radiators, as the most common issue that they expect to be called out for repair. Additionally, 38% of electricians identified broken electrical heaters, as a key reason behind increased call outs, during the peak period and 27% expect to deal with circuit shortages. Autumn season, Peak period to replace outdoor lighting Outside of these issues, electricians also highlighted autumn as a peak time for replacing outdoor lighting, in order to tackle the darker nights and increase security, with 67% of them seeing a dramatic rise in household visits, to residents unaware of damaged lighting, until this time of year. Commenting on the research, David Taylor, the Head of Buying at Toolstation said “Turning on the central heating is the sure sign of autumn arriving and this year, the big switch-on is set for the 22nd October, 2021, a week before the clocks go back. The colder nights, darker nights and mornings mean we’ll use more light, heat and energy, to keep our homes warm.” Regular checking of boilers David Taylor adds, “It’s important that households know whether their boilers are working as with the cold weather and with energy prices increasing, this could be an expensive time. Whether you’re an early bird or someone who likes to layer up in jumpers and socks, before reaching for the heating switch, it's important that you regularly get your boiler checked, and consider insulating your home, to help conserve energy.” It is always best to plan ahead and be prepared. Toolstation’s research uncovered the top five things to check, before the big switch-on, including: 66% of plumbers recommend having the boiler serviced, before the winter sets in. 51% advised to clear the gutter of leaves and debris, to avoid leaking roofs, damaged foundations and rotted wood. 44% recommend checking the boiler’s pressure, which if too low can affect the efficiency of the home’s heating. 44% advised to have gas fires serviced. 37% of tradespeople advise households to check radiators and valves for leaks.
Artus Air Ltd. (Artus) has announced the launch of a new brand to market. Artus brings new advanced technology in air conditioning, with a unit that combines the flexibility of a fan coil unit and the low energy of a chilled beam. Artus Artus represents a step forward in traditional Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems and offers a more sustainable and comfortable future for buildings and their occupants. This new innovation not only transforms the way buildings are cooled and heated, but can also significantly reduce the amount of energy consumed and carbon generated. The impressive energy performance of Artus means that switching from a traditional fan coil unit (FCU) to Artus has the potential to make a significant combined energy and carbon savings, translating to up to 89% on fan input power. Artus Optima helps deliver Net Zero carbon target Using Artus Optima, Artus’ partnering control system, the new Artus technology could help deliver a building’s HVAC Net Zero carbon reduction target totally, along with reducing its regulated energy and total energy by 21% and 14%, respectively. These figures are based on the trial use of Artus Optima, conducted in a 10,000 sq. m model office. This revolutionary new system is also a low-cost solution and arrives on-site as a single component This revolutionary new system is also a low-cost solution and arrives on-site as a single component, significantly reducing the installation time. Artus negates the need for secondary ducts or grilles and is a self-access design, which ensures it is easier and cheaper to maintain. The development of HVAC has transformed the way everyone lives and works, in terms of comfort and health, yet the original systems have remained relatively unchanged, for close to 30 years. HVAC unit With high-precision temperature controls By employing advancements in mechanical and electrical technology, the designers at Artus have managed to create a product that is not only more compact and aesthetically pleasing, but also offers more comfort, is quieter in use, and draught-free, with high-precision temperature controls. Roger Olsen, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) behind the Artus innovation said, “Artus came from a desire to have a ‘better tool for the job’ - a low energy, widely applicable HVAC system, which is easy to design, install and run.” Modular design with performance-enhancing features The modular design of Artus also allows it to be combined and integrated with a range of performance-enhancing features, including acoustic finishes, lighting options, as well as further thermal capabilities. Now an independent company, Artus was originally developed as part of Arup’s Ventures program, which was set up to commercialize innovative staff ideas.
As summers get hotter and extreme heat events to become more common, it is increasingly uncomfortable to live without air conditioning. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the vast majority of American households do have air conditioning, but about 9% do not have any air conditioning unit. Many of these households are located in cities with historically temperate climates, but climate change is expected to make extreme heat events not only more frequent but also more severe. Even areas with mild summers in the past, such as regions in the Pacific Northwest US, have already begun experiencing these changes. Rise in extreme weather events Extreme weather events, such as heat waves and large storms, are more common today than they were in the past, due to climate change. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency shows that the 1960s experienced an average of two heat waves per year. But by the 2010s, the average number of heat waves had tripled to six per year. Heat waves that affect locations with temperate climates can be especially dangerous, since households are more likely to lack air conditioning in those places. The Pacific Northwest had two extreme heat waves this summer, causing temperatures to rise to a sweltering 116 ℉ in Portland, Oregon and to 108 ℉ in Seattle, Washington. Heat waves, a threat to public health Extreme heat events are a threat to public health, with more than 600 people per year killed by extreme heatwaves Extreme heat events are a threat to public health, with more than 600 people per year killed by extreme heat waves. Poorer households and minority households are more likely to lack air conditioning, and are especially vulnerable during heatwaves. In fact, data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey shows that nearly 12% of households below the poverty threshold lack air conditioning. In comparison, only about 8% of households, with incomes greater than 300% of the poverty threshold, do not have air conditioning. U.S. Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey In addition to socio-economic status and race, geographic location and local climate are also good predictors of household air conditioning status. Households in more temperate climates are less likely to have an air conditioner. The Census Bureau’s 2019 American Housing Survey includes data from 10 US states. Of these states, households in California and Colorado are much more likely to not have air conditioning, in comparison to the much warmer states of Texas and Florida. Nearly a quarter of California households (23.8%) lack air conditioning, in comparison to just 1.1% of households in Florida and 1.6% of households in Texas. Filterbuy report on US residents lacking air conditioning To find the metropolitan areas with the most residents lacking air conditioning, researchers at Filterbuy analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Zillow. The researchers ranked locations, according to the percentage of households that lack air conditioning. Researchers also calculated the total number of households that lack air conditioning, the median home price, and the poverty rate. The U.S. Census Bureau data only includes statistics from select states and metropolitan areas in the United States of America.
Danfoss has announced the introduction of the new VLT Soft Starter MCD 600 solution, which provides a flexible soft starter solution, to potentially long lead times that are currently seen in the industry. This product is in stock and ready to ship quickly, including the NEMA 3R enclosure. VLT Soft Starter MCD 600 The new VLT Soft Starter MCD 600 solution from Danfoss offers the latest in soft start motor control and protection, for superior performance in fixed-speed applications, wherever drives are used. The new VLT Soft Starter MCD 600 solution from Danfoss offers the latest in soft start motor control The new product provides all the features and functions, as a standard MCD 600 Soft Starter in a compact NEMA12 or NEMA3R enclosure would offer, with circuit breaker, keypad and operators on the door. Standard features of the VLT Soft Starter MCD 600 include: Mains voltage range - 3 x 480 VAC In-built impeller cleaning assistance with pump clean functionality Advanced start, stop, and protection features Auto start/stop clock DC injection braking 4-line graphical display Multiple programming setup menus Circuit breaker, keypad, and operators provided conveniently on the door Save space and reduce installation costs due to the internal bypass contactors All-in-one solution for enhanced protection The VLT Soft Starter MCD 600 is an all-in-one solution, which offers a higher level of protection than the standard chassis offering and includes an integrated bypass, in order to maximize efficiency and minimize harmonics. Standard and heavy-duty models for Danfoss’ VLT Soft Starter MCD 600 are available, so as to meet any specific application needs.
NevadaNano, the globally renowned innovator in gas detection sensor technology, has announced its partnership with Emerson, to jointly develop refrigerant gas detector products, which will provide a solution to the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry, for refrigerant leak detection. NevadaNano - Emerson partnership “We are proud to partner with Emerson to develop essential solutions that can help lower the impact of existing HVACR equipment on the global environment and facilitate the safe use of low GWP refrigerant gases,” said Ralph Whitten, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NevadaNano. MPS technology is a patented platform, which is programmable for a range of A1, A2L, and A3 refrigerant gases NevadaNano’s Molecular Property Spectrometer (MPS) technology, together with Emerson’s renowned HVACR technologies experience, including flammable gas sensing products, creates a strong leadership position for gas sensing solutions. The MPS technology is a patented platform, which is programmable for a wide range of A1, A2L, and A3 refrigerant gases, such as R32, R454, and R407. Switching to lower GWP refrigerants “Our solution enables original equipment manufacturers to have their product line compliant with federal HFC phasedown regulations, known as the AIM act,” said John Rhodes, Group President for Digital & Connected Technologies at Emerson, adding “The mandate shifts the industry from high GWP to lower GWP refrigerants, including mildly flammable A2L refrigerants.” NevadaNano’s MPS outperformed all other technologies in the Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) study (Project 9014), which was published on August 13, 2021. The study incorporates 28 test requirements from UL, IEC, ASHRAE15, and the JRA regulatory agencies. Emerson gas detector The combined ‘lab on a chip’ allows the sensor to pass all tests, including vibration and resistance to condensing environments and poisoning chemicals. The Emerson gas detector will allow the HVACR industry to deploy smarter A2L systems.
The latest round of financing from the UK Government’s Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) will be key to ensuring that low-carbon district heating schemes are delivered from 2022, according to polymer pipework specialist, REHAU. Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) The Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF) is the latest funding scheme, launched by the government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, building upon 2018’s Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP). As part of this latest funding tranche, the GHNF has pledged an additional £270 million investment in low-carbon technology, on top of the £165 million already provided by the HNIP. Steve Richmond, the Head of Marketing and Technical at REHAU Building Solutions, said “It is no secret that COVID-19 has impacted the decarbonization of the UK heating sector. The pandemic has left budgets strained for many, so investing in a new heating system simply hasn’t been a priority.” Low-carbon district heating schemes The heating sector currently accounts for as much as 21% of the nation’s emissions in total For this reason, schemes such as the Green Heat Network Fund will be key to putting low-carbon progress back on track post-pandemic. The heating sector currently accounts for as much as 21% of the nation’s emissions in total, so increasing uptake of heat pumps and district heating networks will be key to achieving net-zero by 2050. This development coincides with the launch of the CP1 Heat Networks Code of Practice, by The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and The Association for Decentralised Energy. The publication advocates a maximum flow temperature of 70 °C for district heating networks, making them better suited to fourth-generation heating schemes. Polymer district heating networks Polymer district heating networks, using low-carbon technology, such as heat pumps and waste heat recovery systems, are one of the most effective ways to reduce reliance on traditional gas boilers. Low-carbon networks are the only form of network supported by the GHNF, so it is important contractors and consultants consider the recommendations in the CP1 guidance to deliver suitable installations. Steve Richmond concludes by stating, “The launch of schemes, such as the Green Heat Network Fund and regulations, such as CP1, will be critical to driving the uptake of low-carbon technology in England and Wales. Coupled with comprehensive training from specialists, such as REHAU, this demand will be a major factor in ensuring heat network installations is suitable for end users in a low-carbon future.”
At the moment, it seems as though a day rarely goes by without low-carbon heating hitting the headlines. Whether it is reports of ‘revamping’ the Clean Heat Grant, to include a ‘boiler scrappage’ scheme, which may offer home owners up to £7000 to make the switch to a low-carbon alternative, to speculation that the Prime Minister is under pressure to push back the 2035 ban on gas boilers, the debate on how and when the low-carbon heating revolution will happen is ongoing. BEIS Hydrogen Strategy We have also seen the recently published, Hydrogen Strategy from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that cements its plans to develop technologies that allow hydrogen-powered heating in people’s homes. In addition to this, the Future Homes Task Force, including some of the United Kingdom’s largest property developers, regulators, suppliers and environmental groups, have agreed to the sector-wide Future Homes Delivery Plan, to build homes that are ‘zero-carbon ready’ and sustainable by 2025. Alternative energy, key to hitting net zero targets by 2050 What is also clear is that tackling the decarbonization of heat is not a one-technology solution According to the Climate Change Committee, in a report published in December 2020, the UK’s homes are responsible for around 15 percent of emissions. As a result, the need to install alternatives to traditional fossil fuel heating systems will be crucial, to hitting our net zero targets, by 2050. This will be the key challenge that the delayed Heat and Buildings Strategy, now due in the autumn season, will need to address. Therefore, what is also clear is that tackling the decarbonization of heat is not a one-technology solution. Target to install air source heat pumps in UK homes So far, much of the focus has been on heat pumps, as the UK Government has set an ambitious target of installing 600,000 air source heat pumps (ASHPs) in UK homes each year, by 2028. However, there are a number of challenges to achieve this goal, as house builders will need convincing to install heat pumps in new builds, and home owners and landlords will need convincing to retrofit older properties. Cost, a key issue in air source heat pumps installation Cost will also be a key issue, even with a government grant and ASHPs can be complex to install. They can also emit noise that breaches legal limits, if placed too close to a neighboring property. In addition, they won’t be suitable for all properties, as the needs of a 4-bedroom new build home are very different to a 1970s apartment, a Victorian-era terrace, a social housing property or an off-grid home. Computer-controlled infrared heating (CCIR) One of the alternatives is computer-controlled infrared heating, which addresses many of the issues faced by ASHPs Taking all of these challenges into account, BEIS has said that it is ‘uncertain’ what the ‘optimal solution’ is, when it comes to low-carbon heating. Certainly, there is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for heating the UK’s homes, which is why it is vital that house builders, landlords, contractors, installers and developers explore the full range of low-carbon heating technologies that are available today. There are alternatives that can provide benefits that are much more likely to appeal to a wider range of end-user audiences. One of the alternatives is computer-controlled infrared heating (CCIR), which addresses many of the issues faced by ASHPs. High-performance heating Firstly, infrared is an intrinsically more effective source of heat than conventional convection heating, because it heats the material within a room, rather than the air, which can escape from doors and windows. CCIR systems also outperform many other low-carbon technologies, because the software within each panel constantly monitors each individual room and learns about the energy storage characteristics within it, adjusting its routine to maintain the ambient temperature within the room, maximizing its performance and using fewer units of energy, in comparison to a traditional heating system. KERS water heating system This keeps energy bills low, and meets increasing sustainability standards. Figures show that, out of 29 million homes in the United Kingdom, 19 million have an EPC lower than C. Together with Ambion Heating’s KERS water heating system, inefficient properties can be brought up to a minimum EPC C. CCIR also costs less to install than many other low-carbon heating alternatives CCIR also costs less to install than many other low-carbon heating alternatives. In a typical three-bedroom house, for example, the estimated cost of installing a CCIR system is around £6,000, compared to nearly £10,500 for an ASHP. They are also easy to install, whether they’re being retrofitted into an existing building or installed within a new build, because they can simply be wired into the mains, by a qualified electrician. Enhanced comfort and reduced emissions The heat CCIR provides feels more natural and comfortable, once the fabric of the room is saturated with energy, and it emits a comfortable, radiant heat. It also reduces humidity, as well as improves the air quality within a building, reducing the amount of circulating dust. In fact, in an independent performance review, CCIR provided the same levels of comfort within a room, using 60% less energy than a standard electric convection system, and on a par with ASHPs. Heating solutions for a low-carbon future While there is a real urgency, when it comes to decarbonizing heat, it’s vital to consider which technologies offer the most benefits to the end user. By understanding and investigating all of the alternatives to gas central heating, such as CCIR, the benefits will not only be felt in the short term, they are a sustainable solution for the longer term.
In today’s world, we spend almost 90 per cent of our time indoors, in our workplaces, leisure areas and our homes. It is no secret that the built environment has been relatively slow in its embrace of information technology and automation. According to KPMG’s ‘Building a Technology Advantage’ report, fewer than 20 percent of construction and engineering executives, and major-project owners said they are re-thinking their business models, so as to incorporate new technology. Yet, it has now become a necessity, as energy efficiency becomes a more prominent topic discussion, which is leading to sweeping changes across all aspects of our lives and none more so than in the built environment. Commitment to net-zero emissions Governments are beginning to impose tighter restrictions on building use, energy consumption and emissions. Policymakers around the world are committing to net-zero emissions targets, with more than 60 countries pledging to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. For example, the European Union (EU) is committed to become a carbon-neutral economy, with net-zero emissions by 2050 and all new buildings within the EU must be constructed as near-zero energy buildings. Meanwhile, China has legislated that at least 30 per cent of all new buildings must be ‘green’. Smart technology to better manage HVAC Technology can help optimize energy consumption and create energy efficiency in our buildings Given this new trend towards energy efficiency in the real estate sector, smart technology is needed to better manage HVAC and energy consumption. Buildings currently contribute 40 per cent of global carbon emissions, a problem exacerbated by extreme weather conditions across the globe, which increases demand for electricity, as more people rely on air conditioning for cooling. Technology can help optimize energy consumption and create energy efficiency in our buildings, alleviating many of the problems that we have today. Technology enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) can optimize comfort and safety, while providing remote operability and access to everything from HVAC systems to security cameras. At the same time, data collection and integration with cloud-based services allow for powerful energy efficiency measures. Designing and operating Smart buildings The concept and operation of smart buildings is not new. Architects and developers have been installing separate systems to control lighting and HVAC for decades. Later systems have evolved and helped building managers control access to different areas of a site, mitigate fire risk and protect against power surges. What is new is the addition of web-based platforms, in order to allow these verticals to integrate seamlessly with each other. The building of tomorrow is achievable today, using the latest in automation intelligence to control lighting, air-conditioning and heating. With these digital solutions, everything can be controlled remotely and allow for complete control, whenever it is needed most. Increased use of smart technology The first step in managing HVAC energy is to understand exactly how much is being used and where it is used. With this information at hand, managers can highlight areas for improvement, which in turn will help a building become more efficient and ultimately, save money. Another step in managing HVAC energy is including smart technology alongside your system Another step in managing HVAC energy is including smart technology alongside your system, as it can minimize maintenance costs. Predictive fault-finding can save maintenance time and labor, as well as minimizing downtime for expensive equipment or services. It is estimated that smart-enabled predictive maintenance is three to nine times cheaper than a traditional reactive approach. Tenant and occupant satisfaction are often also higher, as systems that experience failure can be identified, repaired and re-booted quickly. Smart building systems Smart building systems, such as ABB i-bus KNX ClimaECO and ABB Cylon BACnet solutions, can combine HVAC in one holistic solution, from central control and management of heating and cooling systems, down to room-level automation. Smart systems simplify the implementation of intelligent automation in modern buildings and using pre-installed algorithms, can make autonomous decisions on things, such as adjusting lighting and HVAC levels, to reflect time of day, external environment, occupancy levels or other variables. Additionally, data collection and data analysis enabled by IoT allows for increased knowledge and better predictions of use. Working with a smart building, which is interconnected, can act and learn on this data, while providing remote access to data and analytics for human oversight. The ROI of smart technology implementation In addition to legislation driving change, being ‘smart’ provides other real benefits for developers and owners. As a building adapts to the demands of its users or the goals of its managers, it can save energy, cut emissions and reduce energy costs. More effective and efficient use of power can save money, quickly repaying initial technology expenditure Comparing energy savings to the falling cost of installing a basic smart management system, smart buildings immediately prove their worth. According to HSBC, if a smart system delivered an energy cost saving of 25 per cent, on an installation cost of US$ 37,500, for a 50,000 sq. ft building, the annual savings could be as much as US$ 23,000, giving a payback period of less than two years. More effective and efficient use of power can save money, quickly repaying initial technology expenditure. HVAC and lighting alone can account for about 50 per cent of energy use in an average commercial building, but by incorporating smart automation, managers may see decreased energy costs of up to 30 to 50 per cent. Leading the fight against climate change Technologies, such as IoT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are crucial to help us in the fight against climate change. These technologies help users, owners, operators and facility managers interact with the buildings of the future effortlessly, with personalized comfort and maximum efficiency. Artificial Intelligence and IoT is constantly in a state of evolution, as more applications for the technology are discovered. Given the ever-changing nature of technology, the possibilities for smart buildings in the future are endless.
A quick glance at official COVID-19 mitigation guidance reveals that it promotes increased ventilation air change rates, as the most effective way to keep people safe. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Just open a window or turn up your ventilation system, if you have one. The fact is, however, that the vast majority of domestic properties in Britain does not have a mechanical ventilation system and rely on natural means for background ventilation, including windows, trickle vents or air bricks. In short, homeowners or tenants must physically open windows, after having decided whether they want to. This is an imperfect system for several reasons. Firstly, cold or wet weather might lessen an open window’s appeal and secondly, natural ventilation is a weather dependent process, as sometimes there’s simply no air movement. In other words, a natural ventilation strategy does not guarantee effective ventilation. With an airborne virus still being transmitted across the country, it’s important to understand the best options available to combat the spread. Building to minimum standards Building using a strategy that comprises natural background ventilation is the simplest, easiest and cheapest method of compliance to Part F: Building Regulations. That’s why it is the most common. We call this building to ‘minimum standards’. The problem with this approach, which is perfectly legal and entirely acceptable to Building Control, is that it often leads to problems caused by insufficient ventilation, such as condensation, mould, dust mites and odors, once the building is occupied. This issue has been made far worse, in recent years, since we committed to the 2050 Climate Change Targets This issue has been made far worse, in recent years, since we committed to the 2050 Climate Change Targets and started retrofitting insulation improvements to millions of existing properties. Our already well-sealed properties were sealed up even further, thereby causing all the moisture and pollutants produced by the occupancy to stay in the house, unless ventilated away. Pros and cons of positive input ventilation Positive input ventilation (PIV) is a highly effective means of dealing with such issues. PIV systems can be retrofitted into existing buildings, in order to improve the rate of background ventilation and eliminate the problems mentioned earlier. PIV is widely accepted in social and private housing, because it is unobtrusive, not behavior dependent, easy to install, highly cost effective and improves building energy efficiency. PIV can, therefore, help increase air change rates for naturally ventilated buildings. Unfortunately, however, new problems can emerge through the use of such systems. Increasing ventilation can create thermal comfort problems, leading to expensive heating bills and uncomfortable occupants. Rise in outdoor pollution ingress It can also increase outdoor pollution ingress, which, in turn, can exacerbate health issues and lead to deadly asthma triggers, as confirmed by the ruling in the Ella Kissi-Debrah inquest. In short, PIV and other ventilation strategies, despite comprising filtration, can still let pollutants in. On top of these issues is viral particles emitted indoors, a key concern in the current climate, which can be displaced faster by more air changes and are not easily destroyed. This arguably means the rate of transmission remains high. What is needed is a retrofit solution that achieves all the benefits of PIV, while removing and destroying indoor and outdoor pollutants, including viral/microbials. Active PIV is that solution. Active PIV: A huge step forward Active PIV with Photohydroionisation (PHI) increases fresh air ventilation air change rates Active PIV with Photohydroionisation (PHI) increases fresh air ventilation air change rates, thus reducing indoor humidity and providing safe, and effective active air purification throughout the indoor environment. Most importantly, it complies with COVID-19 mitigation guidance and removes, and destroys pollutants from both indoor and outdoor sources, including odors, VOCs, radon and other gases, allergens, such as pollens, mould, pet dander and dust mite faecal matter, particulates, including smoke or traffic soot, and viral/bacterial emissions, including SARS-CoV-2, at the point of transmission. This level of protection is not possible with increased ventilation alone or passive air treatments, such as filtration, UV, PCO, or ionization. Active PIV, therefore, provides an extra layer of indoor protection, over and above PIV that is continuous and not behavior dependent. PHI technology delivers active air purification The PHI technology that delivers active purification essentially mimics Earth’s natural air cleaning processes. Minute concentrations of ionized hydro peroxides are created, whenever there is sunlight, water vapor and oxygen present. These active molecules break down and destroy pollutants on contact, and revert back to water vapor and oxygen afterwards. Active PIV recreates this process in an indoor setting, constantly replenishing new active molecules to replace the spent ones. It is perfectly safe to breathe and effective against all three categories of indoor air pollutants, including: Particulates Microbial Gases Active PIV to counter COVID-19 pandemic Active PIV is the perfect innovative response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be easily and quickly retrofitted, and its effect is instant. For social housing managers, it delivers the best possible protections to the indoor spaces, which are occupied by the tenants for whom they are responsible. In terms of both its innovation and effects, Active PIV technology is the breath of fresh air that the ventilation industry and a pandemic-stricken world sorely needs.
‘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.
When COVID-19 hit, North Arkansas College had to close its school, and students had to transition from in-person to online learning, which is especially difficult when teaching a trade that is heavily dependent on hands-on training. The HVAC/R program at North Arkansas College, which has existed for over 50 years, typically has an average of 14 to 16 students enrolled each year. HVAC/R program “With the quick transition we had to think outside the box, and so we found a company that had created a software for the HVAC/R Industry to help contractors and service companies give their service technicians additional training in areas that they needed,” said Jeff Smith, a licensed HVAC/R contractor who teaches courses at North Arkansas College. The software uses virtual reality (VR), a computer-generated simulation that enables a student to interact with an environment using electronic devices. The software chosen by North Arkansas State could be used for desktop (two dimensional) or with VR equipment (headset). Software using virtual reality (VR) The original thought was to send a laptop and VR headset home with each student, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to potentially get the hands-on training that they were missing, but that plan did not work out due to the overall costs and possible technical difficulties. “However, we recognized the value in the VR system and knew right away it would make a great tool to help build on what the students were already learning in the classroom and lab settings,” said Jeff Smith. SkillMill software The college uses Interplay Learning Software’s SkillMill, which was designed specifically for the HVAC/R industry The college uses Interplay Learning Software’s SkillMill, which was designed specifically for the HVAC/R industry and other trades. The software was also developed to work with several VR headsets brands, including the Oculus Rift S used at North Arkansas College. Jeff Smith said, “We believe the VR systems have been successful because we have witnessed improved lab skills, and we have heard our students discussing the tasks that they accomplished while using the VR systems and how those tasks helped them in their lab studies and in their HVAC/R internships.” Positive feedback on VR systems He adds, “All our students have given great feedback on how the VR systems have supplemented their learning, training experiences and how it could provide them with an additional edge to successfully enter the HVAC/R industry.” When they were developing the VR Lab, North Arkansas College had not heard of any other colleges using this technology specifically for HVAC/R training. Since then, they have had schools ask questions such as: How much does it cost? How did they integrate it with the curriculum? And is there a learning curve? The advantages of applying VR technologies in the HVAC discipline are numerous Applying VR technologies in HVAC The advantages of applying VR technologies in the HVAC discipline are numerous. Safety is always a major concern when students are working on live electrical circuits and pressurized systems. Using the completely safe VR environment, instructors do not have to worry about students becoming injured, while learning to troubleshoot and service HVAC/R equipment. Another advantage is that a student cannot accidentally break a part or component while learning to work on HVAC systems, which helps with costs. Also, students have the opportunity with the VR system to troubleshoot systems that may not be available in the lab, such as large chillers and cooling towers. Students embrace VR approach Today’s students have such a strong connection with technologies that are associated with VR systems" Today's students are more likely to embrace the VR approach because of their affinity for video games, for example. And there are other factors related to youth culture/technology that make the approach desirable. “Today’s students have such a strong connection with technologies that are associated with VR systems,” said Jeff Smith, adding “Just about every student is tech savvy. The majority of them have a natural inclination toward technology because of our smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, computers, etc. That makes VR training a perfect match for our younger generations.” Funds for additional VR systems Since the program began, North Arkansas State has had major contractors interested in what they are doing, how it works, and the added benefits for the students. However, HVAC/R contractors may not realize the benefits or the full potential of this new training product, until they see it for themselves. When they do, they are amazed at what they see, according to Jeff Smith. Another challenge is acquiring more funding for additional VR systems. “We would like to have a VR station for every student but for now we have a schedule to rotate the students through,” Jeff Smith concludes.
St. Vincent Fishers Hospital in Fishers, Indiana is part of the largest Catholic, a not-for-profit healthcare system in the United States of America. It serves its community, not only by providing the utmost in compassionate care, but also by implementing excellence in environmental stewardship, by obtaining LEED certification, under the healthcare rating system, and by being the first hospital in Indiana to do so. This explains why, in 2013, when St. Vincent Fishers Hospital needed to expand its emergency care clinic, to a full-service in-patient care hospital, it adopted its vision statement - ‘Expansion with the environment in mind.’ And why, when it came to its heating, humidification, and sterilization needs, St. Vincent Fishers Hospital chose to install Fulton boiler equipment. Fulton boilers Acting on the advice of Kevin McNutt of BSA LifeStructures, consulting engineer on the project, and working with Fulton representative and product specialist Byron Koch, President of A.B Young Company, St. Vincent Fishers Hospital installed: Three dual-fuel Fulton Vantage (VTG-2000DF) high-efficiency condensing hydronic heating boilers, and Two Fulton Classic (ICS-20) vertical tubeless steam boilers. In 2015, the ICS-20s, used for humidification only, were upgraded to two (bigger) Fulton Vertical Multi-Port (VMP-50), low-emissions, dual-fuel steam boilers. These boilers back-fed the existing surgery suite for sterilization and then, re-fed St. Vincent Fishers Hospital’s need for humidification, serving a much greater overall load. Vantage hydronic boilers installed The Vantage boilers are dual-fuel optimized for both, natural gas and No. 2 fuel oil The three installed Fulton Vantage hydronic boilers, as fully condensing boilers, achieve higher thermal efficiencies, of up to 99%, by recovering the latent heat of condensation from their own exhaust gases. The Vantage boilers are dual-fuel optimized for both, natural gas and No. 2 fuel oil. In fact, Vantage is the world’s first condensing boiler to offer full-time operation on No. 2 oil as a secondary fuel. Featuring Fulton ModSync controller The Vantage boilers were also installed with a Fulton ModSync controller, to offer outdoor reset and BACnet communication, to maximize system efficiencies, based on seasonal temperatures and integration with building software systems. Senior Mechanical Engineer at BSA LifeStructures, Kevin McNutt said, “Our firm has incorporated Fulton Vantages for hospital boiler plants, for at least the past 10 years, because of their ability to drop the heat and hot water temperature, so that we could get the condensing out of them, for energy savings. Also, there is a dual-fuel feature that we need for healthcare.” Dual-fuel on a condensing boiler Kevin McNutt adds, “We arrived at Fulton, because it’s a quality product, number one and number two, because you (Fulton) were the only ones who would provide dual-fuel on a condensing boiler, for a long time. Fulton products were used to generate cost savings, to generate more LEED points, to be more sustainable with hot-water heating systems.” I like how easily accessible the Vantage is for routine maintenance and safety checks" Matt Todd, Power Plant Specialist at St. Vincent Fishers, said “When it comes to the day-to-day operation of the Vantage boilers, I like how easily accessible the Vantage is for routine maintenance and safety checks.” Matt Todd adds, “In the two years, since I have been here, I haven’t had enough issues (with the Vantages) that I can be specific enough about, to complain about. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, as they say, but (the Vantages) haven’t made much noise at all. They have been wonderful boilers.” Vertical Multi-Port boilers (VMP-50s) While the Vantage hydronic condensing boilers were standalone boilers, the two Vertical Multi-Port boilers (VMP-50s) were shipped and installed, as part of a fully-skidded system. This system included a boiler feed unit, a 304 stainless steel tank and blow down separator, and a ModSync controller, in addition to the VMP’s dual-fuel and low-NOx capabilities. Kevin McNutt stated, “The first set (of ICS-20s) was ordered from Fulton in a three-skid arrangement, and those were installed without issue. What’s compelling about this story is that, a year down the road, when we decided that we needed to replace these boilers, to address long-term sterilization use, we replaced them with Fulton VMPs that were able to pass through standard door-sized openings, so that they could be easily installed on-site.” Byron Koch commented, “The very tight space of the boiler room presented an installation concern, but luckily the VMP system shipped as multiple units that broke down into sections. Moreover, the only way we could get the boilers installed in the limited space we had, was because of the vertical design of the boilers, which allowed them to fit, where other types of boilers, like horizontal fire tube and water tube, would not.” VMP boilers perform critical hospital functions Energy savings and installation is easy, as the VMP boilers at St. Vincent Fishers perform critical hospital functions Energy savings and installation is easy, as the VMP boilers at St. Vincent Fishers perform critical hospital functions, such as controlling the temperature and humidity in the surgery rooms, which helps maintain infection control. This can literally mean the difference between life and death. In fact, so critical is the function of boilers in helping maintain infection control in hospitals that the 2013 edition of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) HVAC Design Manual for Hospitals and Clinics devotes an entire chapter to it. In addition, they acknowledge the importance of installing boilers in hospitals that are low- maintenance, energy-efficient, and reliable. energy-efficient heating solutions Matt Todd stated, “In addition to sterilization and comfort needs, we feed our hospital humidifiers, with our Fulton Vertical Multi-Port (VMP) boilers and they, in turn, feed our operating room, which has to be in the range of certain specs, usually 30 to 60% (humidity).” He adds, “If out of range there, you have downtime in Surgery and the ER. So humidification plays a big role in it too and that includes our Labor and Delivery C-section room that also has the same strict humidification requirements.” Matt Todd concludes, “At St. Vincent, patients are always the number one priority, but number two is the power plant and the boilers that are installed in there. They (the boilers) heat the building, humidify our air and also sterilize our equipment. They are critical to patient care. We have to have them and Fulton has done a great job in helping us fulfill that need.”
With net zero now at the forefront of many businesses’ minds, all eyes are on the large travel players to set an example to others in their industries and undergo energy efficiency and sustainability overhauls, something that is championed by national services provider, Eco UK Group. As one of the most vital services in the world, aviation provides the only instant worldwide transportation network, making it essential for global businesses. It generates economic growth and has created 87.7 million jobs all over the globe, as well as facilitating international trade and tourism to millions. Sustainable aviation and energy efficiency In a bid to deliver sustainable aviation, the aviation industry is working on six key areas of focus In a bid to deliver sustainable aviation, the aviation industry is working on six key areas of focus, as part of its commitment to sustainable development. The strategy works to communicate the role of aviation in society, to support a better understanding of how the sector is delivering cleaner, quieter and smarter flying experiences. The six goals are the improvement of air quality, noise, climate change, natural resources, social and economic, and surface access. Backed by a number of airlines, high profile members are focused on finding collaborative ways of improving environmental performance, in order to ensure sustainable growth and energy efficiency within the industry, both in the air and on the ground. One of these members is London’s Heathrow Airport, home to the United Kingdom's only Express Center. Heathrow Airport The Express Centre has been providing customers with the fastest and most cost-effective way to move goods in and out of Heathrow airport, since 1983. Combining both manual and automated services, its expertise and the purpose-built facility offers a heavyweight service and works alongside some of the largest and most respected airlines in the world. The center handles a staggering 60+ daily flights from across five continents, 45 countries, and 85 airports, managing a substantial 130,000 kg of daily shipments. Energy-efficient LED lighting solutions Following its success in supporting works at Edinburgh Airport, Eco UK Group collaborated with both Millar Management Ltd and Orange Construction UK Ltd, on a project that showcased its specialist expertise in mechanical and electrical (M&E) services, and providing advanced energy-efficient LED lighting solutions. This application involved the relocation of the center to a neighboring building at Heathrow Airport, where extensive dilapidation works were completed, to further enhance its business process efficiencies and delivery excellence mindset. This included the installation of a new mezzanine floor and the incorporation of several offices, within the central office area. Power supplies and electrical works Eco UK Group engineers were responsible for the provision of power supplies to much of the facility Eco UK Group engineers were responsible for the provision of power supplies to much of the facility and for business-critical equipment, such as display screens, drivers’ kiosks, weigh scales, metal detectors and turnstiles, X-ray machines, a baggage conveyor system, caster deck, and lifts and over-door heaters. There was also a requirement for the supply and installation of 130 Category 6 twin data outlets and the installation of the associated cabling throughout the facility. These data points are located across the site in offices and restrooms and serve items, such as the drivers’ kiosks, workstations, printer stations, display screens, and a tea station. Eco UK Group’s in-house team supplied and installed the wiring, containment, and data points for the CCTV system and the fitting and commission of additional fire alarms. HVAC equipment work and LED lights Teams also installed energy-efficient LEDs to replace the existing inefficient fittings, in order to deliver the desired lux levels throughout the facility. Eco UK Group is proud to offer an array of the most advanced and technically innovative LED energy-efficient luminaires, emergency lighting conversion kits, and PIR sensor technology, which has previously surpassed customer expectations. This included the provision of both external LED linear lighting and replacement LED floodlights, located above the dock doors. Internally, the Eco UK’s electrical team supplied and installed a selection of industrial and office smart lighting solutions, such as LED high bay warehouse lighting, LED panel lights, and LED linear batten light fittings. Most of the lighting is controlled via PIR sensor technology and local key switch control for the emergency lighting. Commercial air conditioning units installed Additionally, Eco UK Group supplied and installed a state-of-the-art wall mounted commercial air conditioning unit Additionally, Eco UK Group supplied and installed state-of-the-art wall-mounted commercial air conditioning units, reconfigured the existing ventilation and mechanical pipework services (HVAC), and re-routed ducting and ceiling diffusers within the new partition layout. Provision and installation of new extract systems within the restrooms was also specified. Richard Emery, Director at Millar Management Ltd commented, “We were very happy to be working with Eco UK Group on the Heathrow Airport project.” He adds, “The team’s expertise is invaluable and having a company that can specialize in both mechanical and electrical services is of great benefit, to both us and the client. We have worked together well to fulfill the client’s expectations and create a great end result.” Incorporating Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) Heathrow Airport has also recently announced its success in incorporating Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) from Neste into the main supply for use across all flights. As part of its efforts to meet net-zero targets, the industry giant is now attempting to establish proof of concept for the wide-scale use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels, as it aims to reduce emissions from its flights and future-proof aviation, for many years to come.
Heatmasters has finished commissioning an electrical heat treatment furnace for a foundry in Europe. With a loading capacity of 9000 kg and an operating temperature of 1000°C, the furnace was designed according to the customers’ needs, in order to further expand their production capabilities. Electrical heat treatment furnace The furnace includes Heatmasters’ famous digital temperature control system and full automation of two wagons and pneumatic doors. It also implements advanced safety logic, developed by Siemens, which allows safe operation of the furnace, in all conditions. This furnace has been designed to meet the current and future heating requirements of the customer. Thanks to tight cooperation and communication between the customer and Heatmasters’ experts, the company was able to provide a cost-efficient and high-quality solution. Their wizards of metal will be able to provide support, in the form of maintenance and modernization services, to ensure the smooth operation of the furnace, for years to come.
Desiring to offer a community center to its residents, the Town of Oro Valley purchased a facility with existing membership. The Town identiﬁed within this facility that the building systems were inefficient and at the end of their useful lives, and the facility’s energy consumption was high. Facility infrastructure upgrades With no funds immediately available, the Town of Oro Valley was challenged to move forward with facility improvements and infrastructure upgrades following acquisition. “There is a considerable focus on efficiency and conservation in the community, so that served as a major tenet for us as we considered upgrades,” said Stacey Lemos, the Chief Financial Officer for the Town of Oro Valley, adding “Another challenge we had was that this is a living and breathing facility, with no signiﬁcant seasonal slow times and events to work around.” Preliminary energy assessment Trane conducted a preliminary energy assessment, walking through the facilities to gather information Based on a previous relationship with Trane for mechanical systems maintenance, the Town of Oro Valley was interested in creative solutions that the company might provide. Trane conducted a preliminary energy assessment, walking through the facilities to gather information. Using a State of Arizona cooperative contract, Oro Valley selected Trane as their energy services company (ESCO). Identifying energy saving opportunities, The Town of Oro Valley entered into a performance contract with Trane, which would allow the Town to pay for upgrades, with the energy savings realized from the project. The Trane team conducted an investment grade audit (IGA) to thoroughly evaluate the entire facility, including the 50,000 sq. feet building, tennis courts, and golf courses. Energy conservation measures (ECMs) Trane deﬁned potential energy conservation measures (ECMs) designed to reduce consumption of electricity, gas and water. This holistic approach would provide Oro Valley with their desired energy savings solutions, while maintaining a budget neutral project. Improving efficiency and comfort, by creating revenue opportunities, Trane replaced thirty-ﬁve HVAC packaged units with more energy efficient systems that feature multiple-zone cooling, to meet comfort demands of staff and guests. LED lighting installed throughout the facility To reduce energy use and improve lighting quality, LED lighting was installed throughout the facility, including more than 250 ﬁxtures on the tennis courts, six wall mounts in the racquetball viewing area, and ﬂood lights near the pool. With the new ﬁxtures, the center can now better accommodate revenue generating events, such as area tennis tournaments. Trane helped reduce water consumption with equipment and controls integration. With its location in the desert, water conservation also was a key issue for the facility. Trane analyzed industry data regarding use per acre-foot standards, to evaluate water use at the golf courses and presented solutions to reduce consumption. Trane Tracer SC building automation system (BAS) The new pumping station uses variable speed pump motors to help reduce energy use The north pumping station was replaced early on in the project, due to an unexpected mechanical failure. The new pumping station uses variable speed pump motors to help reduce energy use, along with a Trane Tracer SC building automation system (BAS), to enable connectivity to the remote pumping equipment. The existing south pumping station was retroﬁtted with a Tracer SC and both irrigation pumping stations were integrated into a new Tracer Ensemble Enterprise Building Management System. Access Multiple sites from single web-based interface The Tracer Ensemble Enterprise Building Management System enables The Town of Oro Valley to easily access multiple sites and equipment from a single web-based interface. It also allows Trane to monitor, trend and validate water consumption in real time, identifying savings opportunities. The swimming pool pumping ﬁltration and heating systems were replaced to reduce maintenance and chemical costs, eliminating the chlorination system, while improving overall operation. A new pool cover was also installed to reduce water evaporation and heat loss in the cooler months. The signiﬁcant water use reduction achieved by the upgrades was a key factor in enabling the project to remain budget neutral. Trane Air-FI wireless mesh network The community center BAS was also integrated to the building management system and HVAC controls were installed using Trane Air-FI wireless mesh network with Zigbee/BACnet communication protocol. With no wires to run and all unit controls prepackaged and programmed, Trane technicians were able to spend less time on installation and more time educating facility managers on the use of the controls and the Ensemble building management system. Ensemble building management system The web-enabled Ensemble building management system provides an enterprise view of the entire facility The web-enabled Ensemble building management system provides an enterprise view of the entire facility, allowing facilities managers to handle daily tasks, create schedules for the varied spaces in the center, manage alarms and make adjustments from anywhere in the building, or remotely with a tablet or phone. The Town of Oro Valley also has the option to integrate its other existing control systems into the system in the future. “For the comfort of our guests, our systems have to be reliable,” said Stacey Lemos adding, “We have workout facilities, a restaurant, a pool; schedules vary and some spaces need more cooling than others. With customized thermostats and enterprise-wide monitoring and control, we are now better able to keep our temperatures where they need to be.” Broad scope of ECMs Entering into a performance contract to use guaranteed energy savings to pay for needed upgrades, the Town of Oro Valley and Trane implemented a broad scope of ECMs, which are designed to enhance comfort, improve operations and reduce energy costs. The upgrades, which included improvements to HVAC, controls, lighting, swimming pool systems, golf course irrigation and domestic hot water conservation, are exceeding expectations, providing more than US$ 68,700 in energy savings and more than US$ 93,500 in water savings costs annually. Energy efficiency with LED lighting The Town has also realized more than US$ 30,000 in utility rebates. In addition, the Town of Oro Valley was honored by Tucson Electric Power for improving its energy efficiency, by replacing inefficient lighting with LED bulbs, and helping to make the community more sustainable by harvesting rain water and deploying a Green Team. “We are meeting projections, and have been able to keep to our budget,” said Stacey Lemos, adding “Plus, the useful life of the equipment will far exceed our debt.”
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
Throughout its more than 100-year history, Rush Health Systems has expanded its services to address the growth in its community and the needs of the families that they serve, to become one of the largest healthcare providers and employers in the East Mississippi and West Alabama regions of the United States of America. Rush Health Systems Rush Health Systems is comprised of seven hospitals and over 30 clinics, historically noteworthy among them, the Rush Foundation Hospital, a 215-bed, acute-care facility, founded in 1915 that formed the beginnings of Rush Health Systems. So, when Rush Foundation Hospital, located in Meridian, Mississippi, decided it needed to expand its operations in 2012, it fell upon Fred Rogers, Vice President, Chief Resource Officer, and Facility Manager for Rush Health Systems, to address the need for new heating equipment. Heating construction and renovation Rush’s new heating construction and renovation was done over a four-year period Rush’s new heating construction and renovation were done over a four-year period, when Fred Rogers began the equipment selection process, with the assistance of Ernie Strahan from Delta Thermal Solutions, Inc., which is Fulton Heating Solutions Inc.’s (Fulton) authorized representative in the US state of Mississippi. Ernie Strahan provided initial specifications, testing, and staff training for the new boilers, and Perry Atherton of Edmonds Engineers (Edmonds Engineering, Inc.) designed the system upgrades. Fulton heating products Fred Rogers said, “I had originally been looking at other equipment, but when Ernie and Perry introduced me to the Fulton product line, I was very impressed at how they were put together and tested. Fulton also won out, when it came to cost, as well as efficiency.” But for Fred, the challenge of installing new boilers had only just begun, as space limitations in the boiler room were so extreme that Rush Foundation Hospital was required to petition its local city council, to purchase a part of the city’s right of way (sidewalk), so that they could extend their boiler room out to the street. Piping, pump replacement, and cabinetry work For the job, Rush Foundation Hospital had to close their sidewalk, get a foundation put in and perform a large additional amount of piping, pump replacement and electrical, and mechanical cabinetry work. This was done while needing to keep the old boilers running until the new Fulton boilers could be installed and brought on-line. Fulton boilers saved on space because they were vertical in size and smaller than most other horizontal options. Fulton boilers installed The two Fulton VMP-150 (Vertical Multi Port) boilers installed are dual-fired to burn diesel fuel as backup (required by code for redundancy), if natural gas is not available. The following equipment was included to help the VMP boilers operate at their maximum possible efficiency: Synex Controls ModSync sequencing system - In addition to providing a touchscreen interface to important status information, this system minimizes boiler cycling and maintains even operational usage, across the equipment, thereby increasing energy savings and boiler life expectancy. Condensate return and feed-water system – This system returns the residual heat energy of the condensate (spent steam) to the boiler tank, so that less energy is needed to heat the boiler feed-water. Efficient boiler system Fred Rogers sized the boiler system up, so that the hospital would have enough capacity for not just now, but the next 15 years, as far as new buildings and projects that might come along. “We had some issues at first,” said Fred Rogers, adding “But the Fulton people worked with us, Ernie worked with us and right now, we’re very happy with them. The units are easy to access for troubleshooting, if needed and training time for my maintenance guys is short, as they’re easily guided through it.” Boilers checked and serviced regularly One Fulton boiler backs up the other, while maintaining high efficiencies through [the] use of a ModSync control system" Fred Rogers also swaps the boilers every day (runs one on one day, the other on the next day), so as to ensure that any issues that arise with one boiler are quickly identified and resolved, while still being backed up by the other boiler. He also has them configured, so that if a high demand exists that can’t fulfill the needs of the facility, the other boiler automatically fires up. “As far as redundancy,” said Ernie Strahan, adding “They’ve never lost a load or had an outage crisis. One Fulton boiler backs up the other, while maintaining high efficiencies through [the] use of a ModSync control system that allows the boilers to communicate with each other. And, there are three pumps, so there’s always been a backup pump.” Fred Rogers adds, “It’s basically maintenance-free right now, other than checking to make sure the water level is correct, especially after having put in new pumps to feed the boilers and adding a whole new chemical treatment system. The new Fulton boilers have also reduced gas consumption and produce better steam. We don’t have boilers going down when we need steam.” High-Quality Steam Like most hospitals, Rush Foundation Hospital transfers its boiler-generated steam via a piping system, to distribution points used for central heating, hot water heating, laundry, food service, autoclaves, and other steam sterilizers, in the surgery area, used for cleaning instruments prior to reuse, a critically important function. The Fulton boilers at Rush Hospital also supply high-pressure steam to the labs The Fulton boilers at Rush Hospital also supply high-pressure steam to the labs, where technicians autoclave (sterilize) agar plates (Petri dishes containing growth medium), before using them to test for staph and other contagious organisms that could cause infections, which is another critically important function of boiler steam and part of the strict quality control procedures put in place, at the Rush Foundation Hospital. So, what does quality mean at Rush? According to Rush Health Systems’ charter, ‘Quality is continually improving our service, to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of our patients, physicians, employees, and other customers that we serve.’ Fulton is honored to be part of the Rush Health Systems’ story. Steam heat used in critical sterilization procedures Besides being non-toxic and relatively inexpensive to produce, steam heat (as opposed to dry air) is used for critical sterilization procedures in hospitals, because water vapor transfers heat much more efficiently than dry air. This type of steam is also called ‘saturated steam’, because the space that it occupies contains the maximum amount of gaseous water (moisture) it can hold, without producing liquid condensate. No bacteria or other living micro-organisms can survive direct exposure to saturated steam at 250 °F (120 °C), for longer than 15-20 minutes.
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?
Sustainability has been a core concept in the HVAC industry for decades. Environmental concerns often drive product innovation, for example. However, environmental challenges persist and there is ongoing pressure on the industry to respond responsibly. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What steps is the HVAC industry taking to address climate change and sustainability?
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