Following last week’s Met Office amber extreme heat warning, a polymer specialist has warned current sustainable design must mitigate overheating in buildings as heat waves become more prevalent. Recent research of 520 M&E contractors and architects, 130 of which worked specifically on apartment buildings, in REHAU’s report ‘Designing Healthy Apartments,’ also raised similar concern. Efficient cooling methods The majority of these respondents felt that sustainabili...
Airthings, the pioneer in indoor air quality solutions and energy-saving technology, announces a strategic agreement with Edwards, a provider of fire detection and alarm solutions since 1872, and a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable, and intelligent building solutions. The agreement commercializes Airthings’ business solution through more than 500 Edwards channel partners in the fire and security segment. Extending the distribution of Air...
LG Electronics Inc. made public its commitment to transition completely to renewable energy by 2050 as a key component of its sustainability strategy. The announcement in the LG Electronics Sustainability Report comes on top of its earlier commitment to carbon neutrality through the Zero Carbon 2030 initiative in which LG has pledged to reduce carbon emissions in the production stage to 50 percent of 2017 standards by 2030. The transformation will be implemented region by region starting in No...
Weil-McLain was recognized for excellence in product design and efficiency in the 18th annual Dealer Design Awards Program sponsored by The Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News magazine. An independent panel of contractors acted as judges in the contest that had 117 entries. The company’s ECO® Tec premium residential gas boiler was the silver winner in the HVAC High-Efficiency Residential Equipment product category – the top award presented to any bo...
ABB will participate in the Dubai EXPO 2020 as an official partner of the Swedish Pavilion and showcase its leading technology in a digital and interactive way partnering with more than 100 companies and institutions. With a history of more than 130 years and Sweden as one of the birthplaces of the company, ABB will join the country’s efforts to highlight the most innovative solutions that will help build a smart society under the pavilion’s theme of “Co-creation for Innovati...
The current Biden Administration’s renewed focus on climate change has expedited the phasedown of high-GWP refrigerants, kicked off by the passage of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, part of the December 2020 COVID stimulus bill. As the AIM Act phase-down schedule progresses, higher-GWP HFC refrigerants, while viable, have the potential to have a limited useful life and ultimately be eliminated. In response to pending changes, Johnson Controls has announced it will use...
GrayWolf’s DirectSense® II probes will now connect via Bluetooth LE wireless to Apple and Android devices. Their highly reliable, adaptable DSII probes for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Toxic Gas testing/monitoring will imminently have Apps for iOS and Android operating systems available (free) on the Apple and Google App stores. Use smartphone or tablet as a multi-parameter display, data-logger, and far more. Indoor air quality Choose from over 25 highly accurate, smart indoor air quality, green building, industrial hygiene, and HVAC sensors including TVOCs (PID), Carbon Dioxide (NDIR), Ozone (electrochemical), CO, NO2, NH3, SO2, NO, Cl2, H2S, HCN, HCl, O2, H2, %RH, °C/°F and many others. Each probe accommodates from two (2), up to eight (8), true plug-and-play sensors into a single handheld Each probe accommodates from two (2), up to eight (8), true plug-and-play sensors into a single handheld, desktop, or wall-mounted housing. Proven sensors offer low limits of detection and exceptional accuracy. For example, the CO2 sensor leads the IAQ industry at +/-35ppm over the key range of 350ppm to 2000ppm (while +/-3% of reading above that up to 10,000ppm for CO2 toxic exposure use). Extensive development effort As monitoring IAQ parameters is a core application for GrayWolf, the extensive development effort was put into assuring that the sensor smartboards would not introduce noise or degrade accuracy, stability, or limits of detection (LODs) for the convenience of end-user swappable sensors. Other manufacturers have prioritized convenience over performance. Store ‘snapshot’ logs during walk-throughs or set up logging overtime at the interval of their choice on the smartphone. Display up to 8 real-time readings simultaneously or show trend graphs on the screen. When derived readings, such as dewpoint temperature, are displayed/logged, or if large fonts are chosen, scroll the display to view additional parameters. Report template creation Easily switch from using the smartphone to using GrayWolf’s AdvancedSense® purpose-built meters Feature-rich, the smartphones can add photos, videos, text, audio notes, and more directly to data files for efficient, reliable documentation. On-board educational info will be added soon, such as help videos, sensors, and feature tips. Easily e-mail logged data, with all notes attached, and utilize GrayWolf’s WolfSense® PC software for download, graphing, and analysis, or optional Advanced Report Generator for automated, detailed reports and custom report template creation. The same DirectSense II probes can additionally interface to alternative platforms to simultaneously support parameters such as high accuracy Particulates, Differential Pressure and Air Velocity. Easily switch from using the smartphone to using GrayWolf’s AdvancedSense® purpose-built meters or to Win10 tablets for real-time display, data logging, and remote access. Remote data access Further, the DirectSense II probes incorporate a Wi-Fi card that allows remote data access from probes in the same room, on another floor, in another building, or on the other side of the world. Utilize the probes’ Wi-Fi card with the GrayWolfLive™ cloud app to view remote data as tables, gauges, enhanced graphs, or in other formats. Receive “alerts”, via e-mail and text when setpoints are exceeded. The DirectSense II probes, easily handheld or clipped to a belt, come with a charging stand for convenient desktop trend-logging and include a wall-mounting bracket for continuous monitoring applications. A built-in fan actively draws air across sensors. Extremely versatile measurement capability via varied platforms and an exceptionally flexible, and very, very smart probe.
The EME3625MD, a new, 3-inch deep, stationary Ruskin louver, approved by Miami-Dade, for its wind-driven rain resistance, is designed for structures in high-velocity hurricane zones that require louvers with basic impact protection. EME3625MD louver Mechanically fastened to add to its strength, the vertical louver also offers improved air and water performance over Ruskin’s previous Miami-Dade approved model, the EME3625DFLMD, and is AMCA 540 (Missile D) and 550 listed. We designed the EME3625MD for customers planning facilities that must resist extreme weather" “We designed the EME3625MD for customers planning facilities that must resist extreme weather, and that includes developing this louver with 53% free area and low pressure drop to reduce water penetration,” said Joe Rockhold, Louver Product Manager at Ruskin. Joe adds, “To boost its durability in coastal regions, the EME3625MD is constructed from extruded aluminum, offering a high resistance to corrosion and requiring only minimal maintenance after installation.” Airfoil blades Airfoil blades on the EME3625MD are vertically mounted and spaced at approximately 0.75 inches, center to center, to further ensure excellent water performance. The EME3625MD is available in sizes as small as 12-by-12 inches up to a 96-inch-tall louver with unlimited width. A full suite of manufactured options, including a variety of bird screens and numerous installation options (CMU, concrete, steel, aluminum, and wood), are also available. Additional features of the EME3625MD include: 20-year finish warranty 5-year product warranty Approved for applications with a design pressure of +/- 120 PSF (5.75 kPa) Texas Department of Insurance-approved Published performance ratings based on testing in accordance with AMCA 500-L With its improved performance capabilities, the release of the new EME3625MD will phase out the previous Ruskin model, EME3625DFLMD in the near future.
With indoor air quality more essential than ever with the infectious COVID-19 still active worldwide, eradicating the virus while it's airborne is crucial to mitigating its transmission. Energy Cloud, a clean-tech company specializing in healthy buildings and energy-efficient environments has a solution: Hummingbird™ EQ, an air purification system that captures and deactivates airborne COVID-19 virus. Air Vaccine™ technology Hummingbird™'s EQ with Air Vaccine™ technology was independently tested by a distinguished team of epidemiologists and professional engineers assembled by Black & Veatch, global infrastructure pioneers vastly experienced in pathogen-tracking methods and construction of biological safety-related sites. Funding was provided in partnership with Black & Veatch's IgniteX COVID-19 Response Accelerator. BSL-3 tested Hummingbird™ EQ's deactivation of the virus – known scientifically as SARS-CoV-2 – was independently tested and proven, with all Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) work performed within The Hastings Foundation and Wright Foundation laboratories at the University of Southern California (USC). SARS-CoV-2 BSL-3 resources were supported by a grant from the W.K. Keck Foundation's COVID-19 research fund. "Supporting Energy Cloud aligns with our strategic priorities in building a world of difference," said Lance Lippencott, program director at Black & Veatch. "Having witnessed the global impact of COVID-19, we were eager to marshal our resources behind innovations such as Hummingbird™, which offers an opportunity to mitigate the pathogen's spread." EQ Testing Hummingbird™ EQ was proven to capture and deactivate the COVID-19 virus on the first airflow pass by 99.5% Hummingbird™ EQ was proven to capture and deactivate the airborne COVID-19 virus on the first airflow pass through the system by 99.5% or greater, reducing it to undetectable levels. In the most comprehensive bio-aerosol study of its kind, Hummingbird™ EQ was tested by simulating a real-life airflow scenario, complete with the ducting, coil, and an air handler / forced air unit. Testing included infectious aerosolized virus samples with simulated saliva that were more than 3,000 times the average infectious dose to prove hummingbird™ can thoroughly neutralize and remove any active COVID-19 virus from the air that passes through the system. The goal set out by the Energy Cloud COVID-19 response team was to test a scenario far greater than a normal real-life situation. Efficiency and analysis "My main goal with Hummingbird™ is to save lives, and to do this, we needed to independently test the system with real-life air flows to prove the efficacy through science and data.” “I am grateful for the opportunity to test Hummingbird™ at such a prestigious institution as the University of Southern California and their BSL Level 3 lab, and for the positive independent peer-reviewed analysis from our COVID-19 response team of epidemiologists and professional engineers assembled by Black & Veatch," said John Carrieri, CEO of Energy Cloud. Suitable for every environment Hummingbird™ EQ can be installed and scaled to any size heating, HVAC system or used as a stand-alone unit Testing also was performed with all Hummingbird™ models, confirming that they all deactivate COVID-19 with no harmful ozone being produced. Unlike other air purification systems, Hummingbird™ does not release or produce any airborne chemicals as part of its inactivation of viruses. Hummingbird™ EQ can be installed and scaled to any size heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system or used as a stand-alone unit in all types of commercial and residential settings including hospitals, schools, supermarkets, hotels, airports, offices, homes, and more, for superior air quality in any sized indoor environment. Features Hummingbird™ EQ is unique beyond its virus efficacy as it includes: Air purification technology that decomposes VOCs and reduces bacteria, microbes, pollen, dust, dander, allergens, spores, fungi, mold, odors, smoke, and toxic fumes without producing any harmful ozone or biproducts. HVAC remote management with Hummingbird™ EQ AI technology allows cloud-enabled remote monitoring and management of HVAC systems, saving energy by providing real-time insight to equipment operation and efficiency. Indoor air quality monitoring with real-time air quality information for customers, employees, and property owners, for all stakeholders, to see the building air quality through Energy Cloud's air certification. The information can be seen through a QR Code displayed on the buildings outside doors and windows as well as web URL links that can be viewed on any computer or smart device. Building owners who invest in having the best air quality for their buildings and business can show proof of their air quality with the QR code and unique URL provided for each building.
Secure I.T. Environments Ltd, one of the UK’s design and build companies for modular, containerized, and micro data centers, announces the completion of a new UPS room, Air Handling Unit (AHU), and air conditioning upgrade at Principality Building Society in Cardiff, Wales – A mutual building society with over 500,000 members and 160 years of experience. With existing AHU and sensing equipment approaching the end of life, Principality wanted to upgrade to equipment that would offer improved efficiency and resilience for the decade ahead. Electronic expansion valves A phased approach was adopted, with the individual removal and replacement of each of the four AHUs. The new installation is based on the GEA Multi-DENCO Energy Efficient DX Air Conditioning Units, include EC motors, electronic expansion valves, and an inverter-driven compressor, leading to excellent cooling and energy efficiency. The UPS upgrade was undertaken to address the issues of existing equipment reaching the end of life Secure I.T. Environments undertook all work related to the project, including the safe removal and environmental processing of the old AHU units and redundant F-gases. The training was also provided for the data center team on using the new units. The UPS upgrade was undertaken to address the issues of existing equipment reaching the end of life, and needing to reclaim space in the core data center, which was at a premium. Making significant improvements A new UPS room was situated next to the main DC facility, which included a new Modular UPS system, air conditioning, raised access flooring, UPS electrical infrastructure, fire suppression and detection, pressure relief vent, and gas extraction unit. Chris Wellfair, Projects Director at Secure I.T. Environments added, “The level of improved energy and cooling efficiency that can be achieved with modern AHUs is very impressive. Many customers are finding that as older equipment reaches the end of life, or they want to move to more environmentally friendly units as F-gas regulations change, that they make significant improvements in terms of PUE, energy costs, and maintenance with newer equipment. The new units installed at Principality Building Society will have an immediate and positive impact on the data center, and for many years to come.”
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy, and sustainable building solutions, has significantly upgraded the testing lab facilities at its residential HVAC manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kan. upgrading HVAC testing facility The nearly US$ 15 million investment includes the addition of seven test chambers, automated testing and model shop equipment, and a new building, which adds 2,000 more square footage space, bringing the plant’s total testing facilities to 100,000 square feet total. Every product that the Wichita factory designs and manufactures undergo multiple rigorous tests at the lab, in order to ensure it operates safely and efficiently across a wide range of conditions, for years to come. Highly accelerated life testing (HALT) of equipment New advanced technology makes it possible for the lab team to better accommodate product development While Johnson Controls voluntarily performs highly accelerated life testing (HALT), which subjects equipment to extreme environmental conditions that replicate five years in the field, there is other testing that the government requires for all residential HVAC systems to ensure product safety, efficiency, and environmental sustainability. The additional space and new advanced technology make it possible for the lab team to better accommodate product development and testing for the vast number of systems that Johnson Controls produces for its YORK, Luxaire, Coleman, Champion and Fraser-Johnston brands, many of which are part of Johnson Controls' OpenBlue connected suite of technologies. Optimized testing process The following lab updates optimize the testing process to help ensure product reliability and performance: Seven 20 x 60-foot test chambers join nine existing cells used in the design and development phase to test, rate and qualify heating and cooling products for agency approval. These test chambers control temperatures within two-tenths of a degree for all rating points. This level of control provides confidence when rating equipment for SEER and EER. The additional cells will accommodate more equipment, which will help systems become available more quickly. A new automated heating lab and test stands allow technicians to setup and pre-program test stations. Compared to older, manual methods, automated testing of heating equipment, such as gas furnaces, is more efficient and precise to confirm reliability. Advanced model shop equipment, which includes a new water jet, bender, and press machine, allows model makers to precisely cut and form sheet metal to make prototype parts more quickly and efficiently. This will accelerate prototype testing and refinement so products can enter production faster. A spacious transit table building with rain capabilities gives technicians much greater control, during transit and rain tests. The new area offers better mounting, which makes installing systems for testing easier, while the enclosure improves precision during rain tests and accommodates a new high-pressure pump for recently required wind-driven rain testing for extreme conditions, which also reinforces Johnson Controls' commitment to quality. performance and reliability “When visitors tour the lab, they are simply overwhelmed by the extensive steps that we take to ensure each and every system developed in the labs are tested to ensure performance and reliability,” said Doug Dorrough, Director of Lab Operations, Johnson Controls. Doug adds, “The greater efficiency and unprecedented quality we can now achieve with this major investment will bring our premier products to market sooner and provide homeowners with enduring comfort and peace of mind.” Lab upgrades coincide with new efficiency standards The upgrades coincide with new efficiency standards, including the 2023 Department of Energy (DOE) efficiency standards and environmental sustainability requirements, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) low-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant transition that will be required of all HVAC equipment manufactured by January 1, 2025. The expanded lab will better accommodate product development and testing schedules to ensure that each product meets or exceeds all requirements, as well as the high-quality standards Johnson Controls holds for its equipment. Johnson Controls will continue to invest in and expand the testing facilities in Wichita, Kan. over the next several years with new equipment and additional facilities to accommodate new product development and testing.
Active air purification and HVAC specialists, Better Indoors, have formed a new strategic partnership with water and air quality providers, SMS Environmental, to help UK businesses, healthcare and education settings create safe indoor environments. Headquartered in Surrey, Better Indoors, is the sole UK distributor of RGF Environmental Group, manufacturers of innovative active air purification technology that instantly eliminates harmful viruses and bacteria, including SARS-CoV-2 at the point of transmission. Active air purification Using no chemicals or harmful substances and requiring virtually no energy, the active air purification technology works by replicating Earth’s natural air cleaning processes indoors. It does this by producing and maintaining minute equilibrium concentrations of hydroperoxide molecules throughout the indoor air space. SMS Environmental is now in the UK’s top 5% of companies within the water treatment sector When these active molecules come into contact with microbials, they break them down and destroy them and then revert to harmless water vapor and oxygen. The technology produces 1 quadrillion hydroperoxide molecules every second, quickly killing any airborne virus or bacteria, including COVID-19. Originally established in 2001, SMS Environmental is now in the UK’s top 5% of companies within the water treatment sector, delivering specialist water treatment, air hygiene and other building services via a team of over 100 multi-disciplined industry experts. Air hygiene solutions In forming a new strategic partnership with Better Indoors, SMS Environmental will now offer active air purification technology as part of its suite of air hygiene solutions – creating safe, indoor environments that eliminate the risk of harmful viruses and bacteria, like COVID-19, transmitting between people, without increased ventilation. Andrew Hobbs, Managing Director of Better Indoors, confirmed: “One of the issues with the COVID mitigation guidance is increased ventilation air changes, especially via natural means, makes building less energy efficient. Therefore, since the outbreak of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we as a country have been moving further away from our 2050 carbon reduction targets rather than closer. Our solutions do not rely on increased ventilation air changes or passives and create an added extra layer of protection by instantly and continuously destroying COVID particles at the ‘point of transmission’ without penalizing energy efficiency.” Highly infectious viruses The RGF PHI and REME active air purification technologies have been thoroughly verified for safety and efficacy Originally invented in the late 1990s, the RGF PHI and REME active air purification technologies have been thoroughly verified for safety and efficacy by nationally accredited independent labs and testing bodies in the US and by other Governments – and are proven to inactive of a wide range of highly infectious viruses and bacteria including COVID-19, SARS, H1N1 or ‘Swine Flu’, Norovirus, MRSA, Bird Flu just to name a few. John Lees, HVAC Director of SMS Environmental, added: “SMS Environmental have always strived to be innovative and only use the very best solutions and products available, especially when it comes to health and safety and particularly with the current pandemic still being very much present.” Safer indoor environments “Building this partnership with BetterIndoors not only means that we can now offer a range of products and services which are designed to create healthier and safer indoor environments for our customers across the UK, but it also allows us to work with an industry leader like ourselves who are experts within their field and deliver on their promises. All of which are incredibly important to us as a company and our ethos.” Dedicated to helping organizations maintain water and air quality for a safe and compliant environment, SMS Environmental operates on an international basis with offices spanning Oxfordshire, Derbyshire, Cardiff, and Bellshill, Scotland.
The last 18 months have seen an acceleration in digitalization across many aspects of work and home life. Home spaces have become workspaces, and commercial buildings have had to adapt to changed use and lower occupancy rates. Coupled with this, there is a growing need to dramatically reduce carbon emissions from buildings - according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the buildings and construction sectors combined are responsible for over 30 percent of global energy consumption, and nearly 40 percent of carbon emissions. Installing separate systems This means that demand for a smarter approach to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) management is crucial for building managers, who need to ensure that their properties can adapt to changed use, respond to the wellbeing of their occupants, and run efficiently to keep emissions as low as possible. Armed with this data, facility managers can take proactive steps to improve usage Of course, architects and developers have been installing separate systems to control HVAC for decades which have given building managers greater control and access to different areas of a site. However, with digitalization comes the addition of web-based platforms to allow these verticals to integrate seamlessly with each other, providing data on how efficiently and effectively a building operates through a single view application. Armed with this data, facility managers can take proactive steps to improve usage, which will see properties proactively react to the environmental and personal needs of their occupants. Centrally controlled lighting Many commercial buildings will already have a certain element of smart technology installed – from centrally controlled lighting and HVAC systems to remote management of security and energy management systems. However, it is often the case that these multiple applications are managed in silo. This means facilities managers don’t have a consolidated view of their data. In addition, not all managers will be using the data these devices produce to take steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their properties. Embracing smart technology – and a central control platform - gives building managers access to instant data on how their HVAC assets are performing in one place. This insight can be used to gain a thorough understanding of how the different systems in the building interact, and the external factors that may impact them. Effective building controls By using this data, operators can implement effective building controls to manage efficiencies By using this data, operators can implement effective building controls to manage efficiencies, identify maintenance issues, ensure the wellbeing of occupants, and inform future investment priorities. So, for example, if a building is now being used in a different way due to changed occupancy, the data will show the manager what needs to be done to ensure it is operating as efficiently as possible. We know that there will be increased demand for more flexible spaces as companies move towards remote or hybrid working models. It is likely that we will visit our offices less for day-to-day work and use them more as hubs to meet and collaborate. The ability to turn a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ building into an agile asset that can learn and adapt to its surroundings will become increasingly important. Smart HVAC management Smart offices will become independently intelligent, learning how occupants use the space and services, adjusting lighting, HVAC and other systems to maximize health and comfort. Smart HVAC management will create a trend for ‘healthier’ buildings that will have a positive impact in terms of improved quality of life and wellbeing of occupants, ultimately resulting in higher productivity levels. In short, there has never been a better time to adopt smart HVAC technologies. Intelligent buildings that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago are now a reality. As buildings become smarter, they can learn how occupants use the space and services and proactively adjust lighting, HVAC and other systems to improve use, cut emissions and reduce energy consumption.
In HVAC and smart buildings, short-termism is an easy trap to fall into. We live in a world driven by returns, profit, KPIs and results; where short-term goals often trump long term ambitions as individuals at all levels are judged on their immediate targets. It is a facet of human nature that can cause us to be blind to the bigger picture. Yet for companies to operate not only more sustainably, but equally more effectively in the long run, sometimes the big picture needs to take precedence. Smart buildings and HVAC in the UK Let’s consider smart buildings and HVAC in the UK. While technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), automation, artificial intelligence and building information modelling (BIM) are all spoken about as cutting-edge industry trends and focal points in the here and now, their uptake remains relatively lacklustre. When I moved back to the UK two years ago, after 28 years in South Africa, I was surprised by what I found compared to what I had pictured and read about. I found a market where there’s lots of talk about innovating the built environment, but not a lot of action. Why? Because of impatience and misunderstanding. Companies are in too much of a rush – where they invest in these technologies, they want to see results now, not later. But this approach doesn’t work. The benefits of intelligent technologies Smart buildings and intelligent HVAC technologies can deliver a plethora of improvements from greener operations to lower costs, yet I believe these benefits need to be better defined. Here are just a few examples: Enhance productivity: According to a study from the World Green Building Council Study, improving ventilation and indoor air quality can enhance productivity by 8-11%. Equally, improving lighting can enhance productivity by 23%. Reduce costs: Albany Business Review states that buildings that enable smart technologies can reduce costs by an average of 15%. Reduce energy consumption: Smart buildings create a multitude of automation opportunities, such as motion-sensitive lighting or better HVAC management through a sensor-controlled system, driving down energy consumption – good for both cost reasons and the environment. Improve insights: IoT creates a multitude of data points that can be used to provide quantifiable and tangible insights (i.e., who is using a building, how they are using it, and when they are using it), which can inform actionable improvements. Enhance employee engagement: These insights can be visualised and communicated to make employees both more mindful of their own footprints, but equally such intent will likely improve retention and recruitment drives. Optimise maintenance: Sensors can monitor buildings’ performance to trigger maintenance alerts in real-time, making it faster, easier and cheaper to identify and fix potential issues. If a fault such as a clogged air filter resulting in hampered airflow goes undetected, HVAC systems may not only operate at suboptimal levels but, equally suffer from reduced lifespans. Improve hygiene: Smart building technologies can be used to improve everything from the movement of people to air quality, considerations that are top of mind within the COVID-19 context. Ensuring smart buildings don’t become another buzzword So, how can we better define these benefits, encourage widespread adoption, and ensure that smart buildings become an actionable approach to improving HVAC and construction rather than just another buzzword? When many organisations hear smart buildings or smart HVAC, they dismiss the idea with the assumption that such initiatives will require significant investment that is just not viable. First and foremost, policy needs to be reconsidered. While there are initiatives from the UK government that are working to encourage the optimisation and smart enhancement of buildings, there is a lack of key initiatives such as grants in the right areas to truly propel investment forward. In South Africa, this issue is tackled with private finance initiatives (PFI) that focus on designing buildings that incorporate smart building technologies to be greener and more efficient. PFIs are a means of financing public sector projects through the private sector, alleviating the government and taxpayers of an immediate financial burden by coming up with the capital for these projects. At a grassroots level, however, companies can also reconsider their approaches to smart building and HVAC technologies. When many organisations hear smart buildings or smart HVAC, they dismiss the idea with the assumption that such initiatives will require significant investment that is just not viable. Yet this doesn’t have to be the case. Yes, a smart building strategy and the associated investments can be expensive, but it can also start small, be cost-effective and focus on gradual, incremental improvement. Actionable advice Here are five core pieces of actionable industry advice that can help companies on their path towards smart building transition… Look at the big picture Start by considering your current operations. With so many new technologies being rolled out and marketed in the smart building, intelligent HVAC and eco-friendly arena, it can be easy to become side-tracked. While one innovation might appear to be extremely effective, it may not suit your building’s specific needs. To gain a better understanding of the latter, it is important to look holistically at what outputs to address, be it energy, water, air quality or other areas. Focus on the quick wins Once you have a better understanding of your building’s requirements, you will be able to work to identify where some of the quick wins may lie. Here, cost-effective improvements can be made. You might recognise that the lights or air conditioning are regularly left on in certain parts of the building when they don’t need to be, for example. By making some simple, easy changes, building efficiency can be drastically improved without breaking the bank. Get occupant buy-in At the point of implementation, it is important to ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page. From the IT department to the office cleaners to the MD, there should be a clear communication of goals. Remember those attempts to monitor and in turn reduce energy consumption by turning off lights and air conditioning units? They will only be successful should all employees embrace these actions. Monitor and adapt as you go While companies may quickly take some significant steps forward in realising some of the benefits available, it is important to note that a smart building transformation should never be a complete process. As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, there will always be improvements that can be made. Be it tweaks to existing technologies or investment in others, it is vital to keep monitoring your building’s performance and responding to the data to further enhance long-term returns. Improve education Finally, it is important to regularly educate yourself and others. Unbeknownst to many, smart building and HVAC technologies that had previously been expensive are now much cheaper, reducing barriers to entry. Knowledge is not what it needs to be – to ensure you’re able to benefit as an early adopter, continual learning is crucial.
As our urban centers grow, so does our demand for key resources, such as energy. Currently, cities are accountable for over 60% of resource use and an estimated 70% of global carbon emissions. In the Middle East particularly, countries have experienced unprecedented population growth, increased economic activity and consequently, increases in energy consumption. Integration of sustainable systems Fortunately, industry leaders and governments are placing sustainability at the heart of regional plans for urban development. The integration of sustainable systems is no longer a value-added benefit, but rather a necessary requirement. I believe a vital element for sustainable development in our cities is energy management. Energy is a costly commodity representing an average of 25% of all operating costs in office buildings. This cost, however, can be reduced by using energy management to optimize HVAC systems employed in a building. Effective energy management Energy management involves proactive tracking, systemic management and thoughtful optimization of energy consumption in a building, with the goal of improving energy efficiency. The concept of energy efficiency takes into account a variety of factors; we must consider system design, quality of installation and maintenance, efficiency rates and personal use. If we assume a system is designed with greatest efficiency in mind, its effectiveness is still deeply impacted by installation, maintenance and use. ‘Performance drift’ issues One challenge we face with the efficiency of HVAC systems is ‘performance drift’ One challenge we face with the efficiency of HVAC systems is ‘performance drift’. When first installed, and even in the first few months, HVAC systems operate immaculately. Over time, however, component efficiency and system conditions ‘drift’ away from the originally installed operating curve, meaning that efficiency and performance of the system can degrade incrementally. The deteriorating performance of HVAC systems has consequences, such as unnecessary use of energy, resulting in higher costs and emissions, in addition to reduced comfort for building occupants. Energy efficient HVAC pumps In order to truly have an impact on energy consumption, a holistic approach must be adopted. Only by carefully examining and optimizing each part of the HVAC system, can we then find ways to improve it. In my experience with Armstrong Fluid Technology, in the last decade, the technology for HVAC pumps has been enhanced to provide up to 70% energy efficiency savings through demand-based control and parallel pumping technology. These innovations enable the pumps to operate at optimum levels, consuming as little energy as possible. Innovative smart technology Systems that incorporate innovative smart technology enable more accurate system performance analysis and optimization. Pumps can function as highly accurate flow meters that provide valuable insight for building managers and operators. Data from the intelligent connected pumps can be collected through active performance management software, which enables the HVAC system to learn, predict and optimize to deliver even greater energy efficiency and cost savings through maintained optimized performance. Systems incorporating innovative smart technology enable more accurate system performance analysis Active performance management software Active performance management software enables real time and historical data reporting that directly demonstrates system efficiency and savings. Given the global shift towards sustainable building construction, legislation on energy reporting is inevitable, therefore employing systems with this in-built capability can prove to be extremely beneficial in the future. The software can also help maintain client comfort at all times by enabling predictive maintenance. Systems can provide alerts when they detect faults, allowing for early replacement before a full breakdown. This can be particularly helpful in mission critical applications such as hospitals. Importance of analyzed data in system optimization Without the ability to analyze data, buildings managers and operators cannot properly optimize mechanical systems Evidently, collecting data is essential for many reasons, including preventing, and even reversing, the loss of energy efficiency. Without the ability to analyze data, buildings managers and operators cannot properly optimize mechanical systems, which results in unnecessary energy use, insufficient maintenance practices and any related costs. There may be hesitation in the industry to incorporate more sophisticated systems as they require initial investment, however, the returns from using more efficient mechanical systems are impressive. Executing energy upgrades for HVAC systems Simple payback on energy upgrade projects is usually reached within 3 to 5 years. Furthermore, energy savings continue for the life of the system. Properly executed energy upgrades deliver up to 40% savings on energy consumption related to HVAC operation. Savings on that level for a large facility can be impactful for business operations. Energy efficiency is not ‘visible’ but has the potential to have a transformative effect on climate change, if embraced on a large scale. If we consume energy only as we need to, then we consume less of it. This, in turn, reduces our consumption of fossil fuels and consequently our greenhouse gas emissions. Aside from short-term benefits, such as costs savings and increased operation efficiency, energy management has the ability to help conserve energy for generations to come. Embracing energy saving solutions If we embrace innovative energy saving solutions in the building services industry, then we can begin to make a difference. With the recent launch of plans for sustainable development, such as the Dubai Master Plan 2040, green infrastructure, supporting solutions, will thrive. The global shift towards embracing sustainability has made individuals and organizations call into question their impact on our planet. Embracing sustainability is no longer a preference but a strategic business approach that helps to create long-term value on a social, economic and environmental level. The role of energy efficiency, and the systems that enable it, will inevitably play a key role in creating more sustainable buildings, communities and cities.
Interfacing with HVAC products is increasingly complex. The tiny 1-inch LCD display included on systems does not lend itself to complicated functions. Keeping the HVAC user interface simple limits control options to on/off, mode change or choosing a temperature. Thermostat controls company COTHERM has developed a smartphone app that can be used to control complex functions such as product settings during installation, programming or providing technical information about an HVAC product. Near field communication (NFC) relays information from the smartphone app to the HVAC equipment. Conventional HVAC equipment “NFC technology can be leveraged by heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) manufacturers so that installers can adjust the settings for radiators, as well as water or space heaters, via a mobile phone,” says Alain Maillard, Marketing Director of COTHERM. NFC is a contactless technology that enables transfer of short messages between a smartphone and an object. The technology is widely used and is already popular for uses such as contactless payment The technology is widely used and is already popular for uses such as contactless payment, access control and transportation. The large color screen display of a smartphone and the familiarity of app usage provides a strong tool for user interface and is much more user-friendly than conventional LED or LCD displays with keypads that commonly equip conventional HVAC equipment. This is particularly evident for advanced settings that need a lot of menu navigation like programming. Using NFC technology NFC provides a remote user interface using a smartphone to facilitate the configuration or setting of the product. In effect, the smartphone becomes the user interface of the product, and there is no need to use a complex display with a keyboard. The approach also does not require complex IT installation or pairing as would be required with other technologies like Bluetooth or Wifi. Because communication is based on proximity, data exchange is safe, and you do not need a password or login to connect. The Electric Radiator is COTHERM’s first equipment to use NFC technology, and the first market introduction is in France. The first company to introduce the technology is ‘Univ’R Chauffage’ for the 2021 winter season. For an installer, simplicity is key. Permanent communication link The actual appliance is simplified to include only the most commonly used functions The NFC approach provides time savings for installation as it does not require a login/password of a local network. And it is error free: An app can have a pre-defined setting package that is impossible using a native LCD+ keyboard on traditional equipment. For the user, the actual appliance is simplified to include only the most commonly used functions. There is no pairing or setting, ensuring simplicity. And the system is hacker-free as it requires a proximity exchange and works without the cloud. Data exchange is only activated while the smartphone is close to the radiator; there is no need for a permanent communication link. As a consequence, there are no waves pollution and no energy consumption that may be due to maintaining permanent communication. For appliance manufacturers, the cost-effective solution is innovative and easy to use. Limited support is needed as there is no installation (except downloading an app from the store). Industrial HVAC products The approach also enables a contactless customization of the appliance at the end of the production line in the factory with no power supply on the appliance because NFC is energy harvesting. The approach can be used for industrial HVAC products as well as residential appliances. NFC provides cost advantages, eliminating the need for a high-end display on an appliance. Some sensitive technical data or setting may be reserved for a technician only Information is also addressable: A filter can be set with data from the appliance accessible by profile. Some sensitive technical data or setting may be reserved for a technician only or for use at the factory. In the HVAC application as implemented, the controller of the appliance is used as the NFC tag and the smartphone is used as a reader/writer terminal with color display. The controller of the appliance includes an NFC antenna and a small, dedicated NFC controller with memory. Providing additional benefits On the other hand, the smartphone can be iOS or Android and needs to have the COTHERM NFC App downloaded. NFC is available on iPhone from iPhone 7 and on Android; all smartphones with NFC are compatible. NFC technology provides additional benefits, too, including: Traceability and storage of historical data. Easy setting of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth configuration when combined with NFC. Preset of the appliances or any equipment at the factory, including enabling or disabling. Functions or changing settings to enable customization based on distribution channel for brand. Directly points to the correct app on the store for download when using the smartphone for the first time. Self-launch of the app when the smartphone is close to the NFC tag. Further expansion is planned in Europe. The combination of the technology has received an innovation reward as a European funding project Touch & Heat by DIGIFED Europe program (Horizon H2020). Partners in the DIGIFED program are IoTize, a French startup, and Lucht LHZ, a German manufacturer of Electric Radiator. Product introduction in other European countries is planned for 2022. HVAC equipment such as water heaters or heat pump water heater controllers are the next target for the technology.
It’s shaping up to be a long, hot summer for HVAC contractors and their customers. Disruptions in the nationwide supply chain that began during the COVID-19 pandemic still have not been resolved. Shutdowns last summer played havoc with the supply of parts, and suppliers are still playing catch up, as raw materials remain scarce. Furthermore, prices are going up among some components and key raw materials. Waiting times for parts can run into weeks or even months. Supply shortages of HVAC equipment Summer weather increases the demand for HVAC equipment, especially in hotter climates. A spike in air conditioner demand is generally welcomed by most contractors, but supply shortages make it difficult to deliver on customer needs. Managing a backlog of impatient customers is a new challenge for many HVAC companies. The shortages impact materials, such as steel, aluminum, copper and plastics, whose costs are expected to rise in coming months. Among metals, the price hikes could be 20 to 30%, while prices of plastics could almost triple. Copper futures recently reached an all-time high, and steel price indexes are also at record levels. Shortages of electrical components Shortages have been reported of copper and electrical components, such as motors and compressors Shortages have been reported of copper and electrical components, such as motors and compressors, which are specific to the units that use them. There is also a shortage of microchips that are components in high-efficiency systems and furnaces, and resins used in the evaporator coil pans are scarce. Some HVAC supply firms have had difficulty obtaining evaporator coils used in air conditioners. Specialty items such as control boards have a wait time of up to two to three weeks, or longer. Shortages projected till end of 2021 The shortages are projected to continue until the end of 2021. Even as small shipments trickle in, they are often sold quickly. The situation is unfamiliar to the HVAC trade, which has traditionally not had issues with equipment availability. Shortages in the HVAC market are a reflection of broader supply and cost challenges of the construction market. Prices for goods used in residential construction have increased almost 10% over the past 12 months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Higher transportation costs impact supply chain Higher transportation costs are impacting both the supply chain and HVAC contractors. Personnel shortages continue to plague many HVAC companies, too, and a technician shortage is also contributing to longer wait times in some areas. A scarcity of labor has been a 20-year challenge for the HVAC industry, but it is reaching new levels as days go by. Order in advance and stockpiling equipment Alternatively, HVAC contractors may seek to switch brands to help ease availability issues One approach contractors are taking to the problem is to order equipment in advance and stockpile it for when they need it. One Denver contractor reportedly ordered almost a million dollars of equipment in advance. Alternatively, HVAC contractors may seek to switch brands to help ease availability issues. Identifying a manufacturer that has stock available can ease the inconvenience of customers having to wait for new equipment. need for regular HVAC maintenance Another approach is to educate homeowners about the importance of maintenance, such as changing filters, which can avoid a need for larger repairs involving equipment that is in short supply. Maintenance service is doable because it doesn’t require new equipment, replacements or add-ons that can be hard to come by. Unfortunately, among consumers, maintenance may have been delayed or ignored during the pandemic, which is aggravating the urgency of the current situation.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an emerging tool for a long list of applications, including the ability to analyze and ensure optimum performance of an HVAC system. Emerson’s Sensi Predict smart HVAC solution is an example of how AI can boost the capabilities of HVAC. It has been recognized with a Silver Edison Award in the Innovative Services – AI category. Sensi Predict smart HVAC solution Sensi Predict combines inputs from 10 sensors in an HVAC system and analyzes the performance of heating and cooling systems in real time. Intelligent monitoring alerts home owners and their contractors, when HVAC systems are not operating at full efficiency. The alerts, which can be accessed on a smartphone, can predict and prevent problems, ensure corrective maintenance, lower utility costs, and prolong the life of an HVAC system. Fault detection and diagnostics are a new frontier in HVAC technology, delivering a seamless and simple user experience. Sensi Predict HVAC system configuration Here is how the Sensi Predict system is configured: Sensors monitor the temperature of the air flowing from the HVAC system into the home, and also the return air temperature, coming from the home back into the system. Sensors also monitor temperatures in the liquid and vapor lines in the refrigerant loop, and the indoor and outdoor control lines, communicating back and forth from the thermostat to the outdoor unit. Other sensors monitor the current draw and indoor voltage of indoor units, and current and voltage to the outdoor units. Data from the sensors is used to analyze how well the HVAC is operating, including detailed monthly performance checks, with results issued to the home owner and the contractor. If a warning is detected, an alert will be sent in real time. 24/7 monitoring The 24/7 monitoring is summarized in a personalized home owner portal and monthly performance reports The 24/7 monitoring is summarized in a personalized home owner portal and monthly performance reports that include any alerts, loss of performance, runtime and estimated cost and filter status. Actionable alerts tell when a problem is detected, sent via an email with a straightforward explanation and recommended action. “Our heating and cooling systems are critical to the health and comfort of our families and the environment, yet we have little visibility into how they perform on a day-to-day basis,” said Jamie Froedge, Executive President of Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions business. The Sensi Predict systems seek to provide additional visibility. Sharing real-time system insights The Edison Awards highlight top-tier new product innovation, service development and human-centered design. Named after inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, the awards recognize and honor global innovation. The award to Emerson’s Sensi Predict system recognizes it as a 21st-century solution to the maintenance of home heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, sharing real-time system insights, in order to help home owners monitor performance and prevent unexpected problems. Maximize system lifetime and minimize energy costs “We are honored to be recognized for this innovative technology that provides both awareness and peace of mind, when it comes to an essential component of the home,” said Jamie Froedge. Sensi Predict also provides benefits related to installation, by validating a quality install and eliminating call backs. Over time, it maximizes system lifetime and minimizes energy costs. service and maintenance information In terms of maintenance, the system provides information to ensure that all contractor truck rolls generate revenue and decrease the average time on site. The 24/7 monitoring limits home visits to only when needed and increases transparency to the customer of suggested repairs and upgrades. Home owners can access the Sensi Predict Homeowner Portal on the official website for detailed information, based on real-time data about how their system is functioning and its performance history, energy usages and costs and predicted maintenance needs.
Teknotherm Marine España S.L. (Teknotherm) has landed its first new building contract. Teknotherm Marine España S.L. will deliver the complete HVAC maintenance and service, including installation work, on a suction dredger, to be built by Nodosa Shipyard. HVAC service for Omvac Catorce Nodosa Shipyard will build and design the 63.3 meters dredger, called Omvac Catorce, for Canlemar. Canlemar is dedicated to carrying out all kinds of maritime works, such as deepening and maintenance dredging in ports and bays, and construction of docks. Omvac Catorce is the third dredger that Canlemar has ordered with Nodosa Shipyard. Omvac Catorce will have a dredging capacity of 1200 m3 and a dredging depth of 30 m. The ship accommodates a crew of 10. The ship will comply with the IMO TIER III regulations of the International Maritime Organization, regarding the control and reduction of polluting and greenhouse emissions. With its adaptation to these regulations, this dredger will be able to navigate and operate anywhere in the world.
Pinder Cooling & Heating has completed a series of cooling and ventilation refurbishments as part of a new contract with popular fast-food chain, Mahmoods. The Bradford-based team of commercial refrigeration and air conditioning specialists has refurbished cold rooms within four of its restaurants between March and July. The Great Horton Road branch was the most recent to undergo the renovations, where Pinder also installed brand-new air conditioning units. Pinder’s founder, Andrew Pinder, said the refurbishments are a testament to the standards Mahmoods’ adheres to in terms of serving fresh, quality fast food. Maintaining cold rooms “Cold rooms in restaurants are an integral part of regulating food and keep it from becoming contaminated. Mahmoods has always been passionate about ensuring only the freshest food is served to its customers, and the investment into this new equipment demonstrates their commitment. Our team has really enjoyed working with the entire Mahmoods team and look forward to a long working relationship.” Mahmoods is a chain of fast-food restaurants founded in 2001 by Tariq Mahmood Mahmoods is a chain of fast-food restaurants founded in 2001 by Tariq Mahmood, with seven franchise sites across the UK. On 25th June 2021, the firm celebrated 20 years of serving quality and affordable Halal takeaway dishes. In recent weeks, it was listed as one of the top six highest rated takeaways to order in Bradford. Tariq Mahmood, Founder of Mahmoods said: “Cleanliness and the freshness of our food are at the top of our list, that’s why we ensure that we regularly maintain our cold rooms and have adequate ventilation throughout our restaurants.” Specialist HVAC services “Ahead of our 20th anniversary and the reopening of the hospitality industry, we made the decision to give our cold rooms and air conditioning units a major revamp, and appointed Pinder to carry out the work. Being a Bradford-based firm, we’ve heard a lot about the quality of service they provide, which is aligned to our values. That’s why we knew there was no other firm to support this part of the renovation.” Pinder Cooling & Heating has been providing specialist HVAC services to commercial firms across the UK since founding in 2016. It’s specialist areas include the installation of, and maintenance associated with commercial refrigeration, air conditioning, server room cooling, cellar cooling, cold rooms, and bar and restaurant equipment.
ABB has successfully completed the commissioning of the Induction xP Plus profiler system on PM3 at Bilt Graphic Paper Products Limited (BGPPL), Ballarpur, India, with remote support from China. Marking the first time that an ABB cross-machine direction control engineer has provided remote commissioning support for an upgrade of this kind, the modernization project was successfully and seamlessly delivered due to the world-class domain expertise of the team. Induction xP Plus Cross Direction ABB’s new Induction xP Plus is the best-in-class cross direction (CD) caliper profile control to achieve maximum induction heating in the shortest time possible, for reduced product variability and rapid corrections to sheet finishing profiles. The actuator heats the calendar roll with an alternating magnetic field, creating heating eddy currents that cause the roll to expand. First-of-its-kind remote commissioning for ABB, made possible by the team’s strong domain expertise This narrows the nip between rolls and compresses the paper for reduced caliper and increased smoothness, offering papermakers advanced caliper profiling and sheet finishing capability. It is an integral part of the ABB Ability™ Quality Management System (QMS), which is based on the flagship digital platform, ABB Ability™ System 800xA. Authority Comments “As part of our mill modernization, we decided to replace the existing ABB CD caliper control system (ThermoProfiler) with the latest Induction xP Plus profiler for PM3 at our Ballarpur plant, where we produce premium uncoated woodfree writing and printing paper, as well as high-quality office paper from 100 percent virgin wood fibers,” said Mr. Uday Kukde, General Manager and Unit Head, BGPPL, Ballarpur. “This upgrade to a newer, more reliable product was critical in order to improve our efficiency, safety and quality by reducing product variability, breakdown and inventory cost.” “This has been a significant, first-of-its-kind remote commissioning for ABB, made possible by the team’s strong domain expertise,” said Rajmohan Arumugam, Engineering Manager – QMS, ABB. “Despite it being a complex task, the team overcame all logistical and health and safety hurdles and ensured that the entire process ran smoothly and exceeded customer expectations.” BGPPL Bilt Graphic Paper Products Limited (BGPPL), a subsidiary of Bilt Paper B.V., manufactures coated and uncoated woodfree paper as well as copy paper from multiple facilities located in the state of Maharashtra. BGPPL, which exports its paper products to more than 55 countries, has a total capacity of 670,000 metric tons per annum across three mills.
Johnson Controls recently partnered with Air One Heating & Cooling, Star Air Conditioning & Heating, and YORK Factory Direct to install YORK® heating and cooling systems in two Building Homes for Heroes mortgage-free homes for wounded veterans in Daytona, Florida., and Orlando, Florida. Air One Heating & Cooling installed equipment donated by YORK Factory Direct in the home of Sergeant Carlos Cruz in Daytona, Florida, Cruz, who joined the military out of San Antonio, Texas in 1997, was injured during his 20-year deployment, causing him to suffer from severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), herniated discs in his back, left ACL reconstruction, migraines, and chronic pain. Suffer multiple injuries Star Air Conditioning & Heating installed equipment that was also donated by YORK Factory Direct in the home of U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Jorge Zapata in Orlando, Florida, Zapata, who joined the military out of Parris Island, S.C., was injured during his deployment to Iraq, causing him to suffer multiple injuries, including PTSD and a traumatic brain injury. The injuries of both veterans require specific modifications in their homes in order to live safely and focus on their recoveries. "We’re proud to partner with Johnson Controls and Building Homes for Heroes to give back to a real hero within our local community who has made great sacrifices for our country,” said Larry Franklin Sr., Owner, Star Air Conditioning & Heating. “We’re honored to contribute our services to help Sergeant Jorge Zapata and his family live comfortably in their home.” Renovate quality homes The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them to injured veterans Building Homes for Heroes is a national organization that recognizes those who serve in the United States Armed Forces by supporting the needs of severely wounded or disabled soldiers and their families. The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them, mortgage-free, to injured veterans nationwide. “The customized amenities that Johnson Controls brings to these homes provide not only a foundation for these heroes, but a hopeful path to a bright future with the opportunity to reach dreams they may have never thought imaginable when injured,” said Andy Pujol, Founder and CEO of Building Homes for Heroes. Veteran-Friendly company “We are so grateful to partner with Johnson Controls, Air One Heating & Cooling, Star Air Conditioning & Cooling and YORK® Factory Direct to help these veterans and their families to live in greater comfort.” The YORK brand of Johnson Controls has been a proud sponsor of Building Homes for Heroes since 2014. The company has been recognized by US Veterans Magazine as a top veteran-friendly company. Johnson Controls is also committed to hiring veterans and military spouses. Veteran employees are honored to design, engineer, and assemble systems that help improve the lives of fellow veterans.
Located in Worcester Massachusetts, Doherty Memorial High School is typical of many schools designed in the 1960’s. With two classroom wings joined together by hallways and anchored by an auditorium and gymnasium, the red brick school is home to approximately 1500 students. After 40 years, the school needed to replace the original hot water boilers and unit ventilators serving the upper and lower classroom wings. To design their new heating and ventilating system, the school enlisted the services of Shooshanian Engineering (SEi), Boston, Massachusetts. Outdoor air ventilation The original system design incorporated two gas fired hot water boilers sized to provide individual classroom unit ventilators with enough heating capacity to condition both the return and outdoor air loads. Rooftop exhaust fans pulled room air from each class-room to complete the ventilation process. ERVs recycle energy from building exhaust air to efficiently precondition outdoor air ventilation As recommended by the EPA and DOE, SEi evaluated the use of Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) as part of the new design. ERVs recycle energy from building exhaust air to efficiently precondition outdoor air ventilation, thereby reducing annual operating costs and boiler size requirements. After evaluating several ERV strategies, including fixed plate and run around loop, SEi determined that an ERV incorporating Airxchange rotary energy recovery wheels provided the best value. Estimates of installation and operating costs were evaluated for two designs: one with ERV and one without. As expected, the ERV based design provided the lowest operating cost. Capital equipment savings However, SEi was pleasantly surprised to discover the ERV based design, incorporating a smaller boiler and less expensive fan coil units, also provided the lowest installed cost. The capital equipment savings, made possible by incorporating Energy Recovery Ventilation in the design, more than offset the added cost of the ERV’s resulting in an instant payback. Installation included thirteen rooftop ERV units, each supplying from 1200 to 4600 cfm of ventilation air along with a single boiler to replace the two original boilers. Existing exhaust ducts provided exhaust air to the ERVs while new ductwork was added to deliver fresh outdoor air to each classroom. The design called for removal of the outdoor air intakes in the walls and installation of fan coil units in place of unit ventilators. Automated Logic software Performance of the new system is monitored using Automated Logic software Performance of the new system is monitored using Automated Logic software. The new system has received positive comments from teachers who expressed appreciation for the added fresh air and the ability of the classrooms to come up to temperature quickly at the beginning of the school day. “Even at the coldest temperatures the comfort of the supply air is amazing,” said Jeffrey Lassey, Director of Facilities with Worcester Public Schools. “You can feel the class-room come up to temperature much faster than with the old unit ventilators, and with the ERV system, we’ve reduced our energy costs considerably,” he added. Reduction in energy use over a 20 year period is expected to save approximately 3400 tons of CO2 emissions and $625,540 at current energy prices. Reducing energy consumption “Selecting the ERVs was a good shift away from unit ventilators, since it significantly reduces our energy consumption. This is particularly important because the cost of energy is heading nowhere but up.” - Jeffrey Lassey, Director of Facilities Worcester Public Schools. NSTAR, the local gas utility serving the city of Worcester, provides incentives for installation of energy efficient equipment through an energy rebate program funded by its commercial customer base. For the installation of an ERV based system and reduced boiler size, Doherty Memorial High School was awarded a $32,000 rebate from NSTAR. “Make sure to select Energy Recovery Ventilation from the outset in the design process in order to take full advantage of utility rebates slated for energy efficiency.” - Tom Angelo, NSTAR.
Working alongside Sunflag Iron and Steel Company Ltd. in Bhandara, India, global technology company ABB has achieved successful integration of its ABB Ability™ Data Analytics Platform for metals, tying together all manufacturing and operational data of steel melt shop and rolling mills to improve production planning and plant performance optimization. The plant, which has a capacity to produce 500,000 metric tons of high-quality special steel per annum, now has the platform to integrate data sources across 17 operational areas, including non-ABB systems. A key example is that information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) has converged to positively impact Sunflag’s steel melt shop (SMS) and rolling mills. ABB Ability™ Data Analytics Platform ABB integrated with the existing automation systems for process and quality monitoring in real time, aligning with user-friendly operator dashboards available via a web page on mobile. The platform enables identification and diagnosis of issues or use of extra resources. “Together we’re looking forward to realizing the full benefits of enhanced operations and quality,” said Ragunath Satyan, Industry Lead for Metals, ABB India. “ABB Ability™ Data Analytics Platform for metals will provide clear advantages in terms of monitoring and troubleshooting daily process and quality issues.” It is one of the first global implementations of ABB’s integrated plant monitoring system in the metals industry “We have ensured that Sunflag Steel’s people have visualization of real time plant operations on the most modern dashboards. This will allow for better decision making and will ultimately show returns in productivity, quality and resource efficiency.” digital transformation engagement It is one of the first global implementations of ABB’s integrated plant monitoring system in the metals industry, and is part of a long-term vision across process industries for a future where the physical and digital worlds are connected, scalable and harness machine learning potential. The project has been part of a wider digital transformation engagement with the customer, with ABB providing domain expertise for systems that improve overall process visibility to enable data driven business decision making. resource efficiency “We’re proud to have had the opportunity with Sunflag Steel to showcase and implement ABB Ability™ Data Analytics Platform for metals for all manufacturing and operational data of steel melt shop and rolling mills on site,” added Ragunath Satyan. ABB Ability™ solutions combine ABB’s deep domain expertise with connectivity and software innovation to empower real time, data-driven decisions for safer, smarter operations that maximize resource efficiency and contribute to a low-carbon future. A large portfolio of digital solutions helps organizations automate, optimize and future proof their business to achieve new heights of performance and drive sustainable progress.
Round table discussion
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?
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?