Low carbon more efficient heating systems such as heat pumps will be no more expensive – and in many cases may end up cheaper – to buy and run than gas boilers, under government plans being announced on Monday, 18 October 2021. Through the Heat and Buildings Strategy, the government has set out its plan to incentivize people to install low-carbon heating systems in a simple, fair, and cheap way as they come to replace their old boilers over the coming decade. This will significantly...
A long list of regulatory and environmental trends is determining the future of the HVAC industry. Some trends will have an immediate impact, while others will come in force years from now, although the complexity of the industry requires that manufacturers and installers start planning now. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What regulatory or environmental trend will have the greatest impact on the HVAC market?
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...
Residential and commercial contractors can learn insider tips for keeping boilers running at peak efficiency during the cold winter months by participating in Weil McLain’s Knowledge Builder Sessions taking place twice a week in October. The weekly educational sessions, hosted by the technical training team from the leading North American designer and manufacturer of hydronic comfort heating systems, will comprise of winter readiness tips and ways to prepare various types of residential a...
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...
Danfoss has announced a new leadership team and divisional structure for its Power Solutions segment, following the formal completion of its acquisition of Eaton’s hydraulics business. The new alignment strengthens the company’s core business as it expands its global reach and positions itself to better serve customers and distribution partners around the world. Eric Alström, who has led Danfoss Power Solutions since 2012, h...
Trane Technologies, a global climate innovator – is making it easier to understand and optimize home comfort, including the quality of air in your home. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made many of us rethink the air we breathe indoors,” said Jason Bingham, President of Trane Technologies’ Residential HVAC business. “An important aspect of helping people feel safe indoors is alleviating airborne health risks, especially those related to viruses, bacteria, pet dander, and other particles. But the first step is awareness and understanding of a home’s air quality. That’s why we’re pleased to integrate indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring with Trane Home, beginning with Awair Element™.” risk of contaminants The indoor environment is unique and requires a different solution, making indoor air quality monitoring key Evidence suggests that inadequate ventilation and poor indoor air quality management can increase the risk of contaminants circulating in the home, including particulates, carbon dioxide, toxic chemicals, allergens, gases, and pathogens – conditions that can encourage exposure to airborne viruses. Yet, each indoor environment is unique and may require a different solution, making indoor air quality monitoring key to indoor comfort and wellness. Awair Element with Trane Home app By integrating Awair Element with the newly-launched Trane Home app, homeowners can monitor their indoor air quality status, while their Trane HVAC system works behind the scenes to automatically take action if levels fall below ideal conditions or a user’s personal settings. With Trane Home, homeowners can remotely adjust their connected thermostats and set heating and cooling schedules, control lighting and manage appliances, door locks, security systems and more. They can also opt in to Diagnostics, a platform that connects Trane dealers with homeowners’ HVAC systems for remote monitoring and problem-solving with real-time performance data. The integration of IAQ monitoring devices also allows Trane dealers to access and make recommendations based on IAQ scores for those who opt in. About Awair Element Awair Element is a device that tracks five air quality factors that can impact health, comfort, and productivity – temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), and microscopic particulate matter (PM2.5) from cooking, wildfires, or vehicle traffic. delivering sustainable solutions Trane Technologies offers a range of innovative IEQ solutions that assess the holistic needs of indoor spaces As a global climate innovator, Trane Technologies helps ensure well-being and peace of mind by delivering sustainable solutions for homes, buildings, and transportation. Trane Technologies offers a full range of innovative Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) solutions that assess the holistic needs of indoor spaces, mitigate specific issues, and manage ongoing effectiveness and efficiency through digital monitoring and integrated controls. Through its Center for Healthy & Efficient Spaces (CHES), the company convenes leading internal and external experts and actively engages partners to advance IEQ policy, strategies and solutions and boldly challenge what’s possible for a sustainable world.
In 1991 Eurovent, together with the American, Canadian and Japanese associations founded ICARHMA, the International Council of Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating Manufacturers Associations. Meanwhile, the membership has increased to eleven members covering many parts of the world. ICARHMA allows the association to discuss global issues related to energy and environmental related issues. Global Perspective ICARHMA members meet in general twice per year, once at the time of the AHR Expo in the USA and once for an Annual Meeting hosted by the members. In general, most associations also meet informally at the time of the CR Expo in China and other events, often on a bilateral basis. Focus lay on refrigerants, while since the pandemic the focus has shifted to the aspects that disrupt the industry Eurovent hosted the 2014 Annual Meeting in Berlin and is expected to host the 2026 Annual Meeting. During the meetings, issues are looked at from a global point of view. In the past years, the focus lay on refrigerants, while since the pandemic the focus has shifted to the aspects that disrupt the industry. Upcoming Annual Meeting For the upcoming meeting, AHRI has communicated the white paper on ‘Supply Chain Disruptions Affect Viability of U.S. Manufacturing Sector’ (GEN 1297.01), and it will be part of the discussion on 13 October. The last time ICARHMA met face-to-face was dated from the AHR Expo in Orlando in 2020. Since then, meetings and exchanges have been online. If all would go well, the members will meet during the AHR Expo in Las Vegas at the end of January 2022. Top 3 issues Within ICARHMA the top 3 issues confronting associations are traced at each meeting. These change and develop over time. For the upcoming meeting the Eurovent top 3 issues are: Lack of HVACR skilled persons as well as persons in the related logistics infrastructures (workforce in general, this phenomenon is happening across Europe and most acute in Great Britain), coupled to a disruption in the (global) supply chains and price increases (materials, energy) that appeared in late 2020 and are accelerating at present that somehow will need to be passed on. Move towards stronger environmental requirements (impacting energy efficiency of buildings and products, refrigerants) and the likely introduction of a Sustainable Products Initiative. Increased complexity of the European regulatory environment (weak implementation and important delays) Re-emergence of national requirements with the Member States exploring the limits when transposing European Directives. Recommended actions Members interested in the views of other associations can be recommended to check the updated list of top 3 issues in the agenda document for the next meeting (GEN -1297.02).
Danfoss announces the groundbreaking on its new manufacturing facility in Tallahassee, Florida on September 21. The 167,000 SF building, scheduled for completion in early 2023, will host state-of-the-art manufacturing for the VTX line and two TT/TG lines for Danfoss’ Turbocor compressors. The new facility will triple current manufacturing capacity to meet fast-growing demand from the American, European, and Asian Pacific markets for cooling and heating high-efficiency compressors. Once manufacturing operations are moved to the new building, the existing 70,000 SF building will be converted to an Oil-Free Technology Center, housing R&D activities including pilot productions of new cooling technologies and services. Sustainable Turbocor compressors Turbocor compressors use magnetic-bearing technology instead of oil and provide a low-carbon and ultra-low GWP cooling option for commercial air conditioning and refrigeration units. The oil-free high efficient compressor technology is a key enabler to meet the decarbonization goals of commercial buildings, cities, and countries. The oil-free high efficient compressor technology is a key enabler to meet the decarbonization goals Danfoss is the pioneer of oil-free compressors in the HVAC-R industry and is committed to continuing the development of the technology to reduce the carbon footprint of key vital infrastructures like data centers, hospitals, hotels, airports, and their needs in cooling and heating. The capacity increase is fully aligned with the push from Danfoss’ key customers to drive high energy efficiency and sustainability within the global HVAC-R industry. The company has made similar investments in its manufacturing site in China and Configuration Center in Europe to support its global customers. Developing Clean technology “We are excited about increasing our manufacturing capacity,” said Ricardo Schneider, president of Danfoss Turbocor. “We’re at an inflection point with our technology as we see significant growth year-over-year. The technology is moving toward the mainstream, and this new facility will help us continue to innovate and develop new technologies to remain a market leader in low-carbon cooling. With the urgent need to reduce our carbon emissions and slow the rate of global warming, Danfoss will continue to be a leader in clean energy technologies.”
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 combines easily with the rest of the products in the Airthings for Business solution View CO₂ for Business combines easily with the rest of the products in the Airthings for Business solution, which lets users monitor, visualize and control indoor air quality remotely, so as to ensure a safe and healthy environment. High CO₂ levels can increase the risk of airborne virus transmission and cause lower productivity, drowsiness, headaches and loss of concentration. Since the body expels CO₂, when breathing out, the levels can rise quickly in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. Measuring CO₂ levels, a good indicator of IAQ For that reason, measuring CO₂ levels serve as a good indicator of indoor air quality (IAQ) and how well a ventilation system is working. Monitoring humidity and temperature indoors is also important, as both conditions correlate with virus transmission. In addition to carbon dioxide, the new View CO₂ for Business also measures temperature, humidity, virus risk, noise and light. The Virus Risk Indicator fuses data from Airthings core sensors into an algorithm, in order to calculate the risk of airborne virus spread, in an indoor space. The capability helps schools and offices understand their indoor air quality, and how it contributes to spreading airborne viruses, providing personalized insights to minimize the risk. The optional CO2 Alert feature lets anyone know, when a room needs a breather, by visually alerting them through a red LED light on the product, when CO2 levels get too high. View CO₂ for Business View CO₂ for Business includes a customizable, ultra-low power display, to maximize battery life up to ten years. Users can choose to show the live sensor data that matters most to them or a QR code so that anyone in the room can check the air quality in that space in real-time. The live sensor data will enable students, educators, and office workers to take immediate actions, in order to improve the air quality, while facility managers and building owners can remotely monitor and leverage advanced analytics, in order to optimize air quality and energy usage, saving both time and costs. Flattening the COVID-19 pandemic curve Countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, have already introduced regulations to monitor air quality in schools As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, schools and offices everywhere look for effective strategies, to ensure their indoor environments are safe for children and tenants. Countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, have already introduced regulations to monitor air quality in schools. The United Kingdom and several states in the USA, including California, are also looking at implementing similar measures. The Government of Quebec in Canada has also taken steps to address indoor air quality in its schools and has recently closed an agreement with Airthings to supply air quality monitoring to schools across the region, as part of a ten-year contract. Improving indoor air quality (IAQ) “When you know what’s in the air you breathe, simple actions, such as opening a window or increasing ventilation, can significantly improve the air quality in a space,” said Oyvind Birkenes, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airthings. Oyvind Birkenes adds, “With View CO₂, we’re making CO₂ monitoring more accessible to everyone in times where it’s most needed. This powerful and easy-to-use product will empower facility managers, building owners, tenants, and office managers alike to take control of their air quality and protect the health of children and tenants.” Monitoring CO2 accessible for any establishment View CO2 for Business makes monitoring CO2 accessible for any school, office, or commercial building. Quick and easy installation, totally wireless sensors, user-friendly dashboard, and easy reporting ensure that anyone can take control of the indoor air quality. View CO₂ for Business is the latest addition to the Airthings for Business solution. Set up in a matter of minutes, the solution is easy to scale and customize to any new or existing space. Indoor air quality data with advanced cloud analytics is available via the Airthings Dashboard and users can create reports to ensure they comply with local regulations.
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 4.99% with an instant loan approval process. PowerPay - Sales Builder Pro integration The use of the Sales Builder Pro platform will lead to a 22% increase in top-line annual sales The combination of powerful sales tools and instant financing options will help contractors run their business more efficiently and profitably. The use of the Sales Builder Pro platform will lead to a 22% increase in top-line annual sales and the now added instant financing will result in even higher tickets and bigger sales. David Haas, the Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer (COO) of PowerPay said “This is the convergence of ‘point of sale’ and ‘buy now pay later. Sales Builder Pro's software enables the contractor and customer to quickly identify the best equipment options and final price. PowerPay's integrated finance options deliver an easy way to pay for the project with low, affordable monthly payments over time.” Powerful sales tool with integrated finance options “We created Sales Builder Pro to be the easiest, most powerful sales tool that a residential HVAC contractor can use,” explained John Steidley, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of Intelligent Mobile Support (IMS). John Steidley adds, “Adding simplified financing through PowerPay improves the convenience of our sales tool, making it easier than ever for salespeople to present affordable financing options, to homeowners and close the sale.”
Johnson Controls, the global front-runner for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, collaborated with 894 U.S. higher education institutions in its fiscal third quarter to implement healthy building strategies in preparation for campus reopening in fall 2021. As part of its OpenBlue Healthy Buildings offerings, Johnson Controls has helped college administrators create and implement strategies to safely and efficiently welcome back students, staff, and faculty. Through comprehensive, long-term relationships that transfer the full lifecycle risk of healthy building operations to Johnson Controls, campus administrators can provide ambitious and scalable campus recovery strategies to deliver healthy environments that put wellness, productivity, and safety first. Investing in indoor air quality "Now is the time for educators to invest in indoor air quality and move into the future of healthy living, sustainability and learning," said Jaime Paris Boisvert, Director for the Higher Education Market at Johnson Controls. Healthy campus environments have a direct positive influence on student achievement and wellness "We know healthy campus environments have a direct positive influence on student achievement and wellness. Now, campuses must also address short-term COVID-19 needs along with those long-term health goals. We're honored to work on so many forward-looking projects that will optimize the campus experience for years to come. Because while infrastructure has always played a significant public health role, upgrades shouldn't begin and end with COVID-19." Healthy, optimized campus experiences As a majority of North American colleges and universities reopened campuses fully for the fall semester, they required modernized and resilient infrastructure. Johnson Controls OpenBlue Healthy Buildings empowers higher education stakeholders to optimize their buildings to create a new standard for safety, wellness, and efficiency. Clean air solutions help mitigate the spread of airborne pathogens, touchless security minimizes contamination, and flexible facility solutions allow campus leaders to rapidly repurpose spaces as needed. Through OpenBlue, these solutions can be automated for scalable, efficient, and ongoing optimization. Filter installations To deliver a safe, healthy, and connected campus environment ahead of the fall 2021 semester, East Central College in Union, MO selected long-time partner Johnson Controls. Leveraging federal relief and stimulus funding and a turnkey approach, Johnson Controls building experts commissioned a comprehensive and integrated healthy building solution. They installed high-efficiency MERV-13 filters, UV-C disinfection technologies, upgraded heat pumps, and Metasys® controls. The applied solutions will enable East Central College to improve air quality while maximizing classroom comfort to support improved learning outcomes. Long-term revenue impact OpenBlue Healthy Buildings ultimately allows schools to safely bring students back on campus Regardless of endowment size, the pandemic's negative impact on tuition and donations has tightened the margins of colleges and universities throughout the country. For many, the solution to fostering revenue recovery and positioning for future growth lies in instilling confidence in the safety of campuses for students, staff, faculty, and their families by making clear commitments to their health. "Schools that get their return to campus right will not only have a successful semester but will remain competitive to health-conscious applicants and donors in the future. How campuses welcome back students this fall can impact revenue for years to come," said Paris Boisvert. A sustainable learning environment Global decarbonization targets and increasingly sustainability-minded applicants, donors, and communities have driven higher education stakeholders to commit to ambitious sustainability goals. However, many energy efficiencies and renewable energy projects were suspended or canceled during the pandemic. OpenBlue Healthy Buildings ultimately allows schools to safely bring students back on campus, freeing up capital that can be reinvested in sustainability initiatives that keep colleges and universities on schedule in reaching their decarbonization targets. Serving campuses Johnson Controls has served 2,887 higher education campuses in North America, powering its missions for exceptional student experiences through healthy, connected, and sustainable infrastructure. To learn more, visit, "The Link Between Healthy Campuses, Healthy People, and Better Learning."
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.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) has become an area of emphasis among those in the HVAC industry and on a national level. Homes, offices, schools, and everything in between are being reevaluated with the ambition of having the best IAQ possible. Maintaining a high level of air quality is an important factor in encouraging a cleaner indoor breathing environment, which can lead to the better overall health and well-being of our families and communities. Clean air is especially important now with more waves of COVID-19 hitting and the onset of seasonal sicknesses like the flu and colds on the horizon. Now is the time for HVAC manufacturers to implement solutions to make returning to everyday life more seamless as we venture back out into the world. Mechanical HVAC equipment offers the perfect opportunity to improve IAQ in commercial facilities. Facility managers choosing to opt for enhanced air quality should focus on three areas for unit upgrades: controlled ventilation, dehumidification, and filtration. While there are countless minor changes one can make to improve IAQ, such as using exhaust fans to increase circulation, HVAC upgrades are the best and most efficient option to give building occupants the IAQ they need for maximum comfort and safety. Out with the old, in with the new Ventilation and the ability to control it are a necessity in maintaining a high level of air quality. Being able to control how much outdoor air circulates inside gives facility managers a tool to not only improve IAQ but also create consistent comfort for the building occupants. Controlled ventilation creates an avenue to help occupants breathe easier, feel better and be more proactive Outdoor air tends to be cleaner than indoor air, so bringing air in from outside is vital. Controlled ventilation creates an avenue to help occupants breathe easier, feel better and be more proactive in your space. With the proper HVAC upgrades, you can make sure the ventilation rate is controlled in a manner that will be most beneficial and effective for specific situations. By pushing indoor air out and bringing new outdoor air in, you are effectively limiting the number of harmful pathogens from the commercial space. Limiting particles in the air It is important to make sure your HVAC system is running smoothly and efficiently, especially during a time like now when airborne pathogens are prevalent. With COVID-19 continuing to affect people, maintaining excellent IAQ is certainly a priority. The removal of particulates from indoor air is a necessary process for HVAC systems. The ASHRAE recommendation for filtration is now MERV 13, which has increased from MERV 8 or MERV 10 in past years. The ability of the MERV 13 filter to grab smaller particulates floating in the air is a great advantage in maintaining IAQ. With an upgrade in HVAC filter equipment, dust, smoke, and other particulates can be reduced and greatly benefit air quality. Finding the humidity sweet spot If you live or work somewhere humid, you understand how miserable it can be outside, especially in warmer months. Even with temperature-controlled air inside, humidity can be present indoors. This can lead to not only an uncomfortable feeling inside but also a potentially harmful breathing environment. Mold, mildew and organic growth can all result from inadequate moisture removal. With the proper equipment, your indoor air will be less humid, leading to a continued high-level IAQ That is why dehumidification is such an important aspect of keeping us comfortable and safe inside. The sweet spot when it comes to relative humidity is between 40 and 60 percent. If your HVAC can handle higher latent loads associated with outdoor air, you should not experience the sticky feeling that will come along with a humid space. More importantly, dehumidification assists in lowering the chances of mold or organic growth appearing indoors. Hidden mold or mildew can cause issues that may affect your respiratory system. With the proper equipment, your indoor air will be less humid, leading to a continued high-level IAQ. Upgrading your HVAC As we continue to learn more about the benefits of maintaining excellent IAQ, it is clear HVAC upgrades are part of the process. Having clean and fresh air in our indoor spaces has many advantages, especially when occupants are confined to common areas. Safety and well-being are priorities when dealing with the air we breathe. Efficiency makes a difference in IAQ performance, so making sure you have the most reliable HVAC equipment is a great way to improve indoor air quality and maintain an excellent IAQ. IAQ directly impacts the health, comfort, and even some of the learning outcomes of occupants in a space Pulling contaminants from the air through filtration, removing moisture with dehumidification, and bringing in fresh air from the outside by ventilation are all solutions for maintaining a high IAQ. It is through proper equipment and upgrades that we can continue to keep occupants safe and comfortable as best we can. IAQ directly impacts the health, comfort, and even some of the learning outcomes of occupants in a space. Improving each of these factors is important in creating a comfortable indoor environment that encourages an increase in fresh and clean air.
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.
‘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.
Many new buildings are constructed to maximize the efficiency of HVAC systems and to minimize their environmental impact. But what about older buildings? How can they work to achieve efficiency and environmental goals? One answer involves the use of artificial intelligence (AI). “There are a lot of older buildings, and existing buildings are rarely demolished,” says Jean-Simon Venne, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Brainbox AI. “There are so many of them and they consume a lot of energy and have a big impact on the number of emissions.” Older buildings are reactive rather than proactive HVAC consumes around 50 to 60 percent of the energy used in a building, second only to lighting, whose impact is diminishing with the transition to lower-energy LED lighting. Although older buildings have control systems, they are reactive rather than proactive. Temperature schedules are set according to times and a set of fixed rules. Any changes to the set schedule require a technician who knows the control type and the programming language. Using AI to predict analytics of buildings Brainbox AI provides self-adapting AI to proactively optimize the energy consumption and GHG emissions Brainbox AI provides self-adapting artificial intelligence technology to proactively optimize the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of buildings. The technology connects with existing control systems and extracts information that artificial intelligence (AI) then uses to “learn” how a building reacts to temperature fluctuations. Extrapolating that information, the system can provide predictive analytics; in effect, a glimpse into the future. It’s an approach that quickly provides savings of up to 25% in energy usage and 40% in emissions, even in existing older buildings. Zone-based energy savings An example of how Brainbox AI operates in older buildings can be seen in the Holiday Inn Longueuil in Quebec, Canada, which has over 10,000 square feet of meeting space and a six-story atrium. They sought to reduce their energy consumption and optimize the HVAC systems in the common areas. BrainBox AI calculated energy savings by following the demand of each zone based on the weather and then normalizing the energy consumption based on heating degree days (HDD) and cooling degree days (CDD). Over five months, BrainBox AI was able to achieve an average savings of 34%. The Brainbox system uses machine learning and “deep learning,” which employs neural networks to mimic the activity of the human brain. Brainbox exposes the networks to data so that they can “learn.” This differentiates Brainbox AI from other companies that use technology dashboards to provide insight into a building’s operation but do not provide autonomous operation. Cost-savings while improving environmental concerns In AI and HVAC, spending a fraction of energy on smaller corrections avoids having to spend more energy Venne compares the approach to guiding a space shuttle. If it begins to go off course, a series of small corrections (such as booster rockets), can guide it back to the target path. In the case of AI and HVAC, spending a fraction of energy on smaller corrections avoids having to spend more energy on larger corrections. A computer analyses all the possible moves, their expected impact and chooses the best path among the possible outcomes. Both energy use and environmental concerns are driving building owners to the new approach. They may be willing to pay a cost to lower emissions, but in this case, using less energy provides cost savings as well as improving environmental impacts. “Now we can both save money and save the planet,” says Venne. “In the last six years, we have become able to do a lot of things at a low cost [using AI], things we were only dreaming of a few years ago. Now we are only limited by our imagination.” Greener energy Another element to minimize environmental impact is to use more energy that has been “responsibly” sourced (such as solar or nuclear power plants) and less energy that comes from high-polluting coal plants, for example. At some times of day, the available kilowatt-hours can be very “dirty;” other times they are greener. Brainbox AI is optimizing its use of greener energy through a partnership with WattTime, a non-profit that offers technology solutions to achieve emissions reductions. In effect, they are incorporating more environmental variables into the AI engine that drives a building’s systems. WattTime is a U.S.-based entity, and the Brainbox partnership is expanding usage to Canada, Europe, Australia, and other parts of the world. Effectiveness of AI in HVAC AI engine can detect problems like a defective sensor or a valve stuck open, which might have gone unnoticed The AI system also helps to maintain an HVAC system. Connecting to a system, the AI engine can detect such problems as a defective sensor or a valve stuck open, which might have gone unnoticed by an operator or maintenance company. The company can provide a “defective list” to a building’s owner. Some will make the repairs immediately, others may not. The effectiveness of the AI system is limited by the equipment that is in place. “We do what we can with what we can,” says Venne. Using self-adapting technology There are about 700 different control platforms in the HVAC market, although a smaller group of about 17 controls about 80% of systems. Brainbox AI interfaces with the 17 main building systems, which include popular protocols such as BACnet, Tridium, Modbus, and Johnson Controls. “It’s important to understand that each building is unique in how it is configured and operates,” says Venne. “There are no copy-and-paste solutions. We need technology that self-adapts. The neural network adapts to buildings and retrains it to evolve without human intervention.” Brainbox AI launched in May 2019 on the commercial side, after a four-year development period. The system has been deployed in 100 million square feet of building space in 15 countries and 70 cities globally, reaching all time zones. There is a large installed base in Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Canada, and the United States. The company is expanding rapidly and has 100 employees.
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.”
As a 22-year veteran of the dry-cleaning industry that has successfully opened several dry-cleaning facilities, Piyush Bhula knows a thing or two about operating a business that delivers an amazing dry-cleaning experience. That’s why, when he needed to replace his boiler at his Majik Touch Cleaners in Sawanee, Georgia, he contacted Gulf States Laundry Machinery, a pioneer in the distribution of dry-cleaning and commercial laundry equipment in the Atlanta area. Dry-Cleaning market At Gulf States, Piyush spoke to Ben Prema, Head of Dry-Cleaning Equipment Sales, who recommended Fulton as the company to buy from. (Fulton has been a premier provider of high-pressure steam boilers for the dry-cleaning and industrial- laundry markets for over sixty years.) Ben recommended Fulton’s revolutionary new Vertical Spiral Rib Tubeless (VSRT) Steam Boiler Moreover, Ben recommended Fulton’s revolutionary new Vertical Spiral Rib Tubeless (VSRT) Steam Boiler, a 30- HP model, for what would be its first installation in the Atlanta laundry and dry-cleaning market. The VSRT-30 was installed by Ben Prema with help from Kyle Petrie, Fulton Service Technician, and Mike McLean, Fulton Sales Manager. Turndown ratio burner “Ben started setting it up before Mike and Kyle came in, and Mike and Kyle came in the afternoon and helped set it up and were here all day,” said Piyush, adding, “I have never seen service as good as this with any other company. Set up time was just a few hours.” Commented Ben Prema from Gulf States, “It was very easy to install through a 36” door. The new VSRT-30 boiler is smaller and installs easier than previous 30-HP boilers. It’s also easier to connect to the gas, electrical and steam output lines – they are all very easily accessible.” Piyush purchased the VSRT-30 to replace a boiler that was larger in size though lesser in HP (20 HP). Because the VSRT-30 has a modulated 6:1 turndown ratio burner, it was able to meet Piyush’s actual (lower, as needed) steam demands throughout the day by automatically adjusting its air and gas intake. Monthly fuel bill It’s a 30-HP machine, but doesn’t look like a 30 HP. It’s too small, which is great!" This resulted in Piyush saving $300 on his first monthly fuel bill even though his new boiler has greater HP capacity. Said Piyush, “It’s a 30-HP machine, but doesn’t look like a 30 HP. It’s too small, which is great! It just doesn’t look like a boiler; it looks like a smart robot, like a dry cleaning machine with all of its relays and everything. And when Mike and Kyle were here and they tested, it was turning on at less than 15 HP, which is also great; it’s much more energy-efficient.” Continued Piyush, “I track my utility bills from previous years and from month to month, and in the three short months that it’s been installed, it’s already shown a significant savings on utilities, not just on the gas but on electric as well in the way the boiler runs, maintains, idles, then the way it cuts off and turns back on. I would say that I am saving at least 20% on my utilities. So it’s paying me at this point.” Dry-Cleaning machines “The only problem, which is a good problem, is that it’s too quiet. I’m used to yelling over the noise of the [previous] boiler. In the past, when I didn’t hear that roaring sound, it meant the boiler was not on. So literally, for the first two weeks, I had to go to the back of my store to check to see if the boiler was running or not because it’s so quiet.” In the past, when I didn’t hear that roaring sound, it meant the boiler was not on" “[The VSRT-30] Is able to make steam much faster; it takes half the time to end up at full PSI. Literally, I can run my dry-cleaning machines at 30 PSI because at 30 PSI it’s full steam, and it’s dry steam . . . very dry . . . I’m sure I will have a lot less issues with my traps because it’s so dry. Later, I operate at full pressure (100 PSI) with other equipment.” Producing less noise “Before, when I’d turn my boiler on, it would take 45 minutes to get to full PSI. With the old boiler, at a higher set pressure, I barely had any usable steam for my plant; while the VSRT takes half the time to end up at full PSI, and even at 30 PSI with the VSRT you can start your steam collections.” Said Ben Prema, “It’s a better boiler than a regular boiler, a competitor’s boiler, than any other boilers of its size. Compared to other boiler companies, it’s very easy to install. It automatically adjusts the air/gas mixture, produces less noise, takes up less room, produces faster steam. It’s more reliable. Longer lasting,” added Piyush, “[It’s] absolutely a better boiler than anything I’ve ever had . . . only good and nothing bad with it.”
Johnson Controls, the global pioneer for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, announced it is partnering with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body of Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, and the Rochester Institute of Technology - Dubai (RIT Dubai) to deliver the region's first-of-its-kind smart, healthy, and sustainable new campus. "Across the world, Johnson Controls helps businesses, governments and global institutions meet ambitious sustainability goals. Digitization is a key enabler for companies and organizations to meet net zero carbon and renewable energy goals. Employing the right technology and talent are two of the most critical factors for success," said Katie McGinty, vice president and chief sustainability, government and regulatory affairs officer at Johnson Controls. "We are pleased to contribute to the next generation of innovation leaders by giving students the opportunity to learn from the fully open architecture of the Johnson Controls OpenBlue digital platform. Together, we can work to address the decarbonization of buildings, which represent about 40% of global emissions. It is a win-win. Cutting that energy waste and emissions cuts energy costs as well." OpenBlue Enterprise Manager Johnson Controls is committed to supporting DSOA's sustainability and carbon emissions reduction efforts through its OpenBlue digital platform. The company will deploy its OpenBlue Enterprise Manager (OBEM) solution for RIT Dubai's iconic campus, using sophisticated artificial intelligence. OBEM will empower campus administrators to analyze field data to help address challenges around energy efficiency and optimization. OpenBlue digital platform and services for optimizing buildings can drive 50% improvement in energy efficiency The platform will facilitate RIT Dubai with real-time monitoring, benchmarking and analysis of energy consumption and demand, deliver real and meaningful sustainability solutions on campus, and reduce operational costs and lower environmental impact. Johnson Controls OpenBlue digital platform and services for optimizing buildings can drive 50% and more in improvement in energy efficiency and corresponding carbon emissions. net zero economy These goals are in line with the university's ambition to attract students and faculty committed to building a net zero economy that serves everyone while being able to teach and learn in the most comfortable, quality environment that operates more intelligently and efficiently. RIT Dubai has around 1,000 students and 100 staff members. "Johnson Controls has been a pioneer in innovation and a leader in technology for more than 135 years," said Rolando Furlong, vice president and general manager, Building Solutions MEA, at Johnson Controls "We are proud to partner with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and Rochester Institute of Technology of Dubai to drive a new level of sustainability in implementing our OpenBlue Healthy Buildings solutions to optimize performance by digitally transforming RIT Dubai's campus, turning data into insights, and insights into actions that ultimately contribute to the region`s sustainability goals. Our OpenBlue Healthy Buildings solutions will help create a state-of-the-art campus to improve learning environments and prepare students to be tomorrow's innovation leaders." We hold our partnership with Johnson Controls in high regard and share the same values around sustainability" "As a testbed for smart city solutions, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority has always been an early adopter of technology and we always encourage and promote innovative solutions for our region," added Engineer Muammar Khaled Al Katheeri, executive vice president of Engineering and Smart City at DSOA. "We hold our partnership with Johnson Controls in high regard and share the same values around sustainability and innovation. The RIT Dubai campus is state of the art with latest technologies incorporated and we look forward to Johnson Controls delivering the smart facility management for this campus utilizing cloud computing and artificial intelligence technologies." Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan For his part, Dr. Yousef M. Al-Assaf, president, Rochester Institute of Technology of Dubai, commented: "Johnson Controls has been working with DSOA at various fronts and has been an integral player in the design and construction of various systems in RIT Dubai`s new campus." "We are excited about this partnership between DSOA, RIT Dubai, and Johnson Controls to develop an open ecosystem which will enhance and create opportunities for the community in areas of innovation, creativity, and sustainability. Students will have the opportunity to tap into the interactive OpenBlue dashboards from Johnson Controls and thus benefit and learn from the latest in AI-driven analytics on energy efficiency. This partnership will serve as an example of how a university should operate in the future to become a dynamic contender in creating new knowledge, sustainable solutions and connectivity in the region." Johnson Controls has proven experience in the campuses vertical with solutions and services that power the wellness of students, teachers and staff, optimize the energy performance of the campus and meet environmental and sustainability goals. This collaboration is aligned with the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan. One of the key deliverables under the Plan is to promote a knowledge and innovation international centre that attracts talents and minds to contribute to the global growth and leadership of Dubai. Dubai Silicon Oasis is one of five main urban centers, a science and technology and knowledge hub that drives innovation, digital economy development, and talent generation.
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.”
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?