How grooved solutions have been making contractors and engineers reimagine the way they construct risers in vertical buildings? Enter into the right pub, or head to a city’s museum or town hall, and you can often find a picture of how the surrounding area used to look. An image from twenty years ago and the difference isn’t too vast. Fifty years back and there’s a definite change. A picture from over a hundred years ago and it’s practically unrecognizable. And what&rsquo...
Johnson Controls, a global provider of smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, announced it has joined The Climate Pledge, a commitment co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism. Signatories of the Pledge commit to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, ten years ahead of the goal set out in the United Nations’ Paris Climate Agreement. Johnson Controls is one of 53 organizations that have now signed the Pledge, and the move comes hot on the heels of the company’s announcement...
In 2020, the support programs of the Federal Office for Economics and Export Control (BAFA) and the Reconstruction Loan Corporation (KfW), which were increased as part of the climate package, ensured a significant market recovery. At the beginning of 2021, the Federal funding for efficient buildings (BEG) will come into effect, at least in part (individual measures in the grant variant) and will replace the previous programs. Federal funding for efficient buildings (BEG) Most of the funding c...
The heating industry is barring consumers from exercising their rights to choose efficient heating systems, according to consumer advice experts at The Heating Hub. Jo Alsop, Founder of The Heating Hub, said “For too long the UK’s domestic heating industry has been focused on volume boiler sales rather than on providing consumers with good advice about how to choose long-lasting, efficient systems.” highest boiler replacement Rate The United Kingdom has one of the highest bo...
Imagine a HVAC system that captures cardon dioxide and water from the air to be converted into renewable hydrocarbon fuels that can take the place of fossil fuels. This futuristic approach is a reality today, although on a small scale with little impact – for now. The challenge is to scale up the processes to create a “circular” CO2 economy that uses chemical processes to create renewable synthetic oil that substitutes for non-renewable fossil-based oil, while eliminating emis...
Trane Technologies, a global climate innovator, has announced that the company leadership will participate in a virtual fireside chat at the 2021 Citi Global Industrials Conference. They will speak at 11:20 AM ET on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. Global Industrials Conference The live webcast of the 2021 Citi Global Industrials Conference will be accessible on the Trane Technologies official website, under the investor relations section. An archive of the webcast will be available 30 days follo...
Motili, a globally renowned provider of property and HVAC technology solutions, has announced that effective immediately the company will begin offering Clean Comfort Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) products with every installation and repair job at multi-family, tenant-occupied properties. Clean Comfort IAQ products Motili’s decision to offer Clean Comfort IAQ products is in response to growing industry need. Tenant demand for indoor air quality purification and products has increased significantly in 2020, partly due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Motili is offering pleated air filters, media air cleaners, and air handler purification coils in an effort to improve filtration and purification of the indoor air. Combining UV light and air filters to clean air Poor indoor air quality can cause a variety of harmful effects to a home, its occupants and its contents. “Through a combination of UV light, which can help reduce airborne pollutants, and appropriate air filters, customers may achieve improved indoor air quality,” said Jonathan Cramer, Product Manager, Clean Comfort, adding “We are pleased Motili has joined the effort in supplying these important IAQ products to customers.” Poor indoor air quality can cause a variety of harmful effects to a home, its occupants and its contents. An overly humid indoor environment can lead to mold growth, mildew, and staining. An indoor environment that is too dry can crack drywall and plaster. Enhancing Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) "Indoor air quality is becoming top of mind with building owners and residents alike," said Matthew Sallee, VP Business Development, Motili, adding "Providing clean air in apartments and homes requires a variety of solutions and we're pleased to be working with Clean Comfort and our clients to improve the indoor air environment." Motili brings contractors, operations teams, and the industry’s most advanced property management technology platform together to assess and complete HVAC work requests from start to finish. Nationwide provider of HVAC and hot water services Motili automatically schedules, dispatches, manages and invoices job requests and its predictive analytics improves budgeting accuracy by predicting product life cycle. Motili leverages its nationwide network of over 2,000 contractors and 1,000 distribution centers to provide HVAC and hot water services, across the US, to customers large and small.
Despite the collapse of the most important markets outside Germany, including France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, in the first half of the COVID-19 plagued year - 2020, the German heating industry achieved robust growth worldwide of at least 3.1% down. Growth in German heating market “The initially high losses in southern Europe and the United Kingdom were partially offset by a race to catch up in the second half of 2020, at least in Italy, France, and the UK, so that the sales level here was slightly below 2019,” said Uwe Glock, President of the BDH (Federation of German Heating Industry). Glock adds, “The fact that we are actually in the black is thanks to the dynamic growth in Germany with a good 13%. The Polish heating market also developed similarly in 2020.” Federal climate package for buildings Glock describes the federal government's climate package as a complete success for climate protection in buildings Glock describes the federal government's climate package as a complete success for climate protection in buildings. He adds, “The top runners of 2020, the heat pump and wood heating, benefited from this, with high growth rates due to the subsidies.” The association also focuses on the disproportionately high share of investments in condensing technology coupled with solar thermal energy. This renaissance of solar thermal energy can also be traced back to the ‘Heating with renewable energies’ funding program that has been running since the beginning of 2020. Dynamic growth in heating with renewable energies “The success of the climate package proves that the political ideas behind the grand coalition are right and with the dynamic growth in heating with renewable energies, the ambitious CO2 reduction targets of the Green Deal are within reach,” said Andreas Lücke, General Manager of the BDH (Federation of German Heating Industry). Andreas adds, “The German heating industry is Green Deal ready and already offers marketable solutions for achieving climate targets. What is now needed is continuity with the currently favorable framework conditions for investors in high efficiency and renewable energies.”
Plumbing, heating and green energy company, Heatforce (Heatforce Wales Ltd) has joined the Furniture & Home Improvement Ombudsman (FHIO), demonstrating their continuous dedication to promoting fair trade and protecting consumer’s rights. Ombudsman scheme The independent, not-for profit, and government approved Ombudsman scheme has offered a range of services to its members and their customers for more than a quarter of a century, including independent alternative dispute resolution, training, and advice. The Ombudsman helps to provide consumers with additional peace of mind and supports businesses and their customers in finding solutions when disputes occur, without the need for costly and lengthy litigation. Gas-fitting, electrical wiring and plumbing expert South Wales-based Heatforce was set up 40 years ago, over which period a team of specialists has been built and around 100 apprentices have been trained in the trades of gas-fitting, electrical wiring and plumbing services. It has contracts with local authorities, housing associations, charities, and utility companies to provide plumbing, heating, and renewable services. The company installs boiler, bathrooms and services central heating boilers and supplies and installs fires and fireplaces, right across the United Kingdom. Joined FHIO as commitment to raise standards By joining the FHIO, a business demonstrates a commitment to raising standards by signing up to a Code of Practice By joining the Furniture & Home Improvement Ombudsman (FHIO), a business demonstrates a commitment to raising standards by signing up to a Code of Practice and promoting consumer confidence in the sector in which they operate, so as to add another layer of protection for their customers. In addition, membership underlines industry best practice and an undertaking to manage complaints formally and at a level that is higher than the law prescribes. Access is provided to an established City & Guilds learning and development program, and a dedicated Ombudsman team who have expertise in dispute resolution and consumer law. Raising complaint with the Ombudsman Equally, consumers benefit as they will be able to raise a complaint with the Ombudsman for free, if they are unable to resolve the complaint through existing channels or internal procedures. Kevin Grix, CEO and Chief Ombudsman at Furniture and Home Improvement Ombudsman said, “Knowing that an organization subscribes to an Ombudsman demonstrates responsible business practice and provides reassurance to consumers and businesses alike. Hence, we would like to extend a warm welcome to new members Heatforce, as by joining our independent, government approved scheme, proves an ongoing commitment to protecting consumers’ rights and promoting fair trade.” Enhancing customer service Paul Maddocks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Heatforce said, “We are delighted to join the FHIO and look forward to the additional training and support that comes with membership. I am also pleased that customers will have extra peace-of-mind when it comes to choosing Heatforce, knowing that our work will be 100% satisfactory every single time.”
Johnson Controls, the front-runner for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, announced new Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments, science-based targets as well as a net zero carbon pledge to support a healthy, more sustainable planet over the next two decades. The company’s and customers’ emissions reduction will be driven by Johnson Controls’ OpenBlue technologies and innovations which leverage big data and artificial intelligence to optimize buildings sustainability. “Sustainability is at the heart of our business and fundamental to everything that we do as a company,” said George Oliver, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls. “Today’s announcement reinforces our continued commitment to developing best in class climate solutions, and OpenBlue will empower our customers to streamline building operations and uncover energy efficiencies that will help meet their environmental goals. We continue to make sustainability a top priority for the company, our customers, and our suppliers, and have set ambitious goals that will drive significant improvements in carbon emissions.” New ESG commitments New commitments will enable Johnson Controls to deliver quantifiable efforts to reduce carbon emissions The launch of the new commitments will enable Johnson Controls to deliver quantifiable efforts to reduce carbon emissions, drive climate-focused innovation and work closely with customers and suppliers to meet sustainability goals as well as measurable impact against its three key OpenBlue healthy building pillars: healthy people, healthy places and a healthy planet. These commitments are: Environmental Sustainability Commitments: Set science-based targets consistent with the most ambitious 1.5°C Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenario Reduce Johnson Controls’ operational emissions by 55 percent and reduce customers’ emissions by 16 percent before 2030 Achieve net zero carbon emissions before 2040, in line with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Race to Zero and Business Ambition for 1.5°C criteria Invest 75 percent of new product development R&D in climate-related innovation to develop sustainable products and services Achieve 100 percent renewable electricity usage globally by 2040 Customer and Supply Chain Commitments: Double annual avoided emissions by 2030 through customer use of Johnson Controls OpenBlue digitally enabled products and services Create a supplier sustainability council with cohorts of suppliers, and their tier-one suppliers, and provide suppliers with training on sustainability best practices and OpenBlue digital tools in order to meet ambitious, public sustainability goals Weight sustainability equal to other key metrics in supplier performance evaluations and provide a preference for suppliers with excellent sustainability ratings Social and Governance Sustainability Commitments: Intends to double the representation of women leaders globally and minority leaders in the United States within five years Launch an initiative to educate the next generation of diverse sustainable building industry leaders, in partnership with HBCUs Include sustainability and diversity goals in senior leaders’ performance assessments, which are linked to executive compensation to drive accountability Launch an initiative focused on underserved markets and increase Johnson Controls’ spend with women and minority-owned businesses Positive changes “Our commitments reinforce the urgency to make positive changes that will improve the health of our planet, and we believe we are uniquely positioned to help customers and suppliers achieve their sustainability goals, in addition to our own,” said Katie McGinty, Vice President & Chief Sustainability, Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer at Johnson Controls. “We are excited to step up the role we play and will continue to innovate and uncover new pathways to meet our goals which will contribute to healthier people, healthier places, and a healthier planet.” OpenBlue support Promotes real-time monitoring, benchmarking and analysis of energy consumption and demand powered by AI and machine learning Johnson Controls is committed to supporting its customers’ sustainability and carbon reduction efforts through its OpenBlue platform. The OpenBlue Enterprise Manager can deliver up to 30% energy savings in buildings and a corresponding drop in CO2 emissions. Notably, the platform was recently used to identify over $100,000 in savings after just 30 days for a large customer portfolio. Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, the platform facilitates real-time monitoring, benchmarking, and analysis of energy consumption and demand. It also enables customers to produce indoor environmental quality reports to help achieve healthy building and wellness certifications. Education initiative The way in which buildings are designed, managed, and maintained has a significant environmental and social impact on building occupants. As such, Johnson Controls, in partnership with HBCUs, will launch an initiative to develop and implement an educational program that will support the training and education of more than one thousand sustainability champions from HBCUs and selected universities around the world in environmental sustainability, energy equity, healthy building practices and building decarbonization solutions. The company’s nine global OpenBlue Innovation Centers will also provide the students with support in the application of digital tools to improve new and existing buildings. Improving environmental impact As a front-runner in the building's space for 135 years, Johnson Controls has been a pioneer in sustainability and is ranked in the top 12 percent of climate leadership companies globally by CDP and was named one of Corporate Knights’ Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies. Recently George Oliver has been named Chairman of the Business Roundtable Energy and Environment Committee where he is driving policies that preserve the environment and maximize sustainable energy options. Johnson Controls is taking significant steps to drastically improve its environmental impact while empowering customers and future generations to consume less energy, conserve resources, and identify pathways to achieving healthy, net zero carbon communities.
Panasonic Corporation has developed VIXELL, a vacuum-insulated box that can store items in -70ºC environment for up to 18 days, using refrigerants such as dry ice. The transport of vaccines and other medical supplies requires strict temperature control. Up until now, conventional insulated boxes have been manufactured by joining vacuum-insulated panels (VIPs) together, but a drawback of this structure has been that cool air leaks through the gaps where the panels join. Panasonic has long been engaged in the research and development of VIPs, and has used them to reduce energy usage in refrigerators and other products. Utilizing its accumulated technologies and expertise, the company has eliminated this leakage, an inevitable issue when using VIPs, through the development of VIXELL. VIXELL boxes VIXELL boxes are created using a proprietary cast-molding method that completely prevents cool air from escaping through gaps seen in conventional boxes. The 57-liter type boxes use urethane foam and glass wool as an insulating material, and compared to previous Panasonic prototypes, improves coolness retention performance by around 30%. Inside VIXELL boxes are thermal storage units, and the temperature is maintained by filling the inside and outside of these units with refrigerant. By switching the types of these units and refrigerants, VIXELL can accommodate a diverse range of temperature zones, including the dry ice temperature zone (below -70ºC), the below -20ºC zone, and the 2ºC-8ºC zone. Shock-absorbing structure The shock-absorbing structure of VIXELL reduces the risk of damage to the plastic sheet Until now, the insulating material used in these cooling boxes has been covered in a plastic sheet. When using dry ice as a refrigerant, however, the temperature of this plastic drops below the ‘brittle temperature’, meaning it is more prone to damage when subjected to drops or vibrations during transport. The shock-absorbing structure of VIXELL reduces the risk of damage to this plastic sheet. This has enabled reliable, stable transportation even in the dry ice temperature zone. Panasonic will begin offering samples of VIXELL to pharmaceutical and logistics companies at the end of FY2021, ending in March 2021, with the aim for commercialization as soon as possible. Features Cast molded for outstanding thermal insulation The cast-molded box structure ensures cool air doesn't escape through gaps in VIPs. The 57-liter type uses both urethane foam and glass wool as an insulating material, and compared to previous Panasonic prototypes, improves coolness retention performance by around 30%. Coolness retention performance that caters to frozen transport below -70ºC The vacuum-insulated box contains a dry ice temperature zone thermal storage unit and can maintain a -70ºC environment for up to 18 days when filled with dry ice. Shock-absorbing structure When a vacuum-insulated box, which has been cooled to dry-ice temperature, is dropped or accidentally subjected to any other shock, the brittle plastic sheet covering the box is easily damaged. VIXELL's new shock-absorbing structure mitigates shock and reduces the risk of damage when the box is dropped.
Among companies in Japan, Panasonic is well-known for its long-term commitment to environmental sustainability. This commitment is underlined by Panasonic Corporation’s Founder, Konosuke Matsushita's belief that ‘a company is a public entity of society’. It would be nonsensical for industrial activities to wreak havoc on the environment and as a result, detract from people's happiness. The founder's philosophy continues to live on. Panasonic Environment Vision 2050 In June 2017, Panasonic formulated the ‘Panasonic Environment Vision 2050’. To realize both a better life and a sustainable environment, the global organization aims to use less energy than it creates. With this philosophy in mind, Panasonic Corporation is undertaking various initiatives to support the achievement of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). During the ‘Carbon Neutral Initiatives’ online seminar held in November 2020, representatives introduced the Panasonic Environment Vision 2050 and the company's efforts to reduce CO2 emissions to zero, to achieve carbon neutrality. Reducing CO2 emissions First, Panasonic Corporation’s Shoji Kusumoto talked about the Panasonic Environment Vision 2050 First, Panasonic Corporation’s Shoji Kusumoto talked about the Panasonic Environment Vision 2050. He explained that “This vision applies not only to manufacturing activities, but to procurement, logistics, and the use of products by our customers.” In 2019, the ratio between the energy used and energy created was 9:1, but by 2050, Panasonic aims to reverse this ratio. Globally, Panasonic emits 110 million tons of CO2 each year. This amount, most of which is emitted by products that Panasonic has sold, represents nearly 10% of the CO2 emitted by Japan as a whole. Promoting carbon neutral factories To reduce CO2 emissions, Panasonic will reduce the energy used during manufacturing and create more energy. One way of reducing the energy used is to promote carbon neutral factories. More specifically, the company has replaced the lighting with LEDs, installed solar power generation systems and storage battery systems, and is promoting the use of clean energy and FEMS (Factory Energy Management Systems). As a result, Panasonic has been able to achieve carbon neutrality in its factories in four countries, including Japan, Belgium, and Brazil in FY2019 and in Costa Rica in FY2020. The factory in Japan is the Panasonic Eco Technology Center (PETEC), Panasonic's home appliance recycling center located in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture. Solar panels installed in Costa Rica Shoji Kusumoto said, “In Costa Rica's Panasonic Centroamericana, we started by making sure and steady steps. But eventually, it blossomed into a collaboration involving the Costa Rican government and the national utility company. The partnership has expanded in scale and we are now supplying renewable energy and are being provided solar panels.” Next, Panasonic Corporation’s Alex Ikenouchi talked about efforts to achieve carbon neutrality in Panasonic's flagship showroom, ‘Panasonic Center Tokyo’, located in Ariake, Tokyo, Japan. The Ministry of the Environment has defined CO2 and other greenhouse gases emitted during procurement of raw materials, manufacturing, shipping, sales, and disposal, as ‘supply-chain emissions’. Cutting down supply-chain emissions Panasonic Center Tokyo has become a zero-CO2 showroom by taking action in two phases Supply-chain emissions are divided into 15 categories, including scope 1 that includes gases directly emitted by Panasonic, scope 2 featuring gasses indirectly emitted by the use of energy supplied by other companies, and Scope 3 includes gases emitted by other activities including during employees' commute. Panasonic Center Tokyo has become a zero-CO2 showroom by taking action in two phases; the first phase is covered in Scope 1 and 2, the second phase in Scope 3. Based on the initiatives stated in Scope 1 and 2, Panasonic has been able to cut its showroom's CO2 emissions. From FY2019 to FY2021, the showroom has taken steps to achieve energy savings which include changing to LED lighting and applying thermal barrier film. These efforts have reduced CO2 emissions by 10%. Shifting to 100% biomass power generation Furthermore, to reduce the CO2 emitted by the energy procured, Panasonic will shift to 100% biomass power generation and offset carbon by utilizing the J-Credit Scheme and providing energy to the region. And from January 2021 the showroom will begin testing the pure hydrogen fuel cell generator which produces clean energy to get one step closer to carbon neutrality. Using the 700 W type prototype to be introduced to the market after 2022, the showroom will create clean energy to power its activities. With Scope 3, Panasonic has transformed the showroom operation and the way their employees work. One example is the reduction of CO2 emissions during movement. “Last year, customers came to the showroom and so did our employees, but due to COVID-19, the online shift has accelerated and 30% of our events are now held online. At the same time, 50% of our employees are working from home. Both of these efforts are helping to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 68 tons,” explained Mr. Ikenouchi. Providing 100% renewable energy to employees Shigenori Jinbo, Senior Fellow of Nikkei BP Intelligence Group moderated the panel discussion during the second half of the seminar. When Mr. Jinbo asked, “What was most difficult about achieving carbon neutrality?” Shoji Kusumoto answered, “The biggest challenge was the cost. No one was against the vision, but people tend to be hesitant about making an environmental investment that takes 10, 20 years to recoup. This is because factories fixate on even saving 0.1 yen. This is the strength for a manufacturing company, but it can also be difficult when embarking on this kind of initiative.” Adapting to changing environment Jorge Sanchez learned about Panasonic's carbon neutral initiatives during his visit to Japan for training" Mr. Kusumoto adds, “Another challenge was the lack of a one-size-fits-all methodology. Depending on the characteristics of the region, what the factory is manufacturing, and its scale, the optimal combination changes. Moreover, there are an increasing number of uncertainties in this day and age, so requirements also change depending on the time frame.” He further stated, “But there are projects like Costa Rica which are quite enthusiastic. Mr. Jorge Sanchez learned about Panasonic's carbon neutral initiatives during his visit to Japan for training and took those ideas home. This is how the Costa Rica project came about. The local company President was also enthusiastic and in just two years, they had gained government support for the project.” Adhering to carbon neutral initiatives “In 2019, the President and the First Lady came and visited the Panasonic Center Tokyo, and their kind understanding for Panasonic's commitment to the environment played a role in making this project possible.” “What is also great is that they are taking the time to ensure that each employee and even their family members share in the vision. They are also giving back to the local community. Everyone involved is promoting this project with pride, and they remain highly motivated. The combination of dedicated individuals and management support is one way to ensure a project's success.” Hydrogen, next-generation energy source The next theme was ‘The use of hydrogen, which holds the key to next-generation energy’. Panasonic will begin selling the 5 kW and 700 W pure hydrogen fuel cell generators that generate power using hydrogen from 2021 and 2022 respectively. In addition to mono-generation models that only generate power, Panasonic will also offer a co-generation model that will also use heat at the same time. The biggest feature is that this solution can simultaneously control multiple pure hydrogen fuel cell generators. This enables the management of both the 700 W model for homes as well as large scale models. According to Shoji Kusumoto, “This can help realize distributed energy.” After the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the area called ‘HARUMI FLAG’ where the Olympic village will be located will be equipped with a hydrogen infrastructure, so full-fledged social implementation is right on the horizon. ‘Communicating about the SDGs to the younger generation’ The third theme was on ‘Communicating about the SDGs to the younger generation’ The third theme was on ‘Communicating about the SDGs to the younger generation’. Panasonic’s Alex Ikenouchi noted that “Millennials and Generation Z have different sets of values than we do. And it's also a challenge to work out how best to talk to grade school and junior high school students.” Then he went onto describe the online seminars for youths that Panasonic organizes to promote the SDGs. Alex adds, “Young people already have an understanding about the SDGs, so a direct approach describing what SDGs are will not work. That is why we changed our approach and are organizing the 'Your Imagination and Creativity Will Light Up the World' online campaign which focuses on 'people's kindness' to discuss the SDGs until December 27, 2020.” He further stated, “Some themes may not seem directly related to the SDGs, but once they begin to dig deeper, they will see that it is actually interlinked. We have seen that younger generations feel and understand the importance of the SDGs if introduced through issues closer to them,” New CO2 free initiatives The fourth theme was on Panasonic's new CO2 free initiatives. This involves using ‘Non-fossil Fuel Energy Certificates’ given as proof that the electricity comes from renewable energy sources to provide 100% renewable energy to its employees. This project has also been well received by Panasonic's employees and both Mr. Kusumoto and Mr. Ikenouchi have already signed up for the program. Moreover, the staff under Mr. Kusumoto’s department has said that they want to make the shift to renewable energy for the future of their children. SDGs and zero CO2 emission future At the end of the seminar, Mr. Ikenouchi mentioned that “When we look at 2030 or even beyond, at 2050, we need to address the challenges right in front of us. I think this is our responsibility as a company that lives in this age.” Mr. Kusumoto concludes, “When you have the will, knowledge, and co-creation, the possibilities are endless. We want to achieve the vision, our goal by putting one foot in front of the other.” As their words indicate, SDGs and zero CO2 initiatives are a strategic move to ensure a prosperous future.
Air conditioning has become a huge part of our lives whether we know it or not. Most offices have them so that members of staff can enjoy a regulated working environment without having to shiver or overheat. This often makes the office a nice place to work in and helps staff to stay productive throughout the day, regardless of what is going on with the weather. Commercial air conditioning is something that we often take for granted because we barely realize that it’s there. The only time that we notice it is when it breaks down or it doesn’t function as efficiently as we want it to. Why is it important to regularly maintain an HVAC unit? When an AC unit isn’t looked after in the right way, there can be a number of things that can either go wrong Air conditioning maintenance is something that so many people overlook. This can be for a whole host of reasons, including whether it’s that they are unaware that it needs regular maintenance or they think it’s too costly to take on. These are often the most common reasons that air conditioning units aren’t looked after properly. When an air conditioner unit isn’t looked after in the right way, there can be a number of things that can either go wrong and disable air conditioning or just hinder its ability to do its job. Temperatures With a well looked after, fully functioning commercial air conditioner, you’ll find that the temperatures are very accurate and work as intended. This means that everything within your unit is in top condition and working well. For example, on a hot day, when you set your thermostat to a low temperature, you’ll get exactly that. Over time you may find that your air conditioning starts to struggle a little. This can be in a few different forms. You may detect that it takes a lot longer for your air conditioning to get up or down to the right temperature. This can be for a whole host of reasons and so keeping it regularly maintained will help to reduce this risk. Cost-effective As mentioned, a poorly maintained air conditioning unit will likely mean that it takes longer to get to the right temperatures or it may not be efficient enough to even reach the temperature you’re after. With that in mind, it can start to cost a lot more to run your HVAC system in this state. Due to the fact that it might take longer to reach your preferred temperature, you could end up paying more as time goes on. If you don’t rectify this problem, you may end up with an air conditioning unit that no longer works enough to be worth running. This will have adverse effects on the working environment and your members of staff. Safety of staff Depending on where you are in the world, heatstroke is also a very dangerous problem One of the biggest concerns for a business owner, the HR department and the individuals themselves, is that the office needs to be suitable to work in. From a health and safety standpoint, employees need to be safe and protected. Often air conditioning maintenance falls under this and is a necessity. Depending on where you are in the world, heatstroke is also a very dangerous problem. Having an inefficient air conditioning unit that can’t keep up with the rising temperatures could potentially put your employees at risk! The same also goes for those in more densely populated cities like London, New York City and even France. The air quality in and around these cities can be awful and so having air conditioning to clean and filter the air before it arrives in your office can make a big difference. Preventative maintenance Preventative maintenance is possibly one of the most important parts of owning any sort of machinery. Whether we’re talking about a car or air conditioning, preventative maintenance is a must. Preventative maintenance is just the act of regular maintenance throughout the lifetime of a product. It often involves changing of parts or fluids, even if they don’t need it in that instant. For example, if you take your car for a service and the engine oil is still sort of okay but will need replacing in 2 months’ time, would you just leave it or get it changed there and then? This type of preventative maintenance is designed to make sure that everything is in top condition and works perfectly all of the time. The biggest problem we face is that people think preventative maintenance isn’t necessary and while, yes your AC system will run without it, it’s likely to cost you so much more in the long run and could end up upsetting your staff too with a drop in temperatures. Employee satisfaction Commercial air conditioning is still a huge part of employee satisfaction Although at the time of writing this, many people are working from home, commercial air conditioning is still a huge part of employee satisfaction. Having an operating office, warehouse, school or indeed home, with air conditioning can help to keep people happy throughout the year. As a business owner, HR or general manager, it’s part of your job to keep employees happy and working in an optimal environment. Without this, employees may start to get fed up with attending an office that’s way too hot to work in. Importance of a regular maintenance plan A regular maintenance plan is going to help you keep your air conditioning system in the best state possible. You‘ll be able to detect faults and malfunctions before they have a direct impact on your commercial air conditioning system and prevent any further damage. Through the utilization of a proper plan, you should find that your system has a longer lifespan than those that don’t and should work more efficiently saving you time, money and the hassle of a broken system. Keeping your staff members happy is also a must and so dedicating some of your budget to air conditioning maintenance might just help you to keep morale and employee satisfaction on the right level.
As a Managing Director of a company that provides temperature and humidity solutions to predominantly the warehousing and industrial sectors, I thought I would share my dilemma that I’m sure other business owners and managers also face. I don’t pretend to know the answers, but thought it might be worth sharing some of the considerations that I’m facing in whether to reshape, recruit and build or hunker down until the World, Europe and the UK offers some sort or predictability. I promise to not refer to ‘new normal’, masks or social distancing as this is extensively covered elsewhere. Context Our business has seen steady growth in the past 5 years, as a result of our efforts to create and retain relationships with customers who value our offer. Our focus has always been to offer solutions to large scale complex HVAC projects. We invest heavily in intellectual talent sponsoring PhD and MSc students, to keep us on our toes and develop leading edge solutions. We also feed off each other and our network of equally talented suppliers. My dilemma as Managing Director is do I continue our ambitious Research & Development (R&D), IP and Business Development or throttle back and take a cautionary approach until the economy offers a more certain platform? ‘Fortune favors the brave’ they say, but when you have a good business and employees look to business managers to ensure their livelihoods, how brave is brave? The Dilemma Immediate transactional or contractor resources are easy to obtain with the right screening and due diligence Immediate transactional or contractor resources are relatively easy to obtain with the right screening and due diligence, but for more developmental strategic roles, do you recruit in an emerging post pandemic, catastrophic employment forecast, that to in a mid/post Brexit world? From my personal perspective, it boils down to attitude, communication, enthusiasm and buy-in from everyone in the company. Nothing new there, but it feels that the stakes are higher so confidence is key. Do we or don’t we? Inaction is the riskiest response to the uncertainties of an economic crisis. Rash or scattershot action can be nearly as damaging. Rising anxiety (How much worse are things likely to get? and for how long is this going to last?) and the growing pressure to do something often produces a variety of moves that target the wrong problem or overshoot the right one. Within the world of HVAC, changes to legislation, environmental considerations, technological changes and research and development might be slowed or influenced, but won’t stop as a consequence of the immediate economy, which is a good thing. Recruiting on a need basis Many companies recruit when needed, to fill a vacant position or when a large project demands more manpower than the current headcount supports. This approach is obvious and addresses immediate transactional and resource needs. Using headcount as a KPI for growth, at a glimpse may illustrate positivity, but may be signaling a stop gap and may not be a true indicator of strategic growth. Of all the things I have observed over the last 5 months, reading the news, talking to colleagues and peers, a few things have stuck out for me, such as how companies have treated their employees, customers and suppliers, how creative and flexible some big organizations have been in responding to market changes and demands and how, despite uncertainty, their core business skills, intelligence and ability enabled them to prosper in a new and unforeseen environment. Finally, how companies will be remembered post crisis. Robust business planning The ability to respond quickly to market changes relies on creativity and attitude My belief is that those companies that have and continue to float to the top had the key ingredients of a successful business, enabled by capable enthusiastic talent that were given the opportunity to shine. These people weren’t hired to fill a stop gap, but rather these people were hired as part of a robust business plan. So, ‘do we or don’t we?’ Our philosophy at Jet Environmental Systems is to have a solid platform, identify future markets, trends and technologies and hire the absolute best people that we can to get us there. Recruitment in our business is a process that supports our strategic development and so for us our answer is yes, have confidence and continue to invest in the best talent. The ability to respond quickly to market changes relies on creativity and attitude with support from equally enthusiastic management who create the opportunity for individuals who present this talent to grow. Conclusion I hope the thought process I’ve shared has been useful, for me it has been a checkpoint in whether our choice of investment in people is right, not just now but in all situations. For me, it’s a resounding yes! I think we will create opportunities by having vision and giving people opportunity.
Residential HVAC is a fulfilling business to be in. Whether be it servicing a furnace or installing an air conditioning unit, the individual is doing important work to help keep families in the community safe and comfortable. The work also comes with perks such as good margins, some great customers, and the ability to set varying pricing and schedule. If an individual is in a growing business in this space, chances are that they have seen more than a few hectic days. Days where it becomes difficult to juggle crews, instruct technicians on necessary job details, and answer client calls, all at the same time. In theory, this chaotic day-to-day is a good problem to have. In practice, it can get really tiring, pretty fast. Robust system to streamline operations The work can be extremely overwhelming and if the right systems aren’t in place, the business could suffer. Lines of communication can get crossed and if time is being spent working on the wrong things, the individual could miss out on opportunities to grow. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing a high growth HVAC business, by applying the right operational strategies, businesses can flourish. Coordinating requests while dispatching techs out to do work is where many administrators and operations managers hit a roadblock in business growth. This is precisely why businesses need to implement software that lets them track jobs, view technician schedules, and flag new jobs to crew members all in one place. This will eliminate the need to play ‘phone tag’ across the organization, which in turn will keep operations running smoothly and reduce manual errors. What’s more, if the software allows techs to automatically trigger an invoice that customers can pay on the spot, businesses can avoid hours of chasing down past-due payments and create a better cash flow. mobile apps: Picking The right software Businesses are encouraged to choose software with a mobile app where customers can enter the payment type Businesses are encouraged to choose software with a mobile app where customers can enter the payment type, such as cash, check, credit, debit and a receipt can be automatically emailed to customers. This will also cut out out-of-date operations, while giving businesses access to what they need (schedules, work orders, customer information and more) at anytime from anywhere. Having a central hub for keeping everything organized also creates the operational flexibility needed to take on work. To ensure businesses don’t have to turn new jobs down due to delayed responses or scheduling issues, a crew member can be kept flexible for this task. In order to do this right, businesses need to calculate how much emergency work they’re losing due to unavailability and adjust accordingly, by creating a schedule with allotted time. Spacing out work won’t impact the number of scheduled installs and replacements retained, while giving businesses added time and revenue to take on emergency repairs. This strategy is only doable if businesses have the requisite software that can provide an accurate and full look into employees’ workloads. pricing services Research Is Important A business in high-growth mode needs to ensure their pricing reflects the services being offered. This can be done with researching of other companies in the area that are charging for the same services offered, so that the business can have a number to compare to when setting prices and also prepare to justify higher price to customers. Setting prices higher can be advantageous for a business, if they can show customers the differentiators. Most people want work done right, and an added premium that ensures top service often won’t turn them away. Additionally, it’s important to make sure all expenses are covered, down to the credit card fees. When pricing services, businesses need to build a file of overhead expenses, then determine the percentage profit want to charge clients. Different jobs require unique services, so prices should reflect that Varied pricing per customer Different jobs require unique services, so prices should reflect that. A business might charge more for commercial clients than homeowners. These minor adjustments will ensure that a business makes the profit that the work deserves. Feedback is also very important for repeat orders. If a business is not getting repeat clients due to pricing, they should keep that in mind when building profit margins. Pricing shouldn’t be static, continuous adjustments has to be made where it makes sense and extra time invested to do the research. Ensuring exceptional customer service It’s important to set up systems and expectations for teams to follow right out of the gate With business growth also comes customer growth, and for residential HVAC companies that physically go into a customer’s home, it’s crucial that their services reflect the highest quality. It’s important to set up systems and expectations for teams to follow right out of the gate. Helping crews do their best work from a technical and customer service perspective by establishing guidelines for what the business wants every homeowner to experience is the key. Open lines of communication Aside from ensuring that the crew keeps a clean workplace, keeping open lines of communication with customers should be a top priority for businesses. This can be as simple as answering the phone and getting a technician to a job site as soon as possible. Often, customers come from positions of stress due to broken equipment, so having quick response time is a key differentiator between good and bad service. A good solution for this is to evolve into automating key communications that allow techs to send ‘on my way’ text messages. How a business interacts with customers is a key signifier into how the company operates, so businesses need to ensure that have the best customer service practices in place. Never take valuable employees for granted While it sounds simple, a high-growth business needs reliable employees to scale, so that their competition does not swoop in and scoop up an employee who doesn’t feel valued. As business ramps up, it’s easy to miss that technicians are not being dispatched to jobs that they enjoy. If employees are constantly doing a job because they’re good at it and they don’t feel fulfilled doing that specific job, at the end of the day, they are not going to be happy. To avoid losing employees, businesses should take the time to ask what jobs they like to do and see if they can accommodate schedules to reflect their preferences. employee retention And loyalty A crucial factor in building a top performing team is employee retention and loyalty A crucial factor in building a top performing team is employee retention and loyalty. Businesses should focus on creating a great atmosphere to work in. This includes keeping a pulse on what’s happening in the team’s personal lives and use that to show appreciation in meaningful ways. One way to do this is by investing in the team’s education. For example, paying tuition fees for techs so they can get new certifications and licensing. These types of gestures show that the business cares about the success of their employees, while also helping them retain the most qualified crew members. Incorporating software solutions and automating tedious tasks Developing a high-growth residential HVAC company doesn’t have to be stressful if businesses know what systems and processes to implement to better manage operations. By adopting strategies that incorporate software solutions, like Jobber, to streamline operations, automate tedious tasks and improve customer communications, the opportunity for growth is more accessible for businesses. Organizations should focus on creating a solid operational system by doing research before pricing services, keeping customer service a top priority and not letting great employees slip away. All these strategies will work together to help maximize business growth.
During the coronavirus pandemic, UV-C systems have surged from a niche market to mass production capable of meeting historic demand levels. As a result, UV lamp manufacturers, as well as their component providers (e.g., glass suppliers), have struggled to meet the growing demand. Because of UV-C’s historic proven effectiveness, interest in and orders for UV disinfection equipment have increased exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in July, lighting manufacturer Signify (previously Philips Lighting), reported increasing “UV-C light source production capacity by a factor of eight.” The pandemic has settled in the affirmative the question of whether 254 nm germicidal wavelength can inactivate the genetic material in the SARS-CoV-2 virus (that causes COVID-19). acute respiratory syndrome Moreover, when aerosolized, the COVID-19-causing virus is likely to be more susceptible to UV-C damage than other coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-1 (that led to the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome) or MERS-CoV (that caused the 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome). Delivering doses of SARS-CoV-2 virus vaccine is one of the greatest logistical challenges ever undertaken The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ASHRAE [American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers] have recommended UV-C as a technology that can “reduce the risk of dissemination of infectious aerosols in buildings and transportation environments.” The need for the technology continues. Delivering billions of doses of the SARS-CoV-2 virus vaccine is one of the greatest logistical challenges ever undertaken. airstream disinfection As of this writing, experts do not agree on the number of vaccinated individuals necessary to outright extinguish the COVID-19 pandemic. “As there is no clear end in sight, there is no foreseeable decline in the demand for the germ-killing and airstream disinfection benefits offered by UV-C,” says Daniel Jones, President, UV Resources, a pioneering company in ultraviolet-C (UV-C) equipment. Specifiers and HVAC contractors should not be deterred from recommending and specifying the proven benefits of UV-C disinfection systems, Jones contends, as the industry is rapidly adapting to what might likely be the “new normal” level of demand. “In other words, we expect commercial and residential demand for UV solutions to remain high due to their ability to efficiently inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” he says. pharmaceutical processing plants The company reports that disease-defeating UV-C surface and airstream technologies are especially popular with facility managers servicing hospitals and nursing homes, commercial offices, as well as food and pharmaceutical processing plants. Upper-room UV-C fixtures have been a "go-to" technology in the battle against the spread of COVID-19, among restaurants, school and university classrooms, airport screening areas, correctional facilities and community shelters. COVID-19 pandemic has ingrained the need for ongoing infection mitigation systems" Even after the pandemic subsides, demand for UV solutions will continue to remain high as perception of the technology has shifted to a health and safety need, says Jones. “Although the current pace of demand for germicidal UV-C solutions may decrease, the COVID-19 pandemic has forever raised awareness and ingrained the need for ongoing infection mitigation systems,” he comments. indoor air quality Despite nearly eight decades of research and thousands of applications in hospital emergency and operating rooms, urgent-care centers, universities, and first-responder locations, UV-C has previously not been widely leveraged. During the 1990s and 2000s, drug-resistant “superbugs” and hospital-acquired infections renewed interest in UV-C, known to kill virtually any microorganism, including antibiotic-resistant germs. The current pandemic, however, has laid bare the societal health outcomes offered by the proven germ-killing technology. While antibacterial UV-C applications have improved indoor air quality for decades, it was the pandemic that took the technology’s use in the eyes of building managers from energy savings to infection mitigation. air conveyance systems HVAC systems operate better, longer and users are happier when UV-C is installed in air conveyance systems Now, the market is starting to view UV-C along the same lines as air filtration - providing a cleaner, healthier environment which will result in a decrease in absenteeism. Additionally, HVAC systems operate better, longer and users are happier when UV-C is installed in air conveyance systems. Higher demand has produced supply challenges for these products. How can HVAC engineers best navigate equipment/parts supply shortages? Facility engineers and HVAC contractors would be well advised to place orders as early as possible and to accept partial-order shipments, says Jones. This will ensure that HVAC firms have the components/fixtures in-house (or even installed) once the lamps finally arrive. Jones advises specifying engineers who are unfamiliar with UV-C and who are conducting their due diligence should investigate the following points when choosing a supplier: Market Longevity - There are only a handful of companies that have been selling UV-C for HVAC/R for years. EPA Registration - Examine a device manufacturer’s registration with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a pesticide device-producing establishment. Industry Credentials - Make sure products meet applicable safety standards and certifications (such as UL/CUL and CSA). Industry Participation - Look for manufacturers that routinely author technical articles, actively serve on regulatory and standards committees, and enjoy a solid industry reputation. surface disinfection system Selection of an air or surface disinfection system is based entirely on the application. UV Resources furnishes the following chart that summarizes the selection factors:
The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in a poorly ventilated indoor space depends on the number of people who exhale their breath in that space. And aerosol virus contained in exhaled breath is a common way that COVID-19 germs are spread. Therefore, might the CO2 level in a given space serve as an approximation of the likelihood of coronavirus spread? Broadly speaking, poor ventilation of indoor spaces can increase the likelihood of aerosol transmission, and a higher CO2 level is an indicator of insufficient ventilation. In indoor spaces, the CO2 concentration should not exceed 1,000 parts per million (ppm), which is higher than the 400 ppm concentration in the fresh air. Deployment Of CO2 Sensors Measuring aerosols in the air is complex and expensive. However, measuring CO2 is inexpensive. Using low-cost and compact CO2 sensor devices can help to warn against high concentrations of CO2 in the air, and by extension, the likely higher levels of aerosols and greater virus spread. Seeking to provide a warning of high CO2 levels (and thus a likely higher concentration of aerosols) points to a need to increase deployment of inexpensive CO2 sensors in a variety of applications. The simplest implementation might be a CO2 traffic light that signals air quality changes with red, yellow, and green lights. Data Analysis, Remote Access, & Monitoring CO2 sensors tied to the cloud for data analysis, remote access, and monitoring and linked to other IoT devices CO2 sensors can also be tied to the cloud (along with other sensors) for data analysis, remote access, and monitoring. They might be linked to other Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as air purifiers and thermostats. CO2 sensors that are the most accurate tend to be bulky and expensive. However, using a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technology, a CO2 sensor based on photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS) can analyze CO2 concentration in parts per million. It provides precise results in a small format. CO2 Levels Proxy For COVID-19 Transmission Each person in a building will exhale approximately 8 liters of air per minute. The air has been in contact with lung tissue and contains tiny liquid droplets (aerosols) that can float in the air. Exhalation air also has a concentration of about 40,000 ppm of carbon dioxide, which increases the CO2 levels in a room. In effect, CO2 levels can be used as a proxy for COVID-19 transmission risk. Evidence shows that long-range aerosol-based transmission routes play an important role in transmitting the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Therefore, analyzing aerosol concentration provides an indicator of the safety of an indoor space. Because of the close link between indoor CO2 concentration and aerosol density, using CO2 sensors to monitor an indoor environment can help to monitor possible indoor spread. CO2 Monitoring The Federation of European Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Associations (REHVA) in Germany has published guidelines for schools to use CO2 monitoring, including the use of a traffic light indicator. In addition to CO2 levels, other factors should also be considered when determining infection risks, such as the number of infected people in a region, activity type, air filtration, and mask-wearing. Activities such as talking, singing, or shouting can increase risk. Ventilation using outdoor air dilutes both CO2 and virus concentrations. Germany’s Federal Environment Agency’s general guidelines for health assessment of carbon dioxide in indoor air include advice relevant to COVID-19. The guideline classifies any CO2 concentration between 1,000 and 2,000 ppm as questionable; anything above 2,000 is unacceptable.
The year 2020 will forever be remembered for the global pandemic that transformed almost every aspect of our lives. COVID-19 impacted the HVAC market, as it did most other business sectors. However, HVAC also rose to a new level of prominence at the center of the pandemic, both as a potential cause of virus spread and as a source of solutions to fight the virus. This article will highlight the intersection of HVAC and COVID-19 based on articles published during 2020 at HVACinformed.com. Impact Of COVID On HVAC In an HVACInformed.com Expert Roundtable Discussion, several industry experts weighed in on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the HVAC market. Contractors were either not allowed to or were reluctant to enter people’s homes for sales and installation purposes, resulting in decreased demand and, ultimately, decreased sales. However, during extraordinary times, it was encouraging to see a renewed focus on something the HVAC industry has been delivering for years – comfort. Survey By Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) A survey by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) gathered insights on the effect the coronavirus pandemic is having on the HVAC industry. The survey in March indicated 65% of respondents expected COVID-19 to translate into long-term business viability concerns; 9% were concerned their businesses may not survive. HVAC industry employees were included among “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers as designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Roles Of Ventilation HVAC technicians and companies have risen to the challenges of social distancing and wearing masks There was increasing awareness of the role of air ventilation in fighting the virus. There has been renewed interest in air filtration, not to mention the benefits of UV-C to mitigate to mitigate germs circulating in the air. Furthermore, HVAC technicians and companies have risen to the challenges of social distancing and wearing masks as they are invited into customers’ homes and businesses during the pandemic. Resources To Maximize HVAC Systems ASHRAE developed resources to help maximize how HVAC systems can have a positive impact as the coronavirus spreads. The society recommends strategies such as dilution ventilation, laminar and other in-room flow regimes, differential room pressurization, personalized ventilation, source capture ventilation, filtration (central or unitary), and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) (upper room, in-room, and in the airstream). Ultraviolet Light 2020 saw an unprecedented surge in demand for germicidal solutions. UV-C light is a short-wavelength, ultraviolet light that kills germs by inactivating a microorganism’s DNA. Although UV-C is effective in killing other varieties of coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, scientists do not yet know about the impact of UV-C on COVID-19. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the power provider in the United States, is offering incentives to businesses and schools to install UV-C germicidal lights to fight germs in indoor air. Role Of HVAC In Virus Spread Whether HVAC could contribute to virus spread was a repeated topic of interest. One theory goes that air conditioning, by removing humidity from the air, may enable infectious droplets to linger longer than they would outdoors or in another space where humidity is higher. More humidity can weigh down viral droplets as they float through the air. Minimize The Spread Of The Virus ASHRAE opposes the advice and asserts that keeping air conditioners on during this time can help control the spread of the virus Does it make sense, therefore, to turn the AC off to minimize the spread of the virus? according to ASHRAE, which officially opposes the advice not to run residential or commercial HVAC systems. In fact, ASHRAE asserts that keeping air conditioners on during this time can help control the spread of the virus. Also related to virus spread, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on a case under the title “COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with Air Conditioning in a Restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020.” Research Trends And The Future The need for more research will continue after the pandemic. Broadly speaking, we know that crowded spaces with poor ventilation and/or low humidity levels tend to promote virus spread, that filtration can help to remove the virus, and that measures such as UV-C radiation can help to disinfect indoor air. More study is needed, and more time is needed to complete those studies and expand our base of knowledge on this important subject. Preventing COVID Panasonic has conducted research that verifies that hydroxyl radicals contained in water can inhibit the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The nano-sized electrostatic atomized water particles are generated by applying a high voltage to moisture in the air. Here is a statement from the company, "While Panasonic makes a wide range of products that generate these types of free radicals, none of these products has been tested for efficacy in the inhibition of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on surfaces or in the air.” Innovative approaches to fighting COVID include HVAC-equipped smart, glass-paneled bus stop shelters that that help to prevent pandemic spread in the Seongdong district in northeastern Seoul, South Korea. Ventilation And Air Filtration As schools worked to reopen safely in the midst of a global pandemic, HVAC was at the center of the mission. Adequate ventilation and effective air filtration are critical elements to ensure safe indoor air quality for educational institutions. Many schools are housed in older buildings that may not have been adequately maintained. Transforming them to address the new challenges of minimizing exposure to the novel coronavirus is that much more difficult.
Panasonic Corporation has announced, in collaboration with Grab Holdings Inc. (Grab), the international superapp creator in Southeast Asia, to further raise GrabCar Premium standards by providing cleaner and more comfortable traveling experience for GrabCar Premium passengers, using nanoe X. The initiative will see 5,500 GrabCar Premium vehicles in five cities across four countries, including Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi (Vietnam), and Jakarta (Indonesia), to be equipped with nanoe X generators, which will be available from the middle of January 2021. Panasonic air quality solutions In recent years, interest in air quality has been increasing worldwide. Under the slogan of ‘Quality Air for Life’ mainly in Southeast Asia, Panasonic is providing air quality solutions that control temperature, humidity, ventilation, and airflow to deliver high-quality air environments tailored to homes, stores, offices, etc. At the core of these solutions is Panasonic’s proprietary nanoe clean technology. nanoe X nanoe X is a nanosized particulate ion produced by applying a high voltage to water in the air and contains hydroxyl radicals nanoe X is a nanosized particulate ion produced by applying a high voltage to water in the air and contains hydroxyl radicals (highly reactive components) that easily act on various substances. The production of these hydroxyl radicals has been increased tenfold, compared to conventional products. nanoe X is used in home appliances such as air purifiers, air conditioners, washing machines, and refrigerators, as well as in automobiles, trains, and commercial air conditioning equipment because of its various effects such as deodorization, suppression of bacteria and allergens. nanoe X generator The nanoe X generator, which will be installed in GrabCar Premium vehicles, is powered by a USB port and is compact enough to fit in a car cup-holder, making it easy to generate nanoe X to clean the air inside the car. Panasonic will continue to pursue the realization of ‘Quality Air for Life’ in various areas of everyday lives and society, including home appliances, automotive, and housing-related fields, to deliver a healthy lifestyle.
Florida-based tanker transportation and fleet management company, Oakley Transport is no stranger to success. Its roots date back to 1961, starting out as an independent citrus fruit broker, before entering into the harvest and hauling sector of the citrus industry. Specialized tanker transport In 1986, Oakley Transport diversified into the transport of liquid food grade products and quickly became one of the top transporters in specialized tanker transportation services. And just four years ago, the company expanded once again, however, this time into the reefer segment. “With a request from key partners, we entered the refrigerated side of business in late 2016 to move many of the finished goods that came from the tanker division. It was a natural way to further diversify and a great growth opportunity,” said Thomas E. Oakley of Oakley Transport. It allowed us an opportunity to introduce the Thermo King brand into our fleet" Tom adds, “It also allowed us an opportunity to introduce the Thermo King brand into our fleet, an opportunity that continues to expand.” ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 certification Those opportunities are no accident. According to Thomas E. Oakley, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Oakley Transport, “The company has always aligned its vision with core values – and that has provided competitive advantages. Indeed Oakley Transport’s reputation for reliable service, dependable drivers, and industry leadership as early adopters of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act and ELDs, has earned the organization certification in ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 standards, positioning them well throughout the industry.” TriPac Evolution auxiliary power units Reliability of equipment is paramount for Oakley Transport as it ensures timely deliveries, offers performance efficiencies and contributes to driver retention rates. Oakley was pleased with the quality its first Thermo King reefers provided so in 2019, decided to give the TriPac Evolution auxiliary power unit (APU) a try as well. The company conducted a pilot test of Thermo King’s TriPac Evolution APUs with the support of Thermo King of the Southeast (TKSE), the local Thermo King dealership. Reduced fuel consumption and emissions “We were looking to improve truck idle times and keep them in the single digits – nine percent or less,” said Pete Nativo, Vice President of fleet maintenance for Oakley Transport, adding “While APUs reduce fuel consumption, emissions and noise levels, they also keep the drivers comfortable – by providing heat and power for amenities that make road life a little more like home life.” Feedback from our drivers has been good – they like the TriPac’s easy-to-use controls" Pete Nativo adds, “Feedback from our drivers has been good – they like the TriPac’s easy-to-use controls. They also believe it starts easier. Most importantly, the TriPac has been very reliable. TKSE is a great local partner and if something does go wrong out on the road, Thermo King’s expansive dealer network allows for easy serviceability for our long-haul drivers.” He further states, “Bottom line is that Thermo King of the Southeast and Thermo King have proven to be trusting and reliable partners who offer consistent, quality service that aligns with our own standards.” Reliability of Tripac Evolution APUs The pilot of five TriPac Evolution auxiliary power units (APUs) in 2019 led to an order of approximately 200 more in 2020, demonstrating Oakley’s commitment to driver comfort and ultimately, retention. “We were really excited to work with Oakley Transport on the TriPac pilot as it allowed us the opportunity to demonstrate the performance and reliability of our APU with actual documentation on idling time, fuel consumption and more,” said Rob Race, Senior Account Executive at Thermo King of the Southeast (TKSE).
Boiler manufacturers Baxi Heating and Worcester Bosch have installed hydrogen burning boilers at ‘HyStreet’, in specially built demonstration houses at DNV GL’s specialist test site at Spadeadam in Northumberland, United Kingdom. The site has been used to complete over 200 tests, researching and proving the safety of converting homes and gas networks to hydrogen. The project is part of H21, a Network Innovation Competition project sponsored by Ofgem. Northern Gas Networks is leading the project with partners Cadent, Scottish Gas Networks, Wales & West Utilities, National Grid, DNV GL and the Health and Safety Executive’s science division. Combi boilers installed H21 is demonstrating how existing natural gas networks can be re-purposed to safely carry 100% hydrogen H21 is demonstrating how existing natural gas networks can be re-purposed to safely carry 100% hydrogen. For the first demonstration, both Worcester Bosch and Baxi Heating have installed combi boilers into the houses on HyStreet. The boilers have been developed as part of the UK Government-funded Hy4Heat program, which is also supporting the development of hydrogen-ready gas cookers, fires and gas meters. As around 85% of UK homes currently rely on natural gas for heating and hot water supply, re-purposing the natural gas grid for use with hydrogen would mean a low disruption option for householders to decarbonize their heating, without the need for extensive changes to their existing system. Tackling carbon emissions due to home heating Tackling carbon emissions resulting from home heating is utterly essential and one of the most difficult challenges in achieving net-zero emissions, given the need to make adaptations in almost every home. A growing library of studies and reports conclude that all viable scenarios for the UK to hit net-zero include hydrogen as a vital component. That is why Government and industry are working on various projects across the United Kingdom. Wide deployment of hydrogen boilers Tim Harwood, Northern Gas Networks’ Project Director for H21, said “Seeing the boilers in situ at Spadeadam is an exciting step in the journey to realizing our goal of a gas network transporting 100% hydrogen to customers. The hydrogen boiler looks and feels just like the natural gas version we all have today and is just as user-friendly, showing that a transition could cause minimal disruption to customers.” Dan Allason, Head of Research and Innovation, at DNV GL’s Spadeadam Research and Testing, said “Eight out of ten homes in the UK use a gas boiler to heat their homes and provide hot water and replacing all gas boilers with electric alternatives could be extremely costly. Both of the boiler manufacturers have developed options with their hydrogen ready prototypes to assist the switch to a lower carbon alternative.” Proof of concept and public acceptability We are delighted to be able to demonstrate this innovative new technology in a real-life setting in the UK" Dan adds, “Having these fitted to the HyStreet demonstration project at Spadeadam gives gravitas to the proof of concept and public acceptability of appliances such as these. The boilers are one of the first important steps.” Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Baxi Heating, said “This is an important step forward on our hydrogen journey and we are delighted to be able to demonstrate this innovative new technology in a real-life setting in the UK.” Zero-carbon alternative to natural gas Carl Arntzen, the Chief Executive Officer of Worcester Bosch commented “It is fantastic to see our prototype hydrogen boiler running successfully at this demonstration site. The boiler has operated seamlessly in its first month of operation and continues to provide both heating and hot water.” Carl adds, “It proves that hydrogen gas has great potential as a zero-carbon alternative to natural gas for heating and hot water in the UK and beyond. These initial tests are incredibly encouraging and will hopefully give key decision makers confidence to deploy hydrogen gas as a fuel for the future.”
Accommodating significant fleet growth and modernization, one of North America’s renowned refrigerated trucking companies, KLLM Transport Services, is adding 1,400 new Utility trailers refrigerated by Carrier Transicold units, equipped with the eSolutions telematics platform and TRU-Mount solar charging systems. Carrier Transicold is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a globally renowned provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. “Thanks to continued investments to replace and upgrade our equipment and technology, we are, today, a 57-year-old company with one of the youngest, most advanced fleets on the highway,” said Jim Richards, President of KLLM, a Top-3 refrigerated carrier, headquartered in Richland, Mississippi. Carrier Transicold refrigeration units “As a premier service provider, with more than 6,000 refrigerated trailers and domestic intermodal containers serving 48 states and Mexico, it is vital that we continuously renew our fleet,” said Richards, adding “This latest investment helps us keep our fleet new and modern for improved service, less downtime and to provide our customers with the advantage of the most current technology.” The new Carrier Transicold systems include 1,325 X4 7500 single-temperature trailer refrigeration units to be deployed by KLLM, and 75 Vector 8600MT multi-temperature units to be used by KLLM’s Dallas-based Frozen Foods Express (FFE) business. All refrigeration systems will be installed on 53-foot Utility 3000R insulated trailers by Carrier Transicold and Utility Trailer dealer, Southern States Utility Trailer Sales Inc., also located in Richland. eSolutions telematics platform Carrier Transicold’s eSolutions platform helps refrigerated transporters operate more efficiently by improving visibility of their cold chain assets and intelligently providing a centralized data stream about their transport refrigeration units (TRUs) and cargo. In addition to supplying critical data, such as temperatures, location and movement, the eSolutions platform will provide two-way control as well as analytic and diagnostic information about its refrigeration units. TRU-Mount solar charging system Carrier’s TRU-Mount solar charging system helps maintain the charge of the refrigeration unit battery Carrier’s high-performance TRU-Mount solar charging system helps maintain the charge of the refrigeration unit battery, which supports the eSolutions telematics system, even when the refrigeration unit is off. “The fact that the eSolutions system is integrated with the Carrier Transicold units is very important to us,” stated Jim Richards, adding “It will give us new abilities to download data and upgrade over the air, including our IntelliSet profiles, something we are certainly excited about.” IntelliSet feature software application The IntelliSet feature is a software application included with Carrier Transicold’s APX refrigeration unit controllers that allows custom configuration of multiple refrigeration parameters to create profiles based on specific commodities or customer preferences. With the eSolutions system, IntelliSet configurations can be selected remotely, and parameter updates can be done over the air rather than manually, saving time and resources. For additional details about Carrier Transicold’s transport refrigeration units, eSolutions platform and solar charging options, turn to the experts in Carrier Transicold’s North America dealer network.
Adcock Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Ltd. (Adcock) looks after all the air conditioning, water chillers and AHU equipment at the Birmingham site, where Smurfit Kappa provides a reliable service for cardboard and paper recycling. Quarterly maintenance and service Adcock carries out maintenance visits every quarter and has engineers on hand to provide 24-hours support to assist the smooth site’s operation. The condenser and evaporator coils get clogged up quickly due to the humid conditions and they also corrode because of the acidic atmosphere on site. Corrosion occurs within 3 to 4 years, even after being treated with specialist long-lasting corrosion protection. Leak repair formula to repair evaporator coils Adcock is currently looking to test a new leak repair formula that will temporarily repair coils Adcock Refrigeration and Air Conditioning’s biggest challenge with the HVAC system maintenance and repair work was to cope with the need for quick turnaround of repairs and reduce the long lead times that are very common for evaporator coil replacements, largely due to the need for the coils to be specially coated. Adcock is, therefore, currently looking to test a new leak repair formula that will temporarily repair coils. The company has designed and installed a number of 100% back-up systems in critical areas at Smurfit Kappa’s Birmingham site, so as to cut down-time and keep it to a minimal, especially during any breakdown. Complete turkey solution Adcock has developed their technology through meticulous research and development. Their engineers carry out a comprehensive survey, provide precision design and fast and efficient installations, in order to provide a complete 'turnkey' solution to cater to varied climate and temperature setting needs for commercial and residential HVAC systems.
BG Energy Solutions (BGES) has been appointed to design building management systems for Keadby 2, a new 840MW gas-fired power station under construction in North Lincolnshire. Keadby 2 power station Keadby 2 is expected to become the cleanest and most-efficient gas-fired power station in Europe, enabling the UK to move away from coal in the 2020s and to integrate more renewables into the power grid. It will also be capable of being upgraded to further decarbonize its generation through carbon capture or hydrogen technology, as routes to market develop. When completed, the power station will provide electricity to up to 840,000 homes and businesses in the UK. Siemens Energy is the principle contractor delivering the power station, with specialist HVAC company, Exyte Hargreaves supporting the delivery of mechanical and electrical / HVAC within five buildings on the site. BGES has been appointed to design the building management systems, which will be commissioned in spring 2021. BMS and energy solutions major BGES is a member of the Engineering Construction Industry Association and adheres to the NAECI framework BGES is one of the UK’s renowned BMS and energy solutions companies, with roots dating back to 1995. The company has offices in Sheffield and London and is known for its unique approach to customer challenges, using state-of-the-art technologies. BGES is a member of the Engineering Construction Industry Association and adheres to the NAECI framework (the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry). Adrian Woodhead, Project Lead at Exyte Hargreaves said “As a committed and responsible member of Britain’s Energy Cluster we are delighted with this appointment. Our delivery build methodology incorporates the use of our MMC Offsite Assembly Facility to supply horizontal modules, vertical risers and a prefabricated plant room, housing the centric energy center and heating distribution for the whole facility.” Design and build BMS systems Simon Shaw, Project Director at BG Energy Solutions (BGES) said “We are delighted on our appointment to design and build BMS systems for the world-renowned Keadby 2project. In doing so we’re proud to play our part in delivering a future-ready power station that will help the UK transition to a net zero energy system.” Commercial operation of Keadby 2 is scheduled for 2022 as coal power plant closures come into effect.