Developers can now upgrade heating systems across new build projects due to Smarther with Netatmo, a new flush-mounted smart thermostat from Legrand. Compatible with Legrand’s smart radiator valves, Smarther with Netatmo is a thermostat that can be flush or wall-mounted, to offer a slick, high-quality heating system. Flush mounting the system - using a versatile backbox - allows the thermostat to protrude by just 12.6mm from the surface of the wall. Voice-activated control Offering comp...
In its quest to strengthen global efforts of designing a more resilient, sustainable electric world, Schneider Electric, the pioneer of the digital transformation of energy management and automation, is all set to showcase pioneering energy management innovations and partner programs at the Hannover Messe 2021. To address the global urgency of climate change and the 21st century’s most significant challenges of the accelerating energy transition and growing demand for energy, Schn...
Air conditioning technologies and solutions firm, LG Electronics USA is continuing to pave the way for the future of connected buildings, with the expansion of its award-winning controls platform, LG MultiSITE. Empowering building owners and operators to optimize their operations and efficiency, especially with Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems, the MultiSITE lineup is packed with advanced features that deliver more building synergy and accessibility than ever before. LG MultiSITE contro...
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?
To boost the confidence of professionals installing energy efficient heating and hot water products for residential new build developments, Baxi has continued to prioritize training with bespoke virtual learning modules. Throughout the pandemic, Baxi has supported housing providers, developers, and their contractors with virtual training opportunities. This approach has allowed for more valuable training to continue, covering the installation, commissioning and maintenance of the Baxi Assure co...
During its recent online meeting, the Eurovent Product Group ‘Evaporative Cooling Equipment’ (PG-CT) elected Mr. Frank Stocker (Managing Director, Gohl-KTK) as the successor of Mr. Doïc Hordern (CEO, JACIR) in the role of Vice-Chairman of the group. Mr. Laurent Petiot (General Manager France Benelux Maghreb, BAC) continues as Chairman of PG-CT. The Eurovent Product Group ‘Evaporative Cooling Equipment’ recently met in a fruitful online session. The meeting included...
Johnson Controls, the global front-runner for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, announced the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) has approved its ambitious emissions reduction targets. The targets covering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Johnson Controls’ operations (scopes 1 and 2) are consistent with reductions required to keep warming to 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement. Johnson Controls’ target for emissions from its value chain (scope 3) also meets the SBTi’s criteria for ambitious value chain goals and are therefore in line with current industry best practice. Independent Validation “Independent validation of our new targets is confirmation that we are in line with the most aggressive pathway to avoiding the worst effects of climate change,” said George Oliver, Chairman, and CEO, Johnson Controls. “We recently announced new environmental, social, and governance (ESG) commitments, along with a net zero carbon pledge. The SBTi validation further proves the strength of our core strategy – to reduce carbon emissions and support a healthy, more sustainable planet. This is at the heart of our business.” Optimizing Building Sustainability Johnson Controls aims to slash operational emissions by 55% and reduce customers' emissions by 16% before 2030 SBTi is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute, and the World Wide Fund for Nature. It independently assesses corporate sustainability claims and uses science-based targets to show companies how much and how quickly they need to reduce their GHG emissions in order to be consistent with keeping global warming below the most dangerous levels. As part of its environmental sustainability commitments, Johnson Controls aims to slash operational emissions by 55 percent and reduce customers' emissions by 16 percent in absolute terms before 2030. Its OpenBlue platform for optimizing buildings sustainability will be central to fulfilling these goals and ultimately creating an environment for healthy people, healthy places, and a healthy planet. Sustainability Goals “Improving the health of our planet is a matter of urgency, which we are recognizing through our commitments. We are making positive change within our own corporation and believe we are uniquely positioned to help customers and suppliers achieve their sustainability goals,” said Katie McGinty, Vice President & Chief Sustainability, Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer at Johnson Controls. Improving Environmental Impact Johnson Controls is taking significant steps to drastically improve its environmental impact 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. Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Johnson Controls OpenBlue 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. Ambitious Goals The company recently joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign an urgent call to action from a global coalition of UN agencies, business, and industry leaders, and is a signatory to The Climate Pledge, an initiative of business leaders co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism. Signatories to 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.
The collaboration will combine eMobility leader ABB’s extensive experience in energy management, charging technology and e-mobility solutions with AWS’s unparalleled portfolio of cloud technologies and software expertise. The new platform, which is planned for roll out in the second half of 2021, will offer a tailored user experience in a single-view platform. From the EV charge point to the fleet data dashboard, it will make EV fleet management more efficient and maximize reliability. Simple And Accessible EV Fleet Frank Muehlon, President of ABB’s eMobility Division, comments: “ABB and AWS share a similar vision around the potential of eMobility to transform society. Our combined expertise supports the common goal of making EV fleet management simpler and more accessible.” “This new solution will revolutionize the world of electric mobility, integrating EV hardware and software into one ecosystem to provide a seamless user experience. We are confident that by working together we can propel the use of electric fleet vehicles by giving operators the confidence to make the switch.” Greenhouse Gas Emissions Electrification of traffic can substantially reduce CO2 levels and large fleets can play a crucial role At present, 23 percent of global, energy-related greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the transport sector. Electrification of traffic can substantially reduce CO2 levels and large fleets can play a crucial role with nearly 400,000 electric delivery vans and trucks on the roads globally. However, many fleets are met with similar challenges when it comes to real-time vehicle and charging status information, maintenance of EV’s and managing access to charging infrastructure. Management Software Today, most fleet operators opt for third-party charging management software. This offers limited functionality and ability to customize based on the range of EV models and breadth of charging infrastructure. The speed at which charging technology continues to develop is increasing, and the resulting adaptations needed can be costly and take a lot of resources. As such, fleet operators are looking for scalable, secure and easily tailored advanced software solutions, combined with easy to manage charging hardware, that enable them to plug and go. Real-Time Monitoring To drive progress in EV fleets, ABB has created a pureplay venture in Berlin that will develop tailored, scalable and cost-effective technologies for fleet operators which can be used by all vehicle OEMs. Working with AWS, this new venture will design the interoperable fleet management solution to work with all vehicle types and charging infrastructure. Using machine learning and analytics, it will include a compelling set of features including charge planning and real-time monitoring with insight and actions for vehicle health and servicing, along with EV route optimization based on time of day, weather and use patterns. Lower-Emission Future “As industries forge ahead with electrification of their vehicle fleets, customers need reliable and intuitive services to help them adapt to the new operating model and optimize how they utilize their fleets. This collaboration between AWS and ABB will combine our companies’ deep expertise in the automotive, logistics and electrification spaces with leadership in the cloud to deliver a hardware-agnostic, intelligent electric fleet management solution,” said Jon Allen, Director, Professional Services, Automotive at AWS. “Together, ABB and AWS will bring the insights, agility and scale the cloud provides to the electric vehicle industry and help our customers successfully transition to a lower-emission future.”
ABB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hitachi Construction Machinery to share their expertise and collaborate in bringing solutions to market that will reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with heavy machinery in mining. The companies will explore possibilities to apply ABB’s electrification, automation, and digital solutions to mining trucks and excavators provided by Hitachi Construction Machinery as part of wider efforts with mine operators to electrify all processes from pit to port. Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Hitachi Construction Machinery also brings expertise in driverless operation and labor-saving technologies. The aim of the combined solutions is to enhance the efficiency and flexibility of customer businesses, contributing to the reduction of CO₂ and the realization of a sustainable society. The collaboration with Hitachi Construction Machinery is one of many that ABB are looking to develop with OEMs to accelerate the transition to all-electric mines. Emissions Reducing Technologies “ABB is calling for more collaboration between OEMs and technology companies to fast-track the development of new emissions-reducing systems with electrification and automation of the whole mining operation the goal. We are ready to work more with OEMs to establish a common approach for the market, and through strategic collaboration provide solutions that can help enable a low-carbon society and make mining operations more responsible,” said Joachim Braun, Division President, Process Industries, ABB. “New emissions-reducing technologies can transform the energy-intensive mining industry to achieve an even more productive, but also sustainable future.” Integrate Electrification In Mines Co-creation of solutions with OEMs and mining companies is needed to integrate electrification in mines ABB has over 130 years of experience in the mining industry and delivers complete electrification, automation, and digital solutions, industry-specific products, and lifecycle services across every stage of the mining cycle. “Today, the challenge of our customers is on electrification of trucks and the time to change is now. But nobody can achieve this transformation alone. Co-creation of solutions with OEMs and mining companies is needed to successfully integrate electrification in mines.” said Max Luedtke, ABB’s Global Head of Mining. Advanced Solutions ABB’s digital applications draw on advanced libraries and software solutions to reduce process complexity and can integrate with existing equipment and technology. ABB Ability™ MineOptimize is a digitalized portfolio of connected solutions that is already improving the energy efficiency as well as productivity and optimization of CAPEX and OPEX of open pit and underground mines worldwide. The agreement between ABB and Hitachi Construction Machinery was signed by Joachim Braun, Division President, Process Industries, ABB Ltd., and Sonosuke Ishii, President of Mining Group, Senior Vice President, and Executive Officer on March 22, 2021. Eco-Friendly Technologies “This collaboration will enable the two companies to more effectively work towards our shared vision for mining,” said Sonosuke Ishii, President of Mining Group, Senior Vice President, and Executive Officer at Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. “We are delighted to be collaborating with ABB as we continue to invest our efforts in introducing eco-friendly technologies and systems for the mining industry.”
Johnson Controls, the global company in smart, healthy and sustainable building solutions, will host its ‘Game On’ Rooftop HVAC Conference virtually on April 21, 2021. The interactive training conference will offer a free online learning experience, with in-depth presentations developed by our HVAC experts. The courses will cover the product and service of Johnson Controls, YORK and TempMaster commercial rooftop systems along with trending industry topics, which are available for professional development hour (PDH) credits. ‘Game On’ Rooftop Conference This conference is created for anyone involved in designing and specifying, building, installing or servicing commercial rooftop systems. Participants can create a personalized itinerary with 16 unique courses to choose from within three primary conference tracks: Industry and Application Education: The industry and application education track offers a number of trending industry topics, including the transition to low-GWP refrigerants, HVAC systems’ impact on a building’s indoor air quality and the effects of ASHRAE1 on package unit design, all for PDH credit. Product Information: The product information track will consist of interactive presentations with product managers about the company’s rooftop HVAC equipment and controls portfolio, along with open time to meet the product managers and ask questions. Product Start-up and Service: The product start-up and service track courses are hosted by Ducted Systems Academy trainers, as they demonstrate key setup and configurations on 15 - 80 ton commercial rooftop units and control panels, and answer participant questions. Importance of continuous learning in HVAC industry The HVAC industry is always changing, so continuous learning is no longer optional" “The HVAC industry is always changing, so continuous learning is no longer optional,” said Joseph Oliveri, Vice President and General Manager, Global Ducted Systems, Johnson Controls, adding “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this truly unique educational opportunity to give our customers a leg up in their business and also expose them to what we have to offer. It’s game on!” Participants will also be given the opportunity to connect with their representative to discuss future opportunities. In addition, after the conference, participants will get first access to the new ‘Game On’ website, which offers additional information, including 360-degree video tours of the Rooftop Center of Excellence in Norman, Oklahoma, the facility’s world-class testing lab and the Ducted Systems Academy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. At the completion of the conference, participants will receive 10% off one future Ducted Systems Academy course and will have full access to recordings of all conference classes also through the ‘Game On’ website.
Jobber, the globally renowned provider of home service management software, has unveiled Boost by Jobber, a grant program to further support the hard-working entrepreneurs within the home services sector. Aspiring entrepreneurs, new business owners, and long-time home service entrepreneurs are invited to apply for free grants, ranging from US$ 1,000 to US$ 20,000, depending on the category that their business qualifies for. Funding for Entreprenuers Twenty home service businesses across 50+ industries, such as lawn care, plumbing, residential cleaning, and painting, will be awarded US$ 100,000 funding in total. Applications are now open through May 5, 2021. Finalists will be announced in July 2021, with the list of winners announced in August 2021. Home service entrepreneurs impact their local communities and neighborhoods in meaningful ways" “Home service entrepreneurs impact their local communities and neighborhoods in meaningful ways,” said Sam Pillar, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Co-Founder at Jobber, adding “They employ millions of people while operating behind-the-scenes to keep homes, offices, and other spaces safe and in good working order, yet, despite their important contributions, small businesses are largely underserved when it comes to business financing.” Boost by Jobber grant program Sam Pillar adds, “Boost by Jobber helps address this gap by providing service business entrepreneurs with some extra working capital that may not otherwise be available through traditional banks and government grant programs.” Royce Ard, who owns My Amazing Maid with his wife, Tamara, further validates this statement. “Typically when I see a grant, I’m almost always assuming it's for a specific cohort and I wouldn’t qualify,” explained Royce Ard, adding “Loans are very, very, very hard to get. As far as going to a bank and getting US$ 10,000 for a small business like ours, you're not going to get it.” Grants Organized into categories Boost by Jobber grants are organized into categories that reflect various stages of company growth, from ideas on paper to recently launched ventures to established businesses, as well as an additional category for COVID-19 support. Five winners will be selected from each of the following: Almost-entrepreneurs (pre-business): Entrepreneurs who have the drive to start and run a home service business, however, are in need of funds to get started. New business owners (0 - 3 years): Entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of building their team, client list, and services. Experienced business owners (3+ years): Entrepreneurs who are ready to scale their mature business to the next growth stage. COVID-19 support: Entrepreneurs seeking financial support or resources for their team’s well-being. Helping home service businesses grow Jobber spoke service professionals to better understand the impact that extra cash flow could have on a business Jobber spoke with dozens of service professionals to better understand the impact that extra cash flow could have on a business, to create the grant categories, and to determine the dollar values assigned to each grant. Whether a company is looking to purchase new equipment, increase marketing dollars, launch a new service, train teams, or is in need of financial relief, funds from the Boost by Jobber program can make a big difference in helping small business owners be more successful. The value of cash flow “People don't understand the value of the cash flow,” stated Steven Knight, partner at Mosaic Home Services Ltd, adding “It's not necessarily only helping the business. It's helping the business owners as well with their ability to lead people. Cash flow helps them be a better business leader.” Boost by Jobber is one of many initiatives within Jobber’s home service ecosystem that is dedicated to supporting the home service entrepreneur, whether it’s through the company’s award-winning business management software, resources such as Jobber Academy, community building via the company’s Entrepreneurship Group on Facebook, and more.
The pandemic has upended way of life around the world and the impact on the future of buildings, building performance, and building use is in many ways still unknown. Danfoss recently convened a virtual EnVisioneering Workshop to explore the pandemic’s impact and how it might reset building markets and energy-performance strategy whether new building use patterns will slow or accelerate energy decarbonization and electrification, and what their significance will be on indoor air quality solutions. Carbon-Neutral buildings Pre-pandemic, building design was already experiencing early waves of transformation, said Lisa Tryson, director of corporate communications at Danfoss. Now, a shaken world economy, new public health priorities, evolving standards, and a possible shift in the way everyone goes to work are pointing toward a market reset. Pre-pandemic, building design was already experiencing early waves of transformation Moving forward, they see opportunities emerging around healthy and carbon-neutral buildings but the industry will need scale and speed to reach these ambitious and evolving targets. Remote work and retail cannibalization sending consumers to virtual platforms for shopping and entertainment lead the list of notable trends impacting the built environment. Rich Overmoyer, president and CEO of Fourth Economy, suggested to Workshop participants that both trends are impacting the urbanization of the past decade. Flexible work arrangements Flexible work arrangements are allowing people to move away from major cities to more idyllic suburban and rural communities, leading building owners to consider reconfiguring space use for both health and profitability. New opportunities, Overmoyer indicated, include innovations on home ownership finance particularly as population shifts drive home costs and an emerging affordability crisis and in construction models that can encourage commercial building renovation and rehabilitation. Scott Foster, director of sustainable energy at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva, Switzerland, maintained that high-performance building design addresses many of the challenges the pandemic has brought to the world of buildings, including the need for healthy indoor environments, new and expanded technology integration, and long-term cost reduction. High-Performance buildings A move to high-performance buildings would create an improved new normal in buildings Moreover, deploying high-performance buildings would drive an economic restart, boost social equity in the built environment, improve quality of life in the broadest terms, and attenuate the global climate crisis through reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions. In brief, rather than being derailed by the pandemic, a move to high-performance buildings would create an improved new normal in buildings and establish a new trajectory for truly sustainable development. Jenna Cramer, executive director of Pittsburgh’s Green Building Alliance, outlined how the City of Pittsburgh has developed a track record and useful experience base in how to act on the new possibilities that Foster highlighted. Indoor air quality Pittsburgh was the second city in the United States, after New York, to adopt the UN Sustainable Development Goals and its 2030 Agenda. The City has a well-established 2030 District, which in 2019 already had 86.3 million square feet and 556 buildings committed, achieving an array of performance improvements for the District: 23.1 percent energy use reduction; 19.8 percent water use reduction; 122 individual buildings providing indoor air quality (IAQ) data; and 26 percent cut in carbon emissions from transit (2018 data). Drilling down on IAQ, 2030 District Property Partners are monitoring CO2 and odors in the reporting buildings, establishing no idling zones outside them, and moving on several other interventions. Pittsburgh’s work to make the UN’s vision of sustainability in and by buildings a reality is showing important results. Sustaining new direction Building owners need to be incentivized to commit to that new building future The task now, Cramer suggested, is to organize the building community across the country to establish and sustain a new direction for buildings that can meet the demands of sustainable development broadly defined which embraces the specific challenges to which the pandemic has given rise. Pittsburgh is proving what can be done. Building owners need to be incentivized to commit to that new building future. Drake Erbe, vice president for market development at Airxchange who has served in senior positions supporting an array of standard creating organizations, nationally and internationally reported on trends in emerging standards that he expects will further strengthen the high-performance tide in the U.S. and abroad. Energy performance requirements He noted the development of data as a key element in the evolution of building design through Building Information Modeling for construction, and how maturing data capacity is now empowering other players in the building marketplace. Utilities, power generators, local jurisdictions, financial institutions, and others are able to harness the same capacity for better performance reporting requirements, operation management, and determining asset financial value. In Europe, that has meant the emergence of Smart Standards development that can leverage data capabilities to achieve and maintain wholly new levels of building energy performance requirements. Through the international cooperation on standards and the mounting of global market forces, the U.S. can expect to be under growing pressure to move in the same direction. High-Performance standards Several forces are slowing the implementation and impact of high-performance standards Thought leadership in the standards arena, then, is adding to global and local aspirations and demonstrated performance capabilities to drive the shift to high performance despite the pandemic. Richard Lord, a senior fellow at Carrier, however, expressed concern that several forces are slowing the implementation and impact of high-performance standards. He pointed to action being taken by cities, on the other hand, as successful efforts to work around standards to achieve aspirational building performance levels. The emergence of the Healthy Building movement, which focuses on the physical, psychological, and social health of building inhabitants, he suggested, is becoming a potent force driving building performance. Currently emerging standards Overall, Lord sees the impact of currently emerging standards being perhaps superseded by reactions to market forces, policy demands, and MaxTech, as the demands for energy performance lie adjacent to the physical properties and the science of cooling and heating. The turn to a holistic approach to buildings is, consequently, gaining a momentum of its own The turn to a holistic approach to buildings is, consequently, gaining a momentum of its own a holistic, or systemic, approach positing that all building related energy uses, and both outdoor and indoor climatic requirements, are considered in integrated design and management of an individual building or cluster of buildings. Urban Green CEO John Mandyck saw the future in similar terms and offered the New York City experience as an illustration. The risks of climate change are simply too great for city government to turn a blind eye, and, as a consequence, the city is moving ahead forcefully on implementation of performance requirements set in motion pre-pandemic. Retrofit-Based strategies In addition, health and climate have shown themselves to be inseparable. Finally, the transition to a high-performance building stock would rely on retrofit-based strategies with the potential to create more than 140,000 new jobs. High-performance buildings are required not only by rising aspirations for building quality, but also as a response to a pandemic battered economic future. The Workshop was part of Danfoss EnVisioneering Symposia Series, which for more than 15 years, has sought to drive conversation and engagement on the urgent and emerging trends challenging the HVACR industry.
In what can only be described as a very turbulent year, many businesses have had to shut their doors and have all but forgotten about the general upkeep of their sites. With priorities shifted to keeping companies afloat and staff employed, maintenance and servicing has taken a backseat, and many systems will be deteriorating unnoticed. It goes without saying that one of the first tasks that employers will have to tackle when returning to work is a deep clean. As we are still in the throes of a pandemic, a clean and disinfected workplace is the number one priority that needs to be ensured, before any staff can be welcomed back to work. This should be closely followed by maintenance of the site’s equipment. Importance of regular HVAC maintenance Regular HVAC maintenance is extremely important as it keeps systems performing efficiently and effectively Regular HVAC maintenance is extremely important as it keeps systems performing efficiently and effectively. The nature of HVAC maintenance does change depending on the time of year, and with some sites being shut for months and through different seasons, managers will need to review their current equipment to ensure it is compliant and working correctly as soon as possible as signs of normality start returning and facilities begin to reopen. While warehouses and factories may have still been operating in some capacity over the last 12 months, many office buildings have seen little to no employees for more than a year in some cases, therefore, risking deterioration and even damage to their systems going unnoticed and untreated. But with so many pieces of equipment at each site, it is often hard to know where to start and what to prioritize. Following HVAC manufacturer’s recommendations In order for businesses to keep functioning as best as they can and to avoid any more disruption, those in charge of maintenance and servicing need to be educated on how the conditions of a system affects the type of work it needs. Manufacturer’s recommendations should also be taken into account. To help define what these are and how to approach them, mechanical and electrical engineers recommend: The coils and pipes in HVAC equipment that are responsible for heat transfer are checked regularly, because if the equipment gets dirty, it won’t transfer heat and energy as well. Checking controls annually to ensure that the HVAC system is running properly, as control calibration can alter. By scheduling regular check-ups, accurate operation is maintained. Maintaining equipment with fans quarterly to maximize longevity. Three key areas include monitoring the impellers, belts and bearings for any dirt, wear and tear, friction or erosion. Keeping an eye on filters, as when they are clogged, it increases the pressure drop in a system, which makes fans work harder to maintain the same airflow. A quarterly clean is usually sufficient for most filters. This is also true of strainers in systems. Optimizing HVAC and electrical equipment With spring now upon us, businesses need to optimize their HVAC and electrical equipment for maximum efficiency With spring now upon us, businesses need to optimize their HVAC and electrical equipment for maximum efficiency. This includes reviewing the sequence of operations for a morning warm up and cool down. However, it’s important to remember that because of prolonged closures over the last 12 months, autumn and winter checks, and in some cases, even summer checks were not able to be carried out in 2020, so before the spring work begins, backdating the maintenance is a good place to start. Ensuring buildings’ energy efficiency With the help of experts, HVAC maintenance doesn’t have to be time-consuming and overwhelming, but it’s a critical part of maintaining an energy-efficient building that is both comfortable and reliable. With regular servicing and some basic knowledge of what is required, sites can maintain optimum efficiency all year round. Noise complaints can also be an issue, if HVAC maintenance isn’t carried out regularly. Spring is a good time for businesses to perform services on their equipment, prior to the summer months starting and should be used to ensure that condenser coils and air handler filters are both clean. The dirtier the equipment, the noisier and less efficient it becomes, which is bad news for any business. Preparing buildings for staff returning to work When a building is returning to normal occupancy after a lengthy closure, additional checks must be considered before reopening is discussed. When a building is initially mothballed, it must be prepared for long term vacancy, but many businesses will not have had this opportunity before the national lockdown, which basically entails that these checks will not have been carried out. After a building becomes unoccupied, it is not the case that maintenance activity should also stop After a building becomes unoccupied, it is not the case that maintenance activity should also stop. At the very least, the frequency of existing planned maintenance will change, but in some cases, more maintenance tasks are required in order to keep the site ticking over. This includes flushing of water systems, Legionella testing and insurance inspections to keep the property functional and compliant. Countering health and safety issues As the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted across the United Kingdom and many businesses are gradually reopening, it will present health and safety problems that have not been faced before and will very likely see a surge in services and maintenance being required. With this in mind, it is vital that maintenance becomes a priority as normal service is resumed to not only ensure efficiency, but also to make sure that no employee or visitor to a site is put in danger. Emerging from a surreal 12 months, there is no doubt that companies will still face challenges, so it is crucial that avoidable maintenance problems do not become one of them, so don’t delay in booking routine checks.
As part of the UK Government’s stated commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, gas boilers, along with other fossil-fuel burning boilers, are to be banned in newbuild homes from 2025 under the Future Homes Standard. Although the ban has received a widespread welcome in principle, there has been criticism. Environmental groups have criticized the ban for not going far enough in tacking the escalating climate crisis, and the construction and home-building industries have criticized it for the challenges it brings in achieving a viable home-heating alternative in such a short space of time. Placing significant demand Despite the criticism, the ban doesn’t go far enough; applying to newbuild homes only, with, as yet, no plans to phase out gas heating in existing homes. New heating technology has to be ready to roll out before 2025, whether it’s to 160,000 homes per year (the annual approximate figure of new homes built) or the UK’s entire housing stock of 29 million. Despite the criticism, the ban doesn’t go far enough; applying to newbuild homes only The Home Builders Federation, in reaction to the Future Homes Standard, has said, “It’s going to be a challenge and a huge area of work.” And it is widely acknowledged there is significant demand placed on the building and HVAC industries to produce a long-term, viable solution. Challenges include the creation of new, cost-effective designs of energy infrastructures, and implementation in time for the short deadline of less than four years away. Gas boiler heating systems From energy design engineers to developers, suppliers, and energy companies, everyone in the supply chain is affected in delivering a solution that UK homeowners can afford and that developers can supply. The communications challenge also cannot be underestimated, to bring along the public to the reality that homes cannot, ultimately, continue to be heated by the gas boilers they are so familiar with. The most likely low-carbon alternative to gas boiler heating systems is generally acknowledged to be heat pumps and heat networks, powered by renewables. It has been estimated by the Committee on Climate Change that by 2030 there will be 2.5 million heat pumps in new homes. Heat pumps offer comparable heating power to gas boilers and are powered by low-carbon electricity. Heat pumps have great potential for saving carbon; approximately 25-85 tCO2 per home over an average lifetime, reducing carbon emissions by 90%. Existing gas system But hydrogen is expensive to produce and although the existing gas system could be readily used for supply But for heat pumps to provide the level of warmth, particular in winter, and summer, weather in the UK, their effectiveness relies on excellent insulation, including triple glazing and adaptations to walls, floors, and ceilings. And while there has been a drive to get our draughty homes better insulated in the UK in recent years, with various grants and funding, this will be particularly crucial for newbuilds going forward. Hydrogen boilers could be an alternative to gas boilers. Hydrogen produces no emissions when burnt, only water and heat. But hydrogen is expensive to produce and although the existing gas system could be readily used for supply, and by consumers already familiar with a boiler system, it is not yet seen as a full solution to the replacement of gas. Technically qualified workers Trials are due to be carried out in the north-east with hydrogen-ready boilers. But the impending deadline and challenge for production and systems to be ready and tested, for mass implementation is unrealistic. Even before the Future Homes Standard was announced, there was an acknowledged shortage of skills. Engineering UK, in a recent survey, found that an additional 1.8 million engineers and technically qualified workers would be needed by 2025 in order to meet demand. But the impending deadline and challenge for production and systems to be ready and tested Nearly a third of HVAC firms have declared a skills shortage, with many feeling there is a crisis in the sector of sufficient qualified workers who can satisfy the new regulations. Now the demand is set to rise with the ban, as well as Brexit. A large proportion of qualified HVAC workers are sourced from the EU, further compounding the crisis of the skills shortage already faced. Zero-Carbon technologies From imagining life without a gas boiler to a young person seeing their future career in engineering and renewable energy, effective communications and campaigns could go a long way. Targeted lifestyle campaigns, with positive, compelling case studies of homes of the future being powered by green, zero-carbon technologies could help to drive the momentum for innovation from a domestic base. Talent strategies could also combat the reality of an ageing and diminishing workforce in HVAC and other sectors. It’s vital now, more than ever, that young people see a career in renewable and eco-living technology as, not only rewarding but futuristic, global, and sophisticated. Any alternative to gas heating has to be affordable for UK households, and therefore for housing developers to adopt. Fuel poverty is a real risk. Energy-Saving measures The right help needs to be in place to support the development and take-up of the alternative According to the Committee on Climate Change, it costs £4,800 to install low-carbon heating in a new home, but £26,300 in an existing house while there are various funding initiatives for households adopting energy-saving measures, the right help needs to be in place to support the development and take-up of the alternative. Not just for newbuild homeowners, but beyond 2025 when existing households are called upon to switch. The Home Builders Federation have said of the Future Homes Standard, “Ambitious deadlines pose enormous challenges for all parties involved including developers, suppliers, energy companies in terms of skills, design, energy infrastructure and the supply chain.” Low-Carbon heating technology But there is also a stated dedication to achieving what can be realistically achieved, proving that there is a genuine commitment to ensuring our brighter, cleaner future and planet with low-carbon heating technology. The ultimate challenge now will be in Government, agencies, and industry working together, in a dedicated way, to be realistic about, and tackle the challenges across the board so the right solution for our home-heating future can be achieved, in time, and ready for a rollout for the new homes we build from 2025.
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’s the common theme running through these images? Cities are getting taller. As more people migrated to urban areas, developers saw the need to go higher. But with this comes its own unique set of challenges. How can the safety of ground floor be transferred to, in the most extreme case, level 163? Grooved mechanical pipe joining solutions When it comes to high-rise buildings, there are a number of potential challenges for a piping engineer To find out how grooved mechanical pipe joining solutions are helping developers & engineers go higher, we spoke to Matthew Strohm, Director of Product Development (Piping System Design) at Victaulic. When it comes to high-rise buildings, there are a number of potential challenges that a piping engineer will need to take into consideration, most of which relate to thermal movement and the resulting forces on the building. Other issues such as seismic activity and building creep (the natural movement of a building due to settlement) also need to be taken into account. Compensating for thermal expansion and contraction Specifically related to piping systems and subsequently, pipe joining solutions, is the unique problem of having to compensate for thermal expansion and contraction, while at the same time, accommodating for higher pressure. Change in pipe diameter is not an uncommon concern for engineers, however, providing a solution which could operate at a pressure gauge of 25 bars, or the fluctuating temperature of water, presents its own challenges. It’s with these issues in mind that engineers choose their joining solutions, which is why these are the very criteria we set our Victaulic pipe joining solutions against. Grooved vs. Traditional Pipe Joining For decades, the traditional solutions for joining pipes have been welding, threading or flanging. These are good solutions to choose from, but there is a distinct lack of flexibility in a solution that fuses or flanges system components together. This is where flexible grooved couplings come in. They are solutions that allow controlled linear and angular movement at each joint to accommodate not only for thermal expansion and contraction, but also building sway and creep. So how do flexible grooved couplings manage this? It’s essentially down to the design of their components. The dimensions of the pipe coupling housing key is narrower than the pipe groove, allowing room for movement. Furthermore, the width of the pipe coupling housing allows for pipe end separation, which in turn allows the grooved pipe joint to accommodate movement. Benefits of Grooved couplings There are many benefits of grooved couplings, with space-saving being a key advantage on projects, both large and small There are many benefits of grooved couplings, with space-saving being a key advantage on projects, both large and small. As many project managers and engineers know, saving on space can be the key to unlocking extra value above initial planning. Additionally, grooved couplings are perfectly placed to accommodate for piping movement, whereas welded joints that in their very nature are designed to be fixed in place, need to have an area of space to allow for a welded expansion loop or alternatively, enough space to allow the star-pattern tightening of a flanged flex connector. Saving time, money and labor Besides the savings on space, grooved connections offer contractors savings in three key areas: time, money and labor. The installation-ready design of Victaulic’s grooved couplings allow for an easier installation, meaning a process which might take 30 minutes through a welded solution for instance, can now take just five minutes. As any contractor will testify to, this is valuable time that can be used for other parts of the project. With a reduction in time comes savings in cost and labor. Naturally, less labor is used for the same job and in the case of grooved couplings, less skilled labor is required (in comparison to the high skill level needed for welded joints). It’s these aspects that will ultimately deliver contractors with valuable project savings. Grooved connections offer savings in three key areas: time, money and labor Mechanical riser solutions There are 3 ways to accommodate for thermal movement within risers using a grooved mechanical system: The first method is called top of riser free-floating method and involves installing rigid couplings on the riser and two flexible couplings on the horizontal adjacent piping at the top of the riser, which can reduce the need for riser clamps or other structural during installation and allows the system to move freely within the design tolerances. The second method involves working with grooved expansion loops that help to save up as much as 2/3rd of the size of welded U-shaped expansion loops and avoids forced welded pipe deflection. While welded expansion loops require eight welded joints to assemble, the forces exerted on the joint are far greater than those applied on a grooved expansion loop, and generate greater stress, which ultimately requires larger anchors and guides in order to direct the movement. The third method is working with grooved expansion joints instead of traditional in-line expansion joints, which typically have wear parts and manufacturer-recommended maintenance cycles of five years, which also poses problems due to riser accessibility once the construction is complete. Grooved expansion joints like the Victaulic Style 155 are maintenance-free for the life of the system. Importance of anchors In a system using only flexible joints, risers are installed with anchors at the top and bottom and the piping guided every other length to prevent angular deflection at the joints within the piping run. Anchors distribute the movement forces across the structure and also provide the important task of directing pipe movement. At the pipe anchor location, there will be no differential movement between the piping and the building structure, which forces the pipe to thermally expand or contract from that location. This allows the design engineer to control how and where the movement in a system occurs and to provide the best solution to accommodate that movement. A10 Grooved Riser Anchors upgraded A good manufacturer will always listen to customer demand, especially in an evolving market A good manufacturer will always listen to customer demand, especially in an evolving market. Off the back of strong feedback from contractors, Victaulic recently upgraded its A10 Grooved Riser Anchors to a standard product. With the primary functions of carrying the weights and forces that act downward to the base of the riser and connecting the riser to the rest of the structure, the anchor has been providing sturdy support for some of the tallest buildings around the world. Future trends for high-rise buildings One trend already taking place, and I expect to continue, is contractors bringing riser experts into the project at an earlier stage. It just seems to make logistical sense to operate in this fashion. it’s a more efficient use of time to collaborate early in the process. I believe contractors and engineers will seek assistance from companies such as us to help design blueprints together, working in tandem to produce the right solution. Vertical buildings are on the rise. For generations, people have been moving to urban areas, putting greater demand on housing residents and employees. Through the use of grooved coupling solutions as an alternative to traditional methods, contractors can benefit from greater flexibility, reliability, ease of installation and ultimately and most importantly, speed of the installation process.
The cruise ship industry has cracked the code on keeping passengers and crew safe from the coronavirus (COVID-19) spread, including changes to on-board HVAC systems to use more outside air and to filter out particles as small as the novel coronavirus. The industry, which voluntarily suspended worldwide operations at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, under the guidance of international and national health authorities, plans to resume worldwide operations fully later in 2021. Health protocols to mitigate COVID-19 risk The cruise ship industry resumed sailing in parts of Europe, Asia and South Pacific in July 2020 The cruise ship industry resumed sailing in parts of Europe, Asia and South Pacific in July 2020 and completed more than 200 sailings by the end of 2020. The success of these early sailings demonstrated the effectiveness of new protocols to mitigate risk of COVID-19 among passengers, crews and at destinations. The industry will resume operation in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and elsewhere in 2021. Cruise operators, such as Royal Caribbean, have implemented new HVAC systems as part of the protocols. Supplying 100% fresh and filtered air Royal Caribbean says its HVAC system now continuously supplies 100% fresh and filtered air from outdoors to all indoor spaces. There is a total air change up to 12 times an hour in staterooms and about 15 changes per hour in large public spaces. Fan coil units provide an extra layer of protection in local spaces, such as public venues and staterooms, continuously scrubbing the air of pathogens and using MERV 13 filters to capture aerosols between 1.0 and 3.0 microns with 90% efficacy. Bio-aerosol assessment study Royal Caribbean participated in a bio-aerosol assessment of its ‘Oasis of the Seas’ ship by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The study involved releasing billions of 1-micron aerosol-sized microspheres, each containing a uniquely DNA-barcoded inert virus surrogate, at pre-selected spaces throughout the ship. The test was intended to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the vessel’s indoor air management strategies and to understand spread of aerosols through the HVAC system. Low risk of cross-contamination of air Testing results led to minimal changes, such as ensuring air exchanges are close to hospital standards and using MERV 13 filters Over a week aboard the Oasis of the Seas, scientists released billions of the individually tagged microspheres and then tracked where they went and how long they lingered in the air, and on surfaces. Testing results led to minimal changes, such as ensuring air exchanges are close to hospital standards and using MERV 13 filters. The study confirmed that cross-contamination of air between adjacent public spaces is extremely low and undetectable in most test cases. Royal Caribbean’s Healthy Sail Center determined seven important elements the cruise line can do to manage indoor air and keep it clean. These elements include: Enhanced filtration to the highest level possible Optimize airflow patterns Use negative pressurization in isolation rooms Minimize unfiltered, re-circulated air Increase number of air changes per hour Use portable HEPA filters in congregate areas Maximize outdoor functions and physical distancing Facilitating return to operation of cruise ships At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, between March 1 and July 10, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered nearly 3,000 cases of COVID -19 or suspected COVID-19 infections and 34 deaths across 123 cruise ships. In October 2020, the CDC lifted its no-sail order, laying out guidelines for big-ship cruising to resume operations in U.S. waters. The Cruise Lines International Association (CIA), which represents 95% of the cruise ship industry, has said its members will return when the time is right and that timing will be based on factors, including input from scientists and medical experts. Cruise companies also have new technologies available to them now. For example, the Italian company, Integra provides an air sanitizer that uses an odorless disinfectant to combat airborne illnesses. It can be installed in 15 minutes.
The connectivity of the Internet of Things (IoT) provides new tools to monitor the well-being of an HVAC system, to provide instant alerts to any operational problems and even to predict when problems are likely to occur. Being alert to early warning signs of a problem enables deployment of less-expensive fixes before the problem escalates. predictive analytics Remote monitoring and predictive analytics of HVAC systems have been even more valuable during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many buildings have been empty. Potential problems come to light faster and can be repaired less expensively, even if no one is on site to complain about an obvious failure. When buildings are occupied, the customer experience is even better and operational and maintenance costs are lower. These capabilities can be integrated with other Building Management Systems (BMS) to provide a broad-based view of various operating systems throughout a facility. In addition to early warning of system failure, system monitoring can also provide new and smarter tools for keeping track of indoor air quality (IAQ) and to minimize energy consumption. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Cloud Predictive and preventive maintenance are key to ensuring that issues are addressed before they can do damage Sensors and other devices deployed in today’s systems provide hundreds of new data points that are interpreted by Artificial Intelligence (AI) operating in the Cloud. The combination provides detailed and useful insights into how a system operates over time, thus maximizing operation and minimizing energy usage in ways that are more in tune with environmental needs than ever before. Predictive and preventive maintenance are key to ensuring that issues are addressed before they can do serious damage, according to Johnson Controls (JCI). Smart data analysis enables more informed and smarter decisions, thus resulting in reduced maintenance costs, improved efficiency, and overall peace of mind, as per the company. Connected Services Johnson Controls (JCI) offers Connected Services to provide customers with constant equipment monitoring and data analysis, and uses the data proactively to identify faults before they occur and even predict future optimization opportunities and efficiencies. Integration of both equipment and software into a single system makes it more than a sum of its parts. Johnson Controls lists some key benefits of implementing an integrated system: Identify energy savings opportunities. Regular reports on the operational performance provide insights on areas of improvement. Extend asset life. Identifying and managing required maintenance helps to extend equipment lifespan. Minimize repair costs. Faults mitigated at an early stage avoid major failures. Reduced emissions. Operational performance reporting enables chillers to operate in the most efficient range. Monitoring system performance Emerson’s Sensi Predict line goes to the root of HVAC systems to monitor performance, identify issues and alert contractors and home owners to the efficiency, energy usage and overall performance of HVAC units. An internal Emerson study reviewed the most common HVAC failures and determined that installing the technology could detect up to 80% of failures in these areas, before a home owner suffers system outage. Real-time and connected systems use a variety of sensors that constantly monitor the functioning of an HVAC system. Connectivity puts more information than ever at the fingertips of HVAC professionals, making them more responsive than ever to customer needs.
The demographics of the HVAC workforce are changing and more women are being welcomed into the HVAC industry in a wider variety of roles. In part, the changes are because of necessity as Baby Boomers retire from the workforce and leave a labor and skills gap to be filled. HVAC commercial service business, HB McClure Company, based out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is embracing change and encouraging more women to consider a career in the HVAC workspace. The company’s female employees are happy to speak up about the advantages of working in the HVAC industry. Promoting women in HVAC industry Kara Boeckel began working at HB McClure Company as an HVAC technician and is now a Preventive Maintenance Coordinator. Back in trade school, she was the only woman in her class. She faced negative preconceptions about her capabilities compared to male counterparts and there were no female role models. Women were 50% of the U.S. labor force in 2019, but only 2% of employees in the HVAC field were women Despite the challenges, Boeckel found her vocational pathway. Now, her peers at HB McClure Company give her support and help her get past any fear of being a minority in a male-dominated field. “Now I don’t see being a female as a weakness,” said Kara Boeckel, adding “I see it as a strength.” Women were 50% of the U.S. labor force in 2019, but only 2% of employees in the HVAC field were women. And that number had increased from an even lower figure eight years before – 0.6%. Need for more HVAC technicians According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, HVAC employment will likely increase 15% through 2026. The growth, combined with the current labor shortage, means technicians are needed to fill the estimated 115,000 new positions that the industry expects to have available by 2022. If trends continue, many of them are likely to be women. However, more awareness is needed to attract employees of any gender to the HVAC market. “Students are not as exposed to the prospects in this industry,” said Shelly Matter, HB McClure’s Director of Business Development, adding “There is a shortage of skilled tradespeople, male and female.” Monetary benefits in HVAC After completing the required field training and certifications, many possibilities open up for women to grow their career, with job positions ranging from Foreman to Project Manager, Engineering to Sales. Shelly Matter has been in the commercial/industrial HVAC industry for more than 20 years. Now, she makes presentations at expos, conferences and local school career fairs. The number one question among prospective HVAC employees that she meets is, ‘How much does it pay?’ Shelly Matter is happy to assure students that it’s possible to make a generous living in HVAC, after one establishes capability and reliability. Challenges and opportunities in HVAC The best part is meeting wonderful customers and helping them solve their commercial HVAC problems" Kelly Overlander, New Business Development Representative at HB McClure, was formerly the owner of a successful hair salon for more than 15 years. After she sold her salon and entered the mechanical trades industry, Overlander is proud of her ability to bring value to customers. “My job delivers a variety of challenges and many opportunities for professional growth,” said Kelly Overlander, adding “The best part is meeting wonderful customers and helping them solve their commercial HVAC problems.” Importance of role models Having good role models is a critical aspect of women seeking to enter the HVAC business. Angela Klingler, HB McClure New Business Developer, sees a need for more female trade school instructors and appreciates the value of women surrounding themselves with people who have expertise and then learning from their strengths. She advocates mentoring, sharing industry opportunities and partnering with organizations, such as the Partnership for Career Development, to help bridge the gap between industry and education. It all comes down to identifying what one is passionate about, and then combining that passion with a career that aligns with those passions. “When you go to a nursing home and the heater isn’t working, you not only fix it, but you have taken care of bringing warmth to someone’s grandmother, and she’s thanking you,” said Kelly Overlander, adding “Working in HVAC is very rewarding.”
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.
Round table discussion
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?