The pandemic not only raised concerns about public health but also increased public awareness of the impacts our buildings have on the planet. A healthcare facility’s purpose is to serve the health of the community and promote public wellness. Hospitals account for 4.4% of global emissions, so to truly protect the health of the community, healthcare leaders need to make sure they are also protecting the planet. Public Health Issue The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)...
Society is prioritizing the mitigation of climate change, and new, potentially flammable, low-Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants are a key tool in broadly lowering the rate of global warming. The detection of fugitive (leaking) refrigerant is a new regulation emerging as HVAC equipment manufacturers convert to low-GWP refrigerants. Both A2L and A3 low-GWP refrigerants, while climate-friendly, are flammable. As such, OEMs will have to integrate refrigerant sensors that detect leaked ref...
A number of standard unit coolers from Friga-Bohn, which supplies a wide range of refrigeration solutions to the food industry, are now fully compatible with A2L refrigerants. The unit coolers support use with both new A2L refrigerants such as R1234yf, R454C and R455C, as well as existing HFC refrigerant solutions. As a result, a single unit can provide for present and future requirements, reducing inventory for wholesalers and easing selection choices for installers. The market for unit cooler...
At the moment, it seems as though a day rarely goes by without low-carbon heating hitting the headlines. Whether it is reports of ‘revamping’ the Clean Heat Grant, to include a ‘boiler scrappage’ scheme, which may offer home owners up to £7000 to make the switch to a low-carbon alternative, to speculation that the Prime Minister is under pressure to push back the 2035 ban on gas boilers, the debate on how and when the low-carbon heating revolution will happen is ong...
As summers get hotter and extreme heat events to become more common, it is increasingly uncomfortable to live without air conditioning. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the vast majority of American households do have air conditioning, but about 9% do not have any air conditioning unit. Many of these households are located in cities with historically temperate climates, but climate change is expected to make extreme heat events not only more frequent but also more severe. Even are...
Danfoss has announced the introduction of the new VLT Soft Starter MCD 600 solution, which provides a flexible soft starter solution, to potentially long lead times that are currently seen in the industry. This product is in stock and ready to ship quickly, including the NEMA 3R enclosure. VLT Soft Starter MCD 600 The new VLT Soft Starter MCD 600 solution from Danfoss offers the latest in soft start motor control and protection, for superior performance in fixed-speed applications, where...
NevadaNano, the globally renowned innovator in gas detection sensor technology, has announced its partnership with Emerson, to jointly develop refrigerant gas detector products, which will provide a solution to the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry, for refrigerant leak detection. NevadaNano - Emerson partnership “We are proud to partner with Emerson to develop essential solutions that can help lower the impact of existing HVACR equipment on the global environment and facilitate the safe use of low GWP refrigerant gases,” said Ralph Whitten, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NevadaNano. MPS technology is a patented platform, which is programmable for a range of A1, A2L, and A3 refrigerant gases NevadaNano’s Molecular Property Spectrometer (MPS) technology, together with Emerson’s renowned HVACR technologies experience, including flammable gas sensing products, creates a strong leadership position for gas sensing solutions. The MPS technology is a patented platform, which is programmable for a wide range of A1, A2L, and A3 refrigerant gases, such as R32, R454, and R407. Switching to lower GWP refrigerants “Our solution enables original equipment manufacturers to have their product line compliant with federal HFC phasedown regulations, known as the AIM act,” said John Rhodes, Group President for Digital & Connected Technologies at Emerson, adding “The mandate shifts the industry from high GWP to lower GWP refrigerants, including mildly flammable A2L refrigerants.” NevadaNano’s MPS outperformed all other technologies in the Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) study (Project 9014), which was published on August 13, 2021. The study incorporates 28 test requirements from UL, IEC, ASHRAE15, and the JRA regulatory agencies. Emerson gas detector The combined ‘lab on a chip’ allows the sensor to pass all tests, including vibration and resistance to condensing environments and poisoning chemicals. The Emerson gas detector will allow the HVACR industry to deploy smarter A2L systems.
Following a year of disruption for the plumbing and heating sector, it is now more important than ever that industry professionals are doing their bit, in order to ensure gas safety is still considered first and foremost in UK homes. Gas Safety Week 2021 Marking Gas Safety Week 2021, Chris Riley, the National Operations Manager at Baxi Heating, commented “With many people making changes to their homes and servicing schedules being disrupted, it is vital that installers explain the reasoning behind regular performance checks and maintenance.” Chris Riley adds, “When highlighting the benefits of annual servicing to homeowners, comparing boiler maintenance to a car MOT and service can be helpful. Most people understand the importance of keeping their vehicle in good working order, so it makes perfect sense to apply this thinking to the boiler too.” Importance of regular boiler maintenance While the MOT analogy is a good one to use, there are of course other ways to advise and educate customers" He further said, “After all, this is a home appliance that can be in constant use, providing heating and hot water for the entire home. It’s only when a breakdown happens that the consequences of neglect become clear, by which time it is usually too late. While the MOT analogy is a good one to use, there are of course other ways to advise and educate customers about safety at home. Chris Riley adds, “Installers will always remember the fundamental role of W.A.G.E.S in their job – checking the water, air, gas, electrical and sample points, so it is always worth talking this through, when attending a call. In addition, for each day of Gas Safety week, we have chosen seven top tips for heating engineers, to best promote gas safety with their customers.” The seven top tips include: Ask Questions: Asking plenty of questions will give homeowners a better idea of the current status of appliances in their homes and also show them what they may need to flag for future visits. HVAC engineers could ask how the system has been performing, whether they have noticed any changes, or whether there has been work done on the house, since the last visit. Have a look around: Visual clues can be one of the most crucial ways of identifying a gas safety-related problem, like staining on walls or perished seals. This is not just around the boiler that’s being serviced, but also other appliances, such as cookers and gas fires, that could pose a risk through leakage or defect. Check the gas safe alerts: Make sure to check and also encourage customers to be aware of the safety alerts on the gas safe website. Remember, as a gas safe professional on site, engineers will need to report on other gas appliances that they have encountered, which may be unsafe to use. Recommend setting up a service reminder: For safety, as well as warranty requirements, an annual service must be carried out, so HVAC engineers must ensure that customers set a reminder to book in. Alternatively, as part of Baxi Works, installers can set automatic and personalized service reminders for homeowners, following an installation, so it is worth ensuring that homeowners are aware of this option, so as to promote future safety. Ensure there are CO monitors: In any room with a gas or solid fuel appliance, ensure homeowners have a carbon monoxide (CO) monitor in place, to alert a possible leak before it is too late. Check previous work: With new kitchens, bathrooms, and extensions, it is important to check that the existing system is still in correct working order. For example, HVAC engineers need to check whether the flue outlet hasn’t been blocked and still complies with spacing regulations and that the boiler can still cope if new radiators have been fitted. They should also explain that renovations and refurbishments of the home can change the load on the heating system, so it is always wise to get this checked if changes have been made. Remind homeowners to keep an eye on pressure: If the gauge on the boiler keeps showing a drop in pressure, it could be a sign of a leak somewhere in the system, so ask customers to give a call, if this happens so that it can be fixed at the earliest. Overall, regular communication is most important. Remind customers to get in contact with a professional gas safe registered plumbing and heating engineer if they are concerned about any of their gas appliances. It may be nothing to worry about, but it is always better to be gas safe than sorry later.
A foremost art gallery is the first end-user in the UK to install Carrier chillers operating on the lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant R-515B. Carrier is part of Carrier Global Corporation, the foremost global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable, and intelligent building and cold chain solutions. Principal contractor SPIE UK specified two high-efficiency Carrier AquaForce® 30XW-VZE variable-speed screw chillers on the new refrigerant to align with the gallery's strict environmental protection policy. Carrier worked closely with SPIE to ensure the solution met the customer's requirements on carbon emissions and that the project was delivered within the tight timescale. R-515B Refrigerants Carrier has taken a leadership role in the testing and application of new refrigerants and was one of the first manufacturers globally to offer water-cooled chillers and heat pumps operating on refrigerant R-515B. R-515B does not require additional safety measures in the plant room While traditional mainstream refrigerants have GWP ratings often measured in the thousands, the GWP of R-515B is less than 300. In addition, R-515B is both non-flammable and non-toxic and has been given the highest safety rating of A1. As an A1 refrigerant, R-515B does not require additional safety measures in the plant room. This reduces upfront capital costs while leaving the option to convert the chiller and plant room at a later date without any loss of performance. Energy-Efficient Chillers and heat pumps operating on R-515B have been shown to be more energy-efficient with an improvement of up to 5% compared to R-513A, a different lower GWP option. This reduces operating expenses over the lifetime of the equipment. Use of R-515B rates high under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) certification process, boosting the environmental rating of buildings assessed under the scheme. Reassuring client "A key factor influencing equipment choice was that the Carrier chillers can be retrofitted to operate on the ultra-low GWP refrigerant R-1234ze, which has a GWP of less than 1, if this becomes necessary in the future,” said Andy Whitehead, SPIE Senior Project Manager who headed up the project. “This effectively future-proofs the installation and gives total reassurance to the client." Delivering project on-time Chillers were on site earlier than expected allowing to deliver the project on time for the client The equipment switch-out was carefully managed to ensure continuity of cooling to the gallery, with the two existing chillers replaced in stepped sequence, maintaining stable environmental conditions throughout the gallery's works of art. "This project was the first time I have worked with Carrier,” added Andy Whitehead. “The company was very supportive and proactive. They ensured that the chillers were on site earlier than expected, enabling us to deliver the project on time for our client." Reducing carbon footprint Energy-efficient solutions using lower GWP refrigerants such as R-515B support Carrier’s aim to reduce its customers’ carbon footprint by one gigaton, part of its 2030 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Goals. Refrigerant R-515B is both non-flammable and non-toxic and has been given the highest safety rating of A1.
A number of standard unit coolers from Friga-Bohn, which supplies a wide range of market-leading refrigeration solutions to the food industry, are fully compatible with A2L refrigerants. The unit coolers support use with both new A2L refrigerants such as R1234yf, R454C, and R455C, as well as existing HFC refrigerant solutions. As a result, a single unit can provide for present and future requirements, reducing inventory for wholesalers and easing selection choices for installers. The market for unit coolers is changing. The F-Gas regulation means that a ban is in place for new installations using refrigerants with a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of more than 2500. Furthermore, other refrigerants are having their availability limited by diminishing production quotas, which is consequently affecting prices. Refrigerant producers have to fall within a regulation-defined limit of Teq CO2 (carbon dioxide equivalent tonnes) per year. So opting to produce a refrigerant with a high GWP means less product availability, leading to a higher price. CO2 refrigerant Friga-Bohn can confirm that a number of its unit coolers offer compatibility with new A2L refrigerants CO2 has become the preferred refrigerant in high-capacity refrigeration installations due to its low GWP and good thermo-physic properties. However, for small/medium-capacity systems, the choice is not so obvious. CO2 is of course an option, but alternatives such as A2L refrigerants are very attractive as their constituent technology is similar to HFCs while offering a far lower GWP. To ensure simplicity of choice for installers, Friga-Bohn can confirm that a number of its unit coolers offer compatibility with new A2L refrigerants, as well as existing refrigerant solutions. This approach differs from other market systems, which are only suitable for one or the other. Wholesalers, therefore, benefit as they only need to stock a single type of unit cooler-one capable of meeting the requirements of both applications. A2L-compatible coolers The A2L-compatible coolers available from Friga-Bohn include MR and MH series ceiling units, NTA dual-discharge units, and 3C-A cubic units. Typical applications include cold rooms in cafes, hotels, bars, restaurants, local shops, minimarkets, and supermarkets, with options available to suit both positive and negative temperature conditions. Despite their low GWP (R1234yf, R454C, and R455C have a GWP of less than 150), A2L refrigerants carry a ‘slightly flammable’ security classification. For this reason, all Friga-Bohn unit coolers using A2L refrigerants have been subject to a comprehensive risk assessment, with INERIS, the French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks, providing full approval and validation. A2L refrigerants provide the opportunity to reduce environmental impact and comply with the F-Gas regulation A risk analysis is also necessary for each installation to ensure safety for users and the general public; a process that should take into account the entire refrigeration system as well as its environment over the product life cycle. Here, Friga-Bohn can offer several newly developed tools to help simplify this process for installers. The availability of these tools ensures that the ‘slightly flammable’ classification of A2L refrigerants should not be an obstacle in reducing the industry’s carbon footprint. Transitioning to lower GWP refrigerants In summary, A2L refrigerants are a good solution when transitioning to lower GWP refrigerants. They provide the opportunity to reduce environmental impact and comply with the F-Gas regulation for small/medium capacity installations. However, changing to A2L does require some technical knowledge. Here, Friga-Bohn is ahead of market competitors – the company is fully prepared and ready to help wholesalers and installers with any assistance they may require in helping the food sector achieve a safe and effective switch to a future based on low-GWP refrigerants. Friga-Bohn can also help wholesalers to educate installers about this important industry shift.
In the late 1990s, standby generators were thought of like central air was in the 1970s. It was not very common and something few people had. Today, however, they’re becoming a lot more popular. In fact, many brand new homes are often built with backup generators, increasing the home’s desirability and resale value. Backup/standby generators Smaller than an air conditioning unit, modern backup generators are quiet and generate enough power to run the entire house. Home owners can take advantage of their ‘power management’ technology, which directs power to a specific circuit or location within the home (workshop, in-law apartment, etc.). Modern furnaces require clean, 60-Hz electric generators for optimal operation When considering a backup generator, home owners should know that some furnaces won’t operate with a gasoline generator, which is considered ‘dirty power’. Modern furnaces require clean, 60-hz electric generators for optimal operation. Natural Gas and Propane generators The two main types of backup generators are Natural Gas and Propane, eliminating the hassles and hazards of gasoline-powered generators. With advances in technology, they switch-on automatically. So, just because the power goes out in the neighborhood, doesn’t mean it has to go out in homes. The positives of installing a Standby Generator: Peace of mind/safety – Just knowing that the family is safe and comfortable while preventing potential financial loss is an invaluable feeling for home owners Keep critical, in-home medical and life-support equipment running Security systems stay on, protecting the home when at home and when away Keep the pipes from freezing, which can cause serious damage to the house’s plumbing system Eliminate the hassles and hazards of using portable, manual-start, gasoline-powered generators Prevent loss and spoilage of food Prevent a flooded basement, by keeping the sump pump running Increase the home’s resale value Don’t wait. Install a standby generator now, before the next power outage. Even if home owners are still doing their research, talk to one of Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning’s experts about the benefits of installing a backup generator. That way, home owners will be ready, when the need arises.
Hitachi introduces a new line of high-efficiency single-zone, mini-split systems, PRIMAIRY mini-split systems. Designed to meet the unique needs of small to mid-size properties such as shops, restaurants, and classrooms, the PRIMAIRY system is an energy-efficient and cost-effective option. Hitachi quality is evident throughout the product line. Features of the product line include: Brushless DC fan motors provide stable, precise, energy-efficient operation. Compact units and long piping runs enable exceptional design and installation flexibility. Quiet mode reduces fan speed and frequency of compressor operation for optimal comfort. Intelligent defrost control shortens defrost time more than 37% and delays defrost intervals up to six hours for reliable, consistent comfort. Refrigerant leak detection protects the compressor from damage and increases safety by automatically shutting down operation if the refrigerant charge amount drops below 30%. Brushless high-efficiency DC fan motors Brushless high-efficiency DC fan motors feature unparalleled control of fan speed and movement Brushless high-efficiency DC fan motors feature unparalleled control of fan speed and movement, cycling through 16 automatic adjustments during operation to meet demand exactly. These precise calibrations increase energy efficiency, while providing superior temperature control and quiet, stable performance. Motors are also small in scale, enabling Hitachi outdoor units to be compact and lightweight for easier placement and installation. Lightweight, compact and offering maximum flexibility Hitachi PRIMAIRY mini-split systems are compact and lightweight, providing multiple placement options and simplifying installation. The systems accommodate up to 164 feet of piping length and 98 feet in height. Long piping further enhances layout flexibility, and a wide capacity range means there is a precisely sized system for every application. Indoor units come in a range of styles and types to meet customer needs and application aesthetics. Systems perform in low-ambient temperatures down to -13°F (-25°C) (for the 24K model) and down to -4°F (-20°C) in heating mode for all other models.
A landmark UN scientific study has once again highlighted the short window available to prevent irreversible climate change. Businesses are coming under pressure to dramatically accelerate their net-zero carbon initiatives. This comes at a time where market dynamism is returning across a range of key sectors following a downturn triggered by the pandemic. Businesses are also being pressured by stakeholders to recover revenues lost during the pandemic and to start rebuilding commercial activity. Typical supermarket products With refrigeration sitting at the heart of some of the biggest industries across the globe, including food commerce, healthcare, manufacturing and technology, decisions on refrigerant technology tap into the heart of the debate around environmental credibility, consumer expectations and economic recovery. So how can businesses balance the need to adopt more environmentally-preferable refrigerants with the urgent need to boost revenues? The technology factors into many of the most important facets of modern society Often when you think of refrigeration, you instantly think of cold storage and supermarket refrigeration. Without refrigerants, we wouldn’t be able to extend the life of many typical supermarket products or have the convenience of home storage. However, that isn’t the only role refrigeration play in our daily lives. In fact, the technology factors into many of the most important facets of modern society. The healthcare sectors, for example, would struggle to reduce the spread of infection without the use of modern air-conditioning, while the pharmaceutical industry requires refrigeration to store life-saving medications. Preserving human life On top of this, the digital revolution would not be possible. Without coolants, the data centers run by companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google would overheat, resulting in system failures and service outages. And finally, with temperatures rising across the planet because of global warming, and heatwave events becoming more common, refrigeration is increasingly important to preserving human life. Without refrigerants, recent extreme weather events would have been even more devastating. However, although refrigeration has been a solution for many human challenges, finding a refrigerant that is both safe and environmentally preferable is a challenge. In fact, before recent breakthroughs, many of the chemicals used as refrigerants, such as ammonia, sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and methyl chloride, were poisonous, corrosive and even explosive. Non-Flammable alternative CFCs were found to be extremely harmful to the ozone layer and were therefore phased out In the 1930s, a compound called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) was commercially introduced as a non-toxic, non-flammable alternative to established refrigerants and was in widespread use for a variety of applications by the mid-20th Century. However, CFCs were found to be extremely harmful to the ozone layer and were therefore phased out in favor of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The story wouldn’t end there, however, as HFCs were found to be potent greenhouse gases with high global warming potential (GWP). EU regulators therefore demanded their phase-out from 2016. By 2024, HFCs must be phased out so industries have been scrambling to find alternative low-global-warming-potential solutions. Unique chemical bonds The answer came in the form of hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), developed by renowned chemist, Rajiv Singh. HFOs are known for their unique chemical bonds, which allow them to break down in just a few days, so they don’t linger in the atmosphere if released and therefore don’t meaningfully contribute to global warming. Since launching its Solstice line of HFO refrigerants in 2012, Honeywell has averted the production of more than 200 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, equivalent to emissions from more than 42 million cars, more than all passenger cars in Germany. Honeywell has averted the production of more than 200 million metric tons of greenhouse gases The automotive industry was one of the first sectors to recognize the strengths of HFOs. During the past 10 years, nearly 75 million cars made in Europe have been fitted with HFO-based air conditioning systems. Supermarkets have also been reaping the benefits; more than 30,000 grocery stores currently use Honeywell’s non-flammable HFO refrigerant, Solstice N40, reducing their energy consumption by 10% and their global warming potential by a factor of three. Residential heat-Pumps HFOs are on the brink of being adopted for domestic use as well. New Honeywell HFO solutions are ideal for residential heat-pumps which enable the elimination of fossil fuel burning in our homes, for heating and for hot water generation. HFOs superior performance deliver ‘best-in-class’ energy efficiency, hence enabling heat pumps to generate more renewable energy from the waste heat vs. alternative solutions. As enablers for energy efficient solutions and systems, HFOs also offer unique opportunities for future developments such as domestic air conditioning, cooling of electronic vehicle batteries and the fast growth of data center cooling. The ‘Green Deal’ is EU flag ship regulation on climate and economy recovery. Overall, buildings are responsible for about 40% of the EU’s total energy consumption, and for 36% of its greenhouse gas emissions from energy. Greenhouse gas emissions These new regulations and the corporation sustainability goals create a range of new opportunities To make it specific, heating and cooling, in the EU is responsible for 80% of energy consumed in residential buildings. Rapid adoption of Heat pumps and improved energy efficient solutions; are key contributors for Europe to reach the ‘Green Deal’ goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 and the recently adopted accelerated ‘fit for 55’ goal to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Adopting Low Global warning refrigerant, safe & energy efficient cooling solutions and replacing fossil fuel burners with heat pump systems to generate heat; are also key contributors to corporations’ sustainability goals (ESG). These new regulations and the corporation sustainability goals create a range of new opportunities for HFO solutions. As the popularity of HFOs grows, they’ll have a major role in mitigating climate change and enabling a carbon neutral economy. Pharmaceutical supply chains Happily, what’s good for the environment is also good for the economy. HFO production is already creating thousands of long-lasting jobs. The global pandemic stopped many people from enjoying a range of everyday pleasures such as visits to sporting events, restaurants and cinemas; activities at venues that are often reliant on some form of air conditioning and refrigeration, a sharp reminder of the role played by modern refrigerants. The technology continues to develop and evolve ensuring that a range of activities can continue to happen. From protecting the food and pharmaceutical supply chains to ensuring the continued operation of modern communication technology, next generation refrigerants will support some of the most important parts of the modern economy and a better environment.
With ongoing efforts from governments across the globe to reduce carbon emissions and with an ever greater focus on sustainability, it is vital that the HVAC sector does its part in becoming more environmentally conscious. And, while there have been steps to become more sustainable, there is a huge amount that still needs to be done to make sure that many of the targets that have been set are attainable. In buildings, both large and small, industrial heating accounts for roughly two thirds of industrial energy demand and around a fifth of global energy consumption. Figures like this show the need to have efficient and environmentally-friendly HVAC equipment in place to make the crucial steps towards reducing the contributions these systems make to our carbon footprint. High energy consumption in construction sector A 2019 report by The International Environment Agency (IEA) showed that the buildings and construction sectors combined were responsible for over 30% of global energy consumption and nearly 40% of carbon emissions. This is indicative of the steps the sector needs to take to play its role in a more eco-friendly society, some of which are already underway. However, much more needs to be done if the UK is to reach its goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. As we envisage what a post-COVID world might look like, businesses and governments are continuing to put sustainability and lower carbon emissions at the forefront of their planning and the HVAC sector is certainly no exception. But with change in the sector a daunting prospect, decision-makers often don’t know where to start. Smart Technology use in HVAC systems Smart HVAC uses sensors that integrate with a building’s automation system With the constant growth and greater deployment of smart technologies within the HVAC sector, this is certainly a way that systems can become more efficient. Smart HVAC uses sensors that integrate with a building’s automation system. These sensors then collect information about conditions throughout the building. Heat waves are now a far more common occurrence in the United Kingdom. The Met Office estimates they are up to 30 times more likely and will be a bi-annual occurrence by 2050. It is important that any uptake in HVAC usage doesn’t lead to a drastic increase in emission generation. This is one of the areas where smart systems will become crucial. Many scientists have been unequivocal in their sentiment that heat waves are a cause of greater emissions and expect temperature records in the UK and Europe to be broken more regularly, so sites will need to be equipped to handle these conditions. Regulating temperature with hand-held devices With wireless systems now much more commonplace, temperatures can be controlled easily from hand-held devices. With these new technologies, those managing the systems can also benefit from remote monitoring and maintenance, reducing the need to travel to the site for yet another environmental incentive. To accompany the smart systems, equipment including smart thermostats can be installed to maximize HVAC efficiency. Other smart systems available to businesses include smart furnaces and air conditioning units that are far easier to operate than their traditional counterparts. Reducing unnecessary ventilation While global temperatures continue to rise, air conditioning usage has increased and has contributed to greater levels of energy usage. A huge amount of needless emissions are generated by unnecessary ventilation, contributing heavily to heat loss and overall energy wastage. Recirculation of air is a traditionally lower energy cost method of retaining heat and keeping emissions low, however, we must be mindful of the risks associated with recirculating air. The risk of circulating diseases is negated somewhat with heat recovery ventilation, which both removes the risk of disease spreading and improves energy consumption. Efficiency performance of new AC units Air conditioning units in particular contribute significantly to a building’s energy consumption Air conditioning units in particular contribute significantly to a building’s energy consumption, equating to 10% of the UK’s electricity consumption and as such it is important that we bear in mind ways to counteract the emissions this creates. Global energy demand for air conditioning units is expected to triple by 2050, as temperatures continue to rise year on year. The efficiency performance of new air conditioning units will be the key, when it comes to ensuring that escalating demand does not equate to greater emissions. Another issue for suppliers and manufacturers to address is differing rates of consumption for AC units in different countries, with units sold in Japan and the EU typically more efficient than those found in China and the US. Modularization Modular HVACs have also become increasingly popular in recent years. Modular HVACs are responsible for heating, cooling and distributing air through an entire building, with their increase in popularity largely down to their greater levels of energy efficiency, cost effectiveness, flexibility and substantial ease of installation and maintenance. Modular HVACs can be tailored specifically for workspaces and they often allow work to be done on the systems without disturbing the workforce, achieved primarily through rooftop placement. Commercial workspaces are larger and often require differing needs to residential properties and can cater to a wide range of the specific requirements of work and commercial spaces. As we strive for lower carbon emissions, it seems that this trend will continue and will become a key area in reducing emissions that HVACs have traditionally generated. System maintenance and training To meet government and industry requirements, many new buildings will require HVAC systems that can be maintained simply in order to perform in a more energy efficient way. Many companies are looking at ways to become climate neutral and significantly reduce their footprint Many companies are looking at ways to become climate neutral and significantly reduce their footprint. Companies are following the likes of German-based company, Wilo Group, who have announced they are committing to sustainable manufacturing by developing a new carbon neutral plant and HQ in the next few years. Lowering carbon footprint As we continue to move towards an ever more environmentally conscious society, it will be of paramount importance for companies, governments and the public to think about ways in which we can lower carbon emissions. Smart technologies will certainly be at the forefront of this, negating many needless journeys and making it easier for industries to adjust settings and tackle issues remotely. Greater levels of training will help equip us with the tools to make sure we are best placed to reduce emissions and be more sustainable as a result. While the steps outlined above do show some progress and measures we can take, there is far more that we can do as a sector to significantly reduce HVAC’s carbon footprint and once we have moved beyond the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, this will surely be at the front of industry leader minds.
The education field was faced with multiple challenges this past year. Not only did the COVID-19 pandemic bring the necessity of online learning, but it has also brought up necessary changes to physical schools and universities, when reopening time arrives. The health and safety of students, staff, and faculty has become a priority for directors of school operations, who have been working to properly adapt school facilities to this new reality we are facing. Ensuring health and safety of students Besides safety measures like the addition of hand sanitizers, reinforcing the use of masks and social distancing, these professionals were faced with an even bigger and more important issue: ventilation and airflow indoors. School facilities have many unique features that increase the concerns regarding indoor air quality. Occupants are usually very close together, considering that school buildings have four times as many occupants as office buildings for the same amount of floor space (EPA). Variety of pollutant sources According to the WHO, the virus can also spread in poorly ventilated and/or crowded indoor settings Other issues include tight budgets, the presence of a variety of pollutant sources (including specialty classrooms, like art, gyms, and labs), concentrated diesel exhaust exposure due to school buses in the property, and a large amount of heating and ventilation systems that may cause an added strain on maintenance staff. On top of that, schools usually have to worry about child safety issues, concerned parents, and wellbeing of faculty and staff. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus can also spread in poorly ventilated and/or crowded indoor settings, where people tend to spend longer periods of time and aerosols particles tend to be suspended in the air, which leads to the importance of indoor air quality in classrooms. Importance of natural ventilation and HVAC systems Natural ventilation and HVAC systems are the basic methods to bring clean air indoors, however, schools that rely only on these methods of ventilation need to be aware of their potential limitations. HVAC systems, for example, should have regular maintenance checks and filter changes, in cases where the system is less sophisticated, schools need to add new forms of air purification to effectively mitigate airborne pathogens. Studies showing quality of air in US schools Studies have shown that low-standards HVAC ventilation systems may contribute to airborne diseases transmission due to low air exchanges rates, poor maintenance and lack of high-efficiency filters. For this reason, portable air cleaners are becoming more and more popular to create a healthy learning environment. EnviroKlenz, an indoor air quality company, conducted real-life setting studies to show the quality of the air in schools in different areas of the United States. The study measured the amount of particulate matter in classrooms, with and without the use of additional portable filtration systems, which allowed for comparison and analysis of the benefits a portable air cleaner can provide. National EPA standards for indoor particulate matter The study also compared the current data to the national EPA standards for indoor particulate matter (PM), in order to evaluate the performance of the EnviroKlenz Air System Plus. The IAQ meters focused on PM1, which is about 1 micrometer in size (70 times smaller than the diameter of human hair!). The systems ran in operational educational environments, with daily schedules being carried out as usual and results can be seen below. School directors of operations also must pay attention to the different technologies available in portable air cleaners. With the growth of the industry, new emerging technologies have come up, and there’s still lack of third-party testing to prove their efficacy. Other technologies, like carbon filters, do not work against airborne pathogens and may release harmful byproducts back into the environment. EnviroKlenz Air System Plus EnviroKlenz Air System Plus, which utilizes a patented earth mineral technology to capture pathogens, is at 99.9% efficiency The EnviroKlenz Air System Plus, which utilizes a patented earth mineral technology to capture virus, bacteria and other harmful pathogens, is at 99.9% efficiency and is complemented by a medical-grade HEPA filter and UV-C lights, was also tested against a carbon-based air cleaner in a classroom. As shown below, the carbon system struggled to keep consistency, with peaks and valleys throughout the day. Meanwhile, when the EnviroKlenz Air System Plus was turned on, the PM1 levels were steadily low for over 4 consecutive days. Deploying portable air cleaners in classrooms Adding a portable air cleaner to classrooms and common areas will increase air exchange rate and mitigation efforts, but the long-term benefits go beyond the pandemic. Studies have shown that good indoor air and ventilation rates are directly linked with students’ academic achievements and can increase performance. High CO2 levels in a school environment are also associated with lower average annual attendance and worse individual test performance. Other long-term benefits include reducing symptoms of those who suffer from respiratory diseases and creating a favorable environment not only for students, but also for teachers and staff; while bringing a sense of comfort and well-being to parents and the community. Combined benefits of air filtration, ventilation, and purification “When we’re operating more normally, maybe we’ll be able to cut down on some of the traditional flu-peaks that schools have, or cold peaks, that kids just bring into school, by managing the airborne virus and bacteria quality,” said Peter Twadell, Head of School at Birches School in the US, and an EnviroKlenz Customer. School officials need to consider the combined benefits offered by filtration, ventilation, and purification methods to create the healthiest environment possible. Thinking in a pandemic-conscious mindset, air quality has gained the recognition it deserves in creating a proper and healthy learning environment.
The current Biden Administration’s renewed focus on climate change has expedited the phasedown of high-GWP refrigerants, kicked off by the passage of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, part of the December 2020 COVID stimulus bill. As the AIM Act phase-down schedule progresses, higher-GWP HFC refrigerants, while viable, have the potential to have a limited useful life and ultimately be eliminated. In response to pending changes, Johnson Controls has announced it will use R-454B, a mildly flammable refrigerant, in order to exceed key regulatory requirements. Key environmental goals This is a significant step toward Johnson Controls reaching key environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, including: helping customers achieve a 16 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero carbon emissions before 2040, says the company. The decision was made as the HVAC industry is preparing to phase out high-GWP refrigerants Johnson Controls has selected R-454B to replace R-410A in all its ducted residential and commercial unitary products, as well as air-cooled scroll chillers, after extensive research, testing and evaluation of capacity, efficiency, safety, availability, longevity, global warming potential (GWP), ozone depletion potential (ODP) and other metrics. The decision was made as the HVAC industry is preparing to phase out high-GWP refrigerants, such as R-410A, which are now being formally addressed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the recently passed AIM Act. Commercial unitary products The EPA’s pending regulations could stipulate that manufacturers begin producing equipment utilizing low-GWP refrigerants prior to Jan. 1, 2025, for residential and light commercial unitary products and Jan. 1, 2024, for new chiller products. The mild-flammability (A2L) aspect of new refrigerants, including R-454B, requires that safety standards and individual state building codes must first be updated prior to the introduction of these refrigerants into the market. The process to update codes and standards is well under way and should be completed for many jurisdictions prior to the Jan. 1, 2025, proposed transition date for stationary HVAC equipment (e.g., unitary). Extensive, multi-year research and testing has been conducted by ASHRAE, AHRTI and others to ensure A2Ls can be safely deployed. Proper training will be critical to ensure the safe use, transportation and storage of A2L refrigerants. Refrigerant transition dates Existing R-410A equipment built prior to the EPA’s proposed manufacturing cutoff dates can be sold Johnson Controls is committed to ensuring the safe transition to R-454B by providing in-depth training for its contractors and technicians prior to the pending refrigerant transition dates, according to the company. The pending mandates from the EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for refrigerants with less than 750 GWP will likely only apply to the sale of new residential and commercial unitary equipment as well as air-cooled scroll chillers. Existing R-410A equipment built prior to the EPA’s proposed manufacturing cutoff dates can be sold and installed indefinitely, so there will be little to no impact on contractors and customers from a R-410A equipment standpoint. Once EPA completes the allocation phase of the AIM Act, it will next address reclaim and service practices; therefore, contactors could see future mandates on the use of reclaimed refrigerants as well as enhanced requirements for leak detection and record keeping. Refrigerant management practices “R-454B is more compatible with existing R-410A equipment, requires less charge and can reduce HVAC systems’ energy use by up to 5%,” says Chris Forth, Executive Director of Regulatory, Codes and Environmental Affairs, Ducted Systems, Johnson Controls. “These similar operating characteristics will make for a smoother transition for distributors, wholesalers, contractors and owners, resulting from the commonality of critical system components and their very similar operating pressures and temperatures.” These similar operating characteristics will make for a smoother transition for distributors" “It’s vital that contractors and equipment owners establish proper refrigerant management practices and invest in available flammable refrigerant training,” Forth adds. More specifically, Johnson Controls recommends that contractors review the AHRI Safe Refrigerant Transition Task Force best practices and complete the ACCA A2L refrigerant training before new equipment enters the market (updated ASHRAE 15.2P training is expected by the end of 2021). flammable refrigerants implementation Johnson Controls also recommends that contractors strengthen their current refrigerant management practices: Ensure technicians are EPA section 608-certified for the equipment they will be servicing, train technicians not to mix different recovered refrigerants in the same cylinder, implement robust refrigerant tracking and documentation practices and establish a reliable supply chain for R-410A reclamation before 2025. Johnson Controls has been engaged in the safety standards and building codes development process from the beginning of the low-GWP, flammable refrigerants implementation. Johnson Controls engagement included safety standards such as ASHRAE 34,15; the pending 15.2P standard; as well as UL 60335-2-40 and UL 60335-2-89. ASHRAE safety standards R-454B offers the best outlook for long-term viability as phasedown regulations continue “Our first priority has been and will continue to be safety, and thus, we help sponsor and engaged in the research and testing efforts conducted through the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology Institute (AHRTI) and ASHRAE,” says Forth. Johnson Controls also engaged in the adoption of the UL and ASHRAE safety standards via the national model codes, such as the International Code Council (ICC) and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO). Choosing R-454B is a long-term play for Johnson Controls. If the EPA AIM Act phase-down falls below the current 750 GWP limit proposed for stationary AC/unitary equipment, some A2L refrigerants could be phased out quickly, whereas the choice by Johnson Controls to utilize R-454B could, under the same scenario, be viable until 2034. With the lowest GWP of all EPA SNAP-approved refrigerants (GWP of 466), R-454B offers the best outlook for long-term viability as phasedown regulations continue, says the company. Aggressive efficiency standards The HVAC industry is in constant flux. For an OEM that means continually introducing innovative, new features into systems, developing new products that meet aggressive efficiency standards and, in this case, environmental regulations to phase out high-GWP refrigerants. “Transitions of this scale are not new to Johnson Controls, but it does require flexibility and equipment redesigns to utilize R-454B,” says Forth. “However, because the properties (pressures, temperatures, etc.) of R-454B are very similar to the existing R-410A, the actual performance testing did not present the same degree of challenge as past transitions. Johnson Controls has been at the forefront of environmental protection,” says Forth. “Today, our commitment to sustainability is stronger than ever, and it is reflected in the choices we make every day.”
It’s shaping up to be a long, hot summer for HVAC contractors and their customers. Disruptions in the nationwide supply chain that began during the COVID-19 pandemic still have not been resolved. Shutdowns last summer played havoc with the supply of parts, and suppliers are still playing catch up, as raw materials remain scarce. Furthermore, prices are going up among some components and key raw materials. Waiting times for parts can run into weeks or even months. Supply shortages of HVAC equipment Summer weather increases the demand for HVAC equipment, especially in hotter climates. A spike in air conditioner demand is generally welcomed by most contractors, but supply shortages make it difficult to deliver on customer needs. Managing a backlog of impatient customers is a new challenge for many HVAC companies. The shortages impact materials, such as steel, aluminum, copper and plastics, whose costs are expected to rise in coming months. Among metals, the price hikes could be 20 to 30%, while prices of plastics could almost triple. Copper futures recently reached an all-time high, and steel price indexes are also at record levels. Shortages of electrical components Shortages have been reported of copper and electrical components, such as motors and compressors Shortages have been reported of copper and electrical components, such as motors and compressors, which are specific to the units that use them. There is also a shortage of microchips that are components in high-efficiency systems and furnaces, and resins used in the evaporator coil pans are scarce. Some HVAC supply firms have had difficulty obtaining evaporator coils used in air conditioners. Specialty items such as control boards have a wait time of up to two to three weeks, or longer. Shortages projected till end of 2021 The shortages are projected to continue until the end of 2021. Even as small shipments trickle in, they are often sold quickly. The situation is unfamiliar to the HVAC trade, which has traditionally not had issues with equipment availability. Shortages in the HVAC market are a reflection of broader supply and cost challenges of the construction market. Prices for goods used in residential construction have increased almost 10% over the past 12 months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Higher transportation costs impact supply chain Higher transportation costs are impacting both the supply chain and HVAC contractors. Personnel shortages continue to plague many HVAC companies, too, and a technician shortage is also contributing to longer wait times in some areas. A scarcity of labor has been a 20-year challenge for the HVAC industry, but it is reaching new levels as days go by. Order in advance and stockpiling equipment Alternatively, HVAC contractors may seek to switch brands to help ease availability issues One approach contractors are taking to the problem is to order equipment in advance and stockpile it for when they need it. One Denver contractor reportedly ordered almost a million dollars of equipment in advance. Alternatively, HVAC contractors may seek to switch brands to help ease availability issues. Identifying a manufacturer that has stock available can ease the inconvenience of customers having to wait for new equipment. need for regular HVAC maintenance Another approach is to educate homeowners about the importance of maintenance, such as changing filters, which can avoid a need for larger repairs involving equipment that is in short supply. Maintenance service is doable because it doesn’t require new equipment, replacements or add-ons that can be hard to come by. Unfortunately, among consumers, maintenance may have been delayed or ignored during the pandemic, which is aggravating the urgency of the current situation.
What do customers want from their HVAC company? It’s a challenging question, and the answers reveal a path to a more successful and customer-centric company. There are numerous articles written that offer consumers advice on choosing an HVAC company. In the simplest terms, wouldn’t it be possible to ‘reverse engineer’ that advice to provide a roadmap to guide HVAC companies in how to succeed? Addressing consumer concerns Often, consumers’ concerns surround whether a company is a reputable and/or a well-managed business. Answering questions about basic requirements, such as insurance should be easy. Another element of consumer-oriented advice on choosing an HVAC company is to find one that is qualified to do the job. For example, able to work on the specific type of equipment a consumer has, whether central air conditioning, humidifiers, heating sources, or whatever. From the perspective of the HVAC contractor, this advice points to a need for constant training and updating of skills related to various equipment types. Seeking HVAC specialists Customers may be looking for specialty service, specific to a certain type of equipment or type of installation Consumers are also advised to seek out specialists in the work they need doing, whether a repair, a new installation or related to a specific type of equipment. Contractors must both understand their own strengths and weaknesses and be able to communicate them clearly to put customers at ease. Consumers will also be looking for contractors, who are experienced in repairing the brand or type of system they have. Customers may be looking for specialty service, specific to a certain type of equipment or type of installation. Contractors should constantly evaluate their skills-sets, their strengths and weaknesses, and provide full transparency to enable customers to make the most informed decisions. Better to walk away from a job than to overextend or misrepresent a contractor’s skillset. Such overreach never ends well and can damage a contractor’s broader reputation. HVAC contractors come in all sizes Customers will also be looking to evaluate the size and stability of the HVAC company that they work with. HVAC contractors come in all sizes, of course, and the size of a company does not necessarily reflect on the quality of work. However, stability and a good reputation are essential, especially for a smaller company or one-man shop. Consumers are often advised to ask for references, especially if dealing with a smaller contractor. HVAC businesses can be proactive in this regard by keeping references handy and even collecting customer testimonials to share with prospective customers. Positive reviews a key indicator Online reviews, hopefully all positive, are another element that can help to put prospective customers’ minds at ease. Ideally, if an HVAC contractor is doing a good job, positive reviews, testimonials and references will happen organically. Consumers are often advised to ask for certifications to document an installer’s skillset, so keeping up with the related paperwork will ensure that a customer is comfortable with any contractor’s skill level. Specific HVAC contractor license requirements Specific contractor license requirements vary by state and even at the local level Specific contractor license requirements vary by state and even at the local level. Required license numbers should be displayed on websites and promotional materials, and most states have an online directory listing of licensed contractors. Be attentive to other requirements, too, such as the special EPA certifications required to use refrigerant. Consumers expect their HVAC contractors to guide their buying decision, whether determining the correct size HVAC unit to serve a specific home size, analyzing flow rates, or recommending systems to meet specific needs. Striking a balance between simplicity and technical detail Delivering on these expectations requires a delicate balance between simplicity and technical detail. The customer needs to be comfortable that the installer knows his stuff but does not want to be overwhelmed by arcane technical discussions or puzzling acronyms. Best by far is to keep it simple (and be willing to provide additional detail – described in layman’s terms – if the customer has questions). Membership in local trade associations can provide additional credibility to a contractor, and provide additional sales and networking opportunities, too. Importance of warranties Warranties are another critical issue for consumers. Everyone offers manufacturers’ warranties, but there is an opportunity for HVAC contractors to offer even more, whether an extended warranty, inclusion of labor, as well as parts, work guarantee on repairs, and/or an extended maintenance contract. Availability 24/7 could enable a contractor to take work away from a competitor Customers should be warned that maintenance or repairs performed by an unqualified company may void the manufacturer warranty. Availability in an emergency or on short notice is another way HVAC companies can differentiate themselves among consumers. Availability 24/7 could enable a contractor to take work away from a competitor who is closed for the weekend. Emphasizing on customer services Customer service also requires a personal touch, so an ability to communicate well with potential customers can generate extra business. Emphasize listening skills and make sure customers know they are being heard. In all dealings with customers, be straightforward and honest in order to build long-term trust. To grow a successful HVAC business, prepare proactively to answer the questions customers are most likely to ask.
With net zero now at the forefront of many businesses’ minds, all eyes are on the large travel players to set an example to others in their industries and undergo energy efficiency and sustainability overhauls, something that is championed by national services provider, Eco UK Group. As one of the most vital services in the world, aviation provides the only instant worldwide transportation network, making it essential for global businesses. It generates economic growth and has created 87.7 million jobs all over the globe, as well as facilitating international trade and tourism to millions. Sustainable aviation and energy efficiency In a bid to deliver sustainable aviation, the aviation industry is working on six key areas of focus In a bid to deliver sustainable aviation, the aviation industry is working on six key areas of focus, as part of its commitment to sustainable development. The strategy works to communicate the role of aviation in society, to support a better understanding of how the sector is delivering cleaner, quieter and smarter flying experiences. The six goals are the improvement of air quality, noise, climate change, natural resources, social and economic, and surface access. Backed by a number of airlines, high profile members are focused on finding collaborative ways of improving environmental performance, in order to ensure sustainable growth and energy efficiency within the industry, both in the air and on the ground. One of these members is London’s Heathrow Airport, home to the United Kingdom's only Express Center. Heathrow Airport The Express Centre has been providing customers with the fastest and most cost-effective way to move goods in and out of Heathrow airport, since 1983. Combining both manual and automated services, its expertise and the purpose-built facility offers a heavyweight service and works alongside some of the largest and most respected airlines in the world. The center handles a staggering 60+ daily flights from across five continents, 45 countries, and 85 airports, managing a substantial 130,000 kg of daily shipments. Energy-efficient LED lighting solutions Following its success in supporting works at Edinburgh Airport, Eco UK Group collaborated with both Millar Management Ltd and Orange Construction UK Ltd, on a project that showcased its specialist expertise in mechanical and electrical (M&E) services, and providing advanced energy-efficient LED lighting solutions. This application involved the relocation of the center to a neighboring building at Heathrow Airport, where extensive dilapidation works were completed, to further enhance its business process efficiencies and delivery excellence mindset. This included the installation of a new mezzanine floor and the incorporation of several offices, within the central office area. Power supplies and electrical works Eco UK Group engineers were responsible for the provision of power supplies to much of the facility Eco UK Group engineers were responsible for the provision of power supplies to much of the facility and for business-critical equipment, such as display screens, drivers’ kiosks, weigh scales, metal detectors and turnstiles, X-ray machines, a baggage conveyor system, caster deck, and lifts and over-door heaters. There was also a requirement for the supply and installation of 130 Category 6 twin data outlets and the installation of the associated cabling throughout the facility. These data points are located across the site in offices and restrooms and serve items, such as the drivers’ kiosks, workstations, printer stations, display screens, and a tea station. Eco UK Group’s in-house team supplied and installed the wiring, containment, and data points for the CCTV system and the fitting and commission of additional fire alarms. HVAC equipment work and LED lights Teams also installed energy-efficient LEDs to replace the existing inefficient fittings, in order to deliver the desired lux levels throughout the facility. Eco UK Group is proud to offer an array of the most advanced and technically innovative LED energy-efficient luminaires, emergency lighting conversion kits, and PIR sensor technology, which has previously surpassed customer expectations. This included the provision of both external LED linear lighting and replacement LED floodlights, located above the dock doors. Internally, the Eco UK’s electrical team supplied and installed a selection of industrial and office smart lighting solutions, such as LED high bay warehouse lighting, LED panel lights, and LED linear batten light fittings. Most of the lighting is controlled via PIR sensor technology and local key switch control for the emergency lighting. Commercial air conditioning units installed Additionally, Eco UK Group supplied and installed a state-of-the-art wall mounted commercial air conditioning unit Additionally, Eco UK Group supplied and installed state-of-the-art wall-mounted commercial air conditioning units, reconfigured the existing ventilation and mechanical pipework services (HVAC), and re-routed ducting and ceiling diffusers within the new partition layout. Provision and installation of new extract systems within the restrooms was also specified. Richard Emery, Director at Millar Management Ltd commented, “We were very happy to be working with Eco UK Group on the Heathrow Airport project.” He adds, “The team’s expertise is invaluable and having a company that can specialize in both mechanical and electrical services is of great benefit, to both us and the client. We have worked together well to fulfill the client’s expectations and create a great end result.” Incorporating Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) Heathrow Airport has also recently announced its success in incorporating Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) from Neste into the main supply for use across all flights. As part of its efforts to meet net-zero targets, the industry giant is now attempting to establish proof of concept for the wide-scale use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels, as it aims to reduce emissions from its flights and future-proof aviation, for many years to come.
Throughout its more than 100-year history, Rush Health Systems has expanded its services to address the growth in its community and the needs of the families that they serve, to become one of the largest healthcare providers and employers in the East Mississippi and West Alabama regions of the United States of America. Rush Health Systems Rush Health Systems is comprised of seven hospitals and over 30 clinics, historically noteworthy among them, the Rush Foundation Hospital, a 215-bed, acute-care facility, founded in 1915 that formed the beginnings of Rush Health Systems. So, when Rush Foundation Hospital, located in Meridian, Mississippi, decided it needed to expand its operations in 2012, it fell upon Fred Rogers, Vice President, Chief Resource Officer, and Facility Manager for Rush Health Systems, to address the need for new heating equipment. Heating construction and renovation Rush’s new heating construction and renovation was done over a four-year period Rush’s new heating construction and renovation were done over a four-year period, when Fred Rogers began the equipment selection process, with the assistance of Ernie Strahan from Delta Thermal Solutions, Inc., which is Fulton Heating Solutions Inc.’s (Fulton) authorized representative in the US state of Mississippi. Ernie Strahan provided initial specifications, testing, and staff training for the new boilers, and Perry Atherton of Edmonds Engineers (Edmonds Engineering, Inc.) designed the system upgrades. Fulton heating products Fred Rogers said, “I had originally been looking at other equipment, but when Ernie and Perry introduced me to the Fulton product line, I was very impressed at how they were put together and tested. Fulton also won out, when it came to cost, as well as efficiency.” But for Fred, the challenge of installing new boilers had only just begun, as space limitations in the boiler room were so extreme that Rush Foundation Hospital was required to petition its local city council, to purchase a part of the city’s right of way (sidewalk), so that they could extend their boiler room out to the street. Piping, pump replacement, and cabinetry work For the job, Rush Foundation Hospital had to close their sidewalk, get a foundation put in and perform a large additional amount of piping, pump replacement and electrical, and mechanical cabinetry work. This was done while needing to keep the old boilers running until the new Fulton boilers could be installed and brought on-line. Fulton boilers saved on space because they were vertical in size and smaller than most other horizontal options. Fulton boilers installed The two Fulton VMP-150 (Vertical Multi Port) boilers installed are dual-fired to burn diesel fuel as backup (required by code for redundancy), if natural gas is not available. The following equipment was included to help the VMP boilers operate at their maximum possible efficiency: Synex Controls ModSync sequencing system - In addition to providing a touchscreen interface to important status information, this system minimizes boiler cycling and maintains even operational usage, across the equipment, thereby increasing energy savings and boiler life expectancy. Condensate return and feed-water system – This system returns the residual heat energy of the condensate (spent steam) to the boiler tank, so that less energy is needed to heat the boiler feed-water. Efficient boiler system Fred Rogers sized the boiler system up, so that the hospital would have enough capacity for not just now, but the next 15 years, as far as new buildings and projects that might come along. “We had some issues at first,” said Fred Rogers, adding “But the Fulton people worked with us, Ernie worked with us and right now, we’re very happy with them. The units are easy to access for troubleshooting, if needed and training time for my maintenance guys is short, as they’re easily guided through it.” Boilers checked and serviced regularly One Fulton boiler backs up the other, while maintaining high efficiencies through [the] use of a ModSync control system" Fred Rogers also swaps the boilers every day (runs one on one day, the other on the next day), so as to ensure that any issues that arise with one boiler are quickly identified and resolved, while still being backed up by the other boiler. He also has them configured, so that if a high demand exists that can’t fulfill the needs of the facility, the other boiler automatically fires up. “As far as redundancy,” said Ernie Strahan, adding “They’ve never lost a load or had an outage crisis. One Fulton boiler backs up the other, while maintaining high efficiencies through [the] use of a ModSync control system that allows the boilers to communicate with each other. And, there are three pumps, so there’s always been a backup pump.” Fred Rogers adds, “It’s basically maintenance-free right now, other than checking to make sure the water level is correct, especially after having put in new pumps to feed the boilers and adding a whole new chemical treatment system. The new Fulton boilers have also reduced gas consumption and produce better steam. We don’t have boilers going down when we need steam.” High-Quality Steam Like most hospitals, Rush Foundation Hospital transfers its boiler-generated steam via a piping system, to distribution points used for central heating, hot water heating, laundry, food service, autoclaves, and other steam sterilizers, in the surgery area, used for cleaning instruments prior to reuse, a critically important function. The Fulton boilers at Rush Hospital also supply high-pressure steam to the labs The Fulton boilers at Rush Hospital also supply high-pressure steam to the labs, where technicians autoclave (sterilize) agar plates (Petri dishes containing growth medium), before using them to test for staph and other contagious organisms that could cause infections, which is another critically important function of boiler steam and part of the strict quality control procedures put in place, at the Rush Foundation Hospital. So, what does quality mean at Rush? According to Rush Health Systems’ charter, ‘Quality is continually improving our service, to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of our patients, physicians, employees, and other customers that we serve.’ Fulton is honored to be part of the Rush Health Systems’ story. Steam heat used in critical sterilization procedures Besides being non-toxic and relatively inexpensive to produce, steam heat (as opposed to dry air) is used for critical sterilization procedures in hospitals, because water vapor transfers heat much more efficiently than dry air. This type of steam is also called ‘saturated steam’, because the space that it occupies contains the maximum amount of gaseous water (moisture) it can hold, without producing liquid condensate. No bacteria or other living micro-organisms can survive direct exposure to saturated steam at 250 °F (120 °C), for longer than 15-20 minutes.
NevadaNano, the globally renowned innovator in gas detection sensor technology, announced that PemTech (Pem-Tech, Inc.) has added NevadaNano’s Molecular Property Spectrometer (MPS) technology into its Ultra1000 Series fixed gas sensors. PemTech is a US-based global gas monitor and detector manufacturer, which started operations in 1989. “PemTech has earned a global reputation for developing products and systems that are extremely reliable and cost effective,” said Ralph Whitten, President of NevadaNano, adding “Their selection of NevadaNano’s MPS sensor to bring next-generation accuracy and performance in environments, where multiple gases pose potential hazards, is a testament to the advanced technology and gas detection breakthroughs, we made with our MPS sensor.” Molecular Property Spectrometer (MPS) sensor Additionally, the MPS sensor eliminates the concern of false positive alarms due to sensor drift The MPS sensor’s environmental robustness has proven to be the most stable hydrocarbon sensor, even in the world’s hottest and most humid environments, such as the Gulf region, in the USA, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. The sensor accomplishes this with the built-in environmental compensation for temperature, pressure and humidity. Additionally, the MPS sensor eliminates the concern of false positive alarms due to sensor drift. With MPS technology, the PemTech Ultra1000 series of fixed gas sensors meet PemTech’s customers’ precise requirements and deliver unprecedented value. MPS technology delivers accurate results “Sensor accuracy is the highest priority for PemTech, when selecting sensors for our range of products,” said Rizwan Mistry, President of PemTech (Pem-Tech, Inc.), adding “MPS technology delivers the most accurate results for over a dozen of the most common combustible gases, with a one-time factory calibration good for the life of the sensor, referred to as TrueLEL.” Rizwan Mistry adds, “This extraordinary performance removes the downtime associated with false alarms and frequent calibrations. Our Ultra1000 series with MPS has performed extremely well, even in our customers’ harshest environments.”
Since fluorinated gases, due to their atmosphere warming potential, are subject to increasing regulations, global supermarket chains need future-proof concepts to cater to their commercial refrigeration needs. One of the great long-term options to meet these stores’ commercial refrigeration requirement is CO2-based system. CO2 (R744) has proven itself to be a reliable and cost-effective natural refrigerant. CO2 systems are the chosen HVAC systems for larger supermarkets, both for their environmental reasons and power consumption efficiency, as developments in technology continue to reveal their performance gains, particularly in Central and Northern Europe. CO2-based systems in Norway's COOP stores FREOR has supplied the Norway-based retail stores with energy-efficient CO2 refrigeration equipment COOP PRIX store in Heggenes and COOP EXTRA store in Hvervenkastet, Norway are excellent examples of a major retailer’s choice to transition to HFC-free (hydrofluorocarbon-free) CO2 cooling. FREOR has supplied the Norway-based retail stores with energy-efficient CO2 refrigeration equipment, which were installed by the company’s partner in Norway, NordDisk. COOP stores were equipped with FREOR’s multi-decks - JUPITER Glass Doors for vegetables, dairy and meat products, semi verticals - PLUTON SPACE for pre-packed meat product refrigeration, and freezer islands - HELLA for various types of frozen produce. Green Wave CO2 by FREOR Green Wave CO2 by FREOR is the broad line of remote products, adapted to operate on CO2 refrigerant, in the central refrigeration system. CO2 is an environmentally sustainable refrigerant, with no major effect on global warming, in case of leakage and is well suited for colder climate countries, such as Norway. Natural refrigerants are future-oriented solutions, as they are not subject to any legislative requirements, under the global HFC phase-down, including the Kigali Amendment, to the Montreal Protocol and the European Union (EU) F-Gas Regulation.
NevadaNano, an innovator in gas detection sensor technology, announced that Gastronics, Inc, a U.S. based gas detection manufacturer known for being a pioneer in wireless gas detection, has incorporated NevadaNano’s Molecular Property Spectrometer™ (MPS™) technology into its wired and wireless product offering. “Gastronics, a company that is known for its vision in problem-solving solutions, recognized the unique capabilities and value our MPS flammable gas sensors bring to their customers,” said Ralph Whitten, President of NevadaNano. Improving leak detection “Known for leveraging state-of-the-art technology, the company is setting the standard with its next-generation wired & wireless solutions using NevadaNano technology.” The Gastronics range of products utilizing the MPS sensor greatly improves leak detection and worker safety in industries including oil and gas, chemical, tank storage facilities, pipeline, and many others. The MPS Gas Transmitter with the MPS sensor provides a classification of the gas type NevadaNano’s MPS sensor technology, with built-in environmental compensation for temperature, pressure, and humidity, detects and quantifies 14 of the most common hydrocarbon gases with the one factory calibration, a feature referred to as TrueLEL. The MPS Gas Transmitter with the MPS sensor provides a classification of the gas type, which includes hydrogen, H2 mix, methane, light gas, medium gas, and heavy gas. Gas concentration readings It delivers accurate gas concentration readings across the full environmental range, including rapid environmental transients with best-in-class accuracy while minimizing false positives. Bud Dungan, President of Gastronics, states, “By integrating the MPS sensor into our product range, we can now offer our customers the most accurate combustible gas leak detection for multiple gases using just one sensor. The no field calibration requirements for the life of the MPS sensor is a very significant shift from industry practices and will be of great value for all our customers. We are proud to be the first to offer this technology in both a fixed wired and wireless product.”
Adirondack Beverages is headquartered in the small town of Scotia, New York, which is in the southernmost foothills of its namesake, Adirondack Mountains. Here, they produce several varieties of beverages, under their own trade name, with another half of their business contracted to manufacturers of third-party beverages that bear private labels. These labels are applied to beverage containers, using a shrink sleeve applicator machine (also called labeler). Adirondack Beverages' manufacturing line The sleave labelers are for our higher-end products, like energy and other specialty drinks, our more expensive products" As the bottles go by on a conveyor, the labeler cuts a sleave off of a roll and positions it over the container (picture a baggie that opens up over the container). The labeler then drops the sleave over a bottle, right before it goes through a steam tunnel, where the steam shrinks it and forms it to the bottle. Steam supplied to the steam tunnel is generated by a steam boiler. Joe Mennella, the Maintenance Manager at Adirondack Beverages, said “The sleave labelers are for our higher-end products, like energy and other specialty drinks, our more expensive products.” Steam provides uniform heat Of all the methods used to attach labels to containers - hot air, radiant heat, and boiler steam, boiler steam conveys the most uniform heat and thereby even, from top-to-bottom shrinkage, of the labels that are applied, whether they be for plastic, glass, or aluminum cans. It’s best at attaching labels to multi-contoured containers. But for the steam to work correctly, its temperature and pressure must be consistent, as both affect the shrinkage rates and the resulting quality of the shrink sleeve materials (PVC, PETG, PLA) that are applied to containers. Joe Mennella adds, “We’re blowing this steam at the containers, pretty much wide open. So, if the boiler hiccups at all, you won’t have enough steam pressure to shrink the labels.” Fulton VSRT-30 vertical steam boiler The VSRT (Vertical Spiral Rib Tubeless) boiler is the world’s first fully wetted, refractory-free vertical tubeless boiler That’s why, in 2017, when Adirondack Beverages chose to replace their previous boiler, they purchased a Fulton VSRT-30 steam boiler. The VSRT (Vertical Spiral Rib Tubeless) boiler is the world’s first fully wetted, refractory-free vertical tubeless boiler that embodies the newest and most cutting-edge standard, in vertical steam boiler technology. Featuring fully modulating burners It features a fully modulating burner and up to a 6:1 turndown. Fully modulating burners are designed to safely operate throughout their full ring range from high re to low re. In addition, the VSRT boasts an impressive 86% thermal efficiency, and 99.75% steam quality from its water-backed design with no refractory. Its small vertical footprint also lends to the ease of fitting it into a relatively compact space, as well as the ease with which it can be installed. Low efficiency of past installed boiler at Adirondack At Adirondack Beverages, the VSRT boiler replaced a previous boiler, which was purchased in 2012, for the same purpose that had trouble keeping up. When it would cycle off, it would take too long to start. Once it got less than 60 pounds of steam, its ability to shrink labels was diminished. Label quality suffered, which also created a lot of label waste. Joe Mennella said, “There was even a person, who stood at the end of the heat tunnel, who visually checked the quality of the labels, as they went by. By the time, we realized we were low on steam, he was already pulling bottles off the line.” VSRT boiler maintains constant steam pressure The VSRT steam boiler, on the other hand, maintains constant steam pressure The VSRT steam boiler, on the other hand, maintains constant steam pressure. It is set to where it runs up to about 90 psi and then starts dropping back through its full modulation cycle. Joe Mennella adds, “It drops down to a low pressure, to keep the boiler running, so that it is not cycling off and on, which is working out really well. The VSRT, with its modulation, is working much better than our last boiler. The VSRT gives a steady output of steam. Its high turndown ratio has made a big difference.” Consistent and dependable steam is critical to manufacturing operations at Adirondack Beverages, and the VSRT boiler fulfills these requirements. Featuring high turndown burner The VSRT boiler, having a high turndown burner, is quick to respond to load changes and minimizes on-and-off cycling, resulting in energy savings, and reduced costs, as well as less component wear. A lot of the new boilers heat up really quickly, but they don’t store a lot of steam and the VSRT-30 boiler does just that. Most of these boilers, when they’re in between refilling, take at least a few minutes to start up and by that time, the steam is over. Steam boilers need to have a high turndown, so they’re ready to pick up and take off, without shutting off. Need for availability of steam on demand Joe Mennella further stated, “The VSRT is always ready to go, whereas, the previous boiler would sometimes cycle off and by the time it would go through its cycle, we’d already be out of steam. The VSRT only takes 15 minutes to build up pressure, the steam is ready on demand and the boiler hardly cycles on and off at all. It’s been working great.” Label quality has been better and there’s been much less downtime on the machine, so output and quality are higher, and there’s the less wasted product. Joe Mennella concludes, “It’s also a slimmer, smaller package. I hated the older one. I love the new one.”
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