ROCKWOOL has unveiled a new HVAC Resource Hub to help designers and engineers select insulation products for HVAC settings. The online area features a wealth of technical literature, CPD learning modules and useful specification calculators helping users balance air quality versus thermal, acoustic and fire performance. HVAC Resource Hub Within the new HVAC Resource Hub, which can be accessed on the company’s official website, specifiers will find a comprehensive suite of tools to help o...
Panasonic Heating & Cooling Solutions will showcase its Cold Chain Solutions at the Annual Natural Refrigerants Virtual Trade Show ATMO, organized by Shecco, taking place 30 – 31 March 2021. As a Premium Exhibitor, Panasonic will highlight its CR Series of CO2 Condensing Units which deliver reliable and sustainable refrigeration that is safe, uses patent-free available refrigerant. Panasonic’s CO2 Refrigeration Solutions are ideal for commercial spaces such as supermarkets, gas-...
Amen Air, Inc. and YORK Factory Direct (YORK) partnered with Building Homes for Heroes during a Welcome Home ceremony in Lutz, FL. for Army Staff Sergeant Mylee Cardenas. Cardenas joined the military following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, citing her devastation over what occurred as her inspiration to serve. US Army veteran While deployed in Afghanistan, Cardenas found a lump on her breast, but did not seek medical attention as she did not want to abandon her all-female unit and t...
How grooved solutions have been making contractors and engineers reimagine the way they construct risers in vertical buildings? Enter into the right pub, or head to a city’s museum or town hall, and you can often find a picture of how the surrounding area used to look. An image from twenty years ago and the difference isn’t too vast. Fifty years back and there’s a definite change. A picture from over a hundred years ago and it’s practically unrecognizable. And what&rsquo...
Trane Technologies, a global climate innovator, has announced that the company leadership will participate in a virtual fireside chat at the 2021 Citi Global Industrials Conference. They will speak at 11:20 AM ET on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. Global Industrials Conference The live webcast of the 2021 Citi Global Industrials Conference will be accessible on the Trane Technologies official website, under the investor relations section. An archive of the webcast will be available 30 days follo...
Despite the collapse of the most important markets outside Germany, including France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, in the first half of the COVID-19 plagued year - 2020, the German heating industry achieved robust growth worldwide of at least 3.1% down. Growth in German heating market “The initially high losses in southern Europe and the United Kingdom were partially offset by a race to catch up in the second half of 2020, at least in Italy, France, and the UK, so that the sales...
Panasonic Corporation has developed VIXELL, a vacuum-insulated box that can store items in -70ºC environment for up to 18 days, using refrigerants such as dry ice. The transport of vaccines and other medical supplies requires strict temperature control. Up until now, conventional insulated boxes have been manufactured by joining vacuum-insulated panels (VIPs) together, but a drawback of this structure has been that cool air leaks through the gaps where the panels join. Panasonic has long been engaged in the research and development of VIPs, and has used them to reduce energy usage in refrigerators and other products. Utilizing its accumulated technologies and expertise, the company has eliminated this leakage, an inevitable issue when using VIPs, through the development of VIXELL. VIXELL boxes VIXELL boxes are created using a proprietary cast-molding method that completely prevents cool air from escaping through gaps seen in conventional boxes. The 57-liter type boxes use urethane foam and glass wool as an insulating material, and compared to previous Panasonic prototypes, improves coolness retention performance by around 30%. Inside VIXELL boxes are thermal storage units, and the temperature is maintained by filling the inside and outside of these units with refrigerant. By switching the types of these units and refrigerants, VIXELL can accommodate a diverse range of temperature zones, including the dry ice temperature zone (below -70ºC), the below -20ºC zone, and the 2ºC-8ºC zone. Shock-absorbing structure The shock-absorbing structure of VIXELL reduces the risk of damage to the plastic sheet Until now, the insulating material used in these cooling boxes has been covered in a plastic sheet. When using dry ice as a refrigerant, however, the temperature of this plastic drops below the ‘brittle temperature’, meaning it is more prone to damage when subjected to drops or vibrations during transport. The shock-absorbing structure of VIXELL reduces the risk of damage to this plastic sheet. This has enabled reliable, stable transportation even in the dry ice temperature zone. Panasonic will begin offering samples of VIXELL to pharmaceutical and logistics companies at the end of FY2021, ending in March 2021, with the aim for commercialization as soon as possible. Features Cast molded for outstanding thermal insulation The cast-molded box structure ensures cool air doesn't escape through gaps in VIPs. The 57-liter type uses both urethane foam and glass wool as an insulating material, and compared to previous Panasonic prototypes, improves coolness retention performance by around 30%. Coolness retention performance that caters to frozen transport below -70ºC The vacuum-insulated box contains a dry ice temperature zone thermal storage unit and can maintain a -70ºC environment for up to 18 days when filled with dry ice. Shock-absorbing structure When a vacuum-insulated box, which has been cooled to dry-ice temperature, is dropped or accidentally subjected to any other shock, the brittle plastic sheet covering the box is easily damaged. VIXELL's new shock-absorbing structure mitigates shock and reduces the risk of damage when the box is dropped.
Consumer advise experts at The Heating Hub have warned consumers not to get ‘hooked’ on the latest technologies in the drive to reduce carbon emissions, stating that they should focus on selecting the most appropriate system for their household requirements. The UK Government recently announced ambitious plans to install 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028 and has committed to phasing out natural gas boilers in new build homes by 2025. Decarbonizing homes Decarbonizing homes is a top priority and heat pumps and hydrogen could be significant breakthroughs" Jo Alsop, Founder of The Heating Hub, said “Decarbonizing homes is a top priority and advancements such as heat pumps and hydrogen could be significant breakthroughs. However, such technologies will not be appropriate for every property. Consumers need to be very careful not to buy into the latest ‘trend’ but rather to get a clear specification on what will be the most efficient and effective solution for their homes and to ensure that whatever the heat source, it runs at its peak efficiency.” Jo adds, “It doesn’t matter how good the technology is on paper; if the installation is inadequate the heating system won’t operate at peak efficiency and the potential economic and environmental benefits will never be fully realized. Many air source heat pump owners have suffered high fuel bills because the technology was unsuitable for their home and/or it was poorly specified.” Strategy to decarbonize heating According to the National Grid, heating accounts for 20% of UK emissions, making it imperative that the UK finds low carbon sources of fuel in order to meet net zero targets by 2050. Jo continued, stating “Specifying regulations for new build properties is just the tip of the iceberg. We urgently need a strategy to decarbonize heating for the 27.5 million homes with existing gas boilers. While heat pumps are incredibly efficient, they are not suitable for many smaller or older properties, which will struggle to find space for air source heat pumps and the larger radiators they require.” Hydrogen boilers The next ten years will need to see a huge, national program of whole-house retro-fitting Hydrogen boilers are also being considered as a viable option, but as hydrogen uses fossil fuels or electricity in its production, its long-term viability is far from proven. The next ten years will need to see a huge, national program of whole-house retro-fitting, whereby homes will need to be highly insulated to reduce their heat requirement to a minimum. This is sure to open up more opportunities for low carbon technologies to heat homes as energy requirements will be lower. The Heating Hub believes the key is bringing in renewable heating technologies at a natural point of replacement and to concentrate on reducing heat requirement and making homes more energy efficient. Transitioning to zero carbon boilers The consumer website has analyzed the heating options available for a variety of property types and set out a roadmap for how each property could transition to zero carbon boilers. 2-3 bed mid-terrace Victorian house – 2020-2030: 300mm loft insulation, floor insulation, double or triple glazing and sealing doors/windows from drafts. Correctly set-up (hydrogen- ready) gas boiler with load or weather compensation controls to run at A-rated efficiencies. 2025-2035: External wall insulation for the whole terrace with mechanical heat recovery ventilation to prevent overheating. Solar PV panels (to create electricity) with battery storage and/or solar thermal panels either of which can be used to heat the home. 2035-2040: Replacement of gas boiler at the end of its natural life with standalone air source heat pump (space permitting) or a fully hydrogen boiler should the technology prove viable. 3-4 bed 1930s-1950s semi - 2020-2030: 300mm loft insulation, cavity wall insulation or external wall insulation with mechanical heat recovery ventilation, floor insulation (where the property has suspended timber floors), double or triple glazing and sealing doors/ windows from drafts. Correctly set-up (hydrogen ready) gas boiler with load or weather compensation controls to run at A-rated efficiencies. 2025-2035: Replacement of gas boiler at the end of its natural life with air source heat pump, solar PV panels (to create electricity) and/or solar thermal panels (to generate hot water). 4-5 bed detached or semi 2000 onwards - 2020-2030: Retrofit as necessary (some homes not built to A-rated standards), 300mm loft insulation, cavity wall insulation or external insulation, mechanical heat recovery ventilation and double or triple glazed windows and doors. 2025-2035: Air source heat pump, solar PV and/or solar thermal panels. Blocks of flats - Flats will require a whole-block approach to insulation, with the costs most likely split between the freeholder and flat owner. Combined heat and power units that produce heating and electricity are a great option for decarbonizing heat. Alternatively, electric boilers can be used in some circumstances. While they are not classed as renewable, they do have the potential to run on 100% renewable electricity. Solar panels with back-up electric immersion One option to reduce emissions in the short term is to add hydrogen to our gas supplies and this is being tested" For small UK homes, Jo hopes there is a simpler solution. He states, “I would hope that the heat requirement for smaller and older properties could be reduced sufficiently that an array of solar panels with a back-up electric immersion that uses renewably generated electricity. The reality is that the ‘silver bullet’ technology may not have been invented yet.” Jo continues, “One option to reduce emissions in the short term is to add hydrogen to our gas supplies and this is being tested. New gas boilers that are setup to run efficiently on hydrogen mixes are a good short-term step to decarbonizing small, older homes, delivering net emissions reductions of around 10%. Furthermore, the existing gas grid can also be utilized for distribution, reducing expenditure on new infrastructure.” Using hydrogen gas and renewable energy sources Hydrogen gas is made by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, and renewable energy sources can be used to further reduce emissions. The gas can be mixed with natural gas and burnt in a similar way, releasing water without greenhouse gas emissions. However, generating hydrogen is currently an energy intensive process and should be limited to homes that cannot accommodate a heat pump in the future. Heat pumps Heat pumps offer many advantages over conventional gas boilers, as they work at high efficiencies and, if set up correctly, can generate 3-4 units of energy for every one unit of electricity they use. However, they are expensive to install and require space in the home for the heat pump unit and a hot water tank. The environmental cost of production of the heat pumps and shipping across the world must be factored into decision making. Jo concludes, “New technologies will play a big part in reducing the UK’s emissions, but it is vital that the specification for any new boiler is appropriate to the household’s heating requirements. The options available to consumers are going to change dramatically over the coming years, as new technologies become more mainstream and widely deployed, and it is important that householders understand which option would best meet their requirements.”
The Federation of German Heating Industry (BDH) has expanded its organizational structure to include the new Energy Management Systems (EMS) department. On the agenda is the support of technological and market-relevant developments, as well as the political framework conditions in this topic area. “The expansion reflects the dynamic growth of networked systems, especially in single and two-family houses, but also in neighborhood solutions. The BDH member companies have been intensively involved in these areas for a number of years,” said BDH General Manager Andreas Lücke. Energy Management Systems department The EMS department is a specialist department that deals with the energetic networking of energy producers, storage, and consumers. The topic is the linking of systems both inside the building and with the energy system outside the building. One focus will be on the discussion of use cases for scenarios of energetic networking. In our energy system, the networking of products right into the building is playing an increasingly important role" “In our energy system, the networking of products right into the building is playing an increasingly important role. This creates new interfaces between products from very different domains. Therefore, the BDH will organize a manufacturer and cross-sector discussion,” emphasizes the Head of the Specialist Department at BDH, Dieter Kehren. The result will be industry requirements for energy networking, which will help to use the contribution made by networked buildings to the energy transition. Digitization of the building sector The digitization of the building sector plays a central role in achieving ambitious climate protection goals. There is great potential here that has not yet been exhausted. The digitally optimized operation of all energetically relevant generators and consumers in the building can directly achieve CO2 reductions and energy savings. In addition, decentralized structures and system-friendly optimized energy management help to compensate for peak loads and reduce the cost of expanding power grids and generating plants. With a view to increasing e-mobility and the advancing market penetration of heat pumps, such solutions are becoming increasingly important.
Armstrong Fluid Technology announced that the company has moved to a new expanded facility for European production and warehousing of circulator products. New Expanded Facility The new facility, located in Jimbolia, Romania, offers greater capacity for the production of Armstrong high-efficiency and standard wet rotor circulators. Supported by Armstrong’s global supply chain, the site will employ 65 team members dedicated to producing circulators for customers worldwide. Reflecting on the expansion, Joachim Schulz, Global Commercial Director - Building Business at Armstrong Fluid Technology commented, “This new facility in Europe is a significant step towards greater production output and a faster pace of innovation. Increased production capacity will help with time-critical installations and service to global customers looking for high-quality, high-efficiency circulators.”
Registration is now open for the 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Winter Conference, slated to take place from February 9th to February 11th, 2021. The convenient online format of the conference will allow for global participation with a group of the world’s renowned presenters delivering timely and useful industry content. 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Conference “ASHRAE’s Virtual Winter Conference will include three-days packed with learning and live discussions from top experts,” said 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E. He adds, “This is the perfect platform and opportunity for built environment professionals to take advantage of the Society’s strong technical content. The conference will provide us the opportunity to amplify ASHRAE’s important research and resources to address the challenges of the times we’re living in.” COVID-19, energy conservation, refrigerants & HVAC standards The conference will feature nearly 98 live and on-demand sessions with updates from industry experts The conference will feature nearly 98 live and on-demand sessions with updates from industry experts and virtual networking events. Technical sessions will address building performance, COVID-19, energy conservation, refrigerants, ethics, equipment and standards. Conference registration is now open on the official virtual event page. During the weeks leading up to the conference, ASHRAE will also conduct virtual business, committee and technical meetings that are typically held during onsite at the Winter Conference. The cost to attend the virtual conference is US$ 249 for ASHRAE members (US$ 479 for non-members, which includes an ASHRAE membership for one year). Registration includes: Tuesday, February 9th - Thursday, February 11th - Live Event More than 35 technical sessions presented live, including sessions scheduled for live participation from attendees in different time zones across the globe. Leadership moments providing updates from society leaders. Keynote presentation hosted by women in ASHRAE. Live 30-minute forum sessions for interactive participation. Opportunities to interact with fellow attendees in 30-minute round table discussions and meet-ups. Recognition of more than 150 award recipients of ASHRAE’s most prestigious society awards. Conference proceedings. Interested individuals can download the technical papers, conference papers and extended abstracts. Post-Conference 26 live Q&A chat sessions for on-demand paper session for the opportunity to chat with speakers scheduled on Friday, February 12. All sessions presented live will be recorded and available on-demand until August 11, 2022. Over 80 additional on-demand sessions accessible on personal terms for 18 months. Examining how to improve global HVAC efficiency The technical program is comprised of eight tracks, exploring occupant comfort and energy systems use The technical program is comprised of eight tracks, exploring occupant comfort, energy systems use and examining how to improve HVAC efficiency on a global scale. “Engineers and designers are being tasked to take closer looks at buildings and their systems to provide comfort to the occupants while also finding ways to reduce the impact on the environment and energy use,” said Maggie Moninski, Chair of the 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Winter Conference. International Design and the Future of HVAC Work Maggie adds, “The 2021 Winter Conference attendees will be given a great opportunity to learn from some of the leaders of the industry with a focus on the foundations of the HVAC&R industry along with specialty topics like International Design and the Future of HVAC Work.” ASHRAE President, Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E. will provide an update on the 2020-21 Society theme, The ASHRAE Digital Lighthouse and Industry 4.0 members will be recognized for the industry and Society accomplishments. Major contributors to ASHRAE’s Building campaign, RP campaign and scholarship donors will also be recognized. Professional development hours can be earned for all on-demand sessions and more than 35 live sessions upon successfully completing a short quiz. Registration includes access to all the technical content on-demand for 18 months. Company packages are also available.
REHVA (Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations) has announced that they will take part in the KGH 51st International HVAC&R Congress and Exhibition: the Serbian HVAC&R Virtual Congress that will be held online from 2nd December to 4th December 2020, confirming the longstanding collaboration with KGH. 51st International HVAC&R Event Following the welcome greetings from the REHVA President, Frank Hovorka, REHVA (Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations) is slated to present ‘Introducing hybridGEOTABS: Comfort supplied in a Sustainable way!’ seminar session at the 51st International HVAC&R Congress and Exhibition. This is a seminar developed by hybridGEOTABS EU funded project, in which REHVA is a partner. The aim of the seminar is to showcase the development of hybrid technologies based on building-integrated radiant heating and cooling systems and geothermal heat pumps that enable very high energy efficiency and the flexibility of thermal storage, while providing freedom of space and high thermal comfort to the user.
As a Managing Director of a company that provides temperature and humidity solutions to predominantly the warehousing and industrial sectors, I thought I would share my dilemma that I’m sure other business owners and managers also face. I don’t pretend to know the answers, but thought it might be worth sharing some of the considerations that I’m facing in whether to reshape, recruit and build or hunker down until the World, Europe and the UK offers some sort or predictability. I promise to not refer to ‘new normal’, masks or social distancing as this is extensively covered elsewhere. Context Our business has seen steady growth in the past 5 years, as a result of our efforts to create and retain relationships with customers who value our offer. Our focus has always been to offer solutions to large scale complex HVAC projects. We invest heavily in intellectual talent sponsoring PhD and MSc students, to keep us on our toes and develop leading edge solutions. We also feed off each other and our network of equally talented suppliers. My dilemma as Managing Director is do I continue our ambitious Research & Development (R&D), IP and Business Development or throttle back and take a cautionary approach until the economy offers a more certain platform? ‘Fortune favors the brave’ they say, but when you have a good business and employees look to business managers to ensure their livelihoods, how brave is brave? The Dilemma Immediate transactional or contractor resources are easy to obtain with the right screening and due diligence Immediate transactional or contractor resources are relatively easy to obtain with the right screening and due diligence, but for more developmental strategic roles, do you recruit in an emerging post pandemic, catastrophic employment forecast, that to in a mid/post Brexit world? From my personal perspective, it boils down to attitude, communication, enthusiasm and buy-in from everyone in the company. Nothing new there, but it feels that the stakes are higher so confidence is key. Do we or don’t we? Inaction is the riskiest response to the uncertainties of an economic crisis. Rash or scattershot action can be nearly as damaging. Rising anxiety (How much worse are things likely to get? and for how long is this going to last?) and the growing pressure to do something often produces a variety of moves that target the wrong problem or overshoot the right one. Within the world of HVAC, changes to legislation, environmental considerations, technological changes and research and development might be slowed or influenced, but won’t stop as a consequence of the immediate economy, which is a good thing. Recruiting on a need basis Many companies recruit when needed, to fill a vacant position or when a large project demands more manpower than the current headcount supports. This approach is obvious and addresses immediate transactional and resource needs. Using headcount as a KPI for growth, at a glimpse may illustrate positivity, but may be signaling a stop gap and may not be a true indicator of strategic growth. Of all the things I have observed over the last 5 months, reading the news, talking to colleagues and peers, a few things have stuck out for me, such as how companies have treated their employees, customers and suppliers, how creative and flexible some big organizations have been in responding to market changes and demands and how, despite uncertainty, their core business skills, intelligence and ability enabled them to prosper in a new and unforeseen environment. Finally, how companies will be remembered post crisis. Robust business planning The ability to respond quickly to market changes relies on creativity and attitude My belief is that those companies that have and continue to float to the top had the key ingredients of a successful business, enabled by capable enthusiastic talent that were given the opportunity to shine. These people weren’t hired to fill a stop gap, but rather these people were hired as part of a robust business plan. So, ‘do we or don’t we?’ Our philosophy at Jet Environmental Systems is to have a solid platform, identify future markets, trends and technologies and hire the absolute best people that we can to get us there. Recruitment in our business is a process that supports our strategic development and so for us our answer is yes, have confidence and continue to invest in the best talent. The ability to respond quickly to market changes relies on creativity and attitude with support from equally enthusiastic management who create the opportunity for individuals who present this talent to grow. Conclusion I hope the thought process I’ve shared has been useful, for me it has been a checkpoint in whether our choice of investment in people is right, not just now but in all situations. For me, it’s a resounding yes! I think we will create opportunities by having vision and giving people opportunity.
Millennials have been shaped by their experiences growing up with technology and by their heightened awareness of the environment. These facets of a consumer market dominated by millennials will guide the future of the HVAC market over the next several years. Each generation reshapes markets in their own image. In the case of millennials, trends and behaviors are influencing how companies design new solutions, including those in the world of HVAC. Sustainable solutions and personalized experiences Millennials place a premium on sustainable solutions that reduce their environmental impact Millennials place a premium on sustainable solutions that reduce their environmental impact. Millennials also want more personalized and convenient experiences, and they value enhanced customer service support. New systems designed with a personalized and ecological mindset are amplifying efficiency and convenience and giving unprecedented control to create a truly connected home for technophilic millennials. Future HVAC products to cater to millennials The challenges of catering to millennials is one of the trends LG Electronics has listed among those likely to impact the HVAC industry in the months and years ahead. The trends are directly guiding LG’s product mix, including WiFi-enabled indoor units and LG’s Smart ThinQ application, which put the ability to control a home’s comfort system at the consumer’s fingertips. Here are some other trends to watch, listed by LG Electronics, when looking ahead to 2021 and beyond: Greener solutions on the horizon: Beyond appealing to millennial sensitivities, green solutions have a long list of their own advantages. Industry providers are responding by creating more sustainable and efficient products to enable customers to reduce their carbon footprints. LG Inverter air conditioning systems are designed to minimize efficiency losses, provide sustainable energy savings and contribute to lower lifecycle costs. More efficiency and reduced costs: Geothermal heat pumps have quickly proven themselves to be an alternative energy source, offering both warming and cooling capabilities. They are a highly effective and renewable energy source that can transfer heat from the ground to cool and heat buildings. Minimizing greenhouse gas emissions: Connecting HVAC to the electrical grid highlights the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Air-to-water heat pumps and other solutions can generate cooling and heating from one unit, thus furthering the transition from natural gas, fuel oil or coal. Fulfilling the need for new employees: The next generation of HVAC engineers and technicians requires training programs. LG Air Conditioning Academies provide training and skills programs around the world to empower the new generation of HVAC professionals. The impact of COVID-19: The pandemic has created a need for greater safety precautions within the HVAC industry. Remote working trends and additional precautions will likely continue to impact the industry even post-pandemic. LG HVAC systems are evolving to better aid the road to recovery and to prepare for the new normal with optimal solutions for the ever-changing challenges.
The Wyss Institute at Harvard University has developed an evaporative cooling system that uses a specially coated ceramic to cool air without adding humidity. Researchers say the approach can yield more affordable and environmentally friendly air conditioning systems for the future. ‘cold-SNAP’ system The ‘cold-SNAP’ system uses a water-repellent nano-scale surface coating that is applied selectively to surfaces of a 3D-printed ceramic heat exchange. The result is much cooler buildings with less humidity. ‘cold-SNAP’ is short for cold superhydrophobic nano-architecture process. The invention uses evaporative cooling, which happens when hot air is put in contact with water. As the water evaporates, it cools the air but adds moisture. Use of the water-repellent coating separates the moisture from the cool air to provide an inexpensive source of cooler, dryer air that can cool a building in lieu of traditional air conditioners. Evaporative Cooling technology The hydrophobic coating is selectively applied to components that will manage the flow of dry air The approach is a union of old and new – combining ceramic, one of the oldest, cheapest and most widely available building materials, with the novel hydrophobic surface coating developed by Wyss Institute. Because ceramic is malleable, the heating exchange unit can be produced via extrusion or 3D printing of a single piece, with its shape adjusted to maximize surface area available for heat transfer and evaporation. The hydrophobic coating is selectively applied to components that will manage the flow of dry air. Variation on indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) systems The specialized coating separates incoming hot air from outgoing wet air, allowing the hot air to be cooled by circulating water without adding humidity to the inside of a building. ‘cold-SNAP’ is a variation on indirect evaporative cooling (IEC) systems, which use complex heat exchange units that make them difficult and expensive to manufacture. Researchers say the approach can create low-cost, efficient air-cooling units to meet the world’s increasing demand while using 75% less energy. The system can be up to four times more efficient than conventional air conditioners as measured by the coefficient of performance (COP), the ratio of cooling to required energy. ‘cold-SNAP’ was designed by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and designers from the Wyss Institute’s Adaptive Material Technologies Platform, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), and the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (HCGBC). Integration into evaporative cooling systems The new technology could be integrated into existing evaporative cooling systems and sold as environmentally friendly air conditioners in a variety of climate zones. It could even be manufactured into the facades of buildings, thus cooling the space within, using only the energy needed to pump water to the system. With global warming causing a rise in the Earth’s average temperature, worldwide demand for air conditioning systems that do not contribute to that climate change increasingly will be in demand. A growing middle class throughout the world is also contributing to demand. No humidity added to the air ‘cold-SNAP’ does not add humidity to the air and works well in humid, tropical climates, as well as dry, hot climates Because ‘cold-SNAP’ does not add humidity to the air, it works well in humid, tropical climates (where it is sorely needed) as well as in dry, hot climates like the Middle East. Traditional electric air conditioners use mechanical vapor compression to convert a chemical refrigerant back and forth between its liquid and vapor forms, absorbing heat during vaporization and then removing moisture during condensation. Traditional systems use a large amount of energy to cycle the refrigerant, which increases costs, not to mention the refrigerants contribute to global warming. Historically, the environmental impact of such systems was a hidden cost that was not considered. Wyss Institute Validation Project In 2019, ‘cold-SNAP’ was named a Wyss Institute Validation Project, which puts it on track to become commercialized. The validation program seeks to ‘de-risk' technologies and demonstrate that they can be scaled up for commercialization. The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University emulates Nature’s design principles to engineer new, ‘bio-inspired’ materials and devices with high-impact applications in healthcare, manufacturing, robotics, energy, and sustainable architecture. The cross-disciplinary faculty, technical staff, students, and fellows undertake high-risk research and technology development.
HVAC systems are the most common home repair, representing 19 percent of service incidents facing homeowners. More than half of homeowners (53%) have faced a home repair emergency of some kind in the past 12 months. Furthermore, about a third of homeowners have US$ 500 or less set aside to pay for emergency home repairs, with some 17 percent having no money at all set aside for emergency home repair work. 10th Edition of the Biannual State of the Home Survey These are among the results of the 10th Edition of the Biannual State of the Home Survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of HomeServe USA Corp., a provider of home repair solutions in the U.S. and Canada. The survey carried out covered 2,026 U.S. adults (of which 1,454 are US homeowners) was conducted during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. HomeServe’s real-time repair data shows that customers are continuing to require urgent repair help during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Greater strain on home infrastructure and HVAC systems More Americans are putting extra strain on their homes’ infrastructure and major systems More Americans are putting extra strain on their homes’ infrastructure and major systems. As parents are spending more time working from home, and the children are in home schools, the shortcomings of existing systems are becoming more obvious, especially as the summer temperatures rise. In the current uncertain times, comfort is more of a need than a luxury. Concerns about air quality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is occurring at the height of the allergy season, are also driving new business for HVAC technicians. Technicians using personal protective gear at homes Service technicians are using proper social distancing protocols and personal protective gear (PPE) while performing maintenance and service tasks at consumers’ homes. Consumers want to know what companies are doing differently to protect their customers during the pandemic. At the very least, installers should keep contact to a minimum and meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local requirements to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Following social distancing protocols in repair works “We’re wearing gloves, washing our hands between calls, wearing masks, and we have sanitizers and soaps in our cars, making sure we are maintaining safety,” said Michael Concannon, Repair Technician for Bell Brothers, located in Sacramento, California, USA. There is also an opportunity for HVAC companies to provide expert advice on subjects that customers are asking about now, such as indoor air quality. In the midst of economic uncertainty, routine maintenance can provide greater peace of mind, as well as extend the life of equipment. Consumers to foot bill for home repair work According to the HomeServe survey, many homeowners do not know it is their responsibility to pay for home repairs According to the HomeServe survey, many homeowners, especially younger ones, do not understand that it is their responsibility to pay for home repairs. Many mistakenly believe repairs will be covered by a city/municipality, a water utility, or a homeowner’s insurance. “The findings of the latest survey clearly show that homeowners, especially younger ones, are unaware of their responsibility when it comes to common home repairs,” said John Kitzie, HomeServe USA Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Smart financial planning tools John adds, “HomeServe seeks to educate homeowners and to provide them with smart financial planning tools so they are prepared when an inevitable home emergency strikes.” HomeServe USA serves more than 4.4 million customers across the U.S. and Canada under the HomeServe, Home Emergency Insurance Solutions, Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) and Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC).
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.”
As Albert Einstein once said, “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” That wisdom has been put into practice in the form of a smarter approach in the way modular schools can be built and used. Pre-fabricated, modular classroom In 2006, the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, in partnership with the Council for Educational Facility Planners (CEFPI), held a national design competition, The Portable Classroom Design Challenge, to create a pre-fabricated, modular classroom unit that was environmentally sustainable, or green. This competition led to eventual development and installation of one of the most uniquely created modular spaces ever conceived, indeed the award winner of the design competition. Triumph Modular of Littleton, Massachusetts, in partnership with ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge and builder NRB Inc., won the design challenge because of their revolutionary, new modular classroom. Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Relocatable Green Modular Classroom comes designed with many LEED-focused design elements Aptly named the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom, it's also the first modular classroom to be designed with many LEED-focused design elements. “Our goal was to create a high-quality, portable classroom that was green, one with environmentally conscious materials used in its design and operation. The design was smart in the way that it used resources and provided heat, light, unsurpassed acoustics and air quality within the space,” said Cliff Cort, Founder of Triumph Modular. In fact, it’s estimated that the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom performs 56% better, in terms of overall energy costs, than similar, older style modular units that often use almost three times as much of energy as a permanent school building. Wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment Thirty years ago, Bard Manufacturing Co. Ltd began solving the comfort needs of schools across the country by providing wall-mounted heating and cooling equipment. Bard’s products offer a combination of quiet operation, patented ventilation packages, unsurpassed quality and dependability that make them the #1 choice of many school officials. With three, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a global distribution network, Bard’s commitment to quality and product innovation begins with its commitment to research and development. Self-programming energy monitors and green refrigerants With features like self-programming energy monitors, unsurpassed energy efficiency, green refrigerants and the lowest acoustic profile on the market, Bard delivers products that provide tangible solutions for modern school facilities. Already impressed from their previous working experience with Bard, Triumph Modular wanted to incorporate the Quiet Climate 2 into their green modular design. “Building green is good for the environment, good for the wallet and good for the occupants of the building,” said Cliff Cort, adding, “And Bard’s HVAC unit is a big factor in why the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom performs as well as it does.” Green modular design Bard’s HVAC System in the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Unit contributes to its high energy efficiency According to an independent third party analysis, the green modular design provides a 68% reduction in heating energy and a 49% reduction in cooling energy, most of which can be attributed to Bard Quiet Climate 2. An efficiently designed HVAC system is perhaps the single largest building component that can influence a building’s sustainability. Bard’s HVAC System in the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom Unit contributes significantly to its high energy efficiency and quiet, almost undetectable acoustic profile (37 bBHL) within the classroom. Quiet-Climate 2 heat pump Bard’s Quiet-Climate 2 heat pump is the most innovative wall-mount HVAC equipment ever made. Designed specifically to provide superior energy efficiency and quiet operation in classrooms, the Quiet Climate 2 uses green refrigerants and provides operating sound levels that are 20 to 35 times quieter than a standard wall-mounted heat pump. Bard’s Quiet Climate 2 can provide the following features: Higher energy efficiency and greater comfort through step-capacity technology Unmatched acoustical performance Sound levels vary with applications and construction techniques, but integrated operating sound levels as low as 35 dbA have been achieved when combined with Bard Quiet-Climate acoustical accessories Improved ventilation and Enhanced IAQ Continuous blower operation – without noise – keeping fresh air constantly in the classroom Optional UV lighting which keeps the coils free of bacteria and mold Enhanced filtration capabilities A one-piece factory unit designed for fast installation and easy servicing Additional sound curbing accessories including, an isolation curb and return air and supply air plenums The Carroll School Serving over 75 communities around Lincoln, Massachusetts, The Carroll School was founded in part by Dr. Edwin Cole who wanted to provide a special school for children with language-based learning challenges. The Carroll School supports nearly 300 students, in grades 1 – 8, with a 3.4 student to teacher ratio using multisensory and individualized teaching methods for specific learning needs. Progressive by nature, The Carroll School’s thriving community brings children together in an environment that values their differences and remediates their learning difficulties. “Cliff Cort, a Lincoln resident and friend of the school, approached us with the idea to replace one of our existing modular building with the green modular design,” said Margaret Gebhard, Director of Finance and Operations at The Carroll School, adding “Our existing modular space was not a popular one with either faculty or students due to its poor lighting, sound characteristics and overall appearance.” Occupancy sensors and vestibule The classroom incorporates many unique green components, such as formaldehyde-free, low VOC paints Things changed when teachers, students and administrative personnel moved into the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom for the first time. The classroom incorporates many unique green components, including formaldehyde-free, low VOC paints and coatings that reduce off-gassing, occupancy sensors that conserve energy by turning the lights off, when people come and go, a vestibule that safeguards the inside from inclement weather while buffering outside noise and helps retain heating and controlling levels for its green and virtually silent HVAC system – the Quiet Climate 2. Enhancing schools’ energy efficiency Margaret adds, “The Relocatable Green Modular Classroom is truly amazing and smart to incorporate into any schools modular planning, we’re quickly approaching our original 3 year leasing agreement with Triumph and I see us keeping the Relocatable Green Modular Classroom around for many more years to come.” She further stated, “It has the best lighting, best HVAC system, and is the most energy-efficient building on our campus, which is why it’s also the most coveted space on our campus. Now we can not only say our kids here are special but now they have a truly special and smart environment in which to learn.”
Munters, a global renowned company in energy efficient air treatment and climate solutions, has received an order for a desiccant dehumidification solution, providing a climate with very low humidity, for a U.S.-based lithium battery production facility. dehumidification solutions The lithium battery manufacturing market segment is one of Munters’ prioritized areas for growth and expansion. The order for the dehumidification solution has a value of approximately US$ 12 million. Munters Group AB (MTRS), energy efficient air treatment and climate solutions firm, announced the order to provide desiccant dehumidification solutions for a lithium battery production facility in the US, including equipment and services. ICA and IDS systems Munters will deliver Integrated Custom Air Handler and Industrial Desiccant Dehumidification systems Munters will deliver ICA (Integrated Custom Air Handler) and IDS (Industrial Desiccant Dehumidification) systems, utilizing proprietary Green PowerPurge technology and delivery is expected to start in Q4 2020 and continue through mid-2021. Peter Gisel-Ekdahl, President Business Area AirTech, Group Vice President Group at Munters said of the order, “We are very pleased to have received a large order for our dehumidification solutions in the fast-growing lithium battery market, which is one of our three prioritized market segments." Energy-efficient and complete solutions Peter adds, “In this project, we worked very closely with all parties involved to develop the best overall solution, from equipment performance to energy efficiency to service needs." He further stated, “Our focus is always to deliver strong customer value by providing energy-efficient and complete solutions. By utilizing our application and industry knowledge, we can ensure every customer gets the best value.”
With news of the coronavirus' airborne droplets being able to be neutralized via advanced filtration, Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical is responding by providing Houston homeowners with state-of-the-art HVAC testing and next-gen products to combat the COVID-19 pandemic surge. As the virus re-surges throughout Texas and parts of America, infectious disease experts are learning that COVID-19 can be contracted by inhaling tiny, invisible particles that hang in stagnant air for hours. HEPA filters and UV light A recent investigation by ABC's Good Morning America (GMA) revealed that a combination of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters and UV light are homeowners' best defense against the virus droplets. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo said recently that large malls should be required to install HEPA systems before re-opening. Delta Airlines is also equipping its fleet of aircraft with HEPA filters, while American Airlines said its planes have been using the systems since the 1990s. The licensed HVAC professionals at Abacus Plumbing can inspect current residential systems and suggest a solution from their extensive line of HEPA and UV products. Cleaning air to clear out COVID-19 particles HEPA systems, such as the REME HALO, can remove 99.7% of particles as small as 0.3 microns" "Obviously, cleaning surfaces is still important, but cleaning the air that recirculates through homes and buildings is now a huge focus," Industrial Hygiene Specialist, Nancy McClellan told GMA. “HEPA systems, such as the REME HALO, can remove 99.7% of particles as small as 0.3 microns,” said Dr. Rajat Mittal, a professor studying the dynamics of COVID-19 particles adding, "That is potentially good news, because almost all the droplets that are going to be carrying viruses are all within that range." REME HALO air purification system Abacus Plumbing so trusts the REME HALO that it's installed in the company's own HVAC systems. "To help keep our employees as healthy as possible, Abacus installed the same air filtration equipment in our offices that we install in our customer homes," said Abacus Plumbing Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alan O'Neill, adding "In an essential business like ours, we have to do everything possible to help prevent our team members from allergies, germs and viruses. We owe it to our employees to invest in their health, and our customers who depend on us to be ready to serve 24 hours a day.” The HALO purifies the air in homes from the source, the HVAC system. Its patented technology is hospital tested and military approved to reduce allergies, fight odor and kill bacteria, mold and viruses. Ensuring health and safety of Houstonians "We haven't come across anything that it can't handle," said Rene Luna, whose company, The Partner Group, has been selling HALOs to Houston distributors, like Abacus Plumbing, since 2006, adding "It doesn't wait to clean the air in the equipment and it actually cleans your air and your living space. It's by far the leader in the industry." With COVID-19 finding new ways to harm Houstonians, Abacus is ready to help homeowners protect the health and safety of their family by installing the best defense available.
Alfa Laval, a globally renowned company in the field of heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling, has announced winning an order to supply compact heat exchangers to a refinery and petrochemical plant in China. The order has a value of approximately SEK 95 million. It is booked in the welded heat exchangers unit and the gasketed plate heat exchangers unit of the Energy Division, with delivery scheduled for 2021. Alfa Laval compact heat exchangers The order comprises Alfa Laval compact heat exchangers which will be used to recover and reuse heat in the refinery The order comprises Alfa Laval compact heat exchangers which will be used to recover and reuse heat in the refinery and petrochemical complex, which produces both transportation fuels and petrochemical products. “With China slowly recovering after the pandemic, I am very pleased to announce this order for our energy efficient heat exchangers from one of our refinery and petrochemical customers.” said Susanne Pahlen Aklundh, President of the Energy Division at Alfa Laval. She adds, “Our products and solutions play a vital role in maintaining a functioning society by providing fundamental basics such as energy supply.” Safety protocol In China, the Alfa Laval offices and sites were closed one extra week after the Chinese New Year and were then re-opened with a clear safety protocol to ensure the health and safety of the employees, as well as to maintain the continuity of the business. Jan Debruyn, President of North East Asia & Alfa Laval China commented, “It is very encouraging that we during these challenging times could work together with our customer to secure the order. By using digital communication channels, we were able to move our business forward.” HVAC products in critical infrastructure Alfa Laval’s equipment and solutions often play an integral role in their customers’ processes, and are part of critical infrastructure in areas such as food and pharmaceutical production, sanitation, HVAC, electricity generation, etc.
Hess Tower is a 29 story, 844,000 square foot mixed use building containing commercial office, retail and dining space with an adjacent parking garage. It’s located in Houston’s Inner Loop East area adjacent to Discovery Green park, a 12 acre urban green space for outdoor activities, concerts and other entertainment events. Originally named Discovery Tower, it was renamed in 2009 for the Hess Corporation, its current lessee. It was formally completed in 2010 and is Houston’s first downtown LEED Platinum office building. Great functional and architectural feature “Discovery Tower, now known as Hess Tower, was a very challenging project for NOW due to several obstacles. No access to the backside of the majority of the louvers as well as having to deal with multiple penetrations and architectural accent fins as an integral part of the louvers were the most notable.” “Ruskin did an outstanding job in engineering a blind attachment using interlocking aluminum zee clips as well as coordinating louver blade leave outs for both architectural fin attachment and blank off plates for current and future piping penetrations." "Overall the project was a success and the Ruskin louvers added a great functional and architectural feature to this monumental project.” Says Dan Ozuna, Co-owner of NOW Specialties. Protection against rain penetration Being a high-profile building in downtown Houston, the aesthetic design was a critical component to the success of the project. The architectural design incorporated a significant amount of architectural louvers in the lower elevations. The louvers needed to provide HVAC airflow in some areas with protection against rain penetration in storm conditions. Being in a hurricane-prone area, the louvers had to stand up to the high velocity winds that can occur in the area Other areas were to be inactive with blankoff panels on their interior. All louvers, whether active and inactive, needed to have the same exterior appearance with consistent transitions from one area to the next. The louvers required custom fabrication for various features such as pipe penetrations, mitered corners, door openings and decorative architectural fins. Being in a hurricane-prone area, the louvers had to stand up to the high velocity winds that can occur in the area. Providing vital information Additionally, many of the areas of louver installations were inaccessible from the rear which required those louvers to be installed and fastened entirely from the exterior. Ruskin and its sales representative, Steve Bryan of ADW Corporation, partnered with NOW Specialties to successfully complete this LEED ® Platinum Certified project. ADW and NOW provided vital information on field conditions and adjoining construction to Ruskin’s project management team. This enabled the engineers to precisely design the complex louver system and its custom installation details. The louver model selected for this prestigious project was the EME745. Its Wind Driven Rain (WDR) rating as well as its architectural continuous blade design was the perfect product for this demanding application. The two-piece louver construction includes an exterior 4” deep stationary louver with hidden mullions and a rear 3” deep vertical WDR louver that provides excellent weather protection for HVAC intakes. Custom fabrication and installation requirements The louver system is a key element in the building’s form and function The two louvers are factory combined prior to shipment to the jobsite. Integral to the model is a special design for inactive areas. To keep the clean lines of the exterior louver, the 3” louver is replaced with a solid blank-off panel to block weather & humidity. Ruskin’s Geneva, Alabama production facility fabricated the louvers & delivered to the jobsite in coordination with NOW’s installation schedule. Ruskin’s in-house painting facility is state-of-the-art that not only shortens the lead time to the job site, but includes a 20-year standard warranty for painted finishes. For Hess Tower, the louvers were coated with Ruskin’s Pearledize 70 finish (70% Floropolymer) in a custom Meteor Gray pearlescent color. Due to the extensive custom fabrication and installation requirements, a team effort was needed to successfully design, build and supply the louvers. Ruskin's louver system is a key element in the Hess Tower building’s form and function. With innovative products, comprehensive project design and management services and quality in fabrication, Ruskin is prepared to tackle any architectural challenge.