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...
Newer buildings tend to be designed to be ‘green’, but what about older existing buildings, which still represent the largest share of environmental impact? There is more work to be done in the retrofit sector; and improving environmental performance of older buildings often involves ‘deep retrofits’ that are costly and impact multiple factors inside a building. In the COVID-19 era, there is also growing concern about needs such as circulating outside air, increasing hum...
IT Tech Packaging, Inc., a globally renowned manufacturer and distributor of diversified paper products in North China, has announced that its operating entity in China, Hebei Baoding Dongfang Paper Milling Company Limited (Dongfang Paper), expects to launch the construction of a combined heat and power generation project utilizing biomass technology (Biomass CHP project) with the total construction area of 80,373 square meters which is located in its Wei County production base. Biomass CHP Th...
There is a demonstratable link between humidity and the infectivity and longevity of a variety of viruses, such as influenza and coronaviruses, according to a new whitepaper by Munters, a globally renowned company in energy-efficient and sustainable air treatment solutions. Titled ‘How Humidity Control Can Reduce Viral Infectivity and Longevity’, the scientific report addresses how it is possible to reduce the transmission and longevity of harmful viruses by controlling indoor Relat...
Alfa Laval, globally renowned company in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling technology, has signed two frame agreements, running over the coming three years, for ballast water treatment systems. Alfa Laval PureBallast 3 The agreements comprise firm orders to deliver Alfa Laval PureBallast 3 to about 40 vessels, with options covering another 40 systems. Even as the shipping industry has been heavily hit by the current pandemic, Alfa Laval has continued working closely with...
The American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2019 would provide an orderly national framework to guide replacement of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) over the next several years in the United States, with newer refrigerants that have less negative impact on the environment. HFCs are potent greenhouse gases with very high global warming potential. The future of the HVAC industry is tied to the manufacture of next-generation refrigerants and their adoption. Versions of the AIM Act – Sen...
Thin Air Energy, a globally renowned provider of energy storage and LED lighting technology solutions, has announced two new breakthrough products in the COVID-19 era. The first product is TORCH UVc, a germicidal, anti-viral product that emits ultraviolet light in the UVc spectrum, where germs and viruses are killed. Germicidal and anti-viral products It has a novel feature, which is believed to substantially increase germ killing effectiveness. The second product is GEIGER UVc, which is a device used for measuring the instant intensity of UVc and accumulated dosing of UVc radiation. "Thin Air Energy is at the forefront of germicidal and anti-viral products for home and office use," said James Wiebe, CEO of Thin Air Energy, adding "These two new products provide an enormous benefit to the user, along with a simple way to measure the field strength and dose of UVc radiation." TORCH UVc TORCH UVc features a patent pending mode of operation, which modulates the UVc output TORCH UVc features a patent pending mode of operation, which modulates the UVc output in such a way that the efficacy may be substantially improved. This special enhanced kill feature of TORCH UVc may be enabled or disabled as desired by the user. If disabled, the product emits a conventional, continuous output of UVc. The product is designed with solid state LEDs and is not tube based. Consequently, the product will also last longer. TORCH UVc also includes another patent pending feature, a very bright white LED light, which flashes and alerts the user that the product is turned on and is potentially dangerous. This feature is more effective than the soft purple glow that many UVc devices emit. The flashing white LED light actively discourages users from looking into the UVc output. GEIGER UVc The GEIGER UVc allows users to easily measure the field strength of UVc radiation. GEIGER UVc measures the field strength of only UVc, ignoring UVa and UVb (which are commonly used in tanning salons and resin curing lights, and also potentially in fake UVc devices). GEIGER UVc also has great resistance to visible light as well. GEIGER UVc is the size of a key fob, and in addition to showing continuous UVc field strength (in milliwatts), it also measures the cumulative dosing, providing an LED alarm indication when 5,000 millijoules and then 30,000 millijoules of radiation have been detected. These dosing levels reflect dosing known to be effective for disinfection from published literature for certain germs and viruses. When the dosing level is achieved, a LED on GEIGER UVc turns on. Intensive R&D in product development Both products were designed with careful attention to a large number of published papers, including research and development that shows the improved germicidal efficacy of UVc when appropriately modulated. Our products are designed with science and are patent pending, state of the art, with improved safety and efficacy" "The internet is already filled with stories of fake UVc light sources that inadequately kill germs," James Wiebe said. He adds, "Social media is a plethora of cheap, featureless UVc devices of unknown strength and quality. Our products, in contrast, are designed with science and are patent pending, state of the art, with improved safety and efficacy." Products availability These products are available for pre-order on the official Thin Air Energy company website and through additional retailers in the coming months. The cost of raw UVc LEDS is rapidly rising in the current COVID-19 pandemic scenario, with prices being subject to change without notice.
During its 63rd meeting, the General Assembly of the Eurovent Association defined a new vision for the future of the European HVACR industry. Mr. Naci Sahin starts the final year of his second election term as President of Europe’s Industry Association for Indoor Climate (HVAC), Process Cooling, and Food Cold Chain Technologies. Eurovent Annual Meeting Different than usual earlier events, the Eurovent Annual Meeting, originally planned to take place in Hamburg, Germany, moved online in light of the on-going coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Despite the change of location, the meeting resulted in important decisions concerning the future of Eurovent and the HVACR industry. The General Assembly took note of the successful implementation of the new membership structure that entered into force this year, welcoming 74 new corresponding members. With a strong membership base, the General Assembly approved plans to streamline the Eurovent group Streamlining the Eurovent group With a strong membership base, the General Assembly approved plans to streamline the Eurovent group, continue to improve the level of service for members, and deepen cooperation with European and international partners. Moreover, Eurovent will bolster its advocacy for sound EU policies in line with Europe’s climate neutrality ambitions, while drawing attention to the importance of indoor air quality, energy efficiency, digitalization, and market surveillance. Future-proofing Eurovent and its operations Mr Naci Sahin, President of the Eurovent Association, stated, “For Eurovent, the future is now. I am proud to be the President of Eurovent in this difficult period when our industry is showing its resolve in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have made important decisions to future-proof the Association. I call on all our industry partners to join us in pursuit of our common objectives.” The General Assembly was preceded by a joint meeting of the Eurovent Board and Commission on Thursday, 28 May 2020. The date for next year’s Annual Meeting, which will be hosted in May 2021 by Eurovent’s German Member Association, VDMA in Hamburg, Germany is yet to be finalized.
Victaulic, the manufacturer of mechanical pipe joining systems, is now offering free virtual courses from its accredited and award-winning Victaulic University program to construction professionals around the world. Growing demand for more versatile training options and shrinking access to traditional classes given the COVID-19 pandemic presented an opportune time for Victaulic to make its robust catalog of courses, many of which offer International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) Continuing Education Units (CEUs), available to industry professionals such as owners, engineers, contractors, architects and designers online. Presenting valuable information "The launch of Victaulic University’s virtual platform is another successful result of collaborating with customers to help solve their challenges," said Eric Luftig, Vice President, at Victaulic. "We are pleased to introduce an innovative and convenient way to support the industry’s need for high-quality education." The Victaulic education program presents valuable information in a well-organized and easily understood fashion" Victaulic has instructed 175 live sessions since March, attracting approximately 7,200 virtual learners from 99 countries. Attendance is growing rapidly as Victaulic adds new content and more users discover the program. "The Victaulic education program presents valuable information in a well-organized and easily understood fashion,” said Mike Stossel, Senior Design Manager at KNS Sprinkler Design and a recent Victaulic University participant. "The content is extremely insightful, and we look forward to participating in more courses in the future." Piping technology courses Victaulic's 45+ piping technology courses are available at no cost in two virtual formats: live, instructor-led webinars and self-paced courses, which are available on-demand at any time. Courses are taught in English, Spanish, and German, with new languages being added regularly, and cover several industries, including: General Engineering/Construction, Plumbing, Heating and Air, Data Centers, Fire Protection, Virtual Design and Construction CEUs or Professional Development Hours (PDHs), which are required for maintaining engineering certifications are immediately available upon completion of applicable courses. Victaulic established accredited Victaulic University in 2013. "Between Victaulic's 100-year legacy and over 200 years of knowledge amongst the instructors, the global construction industry will undoubtedly benefit from Victaulic University," said Colin Phelps, Sales Training Manager at Victaulic. “So far, we’ve had more than 12,000 courses completed. With our robust content and a growing curriculum, there’s something for everyone.”
Proximity Systems, Inc., a globally renowned provider of innovative health care furniture and technology solutions, has announced UV-Cube, a new product in their lineup of UV-C disinfection devices. Designed to disable pathogens by breaking the DNA sequence and rendering them unable to reproduce and spread, UV-Cube provides automated, chemical-free disinfection. UV-Cube offers quick and easy way to disinfect handheld equipment and devices, eliminates 99.9% of infection-causing pathogens after one minute UV-Cube In laboratory testing performed at ResInnova Labs in March 2020, UV-Cube eliminated 99.9% of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) after one minute and 99.999% of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) after two minutes or more, reinforcing the efficacy of the unit's ability to reduce harmful pathogens on high touch objects. "As more employers look to UV-C disinfection to keep employees, customers and patients healthy and safe, we felt it was time to launch a new product that supported these efforts across all industries," said Jeremy Goza, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Proximity Systems. Integrated with UV-CLEAN technology Leveraging Proximity's UV-CLEAN technology, UV-Cube consistently cleans high touch items" Jeremy adds, "UV-Cube is the ideal size for handheld equipment and devices, including phones, tablets, remote controls, keys, point of sale electronics and so on. Leveraging Proximity's UV-CLEAN technology, UV-Cube consistently cleans high touch items that otherwise act as reservoirs for harmful pathogens." UV-Cube has a sleek, stylish design at 11.9" x 10.6" x 6" and features an internal rack for a 360-degree active cleaning area. 40 UV-C LED bulbs are activated during any of the three cleaning cycle modes: UV-CLEAN, UV-CLEAN & Dry and UV-CLEAN & Store. The cycles provide users options depending on their specific needs and the type of items being disinfected. According to Proximity Systems Clinical Scientist, Steve Reinecke, the UV-Cube offers a convenient area to place items for quick, yet effective ultraviolet disinfection. Enhanced disinfection Steve said, "The reality is that germs do not discriminate based on industry. While disinfection is a primary focus in healthcare, our new heightened awareness around the need for disinfection of high touch public objects makes UV-Cube a necessary device to deal with the deadly pathogens found on these." He adds, "UV-Cube will not only help organizations keep employees safe and healthy, but it will provide peace of mind to employees and customers alike." Automatic self-disinfection solution Because UV-Cube does the disinfection work efficiently, its use can be applied to a variety of environments, from retail and hospitality to industrial and healthcare. Users need to simply place items on the internal rack, select a cleaning cycle and either retrieve the items once disinfected or leave them in the UV-Cube on the Store cycle. With UV-Cube by Proximity, users get a means of automatic self-disinfection that will set up a strong line of defense against the spread of infectious microorganisms on high-touch objects.
Camfil Air Pollution Control (APC), a global manufacturer of dust, mist and fume collection equipment, has doubled the size of its testing laboratory to include a climate-controlled facility with a new full-size dust collection test rig. The new equipment is dedicated to testing in accordance with ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 199-2016, Method of Testing the Performance of Industrial Pulse Cleaned Dust Collectors. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 199-2016 testing Unlike other air filter standards that focus on HVAC systems, the Standard 199-2016 test process analyzes how well filters actually clean and how dust collectors perform as a whole. It is the first standard to provide a methodology for comparing performance results based on true operating conditions. Using a cartridge dust collector with four high efficiency filters, the unit feeds dust into the collector under specified conditions, measuring pressure drop and downstream emissions. Internal product quality testing Camfil will use the test rig for both internal product quality testing and to help customers simulate real-world conditions to evaluate the compliance and effectiveness of various filters. “We’ve always known that filters and dust collectors varied widely in performance, but now there’s a methodology to quantify that difference with actual performance data,” said Graeme Bell, Vice President of Camfil APC Americas. New testing capabilities Camfil APC was proud to serve on the Standard 199 project committee since its inception to help develop the standard" Graeme adds, “Camfil APC was proud to serve on the Standard 199 project committee since its inception to help develop the standard, and now we have a testing lab that makes it easy for dust collection equipment operators to perform the testing.” Camfil’s lab expansion also provides new testing capabilities. New equipment is available for research and development, customer support and testing for regulatory compliance. Highly sensitive scanning electron microscope A new, highly sensitive scanning electron microscope is equipped with the high level of magnification and resolution required to analyze high efficiency filtration media with nano fiber and PTFE membrane coatings. This microscope is one of the most sophisticated equipment available and will be used both for quality control of existing filter media and analysis of new media with potential performance improvements. Bench testing of dust collection samples The lab also houses an array of equipment used for bench testing of customer dust samples to take the guesswork out of dust collection, including a video microscope, particle size analyzer, moisture analysis and abrasion testing devices.
Accruent, a globally renowned provider of solutions to manage the built environment, announced that it has entered a partnership with UK facilities management and professional services company, Mitie to provide remote asset monitoring for Mitie’s facilities management clients. Mitie’s diverse customer base spans a range of industries including retail, commercial real estate, telecommunications, government and industrial sectors. vx Observe IoT remote monitoring platform Mitie will deploy Accruent’s vx Observe Internet of Things (IoT) remote monitoring platform to monitor and control a range of assets encompassing multiple manufacturers and models, with initial implementation across more than 3,700 sites. A recent Forrester report, Internet-Of-Things Heat Maps for Operational Excellence 2019, cited a survey in which companies listed facility management as the most common use case for which they planned to implement IoT applications in the next twelve months. Asset performance management Mitie is among the renowned facilities management firms in the UK, managing more than five million assets Among the use cases cited by Forrester, for driving value across industries, is the use of IoT applications to enable predictive maintenance and asset performance management. Not surprisingly, the return on IoT investments in predictive and proactive maintenance is also driving facilities services firms to leverage IoT applications for their clients. Mitie is among the renowned facilities management firms in the UK, managing more than five million assets for a wide range of public and private sector organizations. Its Service Operations Center is the focal point for the digital transformation strategy that is driving improved productivity and improving client service. Accruent monitoring solution Mitie selected Accruent’s vx Observe IoT platform to deliver analytics and workflow that will provide data-driven support ensuring that its clients’ buildings and infrastructure assets continue to run at optimal and cost-efficient levels. The addition of Accruent’s remote monitoring solution to Mitie’s service portfolio will offer client benefits that include: Intelligent asset alarms management with automated triage processes to further reduce unnecessary service calls and business interruptions Analysis of asset operating data to predict failure for proactive maintenance and reduce asset downtime Early diagnosis of asset energy consumption anomalies to reduce costs and improve sustainability Real-time visibility of asset performance to reduce risks associated with facility performance and safety A unified dashboard showing asset performance across asset classes, manufacturers and models Integration with HVAC and lighting systems as well as leading building management systems (BMS) to reduce implementation and data collection costs Remote monitoring We selected vx Observe for its superior capability to triage equipment performance issues" “Adding Accruent’s remote monitoring solution to our portfolio of services gives Mitie additional tools to reduce costs for our clients and optimize performance and uptime of their assets,” said Ian Smithyman, Remote Operating Transformation Director, Mitie. Ian adds, “We selected vx Observe for its superior capability to triage equipment performance issues as well as identifying and executing proactive maintenance and energy savings measures. The solution delivers valuable analytics for enhanced decision making, as well as integrated workflow capability to manage issues to resolution.” Comprehensive software solutions Accruent serves more than 10,000 customers worldwide, providing comprehensive software solutions for the built environment, spanning the breadth of real estate, facilities and physical asset management. Accruent’s vx Observe solution provides remote monitoring for over 400,000 assets, across more than 25,000 locations worldwide, receiving and analyzing more than 250 billion asset data points annually. Accruent was recently recognized as a global IoT solutions firm by analyst firm Verdantix in its 2019 Green Quadrant IoT Platforms for Smart Buildings. Building and asset automation “Building and asset automation, with advanced analysis, business rules and workflow is key to deploying a successful Smart Building strategy,” noted Andrew Schafer, SVP & Managing Director, at Accruent. He adds, “Our partnership with Mitie will be a step-change in the industry and we’re looking forward to working together to deliver tremendous efficiencies and cost savings to their clients.”
HVAC industry employees are included among “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response” as designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The guidance memorandum states: “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security … you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.” The edict comes from the DHS Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, whose goal is to provide a listing of essential workers to help state and local officials as they work to protect their communities. The list also seeks to inform critical infrastructure community decision-making to determine the sectors, sub-sectors, segments, or critical functions that should continue normal operations, appropriately modified to account for Centers for Disease Control (CDC) workforce and customer protection guidance. Business As Usual For HVAC Employees HVAC industry employees are included among “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 ResponseSeveral sections of the March 19 document are relevant to the HVAC marketplace. Specifically, the guidance memorandum singles out “employees of firms providing services that enable logistics operations, including cooling, storing, packaging and distributing products for wholesale or retail sale or use.” It also specifies “workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.” Under “information technology,” the document also mentions “data center operators, including …. HVAC and electrical engineers …” Furthermore, under an “Other” category, the document lists “workers to ensure continuity of building functions.” Vital Health and Safety Requirements A March 17 letter to “Federal, State and Local Officials” from a group of HVAC industry organizations made the case that their business is “essential.” As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, many states have targeted for closure non-essential businesses that typically involve crowdsThe letter reads: “While citizens are coping with a variety of unforeseen and unusual restrictions, it is essential that they are able to maintain their HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment. Aside from providing comfort, this equipment is vital for health and safety in addition to productivity, particularly for air filtration and food and medical supply preservation, especially in this time of quarantine. When equipment fails, technicians must be able to repair or replace it as quickly as possible.” The letter continues: “Accordingly, as states and local jurisdictions consider their health crisis travel restriction plans, we respectfully request that HVACR technicians and engineers be considered essential businesses.” Representatives for the HVAC Industry The letter is signed by representatives of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), Heating, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), Air Movement & Control Association (AMCA), and North American Technician Excellence (NATE). Also signing are Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA), Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors (PHCC), Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), and American Association of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, many states have targeted for closure non-essential businesses that typically involve crowds.
Refrigerants used in cooling systems for homes and businesses are being replaced with alternatives that have less potential for global warming. But the transition comes at a risk: Some of the new refrigerants are flammable. Although less flammable than gases such as propane, for example, new refrigerants can still ignite and burn with a high intensity under ideal circumstances. The new materials have low-flame velocity and are less easily ignited; however, one byproduct of combustion is toxic hydrogen fluoride. Flammability risks of non-toxic refrigerants Non-toxic refrigerants are categorized by flammability risks. A1 designates no flame propagation; A2 indicates lower flammability; and A3 indicates higher flammability. Hydrocarbons such as propane have higher flammability (A3) and are restricted to a lower charge limit that does not address refrigeration needs of large systems. Hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) are mildly flammable, have a low flammability limit (LFL) and have been categorized as an A2L refrigerant. They tend to burn slowly and give off little heat. Hydrocarbons such as propane have higher flammability NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) offers online and instructor-led training to educate firefighters about flammability and toxicity risks associated with new refrigerants. The training also covers asphyxiation challenges, jet stream fires, transportation issues and other life-safety considerations associated with flammable refrigerants. The training covers how to adapt response tactics to mitigate consequences from refrigerants in various types of emergencies. Strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs), personal protective equipment (PPE) and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) protocols and decontamination practices are also covered. Categorising refrigerant flammability The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) provides funding to NFPA to develop training on the emerging technology. According to an ASHRAE report, refrigerant flammability can be characterized by three factors: Likelihood that a refrigerant leak would result in a concentration range that reaches the lower flammability limit; Presence of a sufficient energy ignition source; and Likely severity of a combustion event, and probability of a secondary fire. ASHRAE is the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology Institute (AHRTI) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) are researching the flammability of refrigerants, including factors such as refrigerant charge size, release height, leak rate, humidity, and room size and temperature. When choosing the best refrigerants, it is likely a tradeoff will be required among global warming potential, flammability and efficiency. Codes and standards Codes and standards are being modified to address the use of new materials Currently, codes and standards are being modified to address the use of new materials, although risk mitigation concerns of the fire service have historically not been considered. One issue is the risk of using large amounts of flammable gas in a refrigeration system to cool a larger room. Additional safety measures are needed to make the risk acceptable. Detection of leaks is another issue, especially the need for repeated calibration of leak detectors to ensure accuracy. More than 200 countries will be ushering in the new class of refrigerants.
There was plenty to see and appreciate at AHR Expo in Orlando. And there is good news to report: Innovation is alive and well in the HVAC market. Some new products on display demonstrated genuine ingenuity. Exhibitors had enthusiasm to spare as they shared what’s new in the market with this first-time visitor to the show. HVAC is not a new market, but it is changing and, in some regards, re-inventing itself. The vibrancy, variety and sheer size of AHR Expo showed off the newest and best the industry has to offer. ‘Better Way to Heat and Cool’ Electronics highlighted the benefits of inverter systems -- "a better way to heat and cool" -- at their press event at AHR Expo. Despite the advantages, HVAC contractors are pushing back at the new, less familiar systems. The industry is at a "crossroads." Inverter systems have variable-frequency drives that control the speed of the compressor motor, enabling lower power consumption – operating at a partial load as Innovation is alive and well in the HVAC marketLG opposed to a full load. For example, an inverter system may use only 20 amps compared to 90 amps for traditional systems. The systems are quieter, too. There are also now inverter systems for ducted systems – "the space in between that nobody is talking about". New "hydro kits" can also extend the benefits of the systems, providing radiant floor heat or the ability to melt snow from a driveway. LG Electronics also introduced a new line of IP-based controls, aimed at the 97% of commercial buildings that are 100,000 square feet or less, many of which don't have building automation systems. The controller can be used in lieu of integrating with third party systems, which can add costs. They also are introducing predictive analytics that can consider multiple conditions over time and then predict things that may happen, such as maintenance requirements. The company also emphasized the benefit of LG as part of a range of products the company provides for the home, from OLED televisions to appliances to robotic vacuum cleaners. There is an opportunity for all the devices to be connected to an LG panel and "drive the experience." Monitoring Indoor Air Quality Airthings was a new exhibitor at AHR Expo, located off the beaten path among the high-numbered booths. Even so, the company had a great show with “enormous interest,” said Oyvind Birkenes, CEO. Airthings has an indoor air quality monitoring system, with a battery-operated, wireless sensor as the main component. There Some new products on display demonstrated genuine ingenuityare actually seven sensors inside the device, monitoring radon gas, CO2 level, temperature, humidity, VOC levels, pressure and ambient light. The device can be easily mounted on the wall and provides data every 5 minutes, which is sent to the cloud to be analyzed. The cloud system provides an overview of data, which is customizable. Users can set notification levels and/or download air quality reports. The system can also be integrated with building management systems (BMS) or other dashboard displays. A hub can manage up to 50 of the sensors for larger systems, in effect, a fully independent local network. Birkenes said the device provides a “disruptive” upsell opportunity for various platforms. Cooling Towers Making a Comeback A new era of cooling towers includes products that are modular and built on a smaller scale for tighter locations, says Neal Walsh, HVAC Business Manager, Baltimore Aircoil Company. “We’re turning the concept of cooling towers on its head,” said Walsh. The new concept leverages the energy efficiency advantages of cooling towers, while opening new applications to the technology. The modules of the product can be put in place by a forklift, and it is less than half the size of a traditional cooling tower. Up to six of the devices can be installed in A new era of cooling towers includes products that are modular and built on a smaller scale for tighter locationsa row with a control panel. Low water usage enables the system to be flushed and refilled once a day – no expensive water treatment needed. In all, it is less expensive to install and maintain, and could be installed inside a building, on a roof or anywhere there is space. The product is popular with school districts, which seek to avoid refrigerants. The new design is driving a “resurgence in popularity” in the market, said Walsh. Plastic Pipes with Easy Waterproof Sealing Uponor displayed pipe systems made of PEXA (cross-linked polyethylene) plastic, featuring “crosslinking thermal memory.” The pipe returns to its original shape when heated. It is available in ½-in. to 4-in diameters for residential or commercial installations. A special tool can be used to expand the pipe to accept a fitting, and then the pipe returns to its original shape when heated to create a water-tight seal without glue or solvents. The pipes can be used for radiant heating applications, and Uponor offers “roll-out” mats (pre-assembled configurations of pipes) for easy installation. Through a partnership with a Serbian company, the company also now offers polypropylene pipe for larger applications. There was plenty to see and appreciate at AHR Expo in Orlando SPVU Systems with Greater Efficiency Bard offers “single-package vertical units” for commercial applications in space-confined systems, whether the application is equipment cooling or “creature Many products demonstrated at AHR are also big in the education marketcomfort,” said Paul Quigley, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. The factory-sealed systems ensure greater durability for mission-critical applications, such as telecommunications, data centers, etc. Bard’s products are also big in the education market (especially portable classrooms). Their line has been completely redesigned and reconfigured by Bard’s engineers; they have replaced nine major product families (and 10 million product iterations) with just two categories. The new models meet the Department of Energy’s 11EER minimum energy conservation standards for Single Package Vertical Unit (SPVU) air conditioners and heat pumps – a 22 percent increase in efficiency. They can also remove 35% more humidity than other units. The new systems use recycled denim for insulation (instead of fiberglass). Leveraging the Benefits of UV-C UV Resources highlighted the use of UV-C spectrum light for HVAC applications. They have a germicidal lamp system that uses UV-C to penetrate the HVAC coil to eliminate microbial buildup. It keeps coil surfaces, drain pans, air filters and ducts free of organic buildup and works better than pressure washing or chemical treatment. The company also displayed a germicidal UV fixture that can be wall-mounted at 7 feet or higher in a room. Special louvers direct “germicidal irradiation” at an upward and outward angle and create a zone of UV-C to kill germs and minimizes the dosage in the lower area of the room. It's useful in doctors’ offices, public buildings, etc. LG Components’ New Compressor LG Components launched a new product – a fusion compressor (hybrid) that merges the best of rotary systems and of scroll technology. Durability-improving innovations include a more sensitive vacuum prevention device and a stronger, stress-tested discharge reed valve that withstands the harsh operating conditions posed by refrigeration applications and limits excessive sound levels. It is compatible with multiple refrigerants, including R-404A, R-507, R-407A, R-407C, R-448A and R-449A; the compressor has a capacity range of 1-6 HP Catch up on our Day One Review here. or our Day Two Review here.
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.
To improve access into the Four Queens Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Four Queens recently added a 48 foot air curtain. Built using Ruskin’s IAQ50 air flow measuring and control dampers, the new air curtain efficiently and economically maintains the pressure in the building. Designed to satisfy the needs of a variety of applications, the IAQ50 air flow measuring and control damper provides the perfect solution to difficult challenges. Downtown Las Vegas hasn’t been the same since the completion of the Fremont Street Experience revived this popular gambling and tourist destination. This four-block project has successfully turned a city street into a large canopy-covered walkway that has substantially increased the tourist and gambling business in the downtown area. Mist evaporation system The Fremont Street Experience which includes a mist evaporation system to protect the tourists from the sun and heat, and a laser light show presented several times nightly, created problems for the Four Queens Hotel and Casino. Business at the Four Queens Hotel and Casino, located on Fremont Street, was suffering because the two existing air curtains on each end of the casino were limiting access into the hotel and casino from the sidewalk where the crowds stroll and gather to watch the light shows. In order to share in the success of The Fremont Street Experience, the Four Queens Hotel and Casino contracted with Harris Consulting Engineers in Las Vegas to design an additional access opening. This new, 48 foot opening would be located between the existing entrances. The hotel wanted the new entrance to open without doors. This required the design and building of an air curtain to separate the casino from the outside elements. Precise control of the airflow Because of the hotel’s design, the air curtain would be obstructed by existing structural supports Here’s where the hotel encountered a problem. Because of the hotel’s design, the air curtain would be obstructed by existing structural supports. And, in order to maintain proper building pressure, the air curtain had to provide precise control of the airflow around the obstructions and down to the return air grate which is also the walkway into the casino. In addition to maintaining the pressure in the building to prevent the loss of conditioned air from the casino, energy consumption and comfort were significant design criteria. With the assistance of Long & Associates, Inc., Ruskin’s Las Vegas representative, the Harris team responded to the challenge by designing a custom air curtain that provides precision air flow around the existing structural supports. IAQ50 air flow measuring and control dampers Built using Ruskin’s IAQ50 air flow measuring and control dampers, the new air curtain successfully provides consistent airflow. The system includes two 65,000 cfm centrifugal fans installed in the space below the return air walkway grate. The air returns through the grate into the basement plenum and passes through two 144 square foot filter and coil banks. It is then ducted up from the fans into the plenum space above the air curtain supply opening. The air then passes through the IAQ50 air flow measuring/control dampers and is directed through an adjustable deflection type grille. The individual IAQ50 dampers measure and control the airflow between the existing structural supports The individual IAQ50 dampers measure and control the airflow between the existing structural supports. This helps guarantee the air curtain maintains the required velocity and prevents conditioned air from escaping through the opening. “Opening up the Four Queens to the Fremont Street Experience has been a tremendous success,” says Max Proctor, Four Queens Building Manager, adding “We are exceeding our revenue projections with this improved access to our casino.” Custom air curtain design “Ruskin’s IAQ50 air flow measuring and control dampers are the key to the design of this custom air curtain,” says Floyd Harris, Principal of Harris Consulting Engineers, adding “Without the precision control of the air velocity around the structural obstructions, it would result in uneven flow through the supply grille and loss of the air barrier." "That means conditioned air would have escaped into Fremont Street. The support given by Ruskin and Long & Associates throughout the design, installation and commissioning of this system was outstanding.” The IAQ50 air flow measuring control damper is designed to fit the needs of a variety of applications. It is this type of versatility that helped the project succeed. Harris Consulting Engineers demonstrated their commitment to providing engineered solutions for their customers by incorporating this unique product into their custom air curtain design. The Ruskin IAQ50 air flow measuring and control damper is one of many products available through Ruskin’s network of representatives.
Flynt and Kallenberger Engineer, Justin Roush P.E., knew from previous experience that the non-ducted VRV systems would have trouble meeting ASHRAE Standard 62 (Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality) while maintaining a comfortable environment inside the building because of the high humidity in Tahlequah. “Eastern Oklahoma is a very humid place. Humidity is the bane of our existence out here,” Roush said. He knew that the outdoor conditions in this area, 101° dry bulb, 80° wet bulb and 40% relative humidity, meant the project would need to use energy recovery ventilators in order to meet all code requirements while maintaining a comfortable building. More specifically, Roush wanted to use energy recovery units that utilized desiccant wheel technology because of the superior humidity control that desiccant wheel units provide. Energy Recovery Ventilators system In addition to considering the hot humid summer months, Roush knew the ERV system would provide energy savings in the winter months as well because Oklahoma can experience really cold weather. Without using an ERV in this system, supplemental heaters would need to be installed to raise the leaving air temperature to the desired set point during low ambient conditions. Choosing to include ERVs resulted in cost savings in two ways. First by avoiding the initial cost of purchasing and installing the supplemental heaters, and then the ongoing cost savings associated with not having to use the heaters. VRV system and outdoor air delivery system integration Owners of the Tahlequah City Hospital decided to build a new Medical Office Building in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. They wanted to use a variable refrigerant system for the four-story building (43,000 sq.ft.) but they knew the VRV system would need to be complemented with an outdoor air delivery system. Flynt & Kallenberger Consulting Engineers of Oklahoma designed the HVAC system and included Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV) that work well for both summer and winter operation. While reviewing ERV product lines used in previous projects, the engineer realized the building’s design and construction might not have the physical space available to include the necessary ERV’s into the building. Ruskin’s MV Series was the solution to overcome the issues of limited space while providing superior humidity control MiniVentilator However, during the design phase of this project, Chad Smith of Airetech Corporation contacted the engineer about a new Ruskin product, the MiniVentilator. Ruskin’s new low profile ERV would bring in the necessary outside air needed to meet ASHRAE Standard 62 without using too much precious space. Ruskin’s MV Series was the solution to overcome the issues of limited space while providing superior humidity control. Using the flexibility of Ruskin’s new product, the four-story project was designed with two MiniVentilators per floor. The tempered air from the ERV’s was tied to the various incoming air ducts with balancing dampers. The design allows for a significant amount of humidity control and lowers the temperature of the incoming air stream, which will help reduce the stress on the cooling system. Efficient HVAC system Using Energy Recovery Ventilators in the new Tahlequah Medical Office Building will provide consistent, comfortable air as well as dramatic energy savings for the owners over a building that did not utilize ERV’s in its HVAC system. Engineers now have a product available to use when space is a limited commodity in a building’s design. The flexibility of Ruskin’s MiniVentilator can be utilized in future designs when energy recovery is beneficial.
Globally renowned provider of underfloor air conditioning systems, AET Flexible Space has completed the supply and commissioning of underfloor air conditioning equipment at 42 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, in London, United Kingdom. The 27,300 sq. ft. building, part of the Berners-Allsopp Estate is a high quality new build development created through the demolition of two town houses, offering 22,000 sq. ft. office accommodation on five of the seven floors and retail at basement and ground level. Mechanical services by GDM The redevelopment was designed by architect Buckley Gray Yeoman, with mechanical services specified by consultant, GDM. The design brief included a number of key challenges such as maximizing the footprint of the building, the internal lettable area and floor to ceiling heights. Westminster Council also imposed local building height restrictions on the development and the design was stipulated to fit sensitively within the historic Berners Street surrounds. Underfloor air conditioning Underfloor air conditioning was put forward as a mechanical services option that could help meet the aspirations of the planners, and by adopting a low level services strategy, designers were able to maximize the available space, adding a seventh floor to the building originally designed with six, and maximize the internal floor to ceiling heights on each floor. With low level services, the void beneath the raised access floor is used as a plenum, effectively becoming the ventilation zone. Each floor is divided into separate zones and supplied with fully conditioned (chilled or warmed) air, which is fed into the plenum by the zonal downflow units (CAM), and then supplied into the workspace via fan terminal units (Fantile). CAM-C direct expansion system The system specified at 42 Berners Street is a CAM-C direct expansion system By doubling up the use of the underfloor plenum, ceiling voids can be reduced or eliminated, equating to approximate savings of 400-500mm per floor. Systems can be configured with either underfloor or high level return air paths and can easily integrate with passive or other ventilation systems. The system specified at 42 Berners Street is a CAM-C direct expansion system, installed throughout the seven office floors with each floor divided into two separate zones, each served by a CAM-C25 downflow unit. Standard TU4-EC fan terminals The Fantiles supplied are standard TU4-EC fan terminals which can be easily re-positioned to suit individual tenant needs at Cat-B fit-out stage. The mixed-use building with its new Portland stone façade and bronze windows has made a significant contribution to the street-scape, and developers are currently in lease negotiations with a single client prior to practical completion.
AAON, Inc., a globally renowned manufacturer of heating and cooling products, has selected Sospes’ EHS management software as its environmental, health and safety platform partner for its operations in Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. AAON products are regularly recognized as industry-renowned, most recently winning awards in July 2019 for excellence in product design in the 16th annual Dealer Design Awards Program. EHS management software Sospes’ EHS management software improves communication between workers and their companies Sospes’ EHS management software improves communication between workers and their companies, creating a collaborative environment for improving safety and productivity. “As a globally renowned manufacturer of HVAC equipment, safety is a priority for AAON, Inc. Our company has continued to experience rapid growth over the last several years, and we recognized that our safety programs need to keep up with the rest of our growth,” said Scott Asbjornson, AAON Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Efficient safety management He adds, “This software will allow us to be more efficient, and we look forward to working with Sospes and their innovative approach to safety management.” “AAON is a remarkable manufacturing success story, and like any manufacturing operation, their employees are faced with workplace hazards,” said Tom Carson, President of Sospes, adding “We are proud to have been selected as their partner in safety management and look forward to supporting their commitment to worker safety and continuous process improvement.”