While University of Louisville (UofL) Health continues to maintain an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), donations are helping prepare for the still unknown future need. The N95 mask remains an essential tool for protecting front line health care workers, and it remains in short supply nationwide. Front lines protecting community “As soon as we heard about the need from Mayor Greg Fischer, we began working with our suppliers to see if we could secure masks for the do...
GE Appliances, a Haier company, announces that a significant portion of the products it makes over the next two weeks at its nine manufacturing sites in the United States will be donated to American heroes working across the country on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. “These men and women are working around the clock to keep us safe. We’re relying on them, and they are relying on us and the products we make to keep their families safe and fed,” said Kevin N...
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 Agen...
COVID-19 is a human tragedy for thousands and is having a profound impact on the world economy, including the HVAC market. Many businesses are scrambling to survive even as they address the intense human element of the crisis. A survey by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) gathered insights on the effect the coronavirus pandemic is having on the HVAC industry. More than 70% of survey respondents expect the medical implications of the pandemic to last up to three months. (The sur...
Eurovent Middle East, as the region´s industry association for Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) equipment manufacturers, is calling on building owners, operators and facility management providers as well as healthcare facilities to carefully observe the following recommendations by the industry to minimize risks related to the transmission of airborne viruses through ventilation and air-conditioning systems and support the government in its efforts to contai...
Trade associations and membership societies representing North America's Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration industry requested that federal, state, and local authorities grant "essential business" status to those technicians and engineers who are tasked with keeping the American people productive, healthy, and comfortable in these trying times. The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) joined with nine other organizations, representing the HVACR an...
Amid concerns about the increasing scope of the coronavirus (COVID 19), International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) has announced the cancellation of its 2020 IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Heavy Equipment Expo, a major industry event focused on natural refrigerants in the industrial and commercial sectors. IIAR Conference cancelled IIAR joins a growing list of HVAC&R organizations worldwide that have cancelled trade gatherings over the coronavirus. The IIAR Conference had been scheduled to take place March 15-18 at the Rosen Shingle Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida (U.S.). Last year’s conference in Phoenix, Arizona (U.S.) had over 1,700 in attendance, according to the IIAR website. IIAR joins a growing list of HVAC&R firms worldwide that have cancelled trade events over the coronavirus IIAR had indicated its intention this week to proceed with the event, but changed course on March 11 after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the coronavirus was a worldwide pandemic. “Given this significant announcement from the World Health Organization, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the conference this year,” said Dave Rule, President, IIAR in a message emailed to registered conference attendees. “The health and safety of the conference attendees remains our primary concern.” Coronavirus pandemic threat “We trust that all of you will understand this decision and support your IIAR organization as the Executive Committee and Board of Directors begins to deal with this dramatic event,” he added. IIAR’s Executive Committee had begun developing plans “to address appropriate measures moving forward,” said Rule. “Further information concerning the cancellation of the IIAR Conference will be available over the course of the next few weeks”, Rule said, adding, “We request your patience and support as the IIAR Staff and management deal with these issues.” Global HVACR events cancelled Elsewhere in the world, two other HVAC&R industry trade shows scheduled in March were canceled, Mostra Convegno Expocomfort (rescheduled to September 8-11) in Italy and HVAC&R Japan. HVACR Live, scheduled to take place April 20-22 in London, was postponed till the spring of 2021. In addition, the ARBS (Air Conditioning, Refrigeration Building Services) 2020 exhibition in Melbourne, Australia, scheduled for May 19‐21, has been postponed.
Today, GE Appliances, a Haier company, opened the first new logistics center in northwest Georgia near the Appalachian Regional Port, adding momentum to the expansion of the Port of Savannah and its Georgia ports. The new center, referred to as the Southern Logistics Center, accelerates GE Appliances’ supply chain, enabling the company to provide materials and components to its U.S. manufacturing plants. GE Appliances (GEA) builds more than 2,300 appliances per hour in nine U.S. plants, which requires the purchase, storage and distribution of more than two billion parts and components. With the opening of the $32 million Southern Logistics Center, the fulfillment of those parts became easier. More efficient supply chain The 504,000 square foot center is the largest investment and first fulfillment and distribution warehouse at the Appalachian Regional Port (ARP), located in Murray County, an inland extension of the Port of Savannah. “The Southern Logistics Center is integral to GE Appliances’ future because it will reduce lead time on components and enable a more efficient supply chain,” said Bill Good, vice president of supply chain for GE Appliances. “This will help ensure that our manufacturing plants have the materials they need to serve our customers without delay. The support from the State of Georgia, the Georgia Ports Authority and Murray County helped make the Southern Logistics Center a reality.” Materials transportation efficiency The Southern Logistics Center will improve GEA’s inbound parts and materials transportation efficiency by 30% “We appreciate GE Appliances investing $32 million for the Southern Logistics Center and supporting the further economic development of Murray County and the State of Georgia,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp. “Their strategic view of fulfillment has led to the creation of 100 new jobs in our community. We look forward to our continued partnership.” The Southern Logistics Center will improve GEA’s inbound parts and materials transportation efficiency by 30% and eliminate more than three million long-haul trucking miles. The center is a strategic link for the supply chain, allowing GEA to serve customers better. Warehouse management processes It also represents another step forward in the journey to become the pioneer appliances company in the U.S., backed by GEA’s unprecedented investments of more than half a billion dollars in the entire product supply chain, including $130 million in Georgia over the past year. Comprehensive Logistics Co., Inc. (CLI), a third-party logistics company, operates the Southern Logistics Center under an agreement with and on behalf of GE Appliances. CLI is an innovator of material flow visibility technologies and warehouse management processes. More than 50 people are currently employed at the state-of-the-art facility, with the number expected to grow to 100 within a year.
Thanks to breakthroughs in Internet-of-Things technology, facilities managers can monitor boiler equipment operation from virtually anywhere. Picture a typical boiler installation at a large facility like a hospital or university. Manually monitoring a system like that could involve many operators spread over several buildings, each responsible for checking system consoles and monitors. Tracking down a failure might take hours—and that’s after they find out there IS a failure. Troubleshooting these systems can be difficult, time consuming, and labor-intensive. Preferred Cloud Platform To help solve that problem, Preferred Utilities Manufacturing offers a state-of-the-art, secure technology called the Preferred Cloud Platform for remote equipment monitoring. This platform utilizes customized, pre-built analytics to instantly give customers the most actionable data for operating efficiency. Boiler room operators and facility managers can receive equipment information anywhere they are Cloud-based monitoring allows the operators of these systems to observe consoles remotely and receive alerts and updates via their mobile devices or computers. These systems are simple to install, they operate over a secure private network, and they gather and present the data in an easy to understand user interface. The boiler room operators and facility managers can receive equipment information anywhere they are connected to the web, and automated alerts allow them to be the first to know, in real time, when a boiler or other equipment needs attention. Communications Are Secure And Encrypted Security is a concern for any system that is monitored via the cloud. The Preferred Cloud Platform ensures that all communications are secure and encrypted, with both sending and receiving parties validated before data is shared. The gateway is connected via an isolated, private network, and ongoing updates keep the platform secure and up to date. Remote monitoring is especially valuable for critical facilities like hospitals and data centers. They must operate around-the-clock, but paying for 24-hour maintenance staff is a major expense. With remote monitoring, an on-call maintenance staff is sufficient. It also frees up employees to handle different tasks while remaining available to respond to malfunctions if they happen. Remote Monitoring A problem can sometimes be solved before anyone is even aware the interruption has occurredThe kind of “head start” offered by remote monitoring is particularly valuable in extremely cold or hot weather, when temperatures in buildings can change quickly. Before remote monitoring, the first time a maintenance team would hear about a problem was often from an angry tenant who was already too cold or too hot. Finding out about a problem via the cloud allows for troubleshooting to begin immediately, which means a problem can sometimes be solved before anyone is even aware the interruption has occurred. Maintenance Staffers “Cloud-based monitors work around the clock, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” said David Bohn, President and CEO of Preferred Utilities. “Critical maintenance staffers are free to enjoy their weekends and holidays, but in the event of an emergency, they can get an alert and still have enough time to address the situation. “And our platform provides a high level of detail, so the person receiving the alert can make decisions about what action is necessary right on the spot.” The Preferred Cloud Platform is available for installation, and it can often be installed in a single day.
At the 2020 IIAR Natural Refrigeration Expo on March 15–18, 2020, Danfoss will introduce three new innovations: the complete integrated evaporator control panel, semi-welded plate heat exchanger, and digital gas detector. These products are the newest, most advanced components from Danfoss' industrial refrigeration solutions, which blend reliable hardware with intuitive software to create customizable intelligent, energy efficient, and cost-effective systems. These components, along with the rest of Danfoss' broad industrial refrigeration portfolio will be on display and available for live demonstration at Booth 827. Danfoss’ advancements in innovative, custom integrated control solutions enable stronger, more intelligent distributed and central systems controls for industrial refrigeration systems. intelligent control and automation These technologies increase energy efficiency, ensure food safety, and help refrigeration systems transition to alternative, climate-friendly refrigerants. Available for new or retrofit projects, Danfoss' complete integrated evaporator control panels are factory-programmed and configured to the user's specific application and support multiple defrost methods, all while controlling flooded and DX evaporators. Its ammonia gas detection automatically closes hot gas and liquid feed valves and turns off evaporator fans. Lastly, the panel includes an evaporator microprocessor controller with either a door- or remote-mounted display and is packaged in a custom enclosure specific to its appropriate environment. Danfoss General Manager Art Marshall will discuss further developments in distributed and central systems control technologies during the company's Technomercial on Tuesday, March 17 from 12:00 to 12:30 pm. semi-welded plate heat exchangers The risk of contamination is reduced due to the barrier that will drain potential leaks outside the plate pack Danfoss is excited to introduce the new SW19-59 range of semi-welded plate heat exchangers, which are specifically designed, crafted, and tested to fit ammonia-based industrial refrigeration applications. The SW19-59 range offers outstanding thermal performance due to its optimized plate geometry that supports high turbulent flow, enabling a compact design and lower charge. Operational safety is essential in ammonia applications, so the company engineered a new gasket system to ensure high gasket stability and optimal plate alignment, enabling fast and easy installation, service, and maintenance while preventing gasket-blow out. Furthermore, the risk of contamination is reduced due to the glue-free, double-gasket barrier that will drain potential leaks outside the plate pack. Next generation gas detection Danfoss' digital gas detectors and sensors are precalibrated to match specific refrigerants, applications, and safety requirements, ensuring a safe and regulation-compliant system. With a comprehensive set of safety features, basic to heavy duty Danfoss digital gas detector models offer improved accuracy, simplified operator handling, automatic self-diagnostics, password-protected alarms, and a smart calibration process that rejects sensors with low life-expectancy. Collectively, these features minimize risks based on system settings, calibration, and service errors for continuous safety. For the first time ever, the digital gas detectors will be on display in a harsh weather habitat to demonstrate their durability and environmentally-resistant performance.
GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, unveiled the completion of its $125 million investment at its refrigeration plant in Decatur, Alabama. The investment boosted production capacity by 25% and ensures early compliance with 2022 refrigerant changes, making the plant a super site for GE Appliances top-freezer refrigeration production. The expansion created 255 new jobs, bringing total employment to 1,300 at the plant. The investment allowed GE Appliances to increase production to meet growing demand for its top-freezer refrigerators, which are rated number one in the industry for both quality and reliability. The investment is also another step toward fulfilling GEA’s strategic goal of becoming the major appliances company in the United States. Monitoring the production lines “Decatur is a great example of how we are infusing digitization and other new technologies to improve safety, quality and manufacturing efficiency in our nine U.S. factories,” said Bill Good, vice president of supply chain for GE Appliances. We can monitor the production lines from anywhere and pinpoint issues quickly" “Smart factories help us better connect with the consumer by creating a digital thread from the moment the appliance goes into production. We can monitor the production lines from anywhere and pinpoint issues quickly, allowing for production to continue smoothly and efficiently, ensuring we surpass our consumers’ expectations of supply chain speed and reliability.” The state of Alabama, the city of Decatur, the Morgan County Commission, the Morgan County Economic Development Association and the Tennessee Valley Authority have been important partners in the expansion. Making better and faster decisions Decatur’s latest Industry 4.0 technology additions include data visualization, 3-D scanning, rapid prototyping and other ‘smart’ automation that provides the operations team with real-time data to make better and faster decisions. Some specific examples at the Decatur plant include: Auto Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are being deployed to move materials throughout assembly processes, reducing damage and eliminating ergonomic issues. More than 50 robots perform heavy lifting operations, repetitive tasks, and other precise or ergonomically challenging jobs. Engineered and made in the United States, the newest and most advanced fabrication in the industry equipment builds a steel refrigerator case in seconds. The plant’s new common product architecture and redesigned assembly lines gives it the flexibility to build many different size models to meet shifting customer demand. Decatur’s progress has already been noticed, as the plant was named 2019 Assembly Plant of the Year by Assembly Magazine. “The company’s generous investment helped transform this 42-year-old facility into a Manufacturing Center of Excellence for top-freezer refrigerators,” said Renee Story, plant executive director for GE Appliances. “Adding technology and increased production capability helped our already amazing team move manufacturing to the next level.” Advanced manufacturing machinery and equipment The GE Appliances Decatur team has paid special attention to talent and workforce development to help employees operate the advanced manufacturing machinery and equipment. From partnering with Alabama Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (ALFAME) to conducting hydraulics training through a local supplier to implementing on-site training for Programmable Logic Controllers, educating and developing employees to thrive in this modern manufacturing facility is a priority. The Decatur plant is the largest employer at a single location in Morgan County, Alabama. GE Appliances transacts approximately $58 million in business with suppliers across Alabama, a number that will grow with the newly expanded Decatur facility’s increase in production. Over the next five years, the Decatur plant is expected to increase its already substantial annual economic impact in the state of Alabama.
Phoenix Manufacturing is excited to announce the newest product in its line of residential evaporative coolers, one that focuses on water conservation, and is giving customers a chance to win their own! This yet-to-be-named eco-friendly evaporative cooler can save homeowners up to 20,000 gallons of water (a swimming pool worth) compared to other evaporative coolers during the warm summer months. The Phoenix-based company is asking for the public’s help in naming the new residential water conservation window cooler. The winner will not only receive name bragging-rights, but will also receive a free water conservation cooler (a US$ 1,250 value)! Water Conservation Cooler The Water Conservation Cooler utilizes a Power Clean System and a smart timing device to operate the pumpThe Water Conservation Cooler utilizes a Power Clean System (PCS) and a smart timing device to operate the pump and cut back on water usage. The specially designed cooler keeps the pads wet enough to cool without over saturating the pads. “We continually aim for improvement at Phoenix Manufacturing and are constantly challenging ourselves on different and better ways of doing things,” said Bob Lewis, Phoenix Manufacturing’s Vice President of Marketing & Business Development. Equipped with Power Clean System (PCS) “Our goal was finding a way to reduce water to not only provide the comfort we’re known for, but to save our customers’ money. Water is a precious commodity,” Lewis continued. “Imagine what can be saved when entire communities get on board and start using the logical alternative in evaporative cooling.” The name the water conservation cooler contest runs from April 1 to April 30. Phoenix Manufacturing is renowned builder and supplier of quality evaporative cooling products to residential, commercial and industrial customers worldwide. Founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 1975, the company has continually developed some of the finest air-cooling products available anywhere in the world.
Small airborne particles contribute to the spread of infectious diseases of all sorts, and current concerns about the novel coronavirus COVID-19 are highlighting the role of HVAC systems to minimize airborne disease transmission and to ensure better indoor air quality in general. Because small particles can remain airborne for some period of time, HVAC systems can play a positive role in minimizing disease transmission, specifically by: Supplying clean air to susceptible occupants. Containing contaminated air and/or exhausting it to the outdoors. Diluting the air in a space with cleaner air from outdoors and/or by filtering the air. Cleaning air within the room. Developing resources ASHRAE has developed resources to help maximize how HVAC systems can have a positive impact as the coronavirus spreads. The society recommends strategies such dilution ventilation, laminar and other in-room flow regimes, differential room pressurization, personalized ventilation, source capture ventilation, filtration (central or unitary), and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) (upper room, in-room and in the airstream). ASHRAE suggests that owners, operators and engineers should collaborate with infection prevention specialists knowledgeable about transmission of infection in the community and the workplace and about strategies for prevention and risk mitigation. “The recent escalation in the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 is alarming on a global scale,” said ASHRAE President Darryl K. Boyce. “While [we support] expanded research to fully understand how coronavirus is transmitted, we know that healthy buildings are a part of the solution." ASHRAE offers guidance to building owners, operators, and engineers on how to best protect occupants from exposure to the virus and specifically how airborne particles might be circulated by HVAC systems. Practical standards and guidelines For example, ASHRAE’s recently approved position document on Airborne Infectious Diseases summarizes practical standards and guidelines that all types of facilities should follow. ASHRAE Standards that can have a positive impact on the spread of COVID-19 include those covering ventilation for acceptable indoor air quality, testing methods for general ventilation air-cleaning devices, thermal environmental conditions for human occupancy, and air quality within commercial aircraft. Another ASHRAE standard covers a method for testing UV lamps for use in HVAC units or air ducts to inactivate microorganisms on irradiated surfaces. ASHRAE also advises that new and existing healthcare intake and waiting areas, crowded shelters and similar facilities should go beyond minimum requirements. The virus Since the first notification on Dec 31, 2019, of more than 40 cases of an unusual viral pneumonia of unknown origin in Wuhan, China, the infection has spread to all of mainland China and later throughout the world, according to Healix International. The coronavirus, later designated COVID-19, infects the lungs, causing a viral pneumonia, and causes initial symptoms of fever with cough and sore throat. It can progress to shortness of breath and breathing difficulties leading to pneumonia. There is currently no vaccine or specific treatment. Among the available ASHRAE resources are a full position document, standards, publication, technical committees, research projects and material to prepare for COVID-19. ASHRAE is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment.
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.
What is the cost of “rolling a truck” to service an HVAC system, and how can you maximize the efficiency of such a call while minimizing the cost? On the second day of AHR Expo in Orlando, several companies mentioned the benefits of various diagnostic and analytics systems that can be accessed remotely and that provide information for a technician about the nature of a problem, and what parts are needed, before he or she leaves for the call. It’s an example of how technology can make life easier for HVAC companies. Technology can help HVAC companies in other ways, too. For example, AHR Expo exhibitor Jobber offers software to help small businesses, including HVAC companies, to be more successful. The company focuses on providing software for various home and field services industries — there are more than 50 of them in all. The software is designed for any small- to medium-sized company, from a sole proprietor up to a company with 50 employees. The cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) offering can be accessed through a web app or a mobile phone. Implementing Technology Several companies mentioned the benefits of various diagnostic and analytics systems that can be accessed remotely and that provide informationWhen a service request is received, whether by phone or over the internet, the Jobber software “takes over” and guides the process through quoting to scheduling to dispatching crews to invoicing and collecting payment. "The HVAC market is in the early adopter stage for implementing the technology, and demand is increasing", says Shawn Cadeau, Jobber’s Chief Revenue Officer. Jobber currently focuses on the North American market and is available in English only. Monthly fees start at $29, and a larger system might cost up to $249 per month. Some of the equipment on display at AHR Expo is also designed with contractors in mind. Rheem is announcing more models in its Renaissance line of light commercial products designed to be installed on the Carrier footprint. The equipment is designed for the contractor. Rheem brings contractors into the design process, so the “service mentality” that helps contractors do their jobs is included in the design. Minimizing Energy Consumption Heat Transfer Products Group (HTPG), the refrigeration business of Rheem, is showing off their EcoNet-enabled controller that minimizes energy consumption in critical cooling applications by monitoring the compressor to eliminate excessive runtime. One trend is away from mechanical components and toward more One trend is away from mechanical components and toward more electronicselectronics. For example, an electronic expansion valve provides more control and eliminates the need for mechanical thermal expansion valves.“People are excited about electronic control solutions,” said Raleigh Thompson, HTPG Marketing Manager. For medium and large-size systems, HTPG will launch new platforms in April, in anticipation of new Department of Energy efficiency standards. Daikin announced the Rebel Applied Packaged Rooftop System that combines high performance and a compact, configurable footprint. It features a casing design for ultra-low air leakage, which can save thousands per year, and Copeland ZPKZ scroll compressors. Reducing Costs and Staying Ahead Emerson makes the compressors, designed for superior part load efficiency and to reduce customer costs. Technology innovations of the compressor include a new hermetic motor, a scroll discharging value to optimize performance and oil-injection to mitigate heat. The Daikin Rebel system far exceeds minimum efficiency requirements through 2023. Emerson also highlighted the Sensi smart thermostat, the Multiple Thermostat Manager for property-wide comfort control, and the Sensi Predict 10-sensor system that analyzes the HVAC and displays how the system is performing so technicians can stay ahead before failure occurs. Detailed monthly performance summaries are provided, and real-time alerts are generated in the event of system of decline or failure — more information to help HVAC contractors. Missed our Day One review? Catch up here.
Fort Worth's historic downtown art-deco Sinclair building, now a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel, boasts its new variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC system which raised the first-floor ceilings and cleared the roof for a new bar. Baird, Hampton & Brown (BHB) provided civil, electrical, and mechanical/plumbing engineering design services to make the building one of the most technologically advanced hotels in the world. Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system As part of the renovation, BHB's mechanical engineers were tasked with replacing the building's traditional hydronic heating and cooling system with the increasingly popular variable refrigerant flow (VRF). VRF is a type of air-conditioning system that adjusts refrigerant flow to different areas of a building as needed, instead of distributing large quantities of refrigerant at all times. This technique creates practical zoning, giving occupants the ability to adjust their space temperature to their preferred comfort level. An added advantage is that VRF is one of the most sustainable systems on the market. "The VRF system helps The Sinclair be a more efficient and smarter building. A hotel room's AC unit will respond to the person who walks in and automatically know what set-point temperature they are looking for," stated Gibran Michel, BHB Associate and Senior Mechanical Designer. VRF outdoor units BHB's design of the hotel's VRF system was the firm's largest to date. Since VRF does not require as much ductwork and space as a traditional HVAC system, the team was able to raise the ceiling heights and bring in ornate windows on the lobby level. In addition, the VRF outdoor units were placed in the alleyway instead of the roof, which made room for a rooftop bar. The Sinclair held its grand opening in January 2020 and now offers a unique and modern experience while maintaining its stylish look and feel, thanks in part to its advanced VRF HVAC system.
Indoor comfort technologies from LG Electronics spotlighted at the 2020 AHR Expo, helped transform a 1920s art-deco office building into a brand-new luxury boutique hotel. The Sinclair, a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel, is featured in a new case study debuting at the 2020 AHR Expo show (booth No. 6343). Future-Ready Technologies The Sinclair Hotel aims to create an unforgettable and luxurious experience for its guests in a classic 1929 building in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. The hotel’s owner and management team sought state-of-the-art technology to power, sustain and manage the entire property while maintaining the historic building’s unique design and architectural details. The Sinclair Hotel required individual control of its HVAC system throughout 164 guestrooms The hotel required individual control of its HVAC system throughout 164 guestrooms (featuring 50 different room types) and sufficient heating and cooling for the lobby bar, reception area and large basement restaurant. With this in mind, the hotel management team identified LG as a company that was not only able to fulfill a myriad HVAC needs, but also create a full building ecosystem with its range of cutting-edge technologies across an expansive portfolio. Powerful Air Conditioning Technologies In the hotel’s quest to be low-voltage, the management team has employed what is believed to be one of the world’s first applications of Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE) to a large array of end points, to help achieve many of energy-efficiency and forward-thinking goals for the Sinclair’s desired level of technological ability. With PoE installed throughout the property, a variety of LG’s award-winning products will provide a low-voltage and energy-efficient solution for this forward-thinking partner. LG’s award-winning Multi V IV Heat Recovery Units were selected for their ability to provide individual room comfort for each space within the larger property. The Multi V IV also contributes to the building’s energy efficiency, high performance and flexibility in design and installation options. Installation versatility was considered to a key factor as the historic building was restricted in regard to lower ceilings as well as limited space for out-door equipment. AC Smart controller Local HVAC and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) experts, Texas Air Systems, recommend the installation of a variety of indoor solutions that ensure a quiet conditioned space, including LG’s Art Cool Mirror and Ceiling Cassettes, to accommodate the tight ceiling area within guest rooms. The unit’s quiet operation supports a tranquil guest room environment and contributed to the decision behind their selection for this property. The technology works unnoticed, contributing to the comfort and experience of a guest’s stay. LG’s AC Smart controller allowed for seamless handling of the HVAC system for the management team. This innovative control solution for a variety of applications offers a single LG platform that drives both variable-refrigerant-flow technology and energy efficiency. Property managers can now easily manage set and monitor the building’s heating and cooling performance with ease. Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology The LG connected outdoor units with slim, space-saving features were installed on the exterior of the building Prior to installing LG’s Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology, the building relied on an old chiller system to condition the entire building. The old chiller required a great deal of space in the building’s lower level. After switching to VRF, the hotel was able to gain a great deal of usable floor space for the large lower level restaurant. In turn, the LG connected outdoor units with slim, space-saving features were installed on the exterior of the building. LG has created industry-leading VRF technology to minimizes efficiency losses, provide sustainable energy savings and offer some of the lowest life cycle costs of any system on the market today. For similar costs as a traditional system, The Sinclair now has a highly reliable, energy-efficient HVAC solution that delivers comfort and convenience for its occupants. Stunning OLED TVs and Displays “Creating an unforgettable experience for my guests is of the utmost importance as a developer, and I work with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking partners around the globe when developing my properties,” said Farukh Aslam, Chief Executive Officer, Sinclair Holdings. He adds, “I am very sold on LG’s technologies and the results are quite impressive, thanks to its amazing energy-efficiency and quietness, contributing to the tranquil atmosphere throughout the property.” With an eye toward implementing cutting-edge technology, the developer also incorporated a stunning array of LG OLED hospitality TVs into every guest room – the first hotel to have OLED TVs in every guest room. LG OLED technology is a high-end category of displays that deliver a picture with incredible color LG OLED technology LG OLED technology is a high-end category of displays that deliver a picture with incredible color, even from wide viewing angles. It uses self-lighting pixels that can be individually turned on and off for exact control of image brightness and quality, delivering infinite contrast ratios optimized for high-dynamic range content. In addition to the guest room displays, a number of other LG commercial displays are also featured throughout the property’s public spaces – including the lobby, restaurants and bars. “Thanks to our strong relationship with Sinclair’s owner and building managers, there are multiple products across an array of LG business units installed throughout the property,” said Donald Decker, Director of Owner Sales, LG Air Conditioning Technologies. High efficiency AC technologies Donald adds, “Aligning with a partner like The Sinclair on our shared goals to power the building of the future, allowed an ecosystem that connects our industry-leading air conditioning technologies and other LG products to create a comfortable, elevated experience for guests across the entire property.”
Johnson Controls will enhance classroom environments throughout three Tennessee school districts – a combined 22 schools – with projects estimated to be completed this fall. Updates throughout the districts will include infrastructure, energy management and water conservation strategies to address deferred maintenance and improve efficiencies. Energy Savings Performance The school districts partnering with Johnson Controls include Lake County School District in Tiptonville, Overton County School District in Livingston and Smith County School District in Carthage. The combined $7.7 million in improvements are enabled through Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC) and Tennessee’s Energy Efficient Schools Initiative (EESI). These engagements will help fund project implementations using guaranteed savings to offset the cost of the upgrades. The HVAC unit provides air conditioning in a gym that previously had no temperature regulating systems Lake County School District’s $1.6 million in improvements include LED lighting, Wi-Fi thermostats, window and cooling tower replacements, and an HVAC rooftop unit above the district’s high school gymnasium, completed in May. The HVAC unit provides air conditioning in a gym that previously had no temperature regulating systems. Upon completion, Lake County will have realized more than $1.9 million dollars in energy, operations and maintenance savings, guaranteed over the 16-year agreement. The district also utilized a Tennessee Valley Authority incentive to fund electrical needs. Energy savings “Through our partnerships, we can help Lake County, Overton County and Smith County School Districts capture energy savings that can be reinvested to address deferred maintenance and improve district learning environments.” said, Ryan Ball, Performance Infrastructure Account Executive, Johnson Controls “For years, our gymnasium has been uncomfortable for classes and graduations. The installation of air conditioning is a monumental step towards improving the comfort and productivity of our learning environment for students and faculty,” said Sherry Darnell, Superintendent, Lake County Schools. Partnering with Johnson Controls “Partnering with Johnson Controls not only allowed us to make necessary infrastructure upgrades that will help enhance energy and operational efficiencies, but also to truly understand what implementations were vital for our unique needs and goals.” Overton County School District is implementing $2.9 million to improve its infrastructure, including the installation of HVAC rooftop units, LED lighting, energy management systems and water conservation methods, as well as boiler, pump and WSHP unit replacements. These upgrades will result in $3.5 million in energy, operations and maintenance savings, guaranteed over the 12-year agreement. The district can then reinvest these savings into additional curriculum upgrades for students, including Advanced’s STEM Program, to foster a more creative and productive learning environment. Energy management systems Smith County School District’s energy efficiency upgrades include LED lighting and energy management systems Smith County School District’s energy efficiency upgrades include LED lighting, water conservation methods and energy management systems. The $3.1 million in improvements will also be used to install access controls, in addition to the replacement of its cooling tower, boiler and pumps, WSHP unit and PTAC unit. These updates will help the district provide a more comfortable, efficient and safer learning environment for students and faculty. Upon completion, Smith County School District will have realized over $5.6 million dollars in energy, operations and maintenance savings over the 12-year agreement, allowing for these savings to be reinvested into additional student resources, including Advanced’s STEM Program. STEM Program “Through our partnerships, we can help Lake County, Overton County and Smith County School Districts capture energy savings that can be reinvested to address deferred maintenance and improve district learning environments,” said Ryan Ball, Performance Infrastructure account executive, Johnson Controls. “These improvements will help further the mission of each school and enhance student and faculty comfort and productivity.” Johnson Controls has a long history of working with K-12 schools and educators throughout North America to create environments that inspire and engage both students and faculty. Through Performance Infrastructure projects, we have helped 1,018 schools modernize equipment and building systems, improve infrastructure and energy spend, and address on-going maintenance needs.
Danfoss Silicon Power is chosen by ZF Friedrichshafen AG to be supplier of power modules for a range of projects ZF acquired from OEM’s. At the same time the two companies are intensifying their existing cooperation, with a new strategic partnership for silicon- and silicon-carbide power modules. ZF Friedrichshafen AG - Danfoss partnership ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Danfoss Silicon Power GmbH have stepped up their existing cooperation, with a new strategic partnership for silicon- and silicon-carbide power modules. The partners plan to improve the efficiency of electric drivelines by leveraging engineering and cost benefits at the interface between power modules and inverters. One of the first major milestones in this new initiative is a supply contract for Danfoss power modules destined for large-scale ZF volume production projects. Power Electronics application Power modules are used in so-called power electronics, which serve as electronic controls for electrified drives. “We are proud to join this partnership with ZF. We believe this closer cooperation between Danfoss and ZF has the potential to be a game changer for the development and innovation of future drive-trains for electrification of vehicles. Together we can enable an acceleration of the transition of the transport sector,” says Kim Fausing, President and CEO of the Danfoss Group. Power modules for silicon applications The partnership will see the two companies engage in joint research and development, with Danfoss also supplying power modules for silicon applications. Beside 400 Volt standard applications the two companies have also begun co-developing an 800 Volt Silicon Carbide power module for a large volume production project, aiming to position themselves at the forefront of this new segment. Development of space-saving inverters and more efficient power modules is crucial to reducing emissions over the long term “This is a robust long-term partnership that enables ZF and Danfoss to pool their strengths together. Coming together on this opens up significant innovation potential to improve the technical and commercial competitiveness of the inverters. We will utilize this advantage in all our drivetrain applications; from Hybrid- up to Full Electric Applications." explains Jörg Grotendorst, Head of ZF’s E-Mobility Division. E-Mobility division ZF’s E-Mobility division supplies electric drive systems and components, while Danfoss Silicon power GmbH (DSP) is a specialist in silicon and silicon-carbide power modules. By joining forces to produce innovative open technology solutions for e-mobility drivelines, they aim to make a vital contribution to cutting vehicle emissions. In electric and hybrid vehicles, power modules control the efficiency of the energy supply to the drive, battery and on-board electronics. This means that the development of space-saving inverters and more efficient power modules is crucial to reducing emissions over the long term.
Refrigeration manufacturer Haglund Industri AB wanted to achieve energy efficiency class A. Experts at the Danfoss Application Development Center (ADC) rigorously tested new component packages and reported energy savings up to 34%. Haglund Industri AB is one of Sweden's pioneer refrigeration manufacturers. They have produced products in sheet metal for more than 150 years and manufactured quality refrigeration solutions for the restaurant and catering trade for the last 65 years. Key to their success is the company's ability to continually innovate and respond to their customers' changing needs. Developing New Product Configurations Haglund turned to Danfoss, their manufacturing partner since 1954 Recently, those customers have been demanding ever-greater energy efficiency—to protect the environment and reduce running costs. Haglund wanted to keep their position on the frontline, so they sought to achieve an energy efficiency rating of A on their BRIS 850 commercial refrigerators—while also testing the very latest component technology. Haglund turned to Danfoss, their manufacturing partner since 1954. At the Danfoss Application Development Center (ADC) in Nordborg, they found qualified laboratory facilities, designed specifically to help customers test and develop new product configurations—under the expert guidance of specialist Danfoss engineers. Efficient Refrigeration Components Haglund's Managing Director, Johan Haglund, explains: "Our goal is to manufacture the best refrigeration cabinets in Europe. But we can only claim that with a leading energy rating. That's why we approached Danfoss to find a solution." One solution would have been to use thicker and enhanced insulation One solution would have been to use thicker and enhanced insulation, but that would have been expensive, requiring new equipment and materials. Haglund therefore decided to lab test the latest efficient refrigeration components—not least to conform with the strict requirements of the European Commission's energy efficiency clarification. That's where Danfoss offered our expertise. With four dedicated testing sites around the world, our ADCs provide laboratory-standard equipment for testing and optimization—in a collaborative environment supported by expert engineers. Simulated door opening procedures Based on these requirements, Danfoss embarked on a cooperative testing process with Haglund at their purpose built facility in Nordborg, Denmark. The process consisted of four key steps: Initial conversations and calculations – where both parties came together to discuss where they could make improvements in theory, including agreeing how and when tests should be done and to what standards. Preliminary testing – Haglund supplied Danfoss with a BRIS 850AK refrigerator and a BRIS-850FA freezer. Each unit's performance was initially tested to provide a benchmark for further tests. Each test also included simulated door opening procedures to reflect normal usage. Optimization testing – Danfoss then changed the compressor, condenser coil, thermostatic expansion valve, and filter drier. In addition, the refrigerant charge and TXV setting were adjusted, and the process was repeated. Results and next steps – Danfoss discussed the test results with Haglund to identify the best possible configuration for refrigerant charge and energy performance. Low-GWP refrigerants Danfoss maintained this limit and even reduced the charge to 130g in one case Johan explains the tests: "We were really surprised that by using smaller compressors, our refrigerators were still able to achieve the same high levels of performance as before." Haglund's refrigerators are used in commercial kitchens and need to be compact, movable, and, above all, safe when using flammable refrigerants. That's why, under allowable refrigerant charge regulations for small spaces, the charge had to be kept under 150g. By switching to a smaller filter drier and micro-channel condenser, Danfoss maintained this limit and even reduced the charge to 130g in one case. Haglund has led the way with low-GWP refrigerants for over ten years—and these tests were no exception. By switching to variable-speed compressors, Haglund's optimized system can now use R600a—saving 34% on energy. Reducing refrigeration charge It also means they have proven the refrigerator's credentials in testing—upgrading its energy efficiency rating B to A. "Now we've managed to reduce refrigeration charge in our units, we can conform to strict safety standards with greater ease. What's more, it has helped open up new markets for us," said Johan. We honestly believe our refrigeration cabinets—especially new models—are the best in Europe" "We honestly believe our refrigeration cabinets—especially new models—are the best in Europe. We are known to produce products with a high-end quality in our segment. The changes mean our customers save money and it's much better for the environment, too." Because the process was so collaborative at every stage and achieved positive results, Haglund intends to continue its relationship with Danfoss. The manufacturer wants to review its entire portfolio of around 150 units to understand how it can further improve energy efficiency—something countless other organizations set out to achieve at our ADCs when they partner with us.
AAON, Inc., global 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-leading, most recently winning awards in July 2019 for excellence in product design in the 16th annual Dealer Design Awards Program. Sospes’ EHS management software Sospes’ EHS software improves communication between workers and their companies Sospes’ EHS software improves communication between workers and their companies, creating a collaborative environment for improving safety and productivity. “As a leading manufacturer of HVAC equipment, safety is a priority for AAON. 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. “This software will allow us to be more efficient, and we look forward to working with Sospes and their innovative approach to safety management.” 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. “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.” AAON is engaged in the engineering, manufacturing, marketing and sale of air conditioning and heating equipment consisting of standard, semi-custom and custom rooftop units, chillers, packaged outdoor mechanical rooms, air handling units, condensing units, makeup air units, energy recovery units, geothermal/water-source heat pumps, coils, and controls. Data analytics and task management Sospes’ award-winning EHS management software makes organizations better by engaging employees with easy incident reporting, accountable task management and powerful data analytics, all within a single integrated mobile application.