Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, has announced results of independent surveys of 800+ building decision makers showing a clear shift to increased investment in healthy building trends and technologies. “At the center of a vision for a healthy world must be healthy buildings, and that means delivering on the most critical elements to serve People, Places and Planet,” said George Oliver, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of John...
Nidec Leroy-Somer (Nidec Leroy-Somer Holding), the world specialist with a wealth of experience in drive solutions for industrial refrigeration, has for more than 40 years provided refrigeration professionals with its state-of-the-art and energy efficient motors, and speed drives to effectively enhance productivity of industrial refrigeration applications. IE5 synchronous PM motors Nidec Leroy-Somer’s latest development, the Dyneo+ range of IE5 synchronous reluctance permanent magnet (PM...
Consumer advise experts at The Heating Hub have warned consumers not to get ‘hooked’ on the latest technologies in the drive to reduce carbon emissions, stating that they should focus on selecting the most appropriate system for their household requirements. The UK Government recently announced ambitious plans to install 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028 and has committed to phasing out natural gas boilers in new build homes by 2025. Decarbonizing homes Decarbonizing homes is a...
Carrier Global Corporation's BluEdge service platform continues to expand its reach with 1,000 signed service agreements in just six months and expanded geographic reach. The global, one of the best-in-class service programs that was originally launched in North America and Asia, is now available to Commercial HVAC customers in the Middle East and Europe. Through a deep understanding of customer needs and investments in cutting edge digital tools, BluEdge can help customers achieve enhanced equ...
Johnson Controls, the global front-runner for smart and sustainable buildings and the architect of OpenBlue connected solutions, has opened its new, state-of-the-art Ducted Systems Academy in Oklahoma City, OK, offering world-class commercial and residential HVAC training. The first-of-its-kind 30,000 square-foot training facility features two large classrooms and two extensive training labs, offering remote and hands-on classes, including virtual reality training. Real-Life Experience The vi...
The year 2020 will forever be remembered for the global pandemic that transformed almost every aspect of our lives. COVID-19 impacted the HVAC market, as it did most other business sectors. However, HVAC also rose to a new level of prominence at the center of the pandemic, both as a potential cause of virus spread and as a source of solutions to fight the virus. This article will highlight the intersection of HVAC and COVID-19 based on articles published during 2020 at HVACinformed.com. Impac...
Carrier Global Corporation, a global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions, is proud to announce that Wabash Plastics has joined the Carrier Alliance program and signed a strategic long-term agreement with Carrier. Wabash will supply a wide array of injection molded components and assemblies for use across Carrier's Residential HVAC portfolio. Rapidly changing requirements "We are excited to expand our strategic relationship and collaboration with Wabash and welcome them to the Carrier Alliance program," said Ed Dunn, Vice President, Supply Chain, Carrier. "We've worked together for decades, and Wabash has always had an unrelenting focus on quality, service and cost excellence. Wabash's consistent quality and on-time delivery remains best-in-class, helping Carrier to deliver for our customers and adapt to rapidly changing requirements." Wabash has been a supplier to Carrier for more than 20 years in North America Wabash has been a supplier to Carrier for more than 20 years in North America. Wabash manufactures assemblies and other components which are critical to Carrier's 90% high-efficiency gas furnaces and heating systems produced in Indianapolis. These energy-efficient heating units offer great appeal to homeowners interested in advanced technology for reducing energy costs and environmental impact. Carrier Alliance program Designed to optimize and strengthen the supply chain and help drive cost savings, Carrier launched the Carrier Alliance program to help provide certainty, security and growth opportunities for Carrier and its key suppliers. Joining the Carrier Alliance program is a win-win for Carrier and Wabash as it solidifies Wabash's position as a key supplier. "Joining the Carrier Alliance allows Wabash to further strengthen our long-standing relationship with Carrier and we look forward to the opportunity to grow and expand our presence in Carrier's portfolio of products," said Scott Schroeder, Executive Vice President, Wabash.
BioZone Scientific's residential, commercial, and healthcare products were independently tested for effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 by a third-party lab. In the test report titled, ‘SARS-CoV-2 Surrogate Inactivation by Ultraviolet Disinfection System from BioZone Scientific,’ the systems repeatedly delivered greater than 5-log inactivation (>99.999%) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in less than one second of exposure to BioZone Scientific ultraviolet disinfection systems. The testing was conducted by BCS Laboratories, an ISO/IEC 17025 certified Florida, USA-based lab which is also accredited by the US Centers for Disease Control, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Agriculture, and Florida Department of Health. UV light solutions The test was designed to model exposure time comparative to inactivating the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the moving airstream within HVAC systems. A manufacturer in HVAC UV light solutions for the disinfection of air and surfaces, BioZone Scientific technology has been used by thousands of people around the world for safe disinfection of homes, restrooms, transport, and businesses. This study joins others, including those published in the Journal of Clinical Virology, that demonstrate that BioZone Scientific's advanced ultraviolet disinfection systems are effective at inactivating viruses and other infectious diseases. Biological defense systems These accredited test results are the latest in a long line of groundbreaking and independently verified test programs" Paul Morris, BioZone Scientific's Senior Vice President for Global Business Development, stated, "This is more welcome evidence that BioZone Scientific's long experience of delivering innovative and effective Biological Defense systems for our clients is based on several critical philosophies - innovation, responsiveness to our clients' needs, and sound, certified, scientific data.” “These accredited test results are the latest in a long line of groundbreaking and independently verified test programs that have been undertaken by BioZone Scientific, including research on the effectiveness of our technology against viruses by the French Centre for National Virology Research and papers published in the Journal of Clinical Virology. This long term and consistent approach gives BioZone Scientific's partners the confidence that they are working with technology that is always ahead of the field in terms of reliability, quality, and effectiveness. We believe this approach is at the center of our success, and the success of our clients." Ultraviolet disinfection systems Ari Ahola, CEO of BioZone Scientific, stated, "These third-party test results show that BioZone Scientific systems are essential in delivering virus-free environments and are critical components of return to work protocols. In less than a second, BioZone solutions are capable of disinfection rates almost below the levels of detection.” “We're immensely proud of these findings, which are well in line with other scientific tests of BioZone Scientific technologies. Our mission is to limit the spread of COVID-19 and help people to return to work safely." BioZone Scientific is a pioneer in ultraviolet disinfection systems and has been at the forefront of UV technology for decades. It has a proven track record of innovation in disinfection technologies, which are designed, manufactured, and installed in line with the highest safety standards.
Recently, J&W Heating and Air and YORK® Factory Direct partnered with Building Homes for Heroes in Orange Park, Florida to gift a new YORK® HVAC system in the mortgage-free home of Army Specialist Alberto Diaz. Diaz joined the military in 2012 because he wanted to provide a better life for his family. While deployed in Afghanistan, his truck rolled over an IED, causing severe injuries, such as bleeding in his brain, nerve damage in his face, and posttraumatic stress disorder, among other injuries. For his service to his country, Specialist Diaz was awarded a Purple Heart. Donated Thermostat & HVAC Installation To support Diaz, Johnson Controls and YORK Factory Direct donated a YORK® heating and cooling system with a Wi-Fi® enabled YORK touch-screen thermostat to better assist him with adjusting his home’s temperature without the need to get up. J&W Heating and Air donated the HVAC installation services for the veteran’s new home. Giving Back To The Community "We’re so grateful to be able to give back to our community by supporting an incredibly well-deserving local veteran and his family through Building Homes for Heroes,” said Brent Marler, President, J&W Heating and Air. “While we provided the labor and YORK Factory Direct donated the equipment, for us, it's an easy decision that will allow Specialist Diaz to live safely and focus on his recovery.” About Building Homes for Heroes Building Homes for Heroes is a national organization that recognizes those who serve in the United States Armed Forces by supporting the needs of severely wounded or disabled soldiers and their families. The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them, mortgage-free, to injured veterans nationwide. Hopeful Path To Bright Future “We are honored to partner with Johnson Controls, J&W Heating and Air, and YORK Factory Direct to gift a home to Army Specialist Diaz and his family,” said Andy Pujol, Founder and CEO of Building Homes for Heroes. “The customized amenities that companies like Johnson Controls bring to these homes provide not only a foundation for these heroes but a hopeful path to a bright future with the opportunity to reach dreams they may have never thought imaginable when injured.” Sponsorship, Recognition, Commitment The YORK brand of Johnson Controls has been a proud sponsor of Building Homes for Heroes since 2014. The company has been recognized by US Veterans Magazine as a top veteran-friendly company. Johnson Controls is also committed to hiring veterans and military spouses. Veteran employees are honored to design, engineer, and assemble systems that help improve the lives of fellow veterans.
CoolSys - Refrigeration and HVAC Systems (CoolSys), parent to market-renowned refrigeration and HVAC service companies nationwide, has deployed several new technology initiatives to help combat global COVID-19 pandemic spread in recent months. Bipolar ionization Bipolar ionization is one of these technologies with the ability to create charged ions in the air to attach to airborne particles, increasing their size, and making them easier to trap with air filters. Scolari’s Food and Drug Company in Reno, Nevada is a CoolSys customer adopting the technology to combat COVID-19 virus, as they recently began work to expand a part of their facility that contains a casino gaming area and are focused on keeping customers safe. Technology solutions to counter COVID-19 spread “Businesses and companies are looking for solutions to minimize COVID-19 transmission as they re-open and bring back employees and customers to indoor workplaces and environments,” commented Adam Coffey, President and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at CoolSys. Adam adds, “As an industry renowned company in providing HVAC technologies, including bipolar ionization, CoolSys is doing its part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 virus among our customers across the country.” HVAC and air treatment technologies take center stage Bipolar ionization is among several tech-based approaches that CoolSys installs to help fight COVID-19 in indoor spaces Bipolar ionization is among several tech-based approaches that CoolSys installs to help fight COVID-19 in indoor spaces. These technologies are gaining wider adoption as COVID-19 has caused many formerly shuttered businesses to renew interest in proper air ventilation and sanitization. There is significant scientific consensus that COVID-19 is transmitted via aerosols, which has caused HVAC and air treatment technologies to take center stage for many businesses, especially those that welcome customers into their facilities for extended periods of time. Energy savings and odor elimination Bipolar ionization not only offers health benefits, but also the added value of energy reduction by reducing the amount of outdoor air that must be conditioned, as well as eliminating odors. “It’s more important than ever to place emphasis on safety. The ionization technology that CoolSys installs is high efficiency, low maintenance, and has a history of effective use. The added benefit of removing odors from the air doesn’t hurt either,” commented Jerry Scolari, COO at Scolari’s Food and Drug. Jerry adds, “We’re proud to be able to say we’re doing everything we can to protect our customers during such an uncertain time.”
Honeywell announces a new airborne particle analyzer that uses artificial intelligence and cloud computing to enable HVAC service providers and environmental testing professionals to better inform home and building owners of the quantity and type of particles present in the air. Airborne particles, allergens and spores affect the quality of life for more than 400 million people worldwide – for example, poor indoor air quality has been found to cause allergic rhinitis, which Americans spend more than $3 billion each year. Honeywell Air Detective is a breakthrough technology that can capture images and details of those allergens and particles in the air. Indoor air quality The Honeywell Air Detective allows HVAC service providers and environmental testing professionals to evaluate indoor air quality in near real-time with an easy-to-use mobile app that can be accessed on a tablet or emailed directly to the homeowner. This detailed evaluation, including images of the particles, can help homeowners and building managers make informed decisions about how to improve the air inside their homes or buildings. "Understanding what is in the air inside your home or building is a top priority for owners. HVAC, environmental testing, and other service professionals are looking for innovative solutions that will help them test air quality on the spot and determine the specific equipment, service and system upgrades needed to improve the indoor air quality," said Sarah Martin, president of Honeywell's Sensing and Internet of Things (IoT) business. Industrial analytics software This portable analyzer has already been deployed by environmental testing companies and HVAC distributors "We have developed a cost-effective, portable analyzer that uses holographic microscopy and cloud technology to 'take pictures' and classify airborne particles. Honeywell continues to provide solutions to help improve air quality for people while at home, on the job or when traveling." The Honeywell Air Detective is a handheld and lightweight, lens-less microscope that can be easily carried by a field technician to classify types of particles present in the air, including spores and various pollen species. It leverages powerful industrial analytics software and deep learning algorithms that are trained on specific pollen and spore species. This portable analyzer has already been deployed by environmental testing companies and HVAC distributors, such as Yandle-Witherspoon Supply, Inc. HVAC air cleaning systems "HVAC providers are being asked more and more to explain the specific airborne particles, spores and allergens in the air and suggest filters or solutions to improve air quality and comfort," said Philip Guy Jr., Territory Sales Manager, Yandle-Witherspoon. "Honeywell's particle analyzer has proved to be useful in field trials by helping our technicians pinpoint the specific pollen and spores present in the air so that we can work together with homeowners to make informed decisions and take action to improve their HVAC air cleaning systems and provide additional services." The Honeywell Air Detective uses disposable air analysis cartridges to collect particles, photograph them, and automate the classification process onsite. In the past, professionals would have collected and shipped the air sample off to a lab where a technician would be spending tedious hours analyzing the sample under a microscope before providing a detailed report. The device and consumable cartridges are available for sale at select HVAC distributors.
Carrier announced that it has expanded its AquaEdge 19DV water-cooled centrifugal chiller capacity range in North America by an additional 150 tons. With the capacity range now starting at 350 tons - previously 500-tons - the 19DV can accommodate customer requirements of smaller applications. The top of the range remains at 800 tons. The AquaEdge 19DV is the ultimate innovation in cooling and heating technology, and utilizes an environmentally sustainable refrigerant with the highest possible safety rating and an ultra-low global warming potential of ~1. Carrier is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a renowned global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. expanding capacity range The AquaEdge 19DV was designed to minimize environmental impact while also providing good efficiency “The Carrier AquaEdge 19DV exemplifies the innovation that is at the heart of our company and it has been recognized around the world for its ability to meet and surpass our customers’ needs for performance and efficiency,” said Chris Opie, Vice President, Product Marketing & Platform Strategy, Carrier HVAC-Commercial. “With the expansion of the capacity range by an additional 150 tons, customers with lower-capacity applications will now be able to recognize all the benefits this ‘ultimate BTU machine’ delivers.” effective heat recovery The AquaEdge 19DV was designed to minimize environmental impact while also providing good efficiency. The 19DV’s unique EquiDrive two-stage back-to-back compression allows for effective heat recovery, which enables its excellent cooling efficiency at standard conditions to flex up to 120°F (48.9°C) for energy-saving hot water production. The 19DV also provides free cooling, a strategy for leveraging natural air temperatures, which can result in thousands of dollars in energy savings per year while reducing maintenance costs and mechanical room space. provides intelligent analytics Additional features include a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) that protects the chiller against abnormalities in the power quality being delivered to a system and Carrier SMART Service, wireless technology that allows for remote diagnostics, long-term performance trending, benchmarking, decision analytics, and advanced notifications. AquaEdge 19DV first launched in Asia in 2016 and was subsequently introduced to other regions By leveraging insights, Carrier SMART Service provides intelligent analytics for maintenance staff that can proactively help improve equipment reliability and reduce energy usage, maintenance expenses and resource consumption. The innovative AquaEdge 19DV first launched in Asia in 2016 and was subsequently introduced to other regions, earning a reputation for reliability and efficiency. Awards and recognition The chiller has amassed an impressive list of accolades including, most recently, being named as the 2019 Innovative Manufacturer/Supplier of the Year in the Chillers category at the Climate Control Awards hosted by CPI Industry. Other honors from 2019 include being named as the Green Product of the Year in the Energy Management category at the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Green Building Awards in Dubai and the RAC Cooling Industry Award for Air Conditioning Product of the Year in the System/Standalone category in London. The water-cooled centrifugal chiller was also notably awarded Gold in the U.S.-based Consulting-Specifying Engineer Product of the Year Awards in the Boilers & Chillers category. provide sustainable solutions Last year’s honors followed a successful 2018 where the AquaEdge 19DV was named the winner of the SEC-Senoko Green Innovation Award at the Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards. One can learn more about the Carrier AquaEdge 19DV water-cooled centrifugal chiller by visiting the company’s official website. Founded by the inventor of modern air conditioning, Carrier is a global provider of high-technology heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions. Carrier experts provide sustainable solutions, integrating energy-efficient products, building controls and energy services for residential, commercial, retail, transport and food service customers. Carrier is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a renowned global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions.
The modern technological world is filled with ‘extrusions’. They are all around us, in the form of small and not-so-small cross sections. The function of an extrusion is to form seals between components of complex machinery and keep them functional. And, depending on the ‘type’ used, they can make a big difference to how a machine operates. Some of the most desirable types of extrusion — and especially for use in HVAC systems — are those made from silicone. Silicone, which is a type of rubber, has a robust set of properties. For one, silicone can withstand extreme temperatures, both high and low. Semi-Exterior environments Ranging from -60°C to temperatures exceeding 200°C. (And there are even higher grades that can be manufactured to withstand temperatures well above 200°C.) Ideal for HVAC units that work round the clock to keep large numbers of people in large buildings comfortable in summer and winter conditions. In addition to this, silicone is also one of the more resistant properties to the constant vibrations of working machinery. It can be difficult to locate the source of the problem if a tiny extrusion has dislodged. Vibration-resistant properties make silicone extrusions less likely to disengage or fall out of place, therefore minimizing the need for costly repairs. Finally, silicone is also more durable than most other materials when it comes to exterior or semi-exterior environments, such as that of rain or ultraviolet light. Protecting electrical components Silicone is useful in HVAC systems because it offers enhanced sealing and compression protections As a result of this favorability, there is already a considerable number of different types of silicone extrusions that can be found in a lot of HVAC systems. These include HVAC sealing gaskets, hatch seals and vibration isolation pads. But also silicone sponges, which act as a protective layer of thermal insulation. As well as providing thermal insulation, silicone sponges can double-up as a form of acoustic insulation, with considerable noise reduction and anti-squeal properties. Silicone enclosure gaskets protect electrical components, and environmental seals — as the name suggests — help to keep everything protected from the sometimes harsh elements of the environment outside. Silicone is useful in HVAC systems because it offers enhanced sealing and compression protections over most other materials. Closed cell structure On a material level, silicone has a ‘closed cell structure’, which helps to keep out moisture ingress, along with water and dust. The combination of a closed cell structure, along with sealing and compression benefits, makes silicone ideal for exterior seals and gaskets in and around HVAC systems. The softer grades of Silicone have an excellent memory and low stress relaxation, which in turn helps to prevent common faults with HVAC systems — usually caused by gasket failures made from other materials that soften and compress inaccurately. The low stress relaxation properties require minimal force on behalf of the engineers sealing the enclosures, while the memory-properties of the silicone allow it to conform to awkward shapes and gaps of various widths. Manufacturing HVAC systems proactively with silicone in mind can allow more design flexibility on behalf of the engineers. Inevitable rapid movements General purpose solid silicone or silicone sponge is suitable for many HVAC applications And, as mentioned above, vibration isolation pads work as dampers to protect against the inevitable rapid movements of the systems as they power along. But also to help withstand the vibrations of HVAC units on transport systems, such as buses and trains, which naturally vibrate as they run over imperfections on rail and road tracks. As it happens, general purpose solid silicone or silicone sponge is suitable for many HVAC applications, not just those discussed above. The designs of the extrusions would be different, reflective of their function, but the material would be the same. In some instances, customers may also require a flame retardant silicone — certified to UL94 specifications — in order to meet safety standards in certain situations or environments. Great temperature ranges For all its material advantages, silicone is generally more expensive than the other types of material rubber that are used to manufacture extrusions, such as ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM). And while other materials do of course have stand-out benefits of their own — EPDM for example is more hard-wearing than silicone — silicone is still often the extrusion ‘type’ of choice because of its ability to withstand great temperature ranges. This is very important for heating and air conditioning systems. Because some of the most common factors that cause HVAC systems to break down are as a result of seal and gasket failure, which can come about as a result of an overheating unit. Very cold environment Chances of a unit overheating can be just as likely — in fact perhaps more so — where the system has to operate in a very cold environment. With the threat of climate change etched more than ever into the public discussion, we can predict that there will be a steady increase in the amount that this material is used to make up the HVAC seals. And not just because, as temperatures continue to increase and summers get hotter and more prolonged, there will be an increased demand for them. Effective public relations It is no secret that HVAC systems can be relatively expensive to run It will become a matter of effective public relations for managers, building regulators and transport officers to make sure that the equipment they are using — and making — is ‘green’. By using the right materials that help conserve energy and increase efficiency, this will not only sit right with the general public, it should also be more economical, too. It is no secret that HVAC systems can be relatively expensive to run. Minimizing wastage, and the time spent on call outs and repairs will make a notable difference. Of course there are many other ways to also set about making air conditioning and heating units more efficient. Using seals or gaskets made from silicone is just one small piece of the puzzle. But utilizing them will almost certainly be more beneficial than you might imagine. And anything that is a step in the right direction is a welcome change.
As a Managing Director of a company that provides temperature and humidity solutions to predominantly the warehousing and industrial sectors, I thought I would share my dilemma that I’m sure other business owners and managers also face. I don’t pretend to know the answers, but thought it might be worth sharing some of the considerations that I’m facing in whether to reshape, recruit and build or hunker down until the World, Europe and the UK offers some sort or predictability. I promise to not refer to ‘new normal’, masks or social distancing as this is extensively covered elsewhere. Context Our business has seen steady growth in the past 5 years, as a result of our efforts to create and retain relationships with customers who value our offer. Our focus has always been to offer solutions to large scale complex HVAC projects. We invest heavily in intellectual talent sponsoring PhD and MSc students, to keep us on our toes and develop leading edge solutions. We also feed off each other and our network of equally talented suppliers. My dilemma as Managing Director is do I continue our ambitious Research & Development (R&D), IP and Business Development or throttle back and take a cautionary approach until the economy offers a more certain platform? ‘Fortune favors the brave’ they say, but when you have a good business and employees look to business managers to ensure their livelihoods, how brave is brave? The Dilemma Immediate transactional or contractor resources are easy to obtain with the right screening and due diligence Immediate transactional or contractor resources are relatively easy to obtain with the right screening and due diligence, but for more developmental strategic roles, do you recruit in an emerging post pandemic, catastrophic employment forecast, that to in a mid/post Brexit world? From my personal perspective, it boils down to attitude, communication, enthusiasm and buy-in from everyone in the company. Nothing new there, but it feels that the stakes are higher so confidence is key. Do we or don’t we? Inaction is the riskiest response to the uncertainties of an economic crisis. Rash or scattershot action can be nearly as damaging. Rising anxiety (How much worse are things likely to get? and for how long is this going to last?) and the growing pressure to do something often produces a variety of moves that target the wrong problem or overshoot the right one. Within the world of HVAC, changes to legislation, environmental considerations, technological changes and research and development might be slowed or influenced, but won’t stop as a consequence of the immediate economy, which is a good thing. Recruiting on a need basis Many companies recruit when needed, to fill a vacant position or when a large project demands more manpower than the current headcount supports. This approach is obvious and addresses immediate transactional and resource needs. Using headcount as a KPI for growth, at a glimpse may illustrate positivity, but may be signaling a stop gap and may not be a true indicator of strategic growth. Of all the things I have observed over the last 5 months, reading the news, talking to colleagues and peers, a few things have stuck out for me, such as how companies have treated their employees, customers and suppliers, how creative and flexible some big organizations have been in responding to market changes and demands and how, despite uncertainty, their core business skills, intelligence and ability enabled them to prosper in a new and unforeseen environment. Finally, how companies will be remembered post crisis. Robust business planning The ability to respond quickly to market changes relies on creativity and attitude My belief is that those companies that have and continue to float to the top had the key ingredients of a successful business, enabled by capable enthusiastic talent that were given the opportunity to shine. These people weren’t hired to fill a stop gap, but rather these people were hired as part of a robust business plan. So, ‘do we or don’t we?’ Our philosophy at Jet Environmental Systems is to have a solid platform, identify future markets, trends and technologies and hire the absolute best people that we can to get us there. Recruitment in our business is a process that supports our strategic development and so for us our answer is yes, have confidence and continue to invest in the best talent. The ability to respond quickly to market changes relies on creativity and attitude with support from equally enthusiastic management who create the opportunity for individuals who present this talent to grow. Conclusion I hope the thought process I’ve shared has been useful, for me it has been a checkpoint in whether our choice of investment in people is right, not just now but in all situations. For me, it’s a resounding yes! I think we will create opportunities by having vision and giving people opportunity.
Residential HVAC is a fulfilling business to be in. Whether be it servicing a furnace or installing an air conditioning unit, the individual is doing important work to help keep families in the community safe and comfortable. The work also comes with perks such as good margins, some great customers, and the ability to set varying pricing and schedule. If an individual is in a growing business in this space, chances are that they have seen more than a few hectic days. Days where it becomes difficult to juggle crews, instruct technicians on necessary job details, and answer client calls, all at the same time. In theory, this chaotic day-to-day is a good problem to have. In practice, it can get really tiring, pretty fast. Robust system to streamline operations The work can be extremely overwhelming and if the right systems aren’t in place, the business could suffer. Lines of communication can get crossed and if time is being spent working on the wrong things, the individual could miss out on opportunities to grow. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing a high growth HVAC business, by applying the right operational strategies, businesses can flourish. Coordinating requests while dispatching techs out to do work is where many administrators and operations managers hit a roadblock in business growth. This is precisely why businesses need to implement software that lets them track jobs, view technician schedules, and flag new jobs to crew members all in one place. This will eliminate the need to play ‘phone tag’ across the organization, which in turn will keep operations running smoothly and reduce manual errors. What’s more, if the software allows techs to automatically trigger an invoice that customers can pay on the spot, businesses can avoid hours of chasing down past-due payments and create a better cash flow. mobile apps: Picking The right software Businesses are encouraged to choose software with a mobile app where customers can enter the payment type Businesses are encouraged to choose software with a mobile app where customers can enter the payment type, such as cash, check, credit, debit and a receipt can be automatically emailed to customers. This will also cut out out-of-date operations, while giving businesses access to what they need (schedules, work orders, customer information and more) at anytime from anywhere. Having a central hub for keeping everything organized also creates the operational flexibility needed to take on work. To ensure businesses don’t have to turn new jobs down due to delayed responses or scheduling issues, a crew member can be kept flexible for this task. In order to do this right, businesses need to calculate how much emergency work they’re losing due to unavailability and adjust accordingly, by creating a schedule with allotted time. Spacing out work won’t impact the number of scheduled installs and replacements retained, while giving businesses added time and revenue to take on emergency repairs. This strategy is only doable if businesses have the requisite software that can provide an accurate and full look into employees’ workloads. pricing services Research Is Important A business in high-growth mode needs to ensure their pricing reflects the services being offered. This can be done with researching of other companies in the area that are charging for the same services offered, so that the business can have a number to compare to when setting prices and also prepare to justify higher price to customers. Setting prices higher can be advantageous for a business, if they can show customers the differentiators. Most people want work done right, and an added premium that ensures top service often won’t turn them away. Additionally, it’s important to make sure all expenses are covered, down to the credit card fees. When pricing services, businesses need to build a file of overhead expenses, then determine the percentage profit want to charge clients. Different jobs require unique services, so prices should reflect that Varied pricing per customer Different jobs require unique services, so prices should reflect that. A business might charge more for commercial clients than homeowners. These minor adjustments will ensure that a business makes the profit that the work deserves. Feedback is also very important for repeat orders. If a business is not getting repeat clients due to pricing, they should keep that in mind when building profit margins. Pricing shouldn’t be static, continuous adjustments has to be made where it makes sense and extra time invested to do the research. Ensuring exceptional customer service It’s important to set up systems and expectations for teams to follow right out of the gate With business growth also comes customer growth, and for residential HVAC companies that physically go into a customer’s home, it’s crucial that their services reflect the highest quality. It’s important to set up systems and expectations for teams to follow right out of the gate. Helping crews do their best work from a technical and customer service perspective by establishing guidelines for what the business wants every homeowner to experience is the key. Open lines of communication Aside from ensuring that the crew keeps a clean workplace, keeping open lines of communication with customers should be a top priority for businesses. This can be as simple as answering the phone and getting a technician to a job site as soon as possible. Often, customers come from positions of stress due to broken equipment, so having quick response time is a key differentiator between good and bad service. A good solution for this is to evolve into automating key communications that allow techs to send ‘on my way’ text messages. How a business interacts with customers is a key signifier into how the company operates, so businesses need to ensure that have the best customer service practices in place. Never take valuable employees for granted While it sounds simple, a high-growth business needs reliable employees to scale, so that their competition does not swoop in and scoop up an employee who doesn’t feel valued. As business ramps up, it’s easy to miss that technicians are not being dispatched to jobs that they enjoy. If employees are constantly doing a job because they’re good at it and they don’t feel fulfilled doing that specific job, at the end of the day, they are not going to be happy. To avoid losing employees, businesses should take the time to ask what jobs they like to do and see if they can accommodate schedules to reflect their preferences. employee retention And loyalty A crucial factor in building a top performing team is employee retention and loyalty A crucial factor in building a top performing team is employee retention and loyalty. Businesses should focus on creating a great atmosphere to work in. This includes keeping a pulse on what’s happening in the team’s personal lives and use that to show appreciation in meaningful ways. One way to do this is by investing in the team’s education. For example, paying tuition fees for techs so they can get new certifications and licensing. These types of gestures show that the business cares about the success of their employees, while also helping them retain the most qualified crew members. Incorporating software solutions and automating tedious tasks Developing a high-growth residential HVAC company doesn’t have to be stressful if businesses know what systems and processes to implement to better manage operations. By adopting strategies that incorporate software solutions, like Jobber, to streamline operations, automate tedious tasks and improve customer communications, the opportunity for growth is more accessible for businesses. Organizations should focus on creating a solid operational system by doing research before pricing services, keeping customer service a top priority and not letting great employees slip away. All these strategies will work together to help maximize business growth.
Sustainability and environmental impact are core issues of the HVAC market in 2020 or any year. During the last year, HVACinformed.com has addressed multiple facets of sustainability in some of our most popular articles. This retrospective will highlight some of the sustainability articles published during 2020 at HVACInformed.com. An HVACInformed.com Expert Panel Roundtable commented on various aspects of sustainability, including the responsibility of HVAC manufacturers to develop more sustainable, energy-efficient products that can reduce a building’s reliance on fossil fuels. Energy consumption pattern Honeywell has launched a platform that incorporates newer technology. Combining self-learning algorithms with building automation, Honeywell Forge Energy Optimization is a cloud-based system that analyzes a building’s energy consumption pattern and adjusts its settings. Heat networks, or district heating, are becoming an ever-greater part of the industry’s involvement Pete Mills of Bosch Commercial & Industrial outlines how cities are using ‘heat networks’ to achieve carbon emission targets in the United Kingdom. Heat networks, or district heating, are becoming an ever-greater part of the industry’s involvement in larger-scale schemes. The ability to help the decarbonization of heat both now and in the future has made them an attractive solution to the new-build sector, as well as those undergoing deep renovation works. Centralized heat generator Generally, heat networks are defined as a system of supply pipes with a centralized heat generator (Energy Center) that serves multiple domestic or non-domestic dwellings. These are usually in different buildings, but sometimes within a single large building like an apartment block or a university campus. Some U.S. cities are taking the lead to make building performance standards mandatory, thus providing additional incentive for customers to invest in new, more efficient and climate-friendly HVAC technologies. New York City has deployed its Carbon Mobilization Act, which will cut six million tons of CO2 annually by 2020. Washington D.C. adopted the first Building Energy Performance Standard, which will reduce energy use in buildings by more than 20%, thereby lowering carbon dioxide emissions by a million tons annually. Improving environmental performance 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 humidity, and improving filtration systems even as older buildings seek to become greener. The consistent theme is a need to work toward better-designed, more energy efficient and healthier buildings The consistent theme is a need to work toward better-designed, more energy efficient and healthier buildings. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is moving forward with rulemaking that sets limits and deadlines to decrease the use of refrigerants with global warming potential (GWP) in the commercial refrigeration market and in the residential and commercial stationary air conditioning equipment markets. Air conditioning systems California regulations are widely expected to influence the direction of other states seeking to regulate GWP of refrigerants. The addition of biodiesel lowers the carbon content (and thus the environmental impact) of heating oil. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions, including nitrogen oxide. The process of making biodiesel from renewable and organic sources also boosts the environmental profile. The Wyss Institute at Harvard University has developed an evaporative cooling system that uses a specially coated ceramic to cool air without adding humidity. Researchers say the approach can yield more affordable and environmentally friendly air conditioning systems for the future.
Artificial intelligence (AI) provides a tool to deliver significant savings and dramatically reduce carbon emissions, enabling a self-operating building. Because of AI’s ability to be proactive in buildings, rather than reactive, a 25% reduction in total energy costs is possible, along with a 20-40% decrease in carbon footprint. "Our mission is to fight climate change by bringing innovation and cutting-edge artificial intelligence to the built environment, making buildings smarter and greener," said Jean-Simon Venne, Co-Founder and CTO of BrainBox AI. BrainBox AI BrainBox AI is at the forefront of a new era in building automation and a leader in the green building transformation. Located in Montreal, Canada, BrainBox AI offers a technology that combines deep learning, cloud-based computing and autonomous decision-making to support a 24/7 self-operating building. BrainBox AI’s solution enables the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system in a building to operate autonomously, in real-time. “Some 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions originate from buildings, and HVAC systems are responsible for over 50% of those emissions. BrainBox AI is comprised of experts in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), data science, real estate, HVAC and energy efficiency, all working to create a better future,” said Jean-Simon Venne. AI technology thrives in logical environments AI technology thrives in logical environments, and HVAC systems are extremely logical" Venne adds, “AI is very stable and super predictive. AI technology thrives in logical environments, and HVAC systems are extremely logical. A fan, for example, will continuously have the same behavior, over and over again.” Due to HVAC’s predictability, AI can study a building and learn how it operates, identify each potential improvement opportunity, and then act on them. AI is also able to monitor a multitude of data points at once, so it’s more reliable in optimizing HVAC systems in real-time than humans alone. Communicating with HVAC controls Communicating with HVAC controls is a requirement of applying AI to the HVAC market. There are over 700 control languages currently being used for HVAC control. Looking at the big picture, about 20 of those 700 languages make up 80% of the market. BrainBox AI’s system focuses on the 20 or so dominant languages. Part of their minimum requirements for system integration is that the HVAC system must speak one of those 20 languages. Autonomous real-time cloud connection BrainBox AI also recently launched a driver for the Niagara Framework, the first AI application to use an autonomous real-time cloud connection to the platform, which is the leading open platform for the building automation market. Their Niagara driver allows the platform to connect to a building’s management system (BMS) through the cloud, thus decreasing the connection time to less than 30 minutes. “If you’re going to use AI, you really need to use the cloud, in order to use the proper computing power,” said Venne, adding "Using a cloud system makes it easier to store and share information. For example, if you’re a building owner, the cloud system can give the building owner visibility into all the data being collected and a holistic view into what’s happening in their buildings.” Autonomous AI HVAC system BrainBox AI's customer AMP Capital is now the first organization to install an autonomous AI HVAC system" Venne further stated, “BrainBox AI's customer AMP Capital is now the first organization in the world to install an autonomous AI HVAC system across its managed real estate portfolio. But how does an automated system adapt to the changing and possibly competing comfort preferences inside a building? It's an excellent question.” The AI solution is all about predictive behaviors, but that sometimes requires compromise. There will always have be someone who prefers to work in 60 degrees and someone else who prefers to work in 80 degrees. "Because BrainBox AI collects thousands of real-time data points such as outside temperature, sun/cloud positioning, fan speed, duct pressure, heater status, humidity levels, occupant density and more, we’re able to report a 60% improvement in occupant comfort thanks to an improved respecting of set points," adds Venne. Airborne Virus Mitigation Program In the age of a global pandemic, airborne viruses, such as COVID-19’s SARS-CoV-2, can be re-circulated non-deliberately throughout building HVAC systems, creating a liability to building owners and operators. To help proactively mitigate the potential spread of pathogens and improve air quality in buildings, BrainBox AI provides commercial buildings access to its Airborne Virus Mitigation Program (AVMP). Through AVMP, BrainBox AI instructs the HVAC system to operate as instructed to minimize the spread of contaminants and improve air quality, based on CDC and ASHRAE guidelines. BrainBox AI’s system focuses on the 20 or so dominant languages Supporting buildings with partial HVAC system shutdown Additionally, many commercial buildings are significantly less occupied than usual during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. BrainBox AI supports these buildings by proceeding with a complete or partial shutdown of their HVAC system(s). BrainBox AI’s cloud-based technology optimally instructs the networked HVAC system to decrease its operations to a minimum, enabling up to 30% in energy cost savings. BrainBox AI's go-to-market strategy is comprised of three different parts. First, the company has its own sales force, which is deployed mainly in North America, but also in APAC and EMEA, where they can sell directly to building owners and operators. The company also uses reseller partners for commercialization, which are usually system integrators or local integrators. These partners are typically already selling controls to different building owners and operators in regional markets. Now, they have the opportunity to provide their clients with BrainBox AI. They are also using this strategy globally. Partnerships with OEMs BrainBox AI is developing partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) Lastly, BrainBox AI is developing partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to help support their individual strategies of implementing artificial intelligence into their existing HVAC and controls products. “We’re just now starting to really see the impact that automating building HVAC systems can have,” said Venne, adding “Buildings have been non-adaptive for such a long time, but now with building automation, we’re really starting to change that. Right now, AI thrives on predictability, based on the thousands of data sets it’s able to collect. That being said, the weather keeps changing outside, with global warming continuously on the rise; building mechanics should react and adapt to that.” AI building blocks Venne further stated, “Humans are also not robots, they gather in different areas in the building and don’t always have the same patterns. It's a challenge to enable and train AI to be more adaptive in that sense. AI building blocks eventually will aggregate together and give more intelligent insights, ultimately creating a more intelligent city and eventually a much more intelligent world that can be operated by AI, under the watchful eye of humans.” “A misconception is that this technology will ‘steal’ jobs from humans and replace them,” stated Venne, adding “Naturally, that makes people a bit scared. Right now, every building has only a few people operating the building system. They are so frequently called to change an office’s thermostat that utilizing AI actually makes their job easier.” Controlling and optimizing building HVAC systems We’re reaching a very interesting time in terms of AI and technology in general" He adds, “By allowing BrainBox AI to control and optimize the HVAC systems in buildings, the building operators are able to spend more time running the building, rather than flipping switches and changing temperatures. We’re reaching a very interesting time in terms of AI and technology in general." Venne further stated, “All my life I was given limitations, hearing 'no, we can’t do this, the computers can’t handle this, etc.’ But right now we’re reaching the point where we’re not limited by our technology capabilities, we are only limited by our imagination." He concludes, “It’s just a matter of breaking that imagination wall to find a way to create even more value with the existing technology today. Things are accelerating and we’re going to need to move forward. We shouldn’t be scared, but rather embrace it and accelerate forward.”
Millennials have been shaped by their experiences growing up with technology and by their heightened awareness of the environment. These facets of a consumer market dominated by millennials will guide the future of the HVAC market over the next several years. Each generation reshapes markets in their own image. In the case of millennials, trends and behaviors are influencing how companies design new solutions, including those in the world of HVAC. Sustainable solutions and personalized experiences Millennials place a premium on sustainable solutions that reduce their environmental impact Millennials place a premium on sustainable solutions that reduce their environmental impact. Millennials also want more personalized and convenient experiences, and they value enhanced customer service support. New systems designed with a personalized and ecological mindset are amplifying efficiency and convenience and giving unprecedented control to create a truly connected home for technophilic millennials. Future HVAC products to cater to millennials The challenges of catering to millennials is one of the trends LG Electronics has listed among those likely to impact the HVAC industry in the months and years ahead. The trends are directly guiding LG’s product mix, including WiFi-enabled indoor units and LG’s Smart ThinQ application, which put the ability to control a home’s comfort system at the consumer’s fingertips. Here are some other trends to watch, listed by LG Electronics, when looking ahead to 2021 and beyond: Greener solutions on the horizon: Beyond appealing to millennial sensitivities, green solutions have a long list of their own advantages. Industry providers are responding by creating more sustainable and efficient products to enable customers to reduce their carbon footprints. LG Inverter air conditioning systems are designed to minimize efficiency losses, provide sustainable energy savings and contribute to lower lifecycle costs. More efficiency and reduced costs: Geothermal heat pumps have quickly proven themselves to be an alternative energy source, offering both warming and cooling capabilities. They are a highly effective and renewable energy source that can transfer heat from the ground to cool and heat buildings. Minimizing greenhouse gas emissions: Connecting HVAC to the electrical grid highlights the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Air-to-water heat pumps and other solutions can generate cooling and heating from one unit, thus furthering the transition from natural gas, fuel oil or coal. Fulfilling the need for new employees: The next generation of HVAC engineers and technicians requires training programs. LG Air Conditioning Academies provide training and skills programs around the world to empower the new generation of HVAC professionals. The impact of COVID-19: The pandemic has created a need for greater safety precautions within the HVAC industry. Remote working trends and additional precautions will likely continue to impact the industry even post-pandemic. LG HVAC systems are evolving to better aid the road to recovery and to prepare for the new normal with optimal solutions for the ever-changing challenges.
Global thermal and energy management supplier Hanon Systems announces the company is supplying their innovative R744 heat pump components to the Volkswagen Group for its global MEB platform. Designed specifically for battery-powered and electric vehicles, the first to market R744 heat pump components enable a single solution that delivers cabin comfort in cold or warm conditions with low power consumption. Heat pump systems "Based on our own market insight and engagement with global vehicle manufacturers, electric vehicle driving range is a known important consideration," said Nurdal Kücükkaya, president of Hanon Systems. "Our solutions for R744 heat pump systems demonstrate Hanon Systems is actively developing and bringing to market solutions to address these challenges in automotive electrification." The solution designed with Volkswagen uses R744 refrigerant (also known as carbon dioxide or CO2), which is widely known for its heat transfer properties and operates at higher pressure levels compared to other refrigerants. Improving energy consumption The solutions supplied by Hanon Systems, in combination with the refrigerant characteristics of R744, improves energy consumption compared to conventional refrigerants while meeting the desired cabin temperature, even in challenging sub-zero temperatures. Hanon Systems supplies the electric compressor, refrigerant valves, internal heat exchanger and accumulator as part of the R744 heat pump system equipped on various models based on the Volkswagen MEB platform.
The nationwide lockdown in November, which was necessary due to the high number of infections in the second corona wave, has been accompanied by considerable restrictions. It is therefore all the more important to continue to secure the indispensable work in public institutions and especially, teaching in schools. In order to provide a decisive solution to the problem, Viessmann has developed a new air ventilation unit, the Vitovent 200-P. This is a unique hybrid ventilation unit that provides rooms with a continuous supply of fresh air and simultaneously cleans the air. Continuous air circulation Constant air circulation reduces aerosols and supplies closed rooms with fresh outside air again and again, so that pupils and teachers are best protected against the virus and learning performance is improved. "As a 103-year-old family business, we are committed to designing living spaces for generations to come," says Viessmann Co-CEO Maximilian Viessmann. A direct and continuous air circulation is guaranteed with a fresh air supply at floor level “Right now it is crucial that we quickly and pragmatically safeguard our children to maintain a part of their social life and access to education in these challenging times.” Vitovent 200-P uses the so-called displacement ventilation principle: A direct and continuous air circulation is guaranteed with a fresh air supply at floor level which then rises due to heat exchange with the occupants’ bodies. Comfortable learning atmosphere Consequently, used air rises to the top and travels into the units and is cleaned there, before being returned into the room as fresh air at floor level. The permanent supply of fresh air with heat and moisture recovery ensures a comfortable learning atmosphere and good air quality, even without window ventilation. Vitovent 200-P units have already been successfully tested in a pilot project at the Hans-Viessmann Vocational School in Frankenberg, North Hesse. The feedback from students and teachers has been overwhelmingly positive. In particular, it was positively highlighted that the unit runs very quietly and creates a comfortable indoor climate- it was also noted how in the prior absence of frequent ventilation, an additional health risk in winter when outside temperatures are very low, not only did the indoor air dry out excessively, but the schools' energy consumption and CO2 emissions were driven up too. Short term development Viessmann successfully demonstrated that the company was prepared to fulfill its social responsibility The devices can be retrofitted easily and at low cost by replacing a window pane with an isopanel. Thus, they offer the possibility to keep heavily occupied lounges and public facilities open despite a generally high risk of infection. The Viessmann Group together with the Viessmann Foundation announces that it will donate the first 50 Vitovent 200-P air cleaning units worth a six-figure sum to schools and social institutions, and will assume the full cost of installation. The company is thus fulfilling its purpose ‘We create living spaces for generations to come’ to a great extent. Already at the beginning of the outbreak of the pandemic, Viessmann successfully demonstrated that the company was prepared to fulfill its social responsibility and made a tangible contribution to the community through the short term development and provision of respiratory ventilators, mouth and nose masks and disinfectant - all of which are summarized as ‘ViAid’.
Carrier Air-conditioning Sales & Service (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (Carrier China) was selected by Guangzhou Respiratory Center to provide advanced heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) solutions to help protect the health and safety of patients and medical staff. Carrier China will provide solutions available through Carrier’s Healthy Buildings Program to help improve indoor air quality in the center. Carrier China will also install high-efficiency chillers and heat pumps to complement the Healthy Buildings solutions. Carrier China is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. Improving indoor air quality Guangzhou Respiratory Center is a multi-functional medical center planned to open in summer 2021. It will be equipped with 1,200 beds and will be the site of clinical trials, scientific research and education. The project covers nearly 85,000 square meters, with a total construction area of more than 193,000 square meters and a total investment of nearly RMB 2 billion. It is jointly funded and constructed by Guangdong Province and Guangzhou City. Carrier China will provide thousands of advanced airside products with UV light Carrier China will provide thousands of advanced airside products with UV light, which can greatly improve indoor air quality. Also, In order to meet the customer’s needs for high efficiency and energy savings, Carrier will provide comprehensive solutions for the project, including water-cooled and air-cooled chillers to significantly increase the system’s overall efficiency, and cooling-only and heat pump technology that can achieve both cooling and heating. Protecting staff wellness “Medical institutions are being increasingly designed as a space that can provide care for patients and protect staff wellness,” said Cissy Wang, General Manager, Commercial HVAC Equipment Distribution, Carrier China. “We’re glad that Carrier was selected to provide our Healthy Building Solutions to the Guangzhou Respiratory Center and we’re contributing to such a meaningful project." "2020 is a challenging year. The outbreak of COVID-19 puts forward stricter requirements for hospital design," said Titus Yu, Managing Director, Carrier HVAC North Asia, Carrier. "We’re committed to helping to improve occupant health and safety with our Healthy Buildings solutions and services for the medical industry."
Accommodating significant fleet growth and modernization, one of North America’s renowned refrigerated trucking companies, KLLM Transport Services, is adding 1,400 new Utility trailers refrigerated by Carrier Transicold units, equipped with the eSolutions telematics platform and TRU-Mount solar charging systems. Carrier Transicold is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a globally renowned provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions. “Thanks to continued investments to replace and upgrade our equipment and technology, we are, today, a 57-year-old company with one of the youngest, most advanced fleets on the highway,” said Jim Richards, President of KLLM, a Top-3 refrigerated carrier, headquartered in Richland, Mississippi. Carrier Transicold refrigeration units “As a premier service provider, with more than 6,000 refrigerated trailers and domestic intermodal containers serving 48 states and Mexico, it is vital that we continuously renew our fleet,” said Richards, adding “This latest investment helps us keep our fleet new and modern for improved service, less downtime and to provide our customers with the advantage of the most current technology.” The new Carrier Transicold systems include 1,325 X4 7500 single-temperature trailer refrigeration units to be deployed by KLLM, and 75 Vector 8600MT multi-temperature units to be used by KLLM’s Dallas-based Frozen Foods Express (FFE) business. All refrigeration systems will be installed on 53-foot Utility 3000R insulated trailers by Carrier Transicold and Utility Trailer dealer, Southern States Utility Trailer Sales Inc., also located in Richland. eSolutions telematics platform Carrier Transicold’s eSolutions platform helps refrigerated transporters operate more efficiently by improving visibility of their cold chain assets and intelligently providing a centralized data stream about their transport refrigeration units (TRUs) and cargo. In addition to supplying critical data, such as temperatures, location and movement, the eSolutions platform will provide two-way control as well as analytic and diagnostic information about its refrigeration units. TRU-Mount solar charging system Carrier’s TRU-Mount solar charging system helps maintain the charge of the refrigeration unit battery Carrier’s high-performance TRU-Mount solar charging system helps maintain the charge of the refrigeration unit battery, which supports the eSolutions telematics system, even when the refrigeration unit is off. “The fact that the eSolutions system is integrated with the Carrier Transicold units is very important to us,” stated Jim Richards, adding “It will give us new abilities to download data and upgrade over the air, including our IntelliSet profiles, something we are certainly excited about.” IntelliSet feature software application The IntelliSet feature is a software application included with Carrier Transicold’s APX refrigeration unit controllers that allows custom configuration of multiple refrigeration parameters to create profiles based on specific commodities or customer preferences. With the eSolutions system, IntelliSet configurations can be selected remotely, and parameter updates can be done over the air rather than manually, saving time and resources. For additional details about Carrier Transicold’s transport refrigeration units, eSolutions platform and solar charging options, turn to the experts in Carrier Transicold’s North America dealer network.
The Visual Arts Building (VAB) at the University of Iowa is a marvel of both aesthetic design and mechanical engineering. Six years in the making and completed in October 2016, the award-winning, 126,000 square-foot structure blends the artistry of the renowned Steven Holl Architects (New York) with an array of innovative mechanical systems that smoothly integrate with Holl’s aesthetics while meeting the numerous, industrial-like requirements of this challenging space. Thanks to these mechanical systems, the VAB is projected to consume 60 percent less energy than a building in compliance with ASHRAE 90.1. A Verification Report prepared by a local utility, MidAmerican Energy, converted that percentage into an annual cost savings of nearly $300,000. The utility calculated the final payback on the “incremental costs associated with energy conservation strategy investments” at a comparatively swift 2.1 years. For this project performance, the university earned an incentive payment of more than $550,000 for the building, which recently achieved LEED Gold certification. incredible level of system integration Infelt was specifically referring to the thermally activated slab (TAS) heating and cooling system her firm helped design “Every time we talk about this building and the incredible level of system integration throughout the space, I’m amazed we pulled it off,” says Amy Infelt, P.E., LEED AP — and only half-jokingly. Infelt is Managing Principal for the Cedar Rapids-based Design Engineers (DE), the mechanical and electrical engineering consultant on the VAB project, for which she served as project manager. She was assisted by mechanical engineer Tim Lentz, P.E., LEED AP; and electrical engineer Eric B. Bruxvoort, P.E. In her comment above, Infelt was specifically referring to the thermally activated slab (TAS) heating and cooling system her firm helped design with internationally renowned sustainability specialist, Transsolar, a KlimaEngineering firm based in Stuttgart, Germany. Providing baseline comfort for the five-story structure, this six-level slab system incorporates 67 miles, or more than 353,000 feet, of ⅝-inch Wirsbo hePEX tubing, manufactured by Uponor North America in Apple Valley, Minn. maximize transmittance of light However, Infelt could just as easily have been referring to the bubble-deck structural slab itself: The VAB is one of the few buildings worldwide to integrate TAS with void slab construction. Or, she might have noted several other innovations that Transsolar brought to the project, such as: The metal-shading device (right) that covers the windows on the southern and western sides of the building; or The interior shading device that sits 10 feet below the 30-foot x 40-foot skylight over the atrium that spans the full length of the structure; or The insulated channel glass found at numerous points around the exterior. Each of the above items is intended, in the service of both comfort and energy efficiency, to maximize the transmittance of light into the interior, while minimizing heat gain or loss. energy consumption-reduction You cannot overestimate the impact of having an architect of the international stature of Steven Holl" What drove all this innovation at VAB? Infelt credits the University of Iowa and its decision to recruit a highly regarded “design architect” to create an aesthetically compelling structure for the new home of the art and art history departments. This was necessitated when the predecessor building, which had been slated for extensive renovation, was ruined by a flood in 2008. “You cannot overestimate the impact of having an architect of the international stature of Steven Holl,” says Infelt. “Their firm’s reputation rides on every building they create, so they pay incredible attention to every detail in the design and construction. This attention to detail inevitably impacts the design of all the mechanical systems in the building.” At the same time, the university had also set “very defined objectives for energy efficiency and energy consumption-reduction,” notes Infelt. “Their focus is to design buildings for the lowest energy costs for the long term.” overall system efficiency SHA’s uncompromizing aesthetics and the university’s lofty efficiency goals were not the only challenges for the mechanical system designers. The VAB is more than a building of offices and classrooms. It is also an active, buzzing and humming collection of studio-art workshops, full of highly creative students busily making and building all manner of objects. Which is why the building houses not one, not two, but 10 different dust-collection systems, pulling exhaust from woodworking and metalworking shops, a kiln room with seven industrial-grade kilns, a sculpture studio with a forge and a crucible furnace, an acid room for print-making, plus various studios for ceramics, painting, welding and plasma-cutting — even bicycle-building. In sum, the mechanical systems in this complex space had to maximize occupant comfort and productivity as well as overall system efficiency. Integrated design Integrated design is a huge buzzword in the AEC world right now but this building is truly integrated" The extent to which the structure’s designers and builders accomplished those twin objectives is a testament to the high level of collaboration within the building team. The latter included the Des Moines, Iowa, office of BNIM, which served as project architect, assisting SHA. “Integrated design is a huge buzzword in the AEC world right now, but this building is truly integrated,” says Infelt, explaining how the mechanical systems DE and Transsolar created had to be designed to support the VAB’s overall aesthetic goals, while meeting the widely varying needs of the many different users of the facility. Among the highlights of the VAB, none is more architecturally striking than its atrium (previous page), spanning the entire 150-foot depth of the five-story structure and extending 70 feet vertically. Ductwork, piping and conduit for mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are typically concealed above the ceiling in commercial buildings. utility routing zones But the VAB has very few ceilings, and the design intent was for the atrium to remain clear of any exposed MEP systems. Everything is fully exposed through the rooms surrounding the atrium, including ductwork mains routed through a tunnel below the atrium. That meant its thousands of feet of piping and conduit had to be meticulously coordinated, so that systems were arranged in fastidiously neat and precisely parallel runs, rather than the less rigorous style of most above-the-ceiling construction. “We created what we called ‘utility routing zones’ — specific areas within each room through which all ductwork, pipe and conduit could be routed, with a special hanging system for each zone,” says Infelt. “We even coordinated how the piping and conduit were identified and labeled. All the systems are labeled with the identification in the same color and with identical graphics: black letters on a white background. The specific font and sizes of lettering were both coordinated by SHA.” Thermally activated slab system In short, no detail at the VAB was too small to escape scrutiny and close coordination In short, no detail at the VAB was too small to escape scrutiny and close coordination. As Infelt remarks in her firm’s own literature on the VAB, “The installation of the thermally activated slab heating and cooling system required especially close coordination.” In part, that’s because the slab itself is not solid concrete, but what is called voided biaxial slab, or bubble deck, construction. The VAB bubble deck consists of hundreds of empty, but watertight, plastic balls — or the preferred term, “voids” — 7.5 inches in diameter and sandwiched between layers of criss-crossing rebar and all of it buried in 12.5 inches of concrete along with the Uponor Wirsbo hePEX. The latter, like most radiant installations, is laid out, six inches on center, in a serpentine fashion. sacrificing the integrity of the slab The special challenge for DE and the installing contractor: The Wirsbo hePEX had to be looped carefully into the slab in a way that avoided the voids (as well as all the rebar). The rationale for this type of slab is straightforward enough: All those spherical voids allow for less concrete to be poured, without lessening the thickness nor sacrificing the integrity of the slab itself. Less concrete means a smaller load, which in turn permits weight-bearing column spacing to be far wider — an absolutely critical need inside the expansive, SHA-designed atrium. More frequently seen in Europe, this type of void slab remains a rarity in North America, most especially in the Midwest. Equally rare in the Midwest is a TAS system that provides not just heating, but also cooling. Concerns about condensation leave many building designers reluctant to specify radiant cooling. heating and cooling The six slabs at VAB contain no insulation, so a portion of the energy radiates upward However, inside the VAB, which uses TAS construction on six different levels, “the system allows you to provide cooling in a way that keeps the slab surface temperatures above the point where condensation is produced,” says Infelt. “What makes a TAS different is its use of the full concrete mass to store its heating and cooling longer,” she continues. “The six slabs at VAB contain no insulation, so a portion of the energy radiates upward. But the Wirsbo hePEX is positioned five-eighths of an inch from the bottom of the slab. As a result, most of the radiation is downward, conditioning the space below.” Radiant was an obvious fit for the new VAB with its large, loft-like, atrium space. activated-slab heating Whatever misgivings the university construction team and Controls and Maintenance Group might have had about radiant were largely resolved by an off-site visit to Chicago and to the Loyola University Information Commons, which uses a similar TAS system. "The extended, 25-year warranty provided by the Wirsbo hePEX was also a key factor in ensuring the University’s comfort with the TAS,” says Infelt. “Uponor played a key role in bringing us up to speed on activated-slab heating and cooling technology and then worked closely with us on the VAB design.” Of particular value were the thermal modelings on the heating and cooling capacity of the slab, performed by Uponor Sales Engineer Him Ly. Using the slab depth, the tubing diameter, the depth of the Wirsbo hePEX inside the slab and the temperature of the water moving through the tubing, Ly calculated how many heating or cooling BTUs per square foot the slab could provide. construction of the interior walls Built into the walls, these cabinets contain isolation valves, balancing valves and other hydronic accessories “Once we understood the slab’s true capacity for heating and for cooling, we could best determine what supplemental systems were needed,” says Infelt, “and what type of system would work best in a given space inside the VAB.” All the Wirsbo hePEX was installed in the six slabs before any interior walls were set. This tubing was routed out of the slabs through 71 different manifold cabinets with 634 circuits or loops of tubing. Built into the walls, these cabinets contain isolation valves, balancing valves and other hydronic accessories supplied by Uponor. “The tubing is distributed via a supply-and-return manifold to a maximum of 12 loops per cabinet,” says Infelt. The installed Wirsbo hePEX was left capped and hanging for an extended period, awaiting the construction of the interior walls and the final placement of the cabinets. Supplemental HVAC systems How did the installation crews assure that none of the tubing was somehow damaged during this wait time? “All the tubing was pressurized, and each of the 71 manifold cabinets was equipped with its own pressure gauge for its particular set of loops,” Infelt explains. “Once in the morning and once at the end of the workday, the installation team would inspect each of the 71 gauges, comparing the two readings. Wherever there was a pressure drop, the contractor knew something happened that particular day to damage the tubing. Doing these inspections daily made it easier to isolate and immediately fix any problems.” retain heating or cooling capacity The capacity of the slab to heat or cool is what it is — a constant,” says Infelt The VAB TAS is a “passive” system, with minimal active control, who’s mass can be counted on to retain heating or cooling capacity over long periods. But that consistency also prevents it from reacting quickly to changing loads — such as a busy classroom with large numbers of students regularly moving in and out of the space. “The capacity of the slab to heat or cool is what it is — a constant,” says Infelt. “That is why we designated it the baseline heating and cooling system for the building. We then created extra heating or cooling capacity with our supplemental systems, which can react more quickly — and actively — to changing loads.” adding supplemental HVAC systems The “changing loads” can be triggered not only by student and faculty movements about the building, but also by the various specialized “industrial” processes taking place in its busy workshops. Another, equally important factor are the weather extremes in Iowa whose outdoor ambient temperature can range from subzero Fahrenheit in the winter to several days, even weeks, above 90°F in the summer. To help Transsolar understand the temperature ranges for the project area, Infelt would email them each time the area experienced temperature extremes. Not surprisingly, DE ultimately chose to enhance Transsolar’s innovative TAS concept by adding supplemental HVAC systems that would support the teaching mission of the facility, while fitting in with its structure and climate. variable air volume (VAV) terminal units These systems include: Outdoor and exhaust air systems: This system provides general exhaust for the building occupants, as well as exhaust from the industrial equipment and processes. In addition, these systems introduce outdoor air to provide ventilation air for indoor air quality, as required by ASHRAE 62.1 and to replace the exhaust air. These systems also maintain the building at a positive pressure relative to the outdoors. The outdoor air is delivered via variable air volume (VAV) terminal units with reheat coils and provides supplemental cooling and heating for the areas served. Because of the number and type of industrial processes that occur inside the VAB, a considerable amount of makeup air from the outside is required for both replacement and ventilation air. This outdoor air is pretreated by a custom air-handling unit (AHU) that maintains separate air streams: one running through a total energy, desiccant recovery wheel; and the second, through a sensible heat pipe. refrigerant-charged heat pipe This exhaust-air stream routes through the refrigerant-charged heat pipe where its heat is recovered and transferred Located in the VAB’s lower-level mechanical room, the AHU pulls heat from some of the building’s exhaust before expelling it outdoors. At the same time, the air handler transfers that recovered heat to the incoming outdoor air before it moves into the building. This transfer is done through a slow-spinning desiccant wheel, handling the incoming interior exhaust on one side of the wheel and outgoing outdoor air on the other. “We call it an ‘energy wheel,’” explains Infelt, “because it allows us to transfer both latent and sensible energy.” But not all exhaust is permitted to move through the wheel. Exhaust from the various industrial processes is, of course, “dusty, smelly, even hazardous,” says Infelt, and therefore may not be transferred to the incoming outdoor air. This exhaust-air stream routes through the refrigerant-charged heat pipe where its heat is recovered and transferred to the incoming outdoor air. air-handling unit “The heat pipe is a heat-recovery device only,” says Infelt. “It can capture only sensible energy, while keeping contaminants and odors on its side of the air-handling unit.” While less efficient than the wheel, the heat pipe is “still able to recover the heat from the exhaust from the industrial spaces.” Fan coil units: These units provide supplemental heating and cooling where the demand is beyond the capacity available from the TAS and the ventilation air system. Radiant heating, installed in designated places on the building perimeter: The TAS structural slab at the VAB is covered by a three-inch-thick topping slab. Wherever insulated channel glass has been installed around the exterior, a three-foot-wide strip of radiant heating — again using Wirsbo hePEX — was installed inside the topping layer. Controlled separately from the TAS system, this perimeter radiant install provides heating only during the colder months, shutting down in the summer. No insulation is used, because the 12.5-inch structural slab directs all the heating upward, where it is needed. Single-zone displacement ventilation system: This energy-efficient system serves the 76-seat classroom by supplying air at a low — and therefore quiet — velocity, befitting an academic environment. The desired comfort temperature where students and faculty congregate at floor-level (the “occupied zone”) is maintained, while the air space above is permitted to become progressively warmer as you near the ceiling. comfortable environment for the occupants The activated-slab system is such a good fit for large commercial projects with high-ceilinged, open areas Post-construction tests have yet to be run, comparing the actual performance of the VAB with its ambitious, 60-percent savings target. But Infelt reports that the UI Controls and Maintenance Group, which is responsible for the building’s operation, has found the TAS and its supplemental HVAC systems to be “very robust, providing a very comfortable environment for the occupants.” Given that the activated-slab system is such a good fit for large commercial projects with high-ceilinged, open areas, is DE looking to apply what it learned on the VAB to other commercial jobs? “We would sure like to,” she responds. “But TAS is still not a very common, accepted system. Going that route takes a client like the University of Iowa — a group or institution willing to embrace what is new and different to achieve something special.” sustainability and energy efficiency Infelt recalls an early telephone conversation she had one evening a decade ago with Transsolar founder Matthias Schuler, exploring whether they might collaborate on the VAB project. “Transsolar develops the concepts and ideas for the new things they want to implement. But they need a mechanical engineer to partner closely with them — to make the plans and do the drawings and work with them to realize these new and innovative concepts. As an engineering firm, DE is fully committed to sustainability and energy efficiency,” she continues. “Where others might see uncomfortable risk, we saw great opportunity in working with someone like Matthias and Transsolar. By the end of our conversation that night, Matthias understood that DE was willing to partner with Transsolar, turning their innovative vision into an architectural reality.”
Mitsubishi Electric Hydronics & IT Cooling Systems, though its brand Climaveneta, has supplied the cooling system for Smurfit Kappa Piteå production facilities in Sweden. Smurfit Kappa manufactures kraftliner, which is a type of paper used to produce high-grade corrugated cardboard. Kraftliner means that the paper is entirely or mostly made of wood raw material, which produces a paper of excellent strength, moisture resistance and printability, and it is chemically and biologically clean. This means that is possible to use in contact with food. The factory produces 700,000 tons of kraftliner each year, making Smurfit Kappa the largest kraftliner factory in Europe. Focus on environment and emissions With over 55 years of experience, Smurfit Kappa strives for ‘sustainability in each fiber’ and has high environmental awareness in their production process. In fact, kraftliner is made up of 80% wood and 20% recycled fiber from corrugated cardboard boxes. At the Piteå factory, there is a very big focus on environment and emissions. In normal operation, the factory uses no fossil fuels. A biotech boiler is used as the energy source, where residual products from production, such as bark, sludge, and plastics are burnt. The company has also considered the cooling system in their goal to be free of fossil fuels, which is why for their process cooling, Smurfit Kappa installed 1 Climaveneta high efficiency water cooled chiller FOCS2-W/CA 7803 for a total cooling capacity of 1858 kW. The FOCS2-W units are characterized by highly innovative optimized compressors and the high performing heat exchangers.