Panasonic highlights the importance of heat pumps with the sponsorship of the Best Heat Pump Project of the Year category in H&V News Awards 2021. In recognition of the huge potential of its Aquarea Range of air-source heat pumps, Panasonic is sponsoring the Heat Pump Project of the Year in the annual H&V News Awards 2021. A must-attend event in the industry calendar, the H&V News Awards celebrates projects and technologies throughout the heating and cooling industry in the UK. Dec...
Graham Russell, managing director of heating and cooling systems manufacturer, Viessmann, has commented on the publication of the UK Government’s Heat & Buildings Strategy: Viessmann wholeheartedly welcomes today’s publication of the UK Government’s Heat & Buildings Strategy. The new strategy sets out a plan to achieve substantial carbon reductions from the heat in buildings during this decade, towards meeting the net-zero target in 2050. Its publication, just a few da...
Columbus Industries, a pioneering global provider of air filtration products for indoor residential and commercial applications has joined Filtration Group, an affiliate of Madison Industries Columbus Industries’ comprehensive suite of performance-engineered air filters, manufactured to enable the highest efficiency with the lowest pressure drop, further enhances the breadth and depth of Filtration Group’s leading portfolio of world class indoor air filtration solutions to ensure saf...
The Sustainable Homes and Buildings Coalition, consisting of NatWest, Worcester Bosch, British Gas, and Shelter, has released its first comprehensive report titled ‘Home is where the Heat is.' The report ‘Home is where the Heat is’ directly engages with consumers, going into clear detail on how the UK can decarbonize homes and buildings across the UK. The aim is to place consumers at the heart of the conversations and ensure they have a better understanding of the technology o...
Customizable electrical heating solutions can provide main or supplemental heat for many – if not most – indoor and outdoor spaces. Marley Engineered Products, a national provider of reliable comfort heating and ventilation solutions, now offers a continuing education unit (CEU) focused on the capabilities and configuration options of many electrical heating devices and how they can be customized to suit every unique architectural or engineering demand. The new CEU, titled “Di...
The Heat and Buildings Strategy has been published which recognizes that to meet net zero, there is a huge decarbonization effort required with how buildings are heated. This presents huge opportunities for jobs, growth and technological advancements, if carried out correctly. However the priority for Government and those like themselves in the industry is to identify how all consumers’ needs can be met. There are still barriers we must overcome that this strategy does not yet solve. re...
A number of standard unit coolers from Friga-Bohn, which supplies a wide range of refrigeration solutions to the food industry, are now fully compatible with A2L refrigerants. The unit coolers support use with both new A2L refrigerants such as R1234yf, R454C and R455C, as well as existing HFC refrigerant solutions. As a result, a single unit can provide for present and future requirements, reducing inventory for wholesalers and easing selection choices for installers. The market for unit coolers is changing. The F-Gas regulation means that a ban is now in place for new installations using refrigerants with a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of more than 2500. Diminishing production quotas Furthermore, other refrigerants are having their availability limited by diminishing production quotas, which is consequently affecting prices. Refrigerant producers have to fall within a regulation-defined limit of Teq CO2 (carbon dioxide equivalent tonnes) per year. So opting to produce a refrigerant with a high GWP means less product availability, leading to a higher price. CO2 is, of course, an option, but alternatives such as A2L refrigerants are very attractive CO2 has become the preferred refrigerant in high-capacity refrigeration installations thanks to its low GWP and good thermo-physic properties. However, for small/medium-capacity systems, the choice is not so obvious. CO2 is of course an option, but alternatives such as A2L refrigerants are very attractive as their constituent technology is similar to HFCs while offering a far lower GWP. Existing refrigerant solutions To ensure simplicity of choice for installers, Friga-Bohn can now confirm that a number of its unit coolers offer compatibility with new A2L refrigerants, as well as existing refrigerant solutions. This approach differs from other market systems, which are only suitable for one or the other. Wholesalers, therefore, benefit as they only need to stock a single type of unit cooler – one capable of meeting the requirements of both applications. The A2L-compatible coolers now available from Friga-Bohn include MR and MH series ceiling units, NTA dual-discharge units, and 3C-A cubic units. Typical applications include cold rooms in cafes, hotels, bars, restaurants, local shops, minimarkets, and supermarkets, with options available to suit both positive and negative temperature conditions. Comprehensive risk assessment Friga-Bohn can offer several newly developed tools to help simplify this process for installers Despite their low GWP (R1234yf, R454C, and R455C have a GWP of less than 150), A2L refrigerants carry a ‘slightly flammable’ security classification. For this reason, all Friga-Bohn unit coolers using A2L refrigerants have been subject to a comprehensive risk assessment, with INERIS, the French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks, providing full approval and validation. A risk analysis is also necessary for each installation to ensure safety for users and the general public; a process that should take into account the entire refrigeration system as well as its environment over the product life cycle. Here, Friga-Bohn can offer several newly developed tools to help simplify this process for installers. The availability of these tools ensures that the ‘slightly flammable’ classification of A2L refrigerants should not be an obstacle in reducing the industry’s carbon footprint. Lower GWP refrigerants In summary, A2L refrigerants are a good solution when transitioning to lower GWP refrigerants. They provide the opportunity to reduce environmental impact and comply with the F-Gas regulation for small/medium capacity installations. However, changing to A2L does require some technical knowledge. Here, Friga-Bohn is ahead of market competitors – the company is fully prepared and ready to help wholesalers and installers with any assistance they may require in helping the food sector achieve a safe and effective switch to a future based on low-GWP refrigerants. Friga-Bohn can also help wholesalers to educate installers about this important industry shift.
Inspected (Inspected.com), a remote virtual inspection program, started in Florida, announced a new partnership with PowerHouse Electrical Services (PowerHouse), to provide remote video inspections, during electrical and generator installations. This partnership will benefit customers throughout the Southwest Florida region, by reducing installation time and labor costs accrued, while waiting for a city permit inspector to approve electrical work. It also benefits contractors working with PowerHouse, by eliminating downtime waiting for the inspector, thereby speeding up installations and improving productivity. Inspected - PowerHouse partnership Inspected will provide PowerHouse with instant access, to a deep roster of certified virtual inspectors, who can ensure code compliance, as required under Florida state law. Inspected clients use the platform patented software to automatically geo-tag locations, capture high-quality video and images, and document each step of the process. “Inspected has brought a lot of value to our team and helped us become more efficient with our permit inspections, making the process extremely smooth and quick, so there is no lost time, waiting around for a city inspector to show up,” said Justin Adams, Owner of PowerHouse, adding “Our contractors are also happy because this gives them more time to move on to the next job and earn more, as a result.” PowerHouse Electrical Services We are thrilled to partner with PowerHouse Electrical Services, to help them grow their business in Southwest Florida" PowerHouse Electrical Services provide a wide range of electrical services throughout Naples, Fort Myers, and the Southwest Florida region of the United States of America. Their highly experienced service team installs generators, emergency electrical work, internal and external lighting projects, wiring and electrical panels, and more. “We are thrilled to partner with PowerHouse Electrical Services, to help them grow their business in Southwest Florida, where municipal inspectors are often forced to reschedule, due to bad weather,” said Anthony Perera, Founder of Inspected, adding “As a Florida business owner, we congratulate lawmakers for passing this important regulation that supports local businesses, government workers, and anyone doing residential or commercial remodeling.” Inspected software platform for virtual inspections In July 2021, Florida lawmakers approved third-party inspections to utilize emerging technologies and protect the health and safety of municipal code officials, contractors, employees, and property owners. Inspected also works with several municipalities to provide a software platform, so city inspectors can perform virtual inspections, streamlining paperwork, reducing delays, and providing a safer work environment. Inspected offers an easy-to-use interface that removes the need for direct contact and the technology will help cities clear permits faster and save travel expenses while ensuring an important revenue base continues. For customers and contractors, it ensures projects can continue and removes the uncertainty of when an inspector can schedule an on-site visit.
Low carbon more efficient heating systems such as heat pumps will be no more expensive – and in many cases may end up cheaper – to buy and run than gas boilers, under government plans being announced on Monday, 18 October 2021. Through the Heat and Buildings Strategy, the government has set out its plan to incentivize people to install low-carbon heating systems in a simple, fair, and cheap way as they come to replace their old boilers over the coming decade. This will significantly reduce the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels and exposure to global price spikes, whilst supporting up to 240,000 jobs across the UK by 2035. Traditional gas boiler New grants of £5,000 will be available from April next year to encourage homeowners to install more efficient, low carbon heating systems – like heat pumps that do not emit carbon when used – through a new £450 million 3-year Boiler Upgrade Scheme. These grants mean people choosing to install a heat pump will pay a similar amount as if they were installing a traditional gas boiler. The £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme is part of more than £3.9 billion of new funding The £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme is part of more than £3.9 billion of new funding being announced by the government for decarbonizing heat and buildings. This will fund the next 3 years of investment through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, the Home Upgrade Grant scheme, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and the Heat Networks Transformation Program and reduce carbon emissions from public buildings through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. Electric heat pumps The government and industry will also work together to help meet the aim of heat pumps costing the same to buy and run as fossil fuel boilers by 2030, with big cost reductions of between a quarter and a half by 2025 expected as the market expands and technology develops. This will support the government’s new target for all new heating systems installed in UK homes by 2035 to be either using low-carbon technologies, such as electric heat pumps, or supporting new technologies like hydrogen-ready boilers, where they are confident they can supply clean, green fuel. No-one will be forced to remove their existing fossil fuel boilers, with this transition of the next 14 years seeing the UK’s households gradually move away from fossil fuel boilers in an affordable, practical and fair way, enabling homeowners to easily make these green choices when the time comes to replace their old boiler. Making clean technology Heat pump technology will play a key role in all scenarios, so for those who want to install them now Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “As we clean up the way we heat our homes over the next decade, we are backing our brilliant innovators to make clean technology like heat pumps as cheap to buy and run as gas boilers – supporting thousands of green jobs. Our new grants will help homeowners make the switch sooner, without costing them extra, so that going green is the better choice when their boiler needs an upgrade.” The Heat and Buildings Strategy sets out how they are taking ‘no-regrets’ action now, particularly on heat pumps, whilst supporting ongoing trials and other research and innovation on the future heating systems, including on hydrogen. The government will make a decision on the potential role for hydrogen in heating buildings by 2026, by learning from the Hydrogen Village pilot. Heat pump technology will play a key role in all scenarios, so for those who want to install them now, they are supporting them to do so. More efficient alternative Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Recent volatile global gas prices have highlighted the need to double down on our efforts to reduce Britain’s reliance on fossil fuels and move away from gas boilers over the coming decade to protect consumers in long term.” Through our new grant scheme, we will ensure people are able to choose a more efficient alternative" “As the technology improves and costs plummet over the next decade, we expect low carbon heating systems will become the obvious, affordable choice for consumers. Through our new grant scheme, we will ensure people are able to choose a more efficient alternative in the meantime.” Electric heat pumps Recent volatile gas prices across the world have demonstrated the need for the UK to build a secure, home-grown energy sector which supports households to reduce their reliance on fossils fuels such as using gas boilers while protecting consumers and businesses from unforeseen price spikes. Over the coming years, industry pioneers expect electric heat pumps will cost the same as gas boilers to buy and run. UK manufacturers are already making electric heat pumps more attractive to consumers and more affordable and the government wants to incentivize consumers to make the switch as quickly as possible. To ensure electric heat pumps will be no more expensive to run than gas boilers, ministers want to reduce the price of electricity over the next decade by shifting levies away from electricity to gas. A call for evidence is expected to be published with decisions made in 2022. Clean heating revolution This Heat and Buildings Strategy will help kick-start a cheap clean heating revolution" Greg Jackson, CEO and founder of Octopus Energy, said: “This Heat and Buildings Strategy will help kick-start a cheap clean heating revolution, by bringing prices down for households and allowing companies to invest in scaling up their clean heating operations. When the new scheme launches in April, Octopus Energy will install heat pumps for about the same cost as gas boilers.” “Octopus has already committed £10 million investment to its research and development and training center dedicated to the decarburization of heat and has begun training engineers at the rate of 1,000 per year. But this is just the beginning.” Clean energy jobs “By scaling up the technology and supply chain in Britain, innovative companies like ours will soon be able to fit and run heat pumps without any government support, bringing us one step closer to making the UK the Silicon Valley of Energy and creating thousands of clean energy jobs throughout the country.” Electric heat pumps are more efficient, safer and cleaner than gas boilers" “Electric heat pumps are more efficient, safer, and cleaner than gas boilers and can help make homes more comfortable with less energy. Today we’ve crossed a massive milestone in our fight against climate change and to reduce Britain’s reliance on expensive, dirty gas.” Heat pump market To help grow the electric heat pump market and expand British manufacturing, a new £60 million Heat Pump Ready innovation program is being announced, part of the £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. The scheme will provide funding to drive technological innovation which will make the systems smaller, easier to install, and cheaper to run over the coming years. Kick-starting Britain’s new heat pump industry is expected to protect and create tens of thousands of new jobs in research and development, production, supply chain, and installation over the next decade. The Heat and Buildings Strategy builds on the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan, which outlined how decarbonizing households and workplaces could support 240,000 jobs across the sector by 2035, with many thousands more into the future in areas such as manufacturing, developing, and installing new low-carbon technologies. Customers’ greater confidence We welcome proposals in the Heat and Buildings Strategy which are designed to tackle this issue head-on" With heat in buildings being one of the largest sources of UK carbon emissions, accounting for 21% of the total, there is an urgent need to deliver a mix of new, low-carbon heating solutions to meet the legally-binding target to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050. Chief Executive of E.ON UK Michael Lewis said: “With the right policy framework in place, we’re confident the cost of a heat pump can be reduced by up to half over the coming years. We welcome proposals in the Heat and Buildings Strategy which are designed to tackle this issue head-on, making the green option the default option. Once we have mass demand, commercial innovation in installation and economies of scale will take over to reduce costs and give customers’ greater confidence in what is already a tried and trusted technology for many around the world.” Backing heat pumps Chief Executive of EDF Energy UK Simone Rossi said: “Moving away from fossil fuel heating to electric heat pumps will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of our homes and could also protect consumers from future spikes in wholesale gas prices.” Moving away from fossil fuel heating to electric heat pumps will significantly reduce the carbon footprint" “It’s great to see the government backing heat pumps and announcing new policies to increase demand and develop supply chains. These actions will help drive down the cost of heat pumps and enable many more households to make the switch. EDF already offers heat pumps to customers and we look forward to using our experience to help even more people transition.” Zero carbon technologies Chief Executive of Scottish Power Keith Anderson said: “Decarbonizing heat is our toughest challenge on the road to Net Zero. With some 23 million UK homes to be converted to low carbon heating by 2050 we need to urgently support the delivery of proven zero carbon technologies, like heat pumps. Deploying heat pumps at scale will drive costs down dramatically over time, and will create wider economic benefits by promoting the UK supply chain and new skilled jobs.” This is where the scale and ambition of the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme will be invaluable. Ready access to support grants will kick-start the demand for electric heating, allowing the industry to accelerate the delivery of electrification and quickly bring down upfront costs through innovation and growing the supply chain. The combined initial and ongoing costs of a heat pump can be as cheap as a gas boiler Other policies will also be needed to address distortions in energy bill costs and create a level playing field between a heat pump and a gas boiler. By the end of the decade, with the right policies in place, the combined initial and ongoing costs of a heat pump can be as cheap as a gas boiler. Hugely important step Adrian Letts, CEO of OVO, said: “The government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy is a hugely important step forward. With the right policies in place to support households and greater deployment, we are confident that heat pump costs can reach cost parity with gas boilers by 2030. There is still a huge challenge ahead, so business and government need to work together to ensure no one is left behind in the transition to zero carbon living.” Phil Hurley, Chair of the Heat Pump Association, said: “The heat pump industry warmly welcomes these bold steps forward. The industry is in the best shape it has ever been, with sales this year already double those seen ever before.” Making heat pumps To ensure consumers can find a suitably trained and skilled heat pump installer when they need one" “This announcement is timed perfectly to take advantage of the Heat Pump Association’s recently-launched training course, with the industry now ready to retrain the UK’s army of installers with the capacity to train up to 40,000 per year, to ensure consumers can find a suitably trained and skilled heat pump installer when they need one.” “Today’s announcement will give industry and installers a huge confidence boost that now is the time to scale-up and retrain in preparation for the mass roll out of heat pumps, as well as making heat pumps as affordable as boilers, so all consumers can soon access and enjoy the benefits of affordable, reliable low carbon heating that stands the test of time.” Consistent policy environment Laura Bishop, Chair of the Ground Source Heat Pump Association, said: “The Ground Source Heat Pump Association warmly welcomes the release of the Heat and Buildings Strategy." We look forward to a consistent policy environment which will drive growth in our sector" "We look forward to a consistent policy environment which will drive growth in our sector and the UK economy on the path towards achieving Net Zero. Ground source heat pumps represent a long-term infrastructure asset which delivers unrivaled efficiencies in generating clean heat, and we hope the policy will underpin the mass market roll out we have been anticipating for some time.” Additional manufacturing capacity Shaun Edwards, Chief Executive Officer Groupe Atlantic UK, ROI & North America, said: “Ideal Heating welcomes the publication of the Heat and Buildings strategy and the continued support from the UK government to low carbon heating systems, particularly heat pumps. As a manufacturer of multiple heating technologies including heat pumps, we feel we are in an excellent position to support our customers as the market transitions to lower carbon heating solutions.” “This commitment from the UK government allows Ideal Heating to continue investment in UK heat pump R&D facilities and skills, as well as the additional manufacturing capacity, ensuring we meet the specific demands of UK homes and installers whilst strengthening the local supply chain.”
For the first time in the U.S., Dexwet Holdings and DaBx Demand-Side Solutions will demonstrate an innovative air filtration technology that is scientifically proven to trap dust, pollen, and airborne particles without reducing airflow. These filters were installed in Neerob Restaurant to add an extra layer of protection that protects their customers and employees from harmful viruses, bacteria, and airborne particles. This event will be helpful for HVAC business owners to know how they can make Dexwet Filters available to their customers and learn its easy installation process. Media, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) service companies and local business owners are welcome to be a part of this event. Demonstration Clemens Sparowitz, President and COO of Dexwet will demonstrate the filters and explain how they benefit customers. Rogier F. van Vlissingen, founder, and CEO of DaBx Demand-Side Solutions will be talking about Dexwet partnership opportunities in the US. Venue Friday, October 15, 2021, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT Neerob Restaurant & Party Hall 2096 Starling Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10462 Dexwet's wet filter design is sustainable, silent, requires no energy, and can be washed annually for reuse Sustainable and easy to install filters Consumers want to feel comfortable eating indoors again, so there is a benefit to business owners who show they are protecting the public from airborne contaminants. Dexwet's innovative filters are installed on outflow vents where consumers can see them working without adding extra noise or restricting airflow using a proven, patented system that allows pure, clean air to flow through, making them ideal for enclosed spaces. Dexwet's wet filter design is sustainable, silent, requires no energy, and can be washed annually for reuse. These air filters were installed in this New York City restaurant where there will be a demonstration of how easy the installation process is and a performance review by looking at the filter's state now.
On September 29, C&C Heating and Air Conditioning and YORK® Factory Direct partnered with Building Homes for Heroes during a Welcome Home ceremony in Glenside, PA, for Army Staff Sergeant Veronica Hally. She served more than two decades of service, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and she investigated hundreds of deaths and worked with the FBI to track terrorists across the globe. Her investigative experiences earned her many accolades, but also have left Staff Sergeant Hally with severe PTSD and anxiety that caused her to medically retire from the military in 2019. Donating HVAC system with touch-screen thermostat C&C Heating & Air Conditioning donated the HVAC installation services for the veteran’s new home To support Staff Sergeant Hally, 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 her with adjusting his home’s temperature without the need to get up. Veteran-owned C&C Heating & Air Conditioning donated the HVAC installation services for the veteran’s new home, and Google Nest Pro donated a variety of smart home products. Supporting veterans Will Cordero, president & founder, C&C Heating and Air Conditioning, spoke at the Welcome Home ceremony about the honor it was to support a fellow veteran. Doug Cordero, vice president, C&C Heating and Air Conditioning, said, "We truly can’t give enough thanks and gratitude to heroes like Staff Sergeant Hally who keep our country safe. We feel blessed to have the opportunity to help her and her family be comfortable in their new home.” About Building Homes for Heroes Building Homes for Heroes strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them to injured veterans nationwide 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 veterans and their families. The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them, mortgage-free, to injured veterans nationwide. “The customized amenities that Johnson Controls brings 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,” said Andy Pujol, founder, and CEO of Building Homes for Heroes. “We are honored to partner with Johnson Controls, C&C Heating & Air Conditioning, and YORK® Factory Direct to gift a home to Staff Sergeant Hally and her family.” Sponsor 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.
Eurovent welcomes Europlast, a Latvian manufacturer of ventilation systems and accessories, as its newest corresponding member. Europlast has officially become the first-ever Eurovent member from Latvia; further expanding the association’s footprint throughout Europe. Established in 1998, Europlast is one of the biggest producers of ventilation systems and accessories in the Baltic countries. With its manufacturing line based in Latvia, Europlast produces high-quality, safe, and functional products, and unique design solutions under reliable conditions of cooperation. Its main markets consist of Africa, Baltics, CIS, EU, Scandinavia, and the USA. Range of ventilation products Europlast’s portfolio of a wide range of ventilation products includes, among others, exhaust fans, plastic grilles, metal grilles, diffusers, fitting elements, fireplace grilles, anodized/painted aluminum ventilation grilles, rectangular and round plastic systems, air ducts, round metal systems, and control hatches. Authority comments Following the formal membership approval, Mr. Gatis Šķudītis, Head of Europlast’s Export Department, stated, “It is an honor to join the major European HVACR association. Together with Eurovent, we aim to increase awareness of relevant European Union legislation within the Latvian industry. We look forward to working together with like-minded European players from the Eurovent family.”
The UK is the biggest boiler market in Europe, FACT. But the majority of heating system stock relies on gas systems – a whopping 85% are gas boilers which equate to about 1.5 million gas boilers being installed each year. Thanks to government measures and the world’s most innovative manufacturers, renewable heating is fast becoming a bit of a trend – though it’s vital to point out that still only 2% of the heating systems in the UK are represented by renewables. Heat pumps in particular have gathered momentum somewhat and are fast becoming the perceived solution to our emissions crisis. The question is, how maintainable is this trend? What’s caused the rise in demand for heat pumps? The basic answer? Boris Johnson and his Ten Point Plan in which he pledged 600,000 heat pumps will be installed into homes every year by 2028. As part of the Future Home Standard, it was also proposed that heat pumps should be a leading technology for all new homes - Chancellor Rishi Sunak even went as far as banning fossil-fuelled heating in any new homes built from 2025. But why now? Well, we all know the government is on a mission to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035, and rightly so. 47% of all energy consumption in the UK is from heating and a massive 55% of that is used to heat domestic homes. As I mentioned before, around 85% of heating domestic homes is via gas boilers. With this comes the combustion of fossil fuel and we all know that’s a major contributor to air pollution and climate change. Similarly, buildings are responsible for approximately 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, with commercial properties accounting for over half of that. There’s an obvious need for change. Around 85% of heating domestic homes is via gas boilers. So, when research into heat pumps and their ability to significantly reduce emissions took place, and more and more manufacturers began to make them available, the government jumped on the back of the trend. And so, as the new rules and pledges arose, the government had to find a way to make heat pumps accessible on both a domestic and non-domestic level. That’s when they announced the non-domestic and domestic Renewable Heat Incentives, to provide support with installation costs of heat pumps. It’s really no surprise then that there has been an increase in the demand for heat pumps. How can we ignore a government-approved heat source, also used to help meet their emission reduction quotas? We can’t. Looking beyond domestic usage to commercial In 2019, 20 million households purchased heat pumps and projections show the future growth to be impressive. Delta Energy and Environment anticipate the UK market is set to double by 2025. But what’s the commercial uptake like? Considering the HPA is investing in multiple training routes to upskill heat pump installers, I’d say there’s something on the horizon. Wouldn’t you? But, aside from speculation, there’s hard evidence to suggest commercial uptake is on the rise. Take GAHP’s for example. Their usage is intended for small to medium-sized commercial end-users such as schools, offices, hotels etc, and whilst the market for them isn’t quite where it needs to be – a limited number of suppliers being the main issue – they are predicted to play a key role in meeting emission reduction targets ahead of 2050. In fact, it’s thought that even the larger commercial users will have multiple GAHP’s installed to extend the capacity of heat output beyond 35 -40Kw. Any other evidence? Sure. All we have to do is look at the other developments hitting the market which appear to be influencing the uptake and effectiveness of heat pumps and it becomes obvious. From highly efficient compressors and compression systems to the use of thermal stores, the evidence points towards a rise in demand for heat pumps in the commercial space. The reality of commercial heat pump usage Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means suggesting heat pumps aren’t a good thing. But I am concerned with how maintainable the trend is, especially in commercial environments. Sure, there’s a saving to be had on heating bills, but as always with every pro comes a con. And, while there are claims that heat pumps prove to be cost-effective in comparison to other options, the upfront installation costs, whether on a new building or an existing premise can be potentially eye-watering. Maintenance costs are also no match to the traditional HVAC equipment. Heat pump’s cost-effectiveness therefore may be overstated. And now the Non-Domestic RHI scheme has ended, I can see why the move to heat pumps could be considered unjustifiable for some - especially in the current climate. We know the installation is costly, but it can also be disruptive. With ground source heat pumps, in particular, the installation will depend on local geology. Extensive research will need to be undertaken to determine whether heat pumps are a viable option, and this means time as well as cost. The installation itself means an uphaul of the ground surrounding the building, and thus the premise becomes a construction site - not only disruptive but could also mean planning permission may have to be granted. Maintenance costs are also no match to the traditional HVAC equipment. Heat pump’s cost-effectiveness therefore may be overstated. Air Source Heat Pumps, therefore, are the better option for commercial usage, but these come with downsides of their own. Firstly, not all commercial properties have the right structure for installation. Given Air Source Heat Pumps require the fitting of an external unit, a suitable exterior wall or level roof space will be needed. Moving inside; maintenance of many smaller heat pumps which often need to be installed in ceilings will be a lot harder, and more labour intensive. Air source heat pumps are also more dependent on the outdoor temperature, so use in high rise buildings is not recommended. And unfortunately, temperature also impacts the efficiency of a heat pump – basically, as the average outdoor temperature lowers, the efficiency of heat pumps does also. Demand vs Supply The Heat Pump Association (HPA) recently shared that 67,000 heat pumps have already been ordered in 2021 to date – a figure which is double that of current stock. Should we be alarmed? Can the supply chain cope with the growing demand? Let’s stick with exploring Air Source Heat Pumps. In the UK, 87% of units sold are accounted for by ASHPs – though a large proportion of these are for domestic usage. Globally, there are around 33 manufacturers who supply ASHPs to the UK, and only three of these actually manufacture in the UK. Now, I don’t need to tell you why this could be an issue in future years, do I? Despite manufacturers stating in a recent survey that they are confident they could increase supply into the UK market to cope with both demand and government encouragement, the worry comes with the fact that most heat pump components are sourced from outside of the UK. The UK’s future trade agreements are still unclear, and no one knows how this will affect the HVAC industry and its supply chain. The heat pump supply chain in particular is extremely complex, and with the reliance on the ‘big players’ to manufacture and export vital components, our industry is a lot more exposed. Can we really define heat pumps as a ‘green heating solution’? It’s a difficult one, to say the least. Firstly, it comes down to whether carbon footprints have been lowered due to the use of heat pumps. The biggest factor which decides this in commercial buildings is the fuel mixed used to generate electricity. Say electricity is sent to a commercial property after being generated by fossil fuels such as natural gas, if the climate is low or drops, the heat pump will more than likely have a higher carbon footprint than that of a natural gas furnace. Secondly, as with all cases of “renewable” energy, when fuel is considered to be virtually limitless and free, the total cost of generation is what we really need to be looking at. Lastly, but not certainly least, the refrigerant fluid used in the pipe system of the heat pumps may cause environmental concerns. According to Evergreen Energy, in the event that refrigerant fluid was to leak, the hydrofluorocarbons released would contribute to global warming approximately 100 times more than carbon dioxide. Though bio-degradable options are available, experts advise acting on the side of caution while considering which fluids would work best in the long term. The chances of leaks occurring are relatively small, but the effects could be damaging. There is no time to waste or ‘planet B’, so the HVAC industry must act now to provide a sustainable alternative, but questions should be raised as to whether heat pumps are really a sustainable solution. I for one am certainly intrigued as to how this will pan out over the coming years and whether their usage WILL solve our industry’s emissions crisis.
At the moment, it seems as though a day rarely goes by without low-carbon heating hitting the headlines. Whether it is reports of ‘revamping’ the Clean Heat Grant, to include a ‘boiler scrappage’ scheme, which may offer home owners up to £7000 to make the switch to a low-carbon alternative, to speculation that the Prime Minister is under pressure to push back the 2035 ban on gas boilers, the debate on how and when the low-carbon heating revolution will happen is ongoing. BEIS Hydrogen Strategy We have also seen the recently published, Hydrogen Strategy from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that cements its plans to develop technologies that allow hydrogen-powered heating in people’s homes. In addition to this, the Future Homes Task Force, including some of the United Kingdom’s largest property developers, regulators, suppliers and environmental groups, have agreed to the sector-wide Future Homes Delivery Plan, to build homes that are ‘zero-carbon ready’ and sustainable by 2025. Alternative energy, key to hitting net zero targets by 2050 What is also clear is that tackling the decarbonization of heat is not a one-technology solution According to the Climate Change Committee, in a report published in December 2020, the UK’s homes are responsible for around 15 percent of emissions. As a result, the need to install alternatives to traditional fossil fuel heating systems will be crucial, to hitting our net zero targets, by 2050. This will be the key challenge that the delayed Heat and Buildings Strategy, now due in the autumn season, will need to address. Therefore, what is also clear is that tackling the decarbonization of heat is not a one-technology solution. Target to install air source heat pumps in UK homes So far, much of the focus has been on heat pumps, as the UK Government has set an ambitious target of installing 600,000 air source heat pumps (ASHPs) in UK homes each year, by 2028. However, there are a number of challenges to achieve this goal, as house builders will need convincing to install heat pumps in new builds, and home owners and landlords will need convincing to retrofit older properties. Cost, a key issue in air source heat pumps installation Cost will also be a key issue, even with a government grant and ASHPs can be complex to install. They can also emit noise that breaches legal limits, if placed too close to a neighboring property. In addition, they won’t be suitable for all properties, as the needs of a 4-bedroom new build home are very different to a 1970s apartment, a Victorian-era terrace, a social housing property or an off-grid home. Computer-controlled infrared heating (CCIR) One of the alternatives is computer-controlled infrared heating, which addresses many of the issues faced by ASHPs Taking all of these challenges into account, BEIS has said that it is ‘uncertain’ what the ‘optimal solution’ is, when it comes to low-carbon heating. Certainly, there is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for heating the UK’s homes, which is why it is vital that house builders, landlords, contractors, installers and developers explore the full range of low-carbon heating technologies that are available today. There are alternatives that can provide benefits that are much more likely to appeal to a wider range of end-user audiences. One of the alternatives is computer-controlled infrared heating (CCIR), which addresses many of the issues faced by ASHPs. High-performance heating Firstly, infrared is an intrinsically more effective source of heat than conventional convection heating, because it heats the material within a room, rather than the air, which can escape from doors and windows. CCIR systems also outperform many other low-carbon technologies, because the software within each panel constantly monitors each individual room and learns about the energy storage characteristics within it, adjusting its routine to maintain the ambient temperature within the room, maximizing its performance and using fewer units of energy, in comparison to a traditional heating system. KERS water heating system This keeps energy bills low, and meets increasing sustainability standards. Figures show that, out of 29 million homes in the United Kingdom, 19 million have an EPC lower than C. Together with Ambion Heating’s KERS water heating system, inefficient properties can be brought up to a minimum EPC C. CCIR also costs less to install than many other low-carbon heating alternatives CCIR also costs less to install than many other low-carbon heating alternatives. In a typical three-bedroom house, for example, the estimated cost of installing a CCIR system is around £6,000, compared to nearly £10,500 for an ASHP. They are also easy to install, whether they’re being retrofitted into an existing building or installed within a new build, because they can simply be wired into the mains, by a qualified electrician. Enhanced comfort and reduced emissions The heat CCIR provides feels more natural and comfortable, once the fabric of the room is saturated with energy, and it emits a comfortable, radiant heat. It also reduces humidity, as well as improves the air quality within a building, reducing the amount of circulating dust. In fact, in an independent performance review, CCIR provided the same levels of comfort within a room, using 60% less energy than a standard electric convection system, and on a par with ASHPs. Heating solutions for a low-carbon future While there is a real urgency, when it comes to decarbonizing heat, it’s vital to consider which technologies offer the most benefits to the end user. By understanding and investigating all of the alternatives to gas central heating, such as CCIR, the benefits will not only be felt in the short term, they are a sustainable solution for the longer term.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) has become an area of emphasis among those in the HVAC industry and on a national level. Homes, offices, schools, and everything in between are being reevaluated with the ambition of having the best IAQ possible. Maintaining a high level of air quality is an important factor in encouraging a cleaner indoor breathing environment, which can lead to the better overall health and well-being of our families and communities. Clean air is especially important now with more waves of COVID-19 hitting and the onset of seasonal sicknesses like the flu and colds on the horizon. Now is the time for HVAC manufacturers to implement solutions to make returning to everyday life more seamless as we venture back out into the world. Mechanical HVAC equipment offers the perfect opportunity to improve IAQ in commercial facilities. Facility managers choosing to opt for enhanced air quality should focus on three areas for unit upgrades: controlled ventilation, dehumidification, and filtration. While there are countless minor changes one can make to improve IAQ, such as using exhaust fans to increase circulation, HVAC upgrades are the best and most efficient option to give building occupants the IAQ they need for maximum comfort and safety. Out with the old, in with the new Ventilation and the ability to control it are a necessity in maintaining a high level of air quality. Being able to control how much outdoor air circulates inside gives facility managers a tool to not only improve IAQ but also create consistent comfort for the building occupants. Controlled ventilation creates an avenue to help occupants breathe easier, feel better and be more proactive Outdoor air tends to be cleaner than indoor air, so bringing air in from outside is vital. Controlled ventilation creates an avenue to help occupants breathe easier, feel better and be more proactive in your space. With the proper HVAC upgrades, you can make sure the ventilation rate is controlled in a manner that will be most beneficial and effective for specific situations. By pushing indoor air out and bringing new outdoor air in, you are effectively limiting the number of harmful pathogens from the commercial space. Limiting particles in the air It is important to make sure your HVAC system is running smoothly and efficiently, especially during a time like now when airborne pathogens are prevalent. With COVID-19 continuing to affect people, maintaining excellent IAQ is certainly a priority. The removal of particulates from indoor air is a necessary process for HVAC systems. The ASHRAE recommendation for filtration is now MERV 13, which has increased from MERV 8 or MERV 10 in past years. The ability of the MERV 13 filter to grab smaller particulates floating in the air is a great advantage in maintaining IAQ. With an upgrade in HVAC filter equipment, dust, smoke, and other particulates can be reduced and greatly benefit air quality. Finding the humidity sweet spot If you live or work somewhere humid, you understand how miserable it can be outside, especially in warmer months. Even with temperature-controlled air inside, humidity can be present indoors. This can lead to not only an uncomfortable feeling inside but also a potentially harmful breathing environment. Mold, mildew and organic growth can all result from inadequate moisture removal. With the proper equipment, your indoor air will be less humid, leading to a continued high-level IAQ That is why dehumidification is such an important aspect of keeping us comfortable and safe inside. The sweet spot when it comes to relative humidity is between 40 and 60 percent. If your HVAC can handle higher latent loads associated with outdoor air, you should not experience the sticky feeling that will come along with a humid space. More importantly, dehumidification assists in lowering the chances of mold or organic growth appearing indoors. Hidden mold or mildew can cause issues that may affect your respiratory system. With the proper equipment, your indoor air will be less humid, leading to a continued high-level IAQ. Upgrading your HVAC As we continue to learn more about the benefits of maintaining excellent IAQ, it is clear HVAC upgrades are part of the process. Having clean and fresh air in our indoor spaces has many advantages, especially when occupants are confined to common areas. Safety and well-being are priorities when dealing with the air we breathe. Efficiency makes a difference in IAQ performance, so making sure you have the most reliable HVAC equipment is a great way to improve indoor air quality and maintain an excellent IAQ. IAQ directly impacts the health, comfort, and even some of the learning outcomes of occupants in a space Pulling contaminants from the air through filtration, removing moisture with dehumidification, and bringing in fresh air from the outside by ventilation are all solutions for maintaining a high IAQ. It is through proper equipment and upgrades that we can continue to keep occupants safe and comfortable as best we can. IAQ directly impacts the health, comfort, and even some of the learning outcomes of occupants in a space. Improving each of these factors is important in creating a comfortable indoor environment that encourages an increase in fresh and clean air.
A focus of research and development in the HVAC arena has been to develop alternative materials and technologies that requires less energy to function while still providing a benefit to regulate temperature. More passive approaches to regulating temperature offer green benefits and yield new components in systems to regulate temperatures in the future. Here are some examples and a glimpse of what’s to come. Phase-change materials have drawn interest because of their ability to change their physical state depending on the temperature in the environment. When PCMs store heat, they convert from solid to liquid, and vice versa when they release heat. Providing scalable opportunities Phase-change material (PCM) composites can regulate the temperature inside buildings using a simple and cost-effective manufacturing process. The composites can be added to building materials such as paint or can be 3D-printed as home accents to integrate into indoor environments. By augmenting climate control strategies, they can help to lessen the burden on struggling power grids. These materials are passive components that require no electricity to regulate temperature Using the PCM composites provides scalable opportunities to regulate temperatures passively in both new buildings and existing structures. These materials are passive components that require no electricity to regulate temperature. Researchers at Texas A&M University combined light-sensitive liquid resins with a phase-changing paraffin wax powder to create a new 3D printable ink composite. Broader temperature ranges Using a light-sensitive resin, they cured it with an ultraviolet light to solidify the 3D printable paste. In the future, researchers will experiment with various phase-change materials that operate at broader temperature ranges and manage more thermal energy during a given cycle. Cooling chips made from bismuth telluride have applications in air conditioning and refrigeration. When electrical current runs through the chips, it removes heat, allowing one side of the chip to cool while the other side heats up. Phononics is a Durham, N.C., startup that has secured $50 million in funding from Goldman Sachs Asset Management to develop the approach. Cooling outdoor installations The funding will be used to build out high-volume manufacturing in North Carolina and in Thailand It’s a versatile technology that enables small or large chips that can be used to deliver the coolant effect needed for compact freezers, for air conditioning, or to prevent overheating of laser-based sensors in autonomous cars or optical transceivers to transmit 5G data. In the future, there are possible applications in cooling mattresses, motorbike helmets, and cooling outdoor installations. The funding will be used to build out high-volume manufacturing in North Carolina and in Thailand. An advantage of the approach is that there is no impact on global warming, unlike traditional vapor compression systems. Although bismuth telluride powder is toxic, it is benign when manufactured into chips, and can be safely recycled or disposed of. Light-Colored material An associate professor at Northeastern University in Boston has created ‘cooling paper,’ which enables a building or home to essentially keep cool with no electricity required. The paper, which is recyclable, reflects heat away from rooftops and removes heat from homes and buildings. The paper can cool down a room’s temperature by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The invention works through the porous microstructure of the natural fibers inside the cooling paper, which absorbs warmth and reemits it away from the building. The light-colored material is part of the study of nanomaterials by Yi Zheng, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Northeastern University.
‘Net zero’ is an unavoidable reality in the continuing fight against climate change. For example, both the United Kingdom and the European Union have set targets of having net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. These objectives are in line with a commitment to global climate action under the Paris Agreement. Net zero - carbon neutral Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. It’s another term for ‘carbon neutral’. Any activity that creates carbon emissions must be offset by corresponding actions that remove an equal amount of emissions. Examples might be to plant trees that remove CO2 from the atmosphere or to re-purpose emissions-free energy for additional uses. For the HVAC market, the goal of net-zero emissions presents a variety of challenges For the HVAC market, the goal of net-zero emissions presents a variety of challenges. More than 40% of today’s CO2 emissions come from buildings and 30% of energy in buildings is wasted. According to a 2018 International Energy Agency (IEA) report, around 20% of the electricity used in buildings is related to HVAC, and the number is set to more than triple by 2050. Connected systems and real-time data analytics Fortunately, the HVAC industry has developed technology tools to address the challenge, including real-time data analytics and connected systems, to scrutinize how and where energy is being used, and to optimize efficiencies and building performance. In addition to helping to eventually achieve net-zero emissions, these activities will also provide cost savings. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic shutdown highlighted the potential impact of lowering greenhouse gas emissions. During the pandemic, global greenhouse gas emissions declined by 7% compared to the previous year, according to research from the University of East Anglia, the University of Exeter and the Global Carbon Project. However, the emissions have resumed as global economies have recovered. Public-private cooperation to achieve net-zero emissions Achieving net-zero emissions will involve many stakeholders and will require public-private cooperation that includes local governments, building owners and other businesses. Part of the solution is regulation, as governments encourage construction of green buildings. Meeting the objectives involves not just internal systems and infrastructure in a building, but also the materials used, including options, such as smart glass windows and solar panels. There is also an opportunity to educate the public on the positive role that buildings, including HVAC systems, can play in the campaign to eliminate climate change. The public often associates pollution with vehicle exhaust, for example, and may not realize the role that building systems can have on the environment, for better or worse. Leveraging technology to reduce emissions Leveraging technology to reduce emissions in the buildings sector can have a positive impact on the environment Leveraging technology to reduce emissions in the buildings sector can have a positive impact on the environment and on public opinion of the industry’s role to achieve green goals. The role of the HVAC industry should not be overlooked. There are resources available to help guide the path. For example, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program provides a rating system that covers the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of buildings worldwide. U.S. Federal, state and local governments are positioned to require or reward LEED certification, including tax credits, zoning allowances, reduced fees or expedited permitting. building energy efficiency and electrification US President Joe Biden has also announced an initiative to invest federal dollars in building energy efficiency and electrification, with a goal of modernizing and upgrading the nation’s buildings to be affordable, resilient, accessible, energy-efficient, and electrified. Fortunately, manufacturers in the HVAC market as a whole are focused on providing energy-efficient and sustainable technologies to drive the net-zero future of the industry.
When COVID-19 hit, North Arkansas College had to close its school, and students had to transition from in-person to online learning, which is especially difficult when teaching a trade that is heavily dependent on hands-on training. The HVAC/R program at North Arkansas College, which has existed for over 50 years, typically has an average of 14 to 16 students enrolled each year. HVAC/R program “With the quick transition we had to think outside the box, and so we found a company that had created a software for the HVAC/R Industry to help contractors and service companies give their service technicians additional training in areas that they needed,” said Jeff Smith, a licensed HVAC/R contractor who teaches courses at North Arkansas College. The software uses virtual reality (VR), a computer-generated simulation that enables a student to interact with an environment using electronic devices. The software chosen by North Arkansas State could be used for desktop (two dimensional) or with VR equipment (headset). Software using virtual reality (VR) The original thought was to send a laptop and VR headset home with each student, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to potentially get the hands-on training that they were missing, but that plan did not work out due to the overall costs and possible technical difficulties. “However, we recognized the value in the VR system and knew right away it would make a great tool to help build on what the students were already learning in the classroom and lab settings,” said Jeff Smith. SkillMill software The college uses Interplay Learning Software’s SkillMill, which was designed specifically for the HVAC/R industry The college uses Interplay Learning Software’s SkillMill, which was designed specifically for the HVAC/R industry and other trades. The software was also developed to work with several VR headsets brands, including the Oculus Rift S used at North Arkansas College. Jeff Smith said, “We believe the VR systems have been successful because we have witnessed improved lab skills, and we have heard our students discussing the tasks that they accomplished while using the VR systems and how those tasks helped them in their lab studies and in their HVAC/R internships.” Positive feedback on VR systems He adds, “All our students have given great feedback on how the VR systems have supplemented their learning, training experiences and how it could provide them with an additional edge to successfully enter the HVAC/R industry.” When they were developing the VR Lab, North Arkansas College had not heard of any other colleges using this technology specifically for HVAC/R training. Since then, they have had schools ask questions such as: How much does it cost? How did they integrate it with the curriculum? And is there a learning curve? The advantages of applying VR technologies in the HVAC discipline are numerous Applying VR technologies in HVAC The advantages of applying VR technologies in the HVAC discipline are numerous. Safety is always a major concern when students are working on live electrical circuits and pressurized systems. Using the completely safe VR environment, instructors do not have to worry about students becoming injured, while learning to troubleshoot and service HVAC/R equipment. Another advantage is that a student cannot accidentally break a part or component while learning to work on HVAC systems, which helps with costs. Also, students have the opportunity with the VR system to troubleshoot systems that may not be available in the lab, such as large chillers and cooling towers. Students embrace VR approach Today’s students have such a strong connection with technologies that are associated with VR systems" Today's students are more likely to embrace the VR approach because of their affinity for video games, for example. And there are other factors related to youth culture/technology that make the approach desirable. “Today’s students have such a strong connection with technologies that are associated with VR systems,” said Jeff Smith, adding “Just about every student is tech savvy. The majority of them have a natural inclination toward technology because of our smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, computers, etc. That makes VR training a perfect match for our younger generations.” Funds for additional VR systems Since the program began, North Arkansas State has had major contractors interested in what they are doing, how it works, and the added benefits for the students. However, HVAC/R contractors may not realize the benefits or the full potential of this new training product, until they see it for themselves. When they do, they are amazed at what they see, according to Jeff Smith. Another challenge is acquiring more funding for additional VR systems. “We would like to have a VR station for every student but for now we have a schedule to rotate the students through,” Jeff Smith concludes.
Florida Gators Sports Properties and Air Pros USA, a residential and commercial air conditioning services company and the official Air Conditioning partner for Gators football, came together for the annual ‘Saluting Those Who Serve’ initiative to recognize a local Veteran. Working with the Alachua County Veteran Services Division, Air Pros USA and the Florida Gators awarded 88-year-old Eddie Thomas, a decorated Korean War Veteran, with a brand-new air conditioning unit and installation, free of charge. Life changing opportunity Thomas was nominated by the Alachua County Veteran Services Division because of his service to the country and he has a 23-year-old A/C unit in need of being replaced. Thomas served in the United States Air Force from 1954-1958, as well as during the Korean War. His service included overseeing security at his base in Germany as well as the K-9 units. Thomas says that the military was ahead of its times in terms of diversity and inclusion to put him in such a supervisory role at a young age. "I am so pleased that our local Korean War Veteran, Eddie Thomas, was selected for this wonderful opportunity,” says Kim Davis, Executive Director for Alachua County Veteran Services Division. “Our Veteran Services Team is very dedicated to our Veteran Community as we strive to help them with their needs and when something special comes along, it warms our hearts to see a deserving Veteran receive a life changing opportunity." Good Conduct Ribbon Like many who call South Florida home, we are passionate about the Florida Gators" During active-duty Thomas earned a Good Conduct Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Outstanding Unit Award, Small Arms Expert Award, the National Defense Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal. His military service is such a source of pride for him. Thomas, who is legally blind, still volunteers and serves on the Korean War Veterans of America Color Guard at Veteran events and funerals. “Like many who call South Florida home, we are passionate about the Florida Gators and giving back to the community we serve,” said Anthony Perera, President of Air Pros USA. “Honoring those who have served our country will always be a priority for Air Pros USA not only with donations and giveaways but also in our hiring initiatives and event support.” Other prestigious companies “We are excited that Air Pros, like several other prestigious companies, is joining us in our annual Saluting Those Who Serve initiative in supporting the Florida Gators,” said Scott Stricklin, Athletics Director at the University of Florida. “They are truly exemplary not only as one of the fastest-growing Heating and Air Conditioning companies in the state but also in their commitment to veterans and giving back.” Air Pros USA is continuously finding ways to give back to the community, including Veterans and military service members, to thank them for their service.
As a 22-year veteran of the dry-cleaning industry that has successfully opened several dry-cleaning facilities, Piyush Bhula knows a thing or two about operating a business that delivers an amazing dry-cleaning experience. That’s why, when he needed to replace his boiler at his Majik Touch Cleaners in Sawanee, Georgia, he contacted Gulf States Laundry Machinery, a pioneer in the distribution of dry-cleaning and commercial laundry equipment in the Atlanta area. Dry-Cleaning market At Gulf States, Piyush spoke to Ben Prema, Head of Dry-Cleaning Equipment Sales, who recommended Fulton as the company to buy from. (Fulton has been a premier provider of high-pressure steam boilers for the dry-cleaning and industrial- laundry markets for over sixty years.) Ben recommended Fulton’s revolutionary new Vertical Spiral Rib Tubeless (VSRT) Steam Boiler Moreover, Ben recommended Fulton’s revolutionary new Vertical Spiral Rib Tubeless (VSRT) Steam Boiler, a 30- HP model, for what would be its first installation in the Atlanta laundry and dry-cleaning market. The VSRT-30 was installed by Ben Prema with help from Kyle Petrie, Fulton Service Technician, and Mike McLean, Fulton Sales Manager. Turndown ratio burner “Ben started setting it up before Mike and Kyle came in, and Mike and Kyle came in the afternoon and helped set it up and were here all day,” said Piyush, adding, “I have never seen service as good as this with any other company. Set up time was just a few hours.” Commented Ben Prema from Gulf States, “It was very easy to install through a 36” door. The new VSRT-30 boiler is smaller and installs easier than previous 30-HP boilers. It’s also easier to connect to the gas, electrical and steam output lines – they are all very easily accessible.” Piyush purchased the VSRT-30 to replace a boiler that was larger in size though lesser in HP (20 HP). Because the VSRT-30 has a modulated 6:1 turndown ratio burner, it was able to meet Piyush’s actual (lower, as needed) steam demands throughout the day by automatically adjusting its air and gas intake. Monthly fuel bill It’s a 30-HP machine, but doesn’t look like a 30 HP. It’s too small, which is great!" This resulted in Piyush saving $300 on his first monthly fuel bill even though his new boiler has greater HP capacity. Said Piyush, “It’s a 30-HP machine, but doesn’t look like a 30 HP. It’s too small, which is great! It just doesn’t look like a boiler; it looks like a smart robot, like a dry cleaning machine with all of its relays and everything. And when Mike and Kyle were here and they tested, it was turning on at less than 15 HP, which is also great; it’s much more energy-efficient.” Continued Piyush, “I track my utility bills from previous years and from month to month, and in the three short months that it’s been installed, it’s already shown a significant savings on utilities, not just on the gas but on electric as well in the way the boiler runs, maintains, idles, then the way it cuts off and turns back on. I would say that I am saving at least 20% on my utilities. So it’s paying me at this point.” Dry-Cleaning machines “The only problem, which is a good problem, is that it’s too quiet. I’m used to yelling over the noise of the [previous] boiler. In the past, when I didn’t hear that roaring sound, it meant the boiler was not on. So literally, for the first two weeks, I had to go to the back of my store to check to see if the boiler was running or not because it’s so quiet.” In the past, when I didn’t hear that roaring sound, it meant the boiler was not on" “[The VSRT-30] Is able to make steam much faster; it takes half the time to end up at full PSI. Literally, I can run my dry-cleaning machines at 30 PSI because at 30 PSI it’s full steam, and it’s dry steam . . . very dry . . . I’m sure I will have a lot less issues with my traps because it’s so dry. Later, I operate at full pressure (100 PSI) with other equipment.” Producing less noise “Before, when I’d turn my boiler on, it would take 45 minutes to get to full PSI. With the old boiler, at a higher set pressure, I barely had any usable steam for my plant; while the VSRT takes half the time to end up at full PSI, and even at 30 PSI with the VSRT you can start your steam collections.” Said Ben Prema, “It’s a better boiler than a regular boiler, a competitor’s boiler, than any other boilers of its size. Compared to other boiler companies, it’s very easy to install. It automatically adjusts the air/gas mixture, produces less noise, takes up less room, produces faster steam. It’s more reliable. Longer lasting,” added Piyush, “[It’s] absolutely a better boiler than anything I’ve ever had . . . only good and nothing bad with it.”
An innovative air conditioning solution from Carrier is helping to ensure optimal ventilation and comfort in the historic Raphael Rooms. During a typical summer, the temperature in Rome can soar as high as 104°F/40°C, deciding to install air conditioning in the Raphael Rooms for the first time is an easy one. To meet the unique needs of the historic space, Carrier engineers developed and installed a custom solution utilizing a new system design that delivers heating and cooling in one-quarter of the traditional footprint, all without altering the existing historic infrastructure. Carrier, a pioneer in high-technology heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration solutions, is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, the global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable, and intelligent building and cold chain solutions. Preserving the artwork “The Vatican Museums have the mission to ensure the protection and safety of the artwork, spaces, and visitors. Carrier was extraordinary because, like its prior work at the Sistine Chapel, the team knew how to work with our technical divisions and how to update these rooms that were not conceived as a museum,” said Barbara Jatta, Director, Vatican Museums. “The result not only helps us in our preservation mission for the future generations but also helps in the enjoyment of this heritage frequented daily by numerous visitors, more than 6 million every year.” Developing innovative solutions This project underscores our role in the industry, who has the expertise to develop unique, customized HVAC solutions" “It was a tremendous honor to be asked again by the Vatican Museums to deliver innovative solutions. This project underscores our role as a leader in the industry, who has the expertise to develop unique, customized HVAC solutions,” said Didier Genois, Vice President and General Manager, Carrier HVAC Europe. “We put our world-class engineering and design resources into this project and are exceptionally proud of the outcome.” Installing fan coils and chillers The right solution for the space had to be installed without impacting any of the historic elements within the rooms but would still function to deliver proper ventilation and maintain comfortable temperatures. The Vatican Museums again turned to Carrier, who in 2014 installed an innovative HVAC system at the Sistine Chapel. Carrier engineers specifically designed small, yet high-capacity, fan coils to circulate the air, which was installed underneath the windows in the Raphael Rooms, remaining invisible to visitors. Energy-efficient Carrier AquaSnap 30RQV chillers were also installed in a location unnoticeable to visitors, and an iVu building automation system is now in place to help optimize the HVAC systems to deliver a healthier, safer, and more efficient indoor environment for visitors. Solutions according to requirements “The space available for equipment inside the Raphael Rooms was very reduced. We had to design a small 2.5 kW fan coil but with 10 kW of capacity, a powerful piece of equipment. This solution is unique because this type of product did not exist. We had to imagine and develop a product that would fit this function in a reduced space,” said Michel Grabon, Director, Carrier AdvanTEC/Building Solutions Group Europe. Adorned with frescoes painted between 1508 and 1524 by Renaissance artist Raphael, the Raphael Rooms are universally known as one of the greatest works of art ever created, and a video highlighting the project can be found.
Desiring to offer a community center to its residents, the Town of Oro Valley purchased a facility with existing membership. The Town identiﬁed within this facility that the building systems were inefficient and at the end of their useful lives, and the facility’s energy consumption was high. Facility infrastructure upgrades With no funds immediately available, the Town of Oro Valley was challenged to move forward with facility improvements and infrastructure upgrades following acquisition. “There is a considerable focus on efficiency and conservation in the community, so that served as a major tenet for us as we considered upgrades,” said Stacey Lemos, the Chief Financial Officer for the Town of Oro Valley, adding “Another challenge we had was that this is a living and breathing facility, with no signiﬁcant seasonal slow times and events to work around.” Preliminary energy assessment Trane conducted a preliminary energy assessment, walking through the facilities to gather information Based on a previous relationship with Trane for mechanical systems maintenance, the Town of Oro Valley was interested in creative solutions that the company might provide. Trane conducted a preliminary energy assessment, walking through the facilities to gather information. Using a State of Arizona cooperative contract, Oro Valley selected Trane as their energy services company (ESCO). Identifying energy saving opportunities, The Town of Oro Valley entered into a performance contract with Trane, which would allow the Town to pay for upgrades, with the energy savings realized from the project. The Trane team conducted an investment grade audit (IGA) to thoroughly evaluate the entire facility, including the 50,000 sq. feet building, tennis courts, and golf courses. Energy conservation measures (ECMs) Trane deﬁned potential energy conservation measures (ECMs) designed to reduce consumption of electricity, gas and water. This holistic approach would provide Oro Valley with their desired energy savings solutions, while maintaining a budget neutral project. Improving efficiency and comfort, by creating revenue opportunities, Trane replaced thirty-ﬁve HVAC packaged units with more energy efficient systems that feature multiple-zone cooling, to meet comfort demands of staff and guests. LED lighting installed throughout the facility To reduce energy use and improve lighting quality, LED lighting was installed throughout the facility, including more than 250 ﬁxtures on the tennis courts, six wall mounts in the racquetball viewing area, and ﬂood lights near the pool. With the new ﬁxtures, the center can now better accommodate revenue generating events, such as area tennis tournaments. Trane helped reduce water consumption with equipment and controls integration. With its location in the desert, water conservation also was a key issue for the facility. Trane analyzed industry data regarding use per acre-foot standards, to evaluate water use at the golf courses and presented solutions to reduce consumption. Trane Tracer SC building automation system (BAS) The new pumping station uses variable speed pump motors to help reduce energy use The north pumping station was replaced early on in the project, due to an unexpected mechanical failure. The new pumping station uses variable speed pump motors to help reduce energy use, along with a Trane Tracer SC building automation system (BAS), to enable connectivity to the remote pumping equipment. The existing south pumping station was retroﬁtted with a Tracer SC and both irrigation pumping stations were integrated into a new Tracer Ensemble Enterprise Building Management System. Access Multiple sites from single web-based interface The Tracer Ensemble Enterprise Building Management System enables The Town of Oro Valley to easily access multiple sites and equipment from a single web-based interface. It also allows Trane to monitor, trend and validate water consumption in real time, identifying savings opportunities. The swimming pool pumping ﬁltration and heating systems were replaced to reduce maintenance and chemical costs, eliminating the chlorination system, while improving overall operation. A new pool cover was also installed to reduce water evaporation and heat loss in the cooler months. The signiﬁcant water use reduction achieved by the upgrades was a key factor in enabling the project to remain budget neutral. Trane Air-FI wireless mesh network The community center BAS was also integrated to the building management system and HVAC controls were installed using Trane Air-FI wireless mesh network with Zigbee/BACnet communication protocol. With no wires to run and all unit controls prepackaged and programmed, Trane technicians were able to spend less time on installation and more time educating facility managers on the use of the controls and the Ensemble building management system. Ensemble building management system The web-enabled Ensemble building management system provides an enterprise view of the entire facility The web-enabled Ensemble building management system provides an enterprise view of the entire facility, allowing facilities managers to handle daily tasks, create schedules for the varied spaces in the center, manage alarms and make adjustments from anywhere in the building, or remotely with a tablet or phone. The Town of Oro Valley also has the option to integrate its other existing control systems into the system in the future. “For the comfort of our guests, our systems have to be reliable,” said Stacey Lemos adding, “We have workout facilities, a restaurant, a pool; schedules vary and some spaces need more cooling than others. With customized thermostats and enterprise-wide monitoring and control, we are now better able to keep our temperatures where they need to be.” Broad scope of ECMs Entering into a performance contract to use guaranteed energy savings to pay for needed upgrades, the Town of Oro Valley and Trane implemented a broad scope of ECMs, which are designed to enhance comfort, improve operations and reduce energy costs. The upgrades, which included improvements to HVAC, controls, lighting, swimming pool systems, golf course irrigation and domestic hot water conservation, are exceeding expectations, providing more than US$ 68,700 in energy savings and more than US$ 93,500 in water savings costs annually. Energy efficiency with LED lighting The Town has also realized more than US$ 30,000 in utility rebates. In addition, the Town of Oro Valley was honored by Tucson Electric Power for improving its energy efficiency, by replacing inefficient lighting with LED bulbs, and helping to make the community more sustainable by harvesting rain water and deploying a Green Team. “We are meeting projections, and have been able to keep to our budget,” said Stacey Lemos, adding “Plus, the useful life of the equipment will far exceed our debt.”
Ziker Cleaners on Byrkit Street in Mishawaka, Indiana is the central hub for ten store locations and four home pickup routes from which they serve the greater South Bend, Mishawaka, and Elkhart, Indiana areas. In 2017, not only was Ziker awarded the American Drycleaner’s (national) Plant Design Award, but they celebrated their 100th anniversary as a continuously owned and operated, fourth-generation family business—something that only 3% of all businesses succeeds in doing. In acknowledgment of these honors, Ziker Cleaners credits the high caliber of the people they employ and the quality of the equipment they purchase. Production uptime and efficiency Equipment at a dry-cleaning facility greatly determines production uptime and efficiency and has as its core constituent the boiler or, more specifically, the steam that it creates. Without the boiler, I can’t run my dry-cleaning machines because I need to have steam pressure to operate them" Says David Ziker, President of Ziker Cleaners, “We can’t do anything without it [steam]. We do same-day service; and if we don’t have steam, we’re going to disappoint a lot of customers. So it’s very important for us.” Adds Production Manager Shayne Golden, “The boiler is the most important piece of equipment that we have. Without the boiler, I can’t run my dry-cleaning machines because I need to have steam pressure to operate them. And I can’t press the clothing because I don’t have the steam to press the clothes. I’m down if I don’t have steam. Without that Fulton boiler, we are out of business.” Why Fulton? Said owner David Ziker, “We did a lot of research and toured quite a few other facilities that were similar to what we were looking at doing, and everywhere we went we saw Fulton, and so we realized that they had a specific boiler for our industry. Also, the equipment distributor that we use is a big promoter of Fulton.” Adds Production Manager Shayne Golden, “This is our first experience with Fulton, and it’s been a good one. Previous daily startup time at our old facility was longer and more complex, but things have been simplified greatly with this new Fulton boiler system. It’s been good.” Praise for Skidded System VMP-100 boiler arrived at the facility with all ancillary equipment already connected to it, including the feedwater tank Fulton delivered to Ziker a Vertical Multi-Port (VMP-100) boiler that was installed by Michael “Stucky” Szczotla of Eagle Star Equipment as part of a fully-skidded system, with piping system design and installation provided by Dynamic Mechanical Services. Skidded means that the VMP-100 boiler arrived at the facility with all ancillary equipment already connected to it, including the feedwater tank that collects and reuses condensate, and a blow-down tank that safely discharges the hot blowdown water to the drain. Installation with ease Says David Ziker, “To install the boiler in the new building we moved into, we first had to modify the building, and then find someone to put the steam system in. So I partnered with a local contractor who told me we needed a return system and a blowdown. But he then said it would cost a fortune to hook all that stuff up separately. So we had Fulton do the whole thing. And then when it came, it was ready to go. It’s nice.” Adds Shayne, “The fully skidded, the pre-piped system helped us immensely with the installation and timeliness of us getting started, not to mention the ease of getting it in the door in one big piece.” Small Footprint, High Efficiency Fulton VMP gives much-increased space savings over the old horizontal fire-tube model, and it runs on natural gas" Stucky suggested the Fulton VMP-100 for its superior fuel-to-steam efficiencies (up to 85%). But he also recommended the VMP-100 for its compact vertical design, which requires significantly less floor space than competing boilers and includes optimized internal circulation paths that reduce boiler warm-up time. Comments Shayne, “Compared to our last boiler [a horizontal water tube boiler from another company], the Fulton takes about 15-20 minutes less time to get ready so that I can start my day sooner. Time is money, and that is one big thing that helps.” “It [the Fulton VMP] gives much-increased space savings, maybe 200 square feet savings over our old horizontal fire-tube model, and it runs on natural gas.” Importance of Steam At Ziker, Fulton boiler steam connects to dryers, pants pressing machines, dry cleaning machines, shirt pressing machines, puffer units (for finishing light fabrics), and all irons, which connect to the boiler through piped steam hookups. Says Shayne Golden, “A certain amount of steam pressure goes to each piece of equipment.” “For example, my dry cleaning machine needs at least 40-50 PSIG of steam. For my dry cleaning pressers—pants, shirts, puffers—I need around 80 PSIG of steam pressure. And for my laundered shirt presses, I would need at least 110 PSIG of steam pressure to operate.” Uptime All the Time It’s been the boiler getting used to this new building, and us getting used to a different kind of boiler" Says Shayne, “It’s been great. It’s been the boiler getting used to this new building, and us getting used to a different kind of boiler, and making sure that we dialed it into exactly what we needed.” “We needed to make sure that we had the correct amount of steam pressure. We needed to ensure that the pump that pumped the water to the water feed tank is working properly. And we needed to calibrate and then learn to maintain the right amount of chemical additives that we had to put in the water.” “Once we got all of that stuff figured out, it’s been running great. We do our best to take care of the boiler, and the boiler takes care of us. We haven’t had any downtime.”
In April 2017, Pabst Brewing Company opened a brewery, taproom, and restaurant on the site of its former home in downtown Milwaukee: the First German Methodist Church, built in 1874. In doing so, they reignited a tradition of excellence that began for the company 173 years ago, one that required great attention to detail every step of the way. At the outset, this included the careful selection of the equipment needed to heat water used to steep the grains. It required the purchase of a good boiler needed to make a good brew Why Fulton’s VSRT? John Kimes, Senior Staff Brewer, and Jerry Lalla, Project Manager, were the people at Pabst responsible for purchasing boiler equipment, and they had three major needs: Fitting very tight space constraints (9’6” by 6’4”) due to historic preservation work being done. Providing necessary steam output ranges based on varying loads. Operating at low pressure to forego the requirement of a high-pressure boiler license. Because of the complexity of these boiler requirements plus the need to purchase ancillary equipment, Pabst relied on their sales representative, Steve Marks at Heat & Power Products, to assist with the system design. The solution was Fulton’s revolutionary new Vertical Spiral Rib Tubeless (VSRT) Steam Boiler, a 30-HP model, showcased at the 2017 Craft Brewers Conference. Out of the box solution Fulton stepped up to bring us some out-of-the-box thinking with a solution that has provided excellent steam “Just when we were hitting dead-end roads with other manufacturers in trying to find a unit that would provide the capacity and footprint we need, Fulton stepped up to bring us some out-of-the-box thinking with a solution that has provided excellent steam for us,” said John. “This was not a solution we picked off the shelf. It resulted from hours of phone calls with Heat & Power and our general contractors. Everybody at Heat & Power Products and Fulton brought their A-game and helped us come up with this solution.” Installation Ease The VSRT having one of the industry’s smallest footprints was installed as part of a custom-engineered design that came fully piped and wired. The system included two ancillary steam components: a VT-30 feed water tank and an F-30 blowdown tank. The boiler itself was also custom wrapped by Fulton in the iconic logo of Pabst Brewing’s signature brew. Said John, “Because you guys had this skid-mounted system that was compact enough to fit through the doorway to get into the boiler room and maintain the legal distances needed—that’s what drove our decision. Especially if we had to do any major repairs or replacements, without having to tear the building down. This boiler gives us the ability to do that service work.” The installation of the boiler itself was “seamless.” Between getting the piping installed and the boiler set, only two people were required to move the VSRT on a pallet jack. “We were able to put it in place quickly and easily. No problems, whatsoever,” said John. Great Versatility, Efficiency, Steam Quality Fulton VSRT efficiently delivers the highest-quality saturated steam to three different tanks/kettles used in the process Once installed, the VSRT creates the steam heat that is fundamental to brewing quality beer (specifically, several new craft beers based on Pabst’s archived recipes). With industry-leading 86% operating efficiency, and 6:1 turndown to meet a wide range of varying steam loads, the Fulton VSRT efficiently delivers the highest-quality saturated steam (rated at greater than 99.75% dry) to three different tanks/kettles used in Pabst’s beer brewing process: Hot liquor tank– Heats water to very specific “strike” temperatures before transfer to the mash kettle. Mash kettle– Mashes (soaks) grains in hot water to convert their starches into fermentable sugars, creating a liquid mix called “wort.” The mash kettle is heated to a series of different “step” temperatures to facilitate a starch conversion. Boil kettle– Further boils and refines wort such that, with the addition of hops and other flavorings, it can then be fermented. Steam sanitation cycle The VSRT is also used as part of Pabst’s steam sanitation cycle. Pabst uses 180° F water from their liquor tanks to sanitize their kegs. Said John, “The VSRT is used for heating our hot liquor tank, heating our mash kettle, and heating our boil kettle, all at the same time. Just being able to keep up the steam to run all three of those was important.” “Some of the other companies that we looked at that met our footprint limitations would not have been able to keep up with running multiple steam applications at the same time.” Little Big Boiler VSRT-30 embodies a cutting-edge design in steam boiler technology by providing the smallest footprint The VSRT-30 is an impressive 40% smaller than the current, industry-equivalent 30-HP boiler. The design is small enough to fit through a standard doorway. The VSRT-30 embodies the newest and most cutting-edge design in steam boiler technology by providing the industry’s smallest footprint with a revolutionary ultra-compact vertical design. Concluding Remarks In the highly competitive craft beer industry, consistent, high-quality steam is a critically important factor in delivering a consistent, high-quality product. “Steam quality, especially when we are in our boil, needs to be solid and consistent. If that varies, then we’ll get inconsistent boils as we’re making the beer,” said John. “And for our packaging, we rely on the steam to do the full sanitization that we need for shelf life on our kegs.” “This ensures we can hit our best-buy dates. It directly correlates to the quality of the steam that we have feeding our brewery. This unit [the VSRT] has provided us with extremely reliable, extremely good, clean steam.”
Round table discussion
A long list of regulatory and environmental trends is determining the future of the HVAC industry. Some trends will have an immediate impact, while others will come in force years from now, although the complexity of the industry requires that manufacturers and installers start planning now. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What regulatory or environmental trend will have the greatest impact on the HVAC market?
Shifting demographics suggest a need for ‘new blood’ in the HVAC industry. It has never been a more important time to attract new applicants into the industry. Fortunately, there is a range of exciting opportunities for applicants of any age, including new disciplines and skills needed as HVAC systems transform in the digital age. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the emerging career opportunities in the HVAC industry?
The practice of working from home soared during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and many observers see a likely continuation of the trend, as infection risks gradually subside. Both environments – home and office – depend on HVAC systems to keep occupants comfortable (and safe!). Therefore, the industry stands to be impacted whichever way the trend plays out. We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: How will remote working affect residential and commercial HVAC?
Residential HVAC: Manufacturers & Suppliers
- Bryant Residential HVAC
- Rheem Residential HVAC
- American Standard Residential HVAC
- Goodman Residential HVAC
- Trane Residential HVAC
- Marley Engineered Products Residential HVAC
- Daikin Residential HVAC
- Broan-Nutone Residential HVAC
- Lennox Residential HVAC
- YORK Residential HVAC
- Nortek Residential HVAC
- Luxaire Residential HVAC
- Frigidaire Residential HVAC
- Bosch Thermotechnology Residential HVAC
- Revolv® Residential HVAC
- Carrier Residential HVAC
- Tempstar Residential HVAC
- Honeywell Home Residential HVAC