GrayWolf’s DirectSense® II probes will now connect via Bluetooth LE wireless to Apple and Android devices. Their highly reliable, adaptable DSII probes for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and Toxic Gas testing/monitoring will imminently have Apps for iOS and Android operating systems available (free) on the Apple and Google App stores. Use smartphone or tablet as a multi-parameter display, data-logger, and far more. Indoor air quality Choose from over 25 highly accurate, smart indoor air q...
The EME3625MD, a new, 3-inch deep, stationary Ruskin louver, approved by Miami-Dade, for its wind-driven rain resistance, is designed for structures in high-velocity hurricane zones that require louvers with basic impact protection. EME3625MD louver Mechanically fastened to add to its strength, the vertical louver also offers improved air and water performance over Ruskin’s previous Miami-Dade approved model, the EME3625DFLMD, and is AMCA 540 (Missile D) and 550 listed. We designed the...
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company for smart, healthy, and sustainable building solutions, has significantly upgraded the testing lab facilities at its residential HVAC manufacturing plant in Wichita, Kan. upgrading HVAC testing facility The nearly US$ 15 million investment includes the addition of seven test chambers, automated testing and model shop equipment, and a new building, which adds 2,000 more square footage space, bringing the plant’s total testing facilities to 1...
Active air purification and HVAC specialists, Better Indoors, have formed a new strategic partnership with water and air quality providers, SMS Environmental, to help UK businesses, healthcare and education settings create safe indoor environments. Headquartered in Surrey, Better Indoors, is the sole UK distributor of RGF Environmental Group, manufacturers of innovative active air purification technology that instantly eliminates harmful viruses and bacteria, including SARS-CoV-2 at the point o...
Johnson Controls, the global front-runner for smart, healthy, and sustainable buildings, announced an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston valued at CA$86 million, including taxes. Enabled through a collaboration with the Department of National Defence (DND), the project will combine infrastructure investments and a community awareness campaign to advance the base’s energy resiliency strategy. Johnson Controls has assessed CFB Kingston’s energy...
The Board of Directors of BELIMO Holding AG has appointed Dr. Adrian Staufer as the new Head of Group Division Europe and Member of the Executive Committee. On January 1, 2022, Adrian Staufer takes over from Lukas Eigenmann, who, as communicated in February 2021, has decided to step down from his current position by the end of 2021 after more than 36 years with Belimo. Lukas Eigenmann will continue to support the Group as a Senior Advisor. Adrian Staufer has been employed by Belimo since Novemb...
An experienced industry professional with extensive knowledge of data center services and solutions, Walzel has invested more than 20 years in the mission-critical industry. After launching her career with Honeywell, she has worked in progressively senior roles with Schneider Electric, Emerson Network Power, Stream Data Centers, and Vertiv. In her new role, Walzel will lead a global team of sales professionals serving customers directly and through an established partner network.“We’re extremely proud that Simone has joined us,” said Joachim Schulz, Commercial Director, Global Building Business. “She is an experienced data center professional and the perfect leader to take on this opportunity”.
One thing is certain, optimal data center design is a complex puzzle to solve. With all the options available, no one environmental control system can fit all situations. One must consider all the solutions and technology available to best manage assets and adapt to the evolving data center. There is a precision cooling system for whatever scenario best fits one's current strategy or future goals. The question only remains, has one considered each of the options with the design engineer and the environmental control manufacturer? The two need to be in synch to help maximize the return on investment. In most instances, if one wants an environmental control system that scales with your needs, provide the lowest energy costs, and provides the most reliable airflow throughout the data center, a variable-speed system is the best solution. Nevertheless, one may be curious about what other options may suit the current application. Precise Modulated Cooling Companies need to decide on their strategy and design for it. When one knows they have swings in the load – seasonal, day to day, or even from one corner of the data center or electrical room to the other, one should consider variable speed technology. A system with variable speed technology and accurate control design modulates to match the current cooling load A system with variable speed technology and accurate control design modulates to precisely match the current cooling load. This precision gives the variable speed the highest efficiency at part-load, which equates to a greater return on investment. In other words, when the data center is not running at maximum cooling load a variable speed system will use less energy and save money. If one thinks of the cooling output of the environmental control system as the accelerator of a car — one can press the pedal to almost infinite positions to exactly match the speed one wants to travel. One is not wasting energy overshooting the desired speed. A well-designed control system also ensures a smooth response to a change in load. Further efficiency is gained by accelerating at an efficient rate for the system. Advanced Staged Cooling Looking for something that offers a portion of the benefits of a variable speed system but at a reduced first cost, a multi-stage cooling system can be a good compromise. A multi-stage system will manage some applications well and can reduce overcooling space — as-built today. If one needs greater turndown than what a fixed speed system offers, then this is a good choice. If one finds this to be the right-now solution, one is in good hands. The system is more advanced than a fixed speed unit; it is developed with a level of design optimization to transition its small steps. Unlike digital scroll, this accurate solution, with two-stage compressors, has high part-load efficiency. Example Think about the car accelerator example again; there are many positions to move the accelerator to with a multi-speed system. With two-stage compressors the positions are precise and repeatable, meaning one can smartly change positions to prevent overshoot, and one is more likely to have a position that matches the speed that is desired. Although the return on investment is better with a multi-stage than a fixed-speed system; the benefits are less than with a variable speed system. Fixed-Speed Systems Some consider the entry point for precision cooling based on their current budget constraints Some consider the entry point for precision cooling based on their current budget constraints. So, if one is on a tight budget and needs a lower first cost, then a fixed-speed, single-stage precision cooling system may get the job done. However, this can be short-sighted as energy consumption and costs are higher when the data center is operating at less than the maximum designed cooling load. With experience, this seems to happen quite frequently based on what the mechanical engineer has been asked to design vs. the actual heat load of the space. If a fixed system is applied to the car accelerator example, one can see how only applying 100% throttle or 0% throttle would prevent from getting close to a precise speed. This is clearly not as efficient as the other examples unless one wants to go at the car’s maximum speed all the time. Ramping Up Data Center The needs and goals of a data center can change over time. While the initial objective may only require getting the space in running order, customers may reassess based on changing scenarios. If the data center needs to scale, one may be challenged if haven’t planned ahead with the design engineer for phased buildouts, or perhaps even varying IT load considerations that are seasonal or shift from day to day or even hour to hour. Likewise, one may need to consider the difference between design and actual usage – whether it be too little or too much. Perhaps the IT team says they need two megawatts, or one is going to be running at 16 kW per rack. The cooling system designed may underserve the needs or may be overkill for the current state of usage. In addition, pushing your system to do more than it is engineered for can potentially accelerate the aging of the infrastructure. Again, depending on your application, goals, and business strategy, one of these three systems is right. The best course of action is to evaluate where one is today and then future-proof the data center with technology that can grow.
The road transport group Jacky Perrenot has selected Carrier Transicold to equip its first 100% electric Renault truck. The vehicle was put into service last month and has been supplying several LIDL supermarkets in Paris and its inner suburbs. Carrier Transicold is part of Carrier Global Corporation, the foremost global provider of healthy, safe, and sustainable building, and cold chain solutions. About Jacky Perrenot For several years now, Jacky Perrenot has been a front-runner in the field of alternative energy and environmentally sustainable transport. This strong environmental commitment resulted in the collaboration with Carrier Transicold. “We turned to Carrier Transicold to help execute LIDL’s energy transition of its vehicle fleet to 20% electric,” explained Denis Bertin, General Manager of Operations and Development, Jacky Perrenot. “To meet this objective, we sought to develop a fully electric vehicle with Renault trucks that produce no CO2 emissions.” ATP FRC Technology and Certification Carrier Transicold equips 95% of its fleet of temperature-controlled vehicles, that must meet ATP FRC certification For the refrigeration unit, Jacky Perrenot turned to its long-standing partner Carrier Transicold, which equips 95% of its fleet of temperature-controlled vehicles, that must meet ATP FRC certification requirements. “Carrier Transicold was the only provider to offer FRC technology,” added Bertin. “This project is a successful collaborative effort to meet our environmental sustainability goals in the service of environmental performance. On the strength of this experience, we are already working on the preparation of a second all-electric vehicle.” Syberia refrigeration unit To meet the all-electric challenge, Carrier Transicold equipped the truck with its Syberia refrigeration unit. The dual-temperature unit is connected to the vehicle's battery using Carrier Transicold’s Eco-Drive™ hydroelectric module, which converts the direct current produced and stored by the truck while driving into the alternating current required to operate the refrigeration unit. This creates a fully self-sustaining virtuous system that produces no direct carbon dioxide (CO2) or particulate emissions. The unit is PIEK certified and emits less than 60 dB(A). Taking road transport forward “Jacky Perrenot has always been a pioneer in the adoption of alternative energies, such as the first natural-gas vehicles we equipped. With this new all-electric project, Jacky Perrenot is once again demonstrating its desire to take road transport forward with the energy transition. We welcome this commitment,” said Didier Urbaniak, General Sales Manager of Carrier Transicold France. Syberia units are one of the solutions offered through Carrier’s Healthy, Safe, Sustainable Cold Chain Program to preserve and protect the supply of food, medicine, and vaccines.
Ngoni recently joined the Eurovent Team to provide support in administration and communication activities. He is based in the Eurovent Regional Office Prague from July 2021. With his previous communication experience in the energy storage and data protection sectors, Ngoni is a great addition to the growing Team of Eurovent. He looks forward to working with Eurovent and to being part of the HVACR industry in the drive towards a clean environment in line with the EU Green Deal. Ngoni was welcomed on board on behalf of the entire Eurovent family. They look forward to his input and contribution to the activities.
Uponor has extended its innovative EcoFlex VIP portfolio with the introduction of Ecoflex Aqua VIP, a high-performance pipe designed to make hot and cold water transportation around a home more sustainable than ever before. The pre-insulated pipe, introduced specifically for domestic water distribution, combines heat loss performance with outstanding flexibility, ease of installation and a service life in excess of 30 years. Total solutions provider By adapting ground-breaking Vacuum Insulation Panel (VIP) technology, the next generation pipe delivers hot water efficiently to its distribution point by significantly reducing the heat losses that typically occur when water travels from a heat source around a building. What’s more, Uponor, the total solutions provider of systems for the safe transportation of water around a building, has designed the new pipe to be as flexible as soft foam insulated products, but with a diameter up to 30% smaller. This means that less space is needed to run the pipework around a building, saving on time and labor while also making it easier to find suitable pathways for the pipes to run. In addition, Ecoflex Aqua VIP is also highly flexible and durable, making it ideal for complex designs and projects where the installer is working in confined spaces. Requiring additional connections These qualities help to reduce the installation time of the pipes by up to 20% With up to 60% less bending force compared to alternative solutions on the market, Ecoflex Aqua VIP can be navigated around obstacles or laid across bumpy ground without requiring additional connections. These qualities help to reduce the installation time of the pipes by up to 20% compared to hard foam insulated flexible pipes, and by more than double compared to steel pipes. This also minimizes potential weak points that could lead to leaks after the pipes have been laid. Ecoflex Aqua VIP joins Ecoflex Thermo VIP in the innovative range, which now provides developers and installers with the complete sustainable solution for all a project’s pipework requirements. High insulating performance Commenting on the portfolio, Mark Dowdeswell, Senior Category Manager at Uponor, said: “Vacuum insulation panels have already proven to be one of the best insulation materials, as they are widely used for applications in healthcare, vehicles, construction and household appliances. By adapting this technology to our Ecoflex VIP range, we have managed to achieve high insulating performance with less insulation material. The flexible, multi-layer aluminum diffusion barrier also makes our pipe extremely compact and easy to handle.” “The system can be utilized for a great variety of applications, from an extensive supply network to a single connection for one building, with the flexibility of the pipe material, the convenient connecting methods and the well-attested service life, all contributing to projects being completed quickly, economically and reliably.”
To kick off the hottest months of the year, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS) launches its new website: MitsubishiComfort.com. The website serves as a hub for both homeowners and professionals to review information from METUS, a leading supplier of Ductless and Ducted Mini-split and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heat-pump and air-conditioning systems. For Homeowners and professional A combination of the company’s homeowner and professional websites, MitsubishiComfort is a comprehensive resource with a refreshed user experience. The site highlights the ability of METUS systems to heat and cool any home, any building, anywhere. The new MitsubishiComfort is built to service the needs of homeowners and professionals. On the website, homeowners can learn about the benefits of Mitsubishi Electric heat-pump technology through articles, videos, and case studies. They can also use the website to find available rebates, financing information or request a consultation with a Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Contractor® or Ductless Pro qualified provider. Diamond Contractor and Ductless Pro qualified providers are independent professionals who have completed METUS training and have a high level of experience with METUS systems. Product and Application Catalog Professionals can use the website to locate a distributor, register systems, access tools, and sign up for training sessions The new site also boasts considerable content expansion in the product and application sections for ease of use, streamlined navigation, and to provide meaningful education for users. Professionals can use the website to locate a distributor, register systems, access tools, and sign up for training sessions and find the manufacturer-level support they need to make each project a success. The site includes custom portals for contractors, distributors, and METUS employees. The company’s history of innovation as a leader in VRF technology is displayed through articles on energy efficiency and sustainability — initiatives at the forefront of METUS product development. MitsubishiComfort also features a robust lead generation solution to connect homeowners and building owners with preferred local contractors while simultaneously sharing those leads with contractors. Authority Comment “From the beginning of this project, we knew we wanted to build a website to offer homeowners and professionals an easy way to access a deep amount of information about our systems and all the services we offer,” said Suzanne Rigdon, Director of Digital Marketing at Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US. “We’re confident we’ve met our goals with this new site and can’t wait for our customers to get their hands on it.”
The last 18 months have seen an acceleration in digitalization across many aspects of work and home life. Home spaces have become workspaces, and commercial buildings have had to adapt to changed use and lower occupancy rates. Coupled with this, there is a growing need to dramatically reduce carbon emissions from buildings - according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the buildings and construction sectors combined are responsible for over 30 percent of global energy consumption, and nearly 40 percent of carbon emissions. Installing separate systems This means that demand for a smarter approach to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) management is crucial for building managers, who need to ensure that their properties can adapt to changed use, respond to the wellbeing of their occupants, and run efficiently to keep emissions as low as possible. Armed with this data, facility managers can take proactive steps to improve usage Of course, architects and developers have been installing separate systems to control HVAC for decades which have given building managers greater control and access to different areas of a site. However, with digitalization comes the addition of web-based platforms to allow these verticals to integrate seamlessly with each other, providing data on how efficiently and effectively a building operates through a single view application. Armed with this data, facility managers can take proactive steps to improve usage, which will see properties proactively react to the environmental and personal needs of their occupants. Centrally controlled lighting Many commercial buildings will already have a certain element of smart technology installed – from centrally controlled lighting and HVAC systems to remote management of security and energy management systems. However, it is often the case that these multiple applications are managed in silo. This means facilities managers don’t have a consolidated view of their data. In addition, not all managers will be using the data these devices produce to take steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their properties. Embracing smart technology – and a central control platform - gives building managers access to instant data on how their HVAC assets are performing in one place. This insight can be used to gain a thorough understanding of how the different systems in the building interact, and the external factors that may impact them. Effective building controls By using this data, operators can implement effective building controls to manage efficiencies By using this data, operators can implement effective building controls to manage efficiencies, identify maintenance issues, ensure the wellbeing of occupants, and inform future investment priorities. So, for example, if a building is now being used in a different way due to changed occupancy, the data will show the manager what needs to be done to ensure it is operating as efficiently as possible. We know that there will be increased demand for more flexible spaces as companies move towards remote or hybrid working models. It is likely that we will visit our offices less for day-to-day work and use them more as hubs to meet and collaborate. The ability to turn a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ building into an agile asset that can learn and adapt to its surroundings will become increasingly important. Smart HVAC management Smart offices will become independently intelligent, learning how occupants use the space and services, adjusting lighting, HVAC and other systems to maximize health and comfort. Smart HVAC management will create a trend for ‘healthier’ buildings that will have a positive impact in terms of improved quality of life and wellbeing of occupants, ultimately resulting in higher productivity levels. In short, there has never been a better time to adopt smart HVAC technologies. Intelligent buildings that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago are now a reality. As buildings become smarter, they can learn how occupants use the space and services and proactively adjust lighting, HVAC and other systems to improve use, cut emissions and reduce energy consumption.
As our urban centers grow, so does our demand for key resources, such as energy. Currently, cities are accountable for over 60% of resource use and an estimated 70% of global carbon emissions. In the Middle East particularly, countries have experienced unprecedented population growth, increased economic activity and consequently, increases in energy consumption. Integration of sustainable systems Fortunately, industry leaders and governments are placing sustainability at the heart of regional plans for urban development. The integration of sustainable systems is no longer a value-added benefit, but rather a necessary requirement. I believe a vital element for sustainable development in our cities is energy management. Energy is a costly commodity representing an average of 25% of all operating costs in office buildings. This cost, however, can be reduced by using energy management to optimize HVAC systems employed in a building. Effective energy management Energy management involves proactive tracking, systemic management and thoughtful optimization of energy consumption in a building, with the goal of improving energy efficiency. The concept of energy efficiency takes into account a variety of factors; we must consider system design, quality of installation and maintenance, efficiency rates and personal use. If we assume a system is designed with greatest efficiency in mind, its effectiveness is still deeply impacted by installation, maintenance and use. ‘Performance drift’ issues One challenge we face with the efficiency of HVAC systems is ‘performance drift’ One challenge we face with the efficiency of HVAC systems is ‘performance drift’. When first installed, and even in the first few months, HVAC systems operate immaculately. Over time, however, component efficiency and system conditions ‘drift’ away from the originally installed operating curve, meaning that efficiency and performance of the system can degrade incrementally. The deteriorating performance of HVAC systems has consequences, such as unnecessary use of energy, resulting in higher costs and emissions, in addition to reduced comfort for building occupants. Energy efficient HVAC pumps In order to truly have an impact on energy consumption, a holistic approach must be adopted. Only by carefully examining and optimizing each part of the HVAC system, can we then find ways to improve it. In my experience with Armstrong Fluid Technology, in the last decade, the technology for HVAC pumps has been enhanced to provide up to 70% energy efficiency savings through demand-based control and parallel pumping technology. These innovations enable the pumps to operate at optimum levels, consuming as little energy as possible. Innovative smart technology Systems that incorporate innovative smart technology enable more accurate system performance analysis and optimization. Pumps can function as highly accurate flow meters that provide valuable insight for building managers and operators. Data from the intelligent connected pumps can be collected through active performance management software, which enables the HVAC system to learn, predict and optimize to deliver even greater energy efficiency and cost savings through maintained optimized performance. Systems incorporating innovative smart technology enable more accurate system performance analysis Active performance management software Active performance management software enables real time and historical data reporting that directly demonstrates system efficiency and savings. Given the global shift towards sustainable building construction, legislation on energy reporting is inevitable, therefore employing systems with this in-built capability can prove to be extremely beneficial in the future. The software can also help maintain client comfort at all times by enabling predictive maintenance. Systems can provide alerts when they detect faults, allowing for early replacement before a full breakdown. This can be particularly helpful in mission critical applications such as hospitals. Importance of analyzed data in system optimization Without the ability to analyze data, buildings managers and operators cannot properly optimize mechanical systems Evidently, collecting data is essential for many reasons, including preventing, and even reversing, the loss of energy efficiency. Without the ability to analyze data, buildings managers and operators cannot properly optimize mechanical systems, which results in unnecessary energy use, insufficient maintenance practices and any related costs. There may be hesitation in the industry to incorporate more sophisticated systems as they require initial investment, however, the returns from using more efficient mechanical systems are impressive. Executing energy upgrades for HVAC systems Simple payback on energy upgrade projects is usually reached within 3 to 5 years. Furthermore, energy savings continue for the life of the system. Properly executed energy upgrades deliver up to 40% savings on energy consumption related to HVAC operation. Savings on that level for a large facility can be impactful for business operations. Energy efficiency is not ‘visible’ but has the potential to have a transformative effect on climate change, if embraced on a large scale. If we consume energy only as we need to, then we consume less of it. This, in turn, reduces our consumption of fossil fuels and consequently our greenhouse gas emissions. Aside from short-term benefits, such as costs savings and increased operation efficiency, energy management has the ability to help conserve energy for generations to come. Embracing energy saving solutions If we embrace innovative energy saving solutions in the building services industry, then we can begin to make a difference. With the recent launch of plans for sustainable development, such as the Dubai Master Plan 2040, green infrastructure, supporting solutions, will thrive. The global shift towards embracing sustainability has made individuals and organizations call into question their impact on our planet. Embracing sustainability is no longer a preference but a strategic business approach that helps to create long-term value on a social, economic and environmental level. The role of energy efficiency, and the systems that enable it, will inevitably play a key role in creating more sustainable buildings, communities and cities.
Forget the fact that heat pump installations in the average home could cost several thousand pounds more than a conventional gas boiler and that fully insulating those homes will add even greater cost to the homeowner. It’s not really the cost issue that could be the only potential bump in the road on the way to the target set by the UK Government, because a more pressing problem to solve will be the shortage of trained ‘green’ heating engineers that will be the key to delivery of the plan. Gas boiler production I’m sure I’m not alone within the industry in adding my support to any drive that leads to a more effective use of environmentally responsible sources of energy for home heating. And following the news that ministers are currently discussing a cut off date of 2035 for all domestic gas boiler production, with an earlier 2025 ban on their installation in new homes, it is encouraging to think that technologies with which we in the industry have been working for a decade or more, will finally become the norm, rather than the green exception. However supportive I and colleagues in the sector might be, we should not shy away from challenging the Government on the delivery of the targets it has announced, because currently we haven’t heard enough in the Government’s Heating and Buildings Strategy about the market’s skills shortage. Heat source technologies At Ameon we’ve been working with green technologies for over a decade, on large scale public sector The truth is that there are simply not enough heating engineers currently who are experienced in the installation of alternative heat source technologies, such as ground or air source heat pumps, and given that tens of thousands of new or re-skilled engineers will be required if the Government’s plan to install 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028 is to be achieved, then the drive needs to be supported by the associated training provisions to help it meet its goal. At Ameon we’ve been working with green technologies for over a decade, on large scale public sector and residential developments but I feel that aside from building services infrastructure companies like ourselves and others in our sector, there isn’t currently a large enough skills base and therefore the infrastructure needs to be put in place to be able to train enough people to carry out the installation program. Low carbon technologies This could be more of a factor in the achievement of 2035 target aspirations, than even the potential public reluctance to embrace the technology for cost reasons. Whilst specialists in our sector have teams of qualified heating and ventilation engineers who are hugely experienced in low carbon technologies, it has to be acknowledged that their experience and skill set has taken considerable time and investment to develop; therefore I hope the Government hasn’t underestimated the vital importance of training. This could be more of a factor in the achievement of 2035 target aspirations You can’t simply ask domestic heating engineers, who are used to fitting conventional gas boilers, to switch to installing ground or air source heat pumps overnight. There are significant differences in the science and the technology, together with the requirement by law for engineers to be F-gas registered, proving that they are qualified in the safe handling of fluorinated refrigerant gases (F-gas), which are ozone depleting substances crucial to the heat pump delivery process. Conventional gas boilers Then, there’s the need for engineers to understand how to design low temperature water systems and avoid such things as Legionella bacteria creeping into the system. There is much more to learn for someone used to installing boilers that heat water to a temperature to pasteurize it, because the public health element is a key factor too. So there needs to be significant retraining and, of course, the time to create the infrastructure to deliver the training. The other related issues, such as where training would be delivered and who funds it can be more easily addressed. After all, the Chancellor has protected UK businesses at the drop of a hat in the midst of a pandemic, and the country has, in short time, created a hugely efficient mass-vaccination program; proving that anything is possible. Reducing carbon emissions Steve Baker, has warned of public anger if all implications of the Government’s plans are not explained Currently discussions in Whitehall include such ideas as homeowners being required to install ‘green’ heating before they can sell their property, or levying a surcharge on gas boilers to subsidize production of heat pumps: although no firm decision has yet been taken. It is reported that former Conservative minister, Steve Baker, has warned of public anger if all implications of the Government’s plans are not explained fully to homeowners, which is why I and others will add our voices to the many questions that really need to be answered. That doesn’t mean we in industry are not fully supportive of the Government’s aspirations. The public too appears to be broadly behind this move to reduce carbon emissions, particularly as gas boilers account for a percentage of CO2 produced annually; therefore it is an important area to focus upon if ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050 are to be achieved. Newly trained engineers Roughly 85% of UK homes currently rely on gas for heating, which is around 25 million homes, so the scale of the change required is immense. Even if the UK had the qualified engineers to start from day one, which it doesn’t, the targets are ambitious to say the least. It is my view that investment in training has to be at the heart of the Government’s planning. That could be delivered on the job, in the classroom, or, as has become the norm during lockdown, via online platforms such as Teams, Zoom or Skype. So if the will is there and the resources are in place to fund training, the method is the easier part of the process. What’s less certain is whether the army of re-skilled and newly trained engineers can be deployed quickly enough to achieve the target set. The clock is ticking...
Interfacing with HVAC products is increasingly complex. The tiny 1-inch LCD display included on systems does not lend itself to complicated functions. Keeping the HVAC user interface simple limits control options to on/off, mode change or choosing a temperature. Thermostat controls company COTHERM has developed a smartphone app that can be used to control complex functions such as product settings during installation, programming or providing technical information about an HVAC product. Near field communication (NFC) relays information from the smartphone app to the HVAC equipment. Conventional HVAC equipment “NFC technology can be leveraged by heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) manufacturers so that installers can adjust the settings for radiators, as well as water or space heaters, via a mobile phone,” says Alain Maillard, Marketing Director of COTHERM. NFC is a contactless technology that enables transfer of short messages between a smartphone and an object. The technology is widely used and is already popular for uses such as contactless payment The technology is widely used and is already popular for uses such as contactless payment, access control and transportation. The large color screen display of a smartphone and the familiarity of app usage provides a strong tool for user interface and is much more user-friendly than conventional LED or LCD displays with keypads that commonly equip conventional HVAC equipment. This is particularly evident for advanced settings that need a lot of menu navigation like programming. Using NFC technology NFC provides a remote user interface using a smartphone to facilitate the configuration or setting of the product. In effect, the smartphone becomes the user interface of the product, and there is no need to use a complex display with a keyboard. The approach also does not require complex IT installation or pairing as would be required with other technologies like Bluetooth or Wifi. Because communication is based on proximity, data exchange is safe, and you do not need a password or login to connect. The Electric Radiator is COTHERM’s first equipment to use NFC technology, and the first market introduction is in France. The first company to introduce the technology is ‘Univ’R Chauffage’ for the 2021 winter season. For an installer, simplicity is key. Permanent communication link The actual appliance is simplified to include only the most commonly used functions The NFC approach provides time savings for installation as it does not require a login/password of a local network. And it is error free: An app can have a pre-defined setting package that is impossible using a native LCD+ keyboard on traditional equipment. For the user, the actual appliance is simplified to include only the most commonly used functions. There is no pairing or setting, ensuring simplicity. And the system is hacker-free as it requires a proximity exchange and works without the cloud. Data exchange is only activated while the smartphone is close to the radiator; there is no need for a permanent communication link. As a consequence, there are no waves pollution and no energy consumption that may be due to maintaining permanent communication. For appliance manufacturers, the cost-effective solution is innovative and easy to use. Limited support is needed as there is no installation (except downloading an app from the store). Industrial HVAC products The approach also enables a contactless customization of the appliance at the end of the production line in the factory with no power supply on the appliance because NFC is energy harvesting. The approach can be used for industrial HVAC products as well as residential appliances. NFC provides cost advantages, eliminating the need for a high-end display on an appliance. Some sensitive technical data or setting may be reserved for a technician only Information is also addressable: A filter can be set with data from the appliance accessible by profile. Some sensitive technical data or setting may be reserved for a technician only or for use at the factory. In the HVAC application as implemented, the controller of the appliance is used as the NFC tag and the smartphone is used as a reader/writer terminal with color display. The controller of the appliance includes an NFC antenna and a small, dedicated NFC controller with memory. Providing additional benefits On the other hand, the smartphone can be iOS or Android and needs to have the COTHERM NFC App downloaded. NFC is available on iPhone from iPhone 7 and on Android; all smartphones with NFC are compatible. NFC technology provides additional benefits, too, including: Traceability and storage of historical data. Easy setting of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth configuration when combined with NFC. Preset of the appliances or any equipment at the factory, including enabling or disabling. Functions or changing settings to enable customization based on distribution channel for brand. Directly points to the correct app on the store for download when using the smartphone for the first time. Self-launch of the app when the smartphone is close to the NFC tag. Further expansion is planned in Europe. The combination of the technology has received an innovation reward as a European funding project Touch & Heat by DIGIFED Europe program (Horizon H2020). Partners in the DIGIFED program are IoTize, a French startup, and Lucht LHZ, a German manufacturer of Electric Radiator. Product introduction in other European countries is planned for 2022. HVAC equipment such as water heaters or heat pump water heater controllers are the next target for the technology.
It’s shaping up to be a long, hot summer for HVAC contractors and their customers. Disruptions in the nationwide supply chain that began during the COVID-19 pandemic still have not been resolved. Shutdowns last summer played havoc with the supply of parts, and suppliers are still playing catch up, as raw materials remain scarce. Furthermore, prices are going up among some components and key raw materials. Waiting times for parts can run into weeks or even months. Supply shortages of HVAC equipment Summer weather increases the demand for HVAC equipment, especially in hotter climates. A spike in air conditioner demand is generally welcomed by most contractors, but supply shortages make it difficult to deliver on customer needs. Managing a backlog of impatient customers is a new challenge for many HVAC companies. The shortages impact materials, such as steel, aluminum, copper and plastics, whose costs are expected to rise in coming months. Among metals, the price hikes could be 20 to 30%, while prices of plastics could almost triple. Copper futures recently reached an all-time high, and steel price indexes are also at record levels. Shortages of electrical components Shortages have been reported of copper and electrical components, such as motors and compressors Shortages have been reported of copper and electrical components, such as motors and compressors, which are specific to the units that use them. There is also a shortage of microchips that are components in high-efficiency systems and furnaces, and resins used in the evaporator coil pans are scarce. Some HVAC supply firms have had difficulty obtaining evaporator coils used in air conditioners. Specialty items such as control boards have a wait time of up to two to three weeks, or longer. Shortages projected till end of 2021 The shortages are projected to continue until the end of 2021. Even as small shipments trickle in, they are often sold quickly. The situation is unfamiliar to the HVAC trade, which has traditionally not had issues with equipment availability. Shortages in the HVAC market are a reflection of broader supply and cost challenges of the construction market. Prices for goods used in residential construction have increased almost 10% over the past 12 months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Higher transportation costs impact supply chain Higher transportation costs are impacting both the supply chain and HVAC contractors. Personnel shortages continue to plague many HVAC companies, too, and a technician shortage is also contributing to longer wait times in some areas. A scarcity of labor has been a 20-year challenge for the HVAC industry, but it is reaching new levels as days go by. Order in advance and stockpiling equipment Alternatively, HVAC contractors may seek to switch brands to help ease availability issues One approach contractors are taking to the problem is to order equipment in advance and stockpile it for when they need it. One Denver contractor reportedly ordered almost a million dollars of equipment in advance. Alternatively, HVAC contractors may seek to switch brands to help ease availability issues. Identifying a manufacturer that has stock available can ease the inconvenience of customers having to wait for new equipment. need for regular HVAC maintenance Another approach is to educate homeowners about the importance of maintenance, such as changing filters, which can avoid a need for larger repairs involving equipment that is in short supply. Maintenance service is doable because it doesn’t require new equipment, replacements or add-ons that can be hard to come by. Unfortunately, among consumers, maintenance may have been delayed or ignored during the pandemic, which is aggravating the urgency of the current situation.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an emerging tool for a long list of applications, including the ability to analyze and ensure optimum performance of an HVAC system. Emerson’s Sensi Predict smart HVAC solution is an example of how AI can boost the capabilities of HVAC. It has been recognized with a Silver Edison Award in the Innovative Services – AI category. Sensi Predict smart HVAC solution Sensi Predict combines inputs from 10 sensors in an HVAC system and analyzes the performance of heating and cooling systems in real time. Intelligent monitoring alerts home owners and their contractors, when HVAC systems are not operating at full efficiency. The alerts, which can be accessed on a smartphone, can predict and prevent problems, ensure corrective maintenance, lower utility costs, and prolong the life of an HVAC system. Fault detection and diagnostics are a new frontier in HVAC technology, delivering a seamless and simple user experience. Sensi Predict HVAC system configuration Here is how the Sensi Predict system is configured: Sensors monitor the temperature of the air flowing from the HVAC system into the home, and also the return air temperature, coming from the home back into the system. Sensors also monitor temperatures in the liquid and vapor lines in the refrigerant loop, and the indoor and outdoor control lines, communicating back and forth from the thermostat to the outdoor unit. Other sensors monitor the current draw and indoor voltage of indoor units, and current and voltage to the outdoor units. Data from the sensors is used to analyze how well the HVAC is operating, including detailed monthly performance checks, with results issued to the home owner and the contractor. If a warning is detected, an alert will be sent in real time. 24/7 monitoring The 24/7 monitoring is summarized in a personalized home owner portal and monthly performance reports The 24/7 monitoring is summarized in a personalized home owner portal and monthly performance reports that include any alerts, loss of performance, runtime and estimated cost and filter status. Actionable alerts tell when a problem is detected, sent via an email with a straightforward explanation and recommended action. “Our heating and cooling systems are critical to the health and comfort of our families and the environment, yet we have little visibility into how they perform on a day-to-day basis,” said Jamie Froedge, Executive President of Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions business. The Sensi Predict systems seek to provide additional visibility. Sharing real-time system insights The Edison Awards highlight top-tier new product innovation, service development and human-centered design. Named after inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, the awards recognize and honor global innovation. The award to Emerson’s Sensi Predict system recognizes it as a 21st-century solution to the maintenance of home heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, sharing real-time system insights, in order to help home owners monitor performance and prevent unexpected problems. Maximize system lifetime and minimize energy costs “We are honored to be recognized for this innovative technology that provides both awareness and peace of mind, when it comes to an essential component of the home,” said Jamie Froedge. Sensi Predict also provides benefits related to installation, by validating a quality install and eliminating call backs. Over time, it maximizes system lifetime and minimizes energy costs. service and maintenance information In terms of maintenance, the system provides information to ensure that all contractor truck rolls generate revenue and decrease the average time on site. The 24/7 monitoring limits home visits to only when needed and increases transparency to the customer of suggested repairs and upgrades. Home owners can access the Sensi Predict Homeowner Portal on the official website for detailed information, based on real-time data about how their system is functioning and its performance history, energy usages and costs and predicted maintenance needs.
Teknotherm Marine España S.L. (Teknotherm) has landed its first new building contract. Teknotherm Marine España S.L. will deliver the complete HVAC maintenance and service, including installation work, on a suction dredger, to be built by Nodosa Shipyard. HVAC service for Omvac Catorce Nodosa Shipyard will build and design the 63.3 meters dredger, called Omvac Catorce, for Canlemar. Canlemar is dedicated to carrying out all kinds of maritime works, such as deepening and maintenance dredging in ports and bays, and construction of docks. Omvac Catorce is the third dredger that Canlemar has ordered with Nodosa Shipyard. Omvac Catorce will have a dredging capacity of 1200 m3 and a dredging depth of 30 m. The ship accommodates a crew of 10. The ship will comply with the IMO TIER III regulations of the International Maritime Organization, regarding the control and reduction of polluting and greenhouse emissions. With its adaptation to these regulations, this dredger will be able to navigate and operate anywhere in the world.
Pinder Cooling & Heating has completed a series of cooling and ventilation refurbishments as part of a new contract with popular fast-food chain, Mahmoods. The Bradford-based team of commercial refrigeration and air conditioning specialists has refurbished cold rooms within four of its restaurants between March and July. The Great Horton Road branch was the most recent to undergo the renovations, where Pinder also installed brand-new air conditioning units. Pinder’s founder, Andrew Pinder, said the refurbishments are a testament to the standards Mahmoods’ adheres to in terms of serving fresh, quality fast food. Maintaining cold rooms “Cold rooms in restaurants are an integral part of regulating food and keep it from becoming contaminated. Mahmoods has always been passionate about ensuring only the freshest food is served to its customers, and the investment into this new equipment demonstrates their commitment. Our team has really enjoyed working with the entire Mahmoods team and look forward to a long working relationship.” Mahmoods is a chain of fast-food restaurants founded in 2001 by Tariq Mahmood Mahmoods is a chain of fast-food restaurants founded in 2001 by Tariq Mahmood, with seven franchise sites across the UK. On 25th June 2021, the firm celebrated 20 years of serving quality and affordable Halal takeaway dishes. In recent weeks, it was listed as one of the top six highest rated takeaways to order in Bradford. Tariq Mahmood, Founder of Mahmoods said: “Cleanliness and the freshness of our food are at the top of our list, that’s why we ensure that we regularly maintain our cold rooms and have adequate ventilation throughout our restaurants.” Specialist HVAC services “Ahead of our 20th anniversary and the reopening of the hospitality industry, we made the decision to give our cold rooms and air conditioning units a major revamp, and appointed Pinder to carry out the work. Being a Bradford-based firm, we’ve heard a lot about the quality of service they provide, which is aligned to our values. That’s why we knew there was no other firm to support this part of the renovation.” Pinder Cooling & Heating has been providing specialist HVAC services to commercial firms across the UK since founding in 2016. It’s specialist areas include the installation of, and maintenance associated with commercial refrigeration, air conditioning, server room cooling, cellar cooling, cold rooms, and bar and restaurant equipment.
ABB has successfully completed the commissioning of the Induction xP Plus profiler system on PM3 at Bilt Graphic Paper Products Limited (BGPPL), Ballarpur, India, with remote support from China. Marking the first time that an ABB cross-machine direction control engineer has provided remote commissioning support for an upgrade of this kind, the modernization project was successfully and seamlessly delivered due to the world-class domain expertise of the team. Induction xP Plus Cross Direction ABB’s new Induction xP Plus is the best-in-class cross direction (CD) caliper profile control to achieve maximum induction heating in the shortest time possible, for reduced product variability and rapid corrections to sheet finishing profiles. The actuator heats the calendar roll with an alternating magnetic field, creating heating eddy currents that cause the roll to expand. First-of-its-kind remote commissioning for ABB, made possible by the team’s strong domain expertise This narrows the nip between rolls and compresses the paper for reduced caliper and increased smoothness, offering papermakers advanced caliper profiling and sheet finishing capability. It is an integral part of the ABB Ability™ Quality Management System (QMS), which is based on the flagship digital platform, ABB Ability™ System 800xA. Authority Comments “As part of our mill modernization, we decided to replace the existing ABB CD caliper control system (ThermoProfiler) with the latest Induction xP Plus profiler for PM3 at our Ballarpur plant, where we produce premium uncoated woodfree writing and printing paper, as well as high-quality office paper from 100 percent virgin wood fibers,” said Mr. Uday Kukde, General Manager and Unit Head, BGPPL, Ballarpur. “This upgrade to a newer, more reliable product was critical in order to improve our efficiency, safety and quality by reducing product variability, breakdown and inventory cost.” “This has been a significant, first-of-its-kind remote commissioning for ABB, made possible by the team’s strong domain expertise,” said Rajmohan Arumugam, Engineering Manager – QMS, ABB. “Despite it being a complex task, the team overcame all logistical and health and safety hurdles and ensured that the entire process ran smoothly and exceeded customer expectations.” BGPPL Bilt Graphic Paper Products Limited (BGPPL), a subsidiary of Bilt Paper B.V., manufactures coated and uncoated woodfree paper as well as copy paper from multiple facilities located in the state of Maharashtra. BGPPL, which exports its paper products to more than 55 countries, has a total capacity of 670,000 metric tons per annum across three mills.
Johnson Controls recently partnered with Air One Heating & Cooling, Star Air Conditioning & Heating, and YORK Factory Direct to install YORK® heating and cooling systems in two Building Homes for Heroes mortgage-free homes for wounded veterans in Daytona, Florida., and Orlando, Florida. Air One Heating & Cooling installed equipment donated by YORK Factory Direct in the home of Sergeant Carlos Cruz in Daytona, Florida, Cruz, who joined the military out of San Antonio, Texas in 1997, was injured during his 20-year deployment, causing him to suffer from severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), herniated discs in his back, left ACL reconstruction, migraines, and chronic pain. Suffer multiple injuries Star Air Conditioning & Heating installed equipment that was also donated by YORK Factory Direct in the home of U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Jorge Zapata in Orlando, Florida, Zapata, who joined the military out of Parris Island, S.C., was injured during his deployment to Iraq, causing him to suffer multiple injuries, including PTSD and a traumatic brain injury. The injuries of both veterans require specific modifications in their homes in order to live safely and focus on their recoveries. "We’re proud to partner with Johnson Controls and Building Homes for Heroes to give back to a real hero within our local community who has made great sacrifices for our country,” said Larry Franklin Sr., Owner, Star Air Conditioning & Heating. “We’re honored to contribute our services to help Sergeant Jorge Zapata and his family live comfortably in their home.” Renovate quality homes The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them to injured veterans Building Homes for Heroes is a national organization that recognizes those who serve in the United States Armed Forces by supporting the needs of severely wounded or disabled soldiers and their families. The organization strives to build or renovate quality homes and donate them, mortgage-free, to injured veterans nationwide. “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. Veteran-Friendly company “We are so grateful to partner with Johnson Controls, Air One Heating & Cooling, Star Air Conditioning & Cooling and YORK® Factory Direct to help these veterans and their families to live in greater comfort.” 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.
Located in Worcester Massachusetts, Doherty Memorial High School is typical of many schools designed in the 1960’s. With two classroom wings joined together by hallways and anchored by an auditorium and gymnasium, the red brick school is home to approximately 1500 students. After 40 years, the school needed to replace the original hot water boilers and unit ventilators serving the upper and lower classroom wings. To design their new heating and ventilating system, the school enlisted the services of Shooshanian Engineering (SEi), Boston, Massachusetts. Outdoor air ventilation The original system design incorporated two gas fired hot water boilers sized to provide individual classroom unit ventilators with enough heating capacity to condition both the return and outdoor air loads. Rooftop exhaust fans pulled room air from each class-room to complete the ventilation process. ERVs recycle energy from building exhaust air to efficiently precondition outdoor air ventilation As recommended by the EPA and DOE, SEi evaluated the use of Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) as part of the new design. ERVs recycle energy from building exhaust air to efficiently precondition outdoor air ventilation, thereby reducing annual operating costs and boiler size requirements. After evaluating several ERV strategies, including fixed plate and run around loop, SEi determined that an ERV incorporating Airxchange rotary energy recovery wheels provided the best value. Estimates of installation and operating costs were evaluated for two designs: one with ERV and one without. As expected, the ERV based design provided the lowest operating cost. Capital equipment savings However, SEi was pleasantly surprised to discover the ERV based design, incorporating a smaller boiler and less expensive fan coil units, also provided the lowest installed cost. The capital equipment savings, made possible by incorporating Energy Recovery Ventilation in the design, more than offset the added cost of the ERV’s resulting in an instant payback. Installation included thirteen rooftop ERV units, each supplying from 1200 to 4600 cfm of ventilation air along with a single boiler to replace the two original boilers. Existing exhaust ducts provided exhaust air to the ERVs while new ductwork was added to deliver fresh outdoor air to each classroom. The design called for removal of the outdoor air intakes in the walls and installation of fan coil units in place of unit ventilators. Automated Logic software Performance of the new system is monitored using Automated Logic software Performance of the new system is monitored using Automated Logic software. The new system has received positive comments from teachers who expressed appreciation for the added fresh air and the ability of the classrooms to come up to temperature quickly at the beginning of the school day. “Even at the coldest temperatures the comfort of the supply air is amazing,” said Jeffrey Lassey, Director of Facilities with Worcester Public Schools. “You can feel the class-room come up to temperature much faster than with the old unit ventilators, and with the ERV system, we’ve reduced our energy costs considerably,” he added. Reduction in energy use over a 20 year period is expected to save approximately 3400 tons of CO2 emissions and $625,540 at current energy prices. Reducing energy consumption “Selecting the ERVs was a good shift away from unit ventilators, since it significantly reduces our energy consumption. This is particularly important because the cost of energy is heading nowhere but up.” - Jeffrey Lassey, Director of Facilities Worcester Public Schools. NSTAR, the local gas utility serving the city of Worcester, provides incentives for installation of energy efficient equipment through an energy rebate program funded by its commercial customer base. For the installation of an ERV based system and reduced boiler size, Doherty Memorial High School was awarded a $32,000 rebate from NSTAR. “Make sure to select Energy Recovery Ventilation from the outset in the design process in order to take full advantage of utility rebates slated for energy efficiency.” - Tom Angelo, NSTAR.
The mining industry uses a variety of corrosive chemicals in the extraction process of minerals such as gold, silver, platinum and other valuable raw materials. In the extraction of gold, for example, chemicals that are used in the process (ie., sodium hydroxide and sodium cyanide), require to be constantly heated at certain temperatures in large containers (up to 50,000 gallons). Replaceable heating elements These temperatures also require precise controls in order to maintain their consistency and effectiveness. The mining industry has used Wattco immersion heaters to help them solve this problem. With the help of highly resistant alloys used with our tubular elements, seamless tubing as well as a well calculated watt density, Wattco was able to provide replaceable heating elements that would heat up the chemical solutions to efficient levels using digital SCR controllers to help maintain the required temperatures. Skid mounted systems were also used in sister facilities that assisted in transport A redundancy system was also engineered to allow for emergency situations and help protect the valuable product and avoid any downtime in the process. Skid mounted systems were also used in sister facilities that assisted in transport and modularized the heating system in anticipation of additional heating and power requirements. Benefits of Wattco immersion heaters are as follows: Even dangerous and corrosive liquids can use electric heating to assist in the extraction of valuable commodities without the use of flammable heating source such as gas. Safety and virtually maintenance free electric heating can be used in large tanks without the need of access holes from the side of the tank. Precise controls can be used to maintain sensitive temperatures in dangerous areas.
Round table discussion
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?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software and other technologies to facilitate connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet. Use of the IoT is expanding among both business and residential applications. However, there are hurdles to overcome, including security, privacy and networking challenges. As more HVAC devices embrace the IoT, we asked our Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on the HVAC market?
Automated After Hours HVAC Software And How You Can Quantify Its ValueDownload