Molekule is bringing its Air Mini+ and Air Pro air purifiers, powered by patented PECO technology, to the United Kingdom and Europe for the first time. Molekule, the globally renowned air purification solutions company that reinvented air purification with its ground-breaking PECO technology, has announced that its award-winning air purifiers will be available to consumers in the United Kingdom and across Europe, directly via Molekule’s website. Expansion in UK and Europe Molekule&rsquo...
AI (Artificial Intelligence) is a smart buildings’ biggest ally. Without it, a building could hardly be classed as smart. For building owners and managers, AI is imperative to create a secure and comfortable experience for their occupants every day. What a building platform should do is gather data from various sources from the building management system and other smart technologies, to gather it all in one place. The data should then be fed into a flexible, scalable cloud-based platform...
HVAC systems typically operate on a schedule. Heating, cooling and ventilation systems start and stop at fixed times of the day, scheduled around when and how a building is used. But, shouldn’t the number of occupants in a building or a room have an impact on how the HVAC system operates? Considering occupancy, when addressing HVAC needs, is an especially timely approach, given that building schedules are less predictable now, since the COVID-19 pandemic changed work patterns, possibly fo...
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is seemingly drawing to a close, living, working and learning at home is set to continue. Under this new normal, home electricity use is expected to double by 2050. Simultaneously, as climate change devastates communities around the world, we are faced with a moral and economic obligation to cut CO2 emissions from houses. Our goal is to build Net Zero houses and we can't get there fast enough. Fossil fuels use in heating systems Many countries continue to rely...
ARC Thermal (ARC Thermal Products) has launched WHIZ (Wireless Heated Infrared Zone) heating solution, which provides thermal warmth for individual workstations, in factories, warehouses, distribution centers, and other industrial buildings. This is a cost-effective, energy-efficient, low-carbon, heating solution. Heating poorly insulated, large industrial spaces has always been a problem, particularly as heat rises, where there are high ceilings. WHIZ (Wireless Heated Infrared Zone) system T...
Panasonic is presenting its latest innovations for heating, cooling, and refrigeration at Climatización 2021 (C&R 2021), the international Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Fair which takes place on 16-19 November in Madrid. Highlights to be seen on the Panasonic booth (Stand 10D01) will include the latest additions to the Aquarea range of air-to-water heat pumps. Across Europe, many countries are highlighting the need to decarbonize heating and Panasonic is...
ADT Inc., a pioneer brand in smart home and small business security, announced an agreement to acquire Sunpro Solar (Sunpro), ranked #2 for 2021 Top Residential Rooftop Solar Contractors in the U.S., for $160 million in cash plus approximately 77.8 million shares of ADT common stock, implying a total enterprise value of approximately $825 million, subject to certain adjustments. ADT will rebrand Sunpro to “ADT Solar™” and enter the rooftop solar business to offer ADT customers a protected, connected, and now powered home. Integrated home experience “With its strong focus on the customer, Sunpro is the perfect partner for ADT and a logical extension of our ecosystem, unlocking an integrated home experience that includes security, automation, and energy management,” said Jim DeVries, ADT President, and Chief Executive Officer. “By combining a cash-flow-positive company in the high-growth solar space with ADT’s trusted brand, national footprint, and cross-sell potential, we can expand offerings to our customers and accelerate growth for both ADT and ADT Solar.” Sustainable solar energy We offer consumers peace of mind by powering their homes with sustainable and affordable solar energy" “We’re excited to offer consumers even more peace of mind by allowing them to power their homes with sustainable and affordable solar energy. Residential solar represents a $15 billion annual market, but still only in 3 percent of all U.S. homes,” DeVries continued. “With more than 6 million ADT customers and our best-in-class sales force and marketing channels, we will be well-positioned to further scale ADT Solar while lowering customer acquisition costs and accelerating overall solar adoption. We believe we have the potential to grow ADT Solar into a multi-billion-dollar business over time as we meaningfully increase the accessibility and penetration of residential solar across America.” Solar power systems Founded in 2008, Sunpro is a provider of rooftop solar systems in the United States. Sunpro markets, designs, sells, installs, and maintains solar power systems on residential and commercial properties through their 3,600-person, full-time workforce of solar energy professionals with 56 locations in 22 states. The company has been growing quickly, with a 90 percent year-over-year increase in installs in 2020, and has a cash-flow-positive, asset-light business model with more than four consecutive years of positive EBITDA. Building ADT’s future The transaction price represents 10x the estimated standalone next twelve months’ EBITDA. The cash portion of the proceeds is expected to be used for debt reduction and sellers’ taxes. Nearly all of the sellers’ consideration is in ADT stock, reflecting their conviction in ADT’s future growth. Sunpro founder Marc Jones and the Sunpro management team are expected to join ADT to help build ADT Solar into the U.S. rooftop solar industry leader. Renewable energy solutions ADT will help accelerate our ability to bring residential and commercial rooftop solar to more customers" “Becoming part of the ADT family will accelerate our ability to bring residential and commercial rooftop solar to more customers, helping them save money and also become more energy independent,” Marc Jones said. “With our shared mission to further advance smart home technologies and renewable energy solutions for customers, our expansion will make a meaningful difference in how our customers live daily.” Strategic and financial benefits of the transaction Increasing total addressable market: With a larger presence in the home automation and energy management markets, ADT to expand its consumer offerings, leading to an increase in its total addressable market. Immediate brand and market leadership position: Residential solar is a highly fragmented industry without a clear and trusted brand leader, such as ADT. ADT Solar will immediately become a leading national residential solar installer. Superior customer acquisition and cross-selling: ADT’s trusted brand, national footprint, and reach into 6 million homes should enable strong, efficient solar customer lead generation and low-cost acquisition relative to competitors. ADT’s field team visits 10,000 households per day and has a salesforce of more than 3,000 people, creating the opportunity for substantial cross-selling between security and solar customers. Leverage the national network of strong partnerships: ADT Solar should also benefit from ADT’s broad, national network of homebuilders, ADT Authorized Dealers, and retailers, and will have new opportunities to create additional mutually beneficial relationships to expand its distribution network. Expands ADT’s presence in the home: Customers will benefit from a single, trusted supplier that can offer a complementary suite of security, smart home, and solar products and services. Earnings and cash flow positive: Transaction is expected to be positive to EBITDA and free cash flow immediately and accretive to EPS within the first 12 months, before any synergy realization. Limited balance sheet impact: As part of the acquisition, ADT will assume approximately $20 million in vehicle loans and leases; all other existing Sunpro debt will be retired with the cash proceeds received from ADT at closing. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close by year-end 2021. Transaction advisors Citi is serving as financial advisors to ADT, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius is serving as legal advisor to ADT. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. is serving as a financial advisor to Sunpro, and Vinson & Elkins is serving as a legal advisor to Sunpro.
Johnson Controls, the globally renowned company in smart, healthy and sustainable building solutions, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the company’s commercial HVAC manufacturing plant in Norman, Oklahoma, USA. The 900,000 square-feet facility, known as Johnson Controls Rooftop Center of Excellence, serves as the company’s flagship location for industry research, manufacturing and testing of commercial rooftop units. Johnson Controls Rooftop Center of Excellence In 1971, the facility shipped its first HVAC system, which was a pivotal milestone for the plant and the beginning of its long history of HVAC manufacturing and innovation. It was originally owned by Westinghouse, from 1971-1981 and subsequently purchased by YORK in 1981, which was acquired by Johnson Controls in 2005. “Over the last 50 years, there has been continuous improvement at the Norman facility to modernize and expand the plant, automate the manufacturing process, improve safety and ensure our products are built to the highest quality standards possible for our customers,” said Vicki Davis, Program Management Director, West region, at Johnson Controls. commercial rooftop units switch to refrigerant R-454B The most notable expansion that the Norman facility underwent was in April 2019 Vicki Davis adds, “These improvements will make it possible for us to ensure all commercial rooftop units meet and exceed DOE 2023 energy efficiency requirements, and will utilize the low-GWP refrigerant R-454B by 2025, to minimize our customers’ environmental impact and energy use.” The most notable expansion that the Norman facility underwent was in April 2019. The facility now features nearly 400,000 square-feet of incremental laboratory and manufacturing space, which includes a two-story, 52-foot high testing lab, which is roughly the size of one-and-a-half football fields. Extensive laboratory to conduct on-site development The extensive laboratory allows Johnson Controls to conduct on-site development, regulatory compliance, performance, safety, and reliability testing, including the ability to test a 150-ton rooftop unit, in climates ranging from -30ºF to 130ºF. The 2019 expansion also included renovations to more than 150,000 square-feet of office and meeting space. Since the facility has been operated by Johnson Controls, approximately 650,000 HVAC systems have been manufactured for Johnson Controls, under its brands of YORK, TempMaster, Luxaire, Coleman, Champion and Fraser Johnston brands. Today, approximately 1,100 people are employed at the facility. Pioneer in decarbonization of buildings With a history of making buildings more sustainable for 135 years, Johnson Controls is a worldwide company in the effort to decarbonize buildings. This includes developing solutions to facilitate the transition to electric-based heating and the development of OpenBlue, a suite of connected solutions that help drive building system efficiencies.
CoolAutomation is delighted to announce that it's now partnered with Loxone. The new partnership enables the integration of any VRF and major Split HVAC into the Loxone Building Automation system – via any CoolAutomation device. How Does the Integration Work? CoolAutomation’s integration solutions enable any VRF and major Split HVAC to be accessible and fully controllable through the Loxone main controller, thermostats, control panels, and mobile app; while providing bi-directional communication with real-time feedback. The abbreviation “VRF” stands for Variable Refrigerant Flow. One might have met these kinds of HVACs under their manufacturing brand names, such as Daikin, Mitsubishi Electric, Samsung, LG, Medea, Gree, and others. When arriving on-site, connect CoolAutomation’s solution to the main communication bus of the VRF But with CoolAutomation’s integration solutions one doesn’t need to worry – when arriving on-site, connect CoolAutomation’s solution to the main communication bus of the VRF, which is the goal of a Home Automation integrator. Now connect the solution to Loxon’s hub, and it's good to go. About Loxone Loxone is a complete Building Automation system with intuitive control – suitable for smart homes, commercial premises, and custom applications. It provides intelligent automation and control of lighting, multiroom audio, heating & cooling, security, shading, energy management, and much more. A Loxone system simply knows what to do and when to do it. Whether that’s automatically ensuring rooms are at the perfect temperature in a smart home, maintaining constant light levels in an office environment, or playing a different playlist in a restaurant depending on the time and day. All aspects of the building work together in harmony to ensure a level of intelligent automation.
Motili’s latest video outlines the importance of seasonal preventative maintenance and ensures HVAC systems are able to transition without failure from the cooling season to the heating season. HVAC maintenance list Fall is here! And so is the heating season. Motili offers a complete HVAC maintenance list for the heating season, to help maintain energy efficiency of HVAC systems. Air filters The change of seasons is the perfect time to change out an HVAC system’s air filter. Not only is it easy to do, but it provides several benefits, such as improved energy efficiency and cost savings. Changing the air filter also helps prevent unnecessary stress on the HVAC system. An air filter that has not been changed, since the last summer season, is likely filled with particulate matter and needs to be replaced immediately. Inspect the HVAC system The fall season is a good time to inspect at the HVAC system for maintenance and repair. Remove any leaves or sticks that have gathered around the compressors. Residents should also take a look at the system to ensure there are no leaks or structural damage. A quick look around and cleanup of an HVAC system can help it run longer and more efficiently. Inspect the boiler system Corrosion is often associated with boiler systems. Now is a good time to take a look at the boiler systems, in order to ensure there are no water leaks. It’s also important to check for air leaks around doors and windows, and fix with caulking or weather stripping, so as to ensure optimal energy efficiency. A quick inspection and fix can help keep the house warmer for longer, and also keep the furnace from running hard, so as to maintain a building’s ideal temperature. Shut down AC system for the season At the end of the cooling season, it is recommended that the air conditioning side of the HVAC system be shut off. When doing this, residents should take a few minutes to clean the compressor with a brush and vacuum. This simple maintenance can help set up the HVAC system for success over the upcoming year, while also maintaining its energy efficiency for long. Inspecting and maintaining HVAC systems Just a quick inspection and cleaning can provide significant energy efficiencies" “It’s important to evaluate a building’s HVAC every season, as well as maintain its filters and the environment around the system. Just a quick inspection and cleaning can provide significant energy efficiencies, which are so important when it comes to the environmental impact of the system, as well as the cost to maintain it,” said Matthew Sallee, the Vice President (VP) of Sales, Multi Dwelling and Commercial, at Motili. Matthew Sallee adds, “Inspecting and maintaining an HVAC system in these straightforward ways helps ensure it will be available and working for the upcoming cooling season, as well.” Property management technology platform Motili brings contractors, operations teams, and the industry’s most advanced property management technology platform together, in order to assess and complete HVAC work requests, from start to finish. Motili automatically schedules, dispatches, manages, and invoices job requests and its predictive analytics improve budgeting accuracy, by predicting product life cycle. Motili leverages its nationwide network of over 2,000 contractors and 1,000 distribution centers, in order to provide HVAC and hot water services, across the United States of America, to customers both large and small in size.
As part of its ambition to make buildings smarter, safer, and more secure, while also improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, ABB (ABB Group) has announced an investment in Montreal-based building technology startup, BrainBox AI. Investing in BrainBox AI Launched in 2019, BrainBox AI has pioneered the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions from Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems in commercial buildings. Financial details of the investment were not disclosed. This investment and strategic engagement allow ABB’s Smart Buildings division to combine its existing portfolio of digital solutions, particularly the ABB Ability Building Ecosystem, with BrainBox AI’s predictive, self-adaptive and scalable cloud-based artificial intelligence. ABB and BrainBox AI committed to interoperability ABB and BrainBox AI are committed to interoperability, allowing customers to use a variety of technologies ABB and BrainBox AI are committed to interoperability, allowing customers to use a variety of technologies. The joint offering is available from Q4 2021. HVAC systems account for most of the energy use and carbon footprint of a typical commercial building, while buildings contribute 28 percent of total global energy-related CO2 emissions. In addition to enabling up to 25 percent reductions in energy costs and 20 to 40 percent lower carbon emissions, BrainBox AI’s deep learning software increases occupant comfort and extends the service life of HVAC equipment, all without upfront capital expenditure. Safe, secure, smart, and sustainable solutions “Our core focus is on bringing radical change to new and existing buildings with safe, secure, smart, and sustainable solutions,” said Oliver Iltisberger, the President of ABB’s Smart Buildings division. Oliver adds, “I am confident that ABB’s investment in BrainBox AI, when combined with our ABB Ability Building Ecosystem, will help us leapfrog current approaches to digital transformation, further reduce energy costs and play our part in addressing climate change.” AI-driven energy solutions BrainBox AI is excited to be working with ABB, a global technology leader, at the core of the energy transition" “BrainBox AI is excited to be working with ABB, a global technology leader, at the core of the energy transition, to further accelerate the deployment of our industry-changing, AI-driven energy solutions, for the commercial real estate sector,” said Sam Ramadori, the President of BrainBox AI. Sam adds, “With buildings producing 28 percent of the world’s total carbon emissions, it is more critical than ever, to bring scalable clean technology to our cities. Overlaying autonomous artificial intelligence on existing infrastructure in the built environment is not only key to energy efficiency, but also a crucial step towards future grid-interactive buildings.” Autonomous AI engine and SaaS business model “With its true autonomous artificial intelligence engine and its pure SaaS business model, BrainBox AI constitutes the epitome of the kind of investments we look for,” commented Malin Carlstrom, the Head of Ventures at ABB Electrification. Malin Carlstrom adds, “The capital injected will be used for Brainbox AI’s continued and accelerated internationalization, as well as for product and offering development.” ABB Technology Ventures leads the Series A investment round in Brainbox AI, which also included Canadian-based Esplanade Ventures and Desjardins Capital, in addition to a number of private investors.
To provide confidence in the indoor air environment and to help protect the wellbeing of students, school teachers, and staff returning to K-12 classrooms, Metro Atlanta’s Cherokee County School District (CCSD) became an early adopter of Abound, Carrier’s smart building platform. Abound surfaces data from indoor air quality (IAQ) sensors and displays a live rating on a dashboard located in the lobby of some CCSD buildings so that staff has visibility into the health of the space. Carrier is a part of Carrier Global Corporation, a foremost global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable, and intelligent building and cold chain solutions. Abound platform The facility management staff at CCSD has been using the Abound platform in two administrative buildings covering 37,000 square feet. Abound is an open, cloud-based platform that provides real-time insights about air quality, thermal comfort, and energy usage, as well as other performance information. Abound uses a Carrier Edge device to connect to the Automated Logic WebCTRL® building automation system Leveraging the latest in Edge, IoT, and cloud technologies, Abound works by aggregating data collected from various building systems, equipment, and sensors. In the case of CCSD, Abound uses a Carrier Edge device to connect to the Automated Logic WebCTRL® building automation system. Customer Feedback “Implementing Abound in the Cherokee County School District has improved the facility staff and administration’s ability to understand and manage the health and safety of our buildings,” said Bill Sebring, Chief Support Services Officer at CCSD. “We are proud that together, Abound and CCSD are leading the way to help ensure a healthy working environment.” Monitoring Air Quality Abound monitors air quality and thermal conditions in line with science-based standards from the International WELL Building Institute, a global authority on healthy buildings. The platform provides alerts if air quality levels for temperature, humidity, CO2, VOCs, PM2.5, and radon move outside of a healthy range. This allows CCSD to make quick assessments and confident decisions that optimize the comfort and health of their indoor spaces. The Maintenance Division of Support Services at CCSD has received fewer complaints about temperature since using the data from Abound to adjust humidity levels for face-to-face meetings in the administrative buildings. CCSD plans to expand the presence of Abound to classrooms and fieldhouses to optimize schedules such as automatic temperature adjustments in specific rooms before students return from recess to help maintain an optimal learning environment. Improving IAQ in classrooms and school facilities “Carrier is delighted to have a high-performing public school district as a long-time customer and Abound, development partner,” said Mead Rusert, Managing Director of Carrier Global Controls. “School facilities teams have an important role to play in creating healthier indoor spaces with building improvements that support better indoor air quality.” Schools have an opportunity to use available government funding to improve IAQ in classrooms and school facilities “Schools have a unique opportunity right now to use available government funding to improve IAQ in classrooms and school facilities, building healthier environments that enhance the academic experience. The Elementary and Secondary Emergency Education Relief (ESSER) Fund specifies that this funding can be used to improve the indoor air quality in K-12 school facilities, as well as repair and improve school facilities to reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards,” Rusert added. Carrier’s Healthy Buildings Program Abound is part of Carrier’s Healthy Buildings Program and is currently in use across the U.S. with customers in the commercial building, K-12 education, and sports and entertainment industries, including Truist Park, home to the Atlanta Braves. It is also operating at Carrier’s world headquarters and building technology showcase, the Center for Intelligent Buildings in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Seasonal transitions are the perfect time to take inventory and inspect a building’s various systems. We’ve been reminded for years that when we set our clocks back, we should also replace the batteries in our smoke detectors. The same thought process can be applied in support of seasonal preventative maintenance for a building’s HVAC system. Now that the cooling season has passed for a large part of the country, it is time to ensure that HVAC systems have been shut down properly for the winter months. A few simple checks and changes help ensure that the HVAC system is able to transition without failure, from the cooling season to the heating season. Enhancing energy efficiency of HVAC systems Home and building owner inspections can go a long way in increasing the energy efficiency of a system or in mitigating a more complex system failure. Taking a few minutes to inspect an HVAC system for irregularities can help keep repair costs and energy waste to a minimum. Here is a short and easy to complete HVAC inspection check list to execute to help maintain the system and ensure it runs in an energy efficient manner as the outdoor temperature begins to fall. Air filters The change of seasons is the perfect time to change out an HVAC system’s air filter The change of seasons is the perfect time to change out an HVAC system’s air filter. Filters are a key point in a building’s HVAC system, helping keep dust, pollen and larger particulate matter out, and potentially saving it from damage. HVAC equipment accounts for 40 percent of energy usage in a building, so any actions that positively affect energy efficiency are impactful. Not only is changing filters easy to do, but it also provides several benefits, such as improved energy efficiency, cost savings and it helps limit unnecessary stress on the HVAC system, by keeping the air entering it as clean as possible. Dirty, unchanged filters are a leading cause of issues with an HVAC system. The bottom line is that an air filter that has not been changed since the summer needs to be replaced. Inspect the HVAC system Now is a good time to walk around and view the entirety of a building’s HVAC system. How does it look? Make sure the system is clean and in good repair. Examine the ducts to ensure they are clean, undamaged and venting properly. If they are dirty or if there is suspicion that they are clogged, a duct cleaning by a professional may be needed. Remove any leaves or sticks that have gathered around the compressors. Clean the coils of any debris with a garden hose. Trim back any trees or bushes, which are in close contact with the unit. Make sure the condenser unit is still level. If it is not, it can impede the flow of refrigerant and oil, thereby leading to costly repairs. Take a look at the HVAC system to make sure there are no leaks, cracks or structural damage. A quick scan around and cleanup of an HVAC system can help it run longer and more efficiently. Inspect the boiler system Inspect the boiler system by looking for signs of old leaks, which can include stains around the boiler Corrosion is often associated with boiler systems. Inspect the boiler system by looking for signs of old leaks, which can include stains around the boiler or warped floorboards under radiators. Also, be on the lookout for water spots on the ceiling that is below the floor with radiant heat pipes. Make note of any corrosion you find throughout the system, including on the radiators, valves and other components. It’s a smart idea to have a professional inspect a boiler system each year, in order to maintain its functionality and ensure it is running safely, and optimally for a long time. Air Leaks An inspection may also reveal air leaks around doors and windows. These small leaks can add up to significant heat loss and energy costs. If sunlight is peeking through the areas around the perimeter of a window, door or skylight, there’s an air gap to be filled. A quick fix with caulking or weather stripping can ensure optimal energy efficiency. Also, inspect window panes for any cracks, as they will need to be replaced. Furthermore, double check that the windows and doors all close and lock properly. If they don’t, there’s an air leak that needs repair, as well. An inspection of doors and windows can keep a house warmer longer, and help keep the furnace from running over time to maintain a building’s ideal temperature. Shut down AC system for the season At the end of the cooling season, it is recommended that the air conditioning side of the HVAC system be shut off. When doing this, take a few minutes to clean the compressor with a brush and vacuum. Cover the unit with an insulated, waterproof cover that completely covers the whole unit. Secure the cover tightly, so it stays in place over the winter. This simple maintenance can help set up the system for success next year, while also maintaining its energy efficiency. Need for proactive system inspections and maintenance It’s important to evaluate a building’s HVAC system every season, as well as maintain its filters It’s important to evaluate a building’s HVAC system every season, as well as maintain its filters and the environment around the system. Being proactive about systems inspections and maintenance is the best way to keep a system running at peak efficiency, saving money and the environment, as well as providing peace of mind. With a few simple actions, home and building owners can keep their HVAC systems in good shape for longer, and be ready to go for the next season ahead. Motili’s predictive analytics improves budgeting accuracy Motili brings contractors, operations teams and the industry’s most advanced property management technology platform together, to assess and complete HVAC work requests, from start to finish. Motili automatically schedules, dispatches, manages and invoices job requests, and its predictive analytics improves budgeting accuracy, by predicting product life cycle. Motili leverages its nationwide network of over 2,000 contractors and 1,000 distribution centers, in order to provide HVAC and hot water services, across the United States of America, to customers both large and small in size.
I am writing this the day after the Autumn Spending Review, which among many measures, included a huge focus on how the Government wants to ‘level up the country’, creating a new post-pandemic economy, with higher wages and higher skills. Part of this is the £500 million ‘Multiply’ scheme, which aims to increase numeracy and basic mathematics for adults in the United Kingdom via in person tutoring, digital training and flexible courses. Lack of basic skills to access digital training It is laudable, but there is an elephant in the classroom here, a lot of people do not have the basic skills and confidence, to access digital training and these are the ones, who are in danger of being left further behind. What does this have to do with heating their homes? It comes down to access and confidence around tech and that begins in the home. Smart technology inaccessible to most people During the COVID-19 pandemic, we heard from far too many people, who simply couldn’t get to grips with the tech We work at the sharp end of this, with many years of experience showing us that while smart tech and smart homes sound fantastic (and for the majority, they are indeed), however, for too many people, it remains inaccessible. They are the most vulnerable and they need help. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we heard from far too many people, who simply couldn’t get to grips with the tech and they were suffering as a result. Widespread adoption of digital control systems In a welcome drive to improve the energy efficiency of electric heaters, more sophisticated digital control systems have seen widespread introduction. However, for people who are not digitally savvy, they are now presented with a product that they struggle to use as intended. Sadly, many are subsequently bypassing the very systems designed to improve efficiency and resorting to basic manual control of their appliances. For many users, the complicated programming and multiple overrides is even leading to them having no heat at all. manual settings of heaters lead to High Energy consumption In too many cases, these energy-saving thermostatic controls have caused more anxiety and the energy-efficient controls are not being correctly used. Additionally, due to the heaters being left on manual settings, there are many cases of higher energy consumption than needed. The gadgets are great, but if you can’t understand them or use them, they are redundant and can even be counterproductive. System diagnostics Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a home visit was not even an option for many customers Ordinarily, we would schedule a visit to diagnose these types of problems, but this can take too long, which causes frustration and affects the well-being of the customer. Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a home visit was not even an option for many customers, who were self-isolating. However, new computer modeling research from Harvard University warns that intermittent measures may need to be maintained well into 2022, therefore, social distancing will remain a key concern for our vulnerable community. Current solutions for the digital savvy Current solutions available are for the digital savvy, however, these still do not provide early fault finding and they are not accessible to a huge part of our society, approximately 5.3 million adults, who have never used the internet in the United Kingdom and 53% of these adults are aged 75 plus. We decided to do something about this, by devising a robust solution that will eliminate multiple site maintenance visits and provide immediate solutions, without customers needing to understand digital technologies. CAVE smart thermostat with intelligent remote communications As a result, this winter will see the launch of Trust Electric Heating’s CAVE product, a smart thermostat for the confined, adults, vulnerable and elderly people. CAVE builds on our existing digital thermostat technology, further developing it to include intelligent remote communications. This will allow remote access to program the system, monitor/manage energy use and to diagnose and solve a variety of faults that would traditionally require a visit from an engineer. Transforming CAVE into a stand-alone product There are over 8 million adults over 70 years old in the UK, who are classed as vulnerable The pace of development has been accelerated by a strategic Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Huddersfield and backed by Innovate UK, who awarded us with a further development grant, earlier in 2021, to transform CAVE into a stand-alone product that will work on all electric radiators. There are over 8 million adults over 70 years old in the UK, who are classed as vulnerable and around 1.5 million adults (some not over 70) have been asked to self-isolate due to their underlying health conditions as they are classed as our shielded society. For these individuals the present pandemic has changed their life significantly. Remote monitoring, diagnosis and control of electric heating systems CAVE is a web-based technology that enables remote monitoring, diagnosis and control of electric heating systems, providing help and support for this critically overlooked group. In an era, when the pace of change is already so fast, sometimes it pays to slow down a little and adjust the speed, as there are a lot of people who we must not leave behind in the digital economy.
The development of digital technologies in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) sector has been transformational for the industry, as well as for those who run HVAC systems. While the electrification and digitalization of machines, and assets has made a lot of operations simpler, it has also meant that the collection of machine data has never been more critical. Given that engineers can now view lots of different metrics on a single screen, including things like heating controls, humidity levels, and more, what exactly are the skillsets required of a modern HVAC engineer in the digital age? And, what will the role look like as digitalization and data-driven processes continue to evolve? Remote Working This real-time data can be used to ensure that assets are doing what is expected of them The most obvious change to the way HVAC engineers are operating in the digital era is the ability to perform diagnostic tasks remotely. Thanks to mission-critical assets being monitored and managed by the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, engineers can see when burners are activated, or when defrost cycles kick into action. This real-time data can be used to ensure that assets are doing what is expected of them and if concerning behavioral patterns are flagged in the data, engineers can diagnose faults, without having to attend the site. Efficient fault diagnosis and repair Even with a machine right in front of them, engineers can often still learn more about what is going on inside, from their laptops. The ability to gain deep insight into how a machine is functioning, without having to physically ‘open it up and look inside’, is a benefit to both the engineer and the site. Engineers can diagnose faults more efficiently, without having to undertake invasive investigative work on a shop floor or workplace. New skillset for HVAC engineers The HVAC engineers of the digital age may be more likely to be sat with a laptop, rather than up a ladder, so what new skills does this role require? The reality is that HVAC engineering now requires maintenance professionals to understand the data, as much as the mechanics of the assets that they are trying to fix. There are lots of different sensors, control panels, and monitoring solutions, all presenting different forms of data, so engineers need to be able to interpret information, from all these different layers. As many manufacturers have their own digital controls systems, engineers will also be dealing with different naming conventions and unstandardized data, even within a single site. Controls agnostic IoT solutions The need for digital skills and comprehension of data analytics is still fundamental to the modern role Thankfully, recent innovations in controls systems means that engineers will have the digital tools that they need to translate this complex and disparate data. Controls agnostic IoT solutions sit across existing digital infrastructure, to connect directly to the asset and present the data in a simple standardized language, for engineers to analyze. The need for digital skills and comprehension of data analytics is still fundamental to the modern role, but it’s made a lot easier and more efficient, thanks to these progressive innovations. Real-time data analysis The ability to see data in real-time means that the way maintenance is carried out is starting to look very different. Thanks to machine behavior monitoring and trend analysis, engineers will be alerted to a machine starting to go wrong, much earlier than the point at which it breaks, enabling them to proactively visit sites, in order to fix minor faults, before they reach critical failure. The ability to proactively fix faults also saves end-users a lot of money, as maintenance calls will be less frequent and when they are needed, much less severe than they otherwise would have been, if the fault was only detected at the point of the asset breaking down. Digital Skills and the Future What does digitalization mean for HVAC engineers? A lot of the requirements for diagnosing and fixing faults in modern HVAC systems have developed over time, so skills have grown slowly and steadily. There hasn’t been a big bang of digitalization in HVAC, but rather a steady move towards integrating newer technology. This means that most engineers already have the skills, to carry out maintenance roles in the digital age and will continue to be able to learn new skills, at the rate of digitalization. Commissioning engineers, new HVAC specialist role There are a small number of new, specialist positions, which are important in the HVAC engineering profession There are a small number of new, specialist positions, which are important in the HVAC engineering profession, due to digitalization, with the most obvious being commissioning engineers. This role specializes in controls engineering to implement new digital systems, for either new or existing sites, at the beginning of an organization’s digital transformation journey. Much the same as the HVAC engineer of the pre-digitalization age, the commissioning engineer will work with site managers, so as to ensure systems are implemented correctly and to the right specifications, for a particular venue. Data-enabled future of automated HVAC The bottom line is that we’ll always need HVAC engineers, as there will always be assets that need fixing or replacing onsite. Even as we move towards the data-enabled future of automated HVAC machines, they are just that, machines that will break down on occasion and will need to be fixed by a professional. Furthermore, the HVAC engineer of the future will certainly see a shift in skillsets, as they are increasingly required to understand data analytics and software engineering. If you had to ask me to make a bold prediction, I’d say the HVAC engineer of the future will be at a desk, more than up a ladder, but their hands on skills and expertise will be required, for as long as there are physical machines with moving parts.
The concept of district heating refers to a group of customers, or even a whole city, which shares a system providing ambient heat, often using steam or water heated by sources that emit less carbon dioxide. A network of insulated pipes, constructed underground in a community, transports the heat among customers, and various meters and billing systems keep up with how much heat is provided. District heating District heating is seen as an increasingly important option, as municipalities seek to lower their carbon footprints to ‘net zero’. In addition to producing less pollution than individual alternatives, district heating systems also have competitive pricing. The option is especially attractive in areas that are more densely populated and where new blocks of housing or businesses are being constructed. In the United Kingdom, district heating can help to achieve new Sustainable Development Goals. Leverage central supply of hot water A district heating system might leverage a central supply of hot water, transported through a network of pipes A district heating system might leverage a central supply of hot water, transported through a network of pipes, located underground in a community. Heat sources might include waste from forests, such as branches or wood timber, waste timber from building sites, or even surplus heat from industry or data centers. Heat waste from industries can be reprocessed and reused. In recent decades, renewable heat from geothermal wells, solar collectors and biomass fuels have also been introduced. High taxation of natural gas in some jurisdictions provides an incentive to seek out alternatives, such as district heating. District cooling District cooling has also been deployed in some areas. The first district cooling system was introduced in Sweden in 1992. The United States leads the world in district cooling (chilled water networks). Although an emerging option in many areas, district heating has been popular for years in Scandinavia. In Sweden, for example, district heating was introduced in 1948 and more than 50% of the country’s commercial and residential buildings are served by district heating. The technology dominates the business-to-business segment in Sweden, with more than 90% of the market share for multi-dwelling buildings and around 80% for non-residential buildings. Space and cost savings District heating is also used in single-family residential houses, industrial premises, and ground heating for snow removal. District heating allows customers to save space and expenses, by avoiding individual installation, operation, and maintenance of in‐building heating, cooling, and water‐heating equipment. Using economies of scale, district systems often distribute heat generated by combined heat and power (CHP) systems, to use thermal energy that is produced more efficiently. Renewable and lower-carbon energy resources include biomass, geothermal, surplus industrial heat, solar energy, or cold lake or ocean water that may not be feasible on an individual-building basis. District systems in commercial buildings District systems are more commonly found in commercial clusters of buildings District systems are more commonly found in commercial clusters of buildings, such as colleges, hospitals, downtowns, healthcare, and government campuses. In the United States, common applications for district heating and cooling systems include colleges/universities, central business districts, residential and mixed-use clusters, military bases, healthcare campuses, schools and prisons. By aggregating the thermal loads of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of buildings, district energy systems facilitate investment in lower-carbon resources, and enable enhanced economic resiliency. Communication and transparency Communication and transparency, among inhabitants, heating providers, energy suppliers and property owners, are important factors in an effective district heating system. Centrally distributed heat will become more common as the industry works toward net zero goals, but factors, such as customer service and satisfaction will also need to be addressed.
‘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.
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.
Carrier Global Corporation, a global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable, and intelligent building and cold chain solutions is delivering a full suite of innovative building technologies at Emory Healthcare’s new cutting-edge Musculoskeletal Institute (MSKI) in Atlanta, Georgia. Advanced solutions Carrier and Emory are collaborating to implement advanced solutions from Carrier’s Healthy Buildings Program – including HVAC, building automation, fire detection, access, and video management and digital services – at this state-of-the-art facility. Carrier’s portfolio features products that optimize indoor environments to improve occupant experience, operational efficiency, and inspire confidence in everything from physical safety and security to improved health, productivity, and cognitive performance. Eco-friendly building design Emory’s vision to be a model of transformative practices serves as the inspiration for the eco-friendly design" “Emory’s vision to be a model of transformative practices and sustainable choices at every level serves as the inspiration for the eco-friendly design of the building,” said Scott D. Boden, MD, Director of Emory MSKI and Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthopaedics, Emory University School of Medicine. To deliver this vision, it was important for Emory to partner with an innovative building technologies company like Carrier that provides the most advanced solutions. Intelligent technologies “At Carrier, we recognize the potential for indoor environments to help shape a healthier future. We are pleased to provide Emory’s MSKI with our full suite of intelligent building technologies. It’s through relationships built on a shared vision of innovation, that we can see the full potential of our technologies,” said Mead Rusert, President, Automated Logic Corporation, a Carrier Company. “I am confident that patients and staff will see and feel the benefits of the technologies in this world-class facility.” From the most fundamental elements of safety and security to the cognitive and health benefits of improved air quality and ventilation, Carrier’s high-performing building solutions at the Emory MSKI facility enhance the occupant experience. WebCTRL® building automation system WebCTRL helps customers achieve their sustainability and energy-efficiency goals by optimizing equipment At the core of the enhancements is the Automated Logic WebCTRL® building automation system, a powerful web-based platform that provides the MSK Facilities Team with software tools and insight to keep occupants comfortable while managing energy consumption and to identify, prioritize and analyze operational issues. WebCTRL helps customers achieve their sustainability and energy-efficiency goals by optimizing equipment and proactively identifying issues. Carrier’s Abound IoT platform will integrate into WebCTRL and will monitor indoor air quality and operational performance, displaying the data on user-friendly dashboards in the main lobby and on MSK’s website. Safety and security MSK chose products from Carrier’s Fire & Security portfolio, including LenelS2 and Edwards, to enhance the safety and security of the facility. The LenelS2 OnGuard® access control system secures the facility by leveraging mobile credentialing technology through the MyWay app, eliminating a significant number of access touchpoints and affording a safer, more secure, healthier experience for building occupants. In addition, through LenelS2’s continued collaboration with Milestone Systems, a provider of video management software, MSKI operators benefit from a unified security management system that incorporates access control, video surveillance, and other technologies to help keep people and property safe. EST4 enhances system survivability through advanced encryption and safeguards, managing cyber threats EST4 emergency communications system The facility also utilizes the Edwards EST4 premier emergency communications system. Featuring new network architecture, EST4 enhances system survivability through advanced encryption and safeguards, managing today's cyber threats. The system also benefits from Edwards’ Signature Optica™ detectors which distinguish between different types of fires, enhancing the protection of people and property, while reducing the number of false alarms that cause business interruption and unnecessary responses by fire departments. Location Located in Emory’s Executive Park health innovation district, Emory’s MSKI is a six-story,180,000 square-foot building that focuses on innovation, improving the patient experience and research while providing all musculoskeletal services in one convenient location for patients.
The owner of a 107-year old home sought an advanced hydronic heating solution for a major basement finishing project and to alleviate his existing heating woes on the first and second floors of the residence. The installation of an innovative and highly efficient boiler from Weil-McLain helped make the basement remodel a success and the family's home comfortably warm throughout. Hydronic heating solution Michael Bartholomay-Berreth, owner of the 2,700 square-foot, two-story Craftsman residence, built in 1914, in Fargo, North Dakota, had been having issues with the home’s boiler, which provides heat and hot water, for some time. The family also had decided to convert their unfinished basement into a warm, livable space consisting of a living room and bedroom with radiant heated floors. “We live in Fargo, so obviously a house is only as good as its heating system,” said Michael Bartholomay-Berreth, adding “Heating the basement was a major concern because it got very cold down there in the winter, sometimes dipping below 50 degrees. On top of that, our existing boiler was really inefficient and was the only heat source for the first and second floor radiators.” Heating system upgrade Upon inspection, the heating system consisted of a very old boiler and an old gravity system" Michael Bartholomay-Berreth contacted John Robinson, at Esser Plumbing & Heating (Aire Serv of Fargo - Esser Plumbing), which performs commercial and residential installations, and services, throughout the Lakes Area in Minnesota and the Fargo-Moorhead area, to handle the upgrade. John Robinson stated, “Upon inspection, the heating system consisted of a very old boiler and an old gravity system, with pipes hanging below the ceiling and 2-inch lines connected to the boiler. With limited space for the boiler replacement, the homeowner sought a single boiler solution, to heat the basement’s new radiant floors and provide a multi-zone capability, for the main floor and second floor radiators.” ECO Tec 150 MBH gas boiler installed After careful review, John Robinson recommended installing a Weil-McLain brand high-efficiency ECO Tec 150 MBH gas boiler featuring powerful, intuitive controls and built-in zone control designed to provide targeted, abundant heat for all levels of the home. As part of the basement re-modeling project, the contracting team broke up and removed the entire concrete floor from the basement. Then, they dug out the ground to lower the floor level by a foot, to make room for the installation of radiant floor heat. Radiant heat and new concrete flooring With the radiant heat and the new concrete flooring installed, the team connected the radiant flooring and all the existing cast iron hot water radiators on the upper levels of the home, to the new ECO Tec boiler. The team also installed an indirect tank for hot water, also powered by the ECO Tec boiler. “The location of the boiler is in a cramped space, the size of a small closet and Esser did such a great job installing and feeding all of the lines in there,” said Michael Bartholomay-Berreth, adding “Thankfully, this boiler is designed for easy access and installation into tight areas.” ECO Tec boiler installation benefits The Weil-McLain brand 95% AFUE high-efficiency ECO Tec boiler features heat only and combi versions The Weil-McLain brand 95% AFUE high-efficiency ECO Tec boiler features heat only and combi versions for all residential space and domestic hot water heating. It features a durable stainless steel fire tube heat exchanger with sound dampening air silencer, corrosion-resistant condensate collector base, easy-to-use setup wizards, and touch screen display. Michael Bartholomay-Berreth has experienced several benefits from the new Weil-McLain brand ECO Tec boiler installation. He said, “The new Weil-McLain brand system was the ideal solution to our problems. Esser Plumbing & Heating did an unbelievable job in getting the system up and running quickly. The result was a new boiler that provides highly-efficient heat and hot water for our entire home.” Michael Bartholomay-Berreth also enjoys learning more about the user-friendly ECO Tec unit. Featuring intelligent boiler control “I've been monitoring the boiler to see how the system works and to use the cool touchscreen,” said Michael Bartholomay-Berreth, adding “I like to see which zones are receiving heat at any given time to learn more about how it works. The unit is pretty slick. Its intelligent boiler control is able to supply higher temperatures to the radiators and water heater, for them to operate as designed; and a lower temperature to the radiant floor system, for a warm even heat.” Most importantly, the house is a warmer and more comfortable environment. Michael Bartholomay-Berreth concludes, “This is a special house that has been around a long time. And our new boiler system lets us appreciate and enjoy it that much more.”
Johnson Controls, the global pioneer for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, announced it is partnering with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body of Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, and the Rochester Institute of Technology - Dubai (RIT Dubai) to deliver the region's first-of-its-kind smart, healthy, and sustainable new campus. "Across the world, Johnson Controls helps businesses, governments and global institutions meet ambitious sustainability goals. Digitization is a key enabler for companies and organizations to meet net zero carbon and renewable energy goals. Employing the right technology and talent are two of the most critical factors for success," said Katie McGinty, vice president and chief sustainability, government and regulatory affairs officer at Johnson Controls. "We are pleased to contribute to the next generation of innovation leaders by giving students the opportunity to learn from the fully open architecture of the Johnson Controls OpenBlue digital platform. Together, we can work to address the decarbonization of buildings, which represent about 40% of global emissions. It is a win-win. Cutting that energy waste and emissions cuts energy costs as well." OpenBlue Enterprise Manager Johnson Controls is committed to supporting DSOA's sustainability and carbon emissions reduction efforts through its OpenBlue digital platform. The company will deploy its OpenBlue Enterprise Manager (OBEM) solution for RIT Dubai's iconic campus, using sophisticated artificial intelligence. OBEM will empower campus administrators to analyze field data to help address challenges around energy efficiency and optimization. OpenBlue digital platform and services for optimizing buildings can drive 50% improvement in energy efficiency The platform will facilitate RIT Dubai with real-time monitoring, benchmarking and analysis of energy consumption and demand, deliver real and meaningful sustainability solutions on campus, and reduce operational costs and lower environmental impact. Johnson Controls OpenBlue digital platform and services for optimizing buildings can drive 50% and more in improvement in energy efficiency and corresponding carbon emissions. net zero economy These goals are in line with the university's ambition to attract students and faculty committed to building a net zero economy that serves everyone while being able to teach and learn in the most comfortable, quality environment that operates more intelligently and efficiently. RIT Dubai has around 1,000 students and 100 staff members. "Johnson Controls has been a pioneer in innovation and a leader in technology for more than 135 years," said Rolando Furlong, vice president and general manager, Building Solutions MEA, at Johnson Controls "We are proud to partner with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and Rochester Institute of Technology of Dubai to drive a new level of sustainability in implementing our OpenBlue Healthy Buildings solutions to optimize performance by digitally transforming RIT Dubai's campus, turning data into insights, and insights into actions that ultimately contribute to the region`s sustainability goals. Our OpenBlue Healthy Buildings solutions will help create a state-of-the-art campus to improve learning environments and prepare students to be tomorrow's innovation leaders." We hold our partnership with Johnson Controls in high regard and share the same values around sustainability" "As a testbed for smart city solutions, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority has always been an early adopter of technology and we always encourage and promote innovative solutions for our region," added Engineer Muammar Khaled Al Katheeri, executive vice president of Engineering and Smart City at DSOA. "We hold our partnership with Johnson Controls in high regard and share the same values around sustainability and innovation. The RIT Dubai campus is state of the art with latest technologies incorporated and we look forward to Johnson Controls delivering the smart facility management for this campus utilizing cloud computing and artificial intelligence technologies." Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan For his part, Dr. Yousef M. Al-Assaf, president, Rochester Institute of Technology of Dubai, commented: "Johnson Controls has been working with DSOA at various fronts and has been an integral player in the design and construction of various systems in RIT Dubai`s new campus." "We are excited about this partnership between DSOA, RIT Dubai, and Johnson Controls to develop an open ecosystem which will enhance and create opportunities for the community in areas of innovation, creativity, and sustainability. Students will have the opportunity to tap into the interactive OpenBlue dashboards from Johnson Controls and thus benefit and learn from the latest in AI-driven analytics on energy efficiency. This partnership will serve as an example of how a university should operate in the future to become a dynamic contender in creating new knowledge, sustainable solutions and connectivity in the region." Johnson Controls has proven experience in the campuses vertical with solutions and services that power the wellness of students, teachers and staff, optimize the energy performance of the campus and meet environmental and sustainability goals. This collaboration is aligned with the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan. One of the key deliverables under the Plan is to promote a knowledge and innovation international centre that attracts talents and minds to contribute to the global growth and leadership of Dubai. Dubai Silicon Oasis is one of five main urban centers, a science and technology and knowledge hub that drives innovation, digital economy development, and talent generation.
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.”
Maintaining safe levels of air quality in multi-story car parks is crucial for the safety of those using them. Carbon Dioxide caused by vehicle exhausts and other emissions can lead to poor and potentially dangerous levels of toxicity without good ventilation. Additionally, should a fire break out, the smoke and fumes need to be drawn from each floor quickly. Energy-efficient ventilation system The owner of a multi-story car park in the center of Belgrade, Serbia, turned to Electro Pneumatic Solutions (EPS), a sales partner of Invertek Drives, to design and install a new and energy-efficient ventilation system. Four fans were being used in the three-story building. These were two 11kW rated and two 18.5kW. EPS selected the Optidrive E3 IP20 variable frequency drive (VFD) to control them for the application. The E3 was ideal with specific built-in parameters for fan control. Two 15kW (20HP), 30A, 380V – 480V, 3PH drives were selected for the 11kW rated fans, while two 18.5kW (25HP), 39A, 380V – 480V, 3PH drives were used for the 17.2kW fans. Reduce energy consumption “One of the client’s requirements was to reduce energy consumption while ensuring high levels of ventilation. The Optidrive VFDs are ideal for this as they provide accurate speed control, either through the built-in parameters or manually through the digital button control,” said Marko Nikolic, Head of Sales at EPS. “The fan rotation speed in ventilation mode is relatively low and is activated according to the set time intervals. To achieve the most energy-efficient operation the drives were set to fan mode and optimized for the application.” Built-in fire mode Optidrive E3’s built-in fire mode is capable of quickly increasing the fans to maximum rotation The Optidrive E3’s built-in fire mode is capable of quickly increasing the fans to maximum rotation. It ignores internal protections to keep the fans at maximum speed for a long as possible. “The fire mode makes it a perfect drive for fan control, particularly in facilities such as multi-story car parks. Should a fire break out the mode overrides all other safety protections to maximize fan rotation and draw smoke from the building as fast as possible,” added Marko. Bluetooth set-up The set-up, commissioning, and changing of parameters on the Optidrive E3 can also be easily undertaken through its Bluetooth and NFC connectivity. Connected to Invertek’s Optitools mobile app via the Optistick Smart means replication of parameters to other drives is effortless where multiple drives are being set up. The Optidrive E3 is available in IP20 and IP66 enclosures and four frame sizes, making it ideal for a wide range of applications and environments.
Hawkes Place is a property like no other. Situated in Sevenoaks, Kent, one homeowner has created a truly unique building where every room is connected through home automation devices. Designed and built by Tony Gotts as a personal project, the three-bedroom, one-storey property was the first smart home he had built. The unique design sees each room completely curved, with no square corners in sight. With the entire house automated, including audio, lighting, heating, blinds, and front door access, the property has been built to a high standard to create a truly remarkable home. Controlled entrance system To support the installation, Mr. Gotts called upon the experience of the electrical contractor, Luke Kavanagh of Lake Home, who suggested one single supplier cover all of the home’s automation needs. To transform his property into a smart home, the owner wanted to connect the heating, lighting, blinds, and audio, while also incorporating a controlled entrance system. In addition, each room of the house required its own touch screen control system. Hawkes Place was the first property with which the owner had utilized home automation systems to this extent, and therefore an easy-to-use all-encompassing system was required. Door entry system Every room in the property had at least one element of smart technology installed Electrical contractor, Luke Kavanagh, recommended Legrand’s User Interface range, including its MyHOME Up system, coupled with its Bticino door entry and Nuvo audio systems. “As soon as I understood the brief, I immediately recommended the Legrand suite of smart home products,” Luke comments. “I contacted Chris Janes at Legrand, who drove out to Kent to discuss the different options with the homeowner in person. This was really useful as it enabled the owner to see exactly what was possible for the size of the property.” Every room in the property had at least one element of smart technology installed. Throughout the house, the heating, lights – both inside and outdoor – and blinds are all controlled by the MyHOME Up system, providing the end-user with full control at all times. The accessibility of the house was also enhanced, thanks to the use of a Bticino door entry system. Audio distribution system Additionally, the Legrand Nuvo multi-zone audio distribution system was installed throughout the property. Allowing audio to be managed and controlled in numerous rooms, users can connect music and audio streaming services and play in all areas of the home. For this project, one major advantage is the ability to bring together control of door access, as well as the lighting, heating, and blinds, on mobile phone apps. In addition to this, 7-inch touch screen panels were installed into every room, allowing complete control. For the installer, Legrand’s MyHOME Up system served two key benefits: its ease of installation and the functionality for the end-user. Once connected to the BUS system and the app is installed, the devices will set-up automatically. Intense training courses The app allows the installer to easily access multiple devices when starting up the system Luke comments: “Coming from an electrical background, the simplicity of Legrand’s systems means we are able to support project managers transform properties into smart homes. I don’t have expertise in IT, and I find that other similar systems require technical knowledge in order to complete the installation, which often includes expensive and intense training courses.” One of the key benefits of a MyHOME Up installation is that the innovative app supports the connection of all devices and is easy to control for both the installer and end-user. The app allows the installer to easily access multiple devices when starting up the system, thanks to the self-learning procedure, while the user can then manage their home automation scenes at any time. Confidently creating scenes Luke continues: “The whole installation process was very easy, not just from my point of view but the end user’s as well. The customer has gone from being a smart home novice to confidently creating scenes which improve day-to-day living habits. Since the installation was completed, we have already successfully recommended the system on another three projects.” In addition to installation and account support, Legrand also offers free training courses. The MyHOME Up range can be installed after just one day’s training, and installer Luke Kavanagh utilized this free service before installing the system. Luke adds: “I had previously undertaken a number of Legrand’s training sessions, including a session in Belgium, as well as for MyHOME Up. It is a really good program, and makes the system incredibly easy to install for anyone in the profession.” Creating smart scenes YouGov’s Smart Homes 2018 Report indicated that almost one-quarter of Britons own one or more smart home devices The course explains the role of smart devices in the home, and shows how creating smart scenes and actions can help end-users decrease their energy usage and waste. Free to attend, the training program is ideal for contractors and system integrators and takes place at Legrand’s state-of-the-art training center in Birmingham. Home automation is not new. In fact, YouGov’s Smart Homes 2018 Report indicated that almost one-quarter of Britons own one or more smart home devices, excluding smart meters, while one in ten have two or more. High customer satisfaction While adoption is becoming more common, electrical installers and contractors are tasked with the challenge of understanding this often-complex technology, to enable them to enhance their services to customers. Taking advantage of training from manufacturers, like Legrand, can make the installation much easier, while also providing high customer satisfaction. Luke Kavanagh concludes: “This project is an excellent example of how a simple, slick and extremely efficient home automation system can be installed. The Legrand products are very easy to install and the customers are always left smiling, testing new combinations each day. While not all systems are the same, I would recommend taking advantage of any available training because it not only equips you with the ability to install effortlessly, but it also provides the knowledge to answer any customer questions.”
Round table discussion
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?
The pandemic of 2020 presented unique challenges to the HVAC market, and in many instances, responding to those challenges relied on technical innovation. It’s safe to say that the pandemic accelerated several technology trends, redirected others, and overall raised the stakes in the industry’s ongoing challenge to meet customer needs across a wide spectrum. But what comes now? We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable to weigh in on this question: What technologies and trends will define the HVAC industry in 2021?
Automated After Hours HVAC Software And How You Can Quantify Its ValueDownload