Variable Refrigerant Flow/Volume (VRF/VRV) - Expert Commentary

Overcoming Engineering Challenges In Riser Design
Overcoming Engineering Challenges In Riser Design

How grooved solutions have been making contractors and engineers reimagine the way they construct risers in vertical buildings? Enter into the right pub, or head to a city’s museum or town hall, and you can often find a picture of how the surrounding area used to look. An image from twenty years ago and the difference isn’t too vast. Fifty years back and there’s a definite change. A picture from over a hundred years ago and it’s practically unrecognizable. And what’s the common theme running through these images? Cities are getting taller. As more people migrated to urban areas, developers saw the need to go higher. But with this comes its own unique set of challenges. How can the safety of ground floor be transferred to, in the most extreme case, level 163? Grooved mechanical pipe joining solutions When it comes to high-rise buildings, there are a number of potential challenges for a piping engineer To find out how grooved mechanical pipe joining solutions are helping developers & engineers go higher, we spoke to Matthew Strohm, Director of Product Development (Piping System Design) at Victaulic. When it comes to high-rise buildings, there are a number of potential challenges that a piping engineer will need to take into consideration, most of which relate to thermal movement and the resulting forces on the building. Other issues such as seismic activity and building creep (the natural movement of a building due to settlement) also need to be taken into account. Compensating for thermal expansion and contraction Specifically related to piping systems and subsequently, pipe joining solutions, is the unique problem of having to compensate for thermal expansion and contraction, while at the same time, accommodating for higher pressure. Change in pipe diameter is not an uncommon concern for engineers, however, providing a solution which could operate at a pressure gauge of 25 bars, or the fluctuating temperature of water, presents its own challenges. It’s with these issues in mind that engineers choose their joining solutions, which is why these are the very criteria we set our Victaulic pipe joining solutions against. Grooved vs. Traditional Pipe Joining For decades, the traditional solutions for joining pipes have been welding, threading or flanging. These are good solutions to choose from, but there is a distinct lack of flexibility in a solution that fuses or flanges system components together. This is where flexible grooved couplings come in. They are solutions that allow controlled linear and angular movement at each joint to accommodate not only for thermal expansion and contraction, but also building sway and creep. So how do flexible grooved couplings manage this? It’s essentially down to the design of their components. The dimensions of the pipe coupling housing key is narrower than the pipe groove, allowing room for movement. Furthermore, the width of the pipe coupling housing allows for pipe end separation, which in turn allows the grooved pipe joint to accommodate movement. Benefits of Grooved couplings There are many benefits of grooved couplings, with space-saving being a key advantage on projects, both large and small There are many benefits of grooved couplings, with space-saving being a key advantage on projects, both large and small. As many project managers and engineers know, saving on space can be the key to unlocking extra value above initial planning. Additionally, grooved couplings are perfectly placed to accommodate for piping movement, whereas welded joints that in their very nature are designed to be fixed in place, need to have an area of space to allow for a welded expansion loop or alternatively, enough space to allow the star-pattern tightening of a flanged flex connector. Saving time, money and labor Besides the savings on space, grooved connections offer contractors savings in three key areas: time, money and labor. The installation-ready design of Victaulic’s grooved couplings allow for an easier installation, meaning a process which might take 30 minutes through a welded solution for instance, can now take just five minutes. As any contractor will testify to, this is valuable time that can be used for other parts of the project. With a reduction in time comes savings in cost and labor. Naturally, less labor is used for the same job and in the case of grooved couplings, less skilled labor is required (in comparison to the high skill level needed for welded joints). It’s these aspects that will ultimately deliver contractors with valuable project savings. Grooved connections offer savings in three key areas: time, money and labor Mechanical riser solutions There are 3 ways to accommodate for thermal movement within risers using a grooved mechanical system: The first method is called top of riser free-floating method and involves installing rigid couplings on the riser and two flexible couplings on the horizontal adjacent piping at the top of the riser, which can reduce the need for riser clamps or other structural during installation and allows the system to move freely within the design tolerances. The second method involves working with grooved expansion loops that help to save up as much as 2/3rd of the size of welded U-shaped expansion loops and avoids forced welded pipe deflection. While welded expansion loops require eight welded joints to assemble, the forces exerted on the joint are far greater than those applied on a grooved expansion loop, and generate greater stress, which ultimately requires larger anchors and guides in order to direct the movement. The third method is working with grooved expansion joints instead of traditional in-line expansion joints, which typically have wear parts and manufacturer-recommended maintenance cycles of five years, which also poses problems due to riser accessibility once the construction is complete. Grooved expansion joints like the Victaulic Style 155 are maintenance-free for the life of the system. Importance of anchors In a system using only flexible joints, risers are installed with anchors at the top and bottom and the piping guided every other length to prevent angular deflection at the joints within the piping run. Anchors distribute the movement forces across the structure and also provide the important task of directing pipe movement. At the pipe anchor location, there will be no differential movement between the piping and the building structure, which forces the pipe to thermally expand or contract from that location. This allows the design engineer to control how and where the movement in a system occurs and to provide the best solution to accommodate that movement. A10 Grooved Riser Anchors upgraded A good manufacturer will always listen to customer demand, especially in an evolving market A good manufacturer will always listen to customer demand, especially in an evolving market. Off the back of strong feedback from contractors, Victaulic recently upgraded its A10 Grooved Riser Anchors to a standard product. With the primary functions of carrying the weights and forces that act downward to the base of the riser and connecting the riser to the rest of the structure, the anchor has been providing sturdy support for some of the tallest buildings around the world. Future trends for high-rise buildings One trend already taking place, and I expect to continue, is contractors bringing riser experts into the project at an earlier stage. It just seems to make logistical sense to operate in this fashion. it’s a more efficient use of time to collaborate early in the process. I believe contractors and engineers will seek assistance from companies such as us to help design blueprints together, working in tandem to produce the right solution. Vertical buildings are on the rise. For generations, people have been moving to urban areas, putting greater demand on housing residents and employees. Through the use of grooved coupling solutions as an alternative to traditional methods, contractors can benefit from greater flexibility, reliability, ease of installation and ultimately and most importantly, speed of the installation process.

VRF Systems and Cold-Climate Applications
VRF Systems and Cold-Climate Applications

Building owners and specifiers can experience design flexibility, reduced operational costs and reliable, energy-efficient comfort year-round with Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems, even in extreme cold climates. Modern VRF systems like those from Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US far exceed the capabilities of conventional heat pumps at low outdoor ambient temperatures and are in a great position to replace fossil fuel burning equipment in almost any climate. The Fundamentals of VRF Systems VRF technology consolidates heating and cooling into one VRF technology consolidates heating and cooling into one, all-electric system. Improving on the direct-expansion (DX) principle, a VRF system uses linear expansion valves (LEV) and an INVERTER-driven compressor to cycle refrigerant and transfer heat between its outdoor unit and the indoor unit(s) in each zone. Continuous communication between the system’s outdoor units, indoor units, sensors and controls allow VRF systems to modulate capacity based on loads and occupancy. With precise management of capacity, VRF systems reliably maintain each zone’s set point without the noisy and energy-intensive start/stop cycles of conventional systems. Design Considerations for Low-Ambient Heating The reliable performance and energy efficiency of modern VRF systems aren’t solely the product of superior product engineering. Accurate load calculations, proper installation, diligent commissioning, and regular maintenance, are essential for success. Let’s discuss six options HVAC contractors and engineers can use to solve derating challenges, even in climate zones 5 and 6. HVAC contractors can solve challenges, even in extreme climate zones Options for Solving Derating Challenges  With VRF flash-injection technology, as long as an air-source heat pump can make its refrigerant cooler than the outdoor air, thermal energy can be extracted and delivered to interior zones as heat. In extreme cold, the compressor needs to operate at speeds much higher than usual to drive the refrigerant temperature and pressure in the condenser coil sufficiently low to capture ambient heat. With flash-injection technology, a VRF system injects a small amount of mixed-phase refrigerant to cool the compressor, allowing it to perform at higher speeds without failing due to friction and heat build-up. This method enables VRF systems to deliver significant heat at low temperatures. For example, CITY MULTI® VRF systems with Hyper-Heating INVERTER® (H2i®) technology can provide up to 100 percent of heating capacity down to -4° F, up to 70 percent of heating capacity down to -22° F and continuous heating at temperatures as low as -31° F. Flash-injection technology creates the opportunity to size units based upon heating loads and use the VRF system as a sole source for heating. In most regions, changeover to auxiliary heating sources is rarely needed, but can be easily accomplished with built in controls if an existing heating system is already in place. Auxiliary or backup heat can be provided by a system that generates heat using a method such as electric resistance, baseboard hydronic wall-fin radiant heat or duct coils mounted downstream of an air handler. Auxilliary or back-up heat may be installed with the VRF system while others might be an older existing system, such as a gas-fired hydronic boiler a facility repurposes after a retrofit. Due to greater efficiency, the VRF system typically provides the first stage of heat. Sole-source sizing based on heating is an alternative to using a flash-injection product, employing the option to oversize standard VRF systems for heating capacity. Specifiers must be mindful of heating derates as found in the VRF manufacturer’s selection software or engineering manuals when using this method. Designers will likely need to oversize the indoor units as well as the outdoor unit. Otherwise, the indoor units will be unable to use the extra capacity. Oversizing VRF systems to meet heating capacity should be limited to 25 percent or less so that the system doesn’t end up being excessively oversized for the commensurate cooling load. Oversize DOAS heat. VRF systems are often used in conjunction with complementary systems for ventilation. A dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) is typically designed to supply room-neutral air (between 70° F and 75° F) in the heating mode but could be upsized to provide additional heat. With the use of a recirculation air damper and an upsized heat source (gas, hot water or electric), the oversized DOAS could be used for emergency heat or morning warmup during winter. Install outdoor units inside the building to limit derating and weather impacts in severe cold regions. In this scenario, air-source condensers are installed in a mechanical room that serves as a recirculation air plenum or a pass-through air plenum, depending on the outdoor temperature. When the auxiliary heat runs, the VRF system’s efficiency approaches the efficiency of the backup system. If the unit heater is 80% efficient, the overall system efficiency will drop so the backup unit heaters that heat the mechanical room should only run at colder temperatures. While this approach can be expensive due to the number of dampers and louvers required, the design allows a facility to locate auxiliary heat in a central location, the mechanical room. Water-source VRF systems are available as heat pumps or with heat recovery. With water-source VRF systems, all of the equipment is designed to be installed indoors. They deliver greater efficiency and have less derating versus air-source VRF systems. Less energy is needed to extract heat or reject heat into or out of water, as compared to air due to the density of each of these mediums. Also, a water loop offers a more defined and controlled temperature range, generally between 60° F and 90° F. The capacity of a water-source system is based on entering water temperature. VRF Systems Provide Comfort in Any Climate When applied according to best practices and with consideration for winter weather, modern VRF systems can serve as the primary heating and cooling system even in the coldest climates. With flash-injection compressor technology and water-source options, VRF systems offer cold-climate capabilities far beyond those of conventional heat pump systems, even without auxiliary heat. 

HVAC Recruitment Considerations In 2020
HVAC Recruitment Considerations In 2020

As a Managing Director of a company that provides temperature and humidity solutions to predominantly the warehousing and industrial sectors, I thought I would share my dilemma that I’m sure other business owners and managers also face. I don’t pretend to know the answers, but thought it might be worth sharing some of the considerations that I’m facing in whether to reshape, recruit and build or hunker down until the World, Europe and the UK offers some sort or predictability. I promise to not refer to ‘new normal’, masks or social distancing as this is extensively covered elsewhere. Context Our business has seen steady growth in the past 5 years, as a result of our efforts to create and retain relationships with customers who value our offer. Our focus has always been to offer solutions to large scale complex HVAC projects. We invest heavily in intellectual talent sponsoring PhD and MSc students, to keep us on our toes and develop leading edge solutions. We also feed off each other and our network of equally talented suppliers. My dilemma as Managing Director is do I continue our ambitious Research & Development (R&D), IP and Business Development or throttle back and take a cautionary approach until the economy offers a more certain platform? ‘Fortune favors the brave’ they say, but when you have a good business and employees look to business managers to ensure their livelihoods, how brave is brave? The Dilemma Immediate transactional or contractor resources are easy to obtain with the right screening and due diligence Immediate transactional or contractor resources are relatively easy to obtain with the right screening and due diligence, but for more developmental strategic roles, do you recruit in an emerging post pandemic, catastrophic employment forecast, that to in a mid/post Brexit world? From my personal perspective, it boils down to attitude, communication, enthusiasm and buy-in from everyone in the company. Nothing new there, but it feels that the stakes are higher so confidence is key. Do we or don’t we? Inaction is the riskiest response to the uncertainties of an economic crisis. Rash or scattershot action can be nearly as damaging. Rising anxiety (How much worse are things likely to get? and for how long is this going to last?) and the growing pressure to do something often produces a variety of moves that target the wrong problem or overshoot the right one. Within the world of HVAC, changes to legislation, environmental considerations, technological changes and research and development might be slowed or influenced, but won’t stop as a consequence of the immediate economy, which is a good thing. Recruiting on a need basis Many companies recruit when needed, to fill a vacant position or when a large project demands more manpower than the current headcount supports. This approach is obvious and addresses immediate transactional and resource needs. Using headcount as a KPI for growth, at a glimpse may illustrate positivity, but may be signaling a stop gap and may not be a true indicator of strategic growth. Of all the things I have observed over the last 5 months, reading the news, talking to colleagues and peers, a few things have stuck out for me, such as how companies have treated their employees, customers and suppliers, how creative and flexible some big organizations have been in responding to market changes and demands and how, despite uncertainty, their core business skills, intelligence and ability enabled them to prosper in a new and unforeseen environment. Finally, how companies will be remembered post crisis. Robust business planning The ability to respond quickly to market changes relies on creativity and attitude My belief is that those companies that have and continue to float to the top had the key ingredients of a successful business, enabled by capable enthusiastic talent that were given the opportunity to shine. These people weren’t hired to fill a stop gap, but rather these people were hired as part of a robust business plan. So, ‘do we or don’t we?’ Our philosophy at Jet Environmental Systems is to have a solid platform, identify future markets, trends and technologies and hire the absolute best people that we can to get us there. Recruitment in our business is a process that supports our strategic development and so for us our answer is yes, have confidence and continue to invest in the best talent. The ability to respond quickly to market changes relies on creativity and attitude with support from equally enthusiastic management who create the opportunity for individuals who present this talent to grow. Conclusion I hope the thought process I’ve shared has been useful, for me it has been a checkpoint in whether our choice of investment in people is right, not just now but in all situations. For me, it’s a resounding yes! I think we will create opportunities by having vision and giving people opportunity.

Latest Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems news

Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems Announces Evolution Extreme 26 Air Conditioner And Evolution Extreme 24 Heat Pump
Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems Announces Evolution Extreme 26 Air Conditioner And Evolution Extreme 24 Heat Pump

Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems launched the latest additions to its tier Evolution™ series with the Evolution Extreme 26 air conditioner (Model 186CNV) and Evolution Extreme 24 heat pump (Model 284ANV). Both products showcase a number of features performance, which includes numerous technological advancements with 12 patents pending. Bluetooth® diagnostic information Bryant, a supplier of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment, is a part of Carrier, a global provider of innovative HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. Bryant also offers online troubleshooting and training modules, and virtual reality The Evolution Extreme 26 and 24 offer a number of enhancements designed with technicians in mind. Bluetooth® technology is available on the outdoor unit, making it unnecessary to access outdoor unit diagnostic information inside the home. Over-the-air software updates are available and technicians can assess over 130 diagnostic points. Sound output as low as 51 dB Plus, installations can use up to 250 equivalent feet of refrigerant line length, features two-wire installation, and the units are self-configuring and Evolution™ Zoning System-capable. Bryant also offers online troubleshooting and training modules, and virtual reality, 3D simulation training is available. Dehumidification can remove up to 70% more moisture per day than a single-stage system For most sizes, the Evolution Extreme 26 offers ratings for a ducted system at up to 26.0 SEER and 16.5 EER; while the Evolution Extreme 24 heat pump offers the in-class ratings at up to 24.0 SEER, 15.0 EER and 13.0 HSPF. Furthermore, both the Evolution Extreme 26 and 24 tout quiet operation with sound output as low as 51 dB. Ducted heat pump with a variable-speed The Evolution Extreme 26 and 24 include enhanced dehumidification and can remove up to 70% more moisture per day than a single-stage system. Plus, both units feature a variable-speed capacity operating range down to 25% in 1% increments and provide high-ambient cooling operation with full power up to 125 F. An Evolution™ air purifier will be included with the purchase of every Evolution Extreme 26 and 244 The Evolution Extreme 24 also offers heating operation to minus 15 F. In addition, it is has a ducted heat pump with a variable-speed, 5-ton unit that can achieve 13.0 EER and features the addition of vapor-injection technology. “We’re confident that homeowners will appreciate the features and benefits that are realized in our most ambitious development project to date. We’re also pleased to introduce enhanced installation and serviceability to our dealers, as we know that these improvements will make their lives easier,” said Todd Nolte, senior director, product and brand marketing, HVAC-Residential, Carrier. “The Evolution Extreme 26 and 24 are a true testament to the rigorous research and development that went into this project and we’re proud to be able to provide customers with such advantages.” Evolution™ air purifier destroys 99% germs and viruses In addition, an Evolution™ air purifier will be included with the purchase of every Evolution Extreme 26 and 244. The Evolution air purifier works silently in-line with the HVAC system and can improve indoor air quality. It uses Captures & Kills™ technology to trap up to 95% of particles, then uses an electrical charge to kill or inactivate up to 99% of germs and viruses. With every cycle of air that passes through this patented air purifying system, pollen, animal dander, bacteria and other pollutants are trapped and held tightly to the filter. An electrical charge then bursts the cell walls of pathogens it comes in contact with.

Bryant Heating And Cooling Systems Names Air Tech Heating As Dealer Of The Year 2019
Bryant Heating And Cooling Systems Names Air Tech Heating As Dealer Of The Year 2019

During the recent Bryant Dealer Rally, the company’s annual meeting where its top dealers are honored, Air Tech Heating, Inc. of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin was named Bryant Dealer of the Year, the highest honor a Bryant dealer can receive. Each year, this award recognizes the company whose hard work, expertise and business acumen have helped them to stand out as a leader in the industry. Bryant, a national supplier of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment, is a part of Carrier, a global provider of innovative HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. “We’re both honored and humbled to be selected as the 2019 Bryant Dealer of the Year,” said Dan Price, owner, Air Tech Heating, Inc. “I’m incredibly proud of the entire team at Air Tech and I appreciate being recognized for doing business our way, with honesty and integrity.” Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer “We’re proud to be a Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer and have the support of such a great company. I’m also grateful for the amazing relationships we’ve built with both Bryant and our distributor, Auer Steel, over the course of my 22 years owning the business.” Dan and his team serve as ideal examples for other Bryant dealers of how to run a successful business" Founded in 1997, Air Tech Heating, Inc. has become known as the “Best Heating & Air Conditioning Company in the Fond du Lac Area” for ten straight years by Gannett Readers’ Choice. In 2018, Price’s son, Jim, and his wife, Sarah, became co-owners of Air Tech Heating, Inc. ensuring that it will remain a fixture in the community for years to come. It’s even more fitting that Air Tech Heating, Inc. was selected as the 2019 Bryant Dealer of the Year, as Price retired shortly after the Dealer Rally. Indoor air quality equipment sales “Bryant dealers continue to help set the standard in our industry,” said Matthew Pine, president, Residential HVAC, Bryant. “Our 2019 Dealer of the Year, Air Tech Heating, Inc. is an exemplary organization and has risen to the top among the very best in our elite group of dealers. Dan and his team serve as ideal examples for other Bryant dealers of how to run a successful business and do ‘Whatever It Takes’ to care for our customers.” Bryant selected its 2019 Dealer of the Year from 22 Medal of Excellence winners, comprised of Bryant Factory Authorized Dealers from throughout North America. The candidates were judged on overall sales growth, high-efficiency and indoor air quality equipment sales, customer satisfaction and participation in dealer programs and promotions. Medal of Excellence Winners The 2019 Medal of Excellence Winners include: Affordable Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. - Cudahy, Wisconsin AGS HVAC Services - Westport, Massachusetts Air Tech Heating, Inc. - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin Bennett Heating and Air – Purvis, Mississippi Bob’s Heating & Air Conditioning - Woodinville, Washington Chadds Ford Climate Control - Chadds Ford Chapman Heating | Air Conditioning | Plumbing - Indianapolis, Indiana Chris Mechanical Services, Inc. - West Chicago, Illinois Cosby Heating - Mount Vernon, Ohio Dave’s Heating and Air - Lincoln, Nebraska Design Air, Inc. - Missoula, Montana Evergreen Gas, Inc. - Sherwood, Oregon Family Heating and Air - Pensacola, Florida Federal Elite Heating & Cooling, Inc. - Dresden, Ohio Fort Collins Heating and Air - Fort Collins, Colorado GAC Services - Gaithersburg, Maryland Gainesville Mechanical, Inc. - Gainesville, Georgia Haley Comfort Systems - Rochester, Minnesota IERNA’S Heating & Cooling, Inc. - Lutz, Florida Precision Heating & Air Conditioning - Twin Falls, Idaho Regal, Inc. - York, Pennsylvania Waychoffs Heating & Air Conditioning - Jacksonville, Florida In addition to the Dealer of the Year award, Bryant named Peck & Weis Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin as this year’s recipient of the Charles Bryant Award. The Charles Bryant Award, named in honor of the company’s founder, recognizes a loyal Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer (FAD) that epitomizes the characteristics of Charles Bryant, including professionalism, quality, reliability and community spirit.

Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems Names Peck & Weis As Charles Bryant Award Winner
Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems Names Peck & Weis As Charles Bryant Award Winner

Peck & Weis Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin was named the 2019 Charles Bryant Award winner. The Charles Bryant Award, named for the company’s founder, recognizes a loyal Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer (FAD) that epitomizes the characteristics of Charles Bryant, including professionalism, quality, reliability and community spirit. Bryant, a supplier of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment, is a part of Carrier, a leading global provider of innovative HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. national award Winner “Wow, what an honor it is for a small dealer from rural Wisconsin to receive this national award,” said Daryl Peck, owner, Peck & Weis. “A huge ‘thank you’ to our manufacturer Bryant and our distributor Auer Steel. Both have been outstanding to work with since 1985 and they’ve set the bar high from the very beginning.” “I especially want to thank our hardworking and dedicated staff at Peck & Weis. I also want to acknowledge all the support from our friends, family and community we’ve received over the years; without them, we’re nothing.” 300 years HVAC experience It is a local, family-owned company that is proud to serve the families they live and work amongst Peck & Weis has been serving the Lake Geneva community since 1985 with quality service, repairs and installation for commercial and residential properties. Its talented team of highly trained individuals has over 300 years of combined experience in HVAC, plumbing and electrical work. It offers 24-hour service 365 days per year. Peck & Weis takes pride in the community, and has deep roots in Lake Geneva. It is a local, family-owned company that is proud to serve the families they live and work amongst. Over the years, not only has owner Daryl Peck given his time as a member of the school board and the Chamber of Commerce, he has supported various service and charitable organizations and scholarship boards through volunteer time and donation as well. Charles Bryant Award The Charles Bryant Award is presented annually to a loyal Bryant FAD that makes a significant difference in its community, is active in the industry, provides superior customer service and is committed to developing its employees. “We’re proud to present this year’s Charles Bryant Award to Peck & Weis,” said Matthew Pine, president, Residential HVAC, Carrier. “This award celebrates those Bryant FADs that represent all the qualities for which our brand stands. Peck & Weis is an exemplary organization that has truly made a positive impact in its community and in the HVAC industry as a whole.”

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