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Why The 2030 Deadline For Zero GWP Isn't Achievable
Why The 2030 Deadline For Zero GWP Isn't Achievable

It’s no secret that climate change is one of the most pressing concerns facing our planet. We must act collectively on behalf of future generations to enact the change that will help us to avoid a climate catastrophe; and not least the HVAC industry, which has been, and remains, a major contributor to atmospheric greenhouse gases and global warming. In 2015, the UK Government, along with 196 parties entered the legally binding international treaty on climate change, which was adopted at COP 21 in Paris. For the first time in history, all nations committed to undertake the necessary, ambitious steps to combat climate change. Significant environmental milestone Whilst this was clearly a significant environmental milestone, how realistic is the 2030 deadline for zero Global Warming Potential (GWP), from the HVAC industry’s viewpoint? The refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) sector is presently the largest of the F-gas emitting sectors. The RACHP sector is in fact the UK’s main user as well as emitter of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs are now the main refrigerants used in a broad range of RACHP applications Since the phasing-out of ozone-depleting refrigerants (CFCs and HCFCs), HFCs are now the main refrigerants used in a broad range of RACHP applications, such as commercial refrigeration and air conditioning. It is therefore unsurprising that the spotlight has fallen on the RACHP sector. However, the EU F-Gas Regulation, which was introduced in 2014, is helping to reshape the sector, and lowering carbon emissions. The regulation stipulates: A 79% cut in the GWP weighted quantity of HFCs that can be sold in the EU by 2030. Several bans which restrict the refrigerants that can be used in specific types of new RACHP equipment. Bans on servicing R-404A systems in medium and large sized supermarket and industrial systems as of 2020. New rules on leak prevention and mandatory leak testing. Industrial refrigeration equipment In response to these new rules, many operating in the RACHP sector have introduced lower-GWP equipment. For instance, in the small-medium building air conditioning market, ultra-low GWP (<10) equipment is now an available option. Whilst the sector is committed to lowering its carbon footprint and has made good progress to date, the target of achieving a zero GWP by 2030 seems slightly unrealistic for a number of reasons. Whilst there is continuous improvement to RACHP equipment, an issue is the long life span of many products. For instance, some industrial refrigeration equipment typically has a life span of 30+ years; which means that approximately half of the industrial refrigeration equipment currently in use could remain so until 2030 and beyond. Reducing environmental impact The replacement of existing equipment is constrained by the equipment’s lifecycle The replacement of existing equipment is constrained by the equipment’s lifecycle, therefore, assuming that there is no premature retirement or retrofitting of the existing equipment, then implementing new alternatives could take decades, potentially. In terms of reducing environmental impact, the industry is reliant on the development of new technology, and manufacturers implementing that technology in the design of new equipment, to provide low-GWP alternatives. We are constrained by the rate at which manufacturers can bring these new products to market. The RACHP sector is also complex and contains an array of sub-sectors. The rate of progress in developing products with lower GWP varies considerably by sub-sector. For example, in the refrigeration sector, in commercial and retail applications where condensing units are used, the progress in lowering GWP is proving to be very slow. Variable refrigerant flow However, when it comes to small-sealed units, on the contrary, an impressive range of new low-GWP products have been brought to market. We can see a similar story in the air conditioning sector, where progress on lowering GWP is rather slow when it comes to large variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and large-ducted units; whereas for water chillers, they are making excellent progress. GWP rating may not be the key consideration in choosing a suitable product In the RACHP sector, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all product. Different equipment is required for different applications. For example, where RACHP systems are located in areas with public occupancy (e.g., retailers), public safety becomes a key concern, and would therefore limit our product choice, as well as the refrigerant type which could be used. Therefore, GWP rating may not be the key consideration in choosing a suitable product, it’s about selecting the right equipment for the application. Providing thermodynamic properties When it comes to RACHP equipment, there is a huge variance in temperature levels. In refrigeration, equipment temperature ranges from 0°C to 5°C for chilled food, and -15°C to -40°C for frozen food. In air-conditioning, the temperature typically ranges between 10°C to 20°Cii. These significant variations in temperature levels require a range of refrigerants to be available, to provide the thermodynamic properties to suit the specific application. It is worth noting here that not all have low GWP ratings. Despite stating that some of the targets are unrealistic, I do however believe that as an industry, we can collectively work together to make a difference to our planet. Maximum gas recovery Here are a few practical ways we can help to lower our carbon emissions: Use low GWP alternative refrigerants in new equipment – This is the key to success in the long term. As I explained previously, the long lifecycle of some of the equipment means that it will potentially be many years before the existing repository of HFCs is completely obsolete. However, it is a realistic goal that by 2050, the current generation of high-GWP HFCs could be replaced with low-GWP alternatives. Recover F-Gases from equipment - Old equipment reaching end-of-life contains HFCs. It is illegal to vent these HFCs into the atmosphere. The F-Gas Regulation has a mandatory requirement for the old HFC to be recovered. This refrigerant should be reprocessed, recycled and reused. Although this does not directly reduce F-Gas emissions in the short term, it does encourage maximum gas recovery. Leakage-Detection systems Reduce the usage of HFCs in existing equipment - Interestingly, a large proportion of total HFC consumption is actually to top-up leaks from existing equipment. If we could make advances in the area of leak-prevention, through further development of leakage-detection systems, this would reduce the volumes of HFC inadvertently entering the atmosphere. I’d also advise businesses to regularly undertake leak testing and to keep records. The world needs the entire HVAC industry to lead and drive the change required to reduce our carbon footprint. We must champion the solutions for the climate change crisis. Equally, businesses have a responsibility to ensure they remain F-Gas compliant and that their air conditioning and refrigeration systems continue to work at peak efficiency.

Why Commercial Air Conditioning Should Have A Regular Maintenance Plan
Why Commercial Air Conditioning Should Have A Regular Maintenance Plan

Air conditioning has become a huge part of our lives whether we know it or not. Most offices have them so that members of staff can enjoy a regulated working environment without having to shiver or overheat. This often makes the office a nice place to work in and helps staff to stay productive throughout the day, regardless of what is going on with the weather. Commercial air conditioning is something that we often take for granted because we barely realize that it’s there. The only time that we notice it is when it breaks down or it doesn’t function as efficiently as we want it to. Why is it important to regularly maintain an HVAC unit? When an AC unit isn’t looked after in the right way, there can be a number of things that can either go wrong Air conditioning maintenance is something that so many people overlook. This can be for a whole host of reasons, including whether it’s that they are unaware that it needs regular maintenance or they think it’s too costly to take on. These are often the most common reasons that air conditioning units aren’t looked after properly. When an air conditioner unit isn’t looked after in the right way, there can be a number of things that can either go wrong and disable air conditioning or just hinder its ability to do its job. Temperatures With a well looked after, fully functioning commercial air conditioner, you’ll find that the temperatures are very accurate and work as intended. This means that everything within your unit is in top condition and working well. For example, on a hot day, when you set your thermostat to a low temperature, you’ll get exactly that.  Over time you may find that your air conditioning starts to struggle a little. This can be in a few different forms. You may detect that it takes a lot longer for your air conditioning to get up or down to the right temperature. This can be for a whole host of reasons and so keeping it regularly maintained will help to reduce this risk. Cost-effective As mentioned, a poorly maintained air conditioning unit will likely mean that it takes longer to get to the right temperatures or it may not be efficient enough to even reach the temperature you’re after. With that in mind, it can start to cost a lot more to run your HVAC system in this state. Due to the fact that it might take longer to reach your preferred temperature, you could end up paying more as time goes on. If you don’t rectify this problem, you may end up with an air conditioning unit that no longer works enough to be worth running. This will have adverse effects on the working environment and your members of staff. Safety of staff Depending on where you are in the world, heatstroke is also a very dangerous problem One of the biggest concerns for a business owner, the HR department and the individuals themselves, is that the office needs to be suitable to work in. From a health and safety standpoint, employees need to be safe and protected. Often air conditioning maintenance falls under this and is a necessity. Depending on where you are in the world, heatstroke is also a very dangerous problem. Having an inefficient air conditioning unit that can’t keep up with the rising temperatures could potentially put your employees at risk! The same also goes for those in more densely populated cities like London, New York City and even France. The air quality in and around these cities can be awful and so having air conditioning to clean and filter the air before it arrives in your office can make a big difference. Preventative maintenance Preventative maintenance is possibly one of the most important parts of owning any sort of machinery. Whether we’re talking about a car or air conditioning, preventative maintenance is a must. Preventative maintenance is just the act of regular maintenance throughout the lifetime of a product. It often involves changing of parts or fluids, even if they don’t need it in that instant. For example, if you take your car for a service and the engine oil is still sort of okay but will need replacing in 2 months’ time, would you just leave it or get it changed there and then? This type of preventative maintenance is designed to make sure that everything is in top condition and works perfectly all of the time. The biggest problem we face is that people think preventative maintenance isn’t necessary and while, yes your AC system will run without it, it’s likely to cost you so much more in the long run and could end up upsetting your staff too with a drop in temperatures. Employee satisfaction Commercial air conditioning is still a huge part of employee satisfaction Although at the time of writing this, many people are working from home, commercial air conditioning is still a huge part of employee satisfaction. Having an operating office, warehouse, school or indeed home, with air conditioning can help to keep people happy throughout the year. As a business owner, HR or general manager, it’s part of your job to keep employees happy and working in an optimal environment. Without this, employees may start to get fed up with attending an office that’s way too hot to work in. Importance of a regular maintenance plan A regular maintenance plan is going to help you keep your air conditioning system in the best state possible. You‘ll be able to detect faults and malfunctions before they have a direct impact on your commercial air conditioning system and prevent any further damage. Through the utilization of a proper plan, you should find that your system has a longer lifespan than those that don’t and should work more efficiently saving you time, money and the hassle of a broken system. Keeping your staff members happy is also a must and so dedicating some of your budget to air conditioning maintenance might just help you to keep morale and employee satisfaction on the right level.

Green Buildings Or Healthy Occupants? You Don’t Have To Choose Anymore!
Green Buildings Or Healthy Occupants? You Don’t Have To Choose Anymore!

HVAC systems have never received more widespread attention and media coverage than they have this year. As researchers determined that air transmission was a major factor in the spread of COVID-19, HVAC systems quickly became an area of intense discussion. Much of the news coverage from outlets like the New York Times, NPR, CNBC, or USA Today focused on air filtration. HEPA and MERV have become acronyms that people recognize, and UV Light and Plasma Ionization air purifiers have almost become dinner table topics. The need for discussion and debate about these topics is evident. As we look to resume some resemblance of normal life we need to feel safe sharing spaces with other people. Commercial HVAC Systems At the forefront of all of these discussions regarding air purification, is the massively flawed assumption that we must recirculate a large amount of the air from space to save energy. Most commercial HVAC systems only utilize 20% fresh air. That means that 80% of the air you are breathing in a public space has been on this ride before. The underlying principle here, from a thermodynamic perspective, is sound. I just spent a lot of energy (and $) conditioning this air for human comfort and now you want me to just throw it away?! In the name of all things public health, yes, throw it away! Energy Consumption It takes a large amount of energy to cool, dehumidify, and/or heat air so we humans can enjoy our time indoors in comfort Now before you draft your eloquently worded hate mail, let me take a minute to explain why we think you can just throw away perfectly conditioned air and still maintain a high level of energy consciousness. It’s true that it takes a large amount of energy to cool, dehumidify, and/or heat air so we humans can enjoy our time indoors in comfort. However, it is possible to exhaust ALL of the contaminated air from an occupied space and still conserve a large portion of the energy in that air. This can be done by passing the outside air (fresh air) and the exhaust air through separate heat exchangers where the energy can be transferred without the two air streams physically making contact. From a hygiene perspective, this process is ideal. Hospitals and industrial plants have been using one form or another of this technique for decades. The challenge for wider, commercial, adoption has been packaging restrictions of these systems and in a lot of cases the energy consumption of your supposedly energy-saving equipment. Energy Recovery Technology Cue ACT’s award-winning energy recovery technology, the Pump-Assisted Split Loop Energy Recovery Heat Exchanger. This product recently won the AHR Expo 2021 Innovation Award in the highly competitive Green Building category. The magic of the technology relies on the efficiency of the boiling and condensation process. When harnessed properly, one can exchange huge amounts of energy between two air streams just by circulating a particular fluid from one system to the next. A major benefit of allowing the fluid to boil and condense around the loop is that it allows the system to operate passively, using just the forces of good old fashion gravity. As a fluid boil, a portion of the liquid is converted into vapor which naturally wants to rise. Once that vapor gives off its energy it condenses back into a liquid that naturally wants to fall. If you can provide a source of energy input for boiling and a source of energy removal for condensing you can create a naturally circulating loop that requires absolutely zero electrical energy to operate. Two Separated Air Streams Transferring energy between two separated air streams with the least amount of total energy consumption and no cross-contamination In commercial HVAC systems, the warmer air stream can be the source of energy input and the cooler air stream can be the source of energy removal. As the seasons change, the air that is exhausted from a space flips from being warmer than the outside air (in the winter for instance) to be the colder air stream (in the summer). This means that at some point during the year you lose your gravitational advantage so for the other half of the year when you need to transfer energy in the opposite direction of gravity, ACT’s system uses a fractional horsepower pump (hence the pump-assisted part). The end result is a method of transferring large amounts of energy between two separated air streams with the least amount of total energy consumption, and with no cross-contamination. And because the fluid is circulated between the two air streams (either by gravity or by way of a small pump) this technology is highly geometrically flexible and customizable. With this product, HVAC systems can take in 100% fresh, outside air and throw it all away without having to worry about being wasteful. Improving HVAC Systems Most of the focus and efforts around improving HVAC systems have so far been centered too much on how we make old technology deal with new problems. These kinds of approaches are band-aids, at best, and often result is short-sighted solutions that never really advance the industry as a whole. ACT’s new product helps solve the problems of the new normal while moving the HVAC industry closer to that breath of fresh air we could all use right now.

Latest Haier news

GE Appliances (GEA) Announce The Release Of A New Vertical Terminal Air Conditioner, The GE Zoneline Ultimate V10
GE Appliances (GEA) Announce The Release Of A New Vertical Terminal Air Conditioner, The GE Zoneline Ultimate V10

GE Appliances (GEA), a Haier company, announced a new Vertical Terminal Air Conditioner (VTAC) poised to reinvent the design of Single Packaged Vertical Units (SPVU). The GE Zoneline Ultimate V10 was designed in collaboration with hotel and residential property owners and architects, to create a new way of installing the air conditioning chassis that makes installation 60% faster. GE Zoneline Ultimate V10 With additional features like ultra-quiet cooling, onboard diagnostics and SmartHQ WiFi capabilities, the GE Zoneline Ultimate V10 is a low maintenance unit providing guest comfort and reliable performance. “At GE Appliances, our goal is to design products that meet owners’ needs and create custom solutions for their environment,” said Kristi Saathoff, Senior Director of Product Management for GE Appliances. Kristi adds, “The Zoneline UltimateV10 is designed, engineered and assembled in the U.S. This allowed us to integrate customer feedback into our design to eliminate the most common pain points for the category, shorten lead times for customers, and add connected and diagnostic capabilities. This product is exemplary of our commitment to design and engineer innovative HVAC products that fit the needs of the North American marketplace.” Featuring new chassis and platform design The product, manufactured in Selmer, Tennessee, features a new chassis and platform design The product, manufactured in Selmer, Tennessee, features a new chassis and platform design with industry-exclusive features and multiple patents pending. GE Zoneline engineers collaborated with builders, property managers and architects to design the Insta-Platform, an innovative platform that is paired with a quick-install plenum and a perfect fit chassis, making the Ultimate V10 the easiest-to-install system on the market today. GE Zonelines are the industry’s quietest PTACs and GE Appliances has applied that knowledge to this product. The UltimateV10 is already the preferred VTAC for quiet performance and sound quality, when tested against competitors. In testing, 91% of participants preferred the Ultimate V10 air conditioner for superior sound quality and quieter operation. Onboard diagnostics and optional WiFi module Other features that optimize the guest and owner experience include onboard diagnostics that provide clear and fast diagnostics data. The units are also available with an optional WiFi module that integrates with GEA’s SmartHQ system allowing property managers to monitor multiple units remotely. “I have used GE Zoneline products in my hotels for years, and GE Appliances has proven to be a reliable partner for SINA Hospitality,” said Ravi Patel, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sina Hospitality. Ravi adds, “I am building a new Residence Inn property in Charleston, West Virginia and look forward to seeing this innovative product installed there. GE Appliances builds reliable products, and I am impressed with the features and quiet operation of this new VTAC. I look forward to our continued partnership.” GE Zoneline UV-C solution GEA is improving indoor air quality for hotel guests with an industry-exclusive kit for GE Zoneline PTACs GEA is improving indoor air quality for hotel guests with an industry-exclusive kit for GE Zoneline PTACs that uses UV-C light technology. The GE Zoneline UV-C solution is a perfect fit kit for Zoneline PTACs and designed to treat indoor air, as it cycles through the unit. Using a high-powered LED array for maximum intensity and efficiency, this new technology applies UV-C light to air as it passes through the unit, focused and channeled where most air movement occurs to reduce airborne virus concentrations.  UV-C kit customized for GE Zoneline PTACs The new UV-C kit is customized for GE Zoneline PTACs and can be installed to existing products. The kits will be available in the coming months. Soon, GE Appliances will also offer GE Zoneline units with UV-C-technology factory installed. “Clean air is critical to ensuring guests and residents’ well-being,” said Brigitte Mader-Urschel, Commercial Director for HVAC at GE Appliances, adding “This kit is a great option to increase indoor air quality. It works when added to existing Zoneline PTACs and can also be added to new units. GEA invented the PTAC category, and we continue to innovate and respond to the changing needs of our customers and the environment.”

GE Appliances Graduates First Engineer From New  Industry 4.0 Development Program
GE Appliances Graduates First Engineer From New Industry 4.0 Development Program

GE Appliances. (GEA), a Haier company, will graduate its first engineer from its newest workforce development training program – the Industry 4.0 Development Program – targeting recent engineering college graduates or mid-career employees who want to work in the company’s nine smart factories in the U.S. As a digital transformation sweeps across GE Appliances, the Supply Chain team is focused on developing talent to master technology and deliver results from the $1 billion of investments the company has made over the last five years. The new two-year program has four highly technical rotations in industrial controls, robotics, testing and data visualization. “To help us bring in and sustain much more advanced, automated equipment, we need people who understand it and can ensure it’s designed correctly to fit into our digital environment,” said Trent Ingrim, Senior Director – Advanced Manufacturing/Industry 4.0 for GE Appliances. “A lot of younger people want to grow their careers quickly. When they realize they can gain a lot of experience and seven or eight advanced certifications in just two years, they get excited.” The company plans to triple the number of engineers in the program over the next couple of years. Developing talent in-house Collie Crawford has the distinction of being the company’s first graduate of the new Industry 4.0 Development Program. With most of his co-op and prior work experience in industrial controls, Crawford was intrigued by the job posting and learning more in the other three areas. “I loved learning from the engineers during my rotations and finding new applications and ways to do things,” said Crawford. “There are so many considerations on how to make things work that you can’t learn in a class.” During a 2019 Trustbelt conference speech in Louisville, GE Appliances President & CEO Kevin Nolan encouraged attendees to embrace their own valley – that your workforce development challenges aren’t going to be solved by Silicon Valley or somewhere else. In the Ohio Valley, where GE Appliances is headquartered, the company is creating the Industry 4.0 talent pipeline to help solve the skills gap and ensure the company has the engineering talent it needs to support the recent investments in its U.S. plants and distribution centers. Industry 4.0 Development Program GEA’s Industry 4.0 Development Program is ideal for people with degrees in computer science engineering and mechanical engineering or graduates of mechatronic programs. The format of the program helps engineers see how systems work together and elevates their problem-solving skills. The four rotations provide the skillsets for today’s modern supply chain engineering roles. Industrial controls – The machinery in today’s modern plants is complex, with industrial and electrical controls that need to be programmed, including human machine interfaces (HMIs) or touch screens, PLCs or program logic controllers that make the machine work. In addition, there are many safety controls, such as light curtains and area scanners, to ensure nothing comes in contact with the operator that may pose a safety hazard while the equipment is operating. During this rotation, program members participate in original equipment manufacturer (OEM) design reviews and run-offs to learn how to ensure the equipment is compatible with GEA’s digital plant environment. Robotics –The rotation after industrial controls is robotics. Participants learn to incorporate the use of robots and other types of controls to work with the equipment – including the use of vision or cameras to drive expanded flexibility and capabilities in the factories. Test group – The third rotation is focused on testing with a twist from the past. The GEA team decided it would be a strategic advantage to create software and programming in house for test systems and equipment, which has been a “resounding success” with first pass yields up as much as 10%. The improved data is being reported or fed into the company’s Brilliant Factory data visualization system. To finish out the rotation, participants develop competencies in high-level programming and database use. Brilliant Factory – In the fourth and final rotation, participants continue to develop and refine GEA’s factory data visualization tool – Brilliant Factory – bringing new features to the platform on a weekly basis. interconnected factory “After completing the program, we want them to understand how a smart, interconnected factory works, and identify what they like most and feel the strongest about as they look for their first assignment off program,” said Ingrim. As Crawford graduates, he’s taking a controls engineering position in dishwasher manufacturing and hitting the ground running. He’s already been able to contribute with problem-solving on the new dishwasher wire rack line. “The program has made me a better automation engineer, prepared to solve broad problems within the plant,” said Crawford.

GE Appliances Launches New Corporate Website
GE Appliances Launches New Corporate Website

GE Appliances., a Haier company, has unveiled a dynamic new corporate website. Through both a modern and mobile-friendly design, the new website captures the spirit of the company's legacy and its evolution. "Our number one goal is to be and be recognized as the leading appliance manufacturer in the U.S., and the debut of our new, innovative corporate website is another important step that will help us get there," said Kevin Nolan, President and CEO of GE Appliances. "Through the new site, we’ve captured the personality of our company and brought it to life. We're able to build stronger connections and grow closer with our owners and customers, and we can provide a better understanding of not only who we are as an organization, but also the breadth of our global operations and its transformational impact in communities near and far." four key areas Born in the U.S. and backed by Haier, the world's appliance brand, GEA has reinvented itself as the fastest-growing appliance manufacturing company in the U.S., with more than a century of industry experience. The website launch is the latest exciting, competitive element to GEA's corporate story that will help elevate the company's entire House of Brands and demonstrate GEA's excellence in four key areas that serve as its foundation: Workplace, Innovation, Corporate Citizenship, and Leadership. Some of the innovative features of the new website also include: Modern brand elements that elevate the iconic GEA design; Motion and interactive design capabilities that engage user experience and highlight the complete House of Brands; Inventor profiles from a diverse range of backgrounds; Search optimization tools that strengthen company and brand recognition; An interactive timeline that helps bring to life the innovative history and spirit of GE Appliances; And a News & Journal page that provides both an additional digital storytelling tool for the business and a new platform for thought leadership articles from company leaders. The new website recently earned accolades for Best UI Design, Best UX Design and Best Innovation from the CSSDA, an international web design and development award platform.

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