May 09, 2014: Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



 

 

 
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Industry News

Federal Report Says Climate Change Impact Already Severe
WASHINGTON—The federal government’s newest national assessment of climate change declares that the U.S. is already feeling the effects of climate change. Heavy Northeast downpours driven by "super storms" such as Sandy, and flooding from sea-level rise from Norfolk, Va., to Miami along the Atlantic Ocean, are attributed to climate change. So too are far-ranging wildfires in several Western states, a heat wave in the Midwest, and drought in southern California. "Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present," the report says. Such sweeping changes have been caused by an average warming of less than 2°F (1.1°C) over most land areas of the country in the past century, the report finds. If greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane continue to escalate at a rapid pace, it continues, the warming could conceivably exceed 10°F (5.6°C) by the end of this century. The report was supervised and approved by a committee representing a cross section of American society, including representatives of two oil companies. It is the third such report since Congress first ordered the scientific assessment in 1990.

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Americans Want Efficiency to Save Energy—And Money
AUSTIN, Texas—Energy efficiency is a priority for 79% of Americans, according to a poll by the University of Texas (UT). However, while most people are concerned about the environmental impact of high energy use, the biggest motivator for energy efficiency is savings, according to the UT Energy Poll, a scientific survey of 2,133 U.S. residents aged 18 and older conducted between March 3 and 17. "People pay attention to what affects them personally first," said Sheril Kirshenbaum, director of the UT Energy Poll. "Price seems to be the primary driver.” Most Americans expect their energy bills to rise. Sixty-seven percent of those polled said they expect the portion of their household budget spent on energy to rise, and more than half of all Americans expect prices to rise for gasoline (78%), electricity (64%), heating oil (60%) and natural gas (60%) in the next six months.

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Researchers Developing Cheaper, Environment-Friendly Solar Cell
EVANSTON, Ill.—Northwestern University researchers have developed a new solar cell with good efficiency that uses tin instead of lead as the harvester of light. "This is a breakthrough in taking the lead out of a very promising type of solar cell, called a perovskite," said lead researcher Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, Ph.D. Lead perovskite has achieved 15% efficiency, and the researchers believe tin perovskite should be able to match or surpass that. Compared to lead, tin has a lower cost, is more environment-friendly, and can be made easily using "bench" chemistry—without special equipment or hazardous materials.

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Long-Delayed Honolulu Deep Water Cooling Project Gets Funding Extension
HONOLULU—The $220 million Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning project, which is intended to cool downtown Honolulu buildings with deep ocean water, received an extension for funding from Hawaii lawmakers. A bill was approved by the state legislature this week to extend the prior authorization of $77 million in special purpose revenue bonds that were due to expire on June 30. To date, the company has secured separate special purpose revenue bonds authorizations totaling $145 million for construction of the cooling system. The extension ensures that the full $145 million in tax-exempt bonding capacity remains available to support its upcoming financing effort. Construction on the project has yet to start. The project was initially announced in 2004, and the company said it was expected to be up and running in 2007.

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Students Design 'Zero-Energy-Ready' Homes for DOE Competition
GOLDEN, Colo.—Twenty-eight college and university teams from the United States and Canada participated in the inaugural Challenge Home Student Design Competition at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory from April 26 to 28. Teams presented "zero-energy-ready" home designs—meaning their high performance features sharply reduce energy use and all or most of the remaining energy use can be offset with renewable energy—to panels of industry experts for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Challenge. Two teams tied as Grand Award winners: Ryerson University from Toronto, and the combined team from Onondaga Community College, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and Syracuse University, all in Syracuse, N.Y. Judges evaluated the teams on their design and construction packages, project plans and energy-saving strategies. Through the Challenge Home program, DOE seeks to apply proven innovations from research for high-performance homes that can be implemented by the home building industry.

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In other news...

Nortek Completes Acquisition of Thomas & Betts From ABB
Milwaukee County War Memorial HVAC Repairs Face $1.1 Million Overrun
India Uses Biomass-, Solar-Based Microgrids to Bring Power to 300 Million Without Electricity
Star Refrigeration Launches U.S. Subsidiary to Produce 'Low-Charge' Ammonia Technology
SolarCity, Carrier Team Up to Market Solar Air Conditioning
Historic San Francisco Building Brought Back to Life
AIA Index of Construction Activity Decreases for March

Feature of the Week

Using VAV to Limit Humidity at Part Load
By John Murphy, Member ASHRAE
According to the author, high humidity levels can reduce the quality of indoor air, make occupants uncomfortable, and damage a building’s structure and furnishings. To avoid problems associated with high humidity levels, it’s important to understand how well an HVAC system will dehumidify at both full load and part load. But, part-load dehumidification performance varies by system type and control strategy. The focus of this article is on the dehumidification performance of variable air volume (VAV) systems. The right approach for a given project depends on climate, building use, available budget, and operating cost goals.


This article originally was published in October 2010. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through May 22.

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Product News

Ceiling Exhaust Fans From Greenheck
SCHOFIELD, Wis.—Greenheck’s new models SP-80 and SP-110 ceiling exhaust fans feature energy-efficient EC motor technology. The fans feature an adjustable low cfm setting that allows precise airflow control to prevent over-ventilating and to increase efficiency. Also, an adjustable time delay sets how long the fan will run on high speed before returning to a continuous lower speed. Models are designed for commercial construction, high efficiency, and low sound levels.

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Communicating Sensor From Reliable Controls
VICTORIA, British Columbia—The Reliable Controls SMART-Sensor LCD (SSL) is a microprocessor-based sensor that monitors room conditions and provides the ability to display and adjust points from any MACH-System controller connected to the SMART-Net network. The new model features measurement of carbon dioxide.

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Adiabatic Cooling System From EcoMESH Adiabatic Systems
YAXLEY, UK—EcoMESH from EcoMESH Adiabatic Systems is a mesh and water spray system designed to improve the performance of air-cooled chillers, dry coolers and refrigeration plants, while reducing energy consumption by up to 44%. Water consumption is minimized as the spray is intermittent and only activated when required.

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