May 15, 2014: Vol. 13, No. 20 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  
 


 

 

 
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Industry News

Warm Hands Lead to a Warm Heart, Says Study
BIRMINGHAM, UK—Scientists have found that people asked to hold hot objects in their hands were more likely to cooperate with other people than those holding something cold. The researchers say it could be the reason why giving customers hot drinks in supermarkets and other stores works to the benefit of retailers. The tactic makes people more likely to buy because they feel warm towards the seller, whereas a cold drink would not have the same effect. It is thought an evolutionary quirk of the brain is responsible, because the same brain area used for processing interpersonal "warmth"—friendliness to others—also deals with physical warmth, with one influencing the other. Therefore, when we say we have "warmed to someone" it’s literally true, say researchers from the University of South Wales. Their study, which involved 30 pairs of volunteers, was carried out using a game that measures people’s willingness to cooperate. Before performing the task, 15 pairs of volunteers were asked to do it while holding gel hand warmers heated to a pleasant temperature and the remainder were asked to do it while holding them at a much cooler temperature, and again vice versa. The research was presented earlier this month at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference.

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Pages From 'Drinkable Book' Purify Contaminated Drinking Water
EDMOND, Okla.—The charitable organization Water is Life is developing a "Drinkable Book" that not only teaches water safety but can actually be used to treat drinking water. Each page, coated in bacteria-killing silver nanoparticles, can be torn out and used as a filter. The pages kill bacteria that cause cholera, E.coli, typhoid and other diseases, and last up to a month each.  The text, printed in food-quality ink, provides basic safety information, such as reminders to keep trash and feces away from water supplies. A single book can provide a person with drinkable water for up to four years.

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Chinese Air Pollution Leads to 'Do-It-Yourself' Air Filter Market
BEIJING—The air pollution in Beijing is so bad that its negative impacts can be felt inside buildings as well as on the street. This has fueled a growing market for expensive indoor air filters in China. A typical unit can cost as much as $800. Therefore, a burgeoning "do-it-yourself" market for air filters is being created. Thomas Talhelm, an American scholar spending a year in China, began to research how air filters worked. Talhelm realized that the essential components—a HEPA filter, a fan, and a Velcro strap to hold them together—could be purchased on Taobao, China’s leading e-commerce site, for less than $35. He rigged up his own air filter and invested in a scientific particle monitor to see how well it worked. His homemade device reduced indoor levels of PM 0.5 by as much as 97% and indoor levels of PM 2.5 by as much as 96%. "PM (particulate matter)" is an international metric of the size of particles, with PM 2.5 representing particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers. Talhelm began giving workshops on how to build simple air filters, and set up an online shop for his kits, priced at the equivalent of $33. Dozens of other entrepreneurs in China have copied the idea. Most use similar fans and HEPA filters.

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New Skyscraper Attraction Gives Visitors Sensation of Falling

CHICAGO—The John Hancock Tower in Chicago recently unveiled a new observation deck that lets visitors lean forward to a 30° angle, with just a pane of glass between them and the ground, around 1,000 ft (300 m) below. Located on the 94th floor, the enclosed rectangular box can hold up to eight people at a time. Once in place, three hydraulic lifts slowly tilt it from the building. At 20° from vertical "your body tells you it should be falling," Chicago Tribune reporter Steve Johnson said of his experience. Engineer John Peronto, who created the platform, says that TILT is very safe, so those wary of the experience should feel at ease. The attraction took one year to develop and includes three layers of fully tempered glass. TILT comes five years after Willis Tower unveiled its glass "Ledge," which gives visitors the illusion of standing on air. The Willis Tower's "Ledge" boxes, which extend about 4 ft (1.2 m) from the tower, have attracted approximately 1.3 million visitors each year since the attraction opened in the summer of 2009.

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Start-up Company Aims to Make Legacy AC Systems 'Smart'
MUNICH— German start-up company Tado is using crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to launch Tado Cooling, an Internet-connected device the company says makes almost any remote-controlled air-conditioning system smart. The company said the device is compatible with 82% of the legacy remote-controlled air-conditioning units in the world. The device is wall-mounted and serves as a replacement for the AC system's infrared remote control. It connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi. Together with the accompanying mobile app, Tado Cooling will automatically turn off the AC when no one is at home and detects the time the last person left the house. Also, using geolocation via the user's smart phone, the device will know if its owner is about to reach the house, and so the AC will automatically start precooling. The device is expected to eventually go on general sale for $149, but the first 500 Kickstarter backers of the project can receive the device for only $69. Tado is hoping to raise at least $150,000 through Kickstarter.

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In other news...

President Obama Unveils Federal Energy-Efficiency Measures
Ohio Senate Votes to Halt State Energy-Efficiency Rules, Renewable Energy Development
U.S. Army Developing Helmet With Built-In Air Conditioning
World's Largest Solar Photovoltaic Facility Comes Online in Arizona
Shaheen-Portman Energy-Efficiency Bill Fails in U.S. Senate
TSA Agents Walk Off Job at LaGuardia Airport After Air Conditioning Breaks
French Court Overturns Ban on Sales of Mercedes Cars Over Refrigerant
Thermostats Recalled Over Fire Risk
Las Vegas AC Repair Service Uses Google Glass to Help Customers
Researchers Compare Tuna to Whale to Develop Energy-Efficiency Metric

ASHRAE News

ASHRAE, Other Organizations Partner to Promote Resilient Buildings
ASHRAE, along with the leadership of almost two-dozen leading design and construction industry associations with more than 700,000 members jointly issued a statement this week agreeing to incorporate resilience in planning, building materials selection, design, construction and operational techniques to make the nation’s aging infrastructure more safe and secure. Resilience is defined as the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from and more successfully adapt to adverse events. The statement was unveiled at a press conference at the National Building Museum, where a major exhibition titled Designing for Disaster that presents design and building solutions for disaster mitigation, opened May 11. "We recognize that natural and man-made hazards pose an increasing threat to the safety of the public and the vitality of our nation," reads the statement, in part. "We further recognize that contemporary planning, building materials, design, construction and operational techniques can make our communities more resilient to these threats."

Click here
to read ASHRAE's official news release.
Click here
to read the joint statement on resilience.

Feature of the Week

Basics of Atrium Smoke Control
By John H. Klote, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow/Life Member ASHRAE
According to the author, there are a number of design approaches to deal with smoke in large-volume spaces. A large-volume space is a space that is at least two stories high such as an atrium, a sports arena, or an airplane hangar. In this article, the term "atrium" is used in a generic sense to mean any large-volume space. The author recommends that atrium smoke control systems be activated automatically to quickly provide smoke protection for the occupants. For atria where smoke stratification can happen, projected beam smoke detectors should be used.


This article originally was published in June 2012. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through May 29.

After May 29, access to the article from this eNewsletter will no longer be available. It will remain available for free download by members here and for purchase by nonmembers in the ashrae.org online store.

Product News

Scroll Chillers From Daikin Applied
MINNEAPOLIS—Daikin Applied introduces the AGZ-E air-cooled scroll chillers in 30 ton to 70 ton (106 kW to 246 kW) capacities for small- to mid-size building applications. The RapidRestore feature, along with the high evaporator leaving water temperature (65°F [18°C]), make the chillers suitable for mission-critical installations such as data centers and hospitals. The units deliver sound pressure ratings as low as 60 dBA, without any optional acoustic treatment.

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Heat Pump From Bard Manufacturing
BRYAN, Ohio—The Geo-Delta heat pump from Bard Manufacturing is suitable for ground water or ground loop applications. Hydronic options include radiant heating, water heating, pool/spa heating using a scroll compressor and R-410A refrigerant.

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Mixing Valves From Taco
CRANSTON, R.I.—Taco has expanded the 5000, 5120 and 5123-WH Series mixing valves. The mixing valves are available in lead-free alloys with tamper-resistant caps; and sweat, NPT, PEX and CPVC union connections. The valves feature low head loss, with an outlet temperature strip and an optional dial gage with adaptor fitting. The mixing valves allow hot water storage at temperatures high enough to increase the effective storage capacity of a water heater, kill harmful bacteria and still be delivered at safe temperatures.

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