July 03, 2014: Vol. 13, No. 27 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  

 


 

 

 
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Industry News

EPA Proposes Approval of New 'Climate-Friendly' Refrigerants
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to increase the options for refrigerants in the United States that offer better climate protection without harming the ozone layer. This is EPA’s first action that addresses refrigerants under the Climate Action Plan, which calls on EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program to identify and approve additional climate-friendly chemicals. Under the authority of the Clean Air Act, EPA’s SNAP Program evaluates substitute chemicals and technologies that are safe for the ozone layer. The proposed action would expand the list of SNAP-approved substitutes to include more low-global warming potential (GWP) alternatives that can replace ozone-depleting substances and high-GWP hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). EPA is proposing to list additional low GWP hydrocarbon refrigerants in six refrigeration and air conditioning applications: stand-alone commercial and household refrigerators and freezers; very low temperature refrigeration; non-mechanical heat transfer; vending machines; and room air-conditioning units. The proposal also adds one lower-GWP HFC (HFC-32) that has one-third the GWP of the conventional refrigerants currently being used in room air-conditioning units.

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Energy Efficiency Becoming Big Business for High-Tech Companies
LOS ANGELES—Silicon Valley is seeing potential profits in the increased focus on energy efficiency, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times. Energy efficiency has lately become a hot pursuit for tech entrepreneurs, big-data enthusiasts and Wall Street speculators. They have leveraged multibillion-dollar programs in several states to cultivate a booming industry. Spending on efficiency technologies and programs increased significantly to $250 billion worldwide last year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). IEA projects that amount will more than double by 2035. Power companies are tapping databases to profile the energy use of their customers. Energy regulators are providing seed capital to start-ups building products such as waterless laundry machines. Established companies are entering the field as well. Google spent $3.2 billion this year to buy smart thermostat maker Nest, which in turn has recently announced further forays into the "smart home" space. "There was this notion that energy efficiency would never be sexy, never be something people wanted," said Ben Bixby, director of energy products at Nest.

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New Luxury Home Amenity: IAQ
NEW YORK—Many high-end developers and luxury-home builders are pitching a new amenity: freshly circulated, highly scrubbed air, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. Developers of 155 East 79th Street, a condominium under construction on Manhattan's Upper East Side, boast that its ventilation technology first cleanses air via a hospital operating-room-grade purification system and then brings the fresh filtered result into each unit. In San Francisco, luxury developer Troon Pacific says it has built several speculative homes in the $5 million-plus range that fully exchange indoor air at least three times a day. In New York's affluent Hamptons, a developer installed a $5,000 ventilation system with a heat-exchange feature into a speculatively built home that not only exchanges air—it also uses heat from the outgoing stale air to warm incoming fresh air and maintains a comfortable level of humidity as well.

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Massachusetts Airport Aims to Achieve 'Net Zero' GHG Emissions
NANTUCKET, Mass.—Nantucket Memorial Airport is set to become the first U.S. airport to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The airport is working with Honeywell on the project. Phase One, completed last spring, included data collection, inventory and an energy audit that allowed the airport to identify improvements to save energy. Phase Two, launched in late June, includes execution of energy conservation measures and renewable energy installations intended to reduce the airport’s reliance on external energy sources and eliminate nearly 1,000 metric tons of carbon emissions each year at the airport. Phase Two will implement more than 25 energy conservation measures and features, including arrays of solar photovoltaic panels with capacities from 1.5 MW to 2.1 MW, a suite of new building equipment including indoor and outdoor LED lighting, retrocommissioning of major mechanical systems including energy recovery ventilators, building envelope improvements, solar thermal development to provide a renewable source of hot water heating, an integrated building management platform, highly efficient infrared garage heating and boiler burner replacements.

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Better Refrigeration Key to Cutting World Food Waste, Says IMechE Report
LONDON—Twenty-five percent of food wastage in the developing world could be eliminated with better refrigeration equipment, according to a recent report by The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). The report is a follow up to the institution’s report last year, which estimated up to 50% of food produced around the world is either lost or discarded. The latest report found up to 50% of fruit and vegetables are lost in Sub-Saharan Africa and India, while Tanzania sees 25% of all milk produced in the wet season end up as wastage and 97% of its meat sold warm having never been chilled. IMechE is urging developed nations and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) to help developing economies create a sustainable "cold chain" to prevent food loss, alleviate hunger and improve global food security. Also, investments should be made in building large-scale electricity grids in nations where they are lacking.

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HVAC Insurance Claims Often Minor, Says Insurance Research Firm
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—HVAC Investigators (HVACi), a national provider of heating, ventilation and air conditioning damage assessments to insurers, recently published its 2014 Annual Claims Report. The report provides data on HVAC trends to help carriers make more informed decisions on HVAC&R claims. In 2013, the report found, 27% of all claims investigated were ultimately diagnosed as “Wear and Tear,” “Not Damaged,” or were “Withdrawn” by the insured after initial contact. Nearly nine out of 10 claims investigated by HVACi last year resulted in a repair recommendation to bring the insured back to preloss condition, or the equipment in question wasn’t damaged at all. The report is based on actual results of thousands of residential and commercial HVAC insurance claims investigations across the U.S. in 2013.

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In other news...

U.S. DOE Finalizes New Energy Efficiency Standards for Furnace Fans
Emerson Climate Technologies Forms Joint Venture With Chinese AC Company Ruking
Hurst Boiler Receives Patent for Counter-Flow Device to Improve Boiler Efficiency
U.S. EPA Releases New Policy Statement on Climate Change Adaptation
Construction Spending in U.S. Continues Upward Trend in Latest Data
Bipartisan 'Super Pollutants Act' to Reduce HFC Emissions Introduced in U.S. Senate

ASHRAE News

ASHRAE Publishes User’s Manual For Standard 90.1-2013
Guidance on how to incorporate changes regarding building envelope, lighting, mechanical and the energy cost budget in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, is included in a newly published User’s Manual. The 2013 version of the standard includes 110 addenda. Because the standard is written in mandatory language and is not intended as a design specification or an instruction manual, the User’s Manual was developed to minimize multiple interpretations of Standard 90.1 that may occur. The manual helps users of the standard understand its principles and requirements and how to comply with them.The book includes sample calculations, application examples and references to helpful resources and websites. It also includes measurements and calculations in I-P and SI units.

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ASHRAE Installs New Officers, Directors
SEATTLE—ASHRAE installed new officers and directors for 2014–15 at its recently completed Annual Conference. The new president is Thomas H. Phoenix, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, ASHRAE-Certified Building Energy Assessment and Building Energy Modeling Professional. His presidential theme is "People, Passion, Performance."  President-elect T. David Underwood, P.Eng., Fellow/Life Member ASHRAE, ASHRAE-Certified Commissioning Process Management Professional, was also installed at the Conference. The 2014–15 treasurer is Timothy G. Wentz, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, ASHRAE-Certified High Performance Building Design Professional. In addition, ASHRAE installed four vice presidents and eight directors.

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Feature of the Week

HVAC for Prisons
By Scott McMillan, P.E., Member ASHRAE
According to the author, not only do prisons take time to design and construct, the costs associated with building correctional facilities are increasing, and owners’ resources are dwindling, as state government budgets tighten. Engineers are being called upon to help solve a large societal issue. This article is intended to provide a background regarding design considerations for jails and prisons and offers a glimpse of what lies ahead.



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Product News

Building Performance Monitoring Software From Siemens
ZUG, Switzerland—The Siemens Building Technologies Division has launched Advantage Navigator, a cloud-based software platform designed to track the long-term performance of a single building, entire physical campus, or virtual network of thousands of sites. The software enables the user to monitor and analyze total building performance as measured through energy consumption, energy procurement and key sustainability performance indicators.

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Air/Water Barrier System From Dow Corning
MIDLAND, Mich.—The Dow Corning Silicone Air Barrier System is a suite of compatible elastomeric silicone technologies designed to work together to better protect the entire building envelope and to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. The system includes DefendAir 200, a water-based 100% silicone liquid-applied air and water barrier. It also includes the Silicone Transition System, which features 100% silicone rubber strips and corners that are easy to install with silicone sealants rather than mechanical fasteners. It also includes the company's silicone sealants, including 791 Silicone Weatherproofing Sealant, which can be used in through-wall flashing applications and to seal penetrations. The products offer a high fire-resistance rating, high durability and UV resistance.

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Sensor From QTI
BOISE, Idaho—Quality Thermistor Inc. (QTI) offers the Hydroguard IP68 sensor. The sensor features a stable thermistor with waterproof housing, making it suitable for use in refrigeration freeze/thaw cycles, discharge lines, evaporator coils, and other applications.

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