November 3, 2016: Vol. 15, No. 44 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  


The HVAC&R Industry, ASHRAE's free weekly eNewsletter for HVAC&R professionals, provides relevant, timely information about industry and technology for people who create healthy, comfortable indoor environments.

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Industry News

U.S. EPA Issues New Refrigerant Leak Management Rules
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued new rules that update the safe handling requirements that currently apply to ozone-depleting refrigerants, and extend them to refrigerant substitutes such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that previously were exempted from the venting prohibition of the Clean Air Act. The new rules, which come into effect on Jan. 1, 2017, lower the leak rate thresholds that trigger the "duty to repair" refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment containing 50 lb or more of refrigerant. Specifically, the industrial process refrigeration threshold is lowered from 35% to 30%, commercial refrigeration equipment is lowered from 35% to 20%, and comfort cooling equipment is lowered from 15% to 10%.

New Technique Uses Electricity to Identify Potentially Hazardous Water in Concrete
RALEIGH, N.C.—Researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of Eastern Finland have developed a new technique for tracking water in concrete structures. They say the procedure will enable engineers to identify potential issues before they become big problems. "We have developed a technology that allows us to identify and track water movement in concrete using a small current of electricity that is faster, safer and less expensive than existing technologies— and is also more accurate when monitoring large samples, such as structures," said lead investigator Mohammad Pour-Ghaz, an assistant professor of civil, construction, and environmental engineering at North Carolina State University. "The technology can not only determine where and whether water is infiltrating concrete, but how fast it is moving, how much water there is, and how existing cracks or damage are influencing the movement of the water."

Oregon Utility Attempts to Convert Coal-Fired Plant to Burn Wood
PORTLAND, Ore.—In Oregon, efforts are underway to see if local utility Portland General Electric's 550 MW power plant in Boardman, Ore., can process "torrified"—pulverized and roasted—wood instead of coal after its scheduled closure in 2020. If it works—technically, economically, and environmentally—Oregon's only coal-fired power plant could become the United States' largest biomass power plant and an example for other plants throughout the U.S.

California City Approves Net Zero Building Ordinance
SANTA MONICA, Calif.—The Santa Monica City Council voted in late October to approve an ordinance requiring all new single-family construction in the city to be zero net energy. (ZNE). The ordinance is reportedly the first with such a requirement in the world. Santa Monica is adopting the definition used in the 2016 California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen). According to CALGreen, a ZNE building is one where the value of energy produced on-site by renewable energy resources is equal to the value of the energy consumed annually by the building.

Lockheed Martin to Build Energy-From-Waste Plant in Wales
CARDIFF, Wales—Lockheed Martin Energy and CoGen Limited, a UK-based gasification-to-energy company, are partnering on a new 15 MW waste-to-energy facility in Wales that will use advanced gasification technology. The new facility in Cardiff will convert waste into up to 15 MW of energy, enough to power about 15,000 homes and businesses in the local area. To generate energy, the plant will process approximately 150,000 tons (136 000 tonne) of waste per year. CoGen will serve as the owner and developer of the Cardiff project, and Lockheed Martin will lead the engineering, procurement, manufacturing, and construction of the plant. The facility will use waste management company Concord Blue’s Reformer technology, a closed-loop system that the companies say can convert nearly any kind of organic waste into clean, sustainable energy.

In other news...

U.S. DOE Invests in Projects to Speed Adoption of Solar Power
Increased Use of Modular, Containerized Data Centers Increasing Interest in Liquid Cooling
Birmingham, Ala., Partners With Trane for Sustainability, Efficiency Upgrades to City Buildings
Cold Snap Leads Chinese Central Government to Give Northern Provinces Permission to Turn on Heat
Indoor Air Testing 'A Must' for Children With Asthma, Says Pediatrics Organization
Tesla Formally Unveils Solar Roofing Tiles


Sessions on Low GWP Refrigerants Featured at ASHRAE Conference
Industry experts will share guidance on how to incorporate low global warming potential refrigerants in sessions at the 2017 ASHRAE Winter Conference. Among the sessions is a two-part seminar, "Low-GWP Alternative Refrigerants and Their Applications." The parts of this seminar feature six papers on topics such as thermophysical properties, modeling, heat transfer performance, lubricant/refrigerant miscibility and system applications of low-GWP halocarbon refrigerants. Other sessions pertaining to refrigerants cover topics such as safe use of low-GWP flammable refrigerants; optimization of direct AC systems with low-GWP refrigerants; evaporative cooling; and refrigeration systems with low-GWP refrigerants. In all, the Technical Program features eight tracks, 86 papers, 248 presentations and 331 speakers. The 2017 ASHRAE Winter Conference will be held Jan. 28-Feb. 1 in Las Vegas.

Feature of the Week

Total Dissolved Solids in Reclaimed Water
By Daniel H. Nall, P.E., FAIA, Member ASHRAE; and Robert Sedlak, P.E.
According to the authors, levels of total dissolved solids (TDS) are often overlooked in non-potable sources, resulting in challenges for end uses such as cooling tower makeup and irrigation. Excessive levels of TDS can result in corrosion, fouling and scale in cooling towers and in toilet fixtures, and mortality to irrigated plants. This article provides guidance on dealing with high levels of TDS in building wastewater.

This article originally was published in October 2013. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Nov. 17.

After Nov. 17, 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 online store.

Product News

Heat Recovery System From LG Electronics
ALPHARETTA, GA—LG Electronics USA introduces the LG Multi V S single-phase VRF (variable refrigerant flow) 5-ton (17.6 kW) heat recovery system. Designed for residential and light commercial installations, the 5-ton heat recovery unit features simultaneous cooling and heating capabilities and allows for independent control of room temperatures for up to 12 zones. It also features automatic changeover between heating and cooling modes.

Antimicrobial Cooling Towers From Delta Cooling Towers
STAMFORD, Conn.—The HHF-308 anemometer with wind chill function and the HHF-309 anemometer/psychrometer with cfm/cmm and enthalpy calculation capabilities from OMEGA Engineering are designed to provide economical means to monitor environments and to test and fine-tune the performance of HVAC&R systems.

BACnet® Virtual Private Network Software from Reliable Controls
VICTORIA, British Columbia—RC-RemoteAccess BACnet Virtual Private Network Software from Reliable Controls is designed to eliminate the need to configure BBMDs, BDTs, foreign device registrations, and remote port forwards. It improves cybersecurity by using 256-bit encryption, authenticated system identifier credentials, TLS, TCP, and 2,048-bit server certificates. Only one inbound port is required to secure any number of B/VPNs.

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