December 1, 2016: Vol. 15, No. 48 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  






 

 
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Industry News

DOE Finalizes Energy-Efficiency Standards for Ceiling Fans
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has finalized new standards for ceiling fan energy efficiency. DOE says the new standards will reduce the energy use of ceiling fans by about 26%, resulting in national savings of about 200 billion kWh of energy over 30 years. DOE estimates that the purchase price of residential ceiling fans will increase by only about $11 with the new standards and that the additional cost will be covered by energy bill savings in less than two years.

Portland May Require Energy Audits for Houses Being Sold
PORTLAND, Ore.—An ordinance being considered by the Portland, Ore., city council would mandate that home sellers provide potential buyers with data on their homes’ energy use. The measure would require each seller to have their home scored on a 1 to 10 scale, as well as disclose its estimated annual energy use and estimated cost. The city also may post the scores publicly online. If approved, the measure would become effective in 2018. The goal, said Mayor Charlie Hales, is to give home buyers a way to compare properties' energy use and to better gauge the entire cost of owning a given home.

'World’s Largest Solar Power Plant' Comes Online in India
KAMUTHI, India—What is being called "the world's largest solar power plant" has been completed in southern India. The new plant, at 648 MW, surpasses the Topaz Solar Farm in California, which was completed in 2014 and has a capacity of 550 MW. The Kamuthi Solar Power Project contains 2.5 million solar panels and spans almost four square miles (10.4 km2). At full capacity, it is estimated to produce enough electricity to power around 150,000 homes.



'Carbon-Absorbing' Taiwanese Tower Tops Out
TAIPEI, Taiwan—Agora Garden Tower, a "carbon-absorbing" tower in Taiwan, topped out earlier this week. The 22-story building will be filled with around 23,000 plants, vegetable gardens, and trees on every floor to absorb an estimated 130 tons of carbon dioxide annually. The tower has a 90° twist that is achieved with a 4.5° turn per floor as the building ascends. The design is inspired by the helix shape of DNA. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, the shape also allows for balcony gardens for some of the building's plants. Also, the core and each cascading level form a network of water, air, heating, and electricity "flows" that maximize energy efficiency. Additional features include a rainwater recycling system on the roof that feeds the toilets, and a 1,000 m2 (10,763 ft2) solar array on the roof. The building is slated for completion in September 2017.

New Experimental Technology Significantly Increases Solar Cell Efficiency
HAIFA, Israel—Researchers at Technion Israel Institute of Technology have developed a solar cell technology that could dramatically improve the efficiency of photovoltaic cells. Solar cell efficiency typically is limited to around 30%. The Technion team developed a new method to capture energy currently lost, and convert it to electricity, increasing a solar cell's efficiency to as much as 50%. "Solar radiation, on its way to the photovoltaic cells, hits a dedicated material that we developed for this purpose. The material is heated by the unused part of the spectrum," said lead researcher Assaf Manor. "In addition, the solar radiation in the optimal spectrum is absorbed and re-emitted at a blue-shifted spectrum. This radiation is then harvested by the solar cell. This way both the heat and the light are converted to electricity." The team aims to commercialize the technology within the next five years. The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.

In other news...

Nearly 20% Increase in Shipments of Central AC, Air-Source Heat Pumps in Latest AHRI Data
Researchers Generate Electricity From Nuclear Waste Using Diamonds
Inside Nanotubes, Water Freezes Solid at Boiling Temperatures
AIA Index of Construction Activity Rebounds After Two Down Months
'One of the Most Ambitious Engineering Projects' Places Shelter Over Exploded Chernobyl Reactor
Carrier Reaches Deal With President-Elect Trump to Keep 1,000 Jobs in Indianapolis


ASHRAE News

ASHRAE Offers Free Seminars on Residential Applications at 2017 AHR Expo
An in-depth look at ASHRAE’s work in the residential market as well as guidance on several aspects of residential design will be offered in four free seminars at the 2017 AHR Expo in Las Vegas. The sessions will cover topics such as simple, practical solutions that perform better than theoretical guidance; duct selection; international and contractor perspectives; and why ASHRAE is increasing its role in the residential sector. The four seminars are free, and no badge is required to attend. They will be held Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The ASHRAE-cosponsored AHR Expo takes place Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Feature of the Week

Liquid-Cooled IT Equipment in Data Centers: Total Cost of Ownership
By Vali Sorell, P.E., Member ASHRAE; Bill Carter; Roy Zeighami; Susan F. Smith, P.E.; and Robin Steinbrecher, Member ASHRAE
To gain firsthand understanding, the authors collaborated to complete a balanced assessment between 100% air-cooled information technology equipment (ITE) in a best-in-class data center versus ITE cooled using a combination of air- and liquid-cooling in two alternative data center designs with separate air- and liquid-cooling loops. They found that liquid cooling creates the possibility for improved total cost of ownership through higher density, increased use of free cooling, improved performance, and improved performance per watt.
 


This article originally was published in December 2015. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Dec. 8.

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Product News

Chiller Management System From Daikin Applied
MINNEAPOLIS—Daikin Applied's Trailblazer line of chillers now feature the company’s Intelligent Equipment technology. Intelligent Equipment transfers and applies data from the unit through the cloud to drive value, helping building operators uniquely monitor energy consumption at the equipment level. The customer and technician dashboards provide direct access to 150 data points. Intelligent Equipment can be designed directly into a new factory-built Trailblazer chiller or as a retrofit kit.

Hot Water Recirculation Control From Taco
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The SmartPlug hot water recirculation control from Taco Comfort Solutions enables users to upgrade any existing hot water recirculation pump with a power cord to "smart" operation. Using a sensor that mounts to the hot water supply pipe, the SmartPlug will monitor hot water use patterns and adjust circulator runtime automatically.

Foam Insulation From CertainTeed
VALLEY FORGE, Pa.—CertaSpray open cell foam from CertainTeed is designed to provide an effective air seal that reduces energy loss, improves indoor air quality, and helps diminish noise from outside (wind and traffic) and inside (plumbing and occupant activity).

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