April 18, 2013: Vol. 12, No. 16 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



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Industry News

Closed Windows Open Door to Infections, Says Study
LEEDS, UK—The chance of infection in some hospital wards varies dramatically according to whether windows are left open, according to a recent study. A University of Leeds team studied airflow in a "Nightingale" ward—a traditional hospital ward design with two rows of up to 30 beds—by using tracer gases to simulate how airborne infections spread. The researchers found ventilation in the ward was generally good when windows were left open, keeping the danger of airborne infection low. However, when the windows were closed, the measured exposure to infection was typically four times higher, equivalent to a ventilation rate of only 1.5 air changes an hour (ach). ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2008, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, calls for a minimum of two outdoor ach and a minimum of six total ach in patient rooms. "People are being told to seal up their buildings to save energy. We found, if you do that without alternative ventilation systems, you could be increasing the airborne infection risk significantly," said lead investigator Cath Noakes, Ph.D.

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Energy Efficiency Slowing Growth of Electricity Consumption
WASHINGTON—Electricity demand in the United States will likely rise 28% by 2040, but could be as much as 42%, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in an analysis released April 15. Overall, EIA projects 0.9% growth per year, from 3,839 billion kWh in 2011 to 4,930 billion kWh in 2040. The growth of total electricity use remains slow because of increases in appliance energy-efficiency standards and increased industrial energy efficiency, EIA said in its 2013 Annual Energy Outlook.

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Seattle School Is World's Fourth 'Living Building'
SEATTLE—Bertschi School, an independent elementary school in Seattle now features the first Living Building on the West Coast and the world’s fourth fully certified "Living Building." Completed in February 2011, Bertschi’s Living Building Science Wing is a 3,380 ft2 (314 m2) interactive learning facility for students ages 5-11. It is the first built project to meet the standards of version 2.0 of the Living Building Challenge, a sustainable building certification program that integrates urban agriculture and the use of healthy building materials. The building  is net zero energy and water. A 20 kW photovoltaic system provides all of the electricity, and cisterns collect rainwater that is used for irrigation and flushing the composting toilet. 

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First U.S. Grid-Connected Enhanced Geothermal System Launched
CHURCHILL COUNTY, Nev.—The United States’ first commercial enhanced geothermal system (EGS) project to supply electricity to the grid is operational in rural western Nevada. Ormat Technologies’ Desert Peak 2 EGS project increases power output of its nearby existing geothermal field by nearly 38%, providing an additional 1.7 MW of power to the grid. Enhanced geothermal systems capture power from intensely hot rocks buried thousands of feet below the surface, which lack the permeability or fluid saturation found in naturally occurring geothermal systems. This energy source was previously thought to be unrecoverable or uneconomical.

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Walmart Increases Energy Efficiency Efforts
BENTONVILLE, Ark.—This week, Walmart kicked off a new phase in its global sustainability efforts, announcing targets to drastically increase its use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency in its stores and offices. Mike Duke, Walmart's president and CEO, said that by the end of 2020 the company would generate or purchase seven billion kWh of renewable energy each year, a 600% increase of 2010 levels. He also committed the company to reducing its energy intensity by 20% of 2010 levels by the end of 2020. Walmart said it expects the sustainability program will save it $1 billion a year once the targets have been met.

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Defense Dept. Should Require LEED Silver, Says Report
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) should continue to require that its new buildings or major renovations to facilities be designed to achieve a LEED Silver or equivalent rating, says a recent report from the National Research Council. The report concludes that green building certification systems such as LEED offer frameworks for successfully reducing energy and water use in buildings. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires federal agencies to use a green building certification system for new construction and major renovations of buildings. DOD established a policy in 2010 that new construction and major repair and renovation projects be certified at least LEED Silver or its equivalent. The study is the result of a 2012 request by Congress for cost-benefit, return-on-investment and long-term payback information for the policy.

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In other news...

Heating, Cooling Equipment Shipments Increase in Latest AHRI Data
EPA Publishes Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory
Global Solar PV Industry Now Likely a Net Energy Producer
Senators to Revive Energy Efficiency Bill
Carrier Promotes 'Green' Schools With K-12 Energy Assessment Program
Rapid Urbanization in China Leads Johnson Controls to Expand
BITZER Invests Nearly $40 Million in Production Facilities


ASHRAE Expands Online Jobs Board
ASHRAE members now have increased opportunities to find jobs within their chosen field with the expansion of www.ASHRAEjobs.com. The expanded ASHRAEjobs site specifically allows employers, looking to hire ASHRAE members, to post their listings throughout the job boards of ASHRAE's partner BirdDog. The company provides cloud-based recruitment and applicant tracking software to small- and medium-sized companies across the U.S. The increased exposure ensures all ASHRAE members have the opportunity to see the job posting.

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May 1 Deadline for Distinguished Lecturers, Awards
May 1 is the deadline for the receipt of ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer nominations. The ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer program provides ASHRAE chapters, student branches, and other organizations with lecturers equipped to speak on relevant subjects of interest to ASHRAE members and guests. May 1 also is the deadline for receipt of nominations for Distinguished Service Award, Exceptional Service Award, Distinguished Fifty-Year Member Award, Louise and Bill Holladay Distinguished Fellow Award, and the Andrew T. Boggs Service Award. These awards recognize ASHRAE members for their contributions on behalf of the Society and to the industry.

Click here to learn more about the Distinguished Lecturer program.
Click here to learn more about ASHRAE honors and awards.

Feature of the Week

Connecting Buildings to Central Chilled Water Plants
By James B. (Burt) Rishel, P.E., Fellow/Life Member ASHRAE
According to the author, many of the building connections typically used to connect buildings to chilled water systems have wasted energy and did not provide adequate comfort conditions in the buildings. With variable speed pumps, state-of-the-art software and better cooling coil control valves, building professionals are able to provide efficient and adequate building conditions regardless of the complexity of the chilled water system. This article evaluates the various building connections.

This article originally was published in November 2007. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through May 2.

After May 2, 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

Cooling Towers From Baltimore Aircoil Company
BALTIMORE—Baltimore Aircoil Company introduces 31 new models in the Series 3000 line of cooling towers. The expanded product line enables professionals to more closely match specific heat rejection, energy and layout requirements of cooling tower projects. Models in the series are designed to deliver independently verified, fully rated thermal performance over a wide range of flow and temperature requirements.

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HVLS Fans From MacroAir
SAN BERNADINO, Calif.—MacroAir offers the AirElite high-performance HVLS fans in diameters from 8 ft to 20 ft (2.4 m to 6.1 m) for commercial applications. It is an all-in-one package with on-board electronics featuring a high carrier frequency for quiet operation and ease of installation.

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Solar Roofing System From CertainTeed
VALLEY FORGE, Pa.—CertainTeed introduces the Solstice solar roofing system. The system's rack-mounted, high-performance modules each contain 60 high-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells that produce an electric power rating of 250 W per module. 

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