June 06, 2013: Vol. 12, No. 23 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



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Industry News

Microgrids Growing Around the World
BOULDER, Colo.—Microgrids are beginning to move into the mainstream, according to a quarterly tracking report from Navigant Research. More than 480 microgrid projects are proposed, planned, under construction, or operating worldwide, representing nearly 3,800 MW of capacity. North America is the world’s leading market for microgrids, with planned, proposed, and deployed capacity of 2,505 MW. Since the fourth quarter 2012 version of the report, an additional 417 MW of capacity from 55 new projects has come online in North America. "New vendors are continually entering this market and previously unpublicized projects keep coming to the fore, such as 27 projects planned or proposed in the state of Connecticut alone," said Peter Asmus, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. 

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Wearable Air Pollution Monitor Wins EPA, NIH Challenge
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have picked the winning team in the My Air, My Health Challenge. The Challenge called upon teams nationwide to design a small, low-cost sensor that integrates air quality measurements with related health data, such as heart rate and breathing. Such innovations will help EPA and NIH in their work to better understand the impacts of air pollution on health. The winning team will receive a $100,000 award for developing Conscious Clothing, a wearable, real-time breathing analysis tool that calculates the amount of polluted air a person inhales. The device estimates pollution based on exposure, how deeply the person breathes and how much pollution is in the air. This data can be transmitted to any Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a cell phone.

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Unions Unite for Net Zero Energy Rehab
SAN FRANCISCO—Two electrical unions will occupy the newly opened Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Center in San Leandro, Calif. The 46,000 ft2 (4300 m2) former industrial facility is considered to be the first renovated commercial building in California to achieve net zero energy. The East Bay affiliates of the National Electrical Contractors Association, which represents electrical contractors, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union spent the past year rehabilitating the property to accommodate classrooms, office space and an auditorium and to produce more energy than it consumes. The building incorporates features such as solar power, operable windows for natural ventilation, and a light-colored roof that absorbs less heat. According to one of the developers, the ZNE Center uses about 75% less energy than a similar building of its size.

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Mississippi Mulls Energy-Efficiency Rules

JACKSON, Miss. —A number of utilities and consumer groups say they support proposed rules that would require Mississippi electric and gas utilities to implement programs to save energy. However, Mississippi Power Co. says it opposes the rules because bills could rise for customers who don't make homes or businesses more efficient. The Mississippi Public Service Commission began considering energy efficiency rules in early 2010. A number of states have adopted similar rules. If the proposed rules are adopted, utilities would be required to implement programs to improve efficiency. Those programs could include energy audits, tuning customer HVAC systems, appliance and lighting rebates, weatherizing homes, and paying builders to make them more efficient. Within three years, utilities would have to file more comprehensive plans. They would be allowed to recover the costs of implementing those plans by raising rates on all customers.

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Berkeley Lab Releases Full Version of EnergyIQ Building Energy Benchmarking Tool
BERKELEY, Calif.—Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has issued the first full public release of EnergyIQ, its Web-based benchmarking tool for non-residential buildings. The free software is designed to  improve upon typical "whole-building" energy benchmarking tools by providing benchmarking at the end-use level, and enabling users to use the benchmarking data to conduct a high-level assessment of their energy-reduction opportunities. It also provides users with decision support information to develop and refine their action plans.

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Debate Over Las Vegas Building Energy Code Isn't Staying in Vegas
LAS VEGAS—In an effort to rebuild Las Vegas' urban core, developers are extensively reconstructing older buildings. A city law requires that old buildings must first be made more energy efficient. The building code has become a model nationally for cities looking to revitalize aging urban areas. However, the code is generating debate within and beyond Las Vegas. The Las Vegas City Council will consider a councilman's proposal to exempt buildings older than four years from the law at its June 19 meeting. Because of the cost burden the energy improvements place on developers, some argue that the law discourages new investment. On the other hand, some national and local organizations, city and state government staff, and even some local developers are opposing the proposed ordinance.

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In other news...

Magnetic Refrigeration Technology Set to Break Through
New Buildings Won't Require New Power Plants Through 2030, Says Researcher
Spires, Antennas and the Race for the World's Tallest Buildings
Nanotechnology Could Become Big in the Buildings Industry
Nonresidential Construction Index Hits Record High
Bitzer Expands U.S. Presence With New 95,000 ft2 Factory in Georgia
Danfoss Signs Agreement for Large District Energy Project in China


2013 ASHRAE Annual Conference Features Research Summit, Mini-Conference
The Technical Program at the 2013 ASHRAE Annual Conference in Denver will feature a new format: special hour-long interactive sessions with audience participation, followed by a networking coffee break. Also unique to the Denver Tech Program is the newly instituted Research Summit and an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) mini-conference. The Research Summit will bring together distinguished researchers to present and discuss the latest research results, innovative research techniques and forecast future research directions. The Integrated Project Delivery mini-conference on Sunday and Monday, June 23–24, will address the evolving method of managing a design project from conceptual design through to the operation and maintenance phase. The ASHRAE Annual Conference and Technical Program will be held at the Sheraton Denver Downtown, June 22–26. The Technical Program runs June 23–26.

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Papers Sought for 2014 ASHRAE Annual Conference
ASHRAE is seeking papers for the 2014 Annual Conference in Seattle. The 2014 Conference will address broad topics in the application of technology to practice, specific applications in ground source heat pumps, O&M and indoor environmental quality, as well as new reports on research taking place worldwide. It will feature a Research Summit. Papers for the Research Summit will report on HVAC&R research with particular emphasis on high-performance building design and its role in a clean energy economy. The 2014 ASHRAE Annual Conference will be held June 28–July 2.

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Feature of the Week

HVAC Selection for Envelope-Dominated Buildings
By Ian Shapiro, P.E., Member ASHRAE; and Umit Sirt, P.E., Member ASHRAE
This article provides guidance on HVAC system selection for buildings without core zones, which are susceptible to weather impacts. Various HVAC technologies are covered, with particular attention paid to how they affect carbon emissions and EUI.

This article originally was published in October 2011. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through June 20.

After June 20, 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

Impeller From Rosenberg
INDIAN TRAIL, N.C.—Rosenberg's new LRHF-B seven-blade, backward-curved impeller is designed to provide reduced noise and increased efficiency compared to standard eight-blade impellers. The blade diameter is smaller than the outside diameter of the cover and support plate, which acts as a rotating outlet diffuser. This new wheel geometry allows for impeller efficiencies up to 78% and also improves air volume over standard impellers operating at the same speed. The impeller is available in nine sizes for use with EC motors, ac external rotor motors or standard IEC motors.

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Secondary Fluid Refrigeration Valve From Sporlan/Parker Hannifin
NEW PARIS, Ind.—The Sporlan Division of Parker Hannifin introduces the SFV Secondary Fluid Control package for use in secondary glycol refrigeration systems. The valve and controller combination allows users to set their desired case temperature. The system is designed to maintain case temperature stability within 0.5° of setpoint and reduce compressor cycling by up to 60%.

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Kitchen Exhaust System From Trion
SANFORD, N.C.—The Trion Grease Viper kitchen exhaust system is designed to treat grease, smoke, and odor emissions from exhaust ducts on commercial cooking applications. The Grease Viper can be configured with multiple stages of filtration for both particulate and odor control. It is furnished as a complete pollution control unit with automatic water-wash components for electrostatic precipitator filters, odor control section, exhaust fan, system rails, prepiped fire suppression nozzles, and necessary controls.

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