October 10, 2013: Vol. 12, No. 40 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



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Industry News

2013 Version of Standard 90.1 Published
Changes to requirements for building envelope, lighting, mechanical and the energy cost budget are contained in the newly published ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The 2013 version incorporates 110 addenda. Changes include stricter requirements for opaque elements and fenestration, improvements to daylighting and daylighting controls requirements, and increased efficiency requirements for heat pumps, packaged terminal air conditioners, single package vertical heat pumps and evaporative condensers. Also, fan efficiency requirements are introduced for the first time. The committee revising the standard is working toward a goal of making 90.1 40% to 50% more stringent than the 2004 standard.

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Most Heating Bills To Rise This Winter
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) forecast Oct. 8 that most households will pay more for heat this winter. Heating oil users will catch a slight break, but still pay near-record prices to keep warm. Prices for natural gas, electricity and propane should be higher, the primary reason that more than 90% of homes will incur higher heating expenses. Homes using natural gas for heat will pay about $679. That is about 13% higher than a year ago but still 4% below the average for the previous five winters. Homes relying on electricity for heat, about 38% of the U.S., will likely pay about 2% more for heat compared with last year.

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Battery-Stored Solar Power Sparks Backlash From Utilities
SUNNYVALE, Calif.—California’s three largest utilities are opposed to systems that store solar energy. Edison International (EIX), PG&E Corp. and Sempra Energy (SRE) said they’re putting up hurdles to some battery backups wired to solar panels because they can’t be certain the power flowing back to the grid from the units is actually clean energy. The dispute threatens the state’s $2 billion rooftop solar industry and indicates the depth of utilities’ concerns about consumers producing their own power. People with rooftop panels are already buying less electricity, and adding storage batteries takes them closer to the point they won’t need to buy from local utilities at all, said Ben Peters, a government affairs analyst at Mainstream Energy, which installs solar systems.

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D.C. Hospital Worker Dies From AC Fumes
WASHINGTON—An employee of MedStar Washington Hospital Center died recently after reportedly being overcome by fumes from air-conditioning equipment. As many as four other people were treated after the leak of what is believed to be Freon. The employee had gone to a mechanical room in response to a request to fix the air conditioning. A hospital spokeswoman said the building where the leak occurred was an annex that houses mostly offices and a small number of patients. Some of them were evacuated for a time.

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Medical Facility Receives Perfect Energy Star Score
DANVILLE, Pa.—A medical facility in a small eastern Pennsylvania town has received a perfect score on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) test that certifies energy efficiency. "We thought we’d do well, but we didn’t think we’d score 100," said Al Neuner, vice president of facilities operation for Geisinger Health System. A graded facility receives EPA’s Energy Star certification if it achieves a score of 70 or higher. Neuner estimated that only three or four other facilities in the U.S. have received a perfect score. A turbine cogeneration unit plays a key role in Geisinger Medical Center’s energy efficiency. The turbine engine, which began operation in January 2012, provides 5 MW, which is about half the power used by the medical center campus.

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Electrical 'Meltdowns' Delaying Opening of NSA Data Center
BLUFFDALE, Utah—The National Security Agency (NSA) has suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to hardware at its $1.7 billion, 65 MW Utah data center over the past 13 months. Frequent electrical meltdowns are the culprit for the setbacks, which have pushed back the facility's opening by a year according to news reports. Army Corps of Engineers officials have had significant difficulty pinpointing the cause of the meltdowns. The data center has been hit with at least 10 of them, and investigations have only resulted in satisfactory explanations for two incidents. The most recent electrical problem occurred last month, and each reportedly causes as much as $100,000 in damage. Described as "a flash of lightning inside a 2-ft box," the meltdowns have involved explosions, melted metal components, and caused numerous circuits to fail.

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In other news...

New Calif. Law May Cut Use of Flame Retardants in Buildings
Energy Efficiency Focus of Educational Sessions, Products at 2014 AHR Expo
Developing Nations Want Alternatives Before Phasing Out HFCs
Carrier Transicold Celebrates 45 Years, Approaching Millionth Unit
DuPont Reaches Settlement in Chinese Refrigerant Counterfeiting Case
Greenheck to Build 150,000 ft2 Manufacturing Facility
Nest Introduces 'Smart' Fire Alarm
Renewed Optimism in Global Construction Industry, Says KPMG Survey
Entries Sought for 'Beyond Green' Awards
Seattle Engineer Builds 182 ft2 'Dream Home'


2014 ASHRAE Winter Conference Inspired by NYC Skyline
New York City’s skyline will serve as the backdrop for the 2014 ASHRAE Winter Conference. With a focus on the design, development and operation of tall buildings, the Conference’s Technical Program examines themes relevant to New York. In addition, it will cover the basics of HVAC systems, refrigeration and many other topics significant to the building industry. The Technical Program features more than 200 sessions. Two tracks of note are Tall Buildings, which will examine opportunities in the design, development and operation of tall and super-tall buildings; and International Design, which will address innovative design strategies to meet environmental elements, geography and cultures. The 2014 Winter Conference will be held Jan. 18–22 at the New York Hilton.

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Feature of the Week

Integrated Design & UFAD
By Eduard Cubi Montanya, Student Member ASHRAE; David Keith, Ph.D.; and Jim Love, Ph.D., P. Eng., Member ASHRAE
According to the authors, the potential benefits of underfloor air-distribution (UFAD) systems include improved ventilation effectiveness, occupant satisfaction with thermal comfort and energy performance, as well as increased ease of reconfiguration. Unlike "drop-in" innovations (such as higher efficiency motors) success with UFAD depends on many participants other than mechanical engineers. In this article, the authors identify the roles of important participants, and suggest a design and construction approach, including commissioning provisions, that addresses these differences to provide greater assurance of achieving the potential benefits of UFAD.

This article originally was published in July 2009. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Oct. 24.

After Oct. 24, 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

Building Automation Control Software From Automated Logic Corp. (ALC)
KENNESAW, Ga.—Automated Logic Corp. (ALC), announces the release of the latest version of WebCTRL BACnet® advanced operator workstation software (B-AWS). In addition to desktop support, version 6 enables users to control their WebCTRL systems from iOS-, Android- and Windows-based tablets. In addition, the user interface has been completely redesigned from previous versions and includes larger buttons, user-friendly icons and simplified alarm management. A new multi-trend display renders historical data and provides controls to help diagnose building system performance.

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Axial Fans From ebm-papst
FARMINGTON, Conn.—AxiCool fans from ebm-papst are available with AC and energy-efficient GreenTech EC motors in a variety of sizes for cooling units and evaporators in supermarkets and similar applications. The fans feature a heating band in the two-part hollow wall ring. The hollow chamber in the wall ring reduces the entry of heat into the evaporator’s refrigeration chamber. Therefore, heat is generated where it is needed and ice formation between the axial impellers and the wall ring is prevented.

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Redundant VFD From Franklin Control Systems
HILLSBORO, Ore.—Franklin Control Systems (formerly Cerus Industrial) offers the Redundant Drive Panel (RDP), a redundant variable frequency drive designed to provide an economical HVAC motor control solution that maintains full control of an application if the primary drive fails. In the event of a failure, the backup VFD continues to run, using the same control signal as the primary drive.

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