October 17, 2013: Vol. 12, No. 41 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



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Industry News

Architects Use 3-D Printer to Create Full-Size Room
ZURICH—Two Swiss architects have created a 3-D printed room using algorithms to design its intricate cathedral-like interior. Assembled from 64 massive separate sandstone parts printed out with a huge 3-D printer, the room contains 260 million surfaces printed at a resolution of a tenth of a millimeter. The 11-ton room took a month to print but only a day to assemble. The architects believe the fabrication methods will open the door to printing architecture, enabling architects to create previously unimaginable buildings.

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Supreme Court to Review EPA Regulation of GHGs
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 15 agreed to examine whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exceeded its authority when it sought to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants under the Clean Air Act. The high court said it would take up six of nine separate petitions filed with the court seeking review of the agency’s actions. More than 70 business groups and public policy organizations, plus 13 states, filed petitions asking the Supreme Court to review various aspects of the EPA’s new regulations. However, it declined to hear petitions challenging the EPA’s "endangerment" finding—that greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health and welfare. That finding triggered EPA to move forward with its greenhouse gas regulations.

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Revision to IECC Adds New Energy-Efficiency Compliance Path
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.—The International Code Council (ICC) at its recent Annual Conference approved a proposal that adds a new optional compliance pathway to the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). RE-188 will allow builders to comply by using an energy rating index (ERI), such as the Home Energy Rating System (HERS), to meet the code’s energy-saving goals instead of having to install many prescriptive energy efficiency measures specified by the code. Approximately 40% of new homes are already rated using HERS, which is used for compliance in other programs such as the new homes tax credit and Energy Star.

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Popularity Lowering for Raising Data Center Floors
ALPHARETTA, Ga.—The raised floor has long been a staple of data center design. However, that is changing, according to an article in Data Center Journal. According to Uptime Institute, 90% of companies running data centers use raised floors. However, there is an ongoing shift toward using slabs instead. Uptime Institute says that only about 48% of companies plan to use raised floors for future data centers. One of the main reason for the change is cooling efficiency. The general consensus is that a raised-floor design cannot meet the cooling needs of higher-density deployments.

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Professor Taking Sustainable Living to the Dumpster
AUSTIN, Texas—An environmental science professor at Huston Tillotson University is fulfilling his two year dream to live out an educational experiment in low-impact living by moving into a dumpster. His 33 ft2 (3 m2) residence will serve as a classroom, with students spending a year making it livable and environmentally sound. After sanitizing and and safety-testing the used dumpster, the professor and his students will install air conditioning, lights and a toilet. It's inefficiency will be carefully tracked in order to develop a baseline. He plans to gradually improve the dumpster's energy efficiency with features such as energy-efficient bulbs, nano-insulation and energy-producing toilets.

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In other news...

ACEEE Highlights Energy-Efficiency 'Game Changers'
Carmaker Research Group Reports 'Significant Progress' on Alternative to R-1234yf
Dust From Vacuum Cleaners a Disease Vector, Says Study
New Study Predicts 'Unprecedented' Heat Waves by Middle of Century
'FLEXLABS' Around World Develop Full-Scale Mock-Ups of Green-Building Systems
New Construction Starts Climb 13% in Latest Monthly Data From McGraw-Hill Construction
Cost a Deterrent for LEED for Hospitals

Feature of the Week

Improving Humidity Control With Energy Recovery Ventilation
By John Dieckmann, Member ASHRAE
Energy recovery ventilation (ERV) generally is thought of as an energy-saving measure. The technology uses the exhaust air from a building to precondition incoming ventilation air, with only the small energy penalty of the blower power to overcome the pressure drop in the ERV. According to the author, ERV systems can address sensible heat ratio (SHR)
issues by allowing standard unitary packaged cooling equipment to closely match building SHR, while conserving energy and reducing peak demand.

This article originally was published in August 2008. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Oct. 31.

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Product News

Commercial Thermostats From Venstar
CHATSWORTH, Calif.—Venstar has added the Supply Air Alert feature to its ColorTouch line of commercial and residential thermostats. With the Supply Air Alert feature, users can receive an email alert when the supply air temperature is not adequate to meet set temperature limits. The technology provides an early indicator of a possible malfunction or failure of an HVAC system, enabling users to troubleshoot their HVAC units immediately.

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Microchannel Heat Pump From Tappan
ST. LOUIS—Tappan introduces the FT4BE heat pump, which features microchannel condensing coils. Microchannel coils have a more consistent design than traditional tube-in-fin coils, making them more resistant to damage. Also, the coils use around 42% less refrigerant than conventional coils. In addition, microchannel coils are more compact, which reduces the weight and height of the condensing unit.

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Refrigerant Compressor From TORAD Engineering
ALPHARETTA, Ga.—TORAD Engineering offers the Spool Compressor refrigerant compressor, which uses TORAD’s patented Spool Machine technology. It features the “Eccentric Cam,” which controls the rotating gate’s position and maintains a near-zero constant distance between the distal end of the rotating gate and the stator bore, which allows the compressor to scale across large capacity and speed ranges.

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