December 12, 2013: Vo. 12, No. 50 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



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Industry News

Texas to Require Fingerprinting of Engineers, Architects
AUSTIN, Texas—Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, professionals who apply for an occupational license in Texas will have to share their fingerprints with the state. Texas House Bill 1717, signed into law earlier this year, mandates that applicants seeking a license a must submit "a complete and legible set of fingerprints, on a form prescribed by the board, to the board or to the Department of Public Safety for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information." The bill amends Chapter 1051 of the Texas Occupations Code, which covers "engineering, architecture, land surveying, and related practices." The FBI would also have access to the fingerprints. The requirement applies not only to new applicants, but also to licensed professionals seeking to have their registrations renewed. Violators face a fine of up to $5,000 per day in which they are not in compliance with the new law.

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Large Companies Seeing Carbon Tax in Their Financial Futures
WASHINGTON—Nearly 30 of the largest corporations in the United States, including the five major oil companies, are planning their future growth with the expectation that the federal government will force them to pay a price for carbon pollution as a way to control climate change. A new report by the environmental data company CDP has found that at least 29 companies, including ExxonMobil, Walmart and American Electric Power, are incorporating a price on carbon into their long-term financial plans. Both supporters and opponents of action to fight climate change say the development is significant because businesses that chart a financial course to make money in a carbon-constrained future could be more inclined to support policies that address climate change.

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2014 AHR Expo Already Largest Northeast Show
WESTPORT, Conn.—With several weeks still remaining before the 2014 AHR Expo in New York, January 21–23, the expo's management company has announced that the event will be the largest HVAC&R exposition ever held in the Northeast. More than 1,800 exhibiting companies have already reserved 387,000 ft2 (36 000 m2) of booth space, exceeding the previous-highest exhibit space reserved for the 2008 AHR Expo in New York by nearly 6%. According to Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company, which produces and manages the AHR Expo, attendee preregistration numbers and hotel room reservations are both running significantly ahead of the 2008 AHR Expo at the same point in time before the Show. The 2008 AHR Expo attracted nearly 58,000 total visitors, including exhibitor personnel. A record-breaking 39,000 attendees came from more than 138 countries.

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One Angel Square Stakes Claim as 'World's Greenest Building'
MANCHESTER, UK—The new headquarters of the Co-operative Group has received the highest score ever given by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in its BREEAM rating system. BRE cited several sustainable features that led to the building's 95.16 score. The building's double-skinned facade and open atrium are key to creating natural heating, cooling and lighting. The atrium floods the building’s interior with light, and the facade helps minimize heating and cooling loads. In summer, louvers at the top of the facade will open to allow the warmed air trapped between its inner and outer skins to rise out of the building. In winter, the louvers will close so the facade can form an insulated blanket around the building. Also, the building has its own source of heat and power generation through a combined heat and power plant. The Co-operative Group is a seven-million-member British consumer cooperative.

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Solar Panel Installer to Back Up Panels With Tesla Batteries
NEW YORK—Solar panel installer SolarCity is addressing one of solar power's big drawbacks: the sun doesn't always shine. They will provide big battery packs that will provide backup power. The batteries will be supplied by electric car maker Tesla Motors, whose CEO, Elon Musk, is also the chairman of SolarCity. The batteries will be offered first to commercial customers because of the way many commercial electric bills are calculated. SolarCity is also conducting a pilot program in California for homeowners, but because residential bills are calculated differently—and the batteries are so expensive—it could be years before batteries make financial sense for homes.

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In other news...

Siemens, Lutron Partner on BACnet®-Based Lighting, Building Automation System
U.S. Senators Say Energy Star Program Lacks Transparency
Australian Apartment Tenants Win Lawsuit Over Faulty Air Conditioning
Honeywell Invests $300 Million to Increase Production of HFO-1234yf in U.S.
U.S. EPA Updates Sustainability Plan


ASHRAE Publishes 2013 Version of Thermal Comfort Standard
Major revisions for design and measurement of comfortable spaces are included in the newly published ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2013, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy. The 2013 version adds 18 addenda to the 2010 standard. Sections 4 and 5 specify methods to determine thermal environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, air speed and radiant effects) in buildings and other spaces that a significant proportion of the occupants will find acceptable at a certain metabolic rate and clothing level. Section 7 of the standard includes new requirements for the measurement and evaluation of existing thermal environments and is also applicable to commissioning. In addition, the standard has been rewritten with a renewed focus on application by practitioners and use of clear, enforceable language. Requirements are now clearly stated and calculation procedures appear sequentially.

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All ASHRAE Certification Exams to be Given During Winter Conference
All six of ASHRAE’s certification exams will be administered as part of the 2014 ASHRAE Winter Conference in New York. The exams will be administered Jan. 23, 2014. The deadline to apply for the exams is Jan. 3, 2014. ASHRAE’s certification programs recognize industry professionals who have mastered the knowledge and skills reflecting best practices in certain aspects of building design and operations. ASHRAE has certified more than 1,600 HVAC&R professionals.

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Feature of the Week

Saving Energy by Insulating Pipe Components on Steam & Hot Water Distribution
By Gordon H. Hart, Member ASHRAE
In most mechanical and boiler rooms, pipes and fittings such as elbows and tees are insulated with conventional pipe insulation. However, according to the author, the components are either only partially insulated or totally uninsulated. This lack of proper insulation wastes energy, creates health and safety issues, produces unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions, and, in unventilated mechanical rooms, the resulting high air temperatures create a stressful work environment. In this article, the author discusses simple solutions to improper insulation and a means of estimating the energy savings.

This article originally was published in October 2011. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Dec. 26.

After Dec. 26, 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 online store.

Product News

Geothermal Heat Pump From WaterFurnace
FORT WAYNE, Ind.—WaterFurnace offers the 7 Series 700A11 geothermal heat pump. The 7 Series delivers efficiency ratings that surpass both 41 EER and 5.3 COP, twice that of traditional heat pumps and 30% higher than conventional geothermal units. The unit uses a soft-start variable capacity compressor along with a variable speed ECM blower and variable speed loop pump. This allows the unit to scale output to exactly the level needed. It also can ramp down to 20% of normal operation for highly efficient conditioning, or up to 130% output, using SuperBoost technology, for periods when extra cooling is needed.

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Visual IR Thermometer From Fluke
EVERETT, Wash.—The Fluke VT04 visual IR thermometer features the company's PyroBlend Plus technology for sharper images and a better field of view in tight spaces. The device also features three alarms and automated monitoring technology that takes images at a set duration or when a temperature alarm has been triggered.

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Rooftop Units From Luxaire/Johnson Controls
MILWAUKEE—The new Eclipse rooftop units from the Luxaire brand of Johnson Controls are designed to match the footprints of other manufacturers’ units, simplifying installation and eliminating the need for a curb adapter. The units feature microprocessor control technology with an LCD display, USB interface and digital diagnostic readouts of information on unit status, start up and commissioning, as well as supply, return and outdoor air temperatures. Additional features include single or dual scroll compressors and dynamically balanced indoor and outdoor fans.

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