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Industry News Space Station's Cooling System Is About More Than Thermal Comfort
HOUSTON—The International Space Station's cooling system has made headlines after its recent failure and subsequent attempts to fix it. According to NASA, International Space Station temperature control is a critical system that keeps the station livable and enables important scientific equipment to conduct the microgravity research that is the station’s primary purpose. The station has two external cooling loops. The two loops circulate ammonia outside the station through large radiators to keep the station cool. When major abnormalities develop, some equipment is moved to the other loop for cooling and other equipment powered down. Such a failure doesn’t place the crew in any immediate danger nor does it necessarily disrupt activities. It does remove redundancy, which could make a second failure a more serious concern. The station experiences fluctuations in temperatures from around 200°F (93°C) when the station is exposed to the sun to about –200°F (–129°C) over the night side of the Earth. Heat is generated by various equipment on board, and controlled by passive measures—insulation, thermal coatings, heaters and heat pipes—and by an active thermal control system.
Click here to read more about the cooling system and for a video update on the cooling loop issue from the NASA ISS Mission Operations integration manager.
Long Payback for Triple-Pane Windows
RICHLAND, Wash.—Highly insulating triple-pane windows are effective at maintaining indoor comfort, but it takes two decades or more for the windows to pay off financially based on utility-bill savings, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). For the study, the PNNL team studied the effect of replacing aluminum-frame double-pane windows, which are common in homes across the United States, with newer, triple-pane windows, also known as highly insulating windows. The team found that the newer windows reduce energy use in the home by 12.2%. But because of the cost of the highly insulating windows, it would take anywhere from 23 to 55 years for the reduced energy cost to make up for the increased expense. The report was presented at the recent Buildings XII Conference, sponsored by ASHRAE.
Ozone Hole Won't Fully Recover Until 2070, Says NASA
GREENBELT, Md.—The hole in the ozone layer is stabilizing but will take until about 2070 to fully recover, according to new research by NASA scientists. Levels of chlorine in the atmosphere are falling as a result of actions implemented as a result of the Montreal Protocol, but have not yet dropped below the threshold necessary to have a shrinking effect on the ozone hole that forms each year over Antarctica, according to scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Year-to-year variations in temperature and winds, which each year carry ozone from the tropics to polar regions, are the driving factors in the size of the hole.
Report Identifies Possible Asthma-Causing Chemicals in Building Materials
WASHINGTON—Substances that could lead to asthma are readily present in many common building materials, according to a new report by the Healthy Building Network (HBN). The report, "Full Disclosure Required: A Strategy to Prevent Asthma Through Building Product Selection," released Dec. 11, identifies twenty "top priority" asthmagens in nine chemical groups that are used in building materials and have high likelihood of occupant exposure. The asthmagens are found in foam insulation, paints, adhesives, floors and carpets, and other interior materials to which building occupants routinely come into contact by touch or inhalation. However, the association between these chemicals and the onset of asthma is indirect and the chemicals do not meet current clinical criteria to be designated as asthmagens. Therefore, authorities such as the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) cannot list them as such.
Click here to read the HBN report.
Walgreens Opens Net Zero Energy Store
EVANSTON, Ill.—Walgreens recently opened what it believes to be the nation’s first net zero energy retail store, anticipated to produce energy equal to or greater than it consumes. The store features two 35 ft (10.7 m) wind turbines, nearly 850 solar panels and a geothermal system burrowed 550 ft (168 m) into the ground. Additional "green" features include LED lighting and daylight harvesting, and use of carbon dioxide as a refrigerant for heating, cooling and refrigeration equipment.
Next Edition of HVAC&R Industry Will Be Jan. 2
This edition of The HVAC&R Industry is the last for 2013. Our next edition will be Jan. 2. We have enjoyed producing this weekly newsletter in 2013. Your suggestions and feedback are always welcome. We hope you have a happy and healthy 2014.
— The ASHRAE Journal team.
ASHRAE News ASHRAE Commissioning Guideline Open for Public Comment
ASHRAE is developing a guideline that addresses the commissioning process. The guideline is now open for public input. ASHRAE Guideline 0.2P, The Commissioning Process for Existing Systems and Assemblies, describes the procedures, methods, documentation, requirements and physical activities of the commissioning process for existing buildings, systems and assemblies using the principles developed in ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005, The Commissioning Process. The proposed guideline is open for public comment until Jan. 20, 2014.
Call for Presentations ASHRAE Seeks Presentations for Developing Economies Conference
Presentations are sought for a conference that will focus on the design, construction and operation of buildings in developing economies. Organized by ASHRAE along with the Philippines Chapter, the Efficient, High Performance Buildings for Developing Economies Conference will take place April 24–25, 2014, in Manila. Presenter proposals are due Jan. 31, 2014. A 400-word abstract addressing a specific topic and speaker background information are required. Presentations of case studies, preferably with actual performance data, are of most interest. The conference is cosponsored by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and endorsed by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO).
Feature of the Week Geothermal Central System
By Thomas H. Durkin, P.E., Member ASHRAE; and Keith E. Cecil, P.E., Member ASHRAE
According to the authors, The next generation of geothermal systems for school buildings is a recent synthesis of three technologies that separately have proven to be effective: geothermal (earth-coupled) heating and cooling; dedicated heat recovery chillers; and the modern two-pipe HVAC system. The authors contend that geothermal, however it is used, is considerably more efficient than conventional heating or cooling options.
This article originally was published in August 2007. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Jan. 2, 2014.
After Jan. 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 Thermal Imaging Cameras From FLIR
NASHUA, N.H.—FLIR introduces the E Series line of thermal imaging cameras that feature the company's MSX thermal image enhancement technology. MSX adds key details from the onboard visible light camera to the entire infrared image in real time. This results in an all-in-one thermal picture with numbers, labels, and other structural features intact so users can immediately recognize where the heat issue is.
DOAS From Mitsubishi Electric
SUWANEE, Ga.—Mitsubishi Electric US Cooling & Heating Division offers the CITY MULTI VRF dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS), designed to supply outdoor ventilation air to a building independent of the HVAC air distribution or conditioning system. The DOAS preconditions outside air for introduction into downstream HVAC units, lessening the load on HVAC systems. Therefore, the HVAC systems have to work less to condition the air when used in conjunction with the DOAS.
VOC Sensors From BAPI
GAYS MILLS, Wis.—BAPI Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) sensors let building owners use their existing CO2-based demand controlled ventilation algorithm while measuring hundreds of potentially harmful indoor air contaminants. The sensors are designed for applications such as laboratories, gymnasiums, pools and welding facilities.
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