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Industry News High-Tech Pizza Breaks the Cold Chain
NATICK, Mass.—Researchers at a U.S. military laboratory are getting closer to perfecting what some call the "holy grail" of food preparation: a pizza that stays edible for up to three years and does not require refrigeration or freezing. Military researchers over the past few years have figured out ways to prevent moisture from migrating. That includes using ingredients called humectants—sugar, salt and syrups—that bind to water and keep it from getting to the dough. However, that alone would not help the pizza remain fresh for three years at 80°F (27°C), so scientists tweaked the acidity of the sauce, cheese and dough to make it harder for oxygen and bacteria to thrive. They also added iron filings to the package to absorb any air remaining in the pouch.
Alliance Seeks to Add HFCs to Montreal Protocol ARLINGTON, Va.—The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy (Alliance) has submitted a petition for rulemaking to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The request seeks to include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the provisions of Title VI, Section 608 of the Clean Air Act intended to reduce refrigerant gas emissions. According to the Alliance, including HFCs would reduce HFC emissions by 15%–20% in the United States. Title VI, Section 608 already includes requirements for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). Also, the Alliance has offered its support for the negotiation of an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to curtail the global growth of greenhouse gas emissions from HFCs. The North American Amendment (NAA) would include HFCs under the mechanisms of the Montreal Protocol and mandate a gradual phasedown in their use.
Click here to read about the new Alliance board.
Click here to read about the Alliance petition to have HFCs included in the Clean Air Act.
Click here to read about the Alliance's support for the NAA of the Montreal Protocol.
Submerging Supercomputers Helps Solve Energy Issue TOKYO—Some operators of supercomputers are submerging their machines in liquids, without causing any apparent damage, to keep them from overheating. Advocates say the practice, called immersion or submersion cooling, could solve one of the biggest challenges of the digital economy: reducing the air-conditioning bills and environmental strains of power-hungry servers and supercomputers that crunch ever-increasing amounts of data. A prototype supercomputer called Tsubame KFC at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, which is submerged in a tank of mineral oil, is 50% more powerful than an older supercomputer at the institute but uses the same amount of energy. Unlike water, neither mineral oil nor liquid fluoroplastics conduct electricity, which minimizes the risk of short-circuiting the equipment.
Basic Technologies Yield 'Cool' Gadgets for Future of HVAC&R
ZURICH—GE researchers have developed a new type of refrigeration technology using magnets that is more environment-friendly and is predicted to be 20% to 30% more efficient that current technology. It is believed the technology could be in widespread use in household refrigerators by the end of the decade. Magnetic refrigeration is not a new idea—there have been attempts to use the magnetocaloric effect for refrigeration since the 1880s. Meanwhile, an even more common "technology"—evaporation—is being used for another "cool" idea. The Cold Pot, designed by Thibault Faverie, looks like it’s made for plants, but it is actually designed to cool a room using about half a gallon of water. The water gets sucked into the inside of the pot where it migrates to the outside surface and slowly evaporates on contact with air. This cools down the aluminum pipe inside and a small fan blows the cool air out. The Cold Pot is not yet available for sale.
Read more about GE's magnetic refrigeration project.
Read more about the Cold Pot.
China Exceeds U.S. on Smart Grid Investments
NEW YORK—China spent more on smart grids than the U.S. for the first time in 2013, with the $4.3 billion it invested accounting for almost a third of the world’s total. Global spending rose almost 5% to $14.9 billion, according to data released this week by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). North American investment declined as much as 33% to $3.6 billion. Asian and European markets will drive growth through 2020, while in North America the focus will continue to shift from hardware to software as utilities look to squeeze additional value out of the vast amounts of grid data now available, said Colin McKerracher, a senior analyst on smart technologies for energy at BNEF.
Louisiana Ordered to Air Condition Death Row
ANGOLA, La.—Louisiana corrections officials are proposing the installation of air conditioning on the Louisiana State Penitentiary's death row tiers, after a federal judge ruled the heat levels there subjected inmates to "cruel and unusual punishment." The five-page "heat remediation plan," submitted to U.S. District Court Judge Brian A. Jackson on Feb. 17, provided an outline of the prison's new proposed air-conditioning system. The climate control system will be made up of a ten-ton AC unit per tier and is meant to keep the heat index on the tiers at or below 88°F (31°C). The heat remediation plan is a direct response to Jackson’s Dec. 2013 order that the state draft a plan to lower heat indices inside death row. The plan did not detail the cost or construction deadline of the new system. The state is appealing Jackson’s ruling, saying it will affect every correctional facility in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi, and not just death-row inmates.
ASHRAE News New ASHRAE, Green Grid Publication Provides Background on PUE
ASHRAE and The Green Grid have published a new guide on Power Use Effectiveness (PUE), the industry-preferred and globally adopted metric for measuring the energy efficiency of data centers. For the book PUE™:A Comprehensive Examination of the Metric, all previously published material related to PUE was consolidated and augmented with new material. The content includes detailed information on procedures for calculating, reporting and analyzing PUE measurements, plus quick references to other resources in print and online. “Our primary goal is to provide the data center industry with unbiased, vendor neutral data in an understandable and actionable way and this latest publication on the PUE metric does exactly that,” said Don Beaty, publication subcommittee chair of ASHRAE Technical Committee 9.9. The book is available for purchase in print and as a PDF for download.
Feb. 26 Deadline for Presenters for Simulation Conference
The call for presenters for the 2014 ASHRAE/IBPSA-USA Building Simulation Conference has been extended to Feb. 26, 2014. The call for presenters is focused on the theme “BIM (building information modeling), BEM (building energy modeling) and SIM (simulation)—Integrated Building Design and Modeling.” This will be addressed through five tracks. According to Dennis Knight, conference chair, the conference seeks to provide answers for practitioners and address weaknesses in the energy modeling and building simulation industry. A 400-word abstract addressing a specific topic and speaker background information are required. The conference, which merges the ASHRAE Energy Modeling and IBPSA-USA SimBuild Conferences, will be held Sept. 10–12 in Atlanta.
Feature of the Week Securing a Control Systems Network
By Carl Neilson, Associate Member ASHRAE
There has been recent news about security breaches in control systems. This article outlines a number of threats that should be considered and methods for mitigating those threats. The protocol-agnostic approaches outlined in this article are intended to provide a level of security that is acceptable for most installations and will do this with standard IT technologies.
This article originally was published in BACnet® Today and the Smart Grid, a supplement to ASHRAE Journal, in November 2013. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through March 7.
After March 7, 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.
Hybrid Heating/Cooling/Ventilation System From Swegon
MINNEAPOLIS—Swegon announces the North-American launch of the ADAPT Parasol comfort module, a hybrid product combining chilled beam and demand control ventilation technologies. The product is designed to supply a room with ventilation air, cooling and heating. It features an integral smart room controller that calculates the demand for cooling, heating and ventilation air based on occupancy, room temperature and other inputs to adapt exactly to current ventilation, cooling and heating requirements.
Natatorium Dehumidification System From Seresco
OTTAWA, Ontario—Seresco introduces the NV series indoor swimming pool environment control system, designed for environments in which humidity can be effectively controlled by ventilation. It features compact, corrosion resistant heat recovery designed to ensure maximum energy efficiency without risk of freezing.
Sustainable Building Book
ITHACA, N.Y.—The new book Building Construction Illustrated, by architect Francis D.K. Ching and Ian M. Shapiro, Member ASHRAE, provides a graphical presentation to the theory, practices, and complexities of sustainable design using an approach that proceeds methodically from the outside to the inside of a building. The authors cover all aspects of sustainability, providing a framework and detailed strategies to design buildings that are substantively green. The book begins with an explanation of the need to build "green," the theories behind sustainable building and current rating systems. The book then transitions to a comprehensive discussion of topics including site selection, passive design using building shape, water conservation, ventilation and air quality, heating and cooling, minimum-impact materials, etc.
Click here to learn more and to purchase the book.
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