The latest HVACR news and industry updates.
DOWN: Global energy demand for air conditioners is expected to triple by 2050, according to a report by the International Energy Agency.
UP: Siemens Building Technology acquires Enlighted Inc., incorporating Enlighted's digital sensory systems into its smart building solutions.
DOWN: The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a technician shortage of 70,000 in the HVACR industry, with a need for 115,000 new HVACR professionals to meet the demand within the next four years.
UP: Danfoss partners with Sustainable Energy for All to advance universal access to energy efficient services and encourage the use of renewable energy sources.
UP: The global intelligent building market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 19.6% over a six-year period, reaching $42,649 million by 2024, according to a report by Allied Market Research.
UP: According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the HVAC controls market is expected to increase at a CAGR of 12.1% between 2018 and 2023—from $13.63 billion in 2018 to $27.04 billion in 2023.
UP: Ingersoll Rand and Mitsubishi Electric establish a joint venture to provide ductless and VRF systems in the U.S. and select countries in Latin America.
INDUSTRY SHAKEUPS & PROMOTIONS
Johnson Controls International recently elected Jean Blackwell to serve on the board of directors. Blackwell previously served as the executive vice president of corporate responsibility and chief executive officer of the Cummins Foundation. “She will provide strong leadership because of her broad experience leading global functions at Cummins and her role serving on the boards of Celanese Corporation and Ingevity Corporation,” says George Oliver, chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls.
CoolSys Energy Solutions appointed Anthony Tippins as the new president of the company. Tippins has more than 25 years of industry experience after founding Axiom Energy Solutions, which CoolSys recently acquired. “Anthony is a proven and well-respected leader in the energy solutions market,” says Adam Coffey, CEO and president of CoolSys. “We are confident he is the right leader to combine and leverage the existing CoolSys Energy Solutions resources with those of the recently acquired Axiom resources into an even more progressive and effective energy-saving solutions business for our customers.”
LG Electronics USA named Carl Barnard director of controls sales. He will be working to expand LG’s controls platforms. The former vice president of sales and marketing at Energy Metrics will bring more than 30 years of industry experience in controls engineering, project management, and sales to his role at LG. “Carl’s broad experience in the controls market will take our leadership in this arena to the next level,” says Kevin McNamara, senior vice president and general manager of air conditioning technologies at LG.
LARGEST INDOOR AIR QUALITY EXPERIMENT IN THE US
The Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin hosted a monthlong experiment in July to identify the causes of indoor air pollution. More than 15 research groups from 13 universities participated in House Observations of Microbial and Environmental Chemistry, or HOMEChem.
“While much of the attention has been focused on outdoor air pollution, many engineers and scientists have devoted their careers to better understanding the factors affecting indoor air quality,” says Lea Hildebrandt Ruiz, one of the key players in the experiment. Researchers assessed the impact of everyday activities like cooking and cleaning on indoor air quality. Results will be shared through publications and presentations at national and international meetings. news.utexas.edu
OPTEON REFRIGERANTS TO SUPPORT NHL GREENER RINKS INITIATIVE
The National Hockey League (NHL) and The Chemours Company are partnering to provide cost-effective, sustainable refrigerants to hockey rinks across North America. In support of the NHL Greener Rinks Initiative and the 2018 NHL Sustainability Report assessing the environmental impact of the league, the partnership will provide community rink owners and operators with Opteon sustainable refrigerant solutions, a non- ozone depleting and low global warming potential alternative to HFCs, which are being phased down through the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
For community rink owners and operators, several factors need to be considered when selecting refrigerants and refrigeration systems—including equipment age, installation and ongoing maintenance cost, safety, performance, and energy efficiency of the new fluid. The partnership and opportunity to use Opteon refrigerants will provide options for community rinks across North America that are faced with the need to address environmental regulations, while also maintaining or improving system performance and providing solutions for more sustainable, cost-effective business practices. chemours.com
FACEBOOK & NORTEK PARTNER FOR SUSTAINABLE DATA CENTER COOLING
Facebook is partnering with Nortek Air Solutions, a custom air handler systems provider, to implement a new innovation in data center cooling systems. Nortek’s patented StatePoint Technology is designed to improve energy and water efficiency as the data center market continues to grow.
The StatePoint system uses a liquid- to-air exchanger, where water evaporates through a membrane separation layer to cool the data center. The liquid-to- air membrane exchanger prevents cross contamination between the water and air streams. With the addition of a pre-cooling coil, the system can maintain required cooling water and temperatures in humid climates without supplemental condenser based cooling.
This process reduces water consumption by 20% in hot and humid climates and by 90% in cooler climates when compared to other indirect cooling systems. The technology provides Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) equal to or better than direct evaporative cooling. Nortek Air Solutions has been working on this project with the Facebook engineering team since 2015 to develop a cooling solution to resolve the sustainability issues that face large data centers. nortek.com
APRILAIRE PATENTS WHOLE-HOME VENTILATION LOGIC
Aprilaire recently patented a new ventilation logic that provides a way for homebuilders to satisfy ventilation code requirements while also providing the most energy-efficient operation by ventilating without introducing overly hot and humid or cold and dry air to the home.The Model 8120X Fresh Air Controller optimizes when and how long to ventilate the home based on weather conditions and the indoor relative humidity, featuring temperature and humidity lockouts for more efficient, code-compliant fresh air delivery.
The patent includes the system and method for adjusting fractional on-time and cycle time to compensate for weather extremes and meet ventilation requirements. Ventilation with this logic lessens the burden on HVAC systems and positively impacts energy efficiency, meaning home buyers also reap the rewards of this new product by occupying a healthier home with improved indoor air quality and lower utility bills. This logic is now used in all Aprilaire ventilation products and the 8120X control. aprilaire.com
BOSCH UNVEILS NEW AIR CONDITIONING LABORATORY
Bosch Thermotechnology’s newest headquarters in Massachusetts has its first air conditioning laboratory, which will be used to test and improve the performance, sound, and connectivity of AC units in-house as well as at the Bosch Experience Center for visitors to learn about the different products Bosch offers.
The lab focuses on three areas: a psychrometric lab measures the performance of air conditioning units in multiple configurations, a noise vibration harshness lab measures the sound of the units to determine what adjustments will achieve a quieter product, and an electronics lab measures, tests, and simulates the behavior and performance of the connected units’ electronic device software. Incorporating these labs in the same space as the new headquarters will accelerate the product development process by providing highly accurate field data in real time. bosch-climate.us
DOWN: The Trump administration set steep tariffs on imported manufacturing materials: 25% on all steel imports and 10% on aluminum.
UP: Johnson Controls acquired Triatek, a leading manufacturer of safe and energy-efficient airflow products for critical environments.
DOWN: The International Energy Agency announced greenhouse gas emissions grew by 1.4% in 2017, marking the first CO2 emission increase in three years.
UP: The energy-efficient motor market is projected to reach $41.57 billion by 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5%, according to MarketsandMarkets.
UP: The natural refrigerants market is forecast to increase at a CAGR of 11% from 2015 to 2020, according to a report by Zion Research.
UP: The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy received $2.3 billion to put toward clean energy research— significantly more than the $636 million Trump requested.
UP: Grundfos and Taka Solutions signed an MoU for a new energy saving initiative, focusing on energy saving opportunities in pumps system retrofits, modifications, and replacements.
INDUSTRY SHAKEUPS & PROMOTIONS
Distech Controls named Scott Hamilton vice president of sales. Hamilton was most recently head of automation channels at Siemens Building Technology. He will now manage international sales channels and Distech Controls Energy Services. “Scott’s hands-on customer experience and remarkable people skills will undoubtedly play an integral role going forward in connecting buildings and occupants with Distech Controls’ innovative solutions for enhanced health, productivity, and efficiency,” says President of Distech Controls Martin Villeneuve.
Rich Gruber was appointed national sales manager at AquaMotion, Inc., a leading manufacturer of energy-efficient circulators and instant hot water recirculation systems. Gruber previously worked as utility sales manager for Rheem Water Heating and northeast sales manager in the specialty products division for Rheem. He was the national sales manager for Viessmann Manufacturing Company and Honeywell Sparco, Inc. “His broad experience will be an asset to the fast growth of AquaMotion,” says President of AquaMotion Hans Kuster.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation recently announced Takeshi Sugiyama as the new president and CEO. Sugiyama first worked as an engineer at Mitsubishi Electric’s Himeji Works. He served as the company’s executive officer and group president of the Living Environment & Digital Media Equipment Group in 2014 and senior vice president in 2016. He was promoted to representative executive officer, executive vice president, and group president of the Living Environment & Digital Media Equipment Group in 2017.
THREE ORGANIZATIONS PARTNER FOR GEOTHERMAL ENERGY PILOT PROGRAM
The International Renewable Energy Agency, the International Geothermal Association, and the World Bank are fostering geothermal energy use around the world with a new pilot program. They’re developing a system to qualify estimates of extractable geothermal energy.
To gauge levels of obtainable geothermal energy, the UN Framework Classification takes into account a number of factors, including economic viability, geographic confidence, and technical feasibility. The framework also provides information for investors, consumers, regulators, and governments, ensuring geothermal projects receive adequate attention and funding. irena.org
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII MAUI TO USE 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY BY 2019
The University of Hawaii Maui campus will soon be the first campus in the U.S. to generate all of its energy from photovoltaic (PV ) panels coupled with battery storage systems, eliminating their dependence on fossil fuels. The move to green energy follows Hawaii’s 2015 decision to become completely reliant on renewable energy by 2045.
While the Maui campus, one of 10 University of Hawaii campuses, will reach this goal of net-zero energy usage by 2019, the Hawaii legislature aims to make all the University of Hawaii campuses centers for net-zero usage by 2035. The university plans to achieve this goal through a partnership with PV plus storage systems developed by Johnson Controls and owned by the Hawaii based Pacific Current. hawaii.edu
LAB USES 3D PRINTING FOR GREEN REFRIGERATION SYSTEM
CaloriSMART is a system that uses low quantities of magnetocaloric materials to achieve refrigeration level cooling. Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, this project will replace the century-old practice of using gas-compression refrigerators and is also 30% more efficient. Initial tests placed gadolinium in magnetic fields and used timed pumps to circulate water, demonstrating a cooling capacity to just under 30 ̊F.
A scientist custom built the encasing for the system using 3D printing. The model is being developed to accelerate the design of caloric materials so they can be installed into commercial spaces faster. The team has future plans in the works with elastocaloric materials that change temperature in response to cyclic tension and compression, and electrocaloric materials, whose temperature fluctuates when the magnetic field changes. ameslab.gov
THIN FILM TECHNOLOGY TO CONVERT UNUSED HEAT INTO ENERGY
Pyroelectric energy conversion may be the most effective way to ensure no energy is wasted. Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley are developing a thin-film technology that can be placed on sources of heat waste to produce energy. Unlike other systems that turn heat into energy, pyroelectric energy conversion does not require any additional moving parts; it can happen entirely in a solid state.
In the U.S., 70% of energy is wasted as heat—this technology can tap into the massive supply of heat waste. The technology could also be implemented in places of heat fluctuations, converting the random heat generated into energy. Although pyroelectric energy has been considered as a possibility for energy production for some time, the creation of this thin film to properly harness the conversion technique required the information from a recent study explaining pyroelectric physics. This new understanding allowed the engineers to develop the thin film device that is less than 100 nanometers thick. berkeley.edu
CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT SUPPORTS EPA & DOE
Contrary to the Trump administration’s threats to remove funding for government environmental programs, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 will benefit many government environmental programs. The bill maintains the budget for the EPA so voluntary EPA programs like Energy Start and SmartWay may continue running. These programs give businesses information to make their operations more sustainable.
The new bill also increases funding to the Department of Energy. There is an 11% increase to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy and a 15% boost to the Advanced Research Projects Agency- Energy, which develops technologies for energy efficiency. There is also a 10% increase to the Weatherization Assistance Program, which provides resources for low-income families and senior citizens to make their homes energy efficient. energy.gov
UP: The International Maritime Organization (IMO) pledged to reduce the annual global shipping industry greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008 levels.
DOWN: Researchers at the University of Birmingham warn that energy use for cooling appliances will jump 90% on 2017 levels.
UP: CoolSys acquires Axiom Energy Solutions, helping them become a leader in energy optimization marketplace.
UP: Vapor IO intros new energy efficient free-cooling design for data centers that doesn't rely on outside air or evaporative cooling.
IFMA STARTS CHAPTER IN THE UK
The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) has formed a regional chapter in the UK to offer localized support in a previously unserved market. There are now 137 IFMA chapters across more than 100 countries. The organization is working to streamline consistent practice standards across the built environment industry by collaborating with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Senior FM leaders and fellows of both IFMA and RICS petitioned for the formation of the new chapter. Its mission is “to enhance, evolve and expand the knowledge of facility managers with a focus on the United Kingdom, while also providing pathways to career success for professionals within the industry.” ifma.org
MIT DEVELOPS THERMAL RESONATOR SYSTEM
A research team at MIT is developing a way to convert temperature fluctuations into electrical power by harnessing natural daily temperature swings to provide energy without the use of batteries or other power sources. This thermal resonator system is the first of its kind to respond to specific temperature changes, like the heating and cooling that occurs throughout the day.
The new technique doesn’t rely on particular environmental factors, even operating well during short-term weather changes like wind or clouds. It can be placed anywhere since it doesn’t require sun rays or other energy sources. The thermal resonator system has already shown remarkable efficiency. The researchers demonstrated that it can outperform traditional commercial pyroelectric material by a factor of more than three in terms of power per area. It is also a promising tool for long-term low-power needs in remote locations—even in outer space. news.mit.edu
AHRI OPENS OFFICE IN CHINA
A new office for the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) opened its doors in Heifi, China. The office is positioned to allow AHRI to interact more closely with members and certification program participants in Asia and the Middle East.
Headquartered in Arlington, VA, it was important to AHRI to expand their international access. “We are a trade membership organization that attracts members from across the globe, and this office will allow us to better serve those members," says President and CEO Stephen Yurek. ahrinet.org
CALIFORNIA PROHIBITS USE OF HFCS
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has adopted a regulation prohibiting the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a type of short-lived climate pollutant between 1,000 and 3,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Used in air conditioning and cooling, HFCs are currently the fastest growing form of climate emissions.
The CARB regulation will prevent an estimated 3.4 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions from entering the atmosphere annually by 2030, which could have a measurable impact on the climate. CARB board members maintain that "this regulation is a good start" in curbing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. ww2.arb.ca.gov
LG PARTNERS WITH COLLEGE FOR NEW VRF LAB
LG Electronics recently announced the grand opening of the Variable Refrigerant Technology (VRF) lab on the Tarrant County College campus in Fort Worth, TX. The air conditioning technologies company is partnering with Tarrant County College’s growing HVAC program to educate students and current HVAC contractors on the benefits of VRF technology.
The space feature LG’s ultra-efficient single-phase 5-ton Multi VTM S heat recovery system, and other new technologies, giving students and contractors the opportunity interact with their equipment. lg-vrf.com
UP: Johnson Controls is partnering with AtmosAir Solutions to provide enhanced air purification with their YORK Air Handling Systems.
DOWN: The Trump administration’s 2019 budget would eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
UP: US Chiller Services now offers Smardt Chilers to provide enhanced air purification with their YORK Air Handling Systems.
UP: Federal legislation was passed to extend federal tax credits for residential and commercial installations of geothermal heat pumps.
DOWN: President Trump’s proposed 2019 budget increases fossil fuel energy R&D funding by $81 million while cutting renewable energy research by $1.3 billion.
UP: The global energy-efficient HVAC systems market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 11% between 2018 and 2022, according to Business Wire.
UP: The North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council created nasrcnetwork.org to provide information about contractors that install equipment that uses natural refrigerants.
UP: Danfoss A/S and OE3i ApS are beginning a strategic partnership to advance digitalization in the district energy segment.
INDUSTRY SHAKEUPS & PROMOTIONS
Ontario-based Enercare, which provides home services and smart energy solutions, recently appointed John W. Chandler to its board of directors. Chandler is experienced in digital transformation and effective marketing strategies. “[Chandler’s] extensive leadership experience in navigating rapidly changing consumer and digital landscapes, marketing, and innovation will be a significant asset as we continue to build and maintain long-term shareholder value,” says Chair Jim Pantelidi.
Grundfos Group, the Denmark-based supplier for pumps and pump merchandise, has named Catherine Yang as its new regional head of its China sales region. Previously the managing director of Carrier Commercial Refrigeration Asia at United Technologies Corp, she has led many development business ventures. “I am very pleased that Catherine Yang will be leading our very important China sales region, where we have seen very good sales growth for the past many years, and our market position is solid,” says Poul Due Jensen, executive vice president of Grundfos.
Honeywell recently announced former company executive Roger Fradin as the chairman of the Board for the Homes and Global Distribution business. “Over many decades in the industry, Roger has forged an unparalleled track record of performance through his ability to connect with customers, anticipate their needs, and drive the rapid introduction of highly desirable products,” says Darius Adamczyk, president and CEO of Honeywell. “Roger’s experience, passion, technical knowledge, unwavering focus on serving customers, and ability to attract and motivate a highly talented workforce will ensure the Homes spinoff thrives as an independent company.”
GEOTHERMAL HEATING AND COOLING MADE AFFORDABLE
A new sustainable heating and cooling method made by Dandelion uses the earth’s natural heat to provide a temperature control system that not only cuts greenhouse emissions but also allows for saving on monthly energy bills. The system consists of a pipe loop installed underground. Water and antifreeze run through the pipe; in the winter, the liquids warm to the 50˚F geothermal temperature, providing sustainable hot water and warm air for inside the home, and during the summer, the process is reversed.
In the past, the high costs of geothermal heating systems meant they were unavailable to most, but Dandelion is looking to make them more affordable, with plans for community-wide geothermal heating systems. Additionally, state and federal legislation is lessening the costs of these systems—Congress approved legislation to give a 30% federal tax credit for geothermal system installations, and New York promises to return a portion of the cost in rebate. With lower costs, there is less barrier to those looking for eco-friendly and efficient renewable energy systems. dandelionenergy.com
NEW HVAC TRAINING CENTER
Source 1, exclusive supplier of service parts and residential accessories for Johnson Controls’ residential and light commercial HVAC products, recently opened the first in a series of training centers focused on residential service and installation as well as select commercial products.
The center is a 1,200-square-foot space within the Source 1 base in Missouri, and its opening was attended by customers and industry professionals alike as well as YORK dealers and customers.The center will host a variety of training classes, helping technicians become YORK-certified technicians and providing an opportunity for the YORK sales team to better understand their products. The new facility will also be a space where trade school students can get hands-on experience. johnsoncontrols.com
REAP REWARDS FOR UPGRADED HVAC EQUIPMENT
Con Edison is offering big rewards and incentives for customers who upgrade their HVAC equipment. They are doing this through two programs. The first is the Prescriptive Rebate Program, which offers cash rewards for installing energy-efficient HVAC products like chillers and furnaces. The second offers customers making custom upgrades the incentive of $0.16 per kilowatt hour and $600 for each kilowatt energy reduction. Customers in the second option can also take advantage of Early Life and Extended Life programs, which encourage them to replace HVAC equipment before it breaks by paying some of the price difference.
HVAC upgrades are expensive, so customers make these changes less frequently and have a harder time meeting the cost. But with these new incentives, Con Edison hopes to make the changes more accessible and affordable, encouraging customers to seek upgrades. coned.com
NEW DATABASE FOR CHOOSING BUILDING PRODUCTS
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is developing a new system to help professionals in building and construction determine the best materials for long-term building construction. Using ORNL’s Titan supercomputer, the system draws upon data from running 800,000 building envelope simulations as well as information from experts—accounting for materials, climate, orientation, air tightness, and indoor conditions. It also has data from real-world moisture durability testing in the laboratory.
The database is currently undergoing beta testing but will soon be available and accessible to customers with a user-friendly design. “It has become challenging to make informed decisions because of modern building code requirements and new products and materials hitting the market,” says ORNL’s Philip Boudreaux. ornl.gov
NEW CENTER FOR INNOVATIVE GREEN TECHNOLOGY
Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited recently opened the Research & Innovation Sustainability Centre (RISC) in its Bangkok headquarters, focused on cutting-edge methods for sustainability in workplace and residential spaces. RISC is developing new approaches to temperature control systems using IAQ sensors.
This technology measures air quality features like humidity, potentially harmful airborne particles, and volatile organic compounds as well as temperature. The sensors display light signals—red for danger, yellow for caution, and green when the air is clear.
The group is also working on light design that aids the sleep cycle and productivity of inhabitants through circadian lighting, glare, and color quality. RISC is working across residential and commercial examples to improve buildings. The research center offers its eco-materials library to all builders. mqdc.com
UP: Ingersoll Rand and Mitsubishi Electric are establishing a joint venture to provide ductless and VRF systems in commercial and residential channels.
UP: Vertiv has acquired Energy Labs. This acquisition enhances Vertiv’s thermal management portfolio and adds offerings of custom air handling and modular solutions.
DOWN: The EPA is at Reagan-level employment numbers—and through Scott Pruitt’s series of buyouts and retirement packages, up to 47% of employees will leave the agency in the next five years.
UP: ASHRAE recently released metal building envelope code updates. The new code cycle requires an air barrier in the thermal envelope and higher insulation values.
DOWN: The demand for renewable energy in the U.S. outweighs the electricity grid’s ability to meet that demand, according to the Wind Energy Foundation.
UP: Fueled by a rise in the use of energy-efficient HVAC systems, the global HVAC market is forecasted to exceed $207 billion by 2022, according to Business Wire.
UP: According to a report by Lucintel, the global smart home market is anticipated to reach $107.4 billion by 2023 with an increase in opportunities in the HVAC sector.
INDUSTRY SHAKEUPS & PROMOTIONS
Rob Howard, performance construction manager at Mitsubishi Electric, has been appointed to the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) board of directors. Howard is a certified HERS rater with years of experience in net-zero energy construction. “We are proud of Rob’s appointment to the EEBA board, as it will allow us to elevate the Performance Builder Program on a national level,” says Chad Gillespie, senior manager of performance construction at Mitsubishi Electric.
DiversiTech Corp. recently appointed Doug Johnson as regional sales manager, North Central Region, HVAC/R. Johnson will focus on driving all sales efforts in the region and executing the company’s mission of helping customers simplify their work. “Doug is a proven sales and management professional with an excellent understanding of the HVAC/R industry,” says Dave Oriatti, vice president of HVAC/R sales. “His expertise will contribute greatly to the region’s continued success, as well as the success of our wholesaler customers and their contractor customers.”
Charles Abiad, vice president and general manager of Descair, was appointed to the HRAI Wholesalers Board. Abiad previously served as vice president and general manager at Johnson Controls. “It is crucial to look after changes in order to better serve contractors—their interests, needs, and requests,” Abiad says.
CIBSE ESTABLISHES NEW HVAC GROUP
The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) recently started a special interest group for the HVAC sector. The group, which is open to all, will serve as a forum to share best practices, identify industry trends, and exchange the latest HVAC technologies and developments. Professor Tony Day, executive director of the International Energy Research Centre, Tyndall National Institute in Cork, will head the group. “I am delighted to see the launch of this long-awaited special interest group on HVAC systems,” he says. “We can often overlook the importance of these core services, and how better specification, design, and operation can deliver huge benefits for building performance.”
CIBSE acknowledges HVAC systems are important when it comes to indoor air quality and energy management—HVAC operations usually account for the most energy consumption in a building. The CIBSE group will offer a new setting for discussion, encourage research and publications related to HVAC systems, and provide speakers for seminars and training courses.
“Continued advances in information technology, sensor systems, and innovations in thermal engineering have the potential to transform [HVAC] systems,” Day says. “This group will help our industry develop better systems-thinking and cross-disciplinary working and ensure best practice and innovation are shared across the sector.” cibse.org
AHRI UPGRADES ONLINE PRODUCT DIRECTORY
The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) recently launched its new Directory of Certified Product Performance, which lists more than 7.2 million AHRI Certified products. “AHRI’s online directory was more than 10 years old, and in need of an upgrade to support expanding reporting requirements as regulators at the federal, state, and local levels increasingly relied upon AHRI for accurate and unbiased data on equipment performance,” says Stephen Yurek, AHRI president and CEO. The directory was built from the ground up, based on advice and input from participants and end users, he says.
“We conducted focus group meetings with directory users and engaged with our certification program participants throughout this process to ensure our upgraded directory offers our 3.7 million annual users a smooth and informative experience,” Yurek says. ahridirectory.org
DOW PARTNERS WITH USGBC FOR GREEN INITIATIVES
Dow Building Solutions and the USGBC recently began a partnership to encourage energy efficiency and solutions to build greener communities. The main goal of the organizations is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by creating more energy-efficient buildings. Together, Dow and USGBC will consult two communities to help them reach LEED certification. As the official carbon partner of the International Olympic Committee, Dow aims to raise audience engagement and jumpstart impactful low carbon projects and innovations. “This partnership will offer expertise from Dow and USGBC that will not only directly help selected communities reduce their carbon footprint, but will also pave the way for other communities to do the same,” says Greg Bergtold, director of advocacy for Dow.
Mahesh Ramanujam, CEO at USGBC, says the collaboration will help create lasting benefits to the environment and society as a whole. “As USGBC aims to accelerate sustainable, healthy, and resilient communities, cities, and cultures globally, we seek to create partnerships with those that can help address the unique needs of the local community,” he says. “By working with Dow, we can extend the reach of the green building marketplace.” usgbc.org
FUNDING FOR SENSOR R&D
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) recently announced $20 million in funding for 15 projects that will work to create new energy-saving HVAC sensor technology.
Building automation and control systems currently lack accurate occupancy data, which hinders their ability to reduce HVAC energy consumption. To overcome this challenge, the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems & Applications (LESA) at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University of New Mexico, and LESA industry partner ABB Group are developing a privacy-preserving sensor system for counting, locating, and tracking occupants in commercial spaces. “The award from ARPA-E allows LESA to build on its fundamental research showing the power of digitized light, which, when reflected from any object in the space, generates privacy-preserving occupancy and activity data,” says Robert F. Karlicek Jr., director of LESA. “In this program, the LESA team will apply its lighting tool kit concepts to achieving better energy efficiency in buildings.”
Studies show that this sensing technology could reduce energy costs of heating and cooling by up to 30%—and the sensor would train the building management system to distribute the correct temperature air when and where it is needed. arpa-e.energy.gov
UP: Fujitsu General America is partnering with Ventacity Systems. Together, the companies plan to provide smart, energy-efficient HVAC solutions for commercial building projects.
UP: ServiceTitan recently integrated Aprilaire's innovative indoor air quality products into its cloud-based software platform.
DOWN: The U.S. Senate’s Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax provision will harm the renewable energy sector by putting global clean-energy investments at risk.
UP: ASHRAE released the 2017 edition of the thermal comfort standard, which includes a requirement to calculate the impact of direct solar radiation on occupants’ thermal comfort.
DOWN: The Trump administration is seeking to repeal Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the 2015 legislation meant to reduce carbon emissions from power plants across the United States.
UP: According to Business Insider, the global unitary HVAC systems market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 6.71% between 2017 and 2021.
UP: The global net-zero energy buildings (NZEBs) market is anticipated to hit $78.79 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc.
INDUSTRY SHAKEUPS & PROMOTIONS
Jan Allde was named CFO of the Alfa Laval Group. He will begin the position in February 2018. Allde previously served as senior vice president and CFO of the ABB Group. He has more than 20 years of experience of financial leadership within ABB, overseeing mergers and acquisitions. “Jan Allde's extensive expertise and experience will be a great asset,” says Tom Erixon, president and CEO of Alfa Laval.
Johnson Controls recently appointed John Donofrio as executive vice president, corporate officer, and general counsel. Donofrio was previously vice president, secretary, and general counsel at Mars, Inc. “John has significant transactional and commercial depth that will help drive the company’s growth platform,” says George Oliver, chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls. “His global experience across various industries and his many years in the general counsel role make John a very good fit.”
Lauren Roberts was appointed president and CEO of cfm Distributors, Inc., a 100% employee-owned heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company. As the previous vice president and a third-generation leader at cfm Distributors, she has held leadership positions for more than 13 years. She began serving as president and CEO on January 1, 2018. Roberts is also president-elect for HARDI’s philanthropic organization HALO and a board member for Women in HVACR.
MESTEK INTRODUCES NEW GAS HEAT-PUMP
Mestek, a division of the group of HVAC manufacturers called Mestek, Inc., recently disclosed a plan to market its new gas heat-pump—the Sierra GHP. The new air conditioning system can be used for indoor agriculture or commercial, industrial, and even residential buildings. In partnership with the maker of the Sierra units, Aisin World Corporation of America and Blue Mountain Energy of Nevada (who will develop the nationwide network of sales representatives), Mestek will be the sole nationwide distributor of Sierra natural gas, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air conditioners that provide energy-efficient heating and cooling.
Though GHP units are common in Japan, the units have not seen widespread adoption in the U.S. The new Sierra GHP uses an internal combustion engine to drive the unit’s mechanical parts, and the technology is now on the rise in the States, as it offers reliable mission-critical heating and cooling around the clock.
The Sierra GHP is also equipped with outdoor heat exchangers and indoor air handlers, so no special ducting is needed—meaning retrofits are a breeze. The Sierra may reduce a building’s electrical cooling costs by as much as 80%, compared to AC units fueled by electricity alone. mestek.com
NEW PROGRAMMING AT PHIUS
The Passive House Institute of the U.S. recently started its pilot phase of its new Ventilator Product Program certification. The PHIUS certification program aims to provide performance data for passive building energy models.
The PHIUS Certified Ventilator program considers a variety of measurements—including reporting both thermal and electrical performance numbers. For ERVs, latent performance for both heating and cooling season conditions are recorded. The program also features measurement and random verification testing and challenge provisions, among other features.
With this certification, PHIUS certified ventilators join the list of accepted third-party ratings (HVI, PHI, AHRI). For more information about the program, contact Graham Wright, senior scientist and product program manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. phius.org
RHEEM OPENS NEW TRAINING CENTER
Rheem recently celebrated the opening of its newest Innovation Learning Center, just outside of Dallas. The center is part of a renovation and expansion of Rheem’s divisional offices, warehouse, and distribution facilities in Lewisville.
The Innovation Learning Center is the fourth of five training facilities to open across the U.S. and Canada. The digitally forward training facility will be used to educate HVAC contractors and plumbers from around the Southwest and Midwest.
The high-tech, hands-on center has interactive classrooms, a live lab where equipment can be broken down and reassembled, virtual reality labs for diagnostic training, and a product showroom to showcase Rheem’s latest energy efficient HVAC equipment—from water heaters to pool heaters to boilers across residential and commercial projects. rheem.com
ASHRAE’S NEW BUILDING ENERGY QUOTIENT PORTAL
The recent launch of the Building Energy Quotient (or Building EQ) Portal promises you’ll get your Building EQ Performance Score quickly and easily. Building EQ uses ASHRAE methodologies and standards and the experience of credentialed practitioners to ensure owners are getting reliable, consistent recommendations. “The primary goal of the Building EQ program is to promote more energy-efficient buildings and give owners actionable recommendations to improve a building’s energy use,” says Hugh Crowther, Building EQ committee chair. “We’re excited to launch this integrated resource that will help users identify opportunities to lower building operating cost and make informed decisions to increase value.”
Two evaluations—In Operation and As Designed—can be used independently to compare a candidate building to similar buildings in the same climate zone or together for an assessment of a building’s design potential compared to actual operation. In Operation compares actual building energy use based on metered energy information. As Designed compares potential energy use based on the building’s physical characteristics and systems with standardized energy use simulation. The In Operation rating is available now and the As Designed rating will be available in early 2018. ashrae.org/buildingeq
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