Masthead - Climate Control Journal

Eurovent’s generation change reaches finish line

MÁLAGA, Spain, 20 May 2022: Francesco Scuderi has succeeded the retiring Felix Van Eyken as Secretary General of Eurovent, the HVACR association said through a Press release. Stijn Renneboog will support him as the new Deputy Secretary General, the association added.

The European Industry Association for Indoor Climate (HVAC), Process Cooling and Food Cold Chain Technologies has been preparing for a generation change since its General Assembly 2017, which assigned Francesco Scuderi its Deputy Secretary General. Scuderi, an electric energy engineer, has been with the association since 2015, leading the cooling and refrigeration department and supporting the Secretary General with daily management, Eurovent said. Additionally, he serves as convenor at ISO and CEN Working Groups for standardisation activities related to commercial beverage coolers and ice cream freezers, Eurovent said.

With the upcoming retirement of Felix Van Eyken, Scuderi takes over the role of Secretary General effective immediately, Eurovent said, adding that Van Eyken will assume an advisory role and will support the Eurovent Secretariat on part-time basis until the end of July, when he retires definitively. Stijn Renneboog will support Scuderi as newly appointed Deputy Secretary General. He has been at Eurovent since 2019 and has been instrumental in structural reform of the association as well as strategic relations development.

Following his appointment, Scuderi said: “It is an honour for me to take on the leading role in Eurovent, the most renowned and respected European stakeholder of our industry, while supporting the unity and advanced development of the European and international HVACR technologies. I thank the Eurovent Board and our members for their trust and support. The bar has been set high for this position, and I will make sure to follow the footsteps of Felix in the best possible way.”

Van Eyken added: “I am proud to hand over the lead to Francesco, and I am confident that he will enjoy the same trust and respect that I have built up over the past decades among our industry and authorities. While I am emotional about leaving a career I am passionate about and industry colleagues I can call my friends, I am also excited for this new chapter in my life and the changes it will bring. I would like to thank the Eurovent Team for their hard work throughout the years.”

Renneboog said: “The past three years were transformational for Eurovent. Thanks to tremendous commitment and leadership across the Eurovent family, we are now better adapted than ever to represent the evolving needs of our industry and face the challenges and opportunities ahead. In that sense, today marks not only the end of an era, but also a beginning of sorts. I really look forward to this new chapter, and to building on the foundations that have been laid.”

Eurovent said that in line with the ongoing modernisation and digitalisation of the association, it is also preparing major improvements regarding its corporate identity, website, social media presence and dissemination of information.

LU-VE Group receives “Green Star” award

UBOLDO, Varese, Italy, 19 May 2022: Air heat exchanger manufacturer, LU-VE Group said it has received two important awards that certify its commitment to projects and initiatives aimed at promoting increasingly sustainable and green development.

Making the announcement through a Press release, the Group said it received the Green Star award for the second consecutive year, excelling among the 300 companies that have distinguished themselves the most in the field of sustainability in Italy, according to research conducted by the ITQF Institute. The analysis, the Group said, was conducted independently on 2,000 Italian companies through the social listening technique which, thanks to sophisticated software and artificial intelligence, has made it possible to collect over one million online citations on the green impact of companies on the basis of 30 criteria, including ecological, economic and social sustainability, innovation and technology.

The Group said its strong orientation towards sustainability has also guaranteed it access to the classification, Leader of Sustainability 2022, a selection of the 200 Italian companies that have best managed to integrate conscious environmental, social and economic choices into their business practices. Conducted by Statista, the research took into consideration over 1,500 reports from companies operating in Italy, focusing on the three macro-areas of sustainability: environmental, social and corporate governance, the Group said.

“It’s the grey matter that matters most,” said Iginio Liberali, President, LU-VE, Group. “This does not refer only to the products, but it is the thought that guides us to keep the commitments undertaken towards our collaborators and the communities in which we operate, to promote human growth, professional and otherwise. It is a principle that we have been applying for 36 years since our foundation. These awards make us very happy, because they underline that this is the right way to go. We are constantly engaged in the development of products and processes with low environmental impact, using technological innovation as a strategic lever and exporting our model also abroad. We have always done this, and it has allowed us to be competitive in the market and recognized as a reference player in our sector. Sustainability is not a cost but an investment and, as such, can no longer be neglected. Now ESG issues have become fashionable, but this approach is our duty: we owe it above all to future generations. For LU-VE Group, it is an essential principle, not a finishing line but a starting point.”

Rheem, Ruud host Pro Partner 2022 Conference

LAS VEGAS, 26 April 2022: Rheem and Ruud, part of the Rheem family of brands, hosted the 2022 Pro Partner International Conference from March 7 to 10 in Las Vegas. Making the announcement through an April 26 Press release, Rheem said more than 5,000 key partners from the HVAC industry participated in the event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

According to Rheem, the conference ran under the theme, Pro Powered. The company’s Global Air Division spearheaded the event, which brought together the HVAC industry’s key partners, products and keynote speakers in an action-packed week, which celebrated the HVAC industry and community, Rheem said.

Both Rheem and Ruud Pro Partners enjoyed special appearances by major celebrities along with live entertainment, dynamic breakout sessions and an action-packed product and program expo, Rheem said.

With conference agendas led by industry experts, the event spanned two-days for Ruud and two-days for Rheem.  Featured topics included training, innovation, networking and tools for growing a successful HVAC business. Rheem said attendees drew inspiration to learn more about increasing their profitability through a variety of insight-packed sessions, which covered everything from new product innovations to making the most of digital marketing tools.

The goal was to provide Pro Partners with real, actionable takeaways, Rheem said, adding that the Ruud and Rheem product development teams also shared insights on the latest HVAC product portfolio for the Gulf Countries, including the reimagined Plus Ones, with features technicians will appreciate and the comfort and performance their customers are seeking. Attendees left the conference armed with knowledge on new regulations, tips for future-proofing business and tips to enhance profitability, Rheem said.

“This is a dynamic time for our industry,” said Mike Branson, President, Global Air, Rheem. “And we continue to be fully committed to making sure our partners are not only prepared to succeed in the short term but grow stronger for the future. This conference certainly helps accomplish that.”

According to Rheem, the Pro Partner International Conference will return in 2025.

Wilo reports achieving record sales

DORTMUND, Germany, 21 April 2022: The Wilo Group reported that it ended the fiscal year 2021 with record sales of nearly EUR 1.7 billion euros. Despite persistently difficult conditions, the Group said, it increased its sales revenue by 13.8%.

Earnings before taxes (EBITDA) also reached an all-time high of EUR 181.1 million, the company said. This represents an increase of more than 30%m, it added. “The pleasing results speak a clear language: The Wilo Group is ideally positioned to achieve sustainable, profitable growth, even in difficult times and under unfavourable economic conditions,” said Oliver Hermes, President and CEO, Wilo Group.

Wilopark (Photo courtesy The Wilo Group)

 Wilo said the unforeseeable situation in the middle of Europe and the Coronavirus pandemic, which has been ongoing for over two years, also intensified the global decoupling tendencies in the past financial year.

Multinational alliances are being called into question, economic cooperation structures are being dissolved, supply chains are being subject to sanctions and embargoes are being imposed, it said. “More and more, German and European companies are getting caught between the fronts of geopolitical disputes,” Hermes pointed out.

Wilo said it specifically has been encountering these developments for years and, to this end, further expanded its global presence in the past financial year. Among other things, Wilo said, it invested more than EUR 170 million in the construction and expansion of sales and production locations in the modernisation and expansion of production facilities, acquisitions and takeovers.

Wilo said that in line with the “region-for-region” approach, it strengthened the American market, among others. North America, in particular, has become one of the most important sales markets in recent years, it said, adding that the acquisition of QuantumFlo, Inc., a specialist in booster sets and intelligent pump systems, completed in fiscal 2021, consolidated its market position. In addition, new state-of-the-art production and administration buildings were, and are being, built in the United States, China and India, it said.

Today, Wilo said, it has a presence around the globe, through its global network of more than 80 production and sales companies. Hermes said this is another reason for the robust success in the past financial year.

In 2021, Wilo said, it also received awards for its commitment to combating climate change. Among them are the German Sustainability Award 2021, the Ecovadis Sustainability Rating in Gold, and the title of “Climate Pioneer” (Handelsblatt), which it said, are proof of its innovation leadership.

Wilo said it is regarded in the industry as one of the pioneers in climate protection and has set itself the goal of saving 50 million tons of CO2 by 2025, thus making a substantial contribution to reducing emissions. Hermes said: “Wilo is also leading the way as a pioneer in the hydrogen era: As part of the implementation of our dedicated hydrogen strategy, the “H2 Powerplant” will be open at the Wilopark in Dortmund. This will serve as a self-sufficient, decentralized, and regenerative solution for secure energy supply.”

Frascold, Solid Energy in district energy initiative

MILAN, Italy, 19 April 2022: District heating systems could be a key technology in achieving the international climate mitigation goals, both those laid out in the Paris Agreement and the more stringent ones set by the European Green Deal. Saying so, Frascold, which manufactures semi-hermetic compressors for the industrial refrigeration and air conditioning sectors, said it has combined with Solid Energy, which specialises in heat pumps powered by renewable energy sources, to contribute to the diffusion of district heating and pave the way to an ecological transition by signing up to numerous projects in Denmark. 

Amongst the most recent partnerships, upgrading the Galten plant in the Scandinavian country stands out, Frascold said. The plant has been in operation since 1964 and is capable of powering approximately 2,130 homes, Frascold highlighted.

The collaboration between Frascold and Solid Energy for the Galten facility began in 2019 with the creation of a system able to produce 45,000 MWh per year, obtained from 6 Frascold CXH screw compressors, suitable for use with HC, for 3.5 MW of overall power. The subsequent expansion, in 2021, saw the addition of 12 CXH compressors for an increase in power of 7 MW, Frascold said.

The installed air-water heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air with 34 air coolers for a total of 3,215,000 m3/h and cover 98% of the district heating system’s power consumption – that is, 44.343 MWh with a SCOP (Seasonal Coefficient of Performance) of 3.11, Frascold said. The plant provides a discharge temperature of 70 degrees C with a return of 38 degrees C, thus achieving a COP of 3.4 calculated by considering an outside air temperature of 8 degrees C, which is the annual average in Denmark, Frascold said. 

“We think HC heat pumps are ideal for helping reduce the comfort sector’s environmental impact,” said Karsten Pedersen, Technical Director, Solid Energy. “Cascade systems with R290 and R600a guarantee the best balance of lowering direct and indirect consumption, flexibility of use and costs.

So, for this project, we relied, once more, on Frascold, which has supported us throughout each phase, and thanks to the constant dialogue with the Competence Center team, we have designed the ideal system to respond to the three challenges: Sustainability, performance and efficiency.

The partnership with Frascold is also based on the certified reliability of its wide range of hydrocarbon solutions: It is, in fact, the only manufacturer on the market with compressor sizes around 1,000 m3/h, which are perfect for our project and comply with ATEX directives for use in zone 2.” 

Fabrizio Diotallevi, Frascold Sales Area Manager, North Europe, said: “Denmark is one of the most advanced countries in terms of district heating, and approximately 1.7 million homes, or 64% of the total, are powered by these systems, of which 61% already use energy from renewable sources.

A continuous improvement process is in line with the objective to completely eliminate fossil fuels in the segment by 2030. With the numerous plants brought online with Solid Energy, we are proud to contribute to this ambitious project, which we hope will be replicated in other countries.

This new success story with Solid Energy is another example of our expertise in building heat pump compressors, which we have gained through years of international partnerships using this technology that, in the near future, will be the basis for virtuous heating and zero environmental impact.”  

Frascold SpA – www.frascold.it/en 

Frascold is a leading player in the development, production and marketing of semi-hermetic, piston and screw compressors, at the service of the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. A company in continuous evolution, with its gaze always directed toward the future, which has built, over time, its competitive positioning on the value of the dynamic efficiency paradigm in which the company becomes the very engine of change, playing a propositional and proactive role towards the demand.

With headquarters in the province of Milan, in a facility occupying 53,000 m2 in total. Frascold Spa closed 2020 with a consolidated turnover of 55 million Euro. The Company boasts a well-balanced competitive position, thanks to the complete control of the value chain and a careful internationalisation strategy, which is expressed in significant investments in direct bases in China, India and the USA and agreements with Distributors in 86 countries. 

Solid Energy A/S https://www.solid-group.dk/en  

Solid Energy A/S is a cleantech company founded in 2015 in Denmark. It specialises in designing and installing heat pumps for district heating power stations and for large plants in, for example, the industrial sector. Solid Group has 35 employees and implemented 13 turnkey projects, for an overall total power of 40 MW. 

Leminar Air Conditioning Company, AEG Power Solutions ink deal

DUBAI, UAE, 19 April 2022: Leminar Air Conditioning Company signed a distribution agreement with AEG Power Solutions, a global provider of power supply systems and solutions for critical applications. Making the announcement through a Press release, Leminar said the agreement marks its foray into the power generation industry while enhancing its data centre services through the addition of another esteemed partner to its diverse portfolio.

L-R (sitting): Kartik Raval and Frédéric Salon; standing: team members from Leminar and AEG Power

According to Leminar, AEG Power Solutions ensures the continuous power availability and the safe operation of critical applications through a wide portfolio of power supply systems and services. AEG designs and delivers solutions for secure power supply through offerings such as AC and DC UPS, battery chargers, rectifier systems and customised UPS systems as well as solutions for the energy transition, like battery energy storage and hydrogen production processes, Leminar said. 

Commenting on the partnership, Frédéric Salon, Vice President Sales, AEG Power Solutions said: “AEG Power Solutions’ partnership with Leminar Air Conditioning Company will enable it to ensure the continuous availability of power and the safe operation of critical applications in the global market. The alliance will fortify our presence in the Middle East, enabling us to further expand our market reach through Leminar’s extensive network and distribution channels.” 

Kartik Raval, General Manager, Leminar Air Conditioning Company, said: “Leminar’s partnership with AEG Power Solutions will allow it to offer innovative solutions spanning the oil & gas operation, power generation, transportation, data and IT sectors. The agreement will enhance Leminar’s ability to meet the growing requirements of the HVAC industry, specifically regarding the provision of data centre solutions, while expanding AEG Power Solutions’ market reach for their commercial UPS systems through Leminar’s extensive distribution channels.” 

Frascold, Solid Energy in district energy initiative

MILAN, Italy, 19 April 2022: District heating systems could be a key technology in achieving the
international climate mitigation goals, both those laid out in the Paris Agreement and the more
stringent ones set by the European Green Deal. Saying so, Frascold, which manufactures semi-
hermetic compressors for the industrial refrigeration and air conditioning sectors, said it has
combined with Solid Energy, which specialises in heat pumps powered by renewable energy
sources, to contribute to the diffusion of district heating and pave the way to an ecological
transition by signing up to numerous projects in Denmark.

Amongst the most recent partnerships, upgrading the Galten plant in the Scandinavian country
stands out, Frascold said. The plant has been in operation since 1964 and is capable of
powering approximately 2,130 homes, Frascold highlighted. The collaboration between
Frascold and Solid Energy for the Galten facility began in 2019 with the creation of a system
able to produce 45,000 MWh per year, obtained from 6 Frascold CXH screw compressors,
suitable for use with HC, for 3.5 MW of overall power. The subsequent expansion, in 2021, saw
the addition of 12 CXH compressors for an increase in power of 7 MW, Frascold said. The
installed air-water heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air with 34 air coolers for a total of
3,215,000 m 3 /h and cover 98% of the district heating system’s power consumption – that is,
44.343 MWh – with a SCOP (Seasonal Coefficient of Performance) of 3.11, Frascold said. The
plant provides a discharge temperature of 70 degrees C with a return of 38 degrees C, thus
achieving a COP of 3.4 calculated by considering an outside air temperature of 8 degrees C,
which is the annual average in Denmark, Frascold said.

“We think HC heat pumps are ideal for helping reduce the comfort sector’s environmental
impact,” said Karsten Pedersen, Technical Director, Solid Energy. “Cascade systems with R290
and R600a guarantee the best balance of lowering direct and indirect consumption, flexibility of
use and costs. So, for this project, we relied, once more, on Frascold, which has supported us

throughout each phase, and thanks to the constant dialogue with the Competence Center
team, we have designed the ideal system to respond to the three challenges: Sustainability,
performance and efficiency. The partnership with Frascold is also based on the certified
reliability of its wide range of hydrocarbon solutions: It is, in fact, the only manufacturer on the
market with compressor sizes around 1,000 m 3 /h, which are perfect for our project and comply
with ATEX directives for use in zone 2.”

Fabrizio Diotallevi, Frascold Sales Area Manager, North Europe, said: “Denmark is one of the
most advanced countries in terms of district heating, and approximately 1.7 million homes, or
64% of the total, are powered by these systems, of which 61% already use energy from
renewable sources. A continuous improvement process is in line with the objective to
completely eliminate fossil fuels in the segment by 2030. With the numerous plants brought
online with Solid Energy, we are proud to contribute to this ambitious project, which we hope
will be replicated in other countries. This new success story with Solid Energy is another
example of our expertise in building heat pump compressors, which we have gained through
years of international partnerships using this technology that, in the near future, will be the
basis for virtuous heating and zero environmental impact.”

HVAC sector to drive demand for OEM insulation

PUNE, India, 18 April 2022: With increasing urbanisation and industrialisation bolstering growth of developing regions, applications in automotive, consumer appliances and HVAC sectors have seen a rapid uptick, posing a direct impact on the demand for OEM insulation. According to a new research report by Future Market Insights, an ESOMAR-certified market research and consulting company and a member of Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, the global OEM insulation market is expected to reach a market value of over USD 19,500 million by the end of 2028, growing at a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period.   

There has also been a significant increase in the construction projects globally in residential and commercial sector, which depicts leading growth of HVAC systems in the global OEM insulation systems, Future Market Insights said. HVAC systems cover a major part of the demand for OEM insulations, it pointed out. 

The sector holds a dominating position in the global market, owing to the cost advantage and energy efficiency, Future Market Insights said, adding that the need for installation of HVAC systems has also called for considerable use of interior insulation systems to counter any external noise and adverse climatic conditions. 

The rampant industrial requirements in developing regions, like Asia, shows a clear picture of the OEM insulation market’s potential for progress in the upcoming years, Future Market Insights said. The key factors expected to drive growth in the region include rising public and private investments in industrial, energy, oil & gas, petrochemical and food & beverage sectors; increased focus of local governments on enhancing industrial output; legislation of incentives to jumpstart the manufacturing sector, such as, development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), industrial corridors, and industrial clusters and provision of subsidies and tax cuts for manufacturing groups and industrial corporations, Future Market Insights added. 

Among the leading countries in Asia, India is expected have a foremost role to play in the global OEM insulation market, Future Market Insights said. According to the regional forecast, India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period, it said. However, in terms of market value, North America being a highly developed region, holds the largest market value by the end of 2028, it added. 

The global market for natural and eco-friendly insulating materials is projected to have a highly lucrative market, Future Market Insights said. The move is in response to the upgradation of manufacturing techniques taking place. In order to gain competitive edge over the other and to reap the maximum benefits, market players are channelising their efforts to develop value-added products with increased efficiency, Future Market Insights said. Inclination towards the trend of eco-friendly insulation is one of such moves, it said, adding that many players are also a part of various collaboration activities, which enables the market player to adopt competencies and further drive the market. 

Some of the players mentioned in the report are Rockwool Group, BASF, Evonik, Paroc Group Oy, Owens Corning Insulating Systems, Saint-Gobain, Armacell International, Johns Manville Corporation, ACH Foam Technologies, Henry Company, Shannon Enterprises of Western New York Inc., Styrotech, Inc. and NCFI Polyurethanes. According to Future Market Insights, the projections may reveal many more trends that companies may look forward to, in order to surpass their competitors and bolster growth. 

Danfoss breaks ground for ‘supermarket of the future’

NORDBORG, Denmark, 14 April 2022: Engineering firm, Danfoss recently hosted a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of what it described as one of the world’s most energy-efficient supermarkets. 

Making the announcement through a Press release, Danfoss said the supermarket, scheduled to be ready in mid-2023 and spanning an area of 1,500 square metres, is situated next to Danfoss’ headquarters, in Nordborg, and is expected to lead the way for supermarket chains around the world to develop climate-friendly and sustainable stores with technologies that already exist today.  

An artist’s rendering of the supermarket

Built with energy-efficient refrigeration and heating technology, solar roof panels and charging points for electric cars, the Smart Store supermarket will capture and reuse heat produced by cooling cabinets and freezers to provide heating for the supermarket and local community through district energy, Danfoss said.

The supermarket will be connected to the Nordals Fjernvarmeværk district heating plant and will be able to supply it with surplus heat, Danfoss added. 

The cooling system in the new supermarket will also run on carbon dioxide, as a natural refrigerant, which helps to reduce the overall climate impact.  

Kristian Strand, President, Refrigeration & A/C Controls, Danfoss Climate Solutions, said: “The origins of this project go back a long time, but the new energy-efficient Smart Store supermarket that we are starting to build today has only grown in relevance.

The goal of the project is to show how easy and profitable it is to decarbonise our economy and ensure reliable and sustainable energy use. Heating and cooling are the largest energy consumers in supermarkets. The solutions we are building here today represent the core of Danfoss solutions and will showcase how we can approach zero-energy use in food retail, together.” 

According to Danfoss, the site will also serve as an Application Development Centre, where the company will work together with partners to co-develop new technologies and explore interfaces in the energy system surrounding energy storage. 

Jürgen Fischer, President, Danfoss Climate Solutions, said: “The supermarket will be the focal point for a new part of our campus, where all buildings will be energy-efficient and meet special sustainability requirements. Our aim is to boost the green transition with concrete evidence of how far we can go with energy efficiency. We want to demonstrate to customers and partners how energy-saving solutions work in real life. We want to show the greenest energy is the energy we don’t use or reuse.” 

According to Danfoss, BALS, Brugsen for Als and Sundeved, Denmark’s largest independent supermarket association, will rent the building from the company and install a COOP 365 discount supermarket. BALS, which works together with COOP, has a total of 13 stores in the area around Sønderborg in Denmark and, since 2015, has consistently reduced the consumption of energy in its stores. So far, it has cut 44% of its total CO2 emissions, Danfoss said, adding that it was, therefore, a natural next step that BALS became a partner in the project. 

Danfoss said it is establishing a showroom in a part of the supermarket building, where all installations are visible to visitors and customers. It said visitors will be able to experience its solutions for heating and cooling, such as CO2 as a refrigerant, heat recovery and the interaction between installations, once the building is in operation.  

Eurovent to host AHU webinar

BRUSSELS, DUBAI, PARIS, 14 April 2022: Eurovent, Eurovent Middle East and Eurovent Certita Certification announced they would be jointly hosting a webinar to discuss the energy efficiency of air-handling units (AHUs) in hot and humid conditions on April 28. 

Making the announcement through a Press release, the three organisations said that as a crucial part of a cooling and ventilation system, AHUs can be built to a multitude of customer specifications and operating environments. Since January 2022, Eurovent has mandated its certified manufacturers to disclose the energy ratings for hot and humid climates when the products are sold in such environments, the three organisations said. 

In reaction to mounting requests to adjust energy ratings to local climates, Eurovent and its certification body, Eurovent Certita Certification have developed an energy rating for hot and humid conditions, they said. Aside from such ratings for chillers and VRF systems, the use of a separate energy label for AHUs that operate in such climates requires a deeper look to understand implications and underlying operating principles, they said. 

The aim of the webinar is to provide the technical background and an overview of the new energy label. It will feature the following… 

  • Eurovent’s energy label for hot and humid climates: Programme origin and methodology 
  • Energy efficiency in hot and humid conditions: Expert assessment and analysis 
  • Technical panel discussion

According to the three organisations, the webinar will conclude with a dedicated Q&A session, where participants are invited to discuss any issues related to the topics. Those wishing to attend, they said, may register via this link. Registration is free, they said, adding that the event will take place from 10am to 11.30am (Abu Dhabi time). 

JCI: Investments in sustainability have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels

CORK, Ireland, 12 April 2022: Johnson Controls (JCI) announced findings from its 15th annual Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey, which revealed that 62% of organizations surveyed expect to increase investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy or smart building technology in 2022, indicating a return to pre-pandemic levels. 

JCI said the latest report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change advised that global scale transformation is urgently needed to combat climate change; however, its Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey found that organizations are still facing challenges to accelerate their sustainability efforts in key areas. Almost two-thirds of survey respondents say they struggle to scale sustainability initiatives across buildings, geographies or business units.  

“In the face of the multiple and continuous shock waves of the last two years, it is very encouraging to see that building owners and operators are driving forward the kinds of investments that deliver the resilience needed to grow their business and attract and retain the best talent,” said Katie McGinty, Vice President & Chief Sustainability and External Relations Officer, JCI.

“Whether it is the damage delivered by climate-charged destructive natural events, or the health threat of the pandemic, or now, the stark demonstration of the insecurity of world energy supplies, it is clear that taking action to cut energy demand while decarbonizing and cleaning the air are core strategies for companies, governments and institutions to not only survive but to thrive.

Our innovative technologies in heat pumps and our OpenBlue digital platform, plus our Net Zero as a Service partnership offering, are exactly the right tools at the right time for leaders determined to stay well ahead of challenges and deliver new opportunities for their business or organization.” 

JCI said the survey revealed that planned investment in energy generation or storage has grown significantly over five years, likely in response to the global focus on decarbonization, and as part of that effort, electrification.

More than a third of respondents plan to replace fossil fuel heating equipment with heat pump technology in the next year, which is seven per cent more than what was implemented in the year prior, the company said. Notably, thermal energy storage jumped from 27% to 42% in the last five years, the company said. More than half of respondents implemented electric energy storage in the past year, the company added. 

JCI said the survey also found that the United States and Europe still lead the way in every metric of green building planning. The United States had the most respondents who had already achieved green building certification and expect to have a net-zero-energy or carbon building in the next 10 years, JCI said.

Europe had the most respondents planning to attain green building certifications and the most respondents who have established public energy or carbon-reduction goals, with United Kingdom leading with 46% established goals, JCI added. 

Compared to its global counterparts, significantly more respondents in the United States plan to implement measures, such as building controls improvements, onsite renewable energy and energy management process, such as ISO 50001, JCI said. Of the countries surveyed, the United Kingdom, France and Japan have the most respondents who expect to increase investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy or smart building technology over the next year, the company said. Still, to reach global sustainability and environmental goals, the world must work collectively to plan for a more energy efficient future and make investments today for the generations to come, it added. 

Although global-scale transformation is necessary to course-correct on climate change, organisations are facing barriers to pursuing sustainability initiatives, JCI said. Almost half of the respondents surveyed say their top barrier to pursue energy and building technology improvements is either a lack of funding to pay for improvements (25%) or uncertainty in their return-on-investment (23%), the company said. 

Additionally, more than half of respondents pointed to a lack of technology as one of the hindrances to scaling sustainability efforts, JCI said. 

The pandemic has also prompted organizations to rethink their technology investment decision-making, JCI said. Protecting the health and safety of building occupants during the coronavirus pandemic was the second most significant driver of investments globally, it said. Additionally, 65% of respondents performed an indoor air quality assessment last year, it added. 

Respondents to the survey also said improving occupant health and wellness overall and improving life safety and security were important decision-making factors, JCI pointed out. Over the next 12 months, almost 60% of organizations plan to invest in fire and life safety system and security system improvements to their buildings, it said. Long term, more than two-thirds of organizations believe data analytics and cybersecurity will have an extremely or very significant impact on the implementation of smart buildings over the next five years, it added. 

The survey revealed that actionable policies are also important for progressing energy efficiency goals, JCI said, adding that 85% and 72% of respondents, respectively, reported that performance benchmarking, certifications and performance standards for energy codes are critical to improving energy efficiency efforts. 

JCI said its Energy Efficiency Indicator Survey collected responses from 1,000 participants globally between November and December 2021. 

Dunli introduces X-Pro axial fans

HANGZHOU, Zhejiang, China, 12 April 2022: Dunli introduced X-Pro axial fans, which it described as equipped with the latest rear guide vane and three-dimensional flow impeller. They are ideal for HVAC and refrigeration applications, the company added.

Making the announcement through a Press release, Dunli said the fans come in a wide range of impeller diameters, including 500mm, 630mm, 710mm, 800mm and 900mm. The maximum static pressure efficiency is up to 56%, and air volume is as high as 35,000m3/h, the company said.

In terms of noise control and range – throw distance – they perform significantly better than equivalent fans in the motor fan industry the world over, the company claimed.

Highlighting what it called the energy-saving characteristic of the fans, Dunli said an 800mm X-Pro axial fan working at 13,500m3/h at 160Pa, can save more than 17,000 kilowatt-hours in five years, compared to traditional equivalent fans in the market.

The fans can be used in a variety of HVAC equipment, such as air coolers, air-cooled heat exchange modules, heat pumps and cooling towers, Dunli said, adding that they are reliable, easy to install and maintain and convenient to control.

ASHRAE opens registration for its Annual Conference

ATLANTA, Georgia, 24 March 2022: ASHRAE said registration is now open for the 2022 ASHRAE Annual Conference, from June 25 to 29, at the Sheraton Centre Hotel, Toronto. 

According to ASHRAE, the five-day conference includes sessions addressing current trends and technologies in the HVAC&R industry, as well as tours, social events and a keynote message from Fredi Lajvardi, STEM educator and subject of IMAX film, Dream Big. 

“ASHRAE’s Annual Conference offers a unique combination of education, technology and networking in an effective format where industry professionals can share best practices, insights and real-world experiences with peers from around the world,” said Mick Schwedler, 2021-22 ASHRAE President. “We’re excited to come together in Toronto – a vibrant city known for innovation – and know the conference will be a worthwhile experience for all in attendance.”  

According to ASHRAE, the conference’s technical program comprises eight tracks, with over 70 sessions and over 200 speakers. Topics include decarbonization, environmental health and energy system integration and building performance, the Society said. 

According to ASHRAE, tracks include: 

  • Fundamentals and Applications 
  • HVAC&R Systems and Equipment 
  • 9th Annual Research Summit 
  • IAQ, Energy Use, Comfort and Health of Sustainable Buildings 
  • Connected Buildings, Connected Communities 
  • Buildings in the Aftermath of COVID-19
  • Professional Development and Education 
  • Cold Climate Building System Design, Operation and Resilience 

ASHRAE said it will also conduct business, committee and technical meetings in the weeks leading up to and during the conference. It said members will be recognized for Society and industry achievements, and Farooq Mehboob, 2022-2023 ASHRAE President, will present the inaugural Society theme address on “Securing Our Future”.  

According to ASHRAE, registration includes: 

  • Access to technical program from Sunday, June 26 to Wednesday, June 29 (seminars, workshops, paper sessions, debates and panels) 
  • Access to conference proceedings 
  • Networking opportunities 

The ASHRAE Ventilation 2022: 13th International Industrial Ventilation Conference for Contaminant Control will immediately precede the ASHRAE Annual Conference at the same location, from June 22 to 24, the Society said, adding that dual registration opportunities will be available at a discounted rate. It encouraged those interested in attending the events to visit ashrae.org/2022annual and ashrae.org/ventilation2022. 

Johnson Controls joins World Business Council for Sustainable Development

GENEVA, Switzerland, 23 March 2022: Johnson Controls joined over 200 companies as the newest member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

Making the announcement through a Press release, Johnson Controls said it continues to take significant steps to further improve its environmental impact and has committed to achieving net zero Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement goal. By 2030, the company said, it aims to cut its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 55% and reduce Scope 3 emissions by 16%. These ambitious 2030 emissions reduction targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, it added.

Johnson Controls said it also recently became the first S&P500 industrial company to release an Integrated Sustainable Finance Framework as well as issue a Sustainability-Linked Bond. This, it said, builds on its green finance initiative, following its prior green bond issuance and the linking of its senior credit facility to sustainability metrics. As part of its Integrated Sustainable Finance Framework, Johnson Controls said, it further committed to achieving interim absolute emission reduction targets by 2025.

Johnson Controls said it is a member of both the WBCSD decarbonization and circular economy working groups for the Built Environment. With an integrated focus on designing buildings with low to no carbon, standardizing measurement across the industry and delivering nature-positive solutions, the two working groups are on the forefront of designing the future of sustainable, equitable cities, it said.

“We are delighted to join WBCSD”, said Katie McGinty, Vice President and Chief Sustainability and External Relations Officer, Johnson Controls. “The building sector accounts for nearly 40% of global annual CO2 emissions, so there is no tackling climate change without substantial investment in buildings. We look forward to working with, and learning from, fellow WBCSD members, leading the way to a low carbon, nature positive, sustainable economy, together.”

Peter Bakker, President and CEO, WBCSD, said: “WBCSD is working to accelerate the system transformations needed for a net-zero, nature-positive, and more equitable future. To achieve our vision of creating a world in which nine+ billion people are living well, within planetary boundaries, by mid-century, we need to engage executives and sustainability leaders in business. Therefore, I am delighted to welcome Johnson Controls as the newest member of WBCSD. As a global leader in the built environment sector, with an ambitious goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, we are excited to work alongside Johnson Controls to solve the intertwined sustainability challenges of the climate emergency, biodiversity loss, and mounting inequality.”

Poppy introduces IT-based IAQ solution at EXPO 2020 seminar

DUBAI, UAE, 21 March 2022: Canada-headquartered Poppy, which calls itself the world’s first biosafety intelligence company, introduced its IT-based IAQ devices to the MENA region during a seminar at the Canada Pavilion, at the World Expo in Dubai.

Mohammed Bin Dasmal

Opening the seminar, Nader Arafat, Strategic Advisor, MENA Region, Poppy, spoke of the pandemic ushering in a mindset shift towards Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). Speaking after him, Mohammed Bin Dasmal, Managing Director, Bin Dasmal Group, called Poppy’s devices as focusing on IAQ as well as on energy savings.

Sam Molyneux, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Poppy, elaborated on Bin Dasmal’s pithy description during his presentation. Saying that the world needs to protect itself from future pandemics, he said it is important to understand indoor safety and the cost of enhancing safety. Making clean air in a cost-effective way is a global priority, he added.

Referring to the high-profile Guangzhou restaurant, the site of the precipitous outbreak of COVID-19, in the period starting from January 26 to February 10, 2020, Molyneux highlighted how a small air conditioning system was able to propagate the virus and raised ventilation concerns. In view of that, he said, in some senses, ventilation is the last stand against COVID-19. Poppy systems, he said, help in making ventilation decisions, including demand-control ventilation, as a means to achieving IAQ goals without compromising on energy efficiency targets.

Nader Arafat and Sam Molyneux

The devices, Molyneux said, available on subscription basis, detect and identify over 1,000+ pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, using genomic sequencing and molecular assays. They allow the company to collect data related to human breath, which in turn, allow understanding on how human breath moves, which he said is crucial, considering everyone is constantly breathing out particles that contain viruses.

The data, and the understanding of the data, he said, enable the company to validate how air conditioning systems are performing and, broadly speaking, provide insights and a direction for action to protect indoor spaces and occupants.

Molyneux said the company has deployed Poppy systems in 50 sites across North America and Europe, including factories, financial institutions, schools and entertainment venues. He gave the example of Poppy systems at work at the largest investment bank in Manhattan, in New York City, where the company is able to monitor the air quality in the trading floor, among other zones of the building and identify if any zones have high transmission issues that need to be looked into.

He also gave the example of the Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts, in Toronto, Canada, where Poppy systems are at work monitoring and providing recommendations, so that the Center is able to run its operas again. “We are able to recommend increasing the ventilation rates in hotspots, which is a localised approach, and reducing ventilation rates globally,” Molyneux said. “So, we are able to achieve energy savings.”

ASHRAE announces call for abstracts for 2023 Winter Conference

ATLANTA, Georgia, 10 March 2022: ASHRAE said it has begun accepting abstracts for the 2023 ASHRAE Winter Conference, to be held from February 4 to 8, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

Making the announcement through a Press release, ASHRAE said the conference will address improving energy efficiency and decarbonization in the built environment.

 

According to ASHRAE, the technical program comprises the following eight tracks and a mini track:

 

The “Fundamentals and Applications” track will provide opportunities for papers of varying levels across a large topic base. Concepts, design elements and shared experiences for theoretical and applied concepts of HVAC&R design are included.

 

The “HVAC&R Systems and Equipment” track will focus on the development of new systems and equipment, improvements to existing systems and equipment and the proper application and operation of systems and equipment.

 

The “Refrigerants and Refrigeration” track will explore refrigeration systems, which generate and use cold for a range of processes, from food preparation and conservation to vaccine preservation, and to long-term protection of fragile ancient inks of historical documents and others.

 

The “Grid Resilience and Thermal Storage” track will highlight the advancements in grid resilience and thermal storage systems and how they are tied to resilience and energy conservation efforts.      

 

The “Pathways to Zero Energy Emissions and Decarbonization” track will highlight methods being developed to reduce carbon impact on the global environment and the efforts ASHRAE and its members are taking to advance these efforts.

 

The “Multifamily and Residential Buildings” track will cover programs and papers on best practices, utility and above-code incentive programs, field studies, and codes and standards requirements. The track also welcomes programs and papers for single-family housing and other residential buildings.

 

The “Operations and Maintenance” will address an array of topics, including lessons learned, improvement of process and team communications and effort to improve the installation, startup, O&M and commissioning of HVAC systems.

 

The “Building Simulation and Virtual Design in Construction” track will focus on the practices of energy modeling and building performance simulation using existing simulation tools, software development, and future simulation research and applications for building simulation & virtual design in construction.

 

The mini track, “Innovative Responses to Supply Chain Challenge” is intended to help members plan for the future disruptions and develop resiliency plans around supply chain by highlighting effective and innovative strategies to mitigate supply chain challenges.         

 

According to ASHRAE, abstracts, 400 words or less, are due April 5, 2022. If accepted, final conference papers (eight pages, maximum) are due July 25, 2022, it said.

 

In addition, technical papers (complete 30-page maximum papers published in “ASHRAE Transactions”) are also due April 5, 2022 and considered for Science and Technology for the Built Environment, ASHRAE’s research journal.

 

For more information on the call for abstracts and the 2023 ASHRAE Winter Conference, ASHRAE suggested visiting ashrae.org/2023Winter.

 

 

ABB joins Eurovent

BRUSSELS, Belgium, ZÜRICH, Switzerland, 1 March 2022: Eurovent said ABB has joined as its newest Corresponding Member, adding that the Eurovent Board of Directors approved the membership of the manufacturer of HVACR drives, motors and controls during a meeting in February 2022.

According to Eurovent, ABB is one of the global manufacturers of drives, motors and controls for HVACR applications with a global footprint, supporting the industry across the world with products and services.

Frank Taaning Grundholm, Vice President of Global HVACR Sales, ABB, who also serves as a Board member of Eurovent and Eurovent Middle East, said: “To get the most out of an HVACR system requires smart planning, and the most critical focus for building operators is to move towards specifying needs rather than technical solutions only. We are excited to be part of Eurovent and look forward to taking even more active part in its dialogues that are guiding the development of HVACR products in a more sustainable direction and leading important advocacy for improved Indoor Air Quality.”

Giwee launches GCHV 200Pa medium ESP ducted unit

FOSHAN, Guangdong, China, 22 February 2022: Giwee, a subsidiary of Carrier, has launched the GCHV 200Pa Medium ESP Ducted unit.

Making the announcement through a Press release, the company said the brand-new DFC (design for comfort) unit achieves a maximum static pressure of 200 Pa with built-in EXV and E-box design, and optional built-in water pump.

Giwee said the unit offers the flexibility of easily switching the air return from the bottom or from the rear, according to the specific needs of the project. The company further said the unit allows for constant air volume or constant fan speed to be set by means of a wired controller or remote controller.

According to Giwee, the reserve fresh air outlet in the unit can provide fresh air to the built-environment at any time, and that the easy-to-remove filter and fan are convenient for cleaning. Further, the EXV coil and water level switch access port in the unit make maintenance easier, the company said.

Giwee said the units are compatible for E-heater, UVC sterilisation and Wi-Fi-based operations.

‘One for the books’: Organisers of HVACR mega show, AHR Expo, say

WESTPORT, Connecticut, 10 February 2022: The AHR Expo returned last week to Vegas after a forced hiatus in 2021, International Exposition Company (IEC), the organisers of the show, said through a news release.

After two years of uncertainty and a longing to reunite the industry, the event represented an eagerness to return to business, drawing 30,678 attendees, IEC said. What’s more, the success of the show signals a reignited energy for all things HVACR and the community’s readiness to take on the challenges and opportunities ahead with renewed optimism, IEC said. “It was impossible to miss the energy in the halls this year,” said Mark Stevens, Show Manager.

“There have been some heavy ups and downs across the industry in recent years, and we, as a community, needed to feel the inspiration that happens when we gather together under one roof. The 2022 AHR Expo surpassed any expectation – our exhibitors, attendees, associations, speakers and everyone involved made this event one of the most special we’ve ever hosted. If you were there, the camaraderie was hard to miss. This industry is strong, and we are back on track to tackle the challenges before us.”

According to IEC, attendees were eager to be back in the booths experiencing new products and methods that support their work in the field. It was evident from every corner of the show floor that this industry is bursting with prospects, IEC added. “My main reason for attending the AHR Expo is the whole experience,” said Arizona tradesman and first-time attendee, Brendan Bowie.

“You get to meet all the people who make the things that we buy and look up to and use every day. It is a lot of the vendors that we spend money with, because they make superior products. I talked to presidents and CEOs of companies that I buy products from every day, every week, every month. Instagram stories are not going to tell what AHR is, it’s the whole experience. Going to AHR matters, because you have to see what’s going on out there. I had the opportunity to see so much new. We’re trapped in vans every day on the job, you need to see what’s out there.”

According to IEC, a total of 1,573 exhibitors spread out over 443,769 square feet in the Central and North halls, packing the floor with an explosion of innovation and new products. Given the time apart, there was plenty to take in, as exhibitors launched new technology, products and ideas that came to life since we last gathered in Orlando, IEC said. “We and our [manufacturer] member companies that exhibited were very pleased with the quality of the Las Vegas Expo,” said Stephen Yurek, President & CEO, AHRI.

“We heard comment after comment about the quality and number of attendees and how grateful everyone was to get back together with their industry colleagues and customers. We are grateful to our [manufacturer] members for moving ahead with what turned out to be a really good show, and we look forward to seeing some of them in Guadalajara in September and more of them next year in Atlanta.”

According to IEC, inside the exhibitor booths, this year, company reps and attendees were busy catching up on lost time. The challenges in the supply chain and other COVID-related delays have opened the door for new ways of thinking about partnerships, IEC said. Emerson, one of the exhibitors, endorsed the organizer’s statement.

“Emerson has always valued the customer engagement opportunities provided by the AHR Expo and the forum to showcase our sustainable solutions that are helping to reduce global impact while improving comfort, efficiency, performance and food safety in the HVACR industry,” said John Schneider, President, HVACR Technologies Americas, Emerson.

“After last year’s pause, the Expo provided a much-needed, in-person touchpoint, and we were thrilled to have our valued customers join us in celebrating our Copeland brand’s 100-year milestone during our pre-show customer event. This year, we also sponsored the Podcast Pavilion, which was a great opportunity for us to align with industry influencers as their role in this industry continues to expand.

Ultimately, all our businesses and brands experienced a great turnout, and we are looking forward to even more attendance in 2023.” Added Sarah Beyerlein, Everwell Parts: “It does not matter where you come from or where in the industry you’re involved in, the AHR Expo is the most remarkable yearly event where we all share our passion and expertise in the HVAC industry. It cannot be missed out.”

Innovation sets the course

On Monday, January 31, the show celebrated the 2022 Innovation Award Winners with a private reception. Members from each winning company were invited to share food and drink and be among industry cohorts also being recognized as leaders in shaping the future of HVACR, IEC said. The 2022 AHR Expo Innovation Award Product of the Year Award, IEC said, went to Danfoss, for their Danfoss Turbocor VTCA400 Compressor, a winner in the Cooling category. Lisa Tryson, Market Communications Director, Danfoss, said: “Danfoss is honored to be recognized with the product of the year award for our VTCA400 oil-free compressor. Our industry is at the forefront of many critical trends, and innovation is vital to meet the challenges ahead. The AHR Expo is a great way to showcase these latest technologies.”

Stevens, speaking on behalf of the organizer, said: “We were honored to celebrate our 2022 winners with a more intimate celebration. The pace they each are setting for the future of HVACR is astounding, and collectively in each of the sectors they are raising the bar on how we are shaping the industry. Congratulations to all our 2022 winners, and to Danfoss for their leadership in innovation. As the industry looks ahead to changes on the horizon for HVACR, innovation from our exhibiting companies continues to push to new levels.”

Partnerships born through crucial in-person networking help to propel new ideas into the marketplace, IEC said. Jacques Beaudry-Losique, CEO, Enginuity Power Systems, said: “The AHR Expo is an environment uniquely suited to making high-level connections and business partnerships, as well as finding the latest state-of-the-art appliance product technology as well as supply chain and distribution channels. We were honored to be awarded the 2022 Sustainable Solutions Innovation Award, further validating our products to help homes and businesses save energy and achieve their sustainability goals.”

Education Program… something for everyone

In the Education Program, attendees were invited to sit in on more than 80 free sessions, covering topics from a wide range of industry experts, IEC said. Added to the roster this year was an industry panel discussion led by leaders representing all sectors of the industry, including Mick Schwedler, 2021-2022 President, ASHRAE; Yurek; Talbot Gee, CEO, Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration Distributors (HARDI); Roberta MacGillivray, President, National Air Filtration Association (NAFA); and Dominick Guarino, CEO, National Comfort Institute (NCI). Bryan Orr, of HVAC School for Tech by Techs, and industry podcaster and well-known training advocate, moderated the panel, which included a discussion on the current state of HVACR as well as threats and opportunities as the industry recalibrates to a new normal post-pandemic.

Speaking during the discussion, Yurek said: “Our focus used to be on the box, on the equipment and the installation of it. Now, we need to address the entire HVAC system to provide efficiency and comfort. The change we will see over the next few years will be nothing we’ve seen before.” Schwedler said: “Our industry has never been more essential. The public became aware of what our industry does. We are fully connected as a world, with more people involved in problem-solving.” And MacGillivray said: “Before COVID-19, there was a tradeoff between energy efficiency and human health. As we solve the pandemic issue, we must continue our focus on how IAQ affects human health and productivity.”

Additional education program highlights included an overview of intellectual property in HVACR, by Wil Rao, an IP and Patent attorney in the greater Chicago area; a breakdown of warranty and callbacks from Bryan Orr; lessons learned from the supply chain, a panel discussion hosted by HARDI and moderated by the HVAC Jerks; and many more targeted discussions highlighting current opportunities, threats and methods across the industry. “It is absolutely fantastic to see the AHR Expo make such a strong comeback in Las Vegas,” said Jeff Littleton, ASHRAE Executive Vice President. “Bringing professionals from around the world back together to learn and share new technologies, with health and safety as a top priority, affords us the opportunity to continue moving the critical work of our industry forward.”

Strength in community

Perhaps one of the most inspiring sentiments shared throughout the floor this year was the sense of community that HVACR embraces, IEC said. Many of the industry’s workforce remained on the frontlines throughout the pandemic and relied on the daily connection with professionals through social media and other points of communication, it said adding there was an overwhelming sense of relief and contentment to be gathering again face to face at the industry’s largest event. “My first AHR was amazing, I really enjoyed meeting my social media community in person,” said Ashley Lynds, Texas tradeswoman Ashley Lynds. “Everyone was so welcoming, and I was able to network and make additional connections for future business. I can’t wait for Atlanta!”

The Podcast Pavilion returned for its second year as a show feature, IEC said, adding it was a clear fan favorite, as attendees packed the pavilions each day for live recordings from their favorite industry talents. Eric Aune, with Mechanical Hub, said: “We’ve been attending this show for over a decade. This year was different, there was a new connection with social media and a great podcast lineup. I like the direction they are taking things.”

Until we meet again

AHR Expo will head back to Atlanta for the 2023 show, bringing with it the positive energy established in Vegas, IEC said. Eager exhibitors have already reserved booths and discussions of travel plans among attendees are underway, IEC revealed, adding that it’s safe to say we are back to business! “Vegas is one for the books,” Stevens said. “We’ve been hosting this show for many years, and while it is always a great showing of our industry, this year felt like a new chapter for HVACR. We are a strong community, and we now have the attention this industry deserves to thrive on the global stage.

“We look forward to hosting many of our international attendees who couldn’t make it this year because of travel restrictions and supply chain issues. We have big problems to solve and hefty aspirations to meet, as our industry touches literally every part of society and our everyday lives.

The success of the 2022 AHR Expo is proof that we are poised to take on anything together. We are all excited to be a part of such a vibrant community, and we look forward to planning a stellar show for you in Atlanta. We’ll see you soon!”

According to IEC, the 2023 AHR Expo will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Registration will open in summer 2022.

ASHRAE wraps up first hybrid Winter Conference

ATLANTA, Georgia, 4 February 2022: More than 2,800 HVACR industry professionals, building systems engineers, architects, contractors and students gathered in Las Vegas and virtually from January 29 to February 2 for the 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference, ASHRAE said through a Press release. Registered conference attendees received entry to the co-sponsored AHR Expo, held from January 31 to February 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, ASHRAE added.

“This year’s Conference and Expo marked the first time that the Society has been together for our Winter Conference in two years and the return to the AHR Expo after last year’s cancellation,” said Mick Schwedler, 2021-22 ASHRAE President. “While the numbers are expectedly lower than past conferences, in-person attendance still exceeded our expectations, and our virtual attendees added a welcomed dynamic to our sessions. We are grateful to everyone involved in establishing a comprehensive health and safety plan for our attendees, which included guidance provided by the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force.”

According to ASHRAE, the Winter Conference featured over 50 technical sessions, updates from Society leaders, tours, social events and livestreamed sessions for virtual attendees. Top sessions included Introduction of Building Decarbonization, HVAC Design, Control and Operation of Hospitals After COVID-19 Fiasco and CPS 21: Refining ASHRAE COVID Guidelines and Standard 100, ASHRAE said.

According to ASHRAE, the AHR Expo offered a total of 1,573 exhibitors, with 281 international exhibitors, occupying 443,769 square feet of exhibit space in the Las Vegas Convention Center. More than 43,000 people pre-registered to attend the show, including 130 media representatives, ASHRAE said.

At the Winter Conference, Schwedler provided updates related to the Society’s current theme, “Personal Growth. Global Impact. Feed the Roots”, ASHRAE said. He focused on personal development and how the Society’s extraordinary global growth and impact to the built environment has nourished the roots of the global HVACR industry, ASHRAE added.

“When we concentrate on our mission and vision and talk about our impacts – we make the world more sustainable and resilient to future changes,” Schwedler said. “We reduce both energy utilization intensity and environmental emissions. We helped mitigate a global pandemic by keeping vaccines cold – and their efficacy high – 40% of the world’s food spoils between the field and consumption. We reduce that. And most importantly, we keep students and staff in schools, and occupants of the built environment safe and healthy.”

During the plenary session of the Conference, Jeff Littleton, Executive Vice President and Secretary, ASHRAE, reported on the Society’s current initiatives, as well as the dedication of ASHRAE volunteers during the pandemic. “A Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board subcommittee is focused on proactively driving diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the Society,” Littleton said. “Task groups have been formed to drive Society strategies on decarbonization and on international standards. We’ve released 14 new and 24 revised publications and standards.

Examples of new publications include the ASHRAE Design Guide for Natural Ventilation and the ASHRAE Guide for HVAC in Hazardous Spaces. We’ve even released the children’s book, Lucy’s Engineering Adventure. The commitment of ASHRAE’s entire global membership to the Society’s work has never wavered during the pandemic. I find that truly remarkable. When so much of our professional and personal lives has been disrupted, some 7,000 ASHRAE volunteers at the society, regional and chapter levels continue to drive ASHRAE forward.”

ASHRAE said an honors and awards ceremony, tied to the Conference, was an occasion for recognizing experienced and emerging leaders in the industry. Record-breaking polar explorer, Ann Daniels, closed the plenary session with an inspiring presentation on good leadership, teamwork and self-belief.

The ASHRAE Learning Institute (ALI) offered 17 courses. According to ASHRAE, new courses were as follows: Advanced High-Performance Building Designs: Key Concepts for Lifelong Building Sustainability; V in HVAC – What, Why, Where, How, and How Much (includes Basic Requirements of Standard 62.1-2019); Best Practices for Installing DDC Systems; Save 40% by Complying with Standard 90.1-2019; Principles of Building Commissioning: ASHRAE Guideline 0 and Standard 202; Guideline 36: Best in Class HVAC Control Sequences; Changing Environments and Loads for Data Centers (High Density, Liquid Cooling, Edge Computing); and Health Impacts of Indoor Air Extraction, Ventilation, and Filtration – Same or Different.

ASHRAE said all registered attendees, both in-person and virtual, would have access to the virtual conference environment for 12 months, post-conference. Registration, the Society said, is still open for access to the virtual conference until January 2023 at ashrae.org/2022winter.

ASHRAE said the 2022 ASHRAE Annual Conference will take place from June 25 to June 29 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The 2023 Winter Conference will take place from February 4 to 8, and the AHR Expo, from February 6 to 8, in Atlanta, Georgia.  

ASHRAE announces nominees for 2022-23 slate of officers, directors

ATLANTA, Georgia, 31 January 2022: ASHRAE announced Ginger Scoggins as President-Elect for the 2022-2023 Society Year, among other nominees for the slate of officers and directors.

Making the announcement through a Press release, ASHRAE said the ASHRAE Nominating Committee made the nominations for the officers and directors from a list that individual members and Chapters Regional Conferences prepared.

According to ASHRAE, the 2022-23 nominees are:

  • President-Elect: Ginger Scoggins
  • Treasurer: Dennis Knight
  • Vice Presidents: Billy Austin, Dunstan Macauley, Sarah Maston, Ashish Rakheja
  • Directors and Regional Chairs: Bryan Holcomb (Region IV), James Arnold (Region V), Susanna Hanson (Region VI), John Constantinide (Region XII) and Cheng Wee Leong (Region XIII)
  • Directors-at-Large: Blake Ellis, Luke Leung and Wei Sun
  • Alternate Director-at-Large: Patrick Marks 

ASHRAE said members will vote on the nominees via electronic ballot in May 2022. Farooq Mehboob will serve as ASHRAE President for the 2022-23 Society Year.

CriticalAsset to unveil building maintenance automation software at AHR Expo

LAS VEGAS, Nevada, 31 January 2022: CriticalAsset, Inc. (exhibitor booth N11531), announced it will be unveiling its new flagship facilities management platform, CriticalAsset, on Jan 31 at the AHR Expo in Las Vegas. Making the announcement through a Press release, the company also spoke of USD 1.2MM in funding from Tamarisc VC, one of the country’s leading PropTech investors.

CriticalAsset said the platform is a beautiful software that simplifies facilities management, service, maintenance and documentation; lowers operating costs; and improves a building’s environmental footprint. It’s also the first software to offer a truly interactive digital twin, closing the gap between construction handoffs and building stakeholders, the company claimed.

The platform is a next-generation, mobile-first CMMS, which includes a suite of smart features, including:

  • Smart Interactive Floorplans, which converts paper plans and assets into interactive digital documents
  • Smart Electrical Panels, in which panel schedules, fed-from, fed-to and affected areas will be completely digital
  • Smart Maintenance Scheduling, which automates service and maintenance scheduling
  • Smart Work Orders, in which work orders with all key asset data can be created effortlessly by anyone and automatically shared with facilities teams, field technicians and others
  • Smart Document Storage, in which all building documents, pictures and plans are securely stored in one place and instantly accessible 24/7.

According to the company, it is the first platform to incorporate AI into all critical aspects of facilities management. The platform solves some of the biggest problems facing virtually every building stakeholder, including facility managers, technicians, contractors, engineers and building owners, the company said.

Building information is scattered all over the place, is difficult to find and is inconsistent. Facilities teams still depend on messy plan rooms, paper notes, complicated spreadsheets, incompatible software apps and risky guesswork, and key knowledge often lives in one person’s head, creating single points of failure, the company pointed out.

Without automation, facilities teams are reactive versus proactive, which takes extra time, results in more asset breakdowns, increases operational costs and creates unnecessary safety risks, while worsening their environmental impact, the company pointed out.

Covid forced many facility managers with institutional knowledge into early retirement, leaving building and property stakeholders with knowledge gaps, creating new risks.

The CriticalAsset platform, the company said, solves all these problems with a single platform for facilities managers and all building stakeholders, offering instant, 24×7 remote access to all building information and tools needed to keep buildings healthy and operational.

“CriticalAsset makes it effortless for facilities managers, contractors and commercial property stakeholders to run their buildings remotely,” said Stewart Padveen, CEO, CriticalAsset. “It lowers operational costs and improves the safety of all occupants in buildings and facilities. There is nothing that compares to CriticalAsset’s simplicity.”

ASHRAE recognizes outstanding achievements of members

ATLANTA, Georgia, 30 January 2022: ASHRAE recognized the outstanding achievements and contributions of members to the Society and the built-environment industry during its 2022 Winter Conference in Las Vegas. It made the announcement through a Press release.

“Congratulations to all of ASHRAE’s Honors and Awards recipients,” said 2021-22 ASHRAE President Mick Schwedler. “Your service to the global built-environment and our Society is appreciated.”

Fellow ASHRAE

According to ASHRAE, the Fellow ASHRAE category is a membership grade that recognizes members who have attained distinction and made substantial contributions in HVACR and the built-environment, such as education, research, engineering design and consultation, publications, presentations and mentoring. The Society elevated 25 members to the grade of Fellow:

  • Edward A. Arens, Ph.D., Life Member ASHRAE, director, Center for the Built Environment, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California
  • Robert Bean, President, Indoor Climate Consultants Inc., Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Don Brandt, Life Member ASHRAE, Retired from Trane Co., in Phoenix, Arizona
  • James F. Butler, CTO, Cimetrics Inc., Boston, Massachusetts
  • Pieter De Wilde, Professor, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, United Kingdom
  • Titu R. Doctor, Life Member ASHRAE, Retired, Marietta, Georgia
  • W. Stuart Dols, Mechanical Engineer, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, Maryland
  • Brian A. Fricke, Ph.D., Group Leader, Building Equipment Research, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
  • Shih-Cheng Hu, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Department of Energy, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning, and Director, Center for Clean Technology Research, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Joe Huang, BEMP, Owner, White Box Technologies, Inc., Moraga, California
  • Luke C. H. Leung, P.E., P.Eng., BEMP, Director, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Chicago, Illinois
  • Igor Y. Maevski, Ph.D., P.E., Manager of Engineering, Global Tunnel Fire & Life Safety Lead, Jacobs Engineering, New York, New York
  • Hugh Magande, Technical Principal, Research, Southface Institute, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tim McGinn, P.Eng., HBDP, Principal, McGinn Technical Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Janice K. Means, P.E., Life Member ASHRAE, Professor Emerita, Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan
  • Amy V. Musser, Ph.D., P.E., BEMP, Partner, Vandemusser Design, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Zheng O’Neill, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor, J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • Ryozo Ooka, Professor, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • Chun-cheng Piao, Ph.D., President, Daikin Open Innovation Lab Silicon Valley, Santa Clara, California
  • Lee Riback, Life Member ASHRAE, Project Director – Commissioning, McKinstry Co – South Region, Dallas, Texas
  • Charles Roos, CPEng, Senior Technical Director, Beca Ltd., Auckland, New Zealand.
  • William A. Ryan, Ph.D., P.E., Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Energy Engineering Program, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • Roger R. Schmidt, Ph.D., Traugott Distinguished Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
  • Celso Cardoso Simões Alexandre, P.Eng., Life Member ASHRAE, President, TROX Americas Extended Board, and Member, TROX GROUP Extended Board, TROX GmbH, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Filza H. Walters, Professor of the Practice in Architectural Engineering, Department of Multidisciplinary Engineering, College of Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

Presidential Certificate of Honor 

According to ASHRAE, the Presidential Certificate of Honor is presented as a special honor by the ASHRAE President to recognize a member who has made a unique contribution to the growth and well-being of the Society. ASHRAE recognized the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force in the category. The members of the Task Force are:

  • Bill Bahnfleth, Ph.D., P.E., Presidential Fellow Member ASHRAE, Professor of Architectural Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Dennis Knight, P.E., BEMP, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Principal, Whole Building Systems, LLC, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
  • Walid Chakroun, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Member ASHRAE, Professor, Kuwait University, Kuwait
  • Brad C. Cochran, P.E., Senior Principal, CPP Wind Engineering, Windsor, Colorado
  • Wade H. Conlan, P.E., BCxP, Commissioning and Energy Discipline Manager, Hanson Professional Services, Inc., Maitland, Florida
  • Jason DeGraw, Ph.D., R&D Staff Member, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Traci Hanegan, P.E., HFDP, Fellow Member ASHRAE, Principal Mechanical Engineer, Coffman Engineers, Inc., Spokane, Washington.
  • Richard D. Hermans, P.E., HFDP, Life Member ASHRAE, Retired Mechanical Department Manager, AECOM, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Luke Leung, P.E., P.Eng, BEMP, Director, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP, Chicago, Illinois
  • Stephen B. Martin, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., Senior Research Engineer, Respiratory Health Division, Field Studies Branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Morgantown, West Virginia
  • John L. McKernan, Sc.D., Chief, Emerging Contaminants and Technologies Branch, US EPA, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Corey B. Metzger, P.E., Principal, Resource Consulting Engineers, LLC, Ames, Iowa
  • Jim Ridenhour, Life Member ASHRAE, Retired, Greer, South Carolina
  • Max H. Sherman, Ph.D., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Retired Senior Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California
  • Stephanie Taylor, M.D., President and Founder, Building 4 Health, Inc., Keswick, Virginia
  • Pawel Wargocki, Ph.D., Associate Professor, International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy, Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

ASHRAE Technology Awards

According to ASHRAE, the ASHRAE Technology Awards recognize outstanding achievements by ASHRAE members who have successfully applied innovative building designs. Their designs incorporate ASHRAE standards for effective energy management and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and serve to communicate innovative systems design. Winning projects are selected from entries earning regional awards. According to ASHRAE, first-place recipients for the ASHRAE Technology Award are:

  • Hermes Silva Flores, existing commercial buildings category, Hotel Mandarin Oriental, Santiago, Chile. The building is owned by Hotel Mandarin Oriental Santiago.
  • Donald R. Hartdegen, Jr., P.E., Asfandyar Khan, P.E., HBDP and Sudesh Saraf, P.E., new educational facilities category, Adlai E. Stevenson High School East Building, Lincolnshire, Illinois. The building is owned by Adlai Stevenson High School District 125.
  • Jason Volz, P.E., Matt Branham, P.E., Brian Duvall, P.E. and Braydi McPherson-Hathaway, EBCx educational facilities category, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Louisville, Kentucky. The building is owned by Kentucky Community and Technical College System.
  • Lincoln Pearce, P.E., BEAP, existing educational facilities category, Marston Hall Renovation, Ames, Iowa.
  • Nicholas Rogers, P.E., Tracy Steward and David Mayer, new heath care facilities category, Norton Novak Center for Children’s Health, Louisville, Kentucky. The building is owned by Norton Healthcare.
  • Shana Scheiber, P.E. and Rick Flock, P.E., new industrial facilities or processes category, Exact Sciences Lab, Madison, Wisconsin. The building is owned by Exact Sciences.
  • Leighton W. Deer, P.E., HBDP and Brad Grubb, P.E., new public assembly category, Westwood Hills Nature Center, St. Louis Park, Minnesota. The building is owned by the City of St. Louis Park.
  • Dennis C. McKale, P.E., Bradley Herbeck and Ryan Cowan, existing industrial facilities or processes category, Stellantis – Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, Sterling Heights, Michigan. The building is owned by Stellantis.
  • Dustin Langille, BEMP, HBDP and Donald McLauchlan, residential facilities category, 3833 North Broadway, Chicago, Illinois. The building is owned by 3817-45 N. Broadway Inc.

First Place and Award of Engineering Excellence

According to ASHRAE, the Award of Engineering Excellence was created in 1989 to recognize a first-place winner of the Society-level Technology Award competition for an outstanding application of innovative design and effective energy utilization. The recipient of the Award of Engineering Excellence will have demonstrated the best overall compliance with the judging criteria.

According to ASHRAE, first-place and recipients of the Award of Engineering Excellence are:

  • Shiro Tsukami, P.E., Kitaro Mizuide, Ph.D., P.E. and Hirotaka Kubo, P.E., new commercial buildings category, DaiyaGate Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan. The building is owned by Seibu Properties Inc.

Student Design Competition

According to ASHRAE, the 2021 Student Design Competition focused on a new 50,000-square-foot building on a higher education campus in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. The building included a two-story cafeteria, associated office, and commercial kitchen and storage space. The teams were tasked with providing safe and healthy storage of food materials on the lower level in a manner that prevents spoiling and the growth of bacteria, while providing enough kitchen/serving space and permanent seating to serve a peak occupancy of 720 students and a total of 3,000 students per day.

First place in the HVAC System Selection category was awarded to Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan. Team members are Evan Eldred, Brian Van Schepen, Nick Schramski, Cole Quinlan, Cole Weber and Jordanny T. Williams.

According to ASHRAE, first place in the HVAC Design Calculations category was awarded to the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Team members are Brandon Jung, Arin Lee, Lukengo Miguel, Kyle Vanderhorst and Taewoong (Jeff) Yoon.

According to ASHRAE, first place in the Integrated Sustainable Building Design category was awarded to Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa. Team members are Andre Cosini, Xinyan Liu, Christopher Maitski, Andrew McGrail, Roumany C. Phan and Christopher Unis.

The Setty Family Foundation Applied Engineering Challenge requires students to plan, develop and enact solutions to sustainability issues in their local or regional areas. In the 2021 Setty Family Foundation Applied Engineering Challenge, students were challenged to design an indoor farming system to meet the needs of a local community with regard to single or multi-family residential construction.

According to ASHRAE, the California Polytechnic State University, in San Luis Obispo, California, placed first. Team members are Adam Bessey, Matthew Malonzo and Ryan Salazar.

E.K. Campbell Award of Merit

According to ASHRAE, Thomas M. Lawrence, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Member ASHRAE, received the E.K. Campbell Award of Merit. The award honors an individual for outstanding service and achievement in teaching and is presented by the Life Members Club. Lawrence is professor of practice, mechanical engineering program lead, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

John F. James International Award

According to ASHRAE, Karine Leblanc, received the John F. James International Award. The award recognizes a member who has done the most to enhance the Society’s international presence. Lelanc is sales engineer, US Air Conditioning Distributors, City of Industry, California.

YEA Inspirational Leader Award

According to ASHRAE, Badri Patel, BEAP, received the YEA Inspirational Leader Award. The award recognizes a Young Engineer in ASHRAE (YEA) member who has gone above and beyond to make considerable contributions to the industry and community. Patel is commercial market account executive, Johnson Controls Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

ASHRAE Award for Distinguished Public Service

According to ASHRAE, Steven J. Williams received the ASHRAE Award for Distinguished Public Service. The award recognizes members who have performed outstanding public service in their community and, in doing so, have helped to improve the public image of the engineer. Williams is mechanical project manager, James Posey Associates, Owings Mills, Maryland.

Honorary Member

According to ASHRAE, William “Bill” Nye, known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, was elected as an Honorary Member of ASHRAE. Honorary Members, elected by the Board of Directors, are defined as notable persons of preeminent professional distinction. Nye is CEO, The Planetary Society, Pasadena, California.

ASHRAE Hall of Fame

According to ASHRAE, Raymond G. Alvine, P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE (1926-2005) and Alwin B. Newton, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE (1907-1985), were inducted into the ASHRAE Hall of Fame. The ASHRAE Hall of Fame honors deceased members of the Society who have made milestone contributions to the growth of ASHRAE-related technology or the development of ASHRAE as a society.

Paul Anderson Award

According to ASHRAE, James E. Braun, Ph.D., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, received the F. Paul Anderson Award. The award, ASHRAE’s highest honor, for technical achievement, is named in memory of Presidential Member F. Paul Anderson, who was a pioneer in the study of environmental conditions for comfort.

AABC, ACG and EMA to conduct workshop on commissioning at AHR Expo

LAS VEGAS, Nevada, 30 January 2022: The Associated Air Balance Council (AABC), the AABC Commissioning Group (ACG) and the Energy Management Association (EMA) said they are exhibiting and presenting at AHR Expo 2022, the world’s largest HVACR marketplace. The engagement includes a CxA Workshop on February 1 and 2 at the Expo AHR Expo.

The two-day, 12-hour-long workshop includes discussion of the commissioning process, as described in ACG’s Commissioning Guideline, as well as practical insight on skills, strategies, and communication and documentation protocols essential to applying the process on “real world” projects. This highly interactive training includes many small-group breakout activities, where attendees will use project case studies to develop and discuss samples of key commissioning deliverables, the three entities said. After the workshop and on the final day, a CxA certification exam is administered to approved candidates.

The instructional portion of the CxA Workshop is open for all to attend. The ACG is at Booth C4915 in the Central Hall.

According to ACG, those interested in attending can register at https://www.commissioning.org/register-for-cxa-workshop-exam-at-ahr-expo-2022/ 

Maurizio Orlandi is new Chairman of Eurovent PG: Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 28 January 2022: The Eurovent Product Group, ‘Commercial Refrigeration Equipment’ (PD-RDC) has elected its new Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Maurizio Orlandi has become the Group Chairman. Making the announcement through a Press release, Eurovent added that he will be supported by the re-elected Vice-Chairman, Jesus Beraza.

L-R: Maurizio Orlandi (PG-RDC Chairman), Jesus Beraza (PG-RDC Vice-Chairman)

Orlandi, who is Technical Compliance & Intellectual Property Manager, Epta, was elected as the new Chairman of the Product Group during its online meeting on January 14, 2022, Eurovent said. He has extensive experience in Eurovent and within the refrigeration industry. He will succeed Pierluigi Schiesaro, R&D Director, Arneg, who served in the industry as the Eurovent PG-RDC Chairman continuously since January 2005, Eurovent said, adding that the Product Group participants thank Schiesaro for his long-term commitment in supporting Eurovent and accomplishing great work throughout the past years. Beraza, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Koxka, was re-elected for the position of Vice-Chairman, following his previous election on September 28, 2016.

Speaking on the occasion, Orlandi said, “Starting with a personal thanks to Pierluigi for his contribution to this Product Group, it is a great honour for the trust you bestowed upon me, and I look forward to working in the direction of strengthening Eurovent and our industry in the European and global landscape.”

Beraza added, “I would like to show my appreciation to the group participants for having the confidence in me to continue supporting this group as the Vice-Chairman, and to stress my commitment to definitively boost fair competition, one of the main guiding principles of Eurovent.”

According to Eurovent, the next meeting of the group will take place on February 2, online. The group covers refrigerated display cabinets (remote and integral units), walk-in cold rooms, commercial beverage coolers, ice-cream freezers and refrigeration packs. According to Eurovent, it is the largest European working group of commercial refrigeration equipment manufacturers, and the group is supported by the Eurovent Member Associations on a national level.

Belimo launches IAQ gas monitoring devices

DANBURY, Connecticut, 24 January 2022: Belimo launched vehicle emission and IAQ gas monitoring devices to the US market. Making the announcement through a Press release, the company said Belimo Holdings AG acquired Opera Electronics in 2021 and has worked diligently towards a harmonious and seamless integration. The gas monitors, the company said, provide accurate and reliable measurements, and detect and control toxic gases in commercial buildings.

According to Belimo…

  • An intelligent and standalone peer-to-peer communication protocol provides users unparalleled flexibility to configure and install a complete ventilation control system with only one monitor or dozens operating in multiple ventilation zones.
  • The monitors are factory-calibrated and can measure one or two gases and control ventilation directly.
  • They communicate (up to 32) via chain network – enhanced communication, enabling expanded system integration and BMS control with BACnet MSTP.
  • The modular, weather-resistant enclosure of the monitors features a lockable LCD and adjustable audio, light and strobe alarm.
  • “Plug and Play” interchangeable sensing elements allow for easy calibration and gas monitoring devices to simultaneously measure up to two different gases.
  • Combined CANbus and BACnet MS/TP networking allow standalone operation or seamless integration into the BMS.
  • Onboard analog outputs and relays allow on-demand ventilation without the need for an additional controller.

Belimo said its gas monitors are an ideal solution for fresh air control in conference rooms, meeting rooms, restaurants, public spaces, indoor parking garages, municipal maintenance facilities, bus terminals, automobile dealerships, hospital parking for ambulances and visitors.

AHRI announces Rees Scholarship Foundation Awards winners

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 13 January 2022: The Clifford H. “Ted” Rees, Jr. Scholarship Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) announced scholarship awards totaling USD 45,000 to 24 students, including two military veterans and eight SkillsUSA awardees studying to become technicians in the HVACR and water heating industry, AHRI said through a Press release.

“Each year, the Foundation provides aid to these aspiring technicians, helping to promote careers in the industry and fill good-paying jobs that cannot be outsourced,” said Stephen Yurek, President and CEO, AHRI. “We are pleased to award scholarships to these qualified and dedicated students, and we look forward to welcoming them into the industry.”

Added Barton James, President and CEO, ACCA: “Workforce development is a major priority for ACCA, and we’re pleased to work with the Rees Scholarship Foundation and AHRI to help recruit financial support for deserving individuals. It is our responsibility as an industry to continue to support and encourage careers in the skilled trades, and it starts with training and education.”

According to AHRI, HVACR and Water Heating Technician Program recipients include:

Lindola Gilbert, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Elijah Hernandez, Institute of Technology Modesto, Modesto, CA

Mohammad Farhead Jalali, Institute of Technology Modesto, Modesto, CA

Zhifang Liu, Brownson Technical School, Anaheim, CA

Jose Moscosa, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Palmague Namboure, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Arthur Ramos, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Eduardo Rodriguez, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Andres Siguenza, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Likhit Sutchairak, Brownson Technical School, Anaheim, CA

Carlos Viquez, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Mustafa Zafari, Brownson Technical School, Anaheim, CA

Rutchanon Vongasavarit, Brownson Technical School, Anaheim, CA

Duane Hall, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, MI

Elijah LaRue, Career and Technology Education Centers, Newark, OH

Jacob McArthur, Tulsa Tech Lemley Campus, Broken Arrow, OK

Juan Rodriguez, Brownson Technical School, Anaheim, CA

Alsharif Bogar, Lincoln Technical School, New Britain, CT

William Key, Bevill State Community College, Sumiton, AL

Carter Hanvey, Bevill State Community College, Sumiton, AL

Kurt Wester, Bevill State Community College, Sumiton, AL

Stephen Morrison, Bevill State Community College, Sumiton, AL

 

According to AHRI, the Veterans Program recipients are:

Joshua Parson, Bevill State Community College, Hamilton, AL

Robert Landerfin, San Joaquin Valley College – Temecula, Temecula, CA

Since its founding in 2003, AHRI said, the Rees Scholarship Foundation has awarded more than USD 1 million in scholarships to 643 deserving students and instructors.

Weil-McLain/Marley to unveil new app for MEP contractors at AHR Expo

BURR RIDGE, Illinois, 9 January 2022: Weil-McLain said it will unveil its new ProTools app that allows contractors and other heating professionals to conveniently access information on Weil-McLain boiler setup, maintenance and troubleshooting, as well as its new, award-winning ECO Tec high efficiency 95% AFUE premium residential boiler for multi-zone and combi applications.

In addition, Marley Engineered Products will showcase the CU900 Series Custom Cabinet Unit Heater, which the company claimed delivers supplemental comfort heat in a contemporary design to match modern and future architect specifications, and the THX series heater, an in-floor perimeter convector heater, which delivers comfort, aesthetics and safety for the ultimate supplemental heat system.

Weil-Lain said executives and product managers from Weil-McLain and Marley Engineered Products will be on-site for demos and to discuss recent developments in this segment of the industry.

AHRI to host its State Summit in California

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 5 January 2022: AHRI said it will be hosting its 2022 State Summit on June 7 and 8 in Sacramento, California. Participants will hear directly from key policymakers and stakeholders on priority issues impacting the HVACR and water heating industry in California and across the country, it added. The Summit, it further added, was an opportunity to let lawmakers know the HVACR industry’s position on the critical policy decisions affecting its business, employees and customers.

According to AHRI, the highlights of the Summit will include meetings with California legislators and regulators; presentations from key regulatory agencies, legislative offices, and environmental NGOs; two-way conversations with policymakers on high-priority issues; updates on AHRI’s state legislative and regulatory activities; and opportunities to network with colleagues and conference participants.

Eurovent completes Drift Eliminator Certification test campaign for 2021

PARIS, France, 16 December 2021: Eurovent Certita Certification (ECC) announced the completion of its 2021 Drift Eliminator certification test campaign, consisting of Counterflow, Crossflow integrated and Non-integrated drift eliminator types.

Making the announcement through a Press release, Eurovent said that within two months, the McHale Associates laboratory, in the United States and the 4JTECH testing laboratory, in Prague, Czech Republic, tested over 20 drift eliminators in accordance with ECC technical certification rules ECP 14-DE-2020 for laboratory drift testing and utilising the Isokinetic drift test code ATC-140.

Eurovent said this challenge could not have been successfully met without the collaboration of McHale Associates, a Cooling Technology Institute (CTI) licence testing agency for drift eliminator testing, together with the newly developed 4JTECH laboratory, which had to undergo a series of validation tests supervised by Principal Performance Engineer, Gabe Ramos from McHale Associates, before being approved by the ECC programme committee.

According to Eurovent, the scope of Drift Eliminator certification programme was developed in 2009 by drift eliminator industry experts utilising a controlled laboratory environment to obtain a drift rate at specific controlled operating conditions for air velocity and water loading, as well as the drift breakthrough air velocity, which is the air velocity for which drift losses become visible at any point of the drift eliminator, expressed in m/s.

According to Eurovent, the certification programme is yet becoming an increasing requirement not only in Europe but also worldwide to ensure a significant reduction in hazardous emissions into the environment and to meet government standards, such as the French NF E 38-424, or incentive schemes, such as the LEED green building rating system.

Tecumseh strengthens leadership team

ANN ARBOR, Michigan, 9 December 2021: Commercial refrigeration company, Tecumseh Products Company has appointed Jay Pittas as CEO. Making the announcement through a Press release, the company added that two proven industry leaders have taken new commercial management roles.

Jay Pittas

The newly appointed management team includes Doug Murdock, President of the Americas, and Ricardo Maciel, President of EMEA/Asia, the company said. Ernani Nunes continues to serve as the SVP of Global Sales & Engineering, it added.

Most recently, Pittas has served as the Chairman of Tecumseh’s Board of Directors since April 2020 and, thus, has already been an integral part of Tecumseh’s leadership team, the company said. Pittas previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Remy International, a supplier of highly engineered automotive parts for passenger and commercial vehicles, the company said.

Prior to that, he served as President of the Wolverine Specialty Materials business, which supplied coated metals for automotive and electronic applications, it said. He has also held significant international and managerial positions with Honeywell, UOP and ARI Technologies, it added.

To further accelerate commercial growth, operational excellence and improved customer service, Pittas has appointed three proven industry leaders to commercial management positions, the company said.

Murdock, who has served Tecumseh as the President and CEO for over five years, will assume the new role of President of Americas, the company said. Maciel, a former CEO of SECOP, assumes the role of President of EMEA/Asia, it said. Nunes, a former executive from Embraco, will continue to serve as the SVP of Global Sales & Engineering, it added.

Speaking on the appointments, Pittas said: “As we all work through these most challenging times, Tecumseh is taking every step possible to further strengthen our Leadership Team and, in turn, strengthen the service we deliver to our customers.

The steps we’re announcing today speaks to that commitment. We’re thrilled to have Doug and Ricardo and Ernani take on these key leadership positions, and help us drive forward in our continued transformation at Tecumseh.”

ASHRAE celebrates inauguration of global HQ building

ATLANTA, Georgia, 18 November 2021: ASHRAE formally opened its new global headquarters building, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by its board of directors, top building campaign donors, elected officials and local guests. Making the announcement through a Press release, ASHRAE added that it completed a USD 20 million building renovation project intended to prove the economic viability of a fully net-zero-energy (NZE) operation.

“The completion of this project is an important milestone for ASHRAE as a professional society and for the built environment worldwide,” said Mick Schwedler, 2021-22 ASHRAE President. “Our investments in energy efficiency and sustainability will boost innovation within the built environment and inspire others to replicate our headquarters’ project model. Our Society reimagined a pathway forward for existing building stock and is pleased to provide an example of the future of high performance buildings.”

The renovated, 66,700-square-foot building, situated on 11 acres of land at 180, Technology Parkway in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, is the culmination of a 10-month project, completed in October 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASHRAE said.

“One could make the assertion that constructing a new net-zero-energy building from the ground up would have been much easier than renovating an existing building,” said Ginger Scoggins, 2021-22 ASHRAE Treasurer and Former Building Ad Hoc Committee Chair. “We decided that ASHRAE could make the greatest impact by showing others how to renovate an existing building with net-zero-energy as the focus, using our own standards and guidelines. ASHRAE is making net-zero-energy the ‘new norm’ in sustainable design and construction. It has been an honor to lead this historic project.”

ASHRAE said the building’s grand opening comes at the conclusion of highly successful building campaign that raised more than USD 10.3 million in monetary donations and contributions of equipment and services from multiple ASHRAE members and 33 corporate donors. Top corporate building donors, NIBE and Cisco, were represented at the ceremony, it added.

“When NIBE was presented with the opportunity to be a part of ASHRAE’s new headquarters, it was an easy decision to play a part in the growth and sustainability of the HVACR industry,” said Eric Lindquist, CEO, NIBE Industrier AB. “Our US brands are focused on continued promotion of systems and solutions that provide comfort, affordability, and betterment of the environment. We look forward to the new headquarters and what the future holds.”

Jeremy Witikko, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Global Industry Business Strategy, Cisco, said: “When ASHRAE embarked on creating a workspace that reflected their organization’s vision of advancing human well-being through sustainable technology, Cisco was ALL-IN on partnering. Cisco is committed to power an inclusive future for all and were thrilled to be a part of that journey with ASHRAE. Together, let’s continue to build a place where we can meet human needs and protect the planet though technology, our actions, our people and our intentions. An inclusive future starts with a livable planet where people and the environment can thrive together.”

ASHRAE said that although it has occupied the building for more than one year, with limited onsite staff presence, the installation of a Photovoltaic (PV) solar array system was completed in October 2021, marking the beginning of the building’s operation at fully net-zero-energy performance. The PV system is a combination of three sub-arrays, totaling 332kW, mounted on the rooftop and in an unused section of the parking lot, it added.

ASHRAE said that in addition to the PV system, innovative approaches incorporated in the building include:

  • Eighteen new skylights and reconfigured window/wall ratio.
  • Radiant ceiling panel system: This is used for heating and cooling and dedicated outdoor air system for outdoor air ventilation with enthalpy heat recovery.
  • Overhead fresh air distribution system augmented with reversible ceiling fans in the open office areas and displacement distribution in the learning center.
  • Six water-source heat pumps (WSHPs): There are four on basement level and two on upper level atrium that will be used to condition these spaces.
  • A robust Building Automation System with remote access.
  • Demand Control Ventilation (DCV): This will be used for high occupancy spaces in the meeting and learning center.
  • On-site electric vehicle charging stations available for guests and staff.

In attendance at the ceremony were representatives from the offices of US Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock and Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux, along with county and city officials, ASHRAE said.

“We are very pleased that a professional association of ASHRAE’s distinction selected Peachtree Corners as the site of its global headquarters,” said Mike Mason, Mayor, Peachtree Corners. “Technology Park is a natural fit for an organization whose focus mirrors the city’s efforts in technology innovation, sustainability and green living.”

ASHRAE said its Building Ad Hoc Committee and Technical Advisory Subcommittee, comprising Society volunteers, oversaw the building renovation project. Partners involved in the design, engineering and construction of the building project include: Houser Walker Architecture, McLennan Design, Integral Group, Collins Project Management, Skanska, Shumate Mechanical and Epsten Group, it said. The PV installation was completed by Creative Solar USA, it added.

India Pavilion at Expo 2020 launches AC helmet

DUBAI, UAE, 10 November 2021: The India Pavilion, at the World Expo in Dubai, launched what it said is the world’s first AC safety helmet. Designed and manufactured by Telangana, India-based tech and safety start-up, Jarsh Safety, the helmet is reportedly suitable for outdoor workforce and field executives.

Launch of the World’s First AC Safety Helmet

According to Jarsh Safety, NIA Limited, in Dubai, will distribute the product in the UAE market. NIA, it added, is also the exclusive regional distributor for a wide range of consumer electronics and home appliances.

The product launch is part of the India Innovation Hub initiative by the Indian Pavilion at the World Expo 2020, wherein the pavilion is showcasing the top 500 most-reputed startups from India. The project is working under the guidance of the Consul General of India in Dubai, Dr Aman Puri, and with the support of the Indian diaspora and prominent investor institutions.

The Jarsh-NIA AC Helmet works on patented solid-state cooling technology to provide cooling up to 24 degrees C. Jarsh Safety said. The premium model for senior executives has a battery life of two hours, whereas the heavy-duty model for the skilled workforce has a 10-hour battery backup, the company said. Four vents across the helmet provide a uniform cooling experience, keeping the user sweat-free, comfortable and productive on the job, the company added.

Kausthub Kaundinya, CEO, Jarsh Safety, said, “The Jarsh-NIA AC Safety Helmet is a game-changer for the construction and outdoor workforce, especially in a region that is characterised by extreme working conditions during the summer months.

“We started our journey from a garage office and, over the years, brought smiles to thousands of workers across India. Jarsh Safety is now going global, and we strongly believe that the joint NIA-Jarsh mission can help alleviate the working conditions of the workforce across the world.”

Kaundinya also thanked the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) for providing the platform to launch the product in the UAE.

Kamran Birjees Khan, CEO, NIA Limited, said the helmet is in line with the UAE Government’s endeavours to advance workforce welfare standards.

AHR Expo 2022 Innovation Awards winners announced

WESTPORT, Connecticut, 20 October 2021: The AHR Expo (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) announced the winners of the 2022 AHR Expo Innovation Awards, through a Press release.

Each year, winners are chosen in 10 industry categories to represent the most innovative products and technologies hitting the market in the coming year. “This past year was a challenge for everyone, and in unique ways, the HVACR industry,” said Mark Stevens, Show Manager. “Our industry was called to the front lines to put our very best products and technologies to the test. The Innovation Awards purpose is to honor those that are pushing the bar to create innovative solutions to difficult problems. We are thrilled to celebrate this year’s winners and what they bring to the industry, as well as to continue to champion innovation among our professionals.”

The Innovation Awards encourage exhibitors to submit new products and technologies for recognition via review and selection by a panel of third-party judges, comprising distinguished ASHRAE members, AHR Expo said. Entrants are evaluated based on overall innovative design, the creativity of the product or service offered, application, as well as potential market impact. “This industry is tremendously exciting for its role in our everyday lives,” Stevens said. “Now, more than ever, we have the chance to show the world just how important HVACR is. Manufacturers on the AHR Expo Show floor are in tune with their stakeholders and the greater needs of the world and are responding by developing new tools, products and services that offer safety, efficiency, and sustainable smart solutions.” According to AHR Expo, the Innovation Awards program serves as a metric to see the year-to-year growth in the industry. While the Awards officially recognize only a select few, the Show floor is a robust example of how manufacturers are growing the industry in exciting ways. “AHR Show Management would like to formally congratulate each of our 2022 AHR Expo Innovation Award winners, as well as finalists and all our entrants, for their continued leadership and contribution to HVACR,” Stevens said. “We look forward to seeing these innovators in the marketplace in the coming year, and in-person on the Show floor in 2022.”

The 2022 AHR Expo Innovation Award Winners and finalists were selected in 10 industry categories, including building automation, cooling, heating, indoor air quality, plumbing, refrigeration, software, sustainable solutions (formerly green building), tools and instruments, and ventilation.

The winners, with their products described in the words of AHR Expo, are:

BUILDING AUTOMATION

Winner: iSMA CONTROLLI S.p.A., iSMA-B-MAC36NL Hybrid IoT Controller, powered by Niagara Framework, Booth C969 Innovation: The iSMA-B-MAC36NL master application controller family provides an all-in-one solution for mini-BMS. Created visualization can be displayed and controlled via HDMI output and two USB ports that enable connection of a mouse/keyboard or dedicated touch for the HMI panel. No PC, additional licenses, or additional costs are required. As MAC controllers are based on the Niagara Framework, it enables the integration of almost any existing protocol on the building network. The onboard M-Bus port, 2 ethernet ports, and the RS485 port can be integrated with just one device. Finally, the controller has an onboard dip and rotary switches that can be used as a part of the application. All of the features of the controller are managed by dedicated modules in Niagara Framework to accelerate the installation process and thus reduce labor costs.

Finalists in this category include: BrainBox AI, BrainBox AI; CUBE USA, CUBE Edge IoT.

COOLING

Winner: Danfoss, Danfoss Turbocor® VTCA400 Compressor, Booth C3906 Innovation: The new VTCA400 from Danfoss offers improvements on traditional centrifugal compressor designs that are large in physical size and footprint, which ultimately lead to higher cost and space constraints for the end user. The VTCA400 solves this problem by using a patent-pending hybrid compression design that uses a combination of mixed flow and radial impellers, enabling high-performance and a compact footprint. In this design, the first-stage impeller uses a mixed flow impeller with both axial and radial components while the second-stage impeller uses a radial design. The hybrid compression design allows for a compressor footprint that is half the physical size and weight of a conventional radial-only design. It also maintains high efficiency levels — a 10% improvement in full load efficiency and 30% improvement in IPLV above ASHRAE 90.1-2019 minimums, when considering a three (3) compressor, 1200-Ton system.

Finalists in this category include: Copeland Compressors and Condensing Units / Emerson, Copeland™ oil-free centrifugal compressor; Teqtoniq GmbH, Teqtoniq TRC150 Oil-Free Centrifugal Compressor.

HEATING

Winner: Carrier, Infinity® 24 Heat Pump with Greenspeed® Intelligence, Booth C1310 Innovation: The Infinity® 24 Heat Pump with Greenspeed® Intelligence is Carrier’s highest-efficiency and most advanced heat pump with up to 24 SEER and 13 HSPF for premium energy savings, extremely quiet performance and premium comfort features. The unique, variable-speed compressor of this unit allows it to adapt its output to the needs of the home with infinite adjustments between 25% and 100% capacity. The heat pump offers excellent humidity control and is capable of removing up to 400% more moisture than standard systems. Based on Carrier testing, all data was run with the systems cycling once they met the assumed home load. The assumed load at AHAM conditions (80/70, 80) is the capacity of the variable-speed running continuously in dehumidification mode. The difficult conditions load was determined by a Wrightsoft® load calculation for a home in Florida at 69 OD 72/63 ID. This condition was provided by a customer in Florida as “worst case.”

Finalists in this category include: HVAC Manufacturing and Technology Inc., SpaceGain Air Handling Units; Addison, FrostShield Defrost-Free Heat Pumps.

INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Winner: Antrum, AntrumX™ IAQ Facilities Monitoring System, Booth C1071 Innovation: AntrumX is a patented centralized sensing technology. AntrumX monitors IAQ for 32 spaces from a single location, using one sensor for every 16 rooms. Consolidating one centralized sensor for multiple spaces increases sensor accessibility while ensuring better overall control. Centralized sensing ensures better overall control because the data from 16 spaces comes from a single source, allowing building managers to optimize their ventilation strategy, and save energy without sacrificing IAQ. Additionally, the AntrumX has the ability to transport air without moving parts. Leveraging the building’s pressure differential between supply and exhaust, AntrumX is able to move air samples from each space to the Sensor Pack without adding energy to the system. The Sensor Pack also monitors multiple data points across multiple rooms. Using over-the-air software updates and a state-of-the-art hardware design, the Sensor Pack can be customized to sense what’s required today and be easily exchanged or updated as requirements change over the life of the building.

Finalists in this category include: LG Electronics USA, Inc., LG Split Rooftop DOAS (Dedicated Outdoor Air System) with Energy Recovery Wheel; TZOA, HAVEN IAQ.

PLUMBING

Winner: Franklin Electric / Little Giant, Inline SpecPAK, Multi-Pump Pressure Boosting System, Booth C4334 Innovation: With only 14.5 inches in depth, its unique smaller footprint makes the Franklin Electric Inline 1100 SpecPAK Pressure Boosting System small enough to be hung in a small utility closet, or wall-hung to preserve critical floor space. The system’s Inline 1100 constant pressure pumps are quiet, compact, self-contained, and versatile. Powered by water-cooled motors, it delivers quieter operation versus traditional air-cooled motors. The self-contained design delivers a “plug and play” solution that is part of a complete package revolving around easy installation, operation, and durability. The ability to expand is a foundational and distinctive benefit. Both the suction and discharge headers are sized to accommodate the flow rate from the maximum speed of four pumps. Quick and easy disconnects to the main panel allow customers to disconnect each pump individually with minimal system disruption.

Finalists in this category include: Lochinvar, LLC, Lochinvar Commercial Heat Pump Water Heaters; Towle Whitney LLC, GEN-5 Platform.

REFRIGERATION

Winner: ebm-papst Inc., AxiEco 630-910 Axial Fan, Booth C3324 Innovation: The AxiEco 630-910 incorporates new impeller geometry with a rotating diffuser and optimized blade design in order to reach a low noise level and high-efficiency. The steep air performance curve provides a pressure increase of more than 700 Pa, which is extraordinary for axial fans. With a maximum air flow of up to 30,000 m³/h, the AxiEco 630-910 covers a wide range of different applications, especially those where high-efficiency and high back pressure are key. The integrated commutation electronics, with an active PFC (power factor correction) as an option, enables the fan to be used in applications with low harmonics requirements, without any external filtering measures.

Finalists in this category include: Copeland Compressors and Condensing Units / Emerson, Copeland™ horizontal variable speed scroll compressor for refrigeration (1 to 4 HP); and Johnson Controls, Inc., ZS series horizontal scroll compressors with R290 and variable speed compatibility.

SOFTWARE

Winner: Bluon, Inc., Bluon Support Platform, Booth C6617 Innovation: The Bluon Support Platform is a mobile application that becomes a centralized hub for HVAC technicians. Bluon was built for technicians, by technicians, and provides detailed system information, just-in-time training, best practices and 24/7 live tech support. The app’s most important function is its ability to make the lives of technicians easier by providing a single, trustworthy source of detailed HVAC system information, along with live tech support when needed in the field. The main features of the free app include: a comprehensive unit database of 40,000 HVAC model numbers, spanning 75+ brands, with 75,000+ original manuals, troubleshooting guides, wiring diagrams, and technical specifications; best practices known as “pro-hacks” for a wide-range of situations; easy-to-use calculators for SH/SC, airflow, pressure setpoints, TXV sizing, etc.; HVAC training videos and tools that techs can use on the job; a revolutionary HVAC forum that gets techs the info they need when they need it; 24/7 live tech support; and a replacement parts identification tool cross-referenced by model numbers and compatible part numbers.

Finalists in this category include: CoolAutomation, Service Provision App; Interplay Learning, SkillMill™.

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS (formerly Green Building)

Winner: Enginuity Power Systems Inc, E/ONE Home Power System, Booth N7435 Innovation: Enginuity’s E/ONE Home Power System is a modern rethinking of a classic combined heat and power system. Using clean and plentiful natural gas, the E/ONE produces both electricity and heat for homes or businesses. Since the E/ONE is capable of making more power than the home or business requires, the additional power can be sold back to the grid, generating income for the E/ONE’s owner. In addition, the E/ONE leverages the reliability of the natural gas distribution network to replace conventional backup generators. E/ONE easily produces all the electricity needed to operate homes or businesses; therefore, the periodic blackouts, such as those recently seen in Texas and California, will not affect the product’s ability to function.

Finalists in this category include: Caleffi Hydronic Solutions, Commercial domestic hot water (DHW) recirculation systems combine energy efficiency and water conservation; Danfoss, Danfoss Turbocor® TGS380 Compressor.

TOOLS & INSTRUMENTS

Winner: Fluke Corporation, Fluke 378 FC Non-Contact Voltage True-rms AC/DC Clamp Meter with iFlex, Booth C2737 Innovation: The Fluke 378 FC true-rms clamp meter uses FieldSense technology to make testing faster and safer, all without contacting a live conductor. The meter measures accurate voltage and current measurements through the clamp jaw. It works by clipping the black test lead to any electrical ground and putting the clamp jaw around the conductor, which results in reliable, accurate voltage and current values on the display. The 378 FC clamp meter includes a unique PQ function that senses power quality issues automatically. When making FieldSense measurements, the 378 FC will detect and display power quality issues, relating to current, voltage, power factor or any combination of the three. This allows for quick determination if an upstream supply problem exists, or if there is a downstream equipment problem.

Finalists in this category include: Climatech International S.A., F-100 Cordless Stud Welder Machine; RIDGID / Emerson, RIDGID® PCS-500 Pipe Saw.

VENTILATION

Winner: Aldes, InspirAIR® Fresh, Booth C2734 Innovation: The InspirAIR® Fresh contains new innovative design features. A newly developed counterflow enthalpic core and unique fan scrolls ensure 75% sensible recovery efficiency at 32 degrees F, as tested to the new CSA 439 standard, required as of October 2020. Occupants can also expect to get ample fresh filtered air due to variable-speed EC motors that adjust speed to changes in pressure due to stack effect and filter loading. The InspirAIR® Fresh is designed to provide optimal fresh air, regardless of filter type. Currently, ERVs are rated for use with a basic filter, and when using a MERV13 or HEPA filter, the airflow is reduced significantly.

Finalists in this category include: Carrier, Carrier Aero® 39M with ECM Direct Drive Plenum Fans; LG Electronics USA, Inc., LG Split Compact DOAS (Dedicated Outdoor Air System).

“It’s always exciting to follow along as these products and services come to life in the marketplace,” Stevens said. “What’s more, is to see others work to keep pace with innovation and develop new solutions. We are thrilled to be back in-person and headed to Las Vegas for a return to business. We hope you’ll join us and these winners in action on the Show floor before they hit the market.”

Funds raised from the entry fees of the Innovation Awards competition will be donated to a Vegas-area charitable cause, AHR Expo said. Registration for the 2022 AHR Expo is free until January 30, 2021, and can be completed on ahrexpo.com.

AMCA initiates work on Standard 340

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Illinois, 18 October 2021: Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) International Inc. is seeking volunteers to serve on the technical committee for a new AMCA Standard: AMCA Standard 340 – Laboratory Method of Sound Testing of Large-Diameter Ceiling Fans.

Making the announcement through a Press release, AMCA said the standard will develop a method of sound testing for large-diameter ceiling fans (LDCF), sometimes referred to as High Volume Low Speed, or HVLS, fans. The method would allow for the third-party certification of sound data in a manner that is cost-effective and produces accurate, repeatable results, and to provide standardized design data for the application of LDCF in occupied spaces, AMCA added.

​Currently, each LDCF manufacturer uses a different method of test, AMCA said. Existing sound test standards require acoustical testing chambers that are cost-prohibitive due to the large size of LDCF – up to 24 feet in diameter, AMCA said. A method of test is needed to provide consistent, accurate and comparable sound performance data for designers and end-users, AMCA added.

Committee members would be expected to participate in reviewing the standard and resolving any comments received, AMCA said, adding that meetings will be held virtually by conference call.

According to AMCA, stakeholders for the Standard include manufacturers of LDCF, building design engineers and architects, end-users, testing labs of LDCF, and trade associations and professional societies within the HVAC industry.​

AMCA invited those interested in volunteering to click here and complete and submit the form by the close of business on November 17. For more information, it encouraged those interested to contact Shruti Kohli-Bhargava, Manager, Publications & Standards at shrutik@amca.org.

New global study supports healthy buildings as a critical public health strategy

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida, 9 September 2021: For the first time on a global scale, new research has found that healthy buildings with enhanced ventilation can improve the cognitive function and health of occupants, suggesting that ventilation and filtration are pre-eminent healthy building strategies, Carrier Global Corporation said through a Press release. Primary support for the study came from Carrier.

The study, COGfx Study 3: Global Buildings, was led by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as part of the renowned COGfx Study series, which examines the impact of indoor air quality on how people think and feel, Carrier said.

The latest study supports the prior studies’ lab and US findings and further supports that indoor air quality is not only good for people’s health and safety, it’s good for the bottom line, as well – through increased productivity, fewer sick days and better cognitive function, Carrier said.

“As more people move toward returning to offices, schools and recreational activities, the health, safety and intelligence of indoor environments have come into greater focus,” said Dave Gitlin, Chairman & CEO, Carrier. “The COGfx Study continues to demonstrate that proper ventilation and filtration of indoor environments plays an important role across the globe in fostering a proactive health strategy. At Carrier, we are focused on delivering innovative solutions and services that positively impact the health, productivity and cognitive performance of occupants of all buildings.”

The COGfx Study 3: Global Buildings examined the impact of indoor air quality on the cognitive function of office workers across six countries – China, India, Mexico, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The research found that cognitive function declines as the levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon dioxide (CO2) increase, Carrier said, referencing the study. Higher CO2 can be an indicator of poor ventilation in buildings, the company added.

Importantly, mechanical ventilation, such as an HVAC system with efficient filtration, can help to protect building occupants from the negative cognitive effects of PM2.5 and CO2, Carrier said. In addition to acute impacts on cognitive function, reducing exposure to PM2.5 is associated with many other health benefits, including reductions in cardiovascular disease, asthma attacks and premature death.

While the research focused on office employees in commercial buildings, the takeaways are applicable for all indoor environments, Carrier said, adding that as a company it offers numerous products and services that optimize indoor air quality, including a suite of advanced solutions through Carrier’s Healthy Buildings Program that serves key verticals including, healthcare, hospitality, education, retail and marine.

This latest research builds on previous COGfx studies that demonstrated better thinking and better health can be found inside healthier buildings. The first study found cognitive function test scores doubled when study participants were in simulated green building environments with enhanced ventilation as opposed to conventional building environments. The COGfx Study 2 examined real-world building environments in the United Stayes and showed that employees in green-certified buildings showed 26% higher cognitive function test scores and 30% fewer sick building symptoms versus buildings that were not green-certified.

According to Carrier, the COGfx Study 3 can be found at www.theCOGfxStudy.com.

‘Clean up indoor air, or else expect COVID to surge’

TROY, New York, 21 August 2021: An air quality engineer warned that the COVID-19 pandemic won’t end until Americans clean up the indoor air.

Jeremy McDonald

“With variants on the rise, all the talk this summer has been about vaccines,” said Jeremy McDonald, Vice President at New York-based firm, Guth DeConzo Consulting. “Now we’re hearing about masks again, which feels like a step back for most of us. But when it comes to preventing the spread of airborne viruses, like COVID-19, we also have to improve the quality of the air in our indoor spaces. As the seasons change, it seems like we’re going back to old, tired strategies that haven’t gotten us out of this mess. It’s time to listen to the engineers: It’s all about the air.”

Mc Donald on July 26 published an essay, titled ‘Moving Beyond COVID-19: It’s Time to Look at the Air We Breathe’, in which he argued that President Joe Biden’s ‘American Jobs Plan’ must include improvements to the indoor air quality (IAQ) infrastructure, if Americans are to finally beat the COVID-19 pandemic and improve defenses against future pandemics and common day-to-day air quality maladies. Toward the end of July, COVID-19 cases began to surge in parts of the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its mask guidance to once again recommend that Americans wear masks indoors, even if vaccinated.

McDonald encouraged improvements to ventilation and the use of high-performance air filters and other air purification technologies, where appropriate. Buildings that have deferred maintenance and investment in modern HVAC may require more complicated and expensive solutions, he said.

“Although some buildings may require an expensive investment, we need to weigh this against the cost of our health and well-being,” McDonald wrote in his essay. “Certainly, when considering our health, fixing ‘sick’ buildings is a much better choice than fixing ‘sick’ people.”

Yet, McDonald said, there are plenty of low-cost or no-cost solutions that can drastically improve IAQ, such as cracking a window, which reduces the intensity and quantity of virus particles and their ability to spread to more people, using air purification technologies, and simply ensuring that buildings meet the spirit of building code requirements for minimal fresh air for buildings.

Saying that there is a historical precedent for this common sense strategy, McDonald noted in his essay: “In response to the Pandemic of 1918, when more than 20,000 New Yorkers died, ventilation was seen as one of the key attributes to protect residents from the devastation of the pandemic. Back then, New York City officials dictated that building heating systems were to be designed and sized to operate with all the windows open, since it was recognized that ventilation was key to purge the virus from indoor spaces. If it worked 100 years ago, it will work today.”

One of the main challenges in getting people to pay more attention to poor indoor air quality is that the problem is invisible, an issue McDonald commented on in an original cartoon he commissioned to get his point across. In the first panel of the cartoon, two fish swim in a bowl. One fish says, “I think the poor quality of the water is making us sick.” The other fish asks, “What’s water?” In the second panel, two office workers and an HVAC engineer stand near the same fishbowl. “Glad to be done with masks, sanitizers and social distancing forever!” says one office worker. “If we don’t improve our air quality in our buildings, we will keep getting sick in the future,” the engineer chimes in. “The air looks good to me,” says the other office worker. Beside her, one of the fish in the bowl is floating upside down with Xs for eyes, indicating it has died. The caption below the cartoon reads, “We don’t know who discovered water, but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t a fish,” which is a modern proverb attributed to various sources. That saying, McDonald asserted, sums up our own troubled relationship to air quality – because air is so fundamental to our existence, most of us don’t even think about it. But HVAC engineers think about air every day, all day, and it’s time to listen to them in the fight against airborne illness, he added.

“My frustration, which motivates me to write and speak out on the issue of air quality, is that our leaders are not getting it, and they aren’t listening to engineers,” McDonald said. “But the public health officials aren’t really talking about indoor air quality either, so a lot of politicians probably don’t want to go against the narrative.”

McDonald said that some of the anti-vaccine sentiments may stem from incomplete messaging that does not address indoor air quality. “Some of the resistance to masks and vaccines might be because people know in the back of their mind there’s something missing from the common messaging that is ringing hollow 18 months into this pandemic,” McDonald said. “We are constantly hearing, ‘Wash your hands, wear a mask and socially distance, where possible. We need to add simple, yet time-tested, ventilation strategies to our messaging, which we all know implicitly makes sense to folks from all political persuasions.” Perhaps with improved messaging from our leaders and initiatives to fix our broken HVAC systems, we can truly address this pandemic without arguing about the viability of masking and vaccines, he added.

McDonald said he is clear that vaccines are a key tool in beating this pandemic. But, without addressing the fundamental issue of indoor air quality, he said, we may be putting a “BAND-AID” on the current problem, missing out on the opportunity to improve public health for the long term.

AHRI to participate in The Big 5 Dubai

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 17 August 2021: AHRI announced its participation in The Big 5 International Building and Construction Show, online from August 22 to November 17, and in-person from September 12 to 15 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The show features nine specialised events, three high-level summits, 70 free industry talks, and more, AHRI highlighted.

AHRI said it will be available at Stand 4A191 in Hall 4, which will be open from 10am to 6pm, GST. It added that it was open to discussing its turnkey solutions for the regulatory and environmental issues most relevant to HVACR businesses and the wider industry. It added that it was keen on learning about the challenges HVACR industry players face in these areas, and on discussing solutions.

AHRI added that it would provide its AHRI MENA USB Toolkit, a comprehensive guide to the AHRI standards, certification, and other programs relevant to the region, to visitors.

Cooling to the Green Deal with natural CO2 refrigerant systems

WELSHPOOL, United Kingdom, 17 August 2021: Invertek Drives showcased its dedicated VFD, Optidrive Coolvert, for use on CO2 refrigeration display cases used in the retail sector. The company added that its Optidrive Eco operates on larger current refrigeration compressor racks and cold rooms.

Invertek make the announcement against the backdrop of the European Commission’s Green Deal, also referred to as Fit for 55, which sets out proposals to cut EU net greenhouse emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This could mean the current target of reducing fluorinated greenhouse gas (F-Gas) emissions by two-thirds by 2030, compared with 2014 levels, will be adjusted and tightened further.

The EU F-Gas Regulation brought a 44% reduction in the amount of available HFCs in the EU, compared to 2015. By 2030, the current regulation allows only 20% of HFCs being available, with stepped drops between then and now. This could change in the recast.

According to Invertek, the impact of both means there is a need to ramp up the use of natural refrigerants, such as CO2, in cooling and refrigeration systems. And this isn’t just in the EU but throughout the world as part of the existing Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, it said.

Variable frequency drives (VFDs), the company said, are playing an important role in reducing emissions and energy use in HVAC&R systems. Optidrive Coolvert, it said, is one of the smallest VFDs in its class providing OEMs with opportunities to reduce panel space and lower machine costs. It fits directly into refrigeration display cases alongside a CO2 compressor, it added.

This is in addition to end-user savings of up to 25% using CO2 refrigerant condensing systems, which it is specifically designed to work with, the company claimed. A combination of meeting EU F-Gas Regulations and cutting energy use is a significant benefit for the end-user as well as for the environment, it said.

Mike Carman, Head of Sales, Invertek Drives, said: “The recast of the F-Gas Regulation comes as the EU sets out its new and wider environmental ambitions through the Green Deal. It’s widely believed this is the precursor to a significant adjustment in the F-Gas Regulation timeframe.

“With either more cuts in the amount of HFCs available in the EU or increased limits on emissions, it’ll impact on the manufacturers and end-users of refrigeration and wider HVAC/R systems”

According to Invertek, the Optidrive Coolvert also has the widest ambient operating range of between -20 degrees C and +60 degrees C, making it ideal for use in a wide range of environments. It can be used for the control of CO2 ­­­­rotary or scroll, BLDC compressors used in supermarkets and convenience store display cases; heat pumps, and condensing units, the company said. This is in comparison to the Optidrive Eco VFD, which operates on larger-capacity semi-hermetic and screw compressors used in industrial and food retail refrigeration racks, and chillers, the company added.

According to Invertek, Coolvert is compatible with all motor types, including induction motors, permanent magnet motors, brushless DC motors, synchronous reluctance motors and Line Start PM motors ranging between Single Phase (Active PSE) 7A and 20A, and Three-Phase 14A to 24A (input of 200V to 480V).

Its open Modbus RS485 communication, the company said, ensures seamless connection to any external application controller, allowing the OEM freedom to select which components to use, which again helps lower manufacturing costs.

With an IP20-rated front and an IP55-rated rear, its panel mounting allows the drive’s power electronics to be cooled by the chilled air of the condenser, the company said, adding that this allows OEMs to select the smallest panel size for the control of the electronics, while removing heat generated by the drive and maintaining the IP rating.

ASHRAE announces call for abstracts for 2022 Annual Conference

ATLANTA, Georgia, 16 August 2021: ASHRAE announced it is accepting abstracts for the 2022 ASHRAE Annual Conference, from June 25 to 29, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

According to ASHRAE, the conference will address the changes to buildings created by the pandemic and will present papers and programs that are pertinent to the future of the built-environment.

 

“As we move into 2022 and face climate extremes and natural disasters along with the pandemic, buildings continue to be critical to our everyday lives,” said Kristen Cetin, Conference Chair. “These commercial, industrial and residential buildings, in particular, face an increasingly complex set of competing priorities to balance, as well as an increasing number of technologies and solutions to use and implement. The 2022 ASHRAE Annual Conference focuses on such diverse priorities and methods to address them, while considering the dynamic nature of such priorities over time.”

 

According to ASHRAE, the conference’s technical program comprises eight tracks:

 

The “Buildings in the Aftermath of COVID-19” track highlights the significant impacts on how buildings are used, the priorities associated with building operations to ensure healthy environments for occupants, and the transition to design and operation in the aftermath of the pandemic.

 

The “Connected Buildings, Connected Communities” track focuses on advanced smart building technologies and renewable energy resources, and the coordinated efforts in accomplishing improved building performance and demand flexibility.

 

The “IAQ, Energy Use, Comfort and Health of Sustainable Buildings” track features the following topics, and how they interact and impact one another: Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), energy use and efficiency, occupant comfort and health, sustainability goals and owner/operator priorities.

 

The “Cold Climate Building System Design, Operation and Resilience” track covers efforts and topics specifically focused on buildings, building systems and equipment in cold, arctic and sub-arctic climates. The track will also cover specific considerations for the building envelope and HVAC&R systems, and the resulting thermal and hygrothermal performance.

 

The “Professional Development” track will cover all aspects of business outside of engineering/technical applications and lends itself to interactive session types, such as workshops and forums.

 

The “HVAC&R Systems and Equipment” track will focus on the development of new systems and equipment, improvements to existing systems and equipment and the proper application and operation of systems and equipment.

 

The “Fundamentals and Applications” track will provide opportunities for papers of varying levels across a large topic base. Concepts, design elements and shared experiences for theoretical and applied concepts of HVAC&R design are included.

 

Finally, the “Research Summit” features active research, and the exchange of research findings, critical to the development of the HVAC&R industry and built environment. The track includes a partnership with ASHRAE’s archival journal, Science and Technology for the Built Environment.

 

ASHRAE said that abstracts – 400 words or less – are due on September 20, 2021. If accepted, final conference papers (8-page maximum) are due on December 1, 2021, it added.

 

In addition, it said, technical papers – complete 30-page maximum papers published in ASHRAE Transactions – are also due September 20, 2021, and considered for Science and Technology for the Built Environment.

 

ASHRAE urged those interested in submitting to visit ashrae.org/2022Annual for more information on the call for abstracts and the 2022 ASHRAE Annual Conference.

ASHE recognizes member achievements within health care engineering

CHICAGO, Illinois, 12 August 2021: The American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association said it celebrated the outstanding contributions its members have made to improve the health care physical environment. ASHE presented several awards during its 58th Annual Conference and Technical Exhibition, from August 8 to 11 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Crystal Eagle Leadership Award, considered ASHE’s lifetime achievement award, went to Timothy Eugene Adams, FASHE, CHFM, CHC, an ASHE member since 1990. Presently, he is employed by Indiana University Health as program director of system environment of care and life safety, developing and directing a systematic program to promote best practices for all health care facilities throughout the health system.

Adams served as the director of leadership development for ASHE from 2013-19 and held numerous other positions within the society since joining the team in 2005 after 30 years working in health care technical services and clinical engineering. Adams is a Certified Healthcare Facilities Manager, a Certified Healthcare Constructor, a Certified Life Safety Specialist and a Fellow status member with ASHE (FASHE).

He is a past president and a long-term Board member of the Indiana Society for Healthcare Engineering, a 15-year member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72 Technical Committee and a member of the national development team for the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS).

The ASHE President’s Award, which is presented at the discretion of the sitting ASHE president to an individual who goes above and beyond to optimize the health care physical environment, was presented to Sean M Goings, CEM, CHSP, SASHE, President, DAC, Inc. in Houston, Texas. Goings has spent much of his over 20-year career working for global solution providers that serve health care, such as Siemens and Schneider Electric, and he continues to deliver efficient solutions in the built-environment, ASHE said.

Goings is a Senior status member with ASHE (SASHE), a Certified Energy Manager and a Certified Healthcare Safety Professional. He has been a featured conference speaker for numerous organizations including ASHE and several affiliated chapters.

He has served on the Board of the Texas Association of Healthcare Facilities Management (TAHFM) for over a decade. He is a past president for the Houston Area Association of Hospital Engineering, and from 2016-2020, he served as an ASHE Associate Member Advisory Board Representative.

Also at the Annual Conference, ASHE recognized members who attained senior (SASHE) status this year and members who have fellow (FASHE) status within ASHE.

The SASHE designation is bestowed on those who have been ASHE members in good standing for at least five years and have supported ASHE in terms of education and leadership. The following members are new SASHE recipients:

  • Lindsey Brackett, CHC, CHFM, SASHE, Legacy FM, LLC, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Joseph G. Buri, CHFM, SASHE, UNC Health Southeastern, Lumberton, North Carolina
  • Mark H. Dease, CHFM, SASHE, Prisma Health, Greenville, South Carolina
  • Robert J. Heidelbaugh, SASHE, WellSpan Health, York, Pennsylvania
  • Frank D. Rudilosso, PE, M.Eng, CHSP, SASHE, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York
  • Clayton Smith, CHFM, SASHE, Children’s Health System of Texas, Dallas, Texas
  • Mark J. Thuringer, CHFM, CHC, SASHE, St. Croix Regional Medical Center, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin

ASHE’s Regional Leader Award recognizes people for their contributions to the fields of health care engineering and facility management; planning, design, and construction; safety; clinical and biomedical engineering; and technical management. The recipients are:

  • Region 1: Charles Brown, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Providence, Rhode Island
  • Region 2: Joyce Malone, Broadmead Senior Living, Cockeysville, Maryland
  • Region 3: Jerry L. Thompson, PE, CHE, Duke Health, Durham, North Carolina
  • Region 4: Terry E. Bowen, PE, CPE, CHFM, Tift Regional Health System, Tifton, GA
  • Region 5: Jason Michael Hawk, St. Joseph Memorial Hospital, Murphysboro, Illinois
  • Region 6: Robert J. Dubiel, CHFM, CHC, Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire,Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  • Region 7: Taylor Vaughn, MBA, CHFM, CLSS-HC, CHEPP, Children’s Health, Rockwall, Texas
  • Region 8: Nic Riesenberg, CHFM, CHC, North Kansas City Hospital, North Kansas City, Missouri
  • Region 9: Anthony K. Crawford, CHFM, CHEM, Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center, Vacaville, California
  • Region 10: Clay Ciolek, CHFM, Providence Health & Services, Olympia, Washington

Chillventa launches new Web site

Nuremberg, Germany, 2 August 2021: Following the Chillventa eSpecial 2020, and after four years without an in-person gathering, the exhibition for refrigeration, air conditioning, ventilation and heat pump technology will run from October 11 to 13 at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg, the organisers said.

The Chillventa CONGRESS, will take place on October 10, the organisers said, adding that exhibitors can register for the event immediately. The organisers said they have launched a new Web site, which offers an improved user experience and provides even more focused information.

Chillventa, the organisers said, will offer opportunities for networking in person and view innovations through live demonstrations. The planned trade fora, Chillventa CONGRESS and supporting programme will spotlight issues like energy performance, contributing to the energy revolution, combined cooling and heating and the cooling of data centres, the organisers said. The event will also look at topics like the circular economy and the cold chain in the pharmaceutical sector.

“We are preparing to finally see our exhibition halls back in action again and to welcoming the international refrigeration, AC, ventilation and heat pump community in person to Nuremberg,” said Daniela Heinkel, Director of Chillventa at NürnbergMesse. “We are sure that the kind of platform offered by Chillventa is now more in demand than ever and are confident that it will build on its successful 2018 round.”

Bitzer launches Varipack frequency inverters

Sindelfingen, Germany, 27 July 2021: Bitzer has added models with IP55 and IP66 enclosure classes to its range of Varipack frequency inverters. Making the announcement through a Press release, the company further said that the additions retain all of the product family’s known properties, such as user-friendliness, reliability and performance.

BITZER VARIPACK Images courtesy BITZER

According to Bitzer, the inverters are designed for safe and easy capacity control and have been specially adapted for refrigeration and for the operation of Bitzer refrigeration compressors. They open up a wide range of applications in supermarkets, hotels and restaurants as well as in food manufacturing and processing, the company said. The inverters, the company added, are suitable for refrigeration and air conditioning systems as well as for heat pumps and can be combined with single compressors and compound systems alike. After intuitive commissioning, the inverters take over the control functions of the refrigeration system, the company said. They can be mounted in a switch cabinet (IP20) or outside of the switch cabinet, thanks to the higher IP55/66 enclosure class, it added.

According to Bitzer, the inverters can be operated in two modes: The compressor’s capacity can either be controlled depending on an externally set signal or on the evaporation temperature with an optionally available pressure control add-on module. In addition to direct control of the evaporation temperature, the speed of the condenser fan can be set via a 0-10 V output signal, and a second compressor can be switched on, the company said. With regard to pressure control, the inverters have a database of all commonly used refrigerants for ease of configuration and monitoring, the company said.

According to Bitzer, its software can be used to select a frequency inverter for specific applications, and BEST software (Bitzer Electronics Service Tool) can be used for easy commissioning and monitoring. The stored databases simply select the compressor model to fully configure every compressor, the company said. BEST software is also the interface for communication to configure, monitor and read out error messages, the company said. The inverters, with the IP55/66 protection class, are also fitted with a display, as standard, which makes it possible to view the current operating conditions and adjust common parameters, the company added.

The inverters ensure that when operating in field-weakening mode, the maximum frequency is automatically limited, depending on the load, the company said. Optimised adjustment to suit the system’s current cooling demand, the company added, reduces energy consumption, increases efficiency and lowers running costs.

Dunli launches B-Max backward-curved centrifugal fan

Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, 27 July, 2021: Dunli has launched the B-Max backward-curved centrifugal fan, which the company said is developed for high-end HVAC unit applications. Making the announcement through a Press release, the company added that the impeller, motor and controller of the fan were designed afresh to bring customers a better experience.

Describing the characteristics of the fan, Dunli said it:

  • Is a one-piece solution, where the motor, impeller, inlet ring, supporting rack and mounting plate are matched and assembled perfectly into one piece. This feature, it added, enables ease of assembly for the customer.

 

  • Has excellent efficiency, including industry-leading static pressure efficiency, which meets ErP2020 Standard requirements; an aerodynamic efficiency as high as 75% and above; and EC motor efficiency that meets IE4 standard.

 

  • Has an optimised aerodynamic airfoil-shaped blade design through using CFD technology; and industry-leading noise level. These two features, it added, are the outcome of 40+ reliability tests that were performed.

 

  • Has various control functions, including 0-10VDC (15VDC)/PWM signal control; phase-missing, over-current, over-voltage, over-temperature protections and signal control and fault alarm functions; and 485 communication function with MODBUS-RTU interface to monitor working, stop, speed and malfunction of the motor status.

 

  • Has wide range of applications, wherein it can be widely used in AHUs, data centres and precision air conditioning

ASHRAE opens registration for Building Performance Analysis Conference

ATLANTA, Georgia, 15 July 2021: ASHRAE opened registration for the 2021 ASHRAE Building Performance Analysis Conference, between November 10 and 12 in Denver, Colorado.

Making the announcement through a Press release, ASHRAE said it will be its first ever hybrid conference, where virtual attendees will have access to live sessions, participate in speaker Q&A as well as interact with virtual and in-person conference attendees. The theme of the conference, “Design and Operation for Resilient and Healthy Buildings,” focuses on the practices of energy modeling and building performance simulation using existing simulation tools, software development, and future simulation research and applications, ASHRAE said.

“The past year has brought forward new challenges for the design and operation of new and existing buildings, in particular challenges related to the health and well-being of occupants,” said John Bynum, Conference Chair. “This conference will provide an opportunity for building professionals across disciplines to share and learn about these topics and many others, as we continue to work towards a better built environment.”

According to ASHRAE, conference attendees will learn from more than 60 presentations by leading industry practitioners and academic researchers on topic such as machine learning, exascale computing, data visualization and zero-carbon initiatives, along with advanced techniques, innovative workflows and future trends in building performance modeling.

The conference will also feature the 7th annual ASHRAE LowDown Showdown modeling competition, ASHRAE said, adding that 10 teams, with members from across the globe, have signed on to compete in this year’s competition. Teams comprise building analysts, designers, architects, engineers and other participants. and will be responsible for creating the architectural design and a performance analysis model based on model building data, ASHRAE said. The teams may use any software, or a combination of software, to complete their projects. The 2021 competition will ask teams to expand their comfort zone and take on the challenges of a tropical climate with particular challenges for resiliency and “near net zero” design, ASHRAE said.

ASHRAE urged those interested in attending to visit ashrae.org/BuildPerform2021 and ashrae.org/2021lowdownshowdown.

 

‘We are headed back to Las Vegas with a vengeance’

ATLANTA, Georgia, 1 July 2021: ASHRAE hosted its 2021 Virtual Annual Conference from June 28 to 30, which the Society said saw 970 virtual global registrants exploring topics related to critical environments, building operation and maintenance, and plant and animal environments.

According to ASHRAE, the conference featured over 100 live and on-demand sessions with updates from Society leaders and virtual networking events. Top sessions included Fundamentals of Climate Change (Seminar 1), Keynote: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Built Environment: Update on ASHRAE’s Response and the Meeting of the Members, ASHRAE said.

According to ASHRAE, other highly attended sessions included topics on IAQ, energy efficiency and ASHRAE standards. “The 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Annual Conference brought our community of industry professionals together for a full slate of highly relevant and valuable content,” said 2021-22 ASHRAE President, Mick Schwedler. “The conference provided an opportunity to learn, share, and explore new ways to translate research and knowledge into built environment solutions that impact everyone. We are truly fortunate to be a part of this strong community that supports each other to accomplish great things. It is the power of this community that will propel us to future successes.”

According to ASHRAE, Day One included a final State of the Society and farewell address from 2020-21 ASHRAE President, Charles E. Gulledge III, as well as a Secretary’s Report from ASHRAE Executive Vice President and Society Secretary, Jeff Littleton.

“Plans for the January 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference and AHR Expo in Las Vegas are well underway, and if you have any doubts about whether the industry is ready to reconvene in January, let me share some facts with you,” Littleton said. “Fully 90% of the 498,000 net square feet of AHR Expo exhibit space available in Las Vegas is already sold. That’s 1,200 exhibiting companies already under contract. We may have had to cancel the show and the face-to-face Winter Conference this past January, but we are headed back to Las Vegas with a vengeance. Put it on your calendar today – January 29th to February 2nd. We’ll see you in Las Vegas.”

ASHRAE said that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, its Epidemic Task Force (ETF) presented an update on its global headlining work to share guidance on minimizing the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The keynote, titled ‘The COVID-19 Pandemic and Built Environment: Update on ASHRAE’s Response’, included a brief history and status of the ETF, as well as a higher-level discussion on non-HVAC issues, such as vaccines, data, transmission routes and reopening.

During the conference, ASHRAE’s Task Force on Building Decarbonization also gave an update on its progress, ASHRAE said. The task force was formed to develop technical resources and provide guidance in mitigating the negative impact of buildings on the environment and to the inhabitants of our planet, it added.

The conference was also an opportunity to honor retiring board members for their service. Further, the event saw a virtual installation ceremony for the 2021-22 Board of Directors and officers.

On the final day of the conference, Schwedler gave his address on the Society theme for the coming year, ‘Personal Growth. Global Impact. Feed the Roots’.

“We each are involved in ASHRAE for different reasons and volunteer in our chosen ways,” Schwedler said. “We do it because we grow – professionally and personally – and help others do the same. We do it because that global impact serves the world’s, as well as our personal, future generations. All this occurs because we are true to our deep, widespread and strong technical roots, grassroots and personal roots.”

According to ASHRAE, all technical sessions are now available on-demand to registrants for the next 18 months.

Eurovent Certita Certification launches its new website

PARIS, France, 30 June 2021: Eurovent Certita Certification launched a new version of its website, available at www.eurovent-certification.com, the organisation said through a Press release.

According to Eurovent, the new website was designed to provide a better user experience to a wider audience – comprising consultants, technical design offices, architects and end-users, among others – with a quick and easy access to certified data.

According to Eurovent, the website has the following new features:

  • An online search engine for third-party certified products, components and systems in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration fields with an easy access to certified data by:
    • product families,
    • brands,
    • performances
  • Editorial contents related to the following topics:
    • Indoor air quality and Ventilation
    • Thermal Comfort
    • Heat Pumps
    • Refrigeration
  • Online configurators allowing to find the best certified product families and product types, according to visitor needs
  • Content available in the following nine languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, Arabic and Chinese.

ASHRAE introduces 2021-22 President, officers and directors

ATLANTA, Georgia, 30 June 2021: ASHRAE introduced its 2021-22 Society President, executive committee officers and directors. Mick Schwedler, Application Engineer at Trane, has assumed office as President, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

Mick Schwedler

During his inaugural presidential address, Schwedler announced the new Society theme will be ‘Personal Growth. Global Impact. Feed the Roots’. The theme, ASHRAE said, explores the Society’s expansive root system from its founding, through its extraordinary global growth and impact to the built-environment. Three sets of roots were established to help members grow – member-to-member connections, grassroots chapters and regions, and technology, ASHRAE said.

“This Society Year, we will examine how ASHRAE cultivates its deep, widespread, and strong roots to collectively provide global benefits today as well as for future generations,” Schwedler said. “Most importantly, we ask for your active participation in helping someone else grow.”

According to ASHRAE, the -elected officers who will serve one-year terms are:

  • President-Elect: Farooq Mehboob, P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Principal Consultant, S. Mehboob & Company Consulting Engineers, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Treasurer: Ginger Scoggins, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, Principal, Engineered Designs Inc., Cary, North Carolina
  • Vice President: Don Brandt, CEM, Life Member ASHRAE, Instructor, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Vice President: Dunstan Macauley III, Member ASHRAE, Director of Mechanical Engineering, Setty & Associates, Rockdale, Maryland
  • Vice President: Sarah Maston P.E., BCxP, Member ASHRAE, President, Green Footprints Commissioning, Inc., Hudson, Massachusetts
  • Vice President: Tim McGinn, P.Eng., HBDP, Member ASHRAE, Principal, McGinn Technical Services, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

ASHRAE introduced its newest Directors and Regional Chairs who will serve three-year terms from 2021-24:

  • Region I Director and Regional Chair: Steven Sill, Plant Superintendent, New York State Department OPWDD, Sterling, New York
  • Region II Director and Regional Chair: Ronald Gagnon, President, Concept-R, Sorel-Tracy Quebec City, Canada
  • Region III Director and Regional Chair: Mark Tome, P.E., Development Engineer, Sitelogiq, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Region XI Director and Regional Chair: N. Eileen Jensen, P.E., Mechanical Engineer, Bonneville Power Administration, Vancouver, Washington
  • Region-at-Large Director and Regional Chair: Richie Mittal, Managing Director, Overdrive Engineering Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India 

ASHRAE also introduced its newest Directors-at-Large (DALs):

  • Dru Crawley, Fellow/Director, Building Performance Research, Bentley Systems Inc., Washington, D.C.
  • Art Giesler, Director of Technical Sales, PermAlert ESP, Colleyville, Texas
  • Kishor Khankari, Ph.D., President, AnSight LLC., Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Heather Platt Gulledge, P.E., Senior Project Manager, Dewberry, Summerfield, North Carolina (Alternate Director-at-Large)

KRN gets new Global Commercial Director

DUBAI, UAE, 28 June 2021: India-headquartered KRN Heat Exchanger & Refrigeration Pvt. Ltd., which manufactures heat exchangers, said it has appointed Raja Subramanyam as its Global Commercial Director.

Based in Dubai, Subramanyam will be responsible for KRN’s international growth, starting with Middle East and Europe, the company said in a Press release. Prior to this, Subramanyam worked as an independent cold chain consultant, drawing from a wealth of experience through his tenures at Carrier, Emerson and Ingersoll-Rand, the company said.

Raja Subramanyam

Speaking on his new role, Subramanyam said: “KRN has a state-of-the-art factory spread over 80,000 square feet in Rajasthan, India, from where it produces nearly a million world-class units per year. After creating a name for itself in India and having increased its production capacity, last year, it’s only natural for the company to foray into international markets. Despite the pandemic, the company’s growth plans are robust, and I look forward to establishing the company’s presence globally.”

Santosh Kumar Yadav, Chairman & MD, KRN, said: “In Raja, we see an ideal leader, who, with his international, versatile experience of 25 years across diverse verticals, can strategize our entry into different markets and take KRN to the next level of success. We are committed to support him to become a valued and reliable partner to HVACR principals, worldwide.”

Subramanyam holds a BE degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kumaraguru College of Technology, in Coimbatore, India. He is passionate about digitalisation and has initiated the need for digital transformation of cold chain technical assets through serving as Chair of the 10th edition of Food Chain, on May 31 in Dubai.

Eurovent, FAIAR sign MoU

BRUSSELS, BOGOTÁ, 23 June 2021: Eurovent and the Federation of Ibero-American Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Associations (FAIAR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, underlining their commitment to greater harmonisation and stronger ties between Europe and Latin America, Eurovent said through a Press release.

In the framework of the Memorandum, Eurovent said, the two organisations will collaborate on standards development, codes of good practice and networking events, among others. Eurovent and FAIAR will have their first high-level coordination meeting still this year to identify concrete opportunities for joint action, Eurovent said.

Raul Corredera Haener, President, Eurovent, said: “In order to raise and harmonise industry standards worldwide, Eurovent’s ambition is to strengthen its international partnerships with like-minded associations. FAIAR has proven to be such a partner, and we look forward to working together with our colleagues from Latin America much more closely in the future to bring new opportunities to our industry.”

Odete de Almeida, President, FAIAR, said: “To achieve FAIAR objectives, we understand the importance of integration of related associations of any territorial scope, in order to provide mutual collaboration and exchange experiences in the professional field, which benefit the partners.”

Eurovent said the two organisations have agreed to work together to promote energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, safe and reliable HVACR technologies based on common principles. The HVACR sector, it added, has an important role to play in the welfare of society and in the fight against climate change. The two regional associations, it further added, aim to avoid disjointed regional approaches to these questions, which would turn opportunities for growth and innovation into market barriers.

HMS launches new IR-based air conditioning interface

HALMS, Sweden, 17 June 2021: HMS Networks has launched an IR-based Intesis AC interface, which the company said enables integration of any air conditioning unit, regardless of brand, into Modbus or BACnet building automation systems.

Saying that HVAC systems are usually the largest consumers of energy in a building, HMS said it is crucial for building owners to monitor and control these systems to save costs and energy. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it increasingly important to find new ways of installing and using AC units, as ventilation and “clean air” have become a major concern, the company said. The air conditioning market is growing fast with new brands and different types of AC units constantly emerging, the company said. This, it added, makes it challenging for building owners to integrate AC-units into their specific Building Management System (BMS).

The Intesis offering, the company said, includes the most comprehensive portfolio of AC interfaces on the market, enabling monitoring and control of air conditioning units from any home or building automation system. The portfolio, it claimed, is now further strengthened through the launch of a universal IR-based Intesis AC interface for integrating AC units to Modbus- or BACnet-based automation systems. The new interface connects to the AC unit via the IR link, which is already used by most AC units to communicate with their remote control, it said. The Intesis IR-based AC Interface is already compatible with more than 100 IR remote controllers and their associated AC units, it added.

The new AC interface solution, the company said, is configured using the Intesis MAPS tool, which brings many advantages for the system integrator. With a project-based configuration, all the interfaces installed can be configured in a single MAPS template, making it easy to copy device configurations and set up new projects, it said. Thanks to the diagnostics function, it added, the commissioning process and any post-installation assistance is also simplified.

SPX launches new MH Fluid Cooler models

WORCESTER, UK, 16 June 2021: SPX Cooling Technologies Inc. has released details of its expanded MH Fluid Cooler line, which it said is designed to meet an even more diverse range of applications. The MH Fluid Cooler, the company said, is now available with three coil materials, each delivering its own advantages.

The most recent innovation, the MH Element Fluid Cooler, is equipped with copper coils, the company said, adding that copper offers superior corrosion resistance and improved heat transfer. Compared with traditional HDG coil fluid coolers, copper coil requires 35% less fluid volume, and the cooler operating weight is reduced by 20%, the company said. Copper is also sustainable, with a high recycle value at the end of its operational life, it added.

Other MH Fluid Coolers are available with coils of either HDG (hot dip galvanised) steel or stainless steel, the company said. HDG steel offers good thermal performance in a closed and pressurised system, it claimed. Models with stainless steel coils use larger coil surface area to achieve results and are often utilised in coastal regions and applications prone to corrosion, it said.

According to SPX, one of the most efficient closed-circuit cooling towers in its class, the MH Fluid Cooler, is a hybrid system that combines the functionality of a cooling tower and a heat exchanger. Utilising a combination of evaporative fill media and prime surface coils, the MH Fluid Cooler offers significantly improved performance over conventional non-hybrid systems, the company claimed. Compared to forced-draft products with comparable footprint, its proprietary CoolBoost technology uses up to 75% less fan energy, requires up to 35% less process fluid and reduces operating weight by 15% or more, it further claimed.

HVAC applications, SPX said, include water-source heat pumps, water-cooled VRF (variable refrigerant flow) systems, geothermal heat pumps and chillers. Industrial process cooling uses include water-cooled air compressors, injection moulding machines, induction furnaces and other machines or jacket cooling, it said.

Thermal capacities of all standard MH Fluid Coolers are independently certified by Eurovent and the Cooling Technology Institute (CTI) for performance with water, ethylene glycol solutions and propylene glycol solutions, it said, adding that the MH Fluid Cooler is backed by SPX’s five-year mechanical warranty and energy efficiencies that exceed ASHRAE Standard 90.1 requirements.

ASHRAE participates in High Performance Buildings Coalition Congressional Event

ATLANTA, Georgia, 9, June 2021: In recognition of High Performance Building Week, 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E Gulledge III, spoke on a panel, titled ‘Building Better: Congressional and Private Sector Efforts to Promote High Performance Buildings’. Congressman, Peter Welch (D-VT), Co-Chair, High Performance Buildings Caucus, and the High Performance Building Coalition organized the event. The Coalition comprises more than 200 manufacturers, trade associations and other stakeholders who support policies and legislation that advance the next generation of buildings.

Joining Gulledge on the panel were chief executives from the International Code Council (ICC), the Green Building Initiative (GBI) and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAMPO), ASHRAE said. This was followed by a Q&A session moderated by Lakisha A Woods, CAE, President and CEO, National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).

In his remarks, Gulledge spoke from ASHRAE’s current Society theme, ‘The ASHRAE Digital Lighthouse and Industry 4.0’, which focuses on reimaging the building industry, ASHRAE said.

“With the technological transformation of how we design, build, and operate buildings, the lines within the built environment including energy and infrastructure are increasingly blurred,” Gulledge said. “We must think about how existing buildings fit into this transformation. About half of the commercial buildings in the U.S. were constructed more than 35 years ago. Revitalizing these existing buildings represents Congress’s single best opportunity for making a significant impact on sustainability, resiliency, and energy efficiency. ASHRAE is committed to working with Congress to provide resources and knowledge which continually drive the innovative and strategic improvements needed during this transformation of the built environment.”

According to ASHRAE, Gulledge highlighted the new ASHRAE Global Headquarters building to demonstrate how to transform older existing buildings into high-performance workplace environments in a cost-effective and practical way.

The Big 5 Construct Egypt returns in 2021

CAIRO, Egypt, 7 June 2021: The third edition of The Big 5 Construct Egypt will take place from June 26 to 29 at the Cairo International Convention Centre (CICC), to facilitate business opportunities in Egypt’s growing construction project market, dmg events, the organiser said through a Press release.

Making the announcement through a Press conference, dmg said Egypt is the third largest construction market in the MENA region, and that activity remains a bright spot for the Egyptian economy with a pipeline of known and un-awarded projects worth USD 354.8 billion in the country*.

Khaled Abbas

Present at the press conference was Khaled Abbas, Deputy Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities for National Projects; Matt Denton, President, dmg events; Mohamed El Dahshoury, CEO, Hassan Allam Construction (HAC)’ Heike Harmgart, Managing Director, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Region, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Mohamed Tarek, Area Managing Director of North Africa for Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC).

dmg said powerful face-to-face connections between industry stakeholders will be significant for the sector’s sustained development. It is more important than ever for us to offer a safe environment for the community to come together, where they can boost business activities, rebuild partnerships and apply lessons learnt to future projects all in one place, dmg said. To that end, in addition to offering vital trading opportunities this year, The Big 5 Construct Egypt will launch new high-level features focused on strategic industry development and innovation, making it an unmissable business event for the construction sector in the wake of Covid-19 disruption, it added.

The event will launch The Big 5 Egypt Impact Awards, which dmg described as designed to recognise the businesses and people driving innovation in Egypt’s industry, in addition to The Big 5 Egypt Leadership Conference, a three-day event scheduled to gather regional ministers and international leaders to explore the construction sector’s contribution towards economic growth and diversification in Egypt.

Harmgart, who is set to speak at the conference, said: “The Big 5 Egypt Leadership Conference is a great opportunity for policy makers, financial institutions and investors to discuss the priorities for Egypt and to promote sustainable green infrastructure and construction sectors.”

Mohamed El Dahshoury

Beyond the conference, the event also will offer free-to-attend, CPD-certified talks and the exhibition area, which dmg said, will gather hundreds of leading brands from more than 15 countries, such as Canada, Germany, Greece, Russia, Italy, UAE and Saudi Arabia, to name but a few. Heavyweights signed up to exhibit include the likes of Hassan Allam Holding, Orascom Construction, El Soadaa, ASGC, Hanimex, Al Zamil, Al Ahram, Wellbond and Al Amal, dmg said.

Speaking on the upcoming exhibition, El Dahshoury said: “The Big 5 Construct Egypt represents a great place for business leaders to discuss, sign agreements and present investment opportunities, at a time when infrastructure projects play a decisive role in the economic recovery, not only in Egypt but around the world.”

AHRI certification program expands test conditions

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 28 May 2021: The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) on May 18 announced that it is implementing a wide range of test conditions in certain of its certification programs, to help promote global energy efficiency; to suit varying global environmental conditions and regional needs; to align itself with local, regional and international regulations; and to address requirements of its members and certification program participants.

AHRI said that in addition to the standard T1 test conditions (35 degrees C outdoor dry-bulb), it has been introducing the T3 test conditions (46 degrees C outdoor dry-bulb) and T4-Kuwait (48 degrees C outdoor dry-bulb), with operability tests at 52 degrees C for a large range of “tropical” air conditioning products in the high-ambient temperature (HAT) countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

AHRI said that with T3 ratings already available for applied products, such as air-cooled and water-cooled chillers, and for direct-expansion products, such as ducted-split systems, packaged rooftop units in both residential and commercial segments, and inverter-type residential units, it continues to expand the T3 ratings to other products, such as VRFs. These actions and many others, it added, are why a growing number of entities around the world are relying on AHRI-certified products and equipment, which have provided performance assurance for more than 60 years across 40 programs and with more than 1,100 certified licensees across the globe.

The initiative’s first part, it said, is to help its GCC region, Asian, European and American members and program participants certify their tropical high-ambient products to T3 test conditions through simplified mechanisms and processes. The second part, it said, involves its outreach to regional regulators and authorities, informing them of their ability to ensure compliance to T3 conditions, if they wish to do so.

“We are confident that this dual approach directly supports the important value proposition of achieving governmental energy efficiency goals and regulatory/policy initiatives, while providing a wider range of quality equipment to the residential and commercial sectors in HAT regions,” said Khalil Issa, Managing Director, AHRI MENA. “Governments, consumers, and other entities have always had the assurance that AHRI Certified products have been tested by third-party laboratories to perform as promised, helping to ensure expected energy and cost savings for the benefit of institutional clients, end-users, consumers, and the environment. The expanded test conditions solidify that assurance and allow customers in these regions access to a wider array of quality product choices.”

AHRI said its publicly available, free Directory of Certified Product Performance not only allows consumers, contractors, and others to quickly assess whether a product is AHRI Certified or not but also enables local regulators to immediately enforce compliance by easily identifying non-compliant products.

Eurovent, Eurovent Middle East and Eurovent Certita Certification to host webinar on global air filtration standard

BRUSSELS, DUBAI, PARIS, 19 May 2021: Eurovent, in cooperation with Eurovent Middle East and Eurovent Certita Certification, will host a webinar on June 9 with the aim of outlining the importance of adherence to the latest standards in air conditioning and ventilation. Making the announcement through a Press release, Eurovent said special focus will be placed on the application of the newest air filtration standard, ISO 16890, which has replaced EN 779 and other international standards in recent years. The virtual event, it added, is tailor-made for Africa, Middle East, India and Southeast Asia.

According to Eurovent, it will address the following topics:

  • ISO 16890: The global air filtration standard
  • Eurovent 4/23: Guidance for the selection of ISO 16890-rated air filter classes for general ventilation applications
  • Energy efficiency and filter certification

According to Eurovent, presentations will lead to a panel discussion and a dedicated Q&A session.

Marc Schmidt, Chairman, Eurovent Product Group – ‘Air Filters’ (PG-FIL), and one of the key speakers of the webinar, by way of underlining the importance of the transition to ISO 16890, said: “This standard has been developed to increase the awareness on Indoor Air Quality related to particulate matter suspended in the air and supports the World Health Organization’s fight in reducing illnesses related to smallest particle sizes. It is essential for the HVAC engineering community around the world to be aware of this standard and to understand its application.”

Eurovent said registration to the event is free of charge. It urged those interested in attending to register at via this link.

E+E Elektonik launches EE 212 humidity and temperature sensor

ENGERWITZDORF, Austria, 19 May 2021: E+E Elektronik has launched the EE212 humidity and temperature sensor, which it described as being suitable for challenging measurement tasks in climate technology, agriculture and the pharmaceuticals industries.

A modular probe design makes it easy to replace the sensing module directly on site, if needed, E+E Elektronik said, adding that the E+E sensor coating, the wide choice of filter caps, and the robust IP65 / NEMA 4 enclosure ensure accurate and reliable measurements even under challenging working conditions.

AHRI Board approves decarbonization general position statement

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 18 May 2021: The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) on May 14 released a General Position Statement on Decarbonization, advancing the association as a resource for states and localities grappling with how to successfully, sustainably and affordably reduce emissions related to the built-environment.

AHRI revealed the paper as noting, “The air conditioning, heating, ventilation, refrigeration, and water heating industry has a long history of providing innovative, high-quality, energy-saving, affordable products that enhance the comfort, safety, health, and productivity of businesses and people around the world”. It expresses AHRI’s support for “the ongoing, science-based transition to a lower carbon society, in which consumer choices for heating, cooling, water heating, and commercial refrigeration are the most energy efficient, environmentally beneficial available anywhere in the world, while maintaining appropriate and adequate levels of safety, health, comfort, and affordability”.

Stephen Yurek, President & CEO, AHRI, said: “Our member companies – which have more than 100 years of experience and expertise in product solutions, technology, and innovation – can serve as a valuable resource in helping the nation achieve a lower carbon society.”

The statement, AHRI said, comes on the heels of the success of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, passed by Congress in 2020, which provides authority to the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the production of high-global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons and establishes a national phase down structure for the refrigerants that are widely used in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. That effort, AHRI said, more than 10 years in the making for the industry, is forecast to ultimately result in a 0.5 degree reduction in global temperatures over the next 30 years, even as it creates jobs and helps the industry’s global trade posture.

DriSteem releases Buyer’s Guide

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minnesota, 16 May 2021: Dri-Steem, manufacturer of humidification, evaporative cooling and water treatment products, released a buyer’s guide that focuses on humidification for laboratories, the company said through a Press release.

“This new buyer’s guide is written specifically for laboratory facilities personnel,” said Jennifer Montville, Director of Marketing, DriSteem. “Careful control of relative humidity levels in labs generates more accurate test results, prevents contamination, and promotes a healthier work environment. DriSteem has been designing and building world-class humidification equipment for more than 50 years and is committed to helping facilities use those products to optimize their businesses.”

According to the company, its humidification systems are made to fit each unique application, whether it is ensuring the success of critical research, preserving fragile and valuable materials and instrumentation, or protecting the health and wellbeing of building occupants. DriSteem said its mission is to support healthy environments – studies show that ideal room relative humidity (RH) is 40-60%.

ASHRAE, IUVA sign MoU

ATLANTA, Georgia, 12 May 2021: ASHRAE and the International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), formalizing the relationship between the two organizations, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

Charles E Gulledge III, 2020-21 ASHRAE President, and Ron Hofmann, President, IUVA, signed the MoU in April to further specify the path forward, ASHRAE said. The agreement defines parameters by which ASHRAE and IUVA will work cooperatively to promote the advancement of emerging research and technologies to support a more sustainable built-environment, ASHRAE further said.

“Establishing and maintaining improved indoor environmental quality is the bedrock of ASHRAE’s sustainability mission, and the use of ultraviolet technology is a critical component towards addressing the challenges of minimizing the spread of infectious diseases,” Gulledge said. “We are pleased to partner with IUVA, as we collectively support research and new innovations to further our vision on a sustainable built environment for all.”

Hofmann added: “With a focus on the science and engineering of UV technology, IUVA members are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with ASHRAE to enhance the knowledge base and application of UV in the built environment. While the technology is already well established, the urgency of addressing the global pandemic has raised the profile of UV, and our partnership with ASHRAE promises to help develop the necessary data, protocols, guidelines, and standards to ensure its continued effective, safe use.”

According to ASHRAE, the MoU includes, but is not limited to, the following initiatives related to development of ANSI certifiable standards and related source documents:

  • Test and measurements on specific pathogens across a specified light spectrum (e.g., antimicrobial UV-C: 200nm – 280nm) and in specified mediums (e.g., aerosols, large droplets, surface – dry & wet, in aqueous solution, pristine & soiled)
  • Test and measurements on efficacy outcomes for antimicrobial UV-C devices and systems in specified, well defined testing environments (e.g., simulated hospital rooms, equipped and arranged in a standardized configuration, with predetermined numbers and locations of sampling points)
  • Test and measurements on efficacy outcomes for antimicrobial UV-C devices and systems installed in ‘upper room’ HVAC applications
  • Standards and guidelines that establish the minimum requirements for commissioning permanently installed UV antimicrobial systems in existing and newly constructed facilities
  • Standard and guidelines for the application of UV disinfection of water used in cooling towers to control spread of bacteria, such as Legionella, algae and fungi into the building HVAC system

ASHRAE said that in addition to these research and publication development initiatives, ASHRAE’s and IUVA’s other areas of potential collaboration include general advocacy, joint conferences and meetings, consistent leadership communication, education and professional development, technical activities coordination and research.

Systemair Group announces changes in management team

SKINNSKATTEBERG, Sweden, 12 May 2021:Bjørn-Osvald Skandsen, Managing Director, Systemair Norway, has joined as member of Systemair Group Management, starting May 12, Systemair Group said through a Press release.

According to Systemair Group, Skandsen has many years of experience in the ventilation industry and in Systemair. Before re-joining Systemair in March 2018 as Managing Director, he was holding a director’s positions in GK Inneklima – a technical ventilation contractor in Norway. Even earlier in his professional life, from 2000 to 2006, he had headed the Systemair Group’s technical support department and domestic sales in Sweden. Skandsen holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA in brand management. He currently serves as board member of VKE, which is an organisation for ventilation and cooling companies in Norway.

“Bjørn-Osvald is an enthusiastic and loyal business leader, with a strong passion for new technology and modern trade,” said Roland Kasper, CEO, Systemair. “I am convinced he will be a good asset to the management of Systemair. He will take a special responsibility for our heating division Frico – an area where he has good knowledge and previous experience.”

ASHRAE publishes updated health care facility ventilation standard

ATLANTA, Georgia, 11 May 2021: ASHRAE has released an updated edition of ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170, Ventilation of Health Care FacilitiesMaking the announcement through a Press release, ASHRAE said the standard offers guidance, regulation and mandates to designers of health care facilities.

The 2021 edition, ASHRAE said, delivers critical guidance for designers and operators of these front-line facilities and incorporates 17 addenda to the 2017 edition of the standard.

According to ASHRAE, changes include:

  • Expanded requirements to allow airborne infectious isolation room exhaust discharge to general exhaust under certain conditions
  • Revised scope, with improved guidance on thermal comfort conditions
  • Extensive modifications to address the Outpatient and Residential sections
  • Extensive revisions to air filtration requirements
  • Addition of new columns in the ventilation tables to prescribe filtration requirement and designate unoccupied turndown
  • Expanded guidance on separation distance requirements for varied intake and exhaust arrangements, coordinating with related ASHRAE Standard 62.1 data
  • Improved guidance related to behavioral and mental health

ASHRAE supports USGBC IAQ schools survey and report

ATLANTA, Georgia, 29 April 2021: With technical support from ASHRAE, the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) published a new report on indoor air quality (IAQ) measures that schools have taken in response to the pandemic, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

The report, titled Preparation in the Pandemic: How Schools Implemented Air Quality Measures to Protect Occupants from COVID-19”, presents the survey responses of school districts representing more than 4,000 schools serving over 2.5 million students in 24 states, on the protocols and operations plans implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“Maintaining proper ventilation and good indoor air quality are vital in keeping school buildings healthy and operating as energy efficiently as possible,” said 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III. “This report provides a wide-scale, foundational framework to school leaders and lawmakers alike towards the implementation of new building design guidelines and to advance health and sustainability goals, while instilling confidence in the places where people learn.”

According to ASHRAE, the report is the only known national view of air quality measures implemented in schools during the pandemic. It highlights what school districts have prioritized, which actions they have taken, how they have made decisions and what the consequences have been. The results of the survey show that schools have implemented some protective measures to improve IAQ, prioritizing ventilation and filtration to reduce the transmission of the virus, ASHRAE said. However, school districts still have unmet needs and face numerous challenges related to costs and outdated building infrastructure, ASHRAE added.

“Indoor air quality continues to be a critical concern as more teachers and students are returning to the classroom,” said Anisa Heming, Director of the Center for Green Schools, USGBC. “Increasing clean air circulation for our teachers and students is vital to promoting public health and is a key green building strategy for school buildings. Our aim with this report is to inform policymakers and nonprofits that support our schools of the challenges that our education institutions face in combatting the spread of COVID-19, particularly given the deficient state of many school buildings across the country.”

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • The most-frequently-cited challenge to implementing protective air quality measures at schools was that school buildings were not designed to support the strategies that were being recommended.
  • School districts that have been able to act have leaned heavily on their mechanical systems, such as increasing air supply through HVAC systems or upgrading filters to implement protective air quality measures for students and teachers.
  • Only two-thirds of respondents were regularly monitoring IAQ before the pandemic, indicating that providing time, staff and funding for regular monitoring and data collection has not been a priority for many districts in the past.
  • Respondents want to continue the measures implemented during the pandemic, citing student and teacher health. Seventy per cent of school districts plan to continue some or all of the strategies they have implemented.

“As schools re-open and develop health and safety plans to mitigate airborne transmission of COVID-19, many are prioritizing and upgrading current HVAC systems to provide the highest indoor air quality for building occupants,” said Corey Metzger, Lead, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force Schools Team. “We know that improved indoor air quality has a positive impact on student performance and general well-being, and I’m hopeful that more schools will consider and implement the guidance provided by ASHRAE.”

Carel launches pCOe

BRUGINE, Padua, Italy, 22 April 2021: Carel said it has widened its range of I/O expansions in the first part of 2021 with the development of a new digital input expansion board. I/O expansions are modules that can be added to a typical air conditioning application, to increase the number of inputs and outputs available on the controller and, consequently, optimise the flexibility and modularity of the solutions, the company explained through a Press release for the purpose of making the announcement of the launch.

Carel said one of the most common uses of the digital input expansion board involves ventilation sections comprising several fans with electronic motors; in this case, the speed of the individual devices needs to be monitored in order to check their operating status and act on the other fans accordingly, if one of them fails. Carel said it has for many years now offered all of the tools needed to support large systems, such as air-handling units or dry coolers, in which the fans are equipped with electronics that communicate via Modbus®, making it possible to directly monitor their operating status.

However, units that are smaller in size and capacity have simpler and more economical fans that do not feature serial communication and provide a pulse signal based on the rotation speed, which can be read by fast digital inputs, Carel said. This is the basis for the development of its new digital input expansion board, which the company described as an ideal solution for all cases where numerous digital inputs – including fast inputs up to 500 Hz – need to be read, however, while limiting the total number of I/Os and space required, adding only those that are needed.

One typical example involves so-called “in row units” used for cooling data centres. The highly compact units do not require complex device control architecture or specific sensors for their operation, Carel said. These feature a single ventilation section with at least eight fans in parallel, which need to be monitored individually. In this case, reading the signal is a simple and effective way to verify operation, as well as being a more economical solution than installing expensive air flow-rate sensors, Carel said.

The new expansion board, Carel said, features a high number of digital inputs to ensure maximum flexibility in different applications. This is essential on units where the main controller features a limited number of inputs and outputs, while multiple digital inputs need to be connected, for example to detect alarms or various signals.

The entire range of I/O expansions, Carel said, can be integrated into solutions based on the CAREL pCO and c.pCO programmable controller platforms, or into architecture using different controllers.

AHRI, others petition EPA on HFC phase-down rule

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 13 April 2021: The Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration institute (AHRI) today joined more than 35 other industry and environmental organizations in petitioning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking uniform national standards for stationary air conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment in the transition to climate-friendly refrigerants under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act. If promulgated, these standards will result in an additional half billion tons of CO2 reduction, over and above what already is projected to be achieved by implementation of the AIM Act, AHRI said through a Press release.

The federal standards sought by the AHRI petition align with similar standards already in place in nine states. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) submitted similar petitions under the AIM Act, AHRI pointed out.

For new residential and light-commercial central air conditioning equipment, the petition, AHRI said, seeks a regulation requiring that equipment manufacturers use refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) of 750 or less in equipment made after January 1, 2025, with the exception of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) equipment, whose deadline would be January 1, 2026. These transition dates would align the country with the dates adopted in December 2020 by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and nine additional Climate Alliance states, AHRI said.

For commercial refrigeration and chiller equipment, the petition seeks the GWP limits and transition dates according to the table below:

Through these petitions, AHRI said, a broad variety of stakeholders, including itself, hope to demonstrate that sufficient consensus already exists and that a regular notice and comment rulemaking would adequately represent all material interests, thereby allowing the agency to forego the negotiated rulemaking process it must consider – but is not required to undertake – for such petitions, pursuant to the AIM Act.

AHRI said its petition emphasizes that as a general matter, “the U.S. HVACR industry already is proceeding with the requested transition date as its goal; granting this petition provides order and structure to the market and streamlines industry preparation”.

The transition dates contained in its petition, AHRI said, allow “sufficient time for careful planning and preparation, both to avoid excessive costs that can unduly burden consumers, and to ensure all safety and other associated standards can be met”, according to the petition. “For example, contractors and technicians must receive appropriate training, state and local building codes must be updated and changed, and supply chains and distribution networks must be modified,” AHRI said.

“While AHRI has long believed that an earlier transition would not allow enough time for manufacturers to prepare, we have been equally clear that a later transition date would put long-term compliance with the AIM Act at risk,” said Stephen Yurek, AHRI President & CEO. “Aligning these dates also reduces costs for consumers and ensures long-term availability of energy-, environment-, and life-saving refrigerants for climate control and for the cold chain for food, vaccines, and other medicines.”

AHRI, the U.S. Department of Energy, CARB and other stakeholders have invested more than USD 7 million in research into alternative refrigerants in preparation for this transition, AHRI said, These more climate-friendly alternatives, it added, are in use today in Europe, Australia, Japan, Thailand and in more than 90% of new passenger vehicles currently sold in the United States.

ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force releases updated airborne transmission guidance

ATLANTA, Georgia, 5 April 2021: The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force released an updated, unequivocal statement on the airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in buildings, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

ASHRAE released the following statement: “Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is significant and should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures.”

ASHRAE said the statement replaces its April 2020 statement, which said airborne transmission was “sufficiently likely” that airborne precautions should be taken. At that time both, ASHRAE said, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) contended that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was by droplet and fomite modes, not airborne. Subsequently, both have acknowledged the risk of airborne transmission indoors, ASHRAE added.

“This may seem like a small step, but we feel it is important to leave no doubt about our position, given the muted support for ventilation and filtration as important tools in the effort to stop the pandemic, from some organizations that should be leading more strongly,” said William P Bahnfleth, Chair, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force.

According to ASHRAE, the Task Force has been developing and disseminating guidance for the control of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 since its formation in March 2020.  “ASHRAE volunteers have played a huge role in evaluating evidence and developing detailed guidance to improve indoor environmental quality,” Bahnfleth said. “The public, globally, is benefitting from the volunteer efforts of some of the most knowledgeable scientists and engineers in our field and this updated guidance is proof of it.”

To view the complete airborne transmission statement and other COVID-19 resources, ASHRAE suggested visiting ashrae.org/COVID-19.

Camfil expands production in Taiwan

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 29 March 2021: Camfil has commenced operation at its new plant in Tainan, Taiwan, which it said will contribute in a circular systematic way to benefit the business and the environment. Making the announcement through a Press release, Camfil said the new facility, with over 4,000 square metres in area, has started production and will create new employment opportunities and contribute directly towards Camfil’s mission for a sustainable future.

According to Camfil, the factory will act as a hub for molecular and particle filtration, focusing on supporting the growing semiconductor, life science and turbomachinery industry; and by producing locally, it will help reduce shipping time from other facilities located in Asia. The plant is well equipped with the latest technology and operational capability to adapt the green process to elaborate the Camfil sustainability promises to the customers and the environment, the company said. By using its technology, it said, it expects to reduce shipping costs, promote local manufacturing and reduce waste handling. It added that its manufacturing process will have a reduced environmental impact, as the facility will contribute to reducing waste generation for customers by adopting a reuse/recycle approach for many filter components.

During the opening ceremony, Bengt G Carlsson, representative of The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, was present and took the stage to highlight the benefits of this sustainable initiative and how it will shape the future of the air filtration market and leading towards reduced waste generation.

James Lin, Managing Director, Camfil Taiwan, said: “Camfil is thrilled to announce the start of our air filtration facility that will directly contribute to our commitment to sustainability and promote reduced waste generation through recycling and reusing. We believe that this kind of initiative in manufacturing and operations can be important drivers in the sustainable development of our process and the environment.”

ASHRAE announces call for abstracts for Winter Conference

ATLANTA, Georgia, 26 March 2021: Abstracts are now being accepted for the 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference,  to be held from January 29 to February 2, 2022 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

With an eye on future resources, the conference seeks to present papers and programs that cover sustainable use of energy and water, reduction of waste and improved Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), while addressing other challenges and opportunities in facilities, applications and processes, ASHRAE said.

“It is estimated that the world population will grow from eight billion now to around nine billion in 2050; global GDP is expected to stabilize at +2%/year,” said Raul Simonetti, Chair, 2022 Conference. “This will increase the need for food, energy and other resources to support a growing population in the coming future. The 2022 Virtual Winter Conference will provide an opportunity to examine holistically – that is, at 360° – what we do and the way we do it in order to minimize the impact on our planet.”

According to ASHRAE, the following tracks are developed to support the conference theme, ‘Holism and Perspectives towards Decarbonization’…

  • Buildings use a large share of a country’s final energy, particularly for heating, cooling and various services. Papers in the Buildings at 360°” track will focus on explaining methods, equipment, systems and solutions to satisfy occupants’ needs, to guarantee buildings’ performances and resilience, and to save resources like energy and water.
  • Energy is omnipresent in our daily lives in ways like electricity for appliances or heat and cooling for industrial processes. The integration of various energy sources, processes and transportation allows us to better exploit the available energy and reduce waste. The “Energy System Integration” track will explore renewables, fossil fuels, grid integration, aggregation, demand-side flexibility, smart devices, IoT, synthetic hydrogen and synthetic fuels, CCUS and electrification.
  • Indoor environment is essential for our well-being and productivity, but is often regulated differently in various parts of the world due to local conditions, circumstances, history and traditions. Papers that explain local norms and trends with an eye on energy usage would fit in the “Environmental Health and IEQ in the International Arena” track.
  • The “HVAC for Industrial and Commercial Purposes” track will focus on papers that examine the challenges and opportunities in improving energy efficiency of commercial and industrial facilities and transferring lessons learned to other types of facilities.
  • Refrigerants play an important role in maximizing performances and minimizing direct and indirect GHG emissions. The “Refrigerants, Safety and Performance” track will focus on papers that present advancements and developments about flammability of refrigerants that can reduce the direct emissions, but that may have safety, regulatory and performance issues when deployed on the field.
  • The “Refrigerants and Refrigeration” track will explore refrigeration systems, which generate and use cold for a range of processes, from food preparation and conservation to vaccine preservation, and from long-term protection of fragile ancient inks of historical documents to others.
  • The “HVAC&R Systems and Equipment” track will focus on the development of new systems and equipment, improvements to existing systems and equipment and the proper application and operation of systems and equipment.
  • The “Fundamentals and Applications” track will provide opportunities for papers of varying levels across a large topic base. Concepts, design elements and shared experiences for theoretical and applied concepts of HVAC&R design are included.

According to ASHRAE, Abstracts (400 words or less) are due April 5, 2021. If accepted, final conference papers (eight pages, maximum) are due July 12, 2021.

In addition, technical papers (complete 30-page maximum papers) are also due March 29, 2021, ASHRAE said, adding that accepted conference papers and technical papers are published in ASHRAE Transactions, cited in abstracting indexes and considered for Science and Technology for the Built Environment, ASHRAE’s research journal.

For more information on the call for papers and the 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference, ASHRAE urged those interested to visit https://ashrae.org/2022Winter.

In conjunction with the ASHRAE Winter Conference is the 2022 AHR Expo, to be held from January 31 to February 2, 2022, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more information on the 2022 AHR Expo, ASHRAE urged those interested to visit https://www.ahrexpo.com/.

Rubber World Industry launches AED 90mn HVAC production unit

DUBAI, UAE, 21 March 2021: Rubber World Industry, which manufactures and supplies HVAC and MEP products and accessories in the UAE, has launched ‘United Air-Conditioning’, a specialised company with an investment of AED 90 million (approximately USD 25 million), which includes a production plant in Al Jurf industrial area, Ajman, to meet what it described as a growing demand for its environmentally friendly products. Rubber World made the announcement through a Press release.

The new manufacturing unit, spanning over 10,000 square metres, is part of the company’s expansion plans backed by the rising demand for the company’s cooling, heating and now coronavirus-related products, Rubber World said through the Press release. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said it saw a sharp increase in health and environment-related products, such as disinfectant chambers, HVAC filters, air cleaners, optimised HVAC products, and configured rubber insulation and ducts to limit the spread of the virus.

Muzammil Shaikhani, Managing Director, Rubber World Industry, while attributing the new milestone to the company’s customers, said: “I am grateful to our local and international buyers, who have put a strong trust in us, which kept our growth not only intact but rising. In addition, during the pandemic, Rubber World thrived rather than survived and launched United Air Conditioning to cater to the increasing needs of its customers. Our R&D quickly responded to the new demand for health-related products that people and businesses need to maintain health [and] safety and [to] contain the spread of coronavirus and its variants, and started manufacturing this line, which helped doubled our growth and created the need for a specialized production line.”

The new entity, United Air Conditioning will complement Rubber World in manufacturing heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, cooling, mechanical, electrical and plumbing products, parts and accessories for commercial and residential use in the UAE, Rubber World said. United Air Conditioning will focus on health and environment-related products, modified HVAC and MEP parts, such as rubber insulation and ducting lines, which have become essential in the current environment, Rubber World said. It will help in reducing emissions, improve energy efficiency and contribute to the climate change agenda, it added. Rubber World has two units in the UAE and one in Sri Lanka. The company said it plans to set up six new production facilities in South Asia and the Middle East in the next three years to cater to the needs of its growing customer base.

Rubber World said that United Air-Conditioning has helped it increase its range of products, such as cooler tubes and sheets, which are CFC-free and are designed for exposed pipe area, as commonly seen in supermarkets, hospitals and schools. Another key area of demand for United Air-Conditioning’s products is all types of flexible ducts and ducting accessories with a broad range of adhesive tapes, Rubber World said. Rubber World said it currently serves several customers, including Leminar Air Conditioning Company, Century Mechanical Systems Factory, Gulf-O-Flex AC Spare Parts Trading, Gmark Middle East FZC and Al Emadi Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Equipment.

AHRI releases refrigerant research results

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 18 March 2021: The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) released results of a project undertaken in cooperation with UL and the Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) in which refrigerants classified by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) as A2L (lower flammability) were tested and compared with A1 (no flame-spread) refrigerants in real-world situations. The effort, AHRI said, was undertaken to develop training programs for firefighting personnel when responding to fires in occupancies with both new (A2L) and existing (A1) refrigerants.

The project included scenarios designed by fire service professionals to develop training for tactical consideration to demonstrate hazards that may be encountered by the fire service for both A1 and A2L refrigerants, AHRI said. “We are grateful to the UL employees and members of the fire service that committed significant time in the development and execution of this project and in preparing reports to ensure that they are both accurate and helpful to firefighters,” said Helen Walter-Terrinoni, AHRI Vice President of Regulatory Affairs.

Since industry started pursuing a phasedown of higher-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants over 10 years ago, more than USD 7 million has been invested in research to better understand the lower-GWP refrigerants that will replace them, AHRI said.

The FSRI training module, which incorporates videos from the project, AHRI said, will soon be released and available free-of-charge on its website

The Crux of building performance

Buildings often do not perform in an optimal and efficient way despite significant investment during design and construction. The reasons can be wide and varied, and there is a certain inevitability that issues during construction will arise, and decisions will be made that could ultimately affect the long-term performance of the building. Building Commissioning, when utilised correctly, is a systematic quality assurance process. It increases the likelihood of buildings operating in line with their design intent, by verifying and documenting the fact that building services are designed, installed, tested and are operating in line with the Owners Project Requirements (OPR). This is primarily done with detailed planning, organisation, coordination and control of all commissioning activities.

Martin Williamson

Conversely, a building that is not operating in line with project requirements can be inefficient from an energy standpoint, financially uneconomical or suffering from poor indoor environmental quality (IEQ), of which indoor air quality (IAQ) is a significant part. This scenario is particularly prominent across the GCC region, where commissioning is largely misunderstood, under-utilised or is carried out to a low standard. A study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), based on a database of 643 buildings across approximately 100 million square feet of floor space, found the main causes of energy inefficiency in commercial buildings to be ductwork leakage, HVAC systems running and lights left on when spaces are unoccupied, ventilation systems incorrectly balanced, dampers not working and incorrect controls set-up, with an estimated 94.6 billion kilowatt hours annually (BkWh/year) wasted across the top 13 of 100 issues identified. Ductwork leakage was responsible for the greatest energy inefficiency, accounting for 28.6 BkWh/year alone, which has been seen to be a common issue across construction projects in the GCC region.

In addition to energy savings, correcting these issues would likely improve the indoor environment, as the identified issues would have an expected impact on heating and cooling, ventilation of spaces, and potential for drafts and noise. Identifying and correcting these commonly found issues should lead to an overall increase in occupant satisfaction. Commissioning is arguably the most cost-effective process for short-term and long-term advantages to building owners, facility managers and building occupants. However, there are many projects in the GCC region, where commissioning is not utilised or is carried out to a low standard. To put this in perspective, the LBNL study found the median cost for commissioning a new building accounted for 0.4% of the total construction cost. The data received demonstrates a significant 13% energy saving in new buildings, should commissioning and management be implemented effectively. On this basis, the client’s ROI would be 4.2 years.

The purpose of commissioning in new buildings is to ensure the performance requirements of the building owners’ objectives are achieved, making sure the building is operating as efficiently as it can at the time of handover. Commissioning in existing buildings is to validate whether the building is operating efficiently and to identify performance gaps, inefficiencies and improvements needed to return it to an efficient operational condition.

There are several names for commissioning in existing buildings, namely Re-Commissioning, Retro Commissioning and Continuous Commissioning. Retro Commissioning is utilised in buildings where no commissioning was previously performed. Re-Commissioning is typically carried out every 5-10 years and completed when the building use has changed, internal fit-outs completed or equipment and components in the systems are upgraded. Continuous Commissioning is based on frequently monitoring the building use, diagnosing improvements and fine-tuning the building performance.

Re-Commissioning and Continuous Commissioning are beneficial, as they allow flexibility for changing the use of internal spaces without affecting the building’s performance. The way a building is used and operated is often different from the condition predicted during design stage, where assumptions are made for occupant density, temperature set-points, control schedules and operation of HVAC systems. A major factor is occupant behaviour, which is difficult to predict and cannot be known at the time of design. The use of the building compared to the predicted design is monitored and changes made to fine-tune the system performance. A study by Wang L, et al (Uncertainties in energy consumption introduced by building operations and weather for a medium-size office building) showed poor practice in building operation can result in an increase in energy use of 49-79%, and good practice can reduce energy consumption by 15-29%.

Commissioning as a process has become more prevalent in the GCC region in recent years, with several high-profile developers, project management companies and consultants specifying this as a requirement. As an example of implementing commissioning in the GCC region, the Dubai Green Building Regulations and Specifications (DGBR) outlines requirements for commissioning in new as well as existing buildings, highlighting the value of commissioning in securing a green future for Dubai.

To take this a step further, the regulations in the GCC region could outline the requirement of commissioning as a process by referencing publications such as CIBSE Commissioning Code M – Commissioning Management, BSRIA Model Commissioning Plan or ASHRAE Standard 202 – Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems, which are useful publications for capturing the commissioning process throughout the lifecycle of a building.

To enhance this, it would be beneficial to specify requirements of who can complete the commissioning and management, and the level of training and experience needed. Commissioning is often completed by an independent company, whose role is to ensure compliance with the OPR; the impartial nature is part of the value of commissioning. Unless regulations specify commissioning must be independent, this allows ‘in-house’ commissioning to be completed, which is not unbiased and, citing from experience, often results in ‘covering up’ issues identified instead of resolving them.

In comparison to the UK Building Regulations, commissioning of building services is a key requirement identified, and for buildings to conform to the energy efficiency requirements, CIBSE and BSRIA methodology are to be followed, and the process should be overseen by someone suitably qualified by relevant training or experience. The regulations cite membership of the Commissioning Specialists Association (CSA), the Commissioning Group of the Building and Engineering Services Association (B&ES) and Lighting Industry Commissioning Scheme as a way of demonstrating this.

The writer is Senior Commissioning Manager, AESG, and Committee Member, Commissioning Specialists Association (GCC). He may be reached at m.williamson@aesg-me.com

ENGIE Refrigeration bets on sustainable refrigerant

LINDAU ON LAKE CONSTANCE, GERMANY, 23 February 2021: ENGIE Refrigeration has added a new refrigerant to its portfolio. R-515B is now available for QUANTUM chillers as an alternative to R-1234ze, it said. R-515B is eco-friendly, non-toxic and non-combustible and, thus, especially safe, it said. With the introduction of the new refrigerant, the company said it is setting a clear example for more sustainability.

R-515B is available for QUANTUM models as an alternative to R-1234ze. Source: ENGIE Refrigeration

ENGIE said it is one of the first manufacturers in the world to use the refrigerant R-515B. It was developed as an alternative to R-134a and can be used instead of R-1234ze in the form of a drop-in refrigerant, it added. “Refrigerant R-515B combines the positive properties of a 77% lower greenhouse potential than R-134a with a classification as safety level A1 according to EN 378-1,” Daniel Keller, Head of Product Management, ENGIE Refrigeration, said. “This means that unlike R-1234ze (A2L), it is considered a non-combustible safety refrigerant.”

R-515B is an azeotropic mixture, 91.9% R-1234ze and 8.9% R-227ea, ENGIE said. With a GWP value of 293 (IPCC-AR4*) and 299 (IPCC-AR5**), R-515B meets the requirements of the F-Gas Regulation – until at least 2030, the company said. Another important advantage for companies operating existing machines run on R-134a is that because R-515B is classified as A1, no additional safety measures need to be taken for the machine room containing the chiller or heat pump, the company said.

From February 2021, the air-cooled, water-cooled and split models of the QUANTUM series are available with R-515B as an alternative to the previous standard refrigerant, R-1234ze, ENGIE said. “With the new refrigerant, R-515B, the chiller achieves almost the same refrigeration capacity and energy efficiency as with R-1234ze,” Keller said. “This means that R-515B is suitable for customers from all industries that require optimal refrigeration capacity and also wish to switch to an eco-friendly and sustainable refrigerant.

Eurovent publishes recommendation on air leakages

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 17 February 2021: The Eurovent Product Group, ‘Air Handling Units’ (PG-AHU) published the first edition of Eurovent Recommendation 6/15 – Air Leakages in Air-Handling Units, Eurovent said through a Press release. The Recommendation presents guidelines for improving Indoor Air Quality and correcting the performance of air-handling units due to internal leakages.

Eurovent Recommendation 6/15 is the first comprehensive publication that gives an in-depth overview of the issue of air leakages in Air Handling Units, including:

  • Explanation of leakage types
  • Reference to related standards and regulations
  • Clarification of leakage indicators
  • Typical leakage rates for various design options
  • Guidance on design, commissioning and maintenance for eliminating or minimising leakages
  • Correction of Air-handling unit performance due to internal leakages

Igor Sikonczyk, Secretary of the Eurovent PG-AHU, said: “The fundamental role of mechanical ventilation is to renew polluted indoor air with fresh outdoor air, in order to provide a safe and healthy indoor environment. One of the problems in achieving this objective is air leakage occurring in the duct network and in the air-handling units. Our new Recommendation sets out the principles for good practices to limit air leakages to ultimately improve Indoor Air Quality and reduce energy consumption.”

According to Eurovent, Recommendation 6/15 is addressed to all ventilation and air conditioning professionals, including system planners, installers and manufacturers. The association added that It is available for download free of charge at the Eurovent Document Web Shop.

ASHRAE 2021 Annual Conference to be held virtually

ATLANTA, Georgia, 17 February 2021: ASHRAE said its 2021 Annual Conference,scheduled to be held in Phoenix, will now take place virtually.

Making the announcement through a Press release, ASHRAE said the event (2021 ASHRAE Virtual Annual Conference ) is designed to provide the latest insights from industry-leading expert in the built environment. It will provide focused, actionable and innovative content to support HVACR and building systems professionals, it added.

“Our pivot to virtual conferences over the past year has been met with great success,” said 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E Gulledge III. “Engagement from members and industry professionals from around the world in these events is a testament to the quality of our conferences and the importance of staying connected within the ASHRAE community. The 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Annual Conference will be a wonderful forum to share fresh ideas and unique approaches to tackle the challenges of our rapidly changing world. I look to extending our digital connection, and I anticipate an immense level of interest and participation.”

According to ASHRAE, conference attendees can expect:

  • Technical sessions from industry experts and thought leaders
  • Online networking and social opportunities
  • A chance for professionals to come together and connect with collaborators around the world
  • A keynote presentation, roundtable decisions and expanded learning opportunities
  • Updates and announcements from Society leaders

ASHRAE said additional information on the conference, including committee meetings and registration details, will be made available in the coming weeks. It recommended that those interested in the event could visitashrae.org/2021annual for more information.

Hira Industries launches thermal insulation solution

DUBAI, UAE, 15 February 2021: Hira Industries launched the Aerofoam NBR Lap Seal Tube, which the company described through a Press release as an effective and efficient thermal insulation solution that can be installed in various residential and commercial complexes to provide corrosion protection, whilst improving safety, efficiency and durability of the building.

Launched for the first time in the UAE market, the product is a pre-slit, closed-cell elastomeric thermal insulation tube, which is manufactured with a pre-installed adhesive that helps in reducing the use of additional adhesive by 90%, the company said. The overlap seals are particularly developed for mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) contractors for a secure sealing and for reinsulating old and damaged pipes.

“At Hira Industries, our aim is to launch several new products and technologies in this year,” said Umesh Unni, General Manager, Hira Industries. “The focus will be to establish good customer relations and deliver cost-effective solutions to them. The launch of the Lap Seal Tubes is a reflection of our vision to expand our product base and cater to the ever-growing requirements of the insulation business.”

The Lap Seal Tube is much easier to install due to the pre-slit feature and the pressure-sensitive adhesive, reducing the installation time by more than 50%, the company claimed. Along with this, the company said, the aim of introducing the Lap Seal Tube is to provide a long-lasting insulation solution at a much lower cost in terms of the time and accessories used to install the product and the maintenance costs, as it does not require frequent maintenance and replacement. This feature of Tube makes it a unique proposition in the industry, setting it apart from existing products, the company asserted.

The fact that the product is manufactured in-house, the company said, facilitates quick bulk delivery and expert support for the HVAC&R industry, the company said. The Lap Seal Tube come with the guarantee of being able to last for more than a decade, as compared to the conventional insulation solutions that require frequent maintenance and replacement, making it the right solution for all insulation requirements at a much lower price, the company claimed. It is the perfect solution for a diverse range of insulation requirements, as the tube’s size can be customised to fit the pipes perfectly, while the pressure-sensitive adhesive overlay helps in an easy and quick adhesion, as compared to the other insulation solutions in the industry, the company said.

Unni said: “The tubes are made of high-grade-quality material and have an integrated structure, yet are economically priced, which makes them an attractive solution for all requirements. That is not all – keeping the environment in mind, we have used fume-free and clean materials to produce the Lap Seal Tubes. As a result, extra precautions are not required after installing the solution, which is extremely efficient in cooling systems, as they do not form condensation. We are committed to helping buildings increase LEED points, and the insulation of Lap Seal Tubes fulfills all LEED requirements to maintain a sustainable and green earth.”

Emerson announces SASO registration for psychrometric lab in Dubai

LOUIS, Missouri, 10February 2021:The Emerson Psychrometric lab in Dubai has been registered as the conformity assessment body by SASO (Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organization), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia vide Registration No: EE LAB 0160, Emerson said through a Press release.

Source: Emerson

The lab had previously registered with ESMA (Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology) vide Registration No. R-T-20-00340, Emerson said. Vadivelan Kannan, Director of Technical Services for Commercial and Residential Solutions, Middle East and Africa, said: “This is a significant milestone for our Psychrometric Lab Facility in this region. These registrations of our Psychrometric Lab will further help our customers to test their air-conditioners for performance and ensure compliance with SASO/ESMA standards and regulations.

“The certification awarded by SASO and ESMA reiterates that Emerson test lab meets both technical competence and management system requirements to consistently deliver technically valid test results for the defined scope.”

Shecco to host annual trade show on natural refrigerants

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 05 February 2021: Clean Cooling market accelerator, shecco has opened free registration for its second Virtual Trade Show (ATMO VTS 2021) for natural refrigerant and sustainable cooling technologies, the body said through a Press release. The registration page can be found here, it added.

According to shecco, the event, designed for the global refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump industry, will take place over a 24-hour period, from 10 am CET (Central European Time) March 30 to 10 am CET March 31. The show is designed to fill the physical trade show void, as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, shecco added.

shecco said it is expecting 5,000-10,000 registrations and more than 100 exhibitors of natural refrigerant products for ATMO VTS 2021. Premium exhibitors so far include Teko, Zudek, ebmpapst, Carel, Alfa Laval and Dorin, it added.

The inaugural ATMO VTS took place from September 1 to 2, 2020, shecco said, adding that it attracted 77 natural refrigerant companies as exhibitors and more than 4,200 attendees from 1,500+ organisations from around the world.

“ATMO VTS 2021 will give that ‘real’ trade show feeling, which is much needed these days,” said Marc Chasserot, CEO, shecco. “The platform allows us to explore different halls, listen to live presentations, and make valuable connections with customers and suppliers from all over the world.

“In addition to some great exhibitors, with more signing-up each week, we’ve made some big changes, including new Product Innovation Awards and 24 hours of live webinars, including panel discussions, so that everyone, no matter where you are in the world, can listen live to some key discussions from cooling thought leaders.”

The live webinars will include presentations on shecco’s first Annual Report on the natural refrigerants industry, global training, the new EU F-Gas Regulation update and food retail experiences from around the world.

ASHRAE announces nominees for 2021-22 officers, directors

ATLANTA, Georgia, 5 February 2021: The ASHRAE Nominating Committee has made nominations for officers and directors from a list recommended by individual members and from Chapters Regional Conferences, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

According to ASHRAE, the 2021-22 nominees are:

  • President-Elect: Farooq Mehboob
  • Treasurer: Ginger Scoggins
  • Vice Presidents: Don Brandt, Dunstan Macauley, Sarah Maston, Tim McGinn
  • Directors and Regional Chairs: Steven Sill (Region I), Ronald Gagnon (Region II), Mark Tome (Region III), Eileen Jensen (Region XI), Richie Mittal (Region-at-Large)
  • Directors-at-Large: Dru Crawley, Art Giesler, Kishor Khankari
  • Alternate Director-at-Large: Heather Platt Gulledge 

According to ASHRAE, its members will vote on the nominees via electronic ballot in May. The Society added that Mick Schwedler will serve as ASHRAE President for 2021-22.

ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force releases updated Building Readiness Guide

ATLANTA, Georgia, 02 February 2021: With the performance of many HVAC systems in buildings still being evaluated, the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has updated its reopening guidance for HVAC systems to help mitigate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

“The Building Readiness Guide includes additional information and clarifications to assist designers and commissioning providers in performing pre- or post-occupancy flush calculations to reduce the time and energy to clear spaces of contaminants between occupancy periods,” said Wade Conlan, Lead, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force Building Readiness team. “New information includes the theory behind the use of equivalent outdoor air supply, method for calculating the performance of filters and air cleaners in series, and filter droplet nuclei efficiency that help evaluate the systems’ ability to flush the building.”

According to ASHRAE, major updates to the building readiness guidance include the following:

  • Pre- or post-flushing strategy methodology: The strategy has been updated to include the use of filter droplet nuclei efficiency, which is the overall efficiency of filter, based on viable virus particle sizes in the air, to assist in determining the impact of the filter on the recirculated air on the equivalent outdoor air. This allows the filter efficiency as a function of particle size, using ASHRAE Standard 52.2 test results, to be estimated based on the expected size distribution of virus-containing particles in the air. This calculation is currently based on Influenza A data and will be updated as peer-reviewed research becomes available for the distribution of particle sizes that contain a viable SARS-CoV-2 virus. Additionally, a chart has been added to help determine the time to achieve 90%, 95% or 99% contaminant reduction, if the equivalent outdoor air changes per hour is known.
  • Flushing time calculator: There is now a link to a view-only Google Sheet that can be downloaded for use, to help determine the available equivalent outdoor air changes and time to perform the flush. This sheet is based on a typical mixed AHU with filters, cooling coil, with potential for in-AHU air cleaner (UVC is noted in the example), and in-room air cleaning devices. Provided efficiencies of MERV-rated filters are based on the performance of over 200 actual filters from MERV 4 through 16, but the tool also allows users to enter custom characteristics for specific filters.
  • The sheet also calculates the filter droplet nuclei efficiency, based on the cited research but allows a user to adjust the anticipated distribution of virus, as desired. It also allows specification of the zone (room) air distribution effectiveness from ASHRAE Standard 62.1 to account for the impact of the HVAC system air delivery method on the degree of mixing. Default calculations assume perfect mixing. Finally, the tool allows for the target air changes to be adjusted if an owner wants to achieve a different per cent removal in lieu of the recommended 95%. 
  • Heating season guidance: The guide now includes data to consider for heating of outdoor air and the potential impact on pre-heat coils in systems.
  • Adjustments to align with Core Recommendations: The Core Recommendations were released in January 2021, and this guidance document needed to be updated to ensure that the information provided aligned with the intent of those recommendations. This included minimum outdoor air supply and filter efficiency requirements and their role in an equivalent outdoor air supply-based risk mitigation strategy.

According to ASHRAE, the guidance still addresses the tactical commissioning and systems analysis needed to develop a Building Readiness Plan, increased filtration, air cleaning strategies, domestic and plumbing water systems, and overall improvements to a system’s ability to mitigate virus transmission.

Empower signs contract to supply 30,000 RT of district cooling to wasl1 development

Ahmad Bin Shafar with H.E. Hesham Al Qassim during the signing ceremony

DUBAI, UAE, 26 January 2021: Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower), announced that it has signed an agreement with Dubai-based Wasl Asset Management Group, one of the largest real estate development and management companies in Dubai, to supply its mixed-use development, wasl1, with 30,000 Refrigeration Tons of district cooling.

Currently being carried out in several phases, the project is located in proximity to Dubai’s arterial Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Jafiliya Metro Station, with views of Zabeel Park. wasl1 will eventually feature 13 residential towers, of which the first phase, Park Gate Residences – comprising four towers and consisting of 746 residential units – has been completed and handed over. wasl1 will also include a range of entertainment facilities, children’s play areas, fully equipped gymnasiums, a multi-purpose hall, and a number of retail stores, restaurants and cafes.

In his comments, H.E. Hesham Al Qassim, CEO, Wasl Asset Management Group, said: “We chose Empower based on its tremendous capabilities in providing district cooling services, and we believe that its efficacy will contribute to strengthening the distinctive wasl1 project. The company’s advanced technologies support our mandate to contribute to the sustainable development of the emirate, while also ensuring the provision of the best cooling services to tenants, effectively enhancing the unique characteristics of wasl1 as a luxury residential project.”

According to Empower, providing a project of such magnitude with green district cooling services has prompted the corporation to direct AED 210 million in investments to finance the construction of seven energy transmission and storage stations (ETS), and to connect the project to the new district cooling plant that is currently underway in the Zabeel area. This, Empower said, would require the building of a subway under Sheikh Zayed Road, in addition to the expansion of the district cooling network.

Empower also said that the wasl1 project will be provided with district cooling services in a number of phases. By mid-2021, the first phase is expected to be completed, which would enable it to provide 3,351 RT of cooling and up to the total capacity of 30,000 RT – equivalent to half of the production of the new Zabeel plant, Empower said. Subsequently, the district cooling plant in the Dubai Financial Centre, currently under operation, will be connected to the new Zabeel plant, with a total load of 112,000 RT, Empower added. This comes in the framework of a proactive plan it has established to meet the needs of the existing as well as of the upcoming mega development projects launched in this vital area of Dubai, Empower further added.

Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower, said: “We are working hard to serve the pioneering real estate projects, and we aim to provide all residential, commercial and entertainment facilities and sectors in the emirate of Dubai with district cooling services of sustainable international standards. This emphasizes the pioneering role Dubai plays with regards to reducing carbon emissions, which comes in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, may God protect him.”

Bin Shafar pointed out that adding the wasl1 project to Empower’s portfolio reflects the confidence real estate developers and dealers have in the reliable services it provides. He added that the association with the project also enhances its role in providing more quality cooling services with 50% less energy consumption, compared to the currently used traditional refrigeration services.

Eltizam offers FM services to Emirates Down Syndrome Association

DUBAI, UAE, 24 January 2021: As part of its ‘Get Wonky’ culture to make an impact on the communities it serves, Eltizam Asset Management Group has partnered with the Emirates Down Syndrome Association (EDSA) in Dubai for a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme aimed at enhancing the environment for learning and development of children of determination with Down Syndrome, while also helping EDSA reduce its carbon footprint.

Making the announcement through a Press release, Eltizam said the initiative seeks to provide a range of facilities management services to EDSA through its subsidiary, Tafawuq Facilities Management, which include providing water-efficient washbasin faucets equipped with sensors; servicing of all air conditioning units; and the cleaning of external glass, play areas and car parking shades. These maintenance services will further help EDSA reduce its carbon footprint based on Tafawuq’s energy-saving tools and equipment. Eltizam said.

Chris Roberts, CEO, Eltizam Asset Management Group, said: “Eltizam continues to support organizations that help promote inclusion through our CSR programs, which is one of the tenets of our Get Wonky culture. We believe that supporting the Emirates Down Syndrome Association in their activities will enhance the growth and development of people with Down Syndrome and contribute to the organization’s goals of improving social equity in the UAE.”

Doctor Manal Jaroor, Chairwoman, EDSA, commented: “The Emirates Down Syndrome Association always welcomes individuals and organizations keen to support the association’s cause to serve people and children with Down Syndrome and give them a fair opportunity to advance in life. We are thankful to Eltizam’s assistance in enhancing our facilities through their high-quality services, which enable everyone who come to our center to safely engage in all activities.”

Empower reveals AED 901 million net profit in 2020

According to Empower, performance in a nutshell

  • Total cooling capacity crossed 1,640,000 RT, maintaining the position of the largest district cooling provider in the world
  • Over 140,000 customers
  • Total energy saving AED 3.4 billion in 2020
  • A total of 350.474 kilometres of district cooling networks

DUBAI, UAE, 20 January 2020: Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower) reported a net profit of AED 901 million, with a total revenue of AED 2.26 billion in 2020. Making the announcement through a Press release, Empower said its revenues grew by three per cent, with a net profit increase of 3.4% year-over-year (YoY). Empower added that the performance has been commendable, given the difficult economic conditions resulting from the global pandemic.

Commenting on Empower’s financial results at the annual press conference, Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower, said: “2020 has been another successful year for Empower, with growth in its financial as well as operational performance, which is clearly evident from increase in revenues and net profit, additions in the number of district cooling plants, expansion of district cooling pipeline network, increase in customer base and the number of buildings connected with our district cooling services.”

According to Empower, the number of buildings it provides with its district cooling services exceeded 1,252, and the customer base has reached more than 140,000. The total cooling capacity has reached 1,640,000 Refrigeration Tons (RT) during 2020 that covered various projects, such as Deira Waterfront, Blue Waters, Jumeirah Group, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai International Financial Centre, Business Bay, Dubai Healthcare City, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Palm Jumeirah, Discovery Gardens, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai Design District and International Media Production Zone, amongst others, the utility said.

“Empower has also saved a total of 1,312 MW of electricity worth AED 3.4 billion, as of the end of 2020,” Bin Shafar said.

On the sidelines of the press conference, Bin Shafar also said: “We are proud of our achievements in terms of increased number of district cooling plants that has reached 84 plants across Dubai, including the world’s first unmanned district cooling plant in Jumeirah Village Circle project, along with having the largest district cooling network.

“Empower is committed towards efficient utilization of energy resources and supporting its customers and real estate developers, by providing high-quality and eco-friendly district cooling services.”

Bin Shafar also stated that Empower had reduced its fuel surcharge rates by approximately 25%, effective December 1, 2020, in line with the initiative of the Dubai’s Supreme Council of Energy. 

He added: “We will continue our endeavors in 2021 to increase the number of district cooling plants and expand our district cooling network across Dubai.”

Building for the “new normal”

As the world continues to grapple with an ever-shifting economic landscape, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, stakeholders in the building sector across the GCC region have observed how the pandemic has triggered an evaluation and reassessment of priorities. Ashok Jha, Head FM and Retrofit Projects, Universal Voltas, points out that the unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19 has prompted many organisations to take actions they have been putting off for some time, including launching new digital services and evolving their business models, enabling greater flexibility in their working and implementing cost optimisation measures.

However, Jha says, perhaps the most notable trend would be the move towards a greater number of retrofit projects in the region. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the oil prices plummeted to one of the lowest levels and government revenues went down in the GCC region,” he says. “This has led to reduced spending across all sectors, including new construction, with the current market seeing greater push towards shallow retrofitting, deep retrofitting, energy conservation and reducing the building carbon footprint in the existing buildings to make them more sustainable.” Jha says that since the number of existing buildings in Oman, Kuwait and the UAE is very high compared to new buildings, there was also a need to address the physical deterioration of the buildings, due to functional and economic obsolescence, and to make them more sustainable. “Because of this, there is a surge in demand for the retrofitting of the existing buildings across the GCC region,” he says (see sidebar).

Andrea Di Gregorio, Executive Director, Reem, Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, also believes the region is poised to see a strong pipeline of retrofit projects. “More focus is being put in refurbishing existing buildings, to bring them up-to-speed with the latest best practices in sustainability,” he says. “We see an increase in interest from building owners in retrofit activities, and we expect this interest to further increase throughout 2021 and in the coming years.”

Energy efficiency and sustainability 

Another major driver for retrofits is the move towards energy efficient and sustainable practices, which has long been heralded by experts in the sector. Jha points out that because of the detrimental impact of buildings on the environment, with occupied buildings and the construction sector accounting for 36% of the global energy consumption and nearly 40% of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions according to International Energy Agency (IEA), the UAE has begun to actively transition into smart and sustainable cities, which has turned the focus on the energy efficiency of the buildings, specifically existing ones. 

In addition to its impact on overall sustainability efforts, much of the move can be attributed to growing awareness on return of investment in terms of reduced operational cost. As Jha points out, retrofitting primarily refers to the measures being taken to replace legacy energy and utility systems with new and energy-efficient technologies. “These technologies not only reduce energy consumption and decrease carbon emissions but also lower maintenance costs, improve safety, enhance productivity, boost property valuations and also prolong the useful life of the assets and the building as a whole,” he says. “In a nutshell, we can say that OPEX of the building reduces and the asset value increases. Hence, it is becoming important day by day to retrofit buildings to not only make them more sustainable for the future but also to derive economical value by reducing the operational cost and, in turn, optimise the rentals and make them more lucrative for the tenants.”

Weighing in, Di Gregorio says that sustainable buildings often result in lower life cycle cost of the building itself. “If sustainability features are carefully selected, operational savings – in terms of energy and water usage and equipment maintenance – typically exceed any incremental investments that those features require,” he says. “For this reason, in a perfect market, where developers are able to fairly monetise their investments in higher quality buildings, we would expect for tenants any rent premiums for more sustainable buildings to be exceeded by the value of operational savings.”

Jha adds that as energy prices continue to rise, the relative benefits of energy efficiency will become increasingly important, and this is leading to a huge surge in demand for equipment, such as Smart LED lights and motion sensors, air curtains and FAHUs, energy-efficient AHUs, FCUs or split units and VAV systems. This has also led to greater demand for water usage reduction through the use of low-flow fixtures, sensors, waterless urinals and low-flush WCs, and also for photovoltaic panels on rooftops to generate electricity from the solar power, among other solutions. 

A renewed focus on IAQ 

While the return on investment (ROI) from retrofitting for energy efficiency is becoming clear, stakeholders are hopeful that the new wave of retrofits would also accommodate enhancements of indoor air quality (IAQ), which has been typically overlooked over the past years. Di Gregorio says that he believes this would be the case. “There is increasing interest in IAQ, partly driven by COVID-19 concerns,” he says. “Some awareness and technical barriers are there; nonetheless we foresee development in this area in the future.”

Jha shares a similar opinion. He says: “Fear of pandemic is looming large in the minds of the people, and therefore, while carrying out the retrofitting of their buildings, owners are ensuring that retrofit projects also take into consideration IAQ of the buildings, where people are currently spending more than 90% of their time and also to reduce the chances of contamination through virus, bacteria, moulds and fungi.”

Di Gregorio says there is a lot of focus on safety and security from building owners, particularly in what concerns disinfection of common areas. “This sometimes adds to other measures, like filtration, turning into improved air quality,” he says. Jha adds that some of the measures that building owners are taking include Demand Control Ventilation through C02 sensors, fitting volume control dampers, ultraviolet lamps in AHUs, ultraviolet germicide irradiation and MERV 13/14 filters. He further adds that there has been an increase in the use of humidifiers and dehumidifiers to maintain humidity in the range of 40-60%, where the microbial and fungal growth is minimal.

Jha also says that the majority of the offices are allowing their staff to work from home and that people are spending more than 90% of their time indoors. “This further necessitates that apt measures are taken by the occupants to ensure proper lux levels, ergonomics and IAQ, as these will have a profound impact on their health and wellbeing and, in turn, impact their productivity,” he says. “Hence, there cannot be a better time than now to address the Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ) issues, if any.” Jha says these are the factors driving a lot of investment being done by the property owners in the built-environment to retrofit their buildings to ensure proper IAQ against the traditional retrofit, where emphasis was mainly towards energy efficiency.

Making a case for retrofits 

Keeping in mind the tangible and intangible benefits of retrofitting, Di Gregorio believes there is more than enough evidence to drive building owners to invest in such initiatives. “If building owners are not thinking about retrofits, they definitely should!” he says. “Retrofit projects tend to have very favourable returns. We are observing that for comprehensive retrofits of commercial buildings in Ras Al Khaimah, the payback time is 3-5 years. And the contracting standards that are being adopted often provide forms of guarantees for the investor on those returns.”

Jha, agreeing, says that in spite of the change in the occupancy profile of buildings, property owners must continue to retrofit within the built-environment. “Retrofitting of existing buildings offers tremendous opportunities for improving asset performance in terms of utilities,” he says. “Retrofitting also offers a potential upside in the overall performance of the building through improved energy efficiency, increased staff productivity, reduced maintenance costs, and better thermal comfort.” Jha believes that such key drivers should serve as a motivation and incentive for building owners, who are on the fence about investing in retrofit projects.

A complete 180

In view of the shifting political landscape, how will the new administration affect the country’s commitment to climate change mitigation?

It’s going to be a complete 180 from the [Donald] Trump administration. In [Joe] Biden’s plan, he mentions “a historic investment” in upgrading four million commercial buildings to return almost a quarter of the savings from retrofits to cash-strapped state and local governments. Specifically, it says that he will “mobilize a trained and skilled American workforce to manufacture, install, service and maintain high-efficiency LED lighting, electric appliances, and advanced heating and cooling systems that run cleaner and less costly”. 

Given our focus on energy savings, I think that this will be great for business as well as for building owners. Some suggest that large rebates may be involved to directly incentivise businesses and make it affordable to pursue these upgrades. 

That being said, although the Trump administration was not at all focused on energy conservation, I found that individual building owners and managers were still pursuing these measures during the Trump administration. Most organisations in the US are interested in conserving energy and saving money. With government focus and incentives, it will just accelerate the demand.

In view of COVID-19, do you see a greater uptake of IAQ equipment throughout the country? 

Yes, for sure. However, these things come with a cost, and with COVID destroying the economy, there is going to have to be some kind of funding or incentives given to get these types of retrofits in place. I will give you an example. Two of our clients in the US requested ultraviolet lighting proposals to be retrofitted into their air handlers and FCUs. We put together the proposals and delivered them; however, neither has been approved yet due to the difficulties these buildings are facing financially due to delinquent tenant rent payments and occupancy.

Another interesting fact is that most of these IAQ retrofits are not intended to deliver energy savings. That is another hurdle to getting these projects approved. One last point – and I don’t think this is limited to the US – customers in the UAE have also asked for ultraviolet lighting to be installed, and it is still difficult to get the approval here, for the same reasons mentioned earlier.

Has there been a heavier-than-usual concentration on the air side of things from building owners, tenants and manufacturers?

The EPA has recommended that guidance provided by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) for managing IAQ during the current pandemic be followed. ASHRAE’s statement is as follows: “Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures.”

The two solutions we have seen implemented in the buildings we service in the USA are AHU filter upgrades and increasing the intake of outside air into the building. Both of these changes are very effective and relatively easy to implement as well as low cost.

How has the change in occupancy profile thrown everything into a state of chaos in terms of commercial and residential property requirements? Will this be a driving force towards more retrofit projects? 

In terms of energy conservation measures, this has thrown everything into a state of chaos. One, the commercial buildings are hardly occupied, which has led to energy bills dropping dramatically. However, with less occupancy comes less rent, thus less money to invest in retrofit projects. In addition, building owners, who are still looking for energy savings, are hesitant to move forward, because they are not sure if and when tenants will be returning to the buildings, so to be honest, unless it’s a well-funded customer, this could actually slow the conservation efforts.

Residential buildings face the same issue. People are leaving the dense, populated cities, preferring the suburbs right now, leaving residential multi-family buildings unoccupied and no rents being paid. Until we get herd immunity with the vaccine, and people are comfortable returning to the cities to work and live, this will continue to be challenging.

How have these trends potentially influenced building owners? 

As I stated earlier, most building owners are hesitant even if they want to move forward on new projects, given the current situation. However, some forward thinkers, with ability and the confidence that things will return to normal, are taking this time to invest in conservation efforts, so that when the buildings are occupied, they can take advantage of the maximum savings.

Have there been efforts to retrofit among specialised facilities such as healthcare? 

At the moment, it is difficult to even get a meeting with a healthcare facility in the US. They are overwhelmed and have overcapacity with COVID patients and are focused on saving lives before anything else. Their priority right now is the conservation of life.

Has the pandemic finally trained the spotlight on the importance of having a balance between energy efficiency and IAQ? 

I think that yes, people will be investing in IAQ, or at least investigating their options, especially healthcare facilities and the like. However, in my experience, to be honest, it’s a tough sale, unless there’s a Return on Investment (ROI) in the project. Having said that, UV lighting does have some energy-saving benefits, so maybe a combination of IAQ and energy savings should be highlighted to the building owners in the presentation of these retrofit solutions.

Retrofitting in Kuwait, Oman and the UAE

Ashok Jha

COVID-19 has had a significant adverse impact on organisations, people’s health, their livelihoods and the economy at large in the GCC region countries, says Ashok Jha, Head, FM & Retrofit Projects, Universal Voltas LLC. However, Jha is quick to point out that while the duration and severity of COVID-19’s impact on economies and sectors will undoubtedly vary, companies and governments in the GCC region have done well to set in motion a “look ahead, anticipate, innovate and adjust” roadmap, which has led the construction sector to focus on energy optimisation and retrofitting in existing buildings, which is a key to sustainable construction.

 

Oman 

Citing figures from Global Data, a leading data and analytics company, Jha says that Oman’s construction industry contracted sharply in 2020, plummeting by nearly around -10.3%. “The industry is struggling with challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak, low oil prices, and the impact of sovereign credit rating downgrades,” he says. Further compounding the downside risks to the outlook for the industry, the Omani Government has had to rationalise spending.”

Jha adds that given the limited prospects for the government to boost investment in infrastructure and other investment projects, a recovery in the construction sector is expected to be very slow. “Global Data currently expects the construction industry to fall further in 2021, with output contracting by -5.8%,” he says. “The fiscal plan by the Oman Government is intended to reduce public debt, increase the state’s reserves, and diversify revenue away from the oil sector.”

Owing to these factors, Jha believes that new construction spend will be very minimal, and more impetus will be on the retrofitting, deep retrofitting, fit-outs and energy performance optimisation in the built-environment in Oman.

Kuwait

Kuwait has faced similar challenges, Jha says, adding that the construction market shrunk in the year 2020 at about -9.5% approximately, as per Global Data. “The construction industry is struggling with the challenges presented by the outbreak of COVID-19, low oil prices and the impact of sovereign credit rating downgrades,” he says. “Because of this, focus is more towards existing buildings in Kuwait.”

Jha adds that within the built-environment in Kuwait, residential buildings constitute around 81%, commercial buildings are 11%, whereas government buildings constitute four per cent; the remaining four per cent includes commercial, industrial, agricultural and services. “Also, Kuwait has one of the highest per capita electricity consumption and carbon footprint globally, which further necessitates the retrofitting of the buildings to make them more sustainable,” he says. “All the above factors, along with the economic strain, is forcing Kuwait to focus on energy conservation, deep retrofitting, retrofitting and fit-outs in the built-environment with a very minimal spending on new construction.”

UAE

Sharing observations on the UAE market, in particular, Jha says that the COVID-19 outbreak, coupled with low oil prices, has led the construction output in the UAE to contract by nearly 4.8% in 2020, but that a rebound is expected in 2021, as per Global Data. “New project opportunities are expected to be minimal in the coming quarters, as the government is consolidating its widening fiscal debt and COVID-19-related force majeure,” he said. “Over the medium- to longer-term, government investment will remain focused on upgrading physical infrastructure and reforming the financing and regulatory environment.”

Jha adds that the UAE has set high targets for building retrofit, which are reflected in the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy. “The latter targets an overall 30% reduction in energy and water use by 2030,” he says. “To support this, Etihad ESCO aims to retrofit 30,000 buildings in the next 10 years and generate 1.68TWh energy savings and around 5.64 BIG of water savings by year 2030.”

ASHRAE releases core recommendations for reducing airborne infectious aerosol exposure

ATLANTA, Georgia, 14 January 2021: The ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has released new guidance to address control of airborne infectious aerosol exposure and recommendations for communities of faith buildings, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

An infectious aerosol is a suspension in air of fine particles or droplets containing pathogens, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which can cause infections when inhaled, ASHRAE said. They can be produced by breathing, talking, sneezing and other as well as by flushing toilets and by certain medical and dental procedures, it added.

ASHRAE’s Core Recommendations for Reducing Airborne Infectious Aerosol Exposure concisely summarize the main points found in the detailed guidance documents produced by the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force, it said. They are based on the concept that ventilation, filtration and air cleaners can be combined flexibly to achieve exposure reduction goals, subject to constraints that may include comfort, energy use and costs, it added.

“This guidance outlines a clear approach for lessening the risk of infectious aerosol exposure for building occupants that can be applied in a wide range of applications, from homes to offices, to mobile environments, such as vehicles and ships,” said William Bahnfleth, Chair, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force. “ASHRAE’s Core Recommendations are based on an equivalent clean air supply approach that allows the effects of filters, air cleaners, and other removal mechanisms to be added together to achieve an exposure reduction target.”

 According to ASHRAE, specific recommendations include the following:

  • Public health guidance
    • Follow all regulatory and statutory requirements and recommendations.
  • Ventilation, filtration, air cleaning 
    • Outdoor airflow rates guidance for ventilation, as specified by applicable codes and standards.
    • Recommendations on filters and air cleaners that achieve MERV 13 or better levels of performance.
    • The use of air cleaners.
    • Control options that provide desired exposure reduction while minimizing associated energy penalties.
    • Air distribution.
    • Promote the mixing of space air.
  • HVAC system operation
    • Maintain temperature and humidity design set points.
    • Maintain equivalent clean air supply required for design occupancy.
    • Operate systems for a time required to achieve three air changes of equivalent clean air supply.
    • Limit re-entry of contaminated air.
  • System commissioning
    • Verify that HVAC systems are functioning as designed.

 According to ASHRAE, the task force’s Communities of Faith Buildings guidance offers recommendations on conducting worship services under epidemic conditions. 

Rick Karg, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force member, said: “The intent of the Communities of Faith guidance is to offer those who operate and care for buildings used for worship a plan for implementing short- and long-term HVAC strategies to reduce the possibilities of transmission of the SARS-CoV2-2 virus. The document also helps communities move toward a new ‘normal’ operation after this public health emergency nears an end.”

According to ASHRAE, recommendations for Communities of Faith include the following:

  • Identify HVAC system characteristics. Compile and review operation and maintenance manuals and schedules.
  • Verify HVAC systems are well maintained and operating as intended. For maintenance, follow the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 180 – 2018, Standard Practice for the Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial HVAC Systems.
    • Consider PPE when maintaining HVAC systems, including filters, coils and drain pans.
  • Operate HVAC systems, if present, with system fan set to run continuously when building is occupied for services or cleaning.
  • Operate the system for a time required to achieve three equivalent air changes of outdoor air (effect of outdoor air, filtration and air cleaners) before the first daily occupancy and between occupied periods, if appropriate. Three equivalent air changes can be calculated using ASHRAE’s Building Readiness Guide.

 To view the complete ASHRAE Core Recommendations For Reducing Airborne Infectious Aerosol Exposure and Communities of Faith Building guidance, ASHRAE suggested visiting ashrae.org/COVID-19.

Government initiative to boost recovery will drive green economy, says Graded Spa

Dubai, UAE, 11 January 2021: The governments in the Middle East region are taking the appropriate measures towards boosting economic recovery following COVID-19, said Giuseppe Gregorini, representative of Graded Spa, an energy solutions provider headquartered in Italy. Gregorini said that in the current development model, governments in the region are boosting public investments in strategic areas, such as economic sectors that add significant value to the economy, the green and innovative economy and inclusive human capital and infrastructure that contribute to greater productivity.

Gregorini said, “Investments may look to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, strengthening the water, food and energy nexus, building the resilience of communities. Public policies and financial decisions may more consciously take account of exposure to climate risks and seek to preserve the region’s natural capital.” He emphasised that the newly created themes serve as fertile ground for the expansion of HVAC technologies and products, which the company has specialised in. “In this historical moment, the collaboration with university research institutes of excellence in the UAE is very important, both for expansion opportunities and for entry into the sector at the forefront of technology,” he said, adding that this will be reflected in the highly anticipated World Expo, scheduled to take place in Dubai in 2021.

Gregorini said that Graded continues to view the UAE as a crucial part of the company’s expansion plans with a focus on renewable energy. “Innovation and new technologies are key in order to keep pace with a market that is expanding at a level that the UAE is,” he said. “To develop these projects, we make use of partnerships with Italian universities and, above all, with research institutes and universities in the UAE, particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.” He said that in addition to renewable energy, Graded intends to promote the development and growth of geothermal energy through its GeoGrid Project, which aims to reduce costs and consumption and is tailored to the Emirates.

ASHRAE Learning Institute opens registration for Spring online courses

ATLANTA, Georgia, 8 January 2021: ASHRAE Learning Institute announced that registration is open for its 2021 Spring online instructor-led course series. The 16 online offerings, including eight new courses, run from January through June, the Institute said

 A new course, ‘Reopening Commercial Buildings: Evaluating Your HVAC System’s Readiness to Mitigate the Spread of SARS-CoV-2’, taking place on January 27, will expound the online ASHRAE COVID-19 details for reopening buildings and the Building Readiness Plan for HVAC systems, the Institute said. The course will help reiterate mitigation strategies available and understand specific buildings arrangements, the Institute added.

 The course, ‘Health Impacts of Indoor Air Extraction, Ventilation, and Filtration – Same or Different’, scheduled for February 17, the Institute said, will cover the future design of forced air ventilation systems and the most cost-effective HVAC operational changes and system modifications to improve existing indoor environments in reducing the spread of viruses.

 The course, ‘Hospital HVAC – Infection Mitigation, Comfort, Performance’, scheduled for February 23, will address the role of HVAC systems in helping to reduce Hospital Associated Infections (HAI), explaining airborne versus contact transmission, the Institute said. This course will describe the why and how filtration, air patterns, air changes, dilution, temperature, humidity, UV and pressurization in hospital HVAC can either help or hinder efforts to reduce HAI, the Institute added.

 According to the Institute, the following is the full schedule of online instructor-led course offerings:

January 26: COVID-19 and Buildings: Re-occupation after Lockdown

January 27: Reopening Commercial Buildings: Evaluating Your HVAC System’s Readiness to Mitigate the Spread of SARS-CoV-2

February 17: Health Impacts of Indoor Air Extraction, Ventilation, and Filtration – Same or Different?
February 23: Hospital HVAC – Infection Mitigation, Comfort, Performance
February 24: Evaluating Your HVAC System’s Readiness to Mitigate the Spread of SARS-CoV-2
March 2: Latest in High-Performance Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems
March 4: Humidity Control I: Design Tips and Traps
March 25: Save 40% by Complying with Standard 90.1-2019
April 6: Commercial Building Energy Audits – Part I
April 13: Commercial Building Energy Audits – Part II
April 20: Air-to-Air Energy Recovery Fundamentals
April 22: V in HVAC – What, Why, Where, How, and How Much
May 4: An Introduction to ASHRAE Existing Building Commissioning
May 11: Fundamentals of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) for Air and Surface Disinfection
May 20: Introduction to BACnet
June 1: Principles of Building Commissioning: ASHRAE Guideline 0 and Standard 202
June 8: Powering with Renewable Resources: Thermal Energy Storage

Kingspan Insulation launches product for external ductwork applications

DUBAI, UAE, 5 January 2021: Kingspan Insulation launched the KDuct, which the company described in a Press release as catering to external ductwork applications.

According to the company, the KDuct incorporates its pre-clad ductwork system, made of thermoset, fibre-free pre-insulated duct board with a heavy-duty outer jacket. The company described the product as ideal for external applications, plantrooms, risers, congested spaces and lightweight specifications. The KDuct, Kingspan claimed, offers high performance, rigid, closed-cell insulation core, manufactured with a blowing agent with zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) and low Global Warming Potential (GWP). At the same time, it said, the panels are faced on both sides with an embossed aluminium foil. The new product line would provide ultra-strength and rigidness; cost-savings over traditional exterior ductwork; extra-low air leakage, which does not allow conditioned air to escape; and high-compressive strength, among several other benefits, the company said.

Sarmad Fakhri, Managing Director, Kingspan Insulation, said, “KDuct Ductwork system would help our customers to save extra cost and time due to its lightweight and single-fix properties.” Unlike the traditional approach to ductwork construction, which requires sections to be lagged with insulation, once installed, the KDuct panels are pre-insulated with a high-performance insulation core, the company said. This single-fix and lightweight design, the company added, reduces installation time and transfers the cost benefits to the building owners.

Islington and Clapham

As we bid goodbye to 2020 and gingerly step into 2021, the feeling is not of relief, because the virus is still on the prowl. It must be added, though, that we have reached an inflexion point with the early promise being shown by some of the vaccines that have been deployed.

Now, amidst the carnage of 2020, we have been witness to heartwarming instances of human endeavour – of the medical fraternity putting their lives at risk to save others, of boffins hard at work harnessing the power of science and engineering to provide relief to not only healthcare workers but also numerous other sectors.

Away from the COVID scene, there are other instances that have stood out. Like the Bunhill Heat and Power Network project, in central London, which uses waste heat from the London Underground network to supply heat and hot water to nearly 1,500 homes and other facilities in the Borough of Islington, in a bid to lower indirect carbon emissions and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Human ingenuity repurposed the former City Road London Underground station into an underground air extraction system. It draws warm air from the tunnels, still in use by the London Underground’s Northern Line.

Not only will the project reportedly lower indirect emissions but also cut heating costs by 10%, benefitting the residents connected to the network – a case of district energy providing succour to tenants by passing on the savings.

What is even more heartwarming, according to the company that supplied the technology to the project (see story on page XX) is that it can be replicated in underground networks the world over.

As if by coincidence, the subterranean labyrinthine depths of London constitute the theatre for yet another instance of human ingenuity and resourcefulness. Growing Underground is a farming enterprise that is using long-forgotten World War 2 tunnels used as shelter during air raids conducted by the Luftwaffe. About 100 feet beneath London’s Clapham, growers working for the enterprise are busy harvesting micro-greens using hydroponic technology, which uses 70% less water, when compared to traditional farming practices. The produce is pesticide-free and provides an opportunity to Londoners to eat fresh and without the guilt from knowledge that the greens on their plate are the result of burning copious volumes of climate-threatening fossil fuels in transporting them to their doorstep. The project is redefining food supply chains for the better and lowering food wastage by increasing shelf life.

Such examples as the Islington district energy scheme and Growing Underground serve as inspiration for us to consider abandoning some of the hackneyed approaches that are not taking us far in our quest for a better planet. They are about courage and speak of a certain frontier spirit that we ought to consider embracing.

How to kill enveloped viruses in just 30 minutes

Poor ventilation in closed indoor environments is associated with increased transmission of respiratory infections. There have been numerous SARS-CoV-2 transmission events associated with closed spaces, including some from pre-symptomatic cases. The role of ventilation in preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission is not well-defined – that is, by preventing dispersal of infectious particles in small waterdrops to minimise the risk of transmission or preventing transfer of an infectious dose to susceptible individuals.

SARS-CoV-2 is thought to be primarily transmitted through large respiratory droplets; however, an increasing number of outbreak reports implicate the role of aerosols in SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks. Aerosols consist of small droplets and droplet nuclei, which remain in the air for longer than large droplets. Studies indicate that SARS-CoV-2 particles can remain infectious on various materials, such as air conditioning surfaces in air ducts and air handlers, as well as in aerosols in indoor environments, with the duration of infectivity depending on temperature and humidity.

While HVAC coatings are often the most cost-efficient insurance for the longevity of your air-handling system, there’s much more to them than just increasing your building systems’ lifespan. The rising demand for antimicrobial coatings was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and tenants worried about their wellbeing from airborne diseases. In the same category, antimicrobial coatings can make a huge difference for indoor air quality and occupant safety. There are a number of HVAC coatings that drive energy savings, primarily desiccant-coatings.

Found on AHU heat exchangers, coils and in duct systems, they enable recovering heat and moisture, which then helps building owners to save on operational cost. Recent studies have uncovered an extreme antimicrobial effect of desiccant coating systems, in high relative humidity, as present in air conditioning systems. It appears the surfactants can break the exterior protein of a virus or bacteria strain. Once the protein is destroyed, the virus cannot attach to cells and transfer or alter human ribonucleic acid (RNA).

In many circumstances, once microbes have begun to proliferate on a painted surface, constant cleaning and disinfecting is required to keep growth under control, which is highly unwanted inside an air conditioning system. Recognising that the ability to clean constantly is unreasonable in most air conditioning systems, the best weapon against corrosion and microbial growth is an antimicrobial paint that prevents growth of, or eliminates, bacteria and viruses. Both the coating and the possible active ingredient should not produce any environmental, safety or health issues during application. Any off-gas from the film is unwanted, because ideally, the coating must be applied to air conditioning systems in operation without any concern of release of poisonous additives.

Antimicrobial efficacy based on silver ions

Generally, an antimicrobial surface contains an additive, like Agion, which inhibits the antimicrobial property that is composed primarily of silver ions, which have been proven in antimicrobial use throughout history. It incorporates silver ions inside a zeolite carrier, providing an area for these ions to exchange with other positively charged ions – often sodium – from the moisture in the environment.

Once exchanged, these now “free” silver ions are attracted to oppositely charged hydrogen ions, commonly found in most bacteria and microbes. The bacteria and microbes’ respiration and growth are now abruptly halted, since the hydrogen ions are no longer available. Silver based antimicrobial coatings contain a pesticide additive that evaporates slowly from the coating surface and raises questions on the durability of discharge. In Europe and North America, these coatings require a registration by the government authorities.

Antimicrobial efficacy based on desiccation

Enveloped viruses, like the H1N1 influenza virus, Corona (COVID-19) and bacteria have membranes of protein and enzymes to protect the infecting contents. The spreading of the viruses and bacteria in closed spaces and air conditioning systems is carried out by smaller aerosols. Alternative antimicrobial functionality is based on desiccation, a physical process to extract the moisture from the virus and bacteria particles. This approach may seem relatively primitive; however, it is extremely effective in slowing down or even preventing microbes from spreading and transmission. This method is similar to other physical treatments, such as UV irradiation, filtering and heating.

Desiccant coatings inactivate a wide variety of microbes that adhere to the surface through their hydrophilic surface properties. The antiviral functionality of the coating has been tested on the Phi6 virus, which is commonly used as surrogate for enveloped Corona viruses.

 

 

 

Studies

A recent study shows that a desiccant coating can have an extremely quick kill-rate of enveloped viruses after just 30 minutes.

Further studies have proven that strong antimicrobial working was additionally confirmed. Surface activity results in full kill-rates of > 99,99%, which were confirmed on the following micro-organism strains:

  • Salmonella
  • Legionella
  • E-Coli
  • MRSA
  • Klebsiella Pneumoniae

 

An important note should be added to this paper: No claim or assertion should be made that the antimicrobial properties in the coating will improve air quality or eliminate the threat of disease-causing microbes in the air supply system. A healthy indoor air system is highly dependent on a combination of design, maintenance and cleaning measurements that are incorporated in the air conditioning system and facility management procedures.

  1. Knibbs LD, Morawska L, Bell SC, Grzybowski P. Room ventilation and the risk of airborne infection transmission in 3 health care settings within a large teaching hospital. Am J Infect Control. 2011 Dec;39(10):866-72.
  2. Lu J, Gu J, Li K, Xu C, Su W, Lai Z, et al. COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with Air Conditioning in Restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Apr 2;26(7).
  3. Rothe C, Schunk M, Sothmann P, Bretzel G, Froeschl G, Wallrauch C, et al. Transmission of 2019-nCoV Infection from an Asymptomatic Contact in Germany. N Engl J Med. 2020 Mar 5;382(10):970-1.
  4. World Health Organization (WHO). Natural Ventilation for Infection Control in Health-Care Settings. 2009 [updated 4 May 2020].
  5. Ong SWX, Tan YK, Chia PY, Lee TH, Ng OT, Wong MSY, et al. Air, surface environmental, and personal protective equipment contamination by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from a symptomatic patient. Jama. 2020;323(16):1610-2.
  6. Bahl P, Doolan C, de Silva C, Chughtai AA, Bourouiba L, MacIntyre CR. Airborne or droplet precautions for health workers treating COVID-19? The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2020.
  7. Dietz L, Horve PF, Coil DA, Fretz M, Eisen JA, Van Den Wymelenberg K. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) Pandemic: Built Environment Considerations To Reduce Transmission. mSystems. 2020 Apr 7;5(2):e00245-20.

8 Evaluation of Phi6 Persistence and Suitability as an Enveloped Virus Surrogate Aquino de Carvalho, Nathalia; Stachler, Elyse N.; Cimabue, Nicole; Bibby, Kyle Environmental Science & Technology (2017), 51 (15), 8692-8700CODEN: ESTHAG; ISSN:0013-936X. (American Chemical Society)

Recent outbreaks involving enveloped viruses, such as Ebola virus and SARS COVID-2, have raised questions regarding the persistence of enveloped viruses in the water environment. Efforts have been made to find enveloped virus surrogates due to

challenges investigating viruses that require biosafety-level 3 or 4 handling. In this study, the enveloped bacteriophage Phi6 was evaluated as a surrogate for enveloped waterborne viruses. The persistence of Phi6 was tested in aq. conditions chosen based on previously published viral persistence studies. Our results demonstrated that the predicted T90 (time for 90% inactivation) of Phi6 under the 12 evaluated conditions varied from 24 minutes to 117 days depending on temperature, biological activity, and aq. media compn. Phi6 persistence was then compared with persistence values from other enveloped viruses reported in the literature. The apparent suitability of Phi6 as an enveloped virus surrogate was dependent on the temperature and compn. of the media tested. Of evaluated viruses, 33%, including all conditions considered, had T90 values greater than the 95% confidence interval for Phi6. Ultimately, these results highlight the variability of enveloped virus persistence in the environment and the value of working with the virus of interest for environmental persistence studies.

  • The use of bacteriophages of the family Cystoviridae as surrogates for H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in persistence and inactivation studies

Adcock, Noreen J.; Rice, Eugene W.; Sivaganesan, Mano; Brown, Justin D.; Stallknecht, David E.; Swayne, David E.

Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part A: Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering (2009), 44 (13), 1362-1366CODEN: JATEF9; ISSN:1093-4529. (Taylor & Francis, Inc.)

Two bacteriophages, .vphi.6 and .vphi.8, were investigated as potential surrogates for H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in persistence and chlorine inactivation studies in water. In the persistence studies, .vphi.6 and .vphi.8 remained infectious at least as long as the H5N1 viruses at both 17 and 28 degrees C in fresh water, but results varied in salinated water. The bacteriophage .vphi.6 also exhibited a slightly higher chlorine resistance than that of the H5N1 viruses. Based upon these findings, the bacteriophages may have potential for use as surrogates in persistence and inactivation studies in fresh water.

  • Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Persistence and Disinfection of Human Coronaviruses and Their Viral Surrogates in Water and Wastewater, Andrea I. Silverman and Alexandria B. Boehm, April 2020
  • Determination of the Antiviral Activity of Water-Based Coating for Air Conditioning Applications against phi6 Bacteriophage using a Method Based on ISO 21702:2019, the laboratories of Industrial Microbiological Services Ltd at Pale Lane Hartley Wintney, Hants, RG27 8DH, UK. December 2020

The writer is with Aqua Aero Coatings and may be contacted at wouter@aquaaero.net

AHRI applauds inclusion of HFC reduction language in Omnibus Bill

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 27 December 2020: The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) on December 22 expressed its gratitude to House and Senate negotiators who included language in the just-passed Omnibus bill to bring about a national phasedown of HFC refrigerants. Particular appreciation also is due to Senators John Kennedy (R-La.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) as well as to Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Pete Olson (R-Tex.), and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) for their tireless efforts to see this bipartisan initiative through to completion, AHRI said.

The language included in the bill would bring about a national phase down of HFCs and allow for a market- and consumer-friendly transition to new and better performing refrigerants and related products and equipment, AHRI said.

“We are gratified that negotiators included this bipartisan, jobs-promoting language in the Omnibus bill, and we are grateful to the Senate and House champions who worked so hard to see it accomplished, and to the House and Senate for passing the bill,” said Stephen Yurek, AHRI President & CEO. “Our industry has been working toward this goal for more than 10 years, and it is very exciting to see our vision of an HFC phasedown reach the home stretch. We are hopeful that President Trump will quickly sign the bill, so we can pivot toward implementation.”

Quoting a 2018 study by Interindustry Forecasting at the University of Maryland (INFORUM), AHRI said an HFC phasedown will create 33,000 new manufacturing jobs, increase direct manufacturing output by USD 12.5 billion, and increase the US share of the global HVACR export market by 25%.

Future of HVAC in India is bright, says Magneto Clean Tech

New Delhi, India, 18 June 2019: The HVAC industry in India has immense potential but is heavily dependent on the economic activity around the building industry, said Himanshu Agarwal, CEO, and Founder, Magneto Clean Tech, while providing an overview on the HVAC market in India. In the last few years, heavy debt has propelled the industry to undergo a restructuring, which has led to excessive competition and a price war, he said. From a broad perspective, Agarwal said, air pollution in India is high and the awareness regarding the bad air quality is a subject that is given more attention every day. This he said, will lead to high demand for air systems.

Elaborating on Magneto Clean Tech, a New Delhi-based HVAC company, Agarwal said: “Magneto Clean Tech invents and popularises clean air technology for developing nations. We focus on making clean air accessible to everyone, whether in homes, in the office or in buildings.” By pushing the limits of engineering, he said, we are able to build the highest quality of products that exhibit performance. While providing an overview of the work done in the year 2018, he said, we delivered clean air to a total area of 2.5 million square feet. “The year 2019, Agarwal said, looks bright as the company’s projected growth rate is over 100%.

Magneto Clean Tech’s products, he said, have energy-saving benefits due to a very low-pressure drop in the air conditioner. They clean the air holistically, removing dust, micro-organisms and even harmful gases, he said. “We have successfully commercialised a proprietary way of purifying indoor air that is fundamentally superior to current methods,” he said. In addition, Agarwal highlighted that the company has a diverse range of air-purification products that deals with PM 2.5, along with infection control, which as a technology, is being received with an overwhelmingly positive response from users.

District Cooling has strong potential for growth in Africa, says Metito

Dubai, 14 April 2019: There is strong growth potential for District Cooling in Africa, said Fady Juez, Managing Director, Metito. “We are believers that District Cooling is something good, commercially and environmentally,” he added, especially when compared to the inefficiencies of standalone cooling systems. However, Juez added, District Cooling is successful in urban centres, where there are networks of buildings, as it will make a case for the high initial cost required. As such, Juez said that he believes Egypt, particularly the capital of Cairo, would be a good entry point to advance the penetration of District Cooling in the region.

Juez said that with District Cooling being a high consumer of make-up water, there is a need to promote the use of treated sewage effluent (TSE) in order to optimise the region’s water resources, while addressing industrial and agricultural requirements. Currently, Juez said, Metito’s regional headquarters is located in Cairo, where the company has full-fledged operations that cover the requirement across the region.

A case of the market moving ahead of policy

North America generally does not shy away from participating in the dialogue on sustainability, with a number of well-known organisations, certification bodies and manufacturers paving the way for initiatives that promote greater energy efficiency within the built environment, not only across the continent but worldwide.

James Walters

James K. Walters, Vice President, International Affairs, Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), in identifying trends across North America, states that the work of standardisation bodies in this regard and the uptake of programmes, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) have helped moved the dial towards a more integrated approach in addressing building requirements. “We are supportive of climate change mitigation efforts,” Walters states. “We are supportive of rational energy-efficiency standards and of approaching them holistically.”

Mahesh Ramanujam

Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, United States Green Building Council (USBC), believes that the trend towards more efficient buildings will persist, despite the viewpoint of incumbent powers, emphasising that policy decisions are no longer the sole driver impacting the progress of “Green”. As many as “88 of the Fortune 100 companies have mandated LEED as their global Green Building rating system,” he says. “It is a market-driven tool and a voluntary management tool – it’s not regulation.” Ramanujam says this extends to government organisations, with 400 municipalities, 32 states and 15 federal agencies in the United States mandating and recommending LEED as a best guideline and practice protocol. “This means two decades worth of change management that has happened, globally,” he says. “It has been integrated as part of the core strategy. Sustainability is no longer about being a nice thing to do.”

Giorgio Elia, Vice President, UTC CCS Middle East, shares the company’s history with LEED in this regard. “Carrier was the first company to join the U.S. Green Building Council in 1993,” Elia says, “and is the only company to be a founding member of Green Building councils on four continents, including in Argentina, China, France, India, Kuwait, Singapore and South Africa.” Carrier in the Middle East, he adds, is licensed as an Education Partner to train in the LEED curriculum and has trained more than 500 people in the region. Carrier’s Middle East headquarters in the UAE, he adds, is certified LEED Gold, while Carrier Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah office is certified LEED Platinum.

Saad Ali

Providing a manufacturer’s perspective, Saad Ali, General Manager – Middle East and Africa, SPX Cooling Technologies, says LEED certification is frequently a goal of designers of many North American buildings. He says: “Energy savings is a key driver for many companies, as well, so power consumption is declining. The impact of that will be evident in the next couple of years. Changes in government policies could impact these initiatives with fewer energy credits and subsidy programs available to companies for producing energy-efficient products for the market. But I think overall support for energy-efficient products will continue.”

James Connaughton

Regulations no longer seem to be a pre-requisite to encourage uptake and investment in energy-efficient technology, as James L. Connaughton, President and CEO, Nautilus Data Technologies, says. As an “ardent practitioner of free market environmentalism”, he believes a better product will always win out in the end. Connaughton, however, believes while government policy is not needed to encourage acceptance and investment of better products and solutions, it can play a role in hindering its advancement. This, he says, can happen by taking too long to permit more efficient and environmentally friendly technologies [to enter the market] and subsidising inefficient competitors. “That,” he says, “would not be helpful because government is providing our competitors with the economic advantage to improve their facilities.” Connaughton adds that while energy-efficiency standards are helpful in driving consumers and investors, they tend to work in favour of the incumbent. Thus, he says, they have to be designed appropriately so they can drive faster investment in economically beneficial outcomes and accomplish its objectives.

Ali says that while the rollback of some EPA clean energy rules by the current administration has caused headlines, it hasn’t deterred companies that develop HVAC products from continuing to pursue new technologies. “The recent paradigm shift in lighting serves as an example,” he says. “The introduction of LEDs as replacements for traditional incandescent light bulbs met with some consumer resistance. New technologies are often more expensive until they gain traction and acceptance.”

Kit Fransen

Kit Fransen, Director, Product Management, North America, Tecumseh, adds: “It’s no secret that there has been a shift in how buildings operate, as well as how people live and work in them. The sustainability movement is becoming more mainstream every day and plenty of manufacturers, including Tecumseh, look to reduce their overall environmental footprint, because it is shown to be profitable and drives innovation.” LEED and Green Globes, he says, are just a few programmes that were niche but now have become standard place in most building designs “as you can see with the continued integration of their requirements into ASHRAE or other international standards”. Fransen adds: “To meet these needs, manufacturers and end-users are now making investments with natural refrigerants such as hydrocarbons that require significant investment to operate equipment efficiently and safely. Before LEED or other ‘Green Building’ type standards, most people did not connect the dots regarding how much time we spend in commercial and industrial facilities that can impact our health as well as the world around us.” Ramanujam adds: “In the United States, Republicans and Democrats have disagreements on climate change and ‘Green’, but our growth was strong [even] during the Republican presidency. I’m hoping in the current trend we will grow more. Why? Because it provoked individual engagement, and that is what we are looking for.” LEED, he says, is about taking responsibility and accountability in saying “I want to go further and beyond”. Ramanujam says: “We don’t want somebody to tell us a regulation. We are going to do it, because we believe in it and we are going to push the envelope further. In a subtle way, it’s a good thing for the market, because people are going to do something about it.”

By popular demand

The market does, indeed, seem to be doing something about it, with manufacturers reporting an uptake in consumers showing more willingness to invest in a more efficient technology.

Ali emphasises that technological advancements owing to countries’ efforts to reduce reliance on petrochemicals inevitably cascades to other industries, especially HVAC, which, he stresses, is a high priority for building owners, given that it consumes as much as 70% of energy in commercial buildings. “Every consumer is looking for efficient HVAC units, with the best coefficient of performance and the least energy cost,” he says. “While environmental impact may not be their first consideration, some consumers want to balance energy efficiency with sustainability. Consumers are protected to some degree by regulations that restrict the use of refrigerants that damage the environment and so they know that available products must comply with a range of environmental standards.”

Robert Presser, Vice President, Acme Engineering and GlobeOwl Solutions, also says that he has seen more focus being placed on high-efficiency motors and VAV fans. “Twenty-five years ago, people will look at an air-handling unit and ask, ‘How many cfns?’ Now they look at an AHU and ask, ‘What is my cost to operate this?’ More than the acquisition, stakeholders are looking at life-cycle and operation.” This, he says, comes from building owners paying more attention, as there would be no incentive to choose such products unless otherwise specified.

Rakesh Saxena

Rakesh Saxena, President, Trimac Inc., says there has been an increasing demand for proper sealing of ductwork from building owners and mechanical HVAC construction engineers in North America. The current ASHRAE standard No. 90.1, he says, notes the impact of duct leakage on energy consumption and IAQ. “ASHRAE standards require a duct to be sealed to the Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors’ National Association’s Seal Class A regardless of pressure,” he says. “This means that all seams, except spiral lock seams, joints and penetration in medium- and low-pressure, return and exhaust ductwork must be properly sealed.”

Dean Wood

Speaking on increasing emphasis for energy efficient equipment in new build specifications, Dean Wood, Sales and Marketing Manager, Envira- North Systems, says HVLS fans are a common inclusion in all commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.  “More than anything local regulations and cost savings drive designs and purchasing decisions,” he says, adding that the company’s products have gone from a “possible inclusion to an integral component of most specifications”.

Stuart Engel

Stuart Engel, International Business Development, Fresh-Aire UV, says that owing to greater emphasis on energy conversation there has been an uptake in using UV to irradiate the cooling coils in HVAC applications. “Design engineers have realised that by including UV to irradiate cooling coils the end-user can benefit from the fact that the coils will remain clean and not become blocked by biofilm growing,” he says.

Walter Ellis

Walter Ellis, Executive Vice President and General Manager, RGF Environmental Group, echoes this.  “Studies show the correlation of continuous UV treatment of coil surfaces to prevent microbial fouling of the coils,” he says, “and how this technology,in turn, reduces the associated loss of heat transfer efficiency due to the bio-fouled coils.  As well as energy-recovery systems specific for fresh air makeup systems.  These are primarily focused on industrial and commercial markets, with some more progressive adoption in the consumer market.” Engel says, “Depending on the cost of electricity, installing UV on cooling coils can save between 15 and 25% of the annual HVAC energy cost and virtually eliminate having to manually clean the coils. Payback time for installing UV will depend in part on the cost of power, annual operating and cooling hours and will normally be between two and 11 months.”

Sean Holloway, National Sales Manager HVACR, RectorSeal LLC, says the company continues to see greater emphasis towards energy efficiency across North America, in particular, for variable-speed compressors for residential applications, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology for commercial applications, and mini-split applications for both residential and light-commercial applications. The company, he says, is aiming to address the demand by helping contractors with accessories to encourage building and homeowners to opt for mini-split and VRF/VRV systems. “More and more individuals,” he says, “are willing to pay more up front, for higher efficiency equipment in order to use less energy, and have less negative impact on the environment in the long run.”

Fransen says that while the past decade has seen Energy Star, LEED, and other programmes push for lower energy use intensity (EUI) in all building types, reduction in energy use for commercial refrigeration has only begun “due to the tackling of “low-hanging fruit” in energy consumption such as lights, HVAC, and process loads.” This, however, is beginning to change. “Recent governmental regulations, such as requirements for walk-in coolers and freezers from the US Department of Energy with a mandated performance level of Annual Walk-In Energy Factor (AWEF) is just the first of many requirements where energy performance will become more regulated in the commercial refrigeration market place,” he says. “Technologies, such as variable-speed components, including fans and compressors, in addition to control strategies such as floating head pressure control will become more common in refrigeration system design.” Fransen adds that in staying abreast with upcoming standards to develop new products surrounding mandated and voluntary programmes, Tecumseh sees variable speed compressors and systems as well as low-GWP refrigerants transitioning over to the commercial market “once energy standards and regulations become more prevalent across the globe”.

Industry 4.0

Another key trend Walters identifies in North America is the growing move towards the use of air conditioning and water heating equipment that are connected and able to talk to the grid and electricity supplier, relative to adjusting supply with demand. “It’s not an on-and-off switch,” he says. Fransen echoes this, adding that the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices are quickly changing the way consumers use products, and that the company sees a similar trend in the commercial refrigeration market. “More and more components are connected, which helps end-users with a variety of different tasks, to simplify their work,” he says. “Regarding refrigeration components, some examples could be a means to show diagnostics for quick servicing or a web-based predictive analysis tool that would show when components in a system may potentially fail based on specific parameters.”

Presser adds that LEED certification also plays a role in this. “When you choose to get LEED certification for a building,” he says, “you incorporate a lot of intelligent energy controls.” However, he says, no one is dictating the backbone communication architecture to be used, whether it is an HVACR standard or an industry open standard. Presser says that the adoption of LEED certification will promote greater building intelligence and technology, but that the industry still has a long way to go.

The industry, Presser says, is currently promoting a standard that does not interface with technologies coming into buildings and devices and that he sees a move towards an international standard of communication in the HVACR space. “My feeling,” he says, “is that eventually product developers are going to take a look at the HVACR space and come with an open standard product that will ensure lower cost and ease of connectivity, which will displace proprietary technologies. You also have to realise you have a huge installed space, the opportunity will be when you look at existing buildings and you want to add intelligence. Who will win?”

Ali says that being one of the biggest retrofit markets, North America may be a little ahead of the rest of the world, in terms of planning for maintenance. “Along with new development and construction, there is a lot of renovation, where older buildings are updated and using the latest technologies,” he says. “Predictive maintenance comes into play here. You may have a LEED-certified building equipped with the latest equipment with IoT technology to communicate building conditions 24/7. Without careful monitoring, regular inspection and diligent maintenance, the initial energy efficiency will decline dramatically over the next five years.”

Maintenance, Ali stresses, is an essential component to successful energy management. He adds that though North America is a huge continent with diverse climates and with each state having its own mindset, regulations, capabilities and budget to maintain infrastructure, building owners are more or less aware of the important role that maintenance plays in ensuring a healthier environment, better indoor air quality and better, energy- efficient buildings. “If you are a building manager or owner of commercial real estate,” he says, “that would be in your mindset in order to compete in the marketplace.”

Ali adds that building owners and equipment suppliers need to work together to conduct energy audits and implement ongoing maintenance programmes. “Right now,” he says, “follow up is often lacking, whether it’s in North America, Asia or in the Middle East.”

While HVACR manufacturers in North America navigate the demands of the local market, most operate in a largely international market and grapple with the changing winds of an increasingly globalised and inter-connected consumer base.

Kingdom’s entertainment industry to drive HVACR projects, says VTS Clima

Dubai, UAE, 24 March 2019: Saudi Arabia’s entertainment industry is going to play an important role in upcoming HVACR projects, said Faizal Babu Pallathody, Managing Director, VTS Clima. Pallathody said there are especially strong growth opportunities in cinemas, given that Vox Cinemas will invest SAR 2 billion, approximately USD 533 million, to open 600 theatres in the next five years, starting with Riyadh Park Mall.

Pallathody added that construction companies expect Dubai-based developer Majid al-Futtaim to tender the estimated USD 1.5-2 billion contract to build the Mall of Saudi development by the end of October. “The retail centre in Riyadh will be one of the largest in Saudi Arabia when completed,” he said. “It involves the construction of a mall on an 866,500-square-metre site that will include a 26,000-square-metre indoor snow park and 300,000 square metres of shops, restaurants and entertainment areas.”

Pallathody said that the above developments are only a few from the wide range of projects in the country, adding that the sector has also seen a growing number of construction projects related to expansion and redevelopment of existing structures.

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