Masthead - Climate Control Journal

Carrier celebrates 100th anniversary of Founder’s invention of centrifugal chiller

DUBAI, UAE, 30 June 2022: On the evening of May 22, 1922, Willis Haviland Carrier invited 300 people to a sheet metal shop in Newark, New Jersey, for a free meal and a boxing match, followed by the unveiling of the first centrifugal chiller technology, Carrier said through a June 30 Press release, adding that it celebrated the 100th anniversary of the invention of the centrifugal chilling machine that in many ways made the modern world possible. Carrier is a part of Carrier Global Corporation.

 [Willis] Carrier’s breakthrough invention opened the door to large-scale comfort air conditioning while improving the effectiveness of process cooling,” said Gaurang Pandya, President, Commercial HVAC, Carrier. “Each day we build on that legacy, innovating with purpose to create what’s next, get ahead of changing requirements, unleash the power of digital technology, run smarter with IoT and help customers deploy commercial HVAC solutions aligned tightly with their business objectives.”

Willis Carrier’s conception to combine a centrifugal refrigeration compressor with a shell, a new type of condenser and a chiller on one frame enhanced process cooling in factories around the world, Carrier said. Following the first installation of three centrifugal chillers at a Philadelphia chocolate factory in 1923, Willis Carrier’s innovation soon provided process cooling to rayon manufacturers in India and cracker factories in Mexico, the company said.

In 1924, Willis Carrier realized his dream of comfort cooling when the owners of a Detroit department store added centrifugal chillers, the company said. The centrifugal technology reliably and affordably delivered comfort air to the public in theaters, stores, restaurants, sports venues, ships, hospitals and office buildings, the company claimed.

A decade later, centrifugal refrigeration had driven process air into more than 200 industries, the company said. Food and beverage production became safer, hospitals were more comfortable and sanitary and new lifesaving drugs, such as penicillin, became possible, the company added.

By providing precise temperature and humidity, centrifugal chiller technology has supported the infrastructure of the modern digital age, including electronics of every type, semi-conductor chips, data centers and robotics, the company said. These new inventions and new technologies couldn’t have existed without it, it added.

Sathya Moorthi, Managing Director, Carrier Middle East, said: “Carrier has evolved over the years from being a manufacturer of cutting-edge equipment to providing solutions that harness the power of variable frequency drives and IoT, ensuring that business-critical activities run at peak effectiveness, and provide operational efficiencies and insights. This demonstrates our commitment to continuously improving energy efficiency while enhancing the comfort levels of the occupants in the harsh Middle East climate conditions.”

Carrier said that while the fundamental physics of centrifugal technology have not changed in a century, its engineers have never stopped driving new advancements in centrifugal chiller technology. Today, the Carrier AquaEdge 19DV water-cooled chiller provides world-class energy efficiency with its unique free cooling and heat recovery options that boost the total energy savings of the system while using ultra-low global warming potential refrigerant, the company added. The AquaEdge 19MV water-cooled chiller offers a wide operating range in a greatly reduced machine size to replace older chillers, the company said, adding that both machines feature its unique EquiDrive two-stage back-to-back compressor technology to dramatically reduce energy consumption.

Johnson Controls launches OpenBlue Pioneers Award

CORK, Ireland, 30 June 2022: Johnson Controls (JCI) announced the first winners of a new buildings’ innovation award, called OpenBlue Pioneers. Making the announcement through a Press release, JCI said each OpenBlue Pioneer has proven instrumental in driving the future of smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, and innovating with Johnson Controls’ AI-enabled OpenBlue technology to transform their spaces, businesses and communities. In recognition, the winners have each been awarded a Blueprint of the Future Industry Award, which recognises outstanding examples of visionary thinking and digital transformation, JCI said.

According to JCI, each OpenBlue Pioneer has proven instrumental in driving the future of smart, healthy and sustainable buildings.

The first recipients of the OpenBlue Pioneers award, JCI said, are:

BEEAH Headquarters, pioneering the path for offices of the future towards one of the world’s smartest workplaces

The BEEAH Headquarters, based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, is a remarkable example of what can be achieved with visionary thinking. Featuring intelligent edge systems and software designed to optimise energy efficiency, the building is the first fully AI-integrated building in the Middle East. It is equipped to be net zero and operates to LEED platinum standards. Employees and visitors experience seamless interaction with the building at all times through OpenBlue Companion. Features include advanced facial recognition for seamless movement between spaces, frictionless access to promote the health and safety of employees, comfort control and intelligent concierge services to support day-to-day tasks. The building and its technologies manifest sustainability and digitalisation, BEEAH Group’s twin pillared strategy to pioneer a sustainable quality of life for all.

Chase Center, which enhances fans’ health, comfort and safety through one intelligent platform

The Chase Center, based in San Francisco, California, in the United States, is a state-of-the-art, future-focused LEED Gold-certified sports and entertainment centre. Partnering with Johnson Controls, the Chase Center optimises the digital capabilities of its equipment, systems and connected technologies through Metasys building automation system, communicating data in real time and powering smart building decisions as well as reducing energy and the arena’s carbon footprint. The connected suite of solutions included in the OpenBlue Healthy Buildings offerings enhance fan health, comfort and safety.

The village of Patchogue, which is setting the gold standard for community revitalisation

The visionary village of Patchogue, located on Long Island, New York, in the United States, is preserving a green tomorrow for future generations with smart environmental solutions. Showcasing a future-focused mindset and a passion to preserve natural resources, improve quality of life, and protect the ecosystem, the village of Patchogue will save USD 8.2 million in the next 25 years through Johnson Controls’ energy-efficient upgrades to HVAC, lighting and temperature control systems.

The Powerhouse Alliance: The world’s northernmost net energy-positive building

Powerhouse Brattørkaia in Trondheim, Norway, is a true model for transformational design and development worldwide. As the most net energy-positive building in the northern hemisphere, it sets a new standard for buildings by focusing on environmental considerations and reducing its carbon footprint. Powerhouse, a Norwegian collaboration set up to drive innovation in energy, collaborated with Johnson Controls to build a net energy-positive smart building – that is, a building that produces more energy than it consumes.

Colorado State University, Pueblo, becomes first campus in Colorado to reach “net zero electricity” with solar power

Through its visionary thinking, Colorado State University, Pueblo, has become greener, more independent and more resilient. This pioneering campus is leading the industry in sustainability and energy consumption and has far exceeded three of the four greening government goals. Powered by a 23-acre solar farm with battery storage that supplies 12M kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, they are the first campus in Colorado to reach net-zero electricity for all the academic facilities. Collaborating with Johnson Controls, they have created the net-zero campus of the future: A sustainable, energy-efficient and healthy environment that minimises energy costs for the next two decades and passes these savings on to their students and the community.

“The recognition of our first OpenBlue Pioneers casts a spotlight on some incredible businesses and organizations demonstrating outstanding leadership in transforming buildings globally,” said Rodney Clark, Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Johnson Controls. “What they prove is that a concerted focus on decarbonization, electrification, efficiency and digitization can deliver net-zero buildings, alongside communities that are smarter, safer, more sustainable and affordable. This first group of OpenBlue Pioneers will be followed by many more as the momentum for the digital transformation of the built environment accelerates. It also proves that doing the right thing can be exactly the same as doing the sensible thing from a business perspective.”

Taqeef introduces first inverter window AC in the UAE

DUBAI, UAE, 30 June 2022: Midea launched its Wonder inverter window AC in the UAE today, Taqeef, its distributor in the region, said through a Press release. Branded as a window AC that cools like a split, the inverter unit offers all the sophistication of a wall-type unit – namely, efficiency, power, low noise and even Wi-Fi control – with the convenience of an ‘old school’ plug-and-play window unit, Taqeef claimed.

Midea Window AC

Unlike anything else offered in the region, the Midea Wonder AC is engineered with T3 compressor technology and is packed with a host of innovative tools and technology, compatible to the climate in the Middle East, which makes it more sustainable and more effective, Taqeef claimed.

According to Taqeef, its features include: 

  • 34% faster cooling with Flash Cool feature
  • 26% energy saving with inverter technology
  • 63% wider range (with vertical and horizontal swing)
  • Wi-Fi and voice control
  • 4 times quieter than a traditional window unit

Hisham Abou Laban, Chief Operation Officer – Marketing and Overseas, Taqeef, said: “Consumer demand for more efficient cooling products is driving the pace of innovation in AC. It’s exciting to see some of the more traditional unit types being re-imagined for today’s conscious consumer. The Wonder AC combines the power and sophistication of a split with the simplicity of a window unit, and creates new market opportunities for window ACs that remain popular in the UAE.”

According to Taqeef, the Wonder AC offers a 63% wider cooling range through 10% larger than traditional window units, so consumers can enjoy even whole-room coverage and a further cooling distance of up to 9.5 metres. With enlarged rotation angles horizontally and vertically, it cools more than 63% wider than traditional window ACs, the company claimed.

Midea Window AC

Given the harsh climate in the Middle East, the AC features an innovative CoolFlash feature, which Taqeef described as thoughtfully developed for the market, and certified by the TÜV Rheinland. With one press of the CoolFlash button, the Midea Wonder AC can cool a room by 6 degrees C in 10 minutes, allowing users to instantly enjoy cool air 34% faster than traditional window units, the company claimed.*

Unlike other window ACs, the Midea Wonder AC is constructed to cut off the humming noise and achieve quiet operations as low as 39dB in low-fan mode, Taqeef said. Even in high fan mode, the unit remains four times quieter than traditional window units.*

Usually, traditional window ACs require manual operation, but the Midea Wonder AC is convenient and hassle-free to use, Taqeef said. The remote controller and wireless capabilities enable users to change the settings anytime, anywhere using the Midea MSmarthome App, or control the devices through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, Taqeef added.

Taqeef said the Midea Wonder AC is fully compliant with MoIAT standards and specifications, and is now available in the UAE via the Taqeef e-shop: https://shop.taqeef.com/collections/midea

 

*Lab tests verified by TÜV Rheinland (ID:1111247757)

*Data calculated based on ISO 3745-2010, ISO13261-1-1998

Camfil highlights the value of the World IEQ Forum 2022

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 27 June 2022: One way to protect people from air pollution is to provide clean and healthy air inside of buildings, Camfil said through a Press release, dated June 27. This was the main conclusion at the 6th edition of the World IEQ Forum, held on March 16, in the Sweden Pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai, Camfil added.

The Expo may have concluded, but the topic of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) still remains a mainstream concern that is discussed globally, Camfil said, adding that there were two reasons for the 2022 World IEQ Forum having had an extra focus on IAQ:

  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus between people is higher in poorly ventilated indoor settings.
  • In September 2021, WHO published the first new version of their global Air Quality Guidelines since 2005.

“New scientific studies place the threshold of air pollution exposure considered harmful to human health 50% lower today compared to 17 years ago, when the previous WHO Air Quality Guidelines were published”, said Tobias Zimmer, Camfil’s Vice President of Global Product Management & International Standards. Tobias was a speaker and panellist at the World IEQ Forum.

Tobias Zimmer

Further, a recent WHO study states that 99% of the world’s population lives in areas with too much air pollution, Camfil pointed out. Air pollution that is causing serious human suffering in the form of diseases and millions of premature global deaths yearly and, on top of that, substantial economic costs, Camfil added.

“In the North African and Middle Eastern regions, air pollution is responsible for 270,000 deaths every year at a cost of 141 billion US Dollars, according to the World Bank”, Zimmer said. He went on to point out that most people today spend 90% of their time indoors and that the simplest and best way to achieve protection against harmful airborne particles is to invest in efficient air filtration solutions across all buildings.

“The need for quality air filtration is reflected via the much lower PM2.5 and PM10 threshold levels stated in WHO’s new Air Quality Guidelines,” Zimmer said. “These thresholds also align with Eurovent Guideline 4/23 for the selection of EN ISO 16890-rated air filter classes for general ventilation applications.”

At the same time, Zimmer was careful to emphasise that it is not possible to have a same-solution-fits-all approach to cleaning the indoor air. “Consensus at the World IEQ Forum was that every solution has to be tailored to where the building is located,” he said. “The outside air quality must determine the solution you have inside.” For example, he added, what works in a temperate zone might not be right in regions with high humidity. “The needs can also vary within a region,” he said. “Cities are more afflicted when it comes to air pollution than the countryside. Some cities are more polluted than others.”

According to Camfil, the World IEQ Forum is an opportunity for experts on IAQ, like Zimmer and his colleagues, to engage with, for example, representatives from the Ministry of Health and other influential representatives from various countries. “It is imperative that we continue to raise awareness around the urgent need to protect people from air pollution,” Zimmer said. “When you look at the human and financial costs on a global level, it is evident that we can’t afford not to protect ourselves.”

Zimmer said participants at the World IEQ Forum did not just talk about the importance of healthy IAQ. “We also demonstrated proof of concept by measuring the outside and inside air at the location during the EXPO,” Zimmer said. “Dubai’s outdoor air was 10 times more polluted than the WHO recommendations. The air inside the air-filtrated Sweden Pavilion was well below WHO limits for particle concentration.”

Zimmer said the effect of the clean indoor air in the Sweden Pavilion was visible to the naked eye. “After several hours of listening to me and other speakers, the audience was still fresh and alert,” he said. “So, you could say that we certainly ‘walked the talk’ when it comes to proving the benefits of clean, healthy and productive indoor air.”

ASHRAE welcomes 2022-23 President, officers and directors

ATLANTA, Georgia, 27 June 2022: ASHRAE introduced its 2022-23 Society President, executive committee officers and directors through a Press release.

Farooq Mehboob, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, will serve as the 2022-23 Society President, ASHRAE said. During his inaugural presidential address, Mehboob introduced the theme for the 2022-23 Society Year, “Securing Our Future”. According to ASHRAE, the theme examines how the crucial personal and professional events of the past can help us leverage relationships, knowledge and change, as the formula for making an impact and embracing our diverse world.

“What a heritage we possess!” Mehboob said. “ASHRAE should be proud. We all should be proud. It’s imperative that we continue to hunger for, and seek, information about our market, our changing world, and our technological advances. Breaking down silos and embracing change will infuse a new dynamism in our society at all levels, bringing to our members new knowledge, technology and tools in a timely fashion – helping them to successfully navigate the rapidly changing world.”

According to ASHRAE, Mehboob is a principal consultant for S. Mehboob & Company Consulting Engineers, in Karachi, Pakistan.

ASHRAE said elected officers, who will serve one-year terms, are as follows:

  • President-Elect: Ginger Scoggins, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, Principal, Engineered Designs Inc., Cary, North Carolina
  • Treasurer:  Dennis Knight, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, Principal, Whole Building Systems, LLC., Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
  • Vice President: Billy Austin, P.E., BCxP, BEAP, BEMP, HBDP, HFDP, OPMP, Member ASHRAE, Principal, Shultz Engineering Group, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Vice President: Dunstan Macauley III, Member ASHRAE, Director of Mechanical Engineering, Setty & Associates, Rockdale, Maryland
  • Vice President: Sarah Maston P.E., BCxP, Member ASHRAE, Director, Commissioning & Energy Services, Colliers Project Leaders, Hudson, Massachusetts
  • Vice President: Ashish Rakheja, Member ASHRAE, Director/Chief Operating Officer, Aeon, Noida, India

According to ASHRAE, its newest Directors and Regional Chairs, who will serve three-year terms from 2022-2025, are:

  • Region IV Director and Regional Chair: Bryan Holcomb, Member ASHRAE, Vice President Sales & Preconstruction, Environmental Air Systems, Oak Ridge, North Carolina
  • Region V Director and Regional Chair: James Arnold, P.E., Member ASHRAE, engineer, Gutridge, Dublin, Ohio
  • Region VI Director and Regional Chair: Susanna Hanson, Member ASHRAE, Application Engineer, Trane, La Crosse, Wisconsin
  • Region XII Director and Regional Chair: John Constantinide, P.E., Member ASHRAE, Energy Manager, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Merritt Island, Florida
  • Region XIII Director and Regional Chair: Cheng Wee Leong, P.E., Member ASHRAE, Director, Method Engineering Pte. Ltd., Singapore

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

  • Blake Ellis, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, Principal, Burns & McDonnell, Overland Park, Kansas
  • Luke Leung, P.E., Member ASHRAE, Sustainable Engineering Practice Leader, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Clarendon Hills, Illinois
  • Wei Sun, P.E., Member ASHRAE, President, Engsysco, Ann Arbor, Michigan

 

JCI acquires Tempered Networks

CORK, Ireland, 23 June 2022: Johnson Control (JCI) acquired zero trust cybersecurity provider – Tempered Networks, based in Seattle, Washington. According to JCI, Tempered Networks has created ‘Airwall’ technology, an advanced self-defence system for buildings that enables secure network access across diverse groups of endpoint devices, edge gateways, cloud platforms and service technicians. It represents a step-change in operational technology built on secure transmission pipelines to ensure buildings data exchanges and service actions can only take place between people and devices that are continuously authenticated, JCI said.

JCI said the acquisition gives it the capability to provide zero trust security within the fabric of its OpenBlue secure communications stack, advancing its vision of enabling fully autonomous buildings that are inherently resilient to cyberattack.  

Tempered Networks Airwall technology uses the Host Identity Protocol and a cloud-based policy orchestration platform to create new overlay networks built on encrypted and authenticated communication, JCI said. The policy manager – also known as the conductor – enforces configured digital policies that control connections within the cloaked overlay system, JCI said. The default position for the policy manager is ‘zero trust’ – that is, only allowing connections between continuously authenticated and authorized entities, JCI said. Once a communicating device authenticates itself correctly, an encrypted tunnel is created through which data flows. According to JCI, the advantages of this cybersecurity technique are as follows:

  • The creation of an always-on and software-defined security perimeter protecting device-to-device, device-to-cloud and device-to-user interactions. Airwall achieves this by using Host Identity Protocol to create a cloaked and micro-segmented network, which overlays a building’s existing network infrastructure, making the solution also highly cost-effective.
  • A new level of authentication for connected building systems, allowing for greater system automation of functions, such as heating and cooling, lighting, security and airflows.

“When it comes to buildings, we must create easily implementable cybersecurity defenses, as we’re often dealing with critical infrastructure, including assets such as data centers and hospitals,” said Vijay Sankaran, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Johnson Controls. “Tempered Networks Airwall approach is purpose-built for our sector as it’s designed around principles of zero trust, securing device communications as data moves between devices and the cloud – so enabling remote building optimization in the most trusted way possible.”  

JCI said it is integrating Tempered Networks Airwall technology into its OpenBlue platform, which is increasingly recognized as a leading smart building software platform with advanced AI-enabled building management capabilities. According to JCI, OpenBlue provides a flexible computing approach for converging building technologies and making those technologies more insightful, powerful, and optimized through edge AI and through full Machine Learning in the cloud. The ultimate goal, JCI said, is to make all buildings smarter, healthier and more sustainable.

“Digital transformation is the primary way we’ll make the world’s buildings more autonomous and resilient,” said Bryan Skene, Chief Technology Officer, Tempered Networks. “Being acquired by Johnson Controls allows us to fully integrate our Airwall technology into their software stack, providing an advanced security platform for a range of edge to cloud applications. Our ambition, now that we’re part of Johnson Controls, is that building systems everywhere can be managed from anywhere and remain secure from cyber threats.”

ASHRAE, U.S. DoE sign renewed MoU agreement

ATLANTA, Georgia, 23 June 2022: ASHRAE and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), agreeing to further their long-term relationship, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

Mick Schwedler, 2021-22 ASHRAE President and Kelly Speakes-Backman, DOE Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, signed the MoU in early June. According to ASHRAE, the agreement defines parameters on how ASHRAE and the DOE will collaborate more closely to continue to advance and promote mutual interests.

“With ASHRAE’s focus on building decarbonization and resilience, we are pleased to continue our partnership with the Department of Energy, as we share our knowledge base in the built-environment on a larger scale and work towards a more sustainable world,” Schwedler said.

ASHRAE and DOE seek to work cooperatively on the following:

  • Advance decarbonization of the building sector by increasing the energy efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of buildings beginning with the construction phase throughout the building’s life, including operation and maintenance;
  • Increase the grid-interactivity of buildings by advancing grid-flexibility, flexible energy storage, and renewables integration into buildings;
  • Promote more resilient, efficient buildings through the adoption of advanced building standards and codes, including supporting innovative code approaches in the model code development, building performance standards, and zero energy codes;
  • Increase compliance with the latest building energy codes by supporting States in understanding the latest codes;
  • Improve building resiliency and keeping occupants safe;
  • Develop the workforce of the HVACR and associated sectors, including through increasing diversity and advancing training to support decarbonization; and
  • Improve overall building performance, including for occupants’ health and well-being.

Camfil Svenska receives Gold from EcoVadis

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 22 June 2022: Camfil Svenska AB received a sustainability Gold Rating by EcoVadis, the company announced through a Press release. It can be difficult for companies to verify on their own and know for sure how sustainable they actually are. That is where EcoVadis plays a key role, Camfil Svenska said, adding that it decided to partner with EcoVadis to get a professional and independent appraisal of its sustainability level.

According to Camfil Svenska, EcoVadis’ methodology is built on international sustainability standards, including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the United Nations Global Compact and ISO 26000. Companies all over the world rely on EcoVadis’ powerful technology platform for monitoring and improving their sustainability performance, Camfil Svenska said.

Camfil Svenska said that after a thorough assessment process, EcoVadis awarded it with a Gold Rating in the category, ‘Manufacturer of Special-Purpose Machinery Industry’.

“We are very pleased with the EcoVadis rating, especially since it confirms our commitment to sustainability and that we as a company are developing in the right direction,” said Åsa Lindström, Director Sustainability & Quality, Camfil Svenska.

To arrive at its sustainability ratings, EcoVadis applies a universal scorecard along with a number of performance improvement tools, Camfil Svenska said. “We performed well in the various categories,” Lindström said. “In the overall score, Camfil Svenska AB is in the top one per cent of companies rated by Ecovadis in the Manufacture of special-purpose machinery industry. In the Environment category, Camfil Svenska AB is among the top one per cent of companies rated by Ecovadis in the Manufacture of special-purpose machinery industry.”

According to Camfil Svenska, it is ranked in the top in other categories, as well:

  • Among companies in the Manufacture of special-purpose machinery Industry, Camfil Svenska AB is in the top six per cent of companies for Labour and Human Rights category.
  • Camfil Svenska AB is in the top six per cent of companies rated by Ecovadis in the Manufacture of special purpose machinery industry for Sustainable Procurement category and in the top four per cent of companies in the for the Ethics category.

Source: Ecovadis

Lindström said: “Working with EcoVadis helps us be more sustainable. Working with Ecovadis helps us and our stakeholders be more sustainable. We can share our score cards and improve together. We can share our score cards with stakeholders and improve together.”

eurammon Symposium 2022 again online

FRANKFURT, Germany, 22 June 2022: eurammon, an association of companies, institutions, and individuals committed to the promotion and use of natural refrigerants, will hold its annual Symposium, titled ‘Journey to a naturally sustainable future’, from July 4 to 8 on a digital platform. Making the announcement through a Press release, eurammon said that as the digital format has been well received by participants in previous years, the event will again be held online over 5 days from 9am to 11.30am each morning. Registration for the Symposium is now open via e-mail to cornelia.roth@eurammon.com.  

Through online lectures and a virtual panel discussion, the industry will look at the importance of its products for a sustainable and energy-efficient economy, eurammon said. “Natural refrigerants will play an important role in creating a sustainable future for our planet,” said Rob Lamb of Star Refrigeration Ltd., and Chairman of the Steering Committee of eurammon e.V. “The eurammon 2022 online symposium builds on the success of last year and looks at the use of natural fluids for cooling and heating applications across a wider range of industries.”  

According to eurammon, the subjects on Day One will help set the scene for the rest of the week. They will include the European Green Deal, the UK Institute of Refrigeration’s ‘Beyond Refrigeration’ initiative and developments in the use of ammonia as a fuel. Day Two will focus on regulatory news, dealing with the proposed changes to the EU F-gas regulation and providing updates on the IEC 60335-2-40 and EN378 standards, eurammon said. The remaining three days will look at the new technologies and case studies that are helping the industry move to a sustainable future, eurammon said.

“With the online symposium, we are reaching out to a global audience interested in natural refrigerants,” Lamb said. “The symposium is a chance to learn, ask questions and share knowledge. We look forward to many participants joining us from the 4 to 8 July.”

According to eurammon, the programme agenda is as follows…  

4 July – Keynote speeches

9:00 Welcome & greeting, Michael Freiherr, Chairman eurammon e. V.

9:10 Green Deal in Europe, Andrea Voigt, Danfoss A/S

9:55 Beyond Refrigeration, Graeme Maidment, Institute of Refrigeration

10:40 Break

10:45 Ammonia engine development for marine propulsion, Johan Kaltoft, MAN DK

11:30 Concluding remarks, Michael Freiherr

 

5 July – Policy and regulations update

9:00 Introduction, Michael Rabenstein, Evapco Europe GmbH

9:10 F-gas regulation, Cornelius Rhein, European Commission

9:40 Break

9:45 IEC 60335-2-40, Asbjørn Vonsild, Vonsild Consulting

10:15 European standardization for refrigerating systems using flammable refrigerants, especially standard series EN 378, Carsten Hoch, TÜV Süd Industrieservice GmbH

10:45 Break

10:50 Panel discussion: Cornelius Rhein, Asbjørn Vonsild, Carsten Hoch, Moderator: Michael Rabenstein

11:20 Concluding remarks, Michael Rabenstein

 

6 July – Natural refrigerants for the cold chain

9:00 Introduction, Lambert Kuijpers, A/genT Consultancy

9:10 Industrial refrigeration production plants: “Heat recovery, reduced CO2 emissions!”, Michael Elsen, Kreutzträger Kältetechnik GmbH & Co. KG

9:40 Break

9:45 Heat pump integration in a plant based meat solution factory and needs to achieve decarbonization from an end-user perspective, Vincent Grass, Société des Produits Nestlé S.A.

10:15 Predicting annual refrigeration energy consumption in temperature-controlled facilities, Robert Lamb, Star Refrigeration Ltd.

10:45 Break

10:50 “Waterloop“ solutions for sustainable supermarkets – 100% propane for natural and efficient cooling and heating, Herbert Schupfer, Güntner Group Europe GmbH

11:20 Concluding remarks, Lambert Kuijpers

AHRI urges support for Water Heater Definition Bill

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 21 June 2022: On the eve of a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, leaders of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) today issued a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate energy committees seeking support for legislation (H.R. 7962/S. 4061) that would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) to clarify the definitions of residential and commercial water heaters, the Institute said through a Press release.

According to AHRI, the legislation corrects an error in a final test procedure rule for commercial water heaters, issued in November 2016 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that required manufacturers to rate some of those units using residential water heater efficiency standards. This created turmoil within the industry and resulted in property owners and small business owners spending resources to find alternative solutions, because the commercial water heating equipment that fit their needs was no longer available, AHRI added.

To permanently correct this error, a narrowly tailored technical amendment to the statutory EPCA definitions of water heaters is necessary, and these bills accomplish that task, AHRI said.

“America’s HVACR and water heating manufacturers, who make the most innovative, energy-efficient products available in the world today, are grateful to Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Marsha Blackburn R-TN), and Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) for their leadership in introducing this much-needed technical amendment,” said Stephen Yurek, President & CEO, AHRI. “This bipartisan bill will realign the legal definitions of commercial and residential water heating equipment enable more appropriate product choices for small businesses and provide business certainty for water heater manufacturers.”

AHRI, Alliance Seek Senate Support for Kigali Amendment

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 16 June 2022: Leaders of member companies of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy today issued a letter to the leadership of the United States Senate urging expeditious action to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The Amendment, approved in May by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is currently awaiting floor action, AHRI pointed out. The Kigali Amendment provides for a global phasedown of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants, an action AHRI and its 320 HVACR and water heating manufacturers have sought for more than a decade, the Institute said.

According to AHRI, the letter informed Senate Leaders Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that ratification “will secure a position of strength for American companies in a highly competitive global market for next-generation refrigerant technologies by creating new U.S. manufacturing jobs and stimulating further investment in the U.S. economy”. It noted that “failure to ratify would close these markets to U.S. manufacturers after 2023, because the Montreal Protocol prohibits trade with countries not party to [it] or its amendments.”

According to AHRI, if the Amendment is ratified by the Senate, the United States will join some 129 other nations as full parties to the treaty, approved in October 2016, with the United States as a signatory.

 

Berner releases Architectural Contour Air Curtain Series

NEW CASTLE, Pennsylvania, 15 June 2022: Air curtain manufacturer, Berner International said it has added the Architectural Contour Air Curtain Series to its Architectural Collection, giving specifiers a technologically advanced design for protecting commercial building main entrances when the door is open.

Making the announcement through a Press release, Berner claimed the Architectural Contour 8 and 10 models feature the HVAC industry’s quietest operation from a high-performance air curtain. The design targets healthcare, hotels, retail, restaurants and other applications, where thermal comfort, front entrance doorway aesthetics and energy savings are critical, the company said.

Air curtain by Berner International

Berner said the Series’ patented, unprecedented aesthetic is the company’s second departure from the industry’s decades-old rectangular box shapes after recently introducing the Architectural Elite.

Featuring a sleek, discreetly contoured cabinet constructed of anodized aluminum, the Architectural Contour complements 21st Century anodized aluminum doorways and metal architecture, the company said.

The Architectural Contour 8 and 10 feature low profiles of 8-1/4 H x 20-inch D (20.9 x 50.8-cm) and 12-3/4 H x 25-3/4 D (30.3 x 60.4-cm) without sacrificing performance for protecting up to eight- and 10-foot-high (2.4- and 3.0-meter) doorway heights, respectively, the company said. Both models – including heating options – are certified under AMCA-220, which qualifies them for the new construction cost-saving vestibule exception, now included in building and energy codes, ASHRAE 90.1-2019; the IECC -2015; and the IgCC, the company added.

According to the company, the Architectural Contour equals the aesthetics of the Architectural Collection’s full-featured, Golden Ratio-inspired Architectural Elite air curtain, but offers an economical alternative. Specifiers can add the Elite’s standard features as à la carte options to the Contour, such as electronically commutated (EC) motors or the Berner AIR smart controller and app, the company said. When combined with the Collection’s entry level Architectural Low Profile 8 and High Performance 10 models, the Contour and Elite offer building owners a diverse “good, better, best” selection, respectively, the company claimed.

According to Berner, all air curtains in the Architectural Collection use the company’s factory-installed Intelliswitch digital controller platform, which features pre-set programs, a time clock, time delay, built-in thermostat, 10-speed fan control, and other integrated, end-user-customizable features. The optional Berner AIR smart controller and app, the company said, can be added to the platform, allowing operation and monitoring from a smartphone. The Berner AIR, it added, includes true BACnet integration and a proactive adaptive setting based on the weather.

According to the company, the Contour and Elite models are the industry’s quietest high-performance air curtains. These patented designs combine out-of-sight top intake panels; Berner’s patented high-efficiency, low-noise, articulating Pro-V Nozzle; and quiet-running 1/5th-HP AC or EC motor choices, the company said. Depending on the selected motor and speed, the company added, typical operating noise is 49 to 55-dB, which is similar to a coffee percolator or quieter than normal conversation.

Empower wins two golds at IDEA 2022

DUBAI, UAE, 15 June 2022: Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower) won two gold awards at the International District Energy Association (IDEA) Annual Conference 2022, which took place from June 6 to 9 in Toronto, Canada, the District Cooling company said.

Making the announcement today, Empower said its winning the two gold awards – for the categories, ‘Number of Buildings Committed’ and ‘Total Building Area Committed’ in IDEA 2022 – is the eighth of its kind, as the company has won the same awards in the years 2005, 2007, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021. In addition, it has received various other awards from IDEA – numbering 17 – in other categories, Empower said. Moreover, the company said, it has been honoured with many other awards and titles from various conferences and exhibitions around the world, in recognition of its distinguished achievements in developing the District Cooling industry, worldwide, as the world’s largest District Cooling services provider.

Empower said its winning represents a renewed international recognition of the company’s efforts to promote the District Cooling concept worldwide, and to encourage decision-makers to adopt this environmentally friendly cooling solution and apply the best integrated green practices.

Speaking on the occasion of winning the awards, Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower, said: “The winning of these two global awards reinforces the company’s international recognitions by the global industry leaders for the pioneering and pivotal role that Empower plays in innovating the highest practices in this vital industry, both in terms of optimising energy consumption and cost or in protecting resources and the environment. It also honors our continuous efforts in spreading the culture of District Cooling systems, and appreciates our unremitting endeavors and constant quest to employ the techniques of the 4th revolution in production, control, distribution and customer service operations, in a way that enhances the District Cooling sector worldwide.”

Bin Shafar explained that the awards are the fruits of government policies that support the expansion of the District Cooling sector to put Dubai on the map of global cities in District Cooling. “Empower,” he said, “is proceeding towards achieving many advancements in District Cooling systems in pursuit of its mission to bring an added value at national and global levels.”

Bin Shafar CEO indicated that the company would keep developing its District Cooling systems to a level that surpasses international standards, in order to provide high-quality services in response to the large and increasing demand for District Cooling for a variety of projects in different fields, in line with the strategic direction of the Emirate of Dubai. “The IDEA 2022 and the agenda it tackled, including the trends of the reality and future of the energy industry and its technologies, contribute to strengthening international efforts to shape a more flexible and effective humane future that is also less exposed to carbon emissions,” he said.

Empower said that last week, Bin Shafar was appointed as a member to the Board of Directors of IDEA for the fourth time in a row, making him the first Emirati Arab to hold such a prestigious position in US-based IDEA, which is an international non-profit organization, for over a decade.

Hisense conducts RAK seminar

DUBAI, UAE, 9 June 2022: Hisense HVAC on June 9 hosted a mini seminar in Ras Al Khaimah for consultants, developer and authorities. Making the announcement through a Press release, Hisense said the objective of the seminar was to communicate its Barjeel-compliant VRF, ducted and non-ducted range of AC products to the Ras Al Khaimah market.

According to Hisense, the event was well received with full attendance from important stakeholders, like RAK Municipality, Barjeel committee, RAKWA, Marjan Island, Al Hamra Real Estate and EMCO.

Hisense said it displayed the flagship model of its VRF units, light-commercial units and controllers and gave visitors to the event a touch-and-feel experience. Hisense highlighted its unique humidity setting feature, two-stage sub cooling, Air-pure filtration, DC inverter compressor technology at the event. It said the visitors were happy with the low noise level and sturdiness of the indoor units.

Dr Pablo Izquierdo, Manager, Energy Services Section, Reem, Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, set the tone for the event by making a presentation, titled “RAK Energy Efficiency & Renewable Strategy 2040”, during which he emphasised on various initiatives the Municipality is undertaking to drive sustainability in day-to-day life in the emirate.

Dharmesh Sawant, Hisense VRF Sales Director, then presented on the status of Barjeel-compliance of Hisense range of AC products and the technological innovations that enable the company to achieve stringent EER/CSPF requirements. Subsequently, Mohammed Rizwan, Sales Manager, Light commercial AC, presented on the unique features offered by ducted and ductless range of LCAC products.

The presentations covered some of the value-added features in Hisense VRF as well as light-commercial air conditioners, such as humidity setting/control logic, two-stage sub-cooling, cloud control of AC units from mobile App, VIP mode, auto refrigerant temperature control and refrigerant-cooled PCB.

M.A.H.Y. Khoory, local distributor of Hisense, attended the event. Khoory has committed to further spread the message of Barjeel-compliant Hisense AC units, Hisense said.  Dick Shi, General Manager of Hisense HVAC MEA, and Tugrul Kumal, Head of Sales AC category MEA Brand & OEM, emphasised on the focus on the Ras Al Khaimah market, with more value-added solutions.

Camfil launches virtual city

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 7 June 2022: Camfil highlighted how most people, in fact 99% of the world breathes air containing levels of pollutants that exceed WHO guideline limits, for what is considered to be healthy. The occasion was the launch of Camfil City, a virtual world with solutions for air quality challenges.

Camfil said the motivation for launching the City hinged on the need for clean air, considering that people spend 90% of their time indoors and that it is primarily indoors that they can protect themselves from air pollution.

According to Camfil, the City is a virtual world providing information and product solutions for air quality challenges. Camfil said it developed the 3D virtual world as a digital tool for its customers and potential new customers.

Martin Hellsten, Camfil City project lead, said, “Camfil City is an online 3D application inviting people to move around in a virtual urban setting and learn the basics about how Camfil’s air filter solutions can make air clean, safe and healthy.”  

Camfil City lies on a hill, surrounded by a green landscape and the blue sea. It comprises several buildings. Customers can explore buildings in industries such as beverage production, data centres, hospitals and clinics, museums, offices, schools and universities, warehouse distribution facilities, restaurants, metalworking units and life sciences, Camfil said, adding that it intends to add more building types. “We know that users would like to have Camfil City load quickly and run smoothly, regardless of where you are in the world, so we designed the application to meet these demands,” Hellsten said.  

According to Camfil, particular attention has been given to the user experience to ensure a fun, informative and useful application. On entering Camfil City, the visitor can have a look inside a specific industry environment and, subsequently, can click, drag and spin the city around to reach a range of industry buildings, Camfil said. With another pinch zoom on a mobile device or scroll on a desktop, the visitor can click a hotspot and access the inside of the building and explore air concerns and possible solutions, the company added.

Lori Heck, 3D Artist and Design Manager, Camfil USA, said: “I aimed to create all the 3D artwork for Camfil City at a high-quality, visually appealing level, yet be able to ensure fast load times and a great user experience for Camfil’s current and potential customers. The site is both, fun and educational.”

The hotspots show where the visitor can interact with the city to get more information, Camfil said. In the city overview, the hotspots are placed on buildings that represent industries. By clicking a building hotspot, the visitor travels into that building. In a building, the visitor would get another set of hotspots, situated in the different rooms, representing the application in the industry, Camfil said. By clicking the hotspots, the visitor can read about the different concerns that they might have in the application and what solutions Camfil offers to solve them, the company added.  

Hellsten said: “Not all people who purchase our products are experts in air filtration, and they shouldn’t have to be, either. The purpose of Camfil City is to give everyone a chance to learn the basics of what our clean air solutions can do for them. We believe that this is not just for future Camfil customers. We also see this application as a valuable tool for our existing customers to discover what Camfil has to offer in a new and highly accessible way.”

Samsung launches AC MENA Training Academy

DUBAI, UAE, 2 June 2022: Samsung Electronics announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind MENA Training Academy, which the company said seeks to enable customers to experience its innovative air solutions.

According to Samsung, the new facility will feature a showroom and a WindFree™ Experience Booth, through which customers can experience the unique technology, the low airspeed and cold draft-free operation of the unit, resulting from thousands of micro holes in the unit’s panel, leaving customers with a pleasant experience. Moreover, customers will be briefed on how to control the air conditioning unit via the SmartThings app, where they will be able to try it through their mobiles, Samsung said.

According to Samsung, the showroom will boast the new generation of DVM, including the DVM S2, which is compatible with the WindFree™ wall-mounted models, 1Way cassette, 4Way cassette, as well as the 360-cassette.

In his comments, Okan Tutcu, Head of AC, Samsung MENA Regional HQ, said: “We are pleased with the launch of the new training academy, through which we aim to share our expertise and the technological innovations with Samsung’s customer base. This initiative is a testament to our continuous efforts in promoting Samsung’s latest air conditioning products and systems.” 

According to Samsung, the academy will also conduct training sessions by air conditioning professionals at Samsung MENA to highlight the comprehensive air conditioning line-up and innovative technologies, functionality, installation and control systems available at Samsung AC reference sites. The training academy is located at Samsung MENA RHQ, in Dubai Media City.

Midea conference highlights its V8 VRF system

DUBAI, UAE, 1 June 2022: Midea launched the VRF V8 series as a major global initiative, citing Dubai as the best place to demonstrate the toughness and reliability of the system in facing up to sandy and dusty conditions and to high relative humidity and high temperatures. It said the V8 can work in temperatures ranging from 55 degrees C to minus 30 degrees C, making it ideal for operations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, characterised by high temperatures, including higher ground temperatures.

Henry Cheng, General Manager, Midea Building Technologies, said the V8, which will go into production this month, is about reliability. “We want the product to be more reliable, so there is no need to repair it or spend that much time on maintenance,” he said. He spoke of the V8 having innovative features, including its shield box, which protects the incorporated printer circuit board (PCB) from getting affected by the outside environment, including sand, dust and moisture. “Water will damage the PCB, if it touches,” he said. “The PCB is in an isolated space, and no water will touch it. So, it can work safely for a longer time.”

Speaking on the other features, Cheng highlighted the V8’s hyperlink approach to connecting the wires. Elaborating on how in the past, installers had to connect the wires in series, he highlighted the inherent disadvantage of that approach, where if one unit stopped working, the entire system would stop working. The V8, he said, allows for the wires to be connected with greater flexibility, which improves reliability, eases the installation process and helps installers save time. A third feature of the V8, he said, is the high degree of comfort it allows through its constant airflow. “No matter where you are in the building, the airflow is constant,” he said.


Cheng also spoke of the V8 having 19 sensors and a visual sensor technology. If the real sensors stop working, the machine will duplicate to give virtual sensors – digital twin – which will continue the sensing process and simultaneously send a message to the maintenance personnel informing them of a problem with the real sensors for them to rectify. “This way, the system is able to work 24×7, so there is no shut down problem,” he said. He also spoke of the V8 featuring the ‘Midea Doctor 2.0, which would allow for using cloud for self-diagnosis. “So, with the V8, we have many leading technologies in the industry,” he said. “With the V8, we are the leader in the product.”


Addressing the issue of aftersales service, Cheng said Midea works closely with its partners, including Taqeef, which he added has a strong aftersales capability, including training and service centres.

“We also support our partners in increasing their aftersales service,” he said. “We have our technical engineers to support Taqeef, and we provide funds to partners to improve their service capability. As Midea we also have the TSP feature, and so partners can place orders for spare parts through the TSP and also through the cloud. So, we are enhancing our capabilities on aftersales. But, if we have a highly reliable product, you don’t need as much aftersales. We use high-end components, so we have fewer problems, and we would need less aftersales service.”


Cheng said Midea would continue to invest in the GCC region. But when asked if the company has plans to open a factory in the Middle East, he said it does not have any at the moment. “We have to look at the right partners and at the policies from the government,” he said. “We have had a discussion on this with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office.


Tariq Al Ghussein, CEO, Taqeef, speaking on Midea’s global growth, said that the very fact that the company has changed its name from Midea CAC to Midea Building Technologies reflects its ambition to provide comprehensive solutions to the building construction industry, including HVAC and elevators, to name two. “They want to supply all the components and software,” he said. “They continue to surprise us with how fast they are moving.”


The V8 features the refrigerant, R-410a, whereas it has R-32 for mini VRF systems. To a question about the possible use of refrigerants other than the two, considering that R-410a has a GWP of 2,088 and is facing calls from certain quarters for its phaseout and that R32 is classified as an A2L refrigerant, owing to its mildly flammable nature, requiring safety in handling, Cheng said Midea is one of the biggest manufacturers in the world and that the company is looking at all possibilities and will need to see the trend. “Different manufacturers are promoting different gases, and there are debates on regulation,” he said. “We will be ready once there is clarity.”


To a question about the global semiconductor crisis, and Midea’s response to dealing with the problem, Cheng said the shortage of chips is a global problem and one that affects all sectors and not just the HVACR sector. “From our perspective, we have learnt that we have to develop strategic partners on key components and to also strengthen our own capability,” he said. “And in China, we have set up our own chip factories in a small scale, and now we are accelerating to a big scale. We will enhance our capability in this area. There are many newcomers, who are planning to manufacture chips, and I think the problem will be solved very soon.”

Johnson Controls appoints new VP and Chief Commercial Officer

CORK, Ireland, 26 May 2022: Johnson Controls (JCI) has named Rodney Clark as Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, effective June 1, 2022. Making the announcement through a Press release, JCI said that in this role, Clark will lead global sales excellence efforts across the company, replacing Chief Commercial Officer, Brian Young, who retired at the end of last year. Clark also will take on a portion of the role being transitioned from Michael Ellis, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer and Digital Officer, who will retire at the end of the year.


“I am excited to welcome a proven, strategic leader such as Rodney to Johnson Controls,” said George Oliver, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls. “As we deliver on growth platforms, such as decarbonization in smart, healthy buildings, Rodney will build on our progress, collaborating with customers on outcome-based solutions and service offerings through OpenBlue, while expanding our market, building scale, capacity and capability.”


According to JCI, Clark most recently held the role of Corporate Vice President of Global Partner Sales and Channel Chief at Microsoft. In this role, Clark led a team responsible for customer and partner relationships, accelerating growth through the Microsoft partner ecosystem, as well as cross-partner strategy and outcomes through the Microsoft partner network, JCI said. Prior to this, he served as the Corporate Vice President of the Internet of Things (IoT) and mixed reality sales, responsible for building intelligent systems and mixed reality capability, through sales and go-to-market execution, JCI said.


Earlier in his career, Clark held other notable roles at Microsoft, including General Manager, Samsung Alliance; General Manager, Global Operations; and General Manager, Small and Medium Business, JCI said. Additionally, he spent eight years at IBM and has held roles throughout his career in strategy, sales, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, and digital transformation. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from California State University, Fresno.


“I’m delighted to be joining Johnson Controls, they have an incredible team that is driving innovative technology that transforms ordinary buildings into dynamic, healthier, safer spaces for all of us to enjoy,” Clark said.” Adding intelligent cloud and intelligent edge solutions to their traditional offerings creates an enormous opportunity and will help customers address their most critical challenges – including the achievement of sustainability targets with agile, flexible and scalable solutions.”

Seeley celebrates its Golden Jubilee

DUBAI, UAE, 25 May 2022: Seeley celebrated its Golden Jubilee at the Marriot Hotel in Dubai, with a welcome speech by Sam Peli, General Manager Sales EMEA, Seeley International and by Sabu Abraham, CEO – Climagulf Trading. Making the announcement through a Press release, Seeley said the two spoke about how Seeley started business in the UAE and how it has enjoyed a successful partnership doing business together for 10 years.


Xavier Delaigue, Sales Manager, then gave an informative speech about Seeley’s supply of 50,000 evaporative coolers, installed in Mina tent city, in Saudi Arabia, a fascinating logistics exercise of 100,000 tents hosting pilgrims travelling yearly to Makkah. Jon Seeley, Group Managing Director, also spoke during the occasion, Seeley said, adding that Frank Seeley AM, Company Founder and Executive Chairman, highlighted the company milestones since Seeley’s foundation, 50 years ago.

Seeley

According to Seeley, the company’s journey began in 1972, when Frank and Kathy Seeley took Seeley Brothers from a sales and marketing business and transformed it into a manufacturing company. Established and sustained by innovation, it is a key factor for Seeley playing a major role in HVAC solutions globally through five decades, the company said.


According to the company, Seeley has grown from humble beginnings into Australia’s largest air conditioning manufacturer and a global leader in designing evaporative cooling products, with award-winning brand names including Breezair, Coolair, Climate Wizard and Coolerado.


Seeley used the occasion of the Golden Jubilee to celebrate a 10-year-long partnership with Climagulf Trading, its official distributor in the UAE. Climagulf, the company said, takes care of distribution of all Seeley’s brands of evaporative cooling products to renowned companies, including DEWA, RTA testing centres, RAK Ceramics, Interplast and Huhtamaki group. During the event, Seeley also showcased some important installations, with testimonials from end users, consultants and specifiers, including guests from the industry and ASHRAE Falcon Chapter members.

Panasonic rebrands its Life Solutions Business

DUBAI, UAE, 22 May 2022: Panasonic Life Solutions Middle East Africa (PLSMEA), a division of Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa FZE (PMMAF) announced that it has changed its name to Panasonic Electric Works Middle East Africa (PEWMEA), as of April 1, 2022.

Making the announcement through a Press release, dated May 22, the company said that with the name change, PEWMEA will focus on realising the vision to devote its resources and activities to elevate the quality of all kinds of spaces, with a special emphasis on smart energy systems and living solutions to support sustainable and smart living. PEWMEA, it said, will lead the regional Energy Systems Business Division, Lighting Business Division, Smart Energy System Business Division and Indoor Air Quality Business Division.

Eiji Ito

According to the company, PEWMEA has been offering living solutions and a wide array of products, such as wiring devices, LED lighting, solar systems, fire alarm systems, home and building automation, ventilation fans, air treatment, air purifiers and air-moving solutions. Upon the company name change, PEWMEA will provide maximum satisfaction to the regional customers working together with partners utilising digital technologies revolving around electrical works in all kinds of living spaces that make up society, including housing, offices, hotels, commercial facilities and sports facilities, the company said.

Announcing the rebranding, Eiji Ito, Managing Director, said: “With solutions centered on electrical equipment and digital technology, we hope to provide a safe and comfortable space where everyone can spend a healthy and lively time. We will continue to update the space following changes in the social environment and lifestyle, and always deliver maximum satisfaction to our customers. With this sentiment, we will continue to work together with our partners to provide ‘human-oriented solutions’ that enable our customers to live their best.”

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.

Daikin to participate in The Hotel Show Dubai

DUBAI, UAE, 20 May 2022: Daikin Middle East and Africa said it is set to showcase its innovative heating solutions of chillers and heat pumps at The Hotel Show Dubai 2022, from May 24 to 26 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Making the announcement through a Press release, Daikin said the solutions are designed to ensure efficiency and optimise energy consumption for the hospitality industry. The solutions will support organisations in the hospitality sector to take one step closer to their sustainability goals, it added.

Traditional methods of producing hot water are undergoing innovations across several western countries, driven by the rise of industry regulations, Daikin said, adding that the trend is also closely materialising in the Middle East. Within the region, the company said, designers are looking into advanced systems for a more efficient way to produce hot water and reduce emissions, in both conventional and non-conventional applications.

As the Middle East is one of the most attractive hospitality markets in the world, The Hotel Show Dubai 2022 provides an ideal platform to showcase its innovative heating solutions to thousands of visitors from across the region while contributing to better sustainability practices within the hospitality industry, it added.

Commenting on Daikin’s participation at the trade show, Paras Adhvaryu, General Manager, Applied Business, Middle East & Africa at Daikin, said: “We are extremely pleased to partner with one of the biggest events for the hospitality sector within the region. Daikin will be showcasing its strong portfolio of innovative next generation of heating solutions at the event, and this is a great opportunity for us to highlight our offerings which are sustainable, cost efficient and reliable with outstanding energy efficiency levels.”

Daikin said it is an Associate Sponsor of the show and will be showcasing its range of advanced chillers and heat pump solutions built for the heating of water through energy optimisation. The company said its team will be available on-site – Stand 1A36 – to take visitors the journey through cutting-edge technologies and solutions tailored to meet the increasing sustainable needs of the hospitality industry.

Daikin said it will also be organising a keynote session to presents its contribution to move the hospitality sector towards carbon net-zero. To be presented by Lorenzo Cipriani, Regional Consulting Sales Manager, Daikin Middle East and Africa, the company said, the keynote will provide interesting insights on contemporary systems that produce hot water while saving energy consumption and reducing emissions for hotels and other companies within the hospitality sector.

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.”

GEA expands semi-hermetic product portfolio

DUESSELDORF, Germany, 17 May 2022: GEA Heating & Refrigeration Technologies said it is expanding its semi-hermetic product portfolio, with two new screw compressor models – the GEA CompaX 350 and 400 – set to be launched in the second quarter of 2022. Making the announcement through a Press release, GEA said it is also launching the GEA Grasso X semi-hermetic screw compressor packages. For the BluX chiller, there will be major technical enhancements and adaptations for optimal implementation to the compressors, it said.

GEA Heating & Refrigeration Technologies is set to launch the CompaX 350 and 400, in the first quarter of 2022

The two models, 350 and 400, with a flow volume of 321 and 372 m³/h (at 2,940 rpm), extend the semi-hermetic screw compressor series from larger to medium and also smaller capacity requirements, the company said.

They combine best efficiencies by using the natural refrigerant, ammonia, a wide, stepless adjustable, variable internal volume ratio and a wide speed range as well as highest safety and reliability through decades of experience in developing screw compressors, the company claimed.

The compact design and the simultaneously high degree of integration also make the CompaX a cost-efficient and space-saving product, the company further claimed.

In the introductory phase, the 350 and 400 models are available as both packages and chillers, the company said. The new Grasso X semi-hermetic screw compressor packages offer maximum flexibility and efficiency with a minimum footprint and overall cost, the company said. Customers can choose between a single version and a multipackage. The multipackage can optionally be configured by the customer with two, three or four identical CompaX 350 or 400 units in parallel arrangement, the company added.

Combined with the wide speed range of each screw compressor, the Grasso X setup provides availability, redundancy and efficiencies at the highest level over nearly the entire full and part load range, the company claimed. Refrigeration capacities range from approximately 200 to 1,900 kW (NH3, -10/+35 °C), it added.

The existing BluX semi-hermetic chiller series is also extended by the new compressors, the company said. The BluX includes all the features and benefits of the unit. The proven, state-of-the-art heat exchanger set completes the product to a compact, highly efficient and safe plug-and-play solution, the company claimed. With refrigerant inlet and outlet temperatures of +12/+6 °C and condensing at ambient temperatures (+35 °C), the BluX capacity range extends from approximately 350 kW cooling capacity with 1x CompaX 350 at 3,000 rpm to circa 1,530 kW with 2x CompaX 400 at 6,000 rpm, the company said. Larger capacities are covered by the GEA BluX with the existing large CompaX 700 and 900 types, it added.

“The compact, safe and reliable products, in combination with their high efficiency, lead to reduced total costs and a most sustainable solution,” said Ron Hoffmann, Product Manager for screw compressors, GEA. In addition, GEA systems require a minimum of maintenance. “We like to convince our customers with the performance and efficiency figures of our machines, Hoffmann said. “We are happy to bring over 50 years of expertise in the development and production of screw compressors to the market with our proven and new products.”

Condair appoints new BDM for Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, 8 May 2022: Humidity control and evaporative cooling company, Condair has appointed Shadi Abdulrahim as its new Business Development Manager for Saudi Arabia. Making the announcement through a Press release, Condair said Shadi has joined Condair as an experienced sales manager in the engineering and construction sectors. Based in Riyadh, he has taken on the responsibility for expanding sales of Condair’s humidifiers, dehumidifiers and evaporative cooling systems across the region, the company added.

Mahmoud Widyan, General Manager, Condair Middle East, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming such an experienced business development manager to our team. For many years, Condair has operated successfully across Saudi through its distributor partners and will continue to do so. This investment in the region will further support and grow sales, and it is an indication of the potential we see in the Saudi market.”

Shadi Abdulrahim

Abdulrahim said: “Condair is a global leader in humidifiers, dehumidifiers and evaporative cooling technologies. I feel very proud to have been given this opportunity to lead Condair’s operations in the region and expand the company’s sales. There has never been a more important time to be working in the building services sector and a greater need to improve our Indoor Air Quality for the benefit of society.

Condair’s products offer enhanced health to building occupants through mitigating airborne viral transmission, as well as improved productivity to manufacturers. I am sure that the comprehensive product range Condair has and the technical expertise from my previous roles will help in achieving our company’s expectations and targets.”

THE GREAT DEBATE

DUBAI, UAE, 27 April 2022: CPI Industry, publishers of Climate Control Middle East magazine, will be hosting ‘The Great Debate: CHW vs VRF systems’. The second edition of the event, to be held on May 30 in Dubai, has captured the imagination of the industry and stoked excitement with its unique, courtroom-styled setting and format.

The first edition, held in 2011, at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi, was a novelty, replete with judge, jury, witness box and fiery advocates arguing with passion and interrogating at will to ascertain the best possible system, all things considered, to deliver affordable, efficient, resource-friendly, safe and reliable comfort cooling in the GCC region.

The Great Debate: CHW vs VRF systems is a revival of the 2011 setting, at a time when proponents of chilled water systems and variable refrigerant flow systems claim to have made substantial progress and achieved greater market penetration. Does the argument, ‘horses for courses’ hold true, or are we missing a point that holds the key to safe, sustainable, affordable and reliable air conditioning?

A key question that probably would settle the swirling dust surrounding chilled water systems and variable refrigerant flow systems is, ‘Where is the data?’ The Great Debate is an attempt at arriving at clarity, at a time when the world is desperately seeking solutions to lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce total cost of ownership and to strengthen Indoor Air Quality interventions.

Whilst The Great Debate will feature technical presentations, the centrepiece of the event will be the unique courtroom setting, post-lunch, designed to host a no-holds-barred discussion on chilled water and variable refrigerant flow systems, with the aim of arriving at clarity on performance data on energy use, reliability, affordability and health & safety, amongst other topics, when the systems are deployed across multiple building profiles.

The conference will feature all the typical furniture and props of a courtroom, with stakeholders assuming the roles of judge, jury, advocates, witnesses (developers, building owners and building owner associations) and courtroom onlookers. The conference will summon proponents and consumers of both approaches to take to the witness box for cross-examination, with ample scope to present their side of the argument, with the aid of audio-visual presentations and any other means they may choose to build a strong case.

“The conference is not an attempt at gimmickry but a serious and earnest exercise to highlight facts with unprecedented clarity,” said Surendar Balakrishnan, Co-Founder & Editorial Director, CPI Industry. “It is expected that the coming together of master developers, developers, building owner associations, consultants, contractors, manufacturers, distributors and sectoral end-users in healthcare, hospitality, aviation, education and malls in a unique courtroom setting would prompt greater insight, leading to lowering of total cost of ownership and greenhouse gas emissions and to improving Indoor Air Quality.”

Key talking points in the courtroom session include:

  • Energy efficiency in multiple building types/energy consumption on an annualised basis; M&V; onsite data harvesting and analysis
  • Sources of energy: Natural Gas, hydrogen, Renewable Energy
  • Water-use optimisation in multiple building types
  • O&M issues (streamlined maintenance protocols)
  • Refrigerants and occupant safety
  • Cooling towers and human health
  • Environmental impact (atmosphere, soil, water); net-zero-building aspirations
  • Comfort cooling: reliability of cooling (last-mile guarantee), zoned cooling and heating, simultaneous cooling and heating
  • Cost of installation, broad capex considerations
  • Total cost of ownership
  • Aftermarket service – including installation training, mentorship, support, supervision, spare parts – provided as a standard business practice by all manufacturers and suppliers
  • Need for an international standard that provides standardised technical detail for minimum expected performance
  • Regulation: MEPS and their impact on governing the performance of HVAC equipment and their interaction with other building assets in ensuring better building performance
  • Smart cities and digital intervention

– ENDS –

 

For more details, contact:

Namrata Aswani

Strategic Public Affairs Liaison & Events Manager, CPI Industry

E: namrata@cpi-industry.com

M: +971 50 55 22 461

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.

Ziehl-Abegg reports record sales of 716 million euros

KÜNZELSAU, Germany, 31 March 2022: Ziehl-Abegg reported record sales of 716 million euros in 2021, compared to 639 million euros in 2020. Making the announcement through a Press release, the manufacturer of electric motors and fans said the figure posted in 2021 represented a growth of 11.9%. 

The PCB manufacturing process at Ziehl-Abegg is an example of vertical integration at the company. Evelin Fazekas assembles a PCB for an EC motor

Peter Fenkl, CEO, Ziehl-Abegg, describing 2021, said, “In view of the problems with global supply chains, we took a cautious approach at times and, ultimately, managed to do pretty well in terms of sales.”

The company said it was equally heartening that the number of employees worldwide rose to 4,700, compared to 4,300 in 2020. 

Fenkl described the earnings situation as “more than difficult”, as the supply chain problems not only had an impact on delivery times but on pricing, as well. “Some suppliers had already increased prices so quickly towards the end of 2020 and then repeatedly in 2021 that we were unable to pass these on to the market on a 1:1 basis,” he said.

Based on the experience in the first quarter, the manager knows that this situation will become more acute in the current year. “I’ve never experienced anything like this before,” Fenkl said. It is relevant to highlight that Fenkl has been at the helm of the family-owned business for more than 20 years. 

Ziehl-Abegg said it is regarded as a company with a high level of vertical integration. “We now want to expand this even further,” Fenkl said. However, growth at the headquarters in Hohenlohe is problematical, as there is a serious shortage in the availability of the necessary additional workers there, the company said.

The intention, therefore, is to expand existing production facilities and establish new production sites, it added. Fenkl said: “Additional production sites will bring us closer to our customers.” 

Thomas Späth assembles a fan at the Ziehl-Abegg production site in southern Germany

The company said the 11.9% growth in sales last year provides a good base for further growth. Ventilation systems were the sales driver in the year just past, contributing EUR 637 million to the overall result, the company said.

Fenkl said he held no illusions about the challenges that lie ahead. “Work shifts are currently being repeatedly cancelled because of a lack of components – how can you realistically plan and how are you supposed to satisfy your customers?” he said.  

Ziehl-Abegg employs 2,600 people in Germany, 200 more than a year ago. The number of employees worldwide rose from 4,300 to 4,700. Since employees of the baby boom era in Germany are now increasingly reaching retirement age, this is having a direct impact on the available workforce potential. “Companies must, therefore, openly target Generation Z, the post-millennials,” Fenkl said. “We mustn’t persist with old ways of thinking but instead take the wishes and needs of young people seriously.” 

Multi-Wing releases fan specification App

BURTON, Ohio, 29 March 2022: Multi-Wing America said it has released its OPTIMISER 11 Fan Specification App. Making the announcement through a Press release, the company said the OPTIMISER 11 is an easy-to-use resource for original equipment engineers to specify the most efficient, tailor-made Multi-Wing fan for their application. It is ideal for specifying fans in HVACR as well as engine cooling in off-highway equipment and gensets, the company added.

The OPTIMISER 11 features an intuitive interface that more efficiently accesses essential fan curve data, such as horsepower and sound information for select static pressure and cubic feet per minute (cfm) data, the company claimed. In addition, users have more flexibility to modify their dashboard, including data preferences and color selection for customized visual display of fan performance curves, the company said.

“This app allows our customers to identify the most optimized and efficient customized fan for their equipment,” said Larry Marsinek, Sales Engineer, Multi-Wing America. “Its improved user interface provides efficient display of important data on sound, total efficiency and performance curves that engineers need to develop the best fan specification.”

According to the company, the previous version of the OPTIMISER App will not be updated with the newest fan information. The basic version of OPTIMISER 11, it said, is available to everyone to download by visiting www.multi-wing.net/optimiser.

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. 

Danfoss implements planned generational shift in ownership

NORDBORG, Denmark, 23 March 2022: Former Danfoss CEO, Jørgen Mads Clausen has informed the Board of Directors that he will resign as Chairman of the Board of Danfoss A/S with effect from the Annual General Meeting to be held on March 25, 2022. Making the announcement through a Press release, Danfoss said Clausen will remain a member of the Board of Directors until the Annual General Meeting on March 25, when his current term expires.

According to Danfoss, the Board has nominated current Vice Chairman, Jens Bjerg Sørensen to succeed Clausen as Chairman of the Board after the Annual General Meeting.

Clausen said: “Danfoss is now a stronger, bigger and more global company, but also one with a clear goal of contributing to the green transition and combatting climate change with our energy-efficient products and solutions. This is a result of our business strategy, which is now being updated with an ambitious sustainability strategy. It has been a pleasure to safeguard my parents’ life work for the benefit of Southern Jutland, Denmark and the world. Now it’s time for the next generation to take the lead. The timing is right for me.”

According to Danfoss, Clausen was CEO of the company from 1996 to 2008 and Chairman of the Board since the 2009 Annual General Meeting. Despite stepping down from the Board, he intends to maintain his strong commitment to Danfoss, the company said. This follows the tradition that started with Bitten Clausen, who was one of the world’s first female board chairs from 1966 to 1971 and, later, Danfoss’ Vice Chair until 1989, the company added.

Clausen said: “I will continue to be available to the company and represent the family to employees and business associates. But both my siblings and my wife and I are delighted that the third generation of the family is showing their commitment to Danfoss by taking on greater responsibility. At the same time, we couldn’t ask for a better chairman than Jens Bjerg Sørensen. Jens has the right skills, experience and understanding of Danfoss and our culture. He can take Danfoss to new levels, together with the rest of the Board, management and our employees.”

Sørensen said: “I am honored to be nominated as the new Chairman of the Board. Danfoss has an impressive history. The foundation based long-term ownership and the family’s strong values are one of the main reasons why Danfoss now has a decisive influence on whether the world succeeds in the green transition. Danfoss is financially stronger than ever and has developed significantly during Jørgen’s time as Chairman. As Vice Chairman, I have followed the close collaboration between Jørgen and Danfoss’ CEO, Kim Fausing, which I consider crucial to Danfoss’ success. I intend to maintain this together with the new Board of Directors.”

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.”

Eurovent Middle East holds annual meeting

DUBAI, UAE, 22 March 2022: HVACR association, Eurovent Middle East conducted its annual meeting on March 22 in Dubai. It re-elected into office Tariq Al Ghussein, Chairman and CEO, Taqeef, as President; and Rafael Van Eijcken, General Manager, Baltimore Aircoil Middle East, as Vice President, during the meeting.

It also introduced three new members to the Board – Marco Duarte, who takes office as Managing Director, ebm-papst Middle East from April 1, 2022; Matteo Zanesco, Managing Director, CAREL Middle East; and Ismail Serhan Ozten, Business Development and Technical Support Director – TMA region, Danfoss.

Markus Lattner

The other members of the Board are: Andrea Cavalet, General Manager, Epta Middle East; Dani Elamana, Technical Director, Camfil Middle East; Frank Taaning Grundholm, VP – Global HVACR Sales, ABB; Morten Schmelzer, Head of Public Affairs, Systemair; and Rangan Srinivasan, Director of Marketing and Product Management, Rheem MEA

Markus Lattner, Managing Director, Eurovent Middle East, said the meeting represented a happy occasion, as the association was able to bring together members for an in-person event for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic. In all, 40 representatives gathered for the meeting, which Lattner said shows everybody is eager to get back to physical interaction.

The meeting, he said, was an opportunity to analyse the association’s activities and was a validation of the fact that it had weathered the pandemic with resilience. The association is celebrating its fifth anniversary later in the year. Lattner pointed out that of the five years, two years were under the shadow of the pandemic and that it was commendable that the members showed their support to keep the momentum alive. “The purpose to fulfil the needs of the marker is answered with such interest, and it gives us confidence that we have reason to be here,” Lattner said.

He said there was much to look forward to in the course of the year. Eurovent Middle East, he said, will soon introduce new interesting projects to the public. “We are planning to have our industry summit in September,” he said. “It will take place under the theme: ‘HVACR next gen: Rethinking policies and strategies’.”

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.

 

 

French transport refrigeration rental company aims for UAE market-share

DUBAI, UAE, 7 March 2022: French transport refrigeration rental company, Petit Forestier, announced its intention of garnering market share in the UAE’s food cold chain sector.

Speaking to Climate Control Middle East, Petit Forestier, which also manufactures its refrigerated boxes, pointed out that its entire fleet of vehicles is ATP-certified, which enhances food safety, and ensures a low carbon footprint and cost-savings for the customer. ATP stands for “Accord Transport Perissable” (Agreement on the International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuffs and on the Special Equipment to be Used for such Carriage). It comes under the purview of the Transport Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Stanislas Przyklang du Chassin

Stanislas Przyklang du Chassin, its Managing Director for UAE operations, highlighted that the company is the first to supply ATP-certified boxes in the UAE. “We are trying to push everybody and explain to everybody that it is really important for food safety that we install these here,” he said. “These boxes are between 900 kilograms and one ton lighter than locally available boxes.

Imagine how green they are. Lighter means they consume less petrol – the fuel consumption is 20-30% less than locally available boxes – which means lower CO2 emissions. So, we are working on the cold safety and the green side of the vehicle.”

Przyklang du Chassin admitted that ATP-certified boxes are 25-30% more expensive that locally available boxes. However, when all aspects are considered, they would guarantee greater cost savings for clients. “Yes, the cost of purchasing is higher, but at the end, the vehicle is one ton lighter, which means we can save 20-30% on fuel costs,” he said. “We have customers who are doing one petrol tank per day, which means they get their money back in one year. Also, a lighter vehicle means you don’t have to replace your brakes that often, which will mean a reduced cost of maintenance.”

Dimitri Doinet

Petit Forestier, which has factories in France and Poland, manufactures 7,000 insulated boxes a year. It said it is the only rental company that has an innovation department, working every day to find solutions related to green transportation and food safety. Dimitri Doinet, its Sales Director, said innovation is a key strength of the company.

Pointing to the vehicles, he highlighted the use of fewer metallic parts in the chassis, which make them lighter and, hence, more fuel efficient. He also highlighted that the insulation of the boxes is six centimetres in thickness, as compared to 10 centimetres in boxes available in the country. This, he said, allows for carrying more foodstuffs per load. He further highlighted the use of door sensors, which cut off the cold units on opening the doors of the truck, thus preventing exposure to hot ambient conditions.

From a food safety perspective, Doinet pointed to the use of unique antimicrobial air strips for preventing the ingress of hot ambient air to the vehicle. This, he said, was only the beginning, though. Adding to this, Przyklang du Chassin said the company offers vehicles fitted with mechanical air curtains, They are currently available only in Europe, though. He said customers are happy with the innovation, for they do not have an obstruction while entering the vehicle.

Przyklang du Chassin said the company would eventually offer air curtains in vehicles in the UAE. “This is something we have to test,” he said. “We have plans of bringing them here in the next five years.”

Speaking on the rental model of the business, Przyklang du Chassin said the company was proposing renting its vehicles for 5-6 years, during which it would offer commitment to the customer to manage every aspect of the assets. That way, he said, the customer would know that cold safety is respected. Petit Forestier, he said, offers a full complement of aftermarket services, including maintenance, repair and replacement.

Speaking on the speed of service and reaction time, Przyklang du Chassin said the company has the ability to give a replacement vehicle within a short duration. “If the client has any issue on the road, we can give a replacement vehicle in 20-30 minutes, so as to be able to continue delivering perishable foodstuffs,” he said. “With refrigerated vehicles, if you have a breakdown, you can lose everything, especially here. So, we have developed a full service to replace vehicles very quickly.”

Danfoss: ‘A year above expectations’

NORDBORG, Denmark, 3 March 2022: Danfoss reported an increase in sales by 29% to EUR 7.5 billion in 2021. Making the announcement through a Press release, Danfoss described the performance as a record sales level.

The company said organic growth reached 18% year-over-year. The five-month period of ownership of Eaton’s hydraulics business added EUR 786 million to the top-line, the company said, adding that it delivered extensive growth in all regions. Investments in innovation (R&D) increased 23% to EUR 328 million, the company said. At the same time, it said, operating profits reached the highest level ever, with EBITA of EUR 969 million and EBITA margin of 12.8%. Net profit reached EUR 631 million, up 45%, it added.

Kim Fausing

“We have never seen better opportunities for Danfoss,” said Kim Fausing, President & CEO, Danfoss. “It is our ambition to be the leading technology partner for our customers in the green transition – decarbonising through energy efficiency, low emissions, and electrification. After all, the greenest energy is the energy that we don’t use.

Our momentum is clearly reflected in our 2021 annual results. Danfoss has delivered the best results in our history, and we are in a strong financial position.

“What makes me most proud is how our teams continue to deal with the pandemic and the significant challenges with the supply chain while delivering a transformational, record year. Unfortunately, these considerable challenges affected our customer service.

In addition, all three segments were affected by inflationary pressure. We will continue to do everything we can to serve our customers, and we will continue our high investments in capacity expansion, innovation and digitalisation of Danfoss.”

Danfoss said it assumes a positive outlook in the market in 2022, with a continued ambition to expand or maintain market share. The outlook includes a full year ownership of Eaton’s hydraulics business, it said. Sales are expected to be in the range of EUR 8.8-9.8bn for the full year, it said. The EBITA margin is expected to be in the range of 11.4-12.9%, following continued investments in the development of new products and solutions, it said.

The expected growth and profitability performance is dependent on the development of the pandemic, the global supply chain disruptions as well as the continuation of the current strong growth rates in the world economy, it added.

Regarding the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the company said its first priority is to keep its people safe. We are monitoring the situation carefully and will act accordingly.

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.  

AprilAire, Airthings announce IAQ-related strategic partnership at AHR Expo

LAS VEGAS, Nevada, 31 January 2022: AprilAire, which supplies Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) solutions for the home, announced a strategic partnership with Airthings, a global technology company that produces IAQ monitors for radon and other dangerous airborne contaminants that impact overall health and wellness.

Making the announcement through a joint Press release, the two companies said the partnership is rooted in addressing a common issue for homeowners everywhere: People spend more than 90% of their time indoors, but most are unaware of their home’s IAQ – and when they identify a problem, they typically do not have the knowledge and expertise to remedy the situation effectively.

The new AprilAire and Airthings partnership, the companies said, is a ground-breaking, full circle integration that combines detection, education and mitigation to offer contractors an intelligent air quality solution tailored specifically to their customer’s lifestyle and living environment.  

Airthings’ monitors help people learn about their IAQ and identify problems utilizing the brand’s line of smart air quality sensors to intelligently monitor conditions in the home, the two companies said. AprilAire helps solve air quality problems with the AprilAire Healthy Air System and the complete line of whole-home healthy air solutions and nationwide network of top HVAC experts trained to install them, the companies added.  

In partnership, the brands will now provide consumers with a one-stop shop, combining the best in radon and air quality monitoring with the best solutions to manage air purity, humidity, fresh air supply, radon mitigation and temperature, the two companies claimed.

“We are proud to partner with Airthings, a company whose purpose so closely aligns with our own of making homes healthy,” said Dale Philippi, President and CEO, AprilAire. “Together, we will increase awareness of the impact the air we breathe in our homes has on our health and wellbeing and the availability of effective professional solutions to deliver healthy air. Working with Airthings, our network of healthy air experts will be better able to tailor solutions to address homeowner concerns.”  

Airthings will integrate its flagship air quality monitor, View Plus, as a core component of the AprilAire partnership solution, the two companies said. View Plus, launched in 2021, is a comprehensive and advanced consumer air quality monitor on the market, tracking seven air quality components, including particulate matter, CO2 and radon, the companies claimed. AprilAire recently added Radon Mitigation Systems to its healthy air solutions portfolio to control radon, the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers, the companies said.

Equipped with hub functionality, View Plus will enable HVAC professionals to remotely monitor air quality in the homes they service while also providing full air quality visibility to the homeowners themselves, the companies said. When problems arise, the professional receives automatic notifications and can take immediate mitigation actions, the companies said. The newly formed alliance between AprilAire and Airthings will help consumers access information on their air quality with more clarity, and expert consultation than ever before, enabling them to make informed decisions, the companies added.  

Oyvind Birkenes, CEO, Airthings, said: “Our new partnership with AprilAire helps consumers navigate complex decisions in a convenient way. Indoor air quality can be a real threat to our health and well-being, which is why proactive monitoring is essential. However, when problems arise, the next steps can seem daunting. By teaming up with AprilAire, our hope is that when people encounter indoor air quality issues, they’ll turn to us to evaluate the situation, diagnose the problem, and develop recommendations and solutions to mitigate the situation if necessary – providing peace of mind to people everywhere.”

Airius launches new BACnet MS/TP fan controller

LAS VEGAS, Nevada, 31 January 2022: Colorado-based Airius, focused on air movement and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), announced the release of its new BACnet MS/TP destratification fan controller during the 2022 AHR Expo. The company made the announcement through a Press release.

“With our BACnet fan control integrated into your network, you can take better control of your building’s stratification issues, save money and improve building comfort by achieving the operational excellence you desire,” said Christian Avedon, Director of Sales & Marketing, Airius. “By providing improved control and monitoring, our new fan controller empowers you to command your facilities and provide a more consistent and comfortable environment.”

According to Airius, the destratification fan controller provides individual Airius fan control and status integration over the BACnet MS/TP network. Up to 63 fans can be connected per MS/TP network, and multiple networks can be created for integration of hundreds of fans, the company said. The new controller is easy to configure and install, with no software needed, enabling building owners and facility managers to monitor their Airius fan system, reduce their energy consumption and improve the comfort of their buildings, the company added.

According to Airius, additional features of the new controller include:

On/off, fan speed control and revolutions-per-minute (RPM) monitoring

Compatibility with electronically commutated (EC) motors

UL-accepted for use in plenum, NEMA 1-enclosed housing

Easy system addressing and baud rate changes through dual inline package (DIP) switch settings

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.

World Refrigeration Day: Industry must break silos to reach public

Las Vegas, Nevada, 19 January 2022: Refrigeration and air conditioning are essential to modern life, yet most people are unaware of the technology behind cooling, partially from the RAC industry not reaching out to the public with coordinated messaging.

A free educational session, organized by World Refrigeration Day (WRD), ASHRAE and UNEP OzonAction at the 2022 AHR Expo in Las Vegas is aimed at encouraging the RAC industry to share messaging resources and to better engage with consumers, policy makers and young people. “Breaking Down RAC Industry Silos” will take place on Tuesday, February 1, from 11am to Noon, PST, Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N238/240, WRD said through a Press release.

Despite the increased number of policies, standards and codes related to RAC industry, there is still significant lack of attention and understanding of the importance of the RAC sectors by governments, end-users, and public, WRD said. Issues like refrigerant transition, emissions reduction and maximizing energy efficiency have been addressed over the last couple of decades by most governments mainly due to relevant global policies and binding frameworks, WRD said. However, the sector’s contribution to human welfare and our modern lifestyle goes beyond those topics and needs to be acknowledged and adequately considered by different groups from outside RAC community, WRD added.

World Refrigeration Day is a platform that all in the RAC industry can use to raise the industry’s profile, WRD said. Examples of how that platform is breaking down industry silos in outreach efforts will be presented by past WRD global campaign partners – ASHRAE, UNEP, IIR, EPEE, GFCCC, FAIAR, ISHRAE, and U-3ARC.

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.

Enaqua management buys the company from Grundfos

SAN DIEGO, California, 4 January 2022: Grundfos and Enaqua management announced that the parties have signed an agreement for the Enaqua management team to acquire 100% of the shares of Enaqua. Making the announcement through a Press release, Grundfos said the transaction is expected to close within a short time. The acquisition represents a key opportunity for Enaqua management to leverage the company’s expertise to strengthen its technology portfolio focused on UV water treatment, the release said.

“This acquisition is an exciting step in our journey,” said Mark Wilke, Co-CEO, Enaqua. “This will allow us to continue to offer our customers the best available technology for their water treatment applications. We look forward to further strengthening our product portfolio and services, with all our customers in mind,” Rick McIntyre, Co-CEO, Enaqua, added: “We are excited to (be able to) continue providing our customers with the State-of-the-Art UV Disinfection solutions that Enaqua has been known for throughout our long history.”

According to the release, Enaqua holds experience in UV water treatment for municipal wastewater disinfection and process water treatment, including food and aquaculture as well as re-use applications.

“We have great respect for the Enaqua team, which has been doing a great job within their market,” says Grundfos Group Vice President, Tommy Due Høy. “Enaqua has a proven track record in their niche focus market of UV water treatment solutions, and we believe that Enaqua will be able to better fulfil its potential under a different ownership. We are pleased to have a buyer who will be able to nurture, strengthen and develop Enaqua.”

Armstrong promotes Mike Fischer to Global Commercial Director

TORONTO, Canada, 20 December 2021: Armstrong Fluid Technology said that Mike Fischer has been promoted to Commercial Director, Global Building Business, reporting directly to the CEO, Todd Rief.

Making the announcement through a Press release, the company said Fischer joined Armstrong in 2020 as the Commercial Director for the USA and Latin America, bringing over 30 years of experience from his work with Honeywell, Johnson Controls and Siemens.

Immediately prior to joining Armstrong, he was Vice President, Global Service Sales at Honeywell Building Solutions, where he led a global sales team responsible for selling software and services, it added.

At Honeywell, Fischer also led the Global Sales Excellence Team for Honeywell’s Building Products Business, where he introduced a disciplined sales operating system, including new sales tools and training, the company said.

In Armstrong’s global sales leadership role, Fischer will be responsible for executing Armstrong’s global strategy, enabling the sales organization to achieve both order and revenue growth targets, it added.

Fischer, it said, has an MBA from Texas Christian University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University.

Chris Markert, the company said, is taking on the role of Commercial Director, USA. It described Markert as a highly experienced business executive with a 30-year career of extensive global management and sales experience in the HVACR industry. His business experience, it said, includes senior management positions with Honeywell International and Johnson Controls, where he had responsibility for major business units in North America, Latin America and the Asia Pacific region.

Markert, the company said, had also owned and operated an HVACR contracting and service company, as well as an Internet start-up focused on technology for the HVACR industry. Immediately prior to joining Armstrong, the company said, Markert served as Director of North America Service Sales with Honeywell, managing five regions. Markert, it said, holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

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.

ASHRAE addresses climate change solutions at COP26

ATLANTA, Georgia, 11 November 2021: ASHRAE addressed climate change solutions at the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, held from October 31 to November 12.

ASHRAE said it formally participated as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and an official COP observer. The United Nations granted permission for select organizations to participate in COP26 activities.

More than 60 of the largest and most influential international architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, planning and construction firms, along with two dozen organizations representing over one million building industry professionals worldwide, issued a Communiqué to government leaders headed to COP26 challenging them to step up their emissions reduction targets for the built-environment. The firms and organizations are signatories of the 1.5°C COP26 Communiqué — an open letter to sovereign governments demonstrating the firms’ and organizations’ commitment to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C carbon budget and demanding governments do the same.

ASHRAE said its focus at COP26 was to emphasize the importance of the building community’s participation in addressing the climate crisis. Architecture 2030 and ASHRAE hosted a COP26 Official Side Event on November 10, featuring the 1.5°C COP26 Communiqué and its signatories. The event, titled ‘65% by 2030 / ZERO by 2040: Top 200 Global Firms and Organizations Lead With 1.5°C Climate Actions’, highlighted ways in which the signatories are responding to the urgency of the climate crisis and specific actions to decarbonize the built world and meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C carbon budget.

At the side event, 2021-22 ASHRAE Treasurer, Ginger Scoggins, highlighted the world’s growing building stock and the role of built-environment organizations, such as ASHRAE, in assisting both policymakers and industry leaders in better understanding their impact on our climate change solutions.

“ASHRAE signed onto the 1.5°C COP26 Communiqué, and we are here today because engineers and scientists involved with HVACR and building systems have been, and will continue to be, advancing solutions to address climate change,” Scoggins said. “We are here, because we recognize that the built-environment is a key source contributing to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and with the building stock continuing to expand and doubling by 2050, solutions from the buildings community is ever more critical.”

Additionally, Scoggins spoke about the credibility of ASHRAE’s technical resources and global standing in the development of consensus-based standards. “ASHRAE’s flagship Energy Conservation Standard 90.1 is the benchmark for commercial building energy codes in the United States and has been a key basis for codes and standards around the world for more than 45 years, reducing energy consumption by 50%, yet only 38 countries have specifically named building standards and codes in their Nationally Determined Contributions,” Scoggins said. “Many of the countries where the building stock is expected to grow do not require energy standards for buildings. ASHRAE signed the buildings industry’s communique, and we are ready to help policy makers and the buildings industry around the world transform our building stock into one that is sustainable, resilient, and healthy. We are here to be part of the solution and we are up to the challenge.”

In a separate statement, 2021-21 ASHRAE President Mick Schwedler, commented on ASHRAE’s participation at COP26 and shared additional ways that the Society is addressing climate change. “ASHRAE’s climate action efforts exemplify the Society’s core dedication to engineering excellence in environmental stewardship,” Schwedler said. “The ASHRAE Global Headquarters building renovation project demonstrates that existing buildings can be transformed into net-zero-energy structures cost-effectively, using current, off-the shelf technologies. Our Advanced Energy Design Guides, developed with our partners, provide zero energy K-12 schools and office buildings guides to equip designers in achieving zero energy and significantly reducing carbon. ASHRAE is proud to work with other world leaders to not only raise awareness of the issues surrounding climate change, but collectively seek to redefine the built environment for the times and continually explore what is possible through industry leading innovation.”

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.

DriSteem introduces Buyer’s Guide

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minnesota, 17 August 2021: DRI-STEEM Corporation, manufacturer of humidification, evaporative cooling and water treatment products, announced the  introduction of a new buyer’s guide focused on humidification for electronics manufacturing.

DriSteem said it knows the importance of maintaining the appropriate humidity level within electronics manufacturing facilities, as proper relative humidity (RH) levels between 30% and 70% can significantly help decrease damage and stress to electronic components. When humidity levels are greater than 70%, corrosion can become an issue, the company said. In a controlled environment, manufacturers experience a reduction of electrostatic discharge, fewer brittle components, and fewer issues with soldering and de-soldering; they as well are able to create a safe environment for staff, the company added.

“This specific buyer’s guide is positioned to educate facility directors at electronics manufacturing plants about the importance of maintaining proper humidity to not only protect the products they are developing but to also keep workers safe and healthy,” said Randall Potter, Business Development Leader, DriSteem. “Many facility directors have expressed a need for educational materials and meetings. This buyers guide is an easily accessible way to help educate building management about the importance of humidity and how best to manage it throughout a facility.”

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

Ziehl-Abegg invests €36 mn in expanding its facilities

KÜNZELSAU, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, 4 August 2021: “The world’s markets will continue to need high-quality electric motors and fans in the future,” said Peter Fenkl, CEO, Ziehl-Abegg, explaining why the company invested €16 million euros in the expansion of its production buildings at the Kupferzell site in the middle of the pandemic. This, he added, will be followed by a further €20 million for machinery. Dr Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister of Economic Affairs, Baden-Württemberg, added: “With the new building, the company is further expanding its high degree of vertical manufacture and the resilience of the supply chains here at the site, whilst also securing valuable jobs both within and beyond the region.”

Peter Fenkl shows Dr Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut how fans for data centres and hospitals are assembled

Fenkl described how, in the early summer of 2020, many economic decision-makers were in shock due to the pandemic. “No-one knew what was coming next – and that’s when we started our current construction project,” he recalled. “The year 2020 resembled a rollercoaster ride – rapidly alternating between border closures, interruptions to material supplies, falling sales and rising orders. Thanks to the commitment of each and every one of the employees, the company still succeeded in posting an increase in sales at the end of the year – followed by an order intake that exceeded all previous records.”

Referring to the new building, he said, “So we’re now glad that we’ve already created more space for rapid growth.” New machines and systems that had already been ordered in spring 2020, will be arriving on a weekly basis, he said, adding that the building is also intended to create an additional 180 jobs.

The new building will result in an additional 8,700 square metres for manufacturing state-of-the-art generation of energy-efficient electric motors, the company said. “The durable and efficient electric motor has been our core area of expertise for more than 100 years,” Fenkl said, adding that the company is a technology leader in the design of fans based on the concept of biomimetics. “However, since many geometries offering perfect aerodynamics cannot be implemented in steel or aluminum, we are expanding the area of composite materials,” he said. “It is essential for us to have more space for additional injection-moulding machines for composite materials.”

Ziehl-Abegg, he said, is expanding its production facilities worldwide or optimising existing plants – in Schöntal-Bieringen, where the aluminium casting operation is based, and in America and Asia. “Corona,” he said, “has shown that we have to consider very carefully how we can design our production facilities in a way that enables us to satisfy the needs of the market to optimum effect.”

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.

 

GrayWolf announces introducing smart IAQ and toxic gas probes

SHELTON, Connecticut, 12 July 2021: GrayWolf’s DirectSense II probes will now connect via Bluetooth LE wireless to Apple and Android devices, the company announced through a Press release.

GrayWolf said it DSII probes for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and toxic gas testing and monitoring will imminently have Apps for iOS and Android operating systems available free on the Apple and Google App stores. It added that it is possible to use a smartphone or tablet as a multi-parameter display or data-logger.

The company said that users can choose from over 25 smart IAQ, green building, industrial hygiene and HVAC sensors, including TVOCs (PID), Carbon Dioxide (NDIR), Ozone (electrochemical), CO, NO2, NH3, SO2, NO, Cl2, H2S, HCN, HCl, O2, H2, %RH and °C/°F. Each probe, the company said, accommodates from two up to eight true plug-and-play sensors into a single handheld, desktop or wall-mounted housing. The sensors offer low limits of detection and exceptional accuracy, the company claimed, adding that the CO2 sensor, for example, leads the IAQ industry at +/-35ppm over the key range, starting from 350ppm to 2000ppm (while +/-3% of reading above that up to 10,000ppm for CO2 toxic exposure use).

As monitoring IAQ parameters is a core application for GrayWolf, extensive development effort was put into assuring that the sensor smartboards would not introduce noise or degrade accuracy, stability or limits of detection (LODs) for the convenience of end-user swappable sensors, the company said. Other manufacturers, it pointed out, have prioritized convenience over performance.

Baltimore Aircoil Company acquires Eurocoil SPA

HEIST-OP-DEN-BERG, Belgium, 2 July 2021: Baltimore Aircoil Company (BAC) acquired Italy-based Eurocoil SPA. Making the announcement through a Press release, BAC said Eurocoil is a leading manufacturer of heat exchangers serving the European commercial and refrigeration industries.

BAC said the addition of Eurocoil increases its manufacturing capacity in the region, while adding additional heat exchanger capabilities used for BAC’s existing evaporative hybrid and adiabatic cooling products.

Don Fetzer, President, BAC, said: “We’re excited to welcome Eurocoil to the Baltimore Aircoil Company family. The acquisition of Eurocoil and our previous investment in Coil Design Corp., in North America, positions BAC to accelerate the development of industry-leading evaporative hybrid and adiabatic technologies, furthering our vision to reinvent cooling to sustain the world.”

David Jacobs, Vice President and Managing Director (EMEIA region), BAC, said: “Eurocoil is an excellent organization composed of quality people and industry experts. They have a history of providing exceptional products and services to their customers, which matches extremely well to the BAC strengths and culture. We welcome all of the Eurocoil employees to The Baltimore Aircoil Company and are excited to be working with them on a successful future together.”

‘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)

Epta: ‘Possible to replace HCFC, HFC refrigerants with transcritical CO2 anywhere in the world’

MILAN, Italy, 29 June 2021: Increasingly stringent international regulations are driving a massive transformation in the world of commercial refrigeration – at a European level with the F-gas Regulation and internationally with the Kigali Amendment, commercial refrigeration manufacturer, Epta said through a Press release.

The company said it has already achieved important milestones in the technological development of HFC-free solutions. It added that its Life-C4R (Carbon 4 Retail) Refrigeration project, co-financed by the European Union, confirms the benefits of a natural approach.

Francesco Mastrapasqua, the company’s Institutional Affairs Manager, said: “The three-year Life-C4R – Carbon 4 Retail Refrigeration project was created to sensitise the scientific community, the component suppliers and the retail world’s key players in the use of increasingly efficient solutions. One of the goals is demonstrating how HCFC and HFC refrigerants can be completely replaced with transcritical CO2, anywhere in the world.”

The patented FTE 2.0 Full Transcritical Efficiency and ETE Extreme Temperature Efficiency systems, Epta said, are recognised by the EU as simple and efficient systems and are at the very core of the Life-C4R. “The Life-C4R Plan is essential in validating the FTE and ETE performance in all climatic conditions, in promoting their international diffusion and in certifying both as global and reliable solutions for the future of commercial CO2 refrigeration,” Mastrapasqua said. “The data analysis of the three Italian pilot projects and four replica prototypes in Romania and Spain, installed in collaboration with Epta Iberia and DAAS, will be presented during the Life-C4R Project digital conference, scheduled for July 1.”

The event will be an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge on the plan’s innovations, lessons learnt and the advantages of the FTE 2.0 and ETE technologies, using the results collected in store by retailers, Epta said, adding that those interested in attending the conference could do so by registering at https://blog.eptarefrigeration.com/en/life-c4r.

FTE 2.0, Epta said, represents the evolution of its patented FTE Full Transcritical Efficiency system. It is recommended at any temperature and is, therefore, a must for obtaining maximum efficiency above 37 degrees C, it said. Simple, efficient, reliable and industrialised, FTE uses flooded evaporators, it said. They allow for the difference between the evaporation temperature and the cabinet’s internal temperature to be significantly reduced and, therefore, for an energy consumption 10% lower than a traditional CO2 system, it claimed.

This is a simple solution, the company said, where it has mechanically added only a multilevel liquid receiver to the standard configuration. On the one hand, FTE reduces the compressors’ discharge temperature, allowing for smooth functioning at high temperatures, it said. On the other hand, it guarantees their perfect lubrication, favouring a longer life cycle of the component itself, it said. FTE also guarantees up to 20% lower installation and maintenance costs, it added. Finally, the FTE 2.0 version, which is integrated into the rack, takes up less space and reduces installation and start-up times, it further added.

The ETE, Epta said, allows for 100% cooling capacity to be reached even in the hottest climates, both in industrial and commercial refrigeration applications. Recommended at temperatures between 30 degrees C and 40 degrees C, it guarantees maximum savings over 40 degrees C, also in combination with FTE, the company claimed. In this case, the transcritical CO2 system is guaranteed to work perfectly at any latitude, even on non-booster systems and in industrial refrigeration, it said. ETE’s “secret” is contained in the refrigerant temperatures’ reduction before its distribution to end users, it said. As it leaves the air exchanger at a value close to the ambient temperature, the gas is further cooled, it said. The system, it added, allows for an almost total disappearance of “flash-gas”, creating significant energy savings over time and smooth functioning even well above 40 degrees C.

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.

Camfil donates air purifiers to Pertini

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 15th June 2021: Camfil Italy in Cinisello Balsamo donated air purifiers to the municipality for the Il Pertini Cultural Center, Camfil said through a Press release, adding that it was a gesture of generosity and attention to the city, in which it has been operating for the last 46 years. The air purifiers, the company said, have been placed in the study room in one of the buildings, which has become an important step as many young students and professionals spend hours studying there.

Following an inspection, Camfil proposed the installation of three air purifiers in the study room. The clean air solutions, capable of purifying the air from pollen, bacteria, viruses, particulate matter, ozone, chemicals and other harmful contaminants, are also the same adopted by the French and Spanish regional authorities in the canteens, laboratories, and study rooms of their schools, Camfil said. Silent and with very low energy consumption, the City M air purification systems will guarantee about 16 changes per day of purified air, thanks to HEPA H14 filters, with a certified filtration efficiency of 99.995% even on the smallest particles in the air, it added.

Luciano Rogato, Managing Director, Camfil Italy, said: “We are humbled to have donated three air purifiers to the reading room of the Pertini Cultural Center, which plays a central role in promoting culture, socialization, and creativity in the Cinisello Balsamo community. It is an important contribution, as the local communities and public places have remained under strict restrictions due to the pandemic. Our clean air solutions ensure a healthy and safe indoor environment.”

Mayor Giacomo Ghilardi, said: “I thank Camfil for this donation to our city library, which is a hub for so many young people for studying, reading, and as a meeting place. Due to the health emergency, which is still ongoing, the Pertini was closed for some time, and we know how much discomfort this has created for many students and young professionals. The installation of these machines will allow more comfortable and healthy use of the indoor environments.”

LightAir says subscription strategy is yielding results

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 12 June 2021: LightAir said its strategic focus on sales of air purification to offices and schools in Sweden is continuing to yield results. The LightAir Health+ offer provides clean, virus-free air and is offered in Sweden primarily as a subscription service, it said, adding that the number of subscriptions is growing continuously, rising from about 60, last summer, and soon likely to exceed 300.

The positive market reception in Sweden is exemplified by how Enskilda Gymnasiet – an independent secondary school in operation for over 100 years – is now expanding its two subscriptions to 30, LightAir said. The school carried out a six-month evaluation, which documented how individuals with asthma and allergies experienced relief from problems and that other students and teachers experienced improved air quality, LightAir said. Evaluation comments mentioned reduced fatigue, improved concentration and less drowsiness, it added.

“We are located in central Stockholm and are aware that we operate in an environment that is particularly exposed to traffic pollution,” said Jonas Persson, Project Manager, Enskilda Gymnasiet. “It’s important that students can stay healthy, cope with the school day and don’t get fatigued by bad air. It’s especially important that they are alert when final exams roll around. Students with pollen allergies are prone to tire easily and perform poorly.”

According to LightAir, Enskilda Gymnasiet is now installing a total air purification capacity of over 20,000 cubic metres per hour, along with a corresponding virus inhibitor capacity. Subsequent to the sale of the purifiers, the service will be delivered in the form of a three-year subscription, LightAir said.

According to LightAir, its Health+ subscription offer is the most comprehensive service offer available and was established in the Swedish domestic market in 2020. The offer has since been awarded the International Facility Management Association’s Nordic Innovation Prize, not least since it has the distinction of being able to destroy viruses while they’re still airborne, the company said.

“More and more businesses and organizations are opening their eyes to the challenges of indoor air,” said Joakim Hansson, Business Area Manager, LightAir. “This is also shown concretely by how we expanded our subscription base from 5 to 60 last summer, and from 60 to 160 by year end. This summer we have high hopes of reaching our goal of 300 Swedish subscriptions.”

Added Lars Liljeholm, CEO, LightAir: “We see that our strategic plan is promising and starting to bear fruit, while we have a long way to go with stimulating challenges ahead of us. We will become increasingly better at utilizing the competitive advantages we have in the nascent corporate market, not least in terms of purification efficiency and noise levels, as well as with an attractive and trouble-free subscription offer. Professional solutions will be the engine of our future growth. Through an increasingly successful domestic market, we are laying the foundation for establishment in selected international markets.

“We are in the middle of the demanding – but enjoyable – work of building a leading position in the commercial segment. Initially, the new strategy will affect sales when we change our revenue model, but in the long run, this will be crucial for the company and value creation for our owners. With that said, the consumer market will still be an important part of the future LightAir we are now building, which is why we have also recruited cutting-edge expertise and are continuously developing our international ventures and e-commerce.”

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.”

TROX Middle East gets new Managing Director

DUBAI, UAE, 4 June 2021: TROX Group, manufacturer of airside products, has announced the appointment of Saad Ali as Managing Director of the TROX Middle East region.

Saad Ali

Making the announcement through a Press release, the Group said that prior to his current role, Saad served as a VP for Ruskin Titus Middle East, where he was responsible for growth initiatives across the Ruskin’s Group entire portfolio.

Speaking on the occasion, Ali said, “The TROX GROUP has been the leaders of their respective markets, and I look forward to taking on my new responsibilities and working with our new and existing partners throughout the Middle East and Africa.”

Karl Palmstorfer, Head of International Business (EMEA), TROX, said: “He brings deep expertise in HVAC of particular relevance to our expansion agenda, together with broad experience in manufacturing and operations. With Saad Ali, we found the right leader with the same values we stand for. Together, we will create the best indoor air quality in projects for many generations.”

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%.

ASHE reports success at International Code Council hearings

CHICAGO, Illinois, United States, 15 May 2021: The Committee on Health Care (CHC), a partnership between the American Society of Health Care Engineering (ASHE) and the International Code Council (ICC), in April and May, took part in virtual testimonies before several ICC Committees at the Code Action Committee hearings in regard to the latest round of code proposals submitted by the CHC and others, ASHE said. The CHC was successful in getting approval for 10 of its 15 proposals and testified in opposition to 18 other health care facility proposals, of which 17 were disapproved, it added.

The biggest “win” was the approval of CHC proposal FS49, which provides an exception in the International Building Code (IBC) that will allow Group I-2 facilities to use a lay-in ceiling system with ceiling tiles that weigh a minimum of one pound per square foot, combined with a fully ducted HVAC system, to serve as part of the system to limit the transfer of smoke, ASHE reported. This exception aligns the IBC with the current requirements within the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code, allowing hospitals to avoid the conflict between the IBC and Life Safety Code, ASHE said.

The five CHC proposals that were disapproved will be modified to address the committee’s concerns and resubmitted as part of the public comment hearings that will take place in September, ASHE said.

By way of giving a context to its reporting, ASHE said that most health care facility professionals understand the challenges posed by conflicts in building codes. Unnecessary and conflicting codes and regula­tions, it said, can be costly and that the resources spent to comply with contradicting requirements could be put to better use in addressing other issues.

ASHE said one of its goals is to establish a system of unified codes, which it added, is imperative to improve quality and increase access to health care services by upgrad­ing or replacing aged health care facilities and infra­structure using cost savings resulting from the elimination of conflicting codes and regulations.

Since 2011, ASHE said, the CHC has brought together health care facilities managers, designers, industry professionals and building officials to create a better understanding of how health care codes function and are applied. Through this understanding, the CHC has developed hundreds of proposals to help align the ICC codes with other health care codes and standards.

Belimo announces webinar to launch integrated thermal energy management solutions

DANBURY, Connecticut, 14 May 2021: Belimo said it will be introducing a new era of integrated thermal energy management, through a webinar at 8am (Eastern Time) on June 10Thursday, June 10, 2021 @ 9:00 AM (ET).

According to Belimo, its technology experts will use practical examples to show how its new device will increase energy efficiency and reduce operating costs. The webinar, Belimo said, is geared for individuals within the HVAC industry; building technology, building automation, general contractors/investors, consulting engineers, system integrators, installers/plant engineers, building owners, facility managers/building maintenance and OEMs. Belimo said it will unveil and demonstrate the new integrated thermal energy device and provide in-depth conversation with developers, experts, customers and partners.

This new innovation, Belimo said, marks its commitment to bring more sustainability into buildings while optimizing energy efficiency throughout the HVAC system.

Camfil launches CamCarb VG engineered molecular filtration solution

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 12 May 2021: Camfil launched the CamCarb VG engineered molecular filtration solution, which the company described as a robust solution suited for make-up air and recirculation air systems. The primary use of the technology, Camfil said, is the control of acidic gases that are responsible for the corrosion of electronics and electrical equipment in heavy process industries, such as pulp and paper mills; petrochemical refineries; mining and metal refining operations; and wastewater treatment plants. They are also suitable for lighter applications, such as the removal of noxious and odorous fumes generated outside airports, hospital helipads, cultural heritage buildings, and commercial offices located in city centres, Camfil added. The modules can be filled with different types of Camfil molecular filtration media to suit the specific customer application, the company said. There are two standard configurations of CamCarb VG: VG300 and VG440, it said, adding that the VG300 format is best suited for moderate duty (normally make-up air) applications, and the VG440 is best suited for light-duty (recirculation air) applications.

According to Camfil, CamCarb VG filters can be installed in specially designed housings, with options for front-loading, side-loading, or positive-seal side access (PSSA). They can also be used as replacements in housings and track systems produced by other manufacturers, the company said.

The modules are fully welded and constructed without adhesive to eliminate the possibility of off-gassing, Camfil said. They include a unique moulded mesh to allow the use of a full range of loose-fill media without shedding, it said. Many applications will require multiple molecular media to address a range of contaminants. The different media should be deployed in a series of layered modules. This layered approach will provide the highest removal efficiency, the longest life, and the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO), as each media can be changed when it reaches the end of its useful life, it said, adding that a blended-media, on the other hand, requires all the media to be replaced when just a single component has failed.

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.”

Systemair announces supplying smart, sustainable HVAC solutions for Expo 2020

DUBAI, UAE, 11 October 2021: The Systemair Group, as official sponsor of the Swedish Pavilion at Expo 2020, from October 1 to March 31 in Dubai, will showcase modern climate solutions from Systemair and Frico that, it said, will ensure visitors to the Pavilion are able to breathe clean air and enjoy the cool climate in a smart and sustainable manner. Announcing this through a Press release, Systemair Group added that Systemair and Frico will also be organising several exciting events aimed at educating stakeholders on the importance of achieving optimum indoor air quality without compromising on energy efficiency.

Morten Schmelzer showcases one of the Geniox AHU, located on the roof of the Swedish Pavilion

Morten Schmelzer, Technical Marketing Director, Systemair Group, said: “As proud sponsors of the Swedish Pavilion, we want to ensure visitors can benefit from healthy and comfortable indoor climate. Keeping this in mind, we have carefully selected the products that will ensure fresh air supply, which is especially crucial in view of COVID-19. Our solution also offers a minimum of 50% lower electrical power consumption and sustainable cooling recovery as high as 65%, which is unique for the Middle East. Lastly, the products are in line with the latest high European and ISO standards, which enable the best possible IAQ with minimum energy utilisation.”

Systemair Group said it supplied 10 of its high-end Geniox AHUs with state-of-the-art control systems to meet requirements of the local ambient conditions, as well as the spatial challenges posed by the unique design of the structure. It said it also supplied a sorption cooling recovery system with special material on the heat-recovery wheel, along with fan-coil units, a Sysaqua 170 chiller and a roof fan – the DVG EC560. The pavilion features two of the latest-generation air curtains from Frico, installed in the shop and the cafeteria, it added.

Exterior of the Swedish Pavilion

According to Systemair Group, Systemair and Frico will hold a VIP keynote event and reception night during the Expo, featuring leading global experts, who will discuss trends and innovations relating to the next generation of sustainable HVAC technologies. Also in the information dissemination mix, Systemair Group said, is an exclusive workshop that will elaborate on how stakeholders can leverage advanced technical solutions to obtain healthy indoor air in their projects while saving energy in their projects.

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

Carel signs agreement to acquire 51% of CFM Soğutma

BRUGINE, Padua, Italy, 10 May 2021: Carel Industries, on May 5, signed a binding agreement for the acquisition of 51% of CFM Soğutma ve Otomasyon A.Ş., a long-standing distributor and partner in Turkey as well as a provider of digital and on-field services and solutions dedicated to OEMs, contractors and end users in the Turkish HVACR market.

CFM’s workforce, based in its 6,500-square-metre Izmir facility, in Turkey, numbers 34, half of whom are part of the technical and engineering team, Carel said.

With major expertise in thermodynamics, mechanics, control and connectivity, CFM offers complete solutions, starting from system design and technical support, during the start-up phase of the plants, up to the remote monitoring and supervision service, Carel said. The offer, which is based on the proposal of the best brands and includes software development and customisation, customer training in its Academy as well as energy management services, allows CFM to stand out significantly, Carel said.

According to Carel, CFM has created a unique business model, demonstrated by its high rate of customer loyalty, its long-standing relationships with the country’s main retail chains and its particularly high profitability.

A peculiar feature of CFM is also that it invoices almost all its sales in euros, thereby protecting itself from fluctuations in the local currency, Carel pointed out. In 2020, CFM reported revenues of 14.5 million euros and EBITDA of five million euros, it said. It is expected that at the time of the closing of the operation the net financial position will be slightly positive, it pointed out.

Carel said the transaction is aligned with two of its key strategic directions: geographical expansion outside western Europe and the development of the services business – on-field and digital. The acquisition, the company said, will allow it to not only establish a direct presence in the important Turkish market and to have a solid platform for the development of its Middle East market but also to adopt a distinctive business model, characterised by a wide range of complementary services. The transaction will also allow it to further develop its potential in synergy with its hardware, IoT and thermodynamic competence, it said. After having established its success in the refrigeration sector, CFM, in fact, has extensive growth potential in air conditioning and humidification, it added.

The closing of the part-acquisition is expected by the end of July 2021 and is subject to obtaining the approval for the transaction from the local antitrust authorities, and meeting other conditions precedent that are characteristic of this type of agreement, Carel said. With this transaction, Carel said, it will take control of the Turkish company through the acquisition of 51% of the share capital of CFM, with an enterprise value of 23.1 million euros for the stake. The acquisition of the remaining 49% of CFM, the valuation of which is tied to the Turkish company’s future results, is governed by a cross-option mechanism between the parties, exercisable between 2024 and 2027, Carel said. This structure in which the current management is heavily involved in the company in the medium term, it added, ensures a complete alignment of interests during the integration period of CFM into CAREL.

Fifty million more people face heat-related risks

VIENNA, Austria, 5 May 2021: In a warming world, access to sustainable cooling is not a luxury. It is essential for productivity, a healthy diet and the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. Today 1.09 billion vulnerable people are at high risk, because they face a range of cooling access challenges. COVID-19 has intensified the situation with those forced into poverty due to the pandemic contributing to the 50 million additional urban and rural poor at high risk in 2021. Meanwhile, another 2.3 billion from the lower-middle income group face a different risk – inefficient cooling and refrigeration options that increase harmful GHG levels. Across 54 high-impact countries, 3.4 billion people face cooling access risks in 2021.

The Chilling Prospects 2021 report released today by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) analyses the four populations of urban and rural poor, lower-middle income and middle income in 54 high-impact countries, and reveals that global cooling access risks are on the rise. This is due, in part, to the first global poverty increase seen in 20 years, impacting mostly South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, 2020 was one of the hottest years on record, with numerous heatwaves recorded causing wildfires that emitted record amounts of carbon dioxide (CO₂).

“Last year was, without a doubt, a challenging one for all of us, and as the pandemic continues, it is essential more than ever to focus our efforts on increasing energy access,” said Francesco Starace, Chair, SEforALL Administration Board; Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, Enel. “Coupled with the effects of climate change, our agendas should prioritise an inclusive energy transition and deliver access to sustainable cooling to support health, economic, and social recovery, especially in areas at high risk. Together, we must tackle the complexity of today’s challenges and commit to achieving with great speed and scale access to clean, sustainable, and affordable energy for everyone throughout the world.”

Challenges, impacts on vulnerable populations

Lack of access to adequate cold chains for life-saving COVID-19 vaccines is one of the most immediate concerns facing developing countries and, indeed, the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts that 85 poor countries will not have widespread access to COVID-19 vaccines before 2023, including all African economies, except Gabon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa.

Dunli launches X-Pro axial fans

Yuhang District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China 3 May 2021: Dunli has launched the X-Pro series of axial fans, which the company described in a Press release as designed to feature the latest rear guide vane and three-dimensional flow impeller.

The range covers a variety of impeller diameters, including 500mm, 630mm, 710mm, 800mm and 900mm, Dunli said. The maximum static pressure efficiency is up to 56%, and the air volume is as high as 35,000m3/h, the company claimed. The noise and range – throw distance – are able to perform significantly better than the equivalent fans from the motor fan industry all over the world, the company further claimed.

According to Dunli, the X-Pro fans can be used on a variety of HVAC equipment, such as air coolers, air-cooled heat exchange modules, heat pumps and cooling towers. This X-Pro series, Dunli said, is reliable, lends itself to easy installation and maintenance and is convenient to control.

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.”

Carrier launches Abound

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida, 27 April 2021: Carrier Global Corporation on April 26 launched Abound, which it described in a Press release as a new cloud-native platform, as part of its growing investment in digital solutions designed to give people confidence in the health and safety of their indoor environments. Abound is an open-technology platform that aggregates data from different systems and sensors and provides building owners, operators and occupants transparency into relevant and contextual insights about air quality, thermal comfort and other performance data, the company said.

“Abound will transform a building owner’s ability to optimize the indoor environment, boosting the confidence of each visitor and occupant,” said Dave Gitlin, Chairman & CEO, Carrier. “The access to real-time actionable data for indoor air quality and other building systems and sensors embodies the future of building health and performance for customers around the globe. With this launch, we are moving closer to establishing industry standards that will provide owners, operators and occupants greater confidence in their indoor spaces.”

According to Carrier, Abound is a cloud-native offering that uses advanced technology to make building environments more intelligent, efficient and responsive. It connects directly to existing building systems and sensors with no need for upgrades, retrofitting or replacements. And, unlike other building management platforms, Abound is designed to easily work with all systems regardless of manufacturer, to unlock and unite siloed data to provide more powerful, actionable insights, Carrier claimed. The platform can be rapidly installed and scaled and showcases data on a single pane of glass and via remote readings, the company added.

According to Carrier, a hallmark feature of the platform is the ability for building operators to benchmark building performance related to air quality, ventilation and humidity against the thresholds identified by certain air features within the WELL Building Standard (WELL) from the International WELL Building Institute, which works for achieving healthy buildings. Building owners will have the ability to display real-time information and messaging about a building’s health through the Abound application programming interface (API), which can be used to create digital wallboards and support mobile experiences, Carrier said.

“We’re proud that the thresholds in the Abound platform are based on the WELL Building Standard’s air quality features, helping Carrier to make something as invisible as air quality more visible and actionable,” said Rachel Hodgdon, IWBI’s President and CEO. “This platform will help streamline pathways for customers to measure, communicate and report their progress toward WELL Certification, advancing IWBI’s overall mission to advance people first places around the world.”

According to Carrier, Abound is currently being piloted across the United States, with customers in the commercial building, K-12 education and sports and entertainment industries, including Trust Park, home to the Atlanta Braves. It is also operating at Carrier’s world headquarters and building technology showcase, the Center for Intelligent Buildings in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

“We are thrilled to participate in the pilot of the Abound platform to give fans a safer and more informed spectator experience,” said Jim Allen, Senior Vice President of Corporate and Premium Partnerships for the Atlanta Braves. “The visual displays strategically placed throughout the stadium will provide our guests a real-time look at how our systems are working together to improve air quality. Sports bring people together, and the game just isn’t the same without our incredible fans here at the ballpark and we’re excited to welcome them back.”

While a tool for building owners, Abound was designed with building occupants and the general public in mind, Carrier said. It will make the invisible – air quality – visible through a smart, simple interface, and using its API and responsive display generators, building owners can communicate building health strategies, health performance metrics or the live indoor air quality summary through in-building digital displays, mobile applications or existing digital experiences.

“The launch of Abound underscores Carrier’s leadership in digital innovation and ability to move quickly to exceed our customers’ needs,” said Bobby George, Senior Vice President & Chief Digital Officer, Carrier. “The platform came together in a fraction of a year, and I couldn’t be prouder of the team. Abound’s platform architecture was designed around open standards and modern cloud native technologies and can quickly adapt to a wide range of integration and connectivity and scaling needs. The platform is comprehensive and delivers value to our customers through the complete integration of software, hardware and digital analytics.”

ASHRAE launches Vision 2030 webpage

ATLANTA, Georgia, 27 April 2021: ASHRAE announced the launch of its Vision 2030 webpage (ashrae.org/vision2030).

As technology continues to improve every aspect of the built-environment, ASHRAE’s Vision 2030 is committed to leading, serving and providing all professionals in the buildings industry with the resources and knowledge to continually drive the innovative and strategic improvements needed during the revolution of the built-environment, ASHRAE said.

“The Vision 2030 webpage provides guidance to support intelligent design, construction, and operation for a more adaptable and resilient built environment,” said 2018-19 ASHRAE Presidential Member and Vision 2030 Chair Shelia J. Hayter. “We believe that the contributions of the Vision 2030 team will serve as a powerful resource to industry professionals and the general public alike.”

According to ASHRAE, the webpage features the following five sections:

  • Connected Communities
  • Built-Environment
  • Data and Integration
  • Team Processes
  • Member Services
  • Resources

Members of the Vision 2030 team, ASHRAE said, are as follows:

  • Sheila J. Hayter, P.E., Presidential Fellow ASHRAE, chair, ASHRAE Vision 2030
  • Thomas H. Phoenix, P.E., BEMP, Presidential Fellow ASHRAE, vice chair, ASHRAE Vision 2030
  • Chip Branscum, PE, LEED AP, ASHRAE Vision 2030 Ad Hoc Committee
  • Robin Bryant, ASHRAE Director & Regional Chair Region XII
  • Jayson Bursill, Ph.D.
  • Michael Cooper, P.E., ASHRAE Headquarters Building Ad-hoc Committee
  • Drury B. Crawley, Ph.D., Fellow ASHRAE, BEMP, FIBPSA, chair, ASHRAE Standards Committee, AIA
  • Christopher M. Gray, Ph.D., P.E.
  • William R. MacGowan
  • Tim J. McGinn, P.Eng., HBDP, ASHRAE Vice President
  • Francis A. Mills
  • Daniel H. Nall, P.E., FAIA, Fellow ASHRAE, LEED® Fellow, BEMP, HBDP, CPHC
  • Lan Chi Nguyen Weekes, ing., P.Eng., chair, ASHRAE Multidisciplinary Task Group Health and Wellness in the Built Environment
  • Joe Noworatzky Ed.D., ASHRAE Foundation Trustee
  • W. Andrew Perrin, BASc
  • Chandra Sekhar, Ph.D., Fellow ASHRAE, ASHRAE Director-at-Large, Distinguished Lecturer
  • Manish K. Sharma
  • Jiri Skopek

“Cool Careers” webinars planned for World Refrigeration Day

ASTON ON TRENT, Derbyshire, United Kingdom, 23 April 2021: A series of webinars focusing on the cool careers that make the world better are coming in June to celebrate World Refrigeration Day, June 26, the World Refrigeration Day Secretariat said through a Press release.

The Secretariat said it will partner with seven organisations to make students and young professionals globally aware of career opportunities in fields relying on refrigeration technology.

By way of listing the issues expected to come up for discussion in June, the Secretariat posed the following questions: Who researches how food can be preserved from its source to the table and how vaccines and medicines can be shipped around the world? Who enables data centres to function? How can climate change be stabilised while not sacrificing modern convenience? Who safely manages the processes that enable air to be cooled? How can the quality of indoor air be improved, and disease transmission prevented?

The people, “cooling champions,” and the careers that make modern life possible will be spotlighted in “cool careers” webinars over two weeks in June, the Secretariat said.

Organised as part of the day’s 2021 campaign theme, “Cooling Champions: Cool Careers for a Better World”, the webinars will be conducted by groups whose networks reach into developed and developing nations, the Secretariat said. Campaign partners are UNEP OzonAction, ASHRAE, EPEE, FAIAR, IIR, ISHRAE and U-3ARC, it added. The objective is to inspire students and those early in their career path to join the more than 15 million people worldwide currently employed in the refrigeration sector, making the world better, it further added.

“Partnering with these organizations enables the refrigeration industry to reach out globally, with particular emphasis on developing countries, to expand the workforce that supports life-giving and society-dependent technologies,” said Steve Gill, Founder & Head, World Refrigeration Day Secretariat. “Opportunities within the industry abound for young people with a wide range of career aspirations. Advanced cooling technologies provide them with a profession that improves life in their communities and in the world as a whole.”

According to the Secretariat, each campaign partner will target career opportunities with webinars in the language common within that network. Special emphasis will be given to sectors that are commonly less known, like Cold Chain, Refrigerant Management, Indoor Air-Quality, Sustainability, Heat Pumps, and Not-in-Kind Technologies. Gender equality and promoting women in cooling careers will be highlighted in this year’s campaign as well, it said, adding that the schedule of webinars and topics will be available in the coming weeks at www.worldrefrigerationday.org.

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.

President Biden invites JCI’s CEO to speak at Leaders Summit on Climate

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, 21 April 2021: Johnson Controls (JCI) announced that George Oliver, its Chairman and CEO has been invited by U.S. President Joe Biden to participate in the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate.

Making the announcement through a Press release, JCI said the summit will bring together leaders of the world’s major economies and other vital partners for an urgent and open dialog on ways to strengthen collective efforts to address the climate crisis. President Biden has made tackling climate change a top national priority since taking office and is urging other world leaders to attend the summit to discuss how their governments will help drive the goal of limiting global temperature rise.

“I am honored to accept President Biden`s invitation to join him and other world leaders calling for urgent climate action,” Oliver said. “It is especially important to establish a roadmap to limiting the rise of global temperatures as we get closer to the COP26 climate conference, scheduled for November in Glasgow. Transitioning to a lower-carbon economy is an opportunity to build back better, as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing clean, sustainable and energy-efficient solutions creates jobs while building strong, resilient global economies.”

According to the White House, a major theme of the summit will be the broad economic benefits of climate action, with a strong focus on job creation. This will explore both the economic benefits of green recovery and long-term decarbonization and the importance of ensuring that all communities and workers benefit from the transition to a clean energy economy.

Representing both Business Roundtable and Johnson Controls, Oliver will address these topics in a session on April 23 as well as the role buildings can play to slash both emissions and costs, JCI said.

Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies. According to JCI, Oliver was named Chair of the Business Roundtable Energy & Environment Committee in January this year. The Committee is dedicated to advancing policies that encourage innovation and support an environmentally and economically sustainable future.

The vast majority of Business Roundtable’s 223-member CEOs have made public commitments to reduce their companies’ greenhouse gas emissions/carbon footprints, are making serious progress and reporting on it publicly. Nearly half of those commitments are for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, if not sooner.

According to JCI, Business Roundtable members are playing a significant role in driving ambitious climate action and the policy needed to spur low-carbon economic growth. Last September, JCI said, the organization endorsed the goals of the Paris Agreement and proposed aggressive policies to achieve those goals.

JCI said its own ambitious emissions reductions targets were recently approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative – an independent organization that assesses corporate sustainability claims. JCI said that as part of its environmental sustainability commitments, it aims to cut operational emissions by 55% and reduce customers’ emissions by 16% before 2030. It said it believes its OpenBlue platform for optimizing building sustainability will be central to fulfilling these goals and ultimately creating an environment for healthy people, healthy places and a healthy planet.

JCI said it also recently joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign and is a signatory to The Climate Pledge, an initiative of business leaders co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism. Signatories to the pledge commit to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement goal.

Eurovent Middle East joins Cool Coalition

DUBAI, UAE, 20 April 2021: Eurovent Middle East has become a member of the Cool Coalition, a global initiative led by UN Environment and the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Programme, the HVACR industry association said through a Press release. The initiative promotes a holistic and cross-sectoral approach to meet the cooling needs of industrialised and developing countries through better building design, energy efficiency, renewables, and thermal storage as well as phasing down refrigerants with a high global warming potential, Eurovent said.

The Cool Coalition is a global multi-stakeholder network that connects a wide range of key actors from governments, cities, international organisations, businesses, finance, academia and civil society groups to facilitate knowledge exchange, advocacy and joint action towards a rapid global transition to efficient and climate-friendly cooling. The Cool Coalition is currently working with over 100 partners, including 23 countries.

Markus Lattner, Managing Director, Eurovent Middle East, said: “The Middle East stands like no other region for the essential role of cooling and refrigeration for a successful socio-economic development. Eurovent Middle East has been established to provide crucial coordination between governments, industry and service providers and to build up competence in cooling and refrigeration within the region. We have joined the Cool Coalition, as we fully believe that it will be by cooperation and collaboration that we are able to transform societies towards a responsible and sustainable use of resources. We are proud to join other organisations from our region and strengthen the role of the Middle East in this global initiative.“

Lily Riahi, Cool Coalition Coordinator at UNEP, said: “To put the cooling sector on a path to net-zero emissions, we need everyone on board. The Cool Coalition is thrilled to welcome Eurovent Middle East among its members. Together, we can transform the sector and put it on a path to decarbonisation, in line to global climate targets and sustainable development goals.”

Craft makes first complete R-290 commercial system

SAN DIEGO, California, 13 April 2021: US-based contract manufacturer, Craft said it has designed its first complete propane (R-290) refrigeration system that includes a condenser, compressor and evaporator for a US-based display case OEM, Hydrocarbons21.com reported on its Web site.

It is the latest move by Craft in the R-290 commercial refrigeration space, where it has stepped up its investment in the past year, Hydrocarbons21.com said.

The OEM, which had approached Craft about making the R-290 system, will begin marketing the cabinet “in the next few months,” said Dean Rafiee, Partner and Managing Director, Craft. “We will go into mass production by July.” He declined to name the OEM without their permission, Hydrocarbons21.com said. Craft, which focuses primarily on the North American market, will also manufacture its own version of the R-290 refrigeration system over the next few months, Hydrocarbons21.com quoted Rafiee as saying.

Craft R290 condensing unit

According to Hydrocarbons21.com, since 2016, Craft has manufactured Thermocraft R-290 condensing units for retail cabinets and other applications, first under the SF line and, then, the more efficient EH line. R-290 condensing units comprise about 10% of the condensing units manufactured by Craft, which also makes units for HFO blends R-448A, R-449A and R-513, and for R-404A, Hydrocarbons21.com said.

However, Rafiee sees a “big trend” to R-290 refrigeration among Craft’s OEM customers, Hydrocarbons21.com said. “The number of clients contacting us for R290 is amazing,” Rafiee said. “They see that’s where the future is headed, and they want to be there with the right products.”

Over the past year, Craft has been preparing for that future by making a “significant investment” in its manufacturing capability for R-290 products, along with testing chambers and charging functionality, Hydrocarbons21.com said.

“We see [HFO blends] as a transitional fluid, which is why we have invested so much in R-290 over the past year,” he said. “We are always directing our clients to R-290, to make an early investment, so later on they can compete in the marketplace.”

Hydrocarbons21.com quoted Rafiee as saying that R-290 compressor manufacturers, especially Embraco, “have taken the efficiency of R-290 compressors to the next level”. Craft employs Embraco and Cubigel (Huayi) compressors in its EH line of R290 condensing units, Hydrocarbons21.com said.

Craft’s EH Series R290 single-speed, air-cooled condensing units range from 1/5 to 3/4HP and are available for medium/high and low temperatures, Hydrocarbons21.com said, adding that they feature EC motors and condensers with 7mm tubes that “optimize the charge of refrigerant gas required,”

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.

DriSteem introduces new humidifier

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minnesota, 12 April 2021: DriSteem introduced its RTS humidifier RX series, which it described through a Press release as a compact, elegant, cabinet-style, resistive-to-steam humidifier that is ideal for any application where reliable humidity control is needed.

For added application flexibility, the company said, there are 21 models to choose from, with capacities up to 324 lbs/hr (147 kg/h). In addition, the standard single stage solid state relay (SSR) control allows for a tight range of relative humidity control, keeping it within +/- 1 % RH, the company added.

According to DriSteem, the RX series offers a number of features that make it stand out against other steam humidifiers in the market:

  • Removable front covers with quarter-turn latches that allow easy one-sided access to the tank and electrical connections
  • Large clean-out and heater plate for easy access when cleaning the tank
  • DriSteem’s programmable smart drain and scale management technology, which adjusts drain intervals automatically based on water quality:
    • Removes precipitated minerals from the tank
    • Skimming removes foam and suspended minerals
  • Matching Space Distribution Units that disperse steam with no visible vapor trail (SDU-I-RX)
  • Functionality of Vapor-logic controller with an intuitive touchscreen interface:
    • Start-up wizard for simplified setup; scan QR codes to access product manuals
    • Color-coded alerts to reduce down-time and technical calls
    • Contextual Help link on every screen
    • Standard BACnet connectivity
  • Indoor and outdoor models
  • Wide voltage ranges
  • International approvals
  • EN1717-compliant for protection of potable water supplies from pollution caused by back-flow

“The new RX series,” said Mysty Hanson, DriSteem Product Manager, “offers a next generation breakthrough in our resistive steam humidifiers, with ease of maintenance, installation flexibility, and environmental protection, while continuing DriSteem’s legacy of sustained quality and dependability.”

Johnson Controls releases 2021 Sustainability Report

CORK, Ireland, 10 April 2021: Johnson Controls on April 9 published its 2021 Sustainability Report, highlighting its new environmental, social and governance commitments and progress towards the company’s sustainability goals, the company said through a Press release.

George Oliver, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls, said: “At Johnson Controls, sustainability is our business. This year saw us continue to pioneer new and important paths to sustainability, including our issuance of a green bond in the U.S. capital markets – among the very first industrials to do so.

“We welcome and embrace the enhanced attention and urgency around tackling climate change and making gains across environmental, social and governance pillars. We are determined to strengthen and further build our culture of diversity and inclusion.

“Our bold new sustainability commitments demonstrate we are all-in to help drive healthy buildings, healthy people and a healthy planet for our employees, shareholders, customers and all of our stakeholders.”

According to Johnson Controls, highlights of the report include:

  • New ambitious sustainability commitments that outline the company’s priority to make positive changes in lowering its company footprint, such as achieving net zero carbon emissions before 2040.
  • Its first-ever Sustainability Report that includes and fully integrates its first-ever diversity and inclusion report, highlighting its D&I commitment, mission, vision, pillars and progress.
  • Its goal to double its customers’ emission reductions through implementation of its OpenBlue digitally enabled solutions by 2030.
  • Its intention to double the representation of women leaders globally and minority leaders in the United States over the next five years.
  • Its green financing initiatives, including a green bond – one of the first industrial companies to issue a green bond in U.S. debt capital markets – and a senior revolving credit facility tied to specific sustainability metrics
  • Executive compensation that is linked to sustainability and diversity performance goals
  • The appointment of the company’s first Chief Sustainability Officer and the formation of a Governance and Sustainability board of directors’ committee
  • Performance contracting projects that have helped its customers avoid more than 30.6 million metric tons CO2e and save USD 6.6 billion through energy and operational savings since January 2000.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions intensity reduction of more than 70% since 2002.
  • Our commitment to The Climate Pledge, co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism, to reach net-zero

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.

Eurovent PG-CT elects new Vice-Chairman

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 31 March 2021: The Eurovent Product Group, ‘Evaporative Cooling Equipment’ (PG-CT) elected Frank Stocker, Managing Director, Gohl-KTK, as the successor of Doic Hordern, CEO, JACIR, in the role of Vice-Chairman of the group. Making the announcement through a Press release, Eurovent added that Laurent Petiot, General Manager France Benelux Maghreb, B1AC, continues as Chairman of PG-CT.

From left to right: Laurent Petiot – Chairman, Frank Stocker – Vice-Chairman

The Product Group, ‘Evaporative Cooling Equipment’ recently met in a fruitful online session, Eurovent said. The meeting included Chairman and Vice-Chairman elections, as well as redefinition of the group’s scope to include all hybrid and adiabatic technologies, it added. PG-CT is turning its attention to the review of Ecodesign Regulation for professional refrigeration (ENTR Lot 1), in which new efficiency requirements are being considered for process chillers connected to an evaporative condenser, it further added.

Stocker said: “With the review of the Ecodesign Regulation for professional refrigeration around the corner, we are facing a great opportunity to promote the energy saving potential of evaporative cooling technologies. By making the Eurovent voice heard in the review, we can support the EU to achieve its climate targets.”

Petiot added: “The European industry faces important challenges, regulations are getting stringent and Eurovent is instrumental in supporting the manufacturers. Our Product Group pledges to closely monitor the review process to ensure the highest energy efficiency requirements for Europe.”

According to Eurovent, PG-CT unites manufacturers of evaporative and adiabatic cooling equipment from around Europe and is supported by Eurovent Member Associations on a national level. Its main tasks consist of advocating on European level, developing Eurovent Recommendations, generally promoting the industry and export initiatives, and diminishing unfair trade barriers inside and outside Europe, it said. Manufacturers interested in joining PG-CT, it added, can get in touch with the Eurovent Secretariat via secretariat@eurovent.eu.

dmg on track with The Big 5 Construct Egypt

DUBAI, UAE, 31 March 2021: The Big 5 Construct Egypt is on track to take place in person from June 26 to 29 at the Cairo International Convention Centre (CICC) in a safe environment, event organisers, dmg events said through a Press release. Construction activity in Egypt has continued at pace, despite the coronavirus pandemic and has shown great resilience over the last year, dmg said. In fact, according to GlobalData, construction in Egypt is expected to have grown at 7.7% in 2020 and looks forward to 8.9% growth in 2021, it added.

Muhammed Kazi, Vice President, dmg events, said: “We are delighted to confirm that preparations for The Big 5 Construct Egypt are well underway for our June event, and I am happy to reveal that re-opening this year comes hand in hand with a wealth of new impactful features designed to provide opportunities for the industry to network, learn and do business.

“It is more important now than ever to bring the community together to boost business activities and build strong partnerships for the post-pandemic era, and it is our belief that there is no better way to do this than through powerful face-to-face connections.”

According to dmg, The Big 5 Construct Egypt will showcase the latest construction products and technologies across an extended offering of specialised events. International brands committed to the event despite travel restrictions will join all major Egyptian contractors at the event, including Hassan Allam Holding and Orascom Construction, El Soadaa, ASGC, Hanimex, Al Zamil, Al Ahram, Wellbond, Al Amal and more, dmg said.

Eng. Hassan Allam, CEO, Hassan Allam Holding said: “The massive transformation of Egypt through crucial infrastructure works and strategic megaprojects is set to further contribute to economic growth, whilst solidifying the country’s position as the leading trade hub between Europe, Asia, and Africa.

“As the population grows, it is critical to explore how the country can build on local, regional and international partnerships to realise the value that the infrastructure and construction industry has in sustaining economic development and diversification going forward.” According to dmg, new features set to launch at the 2021 edition include The Big 5 Egypt Leadership Conference, providing insights from Ministers and international leaders through keynote addresses and panel discussions, and The Big 5 Egypt Impact Awards, set to celebrate the people, organisations and projects driving sustainable development, innovation and transformation in Egypt’s construction industry.

The event, dmg said, also offers free-to-attend and CPD-certified Talks. It is supported by Strategic Partner, Hassan Allam Holding; Platinum Sponsor, Orascom Construction and Stone Sponsor, Gremic. The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) is on board as Supporting Association, dmg said, adding that Project Management Institute, MENA (PMI, MENA) is the Supporting Partner and ABiQ is the Research Partner.

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/.

LU-VE Group announces record turnover and order book

UBOLDO, Varese, Italy, 21 March 2021: LU-VE Group announced its financial results as of December 31, 2020, which includes a turnover of €401.5 million (a 2.5% increase compared to 2019). The company posted an EBITDA of €45.2 million, which it said represents a decline by 3.3% compared to 2019.

Iginio Liberali (Photo courtesy: LU-VE Group)

LU-VE also announced an order book at €88.8 million, as of February 2021, which it said is the highest ever reached by the Group (+5.3% compared to February 2020; +15.3% compared to December 2020).

“I would like to thank all the men and women of LU-VE Group for showing their usual strength and sense of duty,” said Iginio Liberali, President, LU-VE Group. “This attitude has allowed us to grow even in a year as difficult as 2020. Our strength lies in the fundamental values we have always practiced: humility; passion; creative intelligence; to generate value for us, for our company and for the market.”

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.

‘One cup at a time’

The cold chain may not come to mind when one thinks of a hot cup of coffee, but for Andrés Londoño and Santiago Londoño, third- and fourth-generation farmers of Colombian Exotic Coffee, this is the key to unlocking the critical tastes of coffee drinkers in the Middle East, which is a region known for its love of the brew.

Andrés Londoño and Santiago Londoño

“Our goal is to change people’s view on coffee, one cup at a time,” Andrés says, adding that the family has been farming in Colombia for nearly 100 years and selling the beans to different parts of the world. His cousin, Santiago adds that although the company is new to the Middle East market, it is confident about the appeal of its products, given its history. “Our main goal is to introduce our unique varieties, as these have never been seen before,” he says. “We take immense care of our product from start to finish, we feel that it is just as important for the end user to understand the great work that goes into it, and that is why we plan on educating the Middle Eastern market on what the procedure is.”

Every step of the way

Andrés Londoño

There are different factors that must be considered in green coffee quality, Andrés says, and names variables such as flavour profiles or scores, physical preparation, shelf life and safety for the consumer as the most crucial. “All these are carefully considered in our farming practices,” he says, “but we have also noticed from different research and our own experiments that the storage conditions afterwards affect all these factors of quality – temperature being one of the most important variables for these changes.” Santiago, in agreement, adds that this was an important realization, considering traditionally, only moisture content has been the indicator for the preservation of coffee. “We have been researching and experimenting in our farms and warehouses and found out that when the three variables – water activity, moisture content and temperature – are not controlled, the sensory and physical quality can decrease substantially. In coffee, a slight decrease in flavour and physical quality is problematic.”

This also has ramifications in terms of safety, Santiago adds. “Not many people know that these fungi produce a toxin called Ochratoxin-A, which is resistant to temperature, which means it cannot be degraded in the roasting process or preparation of the beverage, and when drunk, the human body is not capable of liberating it, accumulating in it for long periods. Ochratoxin-A has also been associated with cancer development,” he says. “For this reason, assuring the proper conditions for storage and transportation not only helps us maintain the cup and physical quality but also helps prevents moulds and fungus to develop inside the bean, which, in terms of food safety, is very important.”

Santiago Londoño

Andrés points out: “The benefit behind the mentioned features is that there is full transparency through unfiltered and untampered data, which will also allow us to provide feedback and request corrective actions, if necessary in real time or in future shipping. Once the product arrives at the DMCC warehouse, we will locate a data logger to record both variables. These will be checked periodically; deviations will be notified to the coffee centre, and corrective actions will be requested.”

Investment in quality solutions

Santiago also highlights the investment in data, adding that presently, the farms utilise a private software that was developed for the coffee industry and the different parts of its value chain. “It has a specific tool for each step of the value chain with accurate sample registration, monitors drying and storage conditions, green grading, sample roasting and cupping,” he says. “This data is useful to control and monitor our process and take corrective actions, if necessary. It can be easily shared with customers, as well. The idea in the near future is to integrate the last part of our value chain, which is the transit from Colombia and the storage and commercialisation here in the Emirates and even add the feedback of our customers; this way, we can really ensure quality of the whole coffee chain.”

A long-term outlook

The cost of implementing and maintaining a process cannot be avoided. However, for Santiago, it is more important to think of the benefits that such investment offers. “Specialty coffee quality is measured within Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) standards, which are between 80 and 100 points,” he explains. “If you produce at the farm a coffee that is at 89 points grade and is a complex exotic variety, like Geisha, you can sell it up to USD 70 per kg. We have calculated that during the 2-3 months transit between Colombia and the UAE, this coffee could lose 2-3 points in grade, because temperature and humidity degrades quality, so an 89-score coffee becomes an 86, which would be sold for USD 35 per kg, which means a loss of USD 35 per kg. If you bring 1.000 kg of this single exotic coffee in a container, it means you would lose USD 35,000 in this single lot. Keeping a complete cold chain from Colombia to UAE for a single container can cost about USD 20.000. It means a return of about 175% in terms of quality preservation.”

THE EVOLVING BUILDING-RETROFIT LANDSCAPE

The Middle East’s construction sector remains resilient despite the complexities brought on by 2020. For stakeholders, the resiliency stems from the sector’s ability to withstand difficulties even prior to COVID-19. Providing an example, Majd Fayyad, Technical Manager, Emirates Green Building Council, says that in 2018, the growing oversupply of high-end residential and commercial properties saw investment yields start to fall, way before the pandemic triggered further reductions in construction contract awards in 2020. Fayyad says that though there has been a decline in the value of new contracts in the GCC region – for instance, it went down by 40% to just over USD 4 billion in April 2020 – the outlook for 2021, according to Deloitte, is more optimistic, with the UAE’s GDP set to grow 2.5%.

Phillipa Grant

For Phillipa Grant, Partner and Director of Sustainability, AESG, the construction pipeline is not as dry as people may think. “I think there has been a shift, and Dubai has become a bit more of a regional design hub for the Middle East,” she says. “There is a lot of work being done in Dubai, which covers the wider GCC region, as well as in Africa; so, for the whole MENA region, a lot of new construction is still going on, which is managing to keep the architects and engineers within Dubai busy.”

A more pressing issue affecting project pipelines is the shift in the overall energy intensity in buildings following the onset of COVID-19,with Fayyad pointing out that social distancing measures and teleworking reduced people’s use of commercial buildings, while increasing energy consumption at home. He adds that in the first half of 2020, electricity use in residential buildings in some countries grew by 20-30% while falling by around 10% per cent in commercial building*. “Further, the 2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction states that CO2 emissions from the operation of buildings have increased to their highest level in 2019,” he says.

Majd Fayyad

Overall, Fayyad says there is ample opportunity in 2021 to look at the way buildings are utilised. He points out that these factors are increasing focus on implementing green building best practices in upcoming developments and driving momentum for retrofitting practices, which has already been a strong focus in recent years in the move to achieve greater energy efficiency and reduced emissions and costs. Azmi S Aboulhoda, Director, EMergy Consultancy, shares a similar opinion. “In the UAE, attention towards energy retrofitting has been increasing for several years now,” he says. “It is moving in parallel with the new construction. Recently, few steps have been taken in Saudi Arabia to govern the business and establish guidelines and regulations. With the increase in number of people working remotely, a new concern has been raised that will push the retrofit business in the region towards homes.” Aboulhoda points out that retrofitting holds strong opportunity to enhance the value of buildings and that it will need to be considered not just from an energy perspective but also in the way we use spaces.

Azmi S Aboulhoda

Ronak Monga, Segment Development Manager – Commercial Building Services, Grundfos, says that the same trend can be seen in Oman and Kuwait, as well. “Many of the buildings you see in these countries have now existed for more than ten years,” he says. “These old buildings present a high energy savings potential. Business sectors that operate their buildings, such as hospitals, schools and hotels, have the highest energy savings opportunity in their existing infrastructure. Not only will retrofit ensure smooth operation and maintenance, but it will also significantly reduce operational expenditure, which then improves their bottom line.” He adds that with the pandemic situation, businesses are focusing on keeping operational expense to a minimum to survive the global economic impact brought by COVID-19.

ENERGY FOR THE PURPOSES OF ROI

To date, a lot of the retrofitting initiatives are directed towards addressing the changes in energy consumption profiles. Fayyad points out that with mass teleworking and eLearning shifting activities to the residential subsector and several major companies allowing their workforce the freedom to work from home, existing commercial and office spaces, undoubtedly, need to be adapted, retrofitted and/or repurposed to cater to occupancy profile, be it partial or full. Aboulhoda says that this is the main concern driving building and business owners towards retrofitting, as they will be paying almost the same amount of utility bills, despite the reduced occupancy.

Ronak Monga

Grant adds that these trends have a long-term effect on discussions surrounding office spaces and that this will lead to different streams of thoughts from architects and designers. “A lot of building owners are looking more at flexibility and the use of space in different and more innovative ways,” she says. “This is better than having a vacant space, which is a waste of energy, as you will still need to keep it running; and also, there is the cost impact. So, there will be focus on flexibility, looking at how spaces can be used and how we can make the most of existing stock we have with the changing environment.”

Monga adds that this drastic change in occupancy has brought into focus how buildings perform in part-load conditions – and usually, the efficiency during part load is a focus during design – but has not brought much into focus when buildings are in operation. “This drastic change in occupancy in buildings has brought into attention both during new projects and retrofits how various systems operate in part load,” he says. Fayyad says that a lot of the older building stock is not equipped to handle these challenges, as the existing control systems are outdated or, in some cases, not even present. “Building retrofits in these scenarios can allow owners and facility management to respond adequately using demand-controlled control strategies,” he says. “It not only allows them to save energy and water but also gives them the tools necessary to respond to different occupancy levels. They are also able to record the time-of-use and the energy profile throughout the operations to gather data and optimise their controls and operations.”

Fayyad says that in the UAE, there is an enormous potential in the buildings and construction sector to increase resource and material efficiencies, drive carbon emissions reductions and stimulate economic growth. “Based on the EmiratesGBC’s Building Efficiency Accelerator Project Report, the best hotel and hotel apartment performers consume 58% less energy and 65% less water per unit area than the worst performers in the category,” he says. “The best performers among schools consume 61% less energy and 84% less water per unit area compared to the worst. Among malls, the lowest consumer uses 35% less energy and 58% less water per area compared to the highest consumer.” Fayyad points out that this shows the strong potential for savings and operational efficiencies that can be achieved through remedial actions, such as audits, retrofits, energy management and the use of awareness campaigns or trainings to drive changes in behaviour.

Grant says that there has been a lot of push from a sustainability perspective. “That’s only going to increase, because there is going to be more and more pressure to reduce energy consumption, improve efficiency, reduce carbon, and hit international, regional and local targets,” she says. “So, the pressure is going to mount from a sustainability perspective, which is great, because I think it needs to happen. There needs to be that pressure, and we’re still not on track to hit targets, and there is a lot more that needs to be done across all areas.” An area that Grant says has also been gaining better awareness in retrofits is fire and life safety, especially in existing high-rises, which typically face risk from poor cladding.

FOCUS ON HEALTH AND WELLNESS

In addition to energy-related and fire-and-safety-related building performance, retrofits have placed greater emphasis on occupant health. Aboulhoda says that nowadays, the energy-retrofitting projects are being combined with indoor environmental quality (IEQ) measures through projects that can be categorised as retro-commissioning, where energy is not the only or main concern. “This will attract investors looking forward to overcome the financial crisis of the current and any future pandemics,” he says. This move, Fayyad says, is especially evident in the retail and hospitality sectors. “Consumer confidence and spending were influenced, as employers took steps to manage the impact of COVID-19 by reducing salaries and cutting jobs,” he says. “In light of the ease of restrictions, lockdowns and the availability of vaccines, the tourism and retail sectors are slowly picking up.

These sectors are looking to increase customer confidence and, as a result, are following not only social distancing protocols but also the overall efficient operations of their facilities.” Fayyad points to ASHRAE and REHVA, which have released guidance for safe HVAC operations for the prevention of transmission of COVID-19 indoors, and these practices stem from proper IAQ and IEQ practices. “Increased outdoor-to-indoor ventilation and filtration, however, does increase energy consumption, and the only way to mitigate this is through efficient operations and/or retrofits,” he says. “This is not only limited to retail or hospitality but other sectors, as well, such as schools and commercial buildings. In critical times such as this, owners are increasingly aware that their buildings’ operations should not only have minimal costs but also be safe.”

Fayyad adds that the guidance developed by ASHRAE and REHVA rely on the core principles of sustainable and green buildings. “Research has shown that health and wellbeing features have a positive effect on employee retention and mental health as well reduced operational costs. This is a win-win situation for building owners and tenants, as owners do not have to spend as much capital on maintenance and operations,” he says. “Tenants, in turn, enjoy the benefits of a healthier indoor environment and do not have to pay as much on their utilities. Several businesses, especially in hospitality and retail, are now obliged to ensure health and safety in buildings as a top priority. Their business revenue is now more than ever related to how seriously they take actions to ensure the safety of their guests, visitors and occupants.”

AboulHoda echoes this, saying that IEQ has become crucial for a successful retrofit. “COVID-19 has increased the awareness among building and business owners,” he says. “Further, COVID-19 has added another dimension of retrofit measures, such as economisers, which will more efficiently introduce outside air in buildings, and personalised systems, which will avoid running full systems when partial occupancies take place. The measures taken by building and business owners are more focused into concentrated hygiene practices that can be observed by occupants and visitors and can result in some kind of assurance. However, system-wise measures are yet to evolve, since they encounter high capital investments.”

For Grant, there was already a definite shift in mindset toward health and wellness being considered as part of sustainability even before the pandemic. “Buildings are expanding to have that social health and welfare aspect from a design perspective, which is really great to see,” she says. “This was already happening, pre-COVID, and of course, COVID shone a light on health on a global scale to make sure people have healthy and safe spaces to live and work. I would expect additional drivers to that growing area and field. It will shift the way residential design is considered.”

Monga is in agreement, adding that pre-COVID, there was a lot of talk about improvement of employee productivity in relation to IAQ and IEQ “But the safety and health aspect of it has increased even more during the pandemic,” he says. “COVID-19 has also increased the focus on water disinfection – controlling the growth of any micro-organisms, like Legionella, in the water that we use on a day-to-day basis is equally important to stop the spread of communicable diseases.” Grant believes while there has been positive movement, more needs to be done. “I would still say, we are not seeing as much activity in retrofit as we would like to,” she says. “It would be great from a sustainability perspective to see that part of the market incentivised more to promote improvements in the existing buildings stock. I know there are regulations and government incentives coming into play. I should say that would hopefully stimulate more retrofit activities. We are hoping to still see more happen.”

Fayyad agrees. “While the efforts taken by the UAE government in this direction are commendable, we must continue to push the building and construction sector towards greater efficiencies and to lower the carbon emissions,” he says. “We only have a few years to meet the Paris Agreement targets, and now is the right time to start looking at deep retrofits as a key step in this journey.” Fayyad recommends achieving deep buildings retrofits, targeting 50% energy reduction by decreasing energy demand and implementing energy efficiency measures before adding on-site renewables. “In fact, 50% energy reduction is a realistic target for poor performing buildings, as our Deep Retrofit Study identified,” he says. Elaborating more on this study, Fayyad says that all respondents showed a positive position, with a majority agreeing that deep retrofits are achievable in the UAE with an acceptable payback period using the current technologies available in the market. “While most in the private sector agree that retrofits should be mandated, the developers prefer that building rating schemes should be made compulsory, instead, or retrofits made voluntary with more financial incentives developed,” he says. “Developers also agreed that an annual reduction target of 11-20% (in kWh) is adequate, should retrofits be mandated.”

Monga says that possibly having an incentive-based model, where higher commercial value is given to energy-efficient buildings, would be a “dream come true”. “Denmark has a similar concept – where a home or a building that is rated higher in energy efficiency can demand higher rent and selling price,” he says. “Therefore, incentivising the building developers also incentivises the potential tenants or buyers, as it helps them save on energy and heating costs in the long run.”  In the region, Fayyad adds that the top three challenges to deep retrofits identified by the respondents were lack of landlord interest, lack of financial incentives and low tariff rates. “The results also showed there is greater need of market awareness of both retrofit projects and the  expertise of the retrofit market,” he says. “EmiratesGBC recommends that ESCOs should report their project savings transparently and consistently to build confidence and repertoire within the industry to encourage the public to pursue more retrofits.” Fayyad adds that with the support of regulations and incentives, a decarbonisation roadmap can be realised.

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.

Wilo Middle East acquires PumpsPro

DUBAI, UAE, 17 February 2021: Wilo Middle East (WME), manufacturer of pumps and systems, acquired PumpsPro, a pump solution service provider under Direct Trade House International LLC (DTHI). Making the announcement through a Press release, it said the acquisition entails the creation of a new business unit, which will maintain the name, PumpsPro but will be managed and operated as a Wilo company.

According to WME, the signing of the agreement took place at its office in Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) in the presence of Jens Dallendoerfer, Senior Vice President – Sales Region Emerging Markets, Wilo Group; Yasser Nagi, Managing Director, Wilo Middle East & Group Sales Director MENA Region and Bijan Sheibani, Chairman, Direct Trade House International LLC.

Under the terms of the agreement, WME said it will be acquiring PumpsPro, including all its assets, highly skilled service workforce, brand and extensive portfolio of customers. The move is expected to further reinforce WME’s position as a complete solution provider in the UAE and the Middle East region, it added. Nagi said: “We are proud to announce the signing of a strategic acquisition agreement with PumpsPro – a move that is expected to make Wilo a leading solutions provider in the UAE and the rest of the region. It’s a win-win agreement that falls in line with Dubai’s Demand Side Management Strategy 2030 and gives us the opportunity to support the retrofit program of 30,000 buildings by 2030, which aims to make the emirate one of the most sustainable cities in the world.”

Bijan Sheibani and Yasser Nagi signing the agreement

According to WME, PumpsPro has been working with it as service partner for its overhauling and repairing business since 2018. The signing of the new agreement, it said, is expected to reinforce Wilo’s capabilities, equipping the company to bring repairing and overhauling activities in-house, especially catering to the large number of building service, water management and industrial customers that require the right servicing that leads to strong reliability and asset uptime. WME said its offshore customers in the region will also benefit from the acquisition, where demand for servicing offshore pumps has seen a big uptake, providing oil and gas customers the just-in-time reliable servicing they require.

Peter Glauner, Senior Vice President – Group Service, Wilo Group, said: “This agreement boosts Wilo Middle East’s competitive advantage over its competitors. We are confident to seeing more benefits, as business synergies are further integrated. Over the years, we have reinforced our position as a global leading premium manufacturer of innovative pumps and pumping systems in the field of building services, water management and industry. We remain steadfast in our efforts to set new standards as a leader of innovation in terms of system efficiency and maximum energy savings.”

According to WME, PumpsPro’s relationship with Wilo Middle East dates back to 2018. WME said PumpsPro has earned a reputation of being a complete solution provider, with its employees cited for their high professionalism and expertise. Sectors that will benefit from the newly signed agreement include facilities management, hotels, leisure destinations, hospitals, schools, water parks, offshore, water management and industry, WME added.

Dallendoerfer said: “We are very confident that this acquisition deal between Wilo Middle East and PumpsPro will help consolidate our efforts to position ourselves as a top candidate in terms of providing complete turnkey value-added solutions to our retrofit customers, who are looking for a one-stop shop capable of providing services in supply, installation, start-up, testing/commissioning and other value-added requirements.”

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.”

Condair releases whitepaper on healthy buildings

PFÄFFIKON/FREIENBACHSwitzerland, 14 February 2021: Humidity specialist, Condair, which specialises in humidity management solutions in the built-environment, has released a whitepaper, titled Making Buildings Healthier.

Making the announcement through a Press release, Condair said the paper contains information on how building managers can protect occupant health with a holistic approach to controlling their indoor environments.

According to Condair, the pandemic instigated by SARS-CoV-2 has focused public attention on the risks posed by viral transmission in buildings. Contributory factors that have been known about for some time, have now been placed centre stage, emphasising the influence that elements such as fresh air, temperature, minimum relative humidity and even sunlight all have on the spread of viruses.

The aim of the whitepaper is to provide an overview of these factors and promote dialogue amongst facility managers, users, and health and safety officers, enabling the right package of health protection measures to be considered, Condair said. The whitepaper also includes a checklist so that readers can take stock of their building’s current situation, discover the extent to which their premises protects against the spread of infections and identify where improvements could be made, the company added.

Oliver Zimmermann, CEO, Condair Group, said: “The Condair Group is the world’s leading specialist on humidity control, and for years, we’ve collaborated with scientists and healthcare experts to understand and promote the importance of optimal humidity for health. Through this research, we appreciate that humidity control is just one, but a decisive, weapon that can be used in the fight against respiratory infections.

“Upgrading our built-environment to better protect human health from the current COVID-19 and future potential pandemics, whilst not sacrificing the important gains we have made in energy efficiency, is the single largest challenge the HVAC industry will face in our lifetime. To achieve this objective, we must act as a sector to educate, cooperate and implement practical solutions as rapidly as possible. This whitepaper presents a clear and concise overview of the steps building operators can and should be taking to enhance occupant health, using a holistic approach, rather than a one-size-fits-all, to indoor environmental management.”

According to Condair, the whitepaper can be downloaded from www.condair.ae/making-buildings-healthier-whitepaper.

ASHRAE recognizes members for “outstanding industry accomplishments”

ATLANTA, Georgia, 14 February 2021: ASHRAE recognized what it evaluated as the outstanding achievements and contributions of members to the Society and to the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry, during the 2021 ASHRAE Virtual Winter Conference, which took place from February 9 to 11.

ASHRAE released the following list of awards and their recipients:

Fellow ASHRAE

Fellow ASHRAE 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 14 members to the grade of Fellow:

  • Cynthia Cogil, P.E., principal, SmithGroup, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Donald C. Herrmann, BEAP, HBDP, vice president, D.C. Herrmann and Associates, Tampa, Florida, United States
  • David Michael Platt, retired, Corning, New York, United States
  • Martin Dieryckx, general manager, Daikin Europe, Oostende, Belgium
  • Tianzhen Hong, Ph.D., P.E., senior scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California, United States
  • Rajan Rawal, professor, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
  • E. Curtis Eichelberger, Jr., P.E., principal consultant, Eichelberger Acoustics LLC, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States
  • John M. House, Ph.D., principal, John House Consulting Services, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Steven Tredinnick, P.E., CEM, associate senior project manager, Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc., Lisle, Illinois, United States
  • Blake E. Ellis, P.E., principal, Burns & McDonnell, Overland Park, Kansas, United States
  • Ronald Judkoff, chief architectural engineer emeritus, Center for Building Technologies and Science, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Lakewood, Colorado, United States
  • John O. Varley, P.E., HBDP, mechanical discipline manager, AAA Engineering Ltd., Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Donald L. Fenton P.E., Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, United States
  • R. Christopher Mathis, president, MC2 Mathis Consulting Company, Asheville, North Carolina, United States
  • Ibrahim Galal Hassan, P.Eng, Ph.D., professor, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Doha, Qatar
  • James L. Newman, BEAP, OPMP,  founding member and managing partner, Newman Consulting Group, LLC, Farmington, Michigan, United States.

ASHRAE Hall of Fame

William M. Mackay and Hugh J. Barron, founders of the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers (ASHVE). 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.

  1. Paul Anderson Award

Samir R. Traboulsi, Ph.D., P.Eng., 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. Traboulsi is an engineer with Thermotrade SAL, Beirut, Lebanon.

Louise & Bill Holladay Distinguished Fellow Award

Charles C. Copeland, P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE received the Louise and Bill Holladay Distinguished Fellow Award. This annual award is given to an ASHRAE Fellow for continuous preeminence in engineering or research work. The honor was initiated in 1979 by Presidential Member Bill Holladay. Copeland is president and CEO, Goldman Copeland Associates, P.C., New York, NY, United States.

Andrew T. Boggs Service Award

Bjarne W. Olesen, Ph.D., Presidential Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, received the Andrew T. Boggs Service Award. The award, named after ASHRAE’s executive vice president emeritus, recognizes an Exceptional Service Award recipient for continuing unselfish, dedicated and distinguished service. Olesen is director, International Center for Indoor Environment and Energy, and professor, Danish Technical University, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark.

YEA Inspirational Leader Award 

Vanessa J. Freidberg, P.E. received the YEA Inspirational Leader Award. The award recognizes a Young Engineer in ASHRAE member who has gone above and beyond to make considerable contributions to the industry and community. Freidberg is in business development, Siemens, Austin, Texas, United States.

E.K. Campbell Award of Merit

Chandra Sekhar, Ph.D., 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. Sekhar is a professor, National University, Singapore.

Lincoln Bouillon Award
Ryan Pinckard, of the Oregon Chapter, received the Lincoln Bouillon Award, which recognizes a member who performs the most outstanding work in increasing membership. The award commemorates Presidential Member Bouillon’s efforts in recruiting new members. Pinckard is business development engineer, CHC Hydro, Vancouver, WA.

William J. Collins, Jr. RP Award

Reed Coggins, P.E., of the Atlanta Chapter, received the William J. Collins Jr. RP Award. The award, named in honor of Presidential Member Collins, recognizes a chapter RP chair who excels in raising funds for ASHRAE’s RP campaign. Coggins is application engineer, Lincoln Associates, Marietta, Georgia, United States.

Homer Addams Award

Gabrielle McMorrow, of the National Capital Chapter, received the Homer Addams Award, which recognizes a graduate student who has been engaged in an ASHRAE research project at a university that has graduate programs in the areas of heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and has achieved a high standard of performance in this work. McMorrow is a mechanical engineer (Energy), Architect of the Capitol, Washington, DC, United States.

 

Ralph G. Nevins Physiology & Human Environment Award

Shichao Liu, Ph.D., of the Boston Chapter, received the Ralph G. Nevins Physiology and Human Environment Award, which is given to a researcher under the age of 40 for significant accomplishments in the study of bioenvironmental engineering and its effect on human comfort and health. Liu is assistant professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States.

 

John F. James International Award

Peter Simmonds, Ph.D., received the John F. James International Award. The award recognizes a member who has done the most to enhance the Society’s international presence. Simmonds works for Building and Systems Analytics, Los Angeles, California, United States, and Hong Kong, China.

 

Standards Achievement Award

Paul A Lindahl, Jr., Life Member ASHRAE, of the Kansas City Chapter, received the Standards Achievement Award, which recognizes exceptional service in the area of standards leadership and technical contribution. Lindahl is a consultant, SPX Cooling Technologies, Overland Park, Kansas, United States.

 

Dan Mills Chapter Programs Award

Beatriz Salazar, of the Toronto Chapter, received the Dan Mills Chapter Programs Award, which recognizes excellence in chapter program endeavors. Salazar is designer – electrical, Smith and Andersen, Toronto, Ontario.

Student Activities Achievement Award

  1. Kapilan, Ph.D., of the ASHRAE Bangalore Chapter, received the Student Activities Achievement Award, which recognizes a chapter student activities chair for growth of student activities. Kapilan is professor and head, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Nagarjuna College of Engineering and Technology, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

Lou Flagg Historical Award

Bruce Flaniken, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, of the Houston Chapter, received the Lou Flagg Historical Award, which recognizes an individual for preparing the most outstanding historical presentation related to HVAC&R. The award is named in recognition of Presidential Member Lou Flagg, who promoted an interest in history. Flaniken is manager of facility system design & construction engineering, Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, United States.

Donald Bahnfleth Environmental Health Award

Paul W. Francisco, Fellow Member ASHRAE, of the Central Illinois Chapter, received the Donald Bahnfleth Environmental Health Award, which recognizes excellence in volunteer service focused on environmental health issues. Francisco is associate director for building science, Applied Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, United States.

Youth Outreach Award

Elise Kiland, P.E., of the San Jose Chapter, received the Youth Outreach Award, which recognizes the outstanding effort of a member who actively engages a youth audience in their country, region, or local community through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities. Kiland is a project manager, Critchfield Mechanical, Inc., San Jose, California, United States.

Government Affairs Award

Elizabeth Tomlinson, P.E., of the Minnesota Chapter, received the Government Affairs Award. The award recognizes individuals for outstanding effort and achievement in state, provincial and local government activities in connection with technical issues related to the Society. Tomlinson is senior mechanical engineer, Facilities Sustainability and Resilience Leader, TKDA, St. Paul, Minnesota, United States.

Exceptional Service Award

The Exceptional Service Award recognizes Distinguished Service Award recipients who have continued to serve faithfully and with exemplary effort. Ten members were recognized: 

  • George W. (Billy) Austin, BCxP, BEAP, BEMP, CHD, HBDP, HFDP, OPMP, principal, Shultz Engineering Group, PC, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
  • Wade H. Conlan, P.E., BCxP, commissioning discipline manager, Hanson Professional Services, Inc., Maitland, Florida, United States
  • Mark W. Fly, P.E., Fellow Member ASHRAE, executive director, Norman Asbjornson Innovation Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
  • Jeff Gatlin, P.E., central energy plant manager, Aramark Healthcare/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, United States
  • Carl C. Hiller, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, is president, Applied Energy Technology, Davis, California, United States
  • M. Dennis Knight, P.E., Fellow Member ASHRAE, owner, Whole Building Systems, LLC, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
  • Nicolas Lemire, P.Eng., HFDP, Fellow Member ASHRAE, president and CEO, Pageau Morel & Associates, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Kevin L. Marple, president, Benz Air Engineering Co., Inc., Beaverton, Oregon, United States
  • Tim McGinn, P.Eng., HBDP, retired, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • R. Lee Millies, Jr., P.E., Fellow Member ASHRAE, president, Millies Engineering Group, Munster, Indiana, United States.

 

Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award salutes members of any grade who have served the Society faithfully and with distinction and who have given freely of their time and talent in chapter, regional and Society activities. The following 43 members were recognized: 

  • Jason Alphonso, BEAP, OPMP, branch manager, Wood plc, Orlando, Florida, United States
  • Kevin Amende, P.E., associate professor, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, United States.
  • John S. Andrepont, Life Member ASHRAE, president, The Cool Solutions Company, Lisle, Illinois, United States
  • Nathaniel Boyd, associate director, Utilities and Energy Services, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, United States
  • Robin Bryant, project manager, B&I Contractors, Inc., Fort Myers, Florida, United States
  • Andrew Cochrane, P.E., vice president, Industrial Air, Inc., Greensboro, North Carolina, United States
  • Michael Collarin, BEMP, senior engineer – Mechanical, Gresham Smith, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
  • Wade H. Conlan, P.E., BCxP, commissioning discipline manager, Hanson Professional Services, Inc., Maitland, Florida, United States
  • John M. Constantinide, P.E., energy manager, U.S. Air Force, Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, United States
  • Michael P. Cooper, P.E., executive vice president, Bernhard, Metairie, Louisiana, United States
  • Derek A. Crowe, P.E., senior associate/mechanical team leader, Stantec, Berkley, Michigan, United States
  • Keith I. Emerson, Life Member ASHRAE, retired, Denver, Colorado, United States
  • Vanessa J. Freidberg, P.E., business development manager, Siemens, Austin, Texas, United States
  • Joseph L. Furman, senior sales engineer, Automated Logic, Wallingford, Connecticut, United States
  • James T. Hanley, retired, Cary, North Carolina, United States
  • Nathan P. Hart, P.E., managing principal, RWB Consulting Engineers, Dallas, Texas, United States
  • Kristin Heinemeier, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Member ASHRAE, principal development engineer, Frontier Energy, Inc., Davis, California, United States
  • Carl C. Hiller, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, president, Applied Energy Technology, Davis, California, United States
  • Trenton S. Hunt, vice president, Mechanical Products NSW, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
  • Mark Jackson, Ph.D., sr. product manager, Indoor Environmental Quality, Daikin North America LLC, Waller, Texas, United States
  • Thomas Allen Justice, Life Member ASHRAE, principal, Zene, LLC, Williamsburg, Virginia, United States
  • Ganeson Kandasamy, product engineer, Trane Technologies, Lexington, Kentucky, United States
  • Firouz Keikavousi, Life Member ASHRAE, retired, Orlando, Florida, United States
  • Hyojin Kim, Ph.D., associate professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Newark, New Jersey, United States
  • Lindsey King, energy model analyst, Oglethorpe Power Co, Tucker, Georgia, United States
  • M. Dennis Knight, P.E., Fellow Member ASHRAE, owner, Whole Building Systems, LLC, Charleston, South Carolina, United States
  • Stephanie Kunkel, P.E., associate, Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc. (JMT), Hunt Valley, Maryland, United States
  • Wichai Laksanakorn, P.E., Fellow Life Member, founder and chairman, W. and Associates Consultants, Co. Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand
  • Nicolas Lemire, P.Eng., HFDP, Fellow Member ASHRAE, president and CEO, Pageau Morel & Associates, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Xiaobing Liu, Ph.D., R&D staff, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, United States
  • Brian Lynch, HBDP, owner, Western Mechanical Solutions, Denver, Colorado, United States
  • Steven A. Marek, P.E., mechanical engineer, self-employed, Hanahan, South Carolina, United States
  • Farhan Mehboob, consultant/director, S. Mehboob & Company, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Tim Merrigan, Life Member ASHRAE, consultant, Energy Information Services, Parker, Colorado, United States
  • Corey B. Metzger, P.E., principal, Resource Consulting Engineers, LLC, Ames, Iowa, United States
  • Ahmed Alaa Eldin Mohamed, Ph.D., chairman, Middle East Gate Holding Group, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Carrie Anne Monplaisir, mechanical EIT, Clark Nexsen, Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
  • Michael P. Sheerin, P.E., chairman and CEO, TLC Engineering Solutions, Inc., Orlando, Florida, United States
  • Michelle Swanson, mechanical project manager, The RMH Group, Lakewood/Denver, Colorado, United States
  • Michael L. Watz, Jr., P.E., engineering manager – Commercial Dampers, Greenheck Fan Corporation, Schofield, Wisconsin, United States
  • Ronald L. Westbrook, P.E., Life Member ASHRAE, retired associate director of Physical Plant Utilities, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, United States
  • Robert W. Yost, technical director, National Refrigerants, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Chariti Young, software product manager, Automated Logic, Kennesaw, Georgia, United States

 

Distinguished 50-Year Member Award

The Distinguished 50-Year Member Award is given to individuals who have been a member for a minimum of 50 years, and are a past Society president, Fellow ASHRAE or Distinguished Service Award recipient or who have performed outstanding service to ASHRAE or its predecessor societies – the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers (ASHVE), the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers (ASRE), and the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE). Twenty-three members were recognized:

  • Stephen A. Becker, P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, senior mechanical engineer, Fellow, Lawrence Engineering Group, Fresno, California, United States
  • John B. Bisset, P.Eng., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, founder, Chorley + Bisset Ltd., London, Ontario, Canada
  • Richard Burr, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Spring, Texas, United States
  • Charles D. Callahan, Life Member ASHRAE, retired general manager of commercial market, Oklahoma Natural Gas Co., Placitas, New Mexico, United States
  • Richard E. Cawley, P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, retired, Tyler, Texas, United States
  • Douglas Dewerth, Life Member ASHRAE, Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • Francis Ferreira, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States
  • Robert H. Fuller, P.E., Life Member ASHRAE, mechanical engineer, Gutridge Mechanical, Dublin, Ohio, United States
  • David F. Geary, Life Member ASHRAE, retired, Annapolis, Maryland, United States
  • Ralph Goldman, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Dedham, Massachusetts, United States
  • Mark P. Hershman, P.E., Life Member ASHRAE, consulting engineer, Mark P. Hershman, PE, Richboro, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Ronald H. Howell, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, retired, Meridian, Idaho, United States
  • H. Gerhard Kerschbaumer, Ph.D., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, retired, Ludwigshafen, Germany
  • John H. Klote, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, owner, SmokeControlExpert.com, Leesburg, Virginia, United States
  • Wichai Laksanakorn, P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, founder and chairman, W. and Associates Consultants, Co. Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand
  • Valentine Lehr, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Kings Park, New York, United States
  • Franklin Y.S. Lum, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, San Antonio, Texas, United States
  • Stanley A. Mumma, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, professor emeritus, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Ramesh Paranjpey, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Kothrud, Pune, India
  • Mirza Mohammed Shah, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, director, Engineering Research Associates, Redding, Connecticut, United States
  • Charles Simpson, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, Monroe, North Carolina, United States
  • Stanley Slabinski, Life Member ASHRAE, Monroe Township, New Jersey, United States
  • Frantisek Vaculik, Life Member ASHRAE, Nepean, ON, Canada

Crosby Field Award

Charles S. Barnaby, Fellow Life Member ASHRAE and Peter Simmonds, Ph.D., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, are recipients of the Crosby Field Award for “Development of a Unified Tool for Analysis of Room Loads and Conditions”, which was judged to be the best paper presented before the Society. The Crosby Field Award is named for a former Presidential Member.

Barnaby is an independent consultant, Moultonborough, New Hampshire. Simmonds is president, Building Systems and Analytics, Los Angeles, California, United States.

Willis H. Carrier Award

Emily Ann Oldham received the Willis H. Carrier Award given to a member 32 years of age or younger for presenting an outstanding paper at a Society conference. The award is presented for “Energy Performance of an Occupancy-Based Climate Control Technology in Guest Rooms.” Oldham is designer, DLR Group, Washington, DC, United States.

ASHRAE Technical Paper Award

The following papers received a Technical Paper Award, which recognizes the authors of the best papers presented at Society conferences.

  • Di Lu, Dennis L. O’Neal, Ph.D., P.E., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, and Peng Yin, Ph.D., receive an award for “A Comparison of the Annual Energy Use of Fixed and Variable Airflow Parallel Fan-Powered Terminal Units in a Small Office Building.” Lu is a graduate research assistant, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States. O’Neal is Dean, School of Engineering and Computer Science, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, United States. Yin is assistant professor of mechanical engineering, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana, United States.
  • Lisa Meline, P.E., and Stephen Kavanaugh, Ph.D., Fellow Life Member ASHRAE, receive an award for “Geothermal Heat Pumps: Simply Efficient.” Meline is owner and principal engineer, Meline Engineering Corporation, Sacramento, California, United States. Kavanaugh is professor emeritus, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States.
  • Douglas Reynolds, Life Member ASHRAE, and Michael A. Schwob, P.E., receive an award for “The Effect of Length on the Insertion Loss of Fiberglass Lined Sheet Metal Ducts, Part I: Rectangular Duct.” Reynolds is director, Center for Mechanical and Environmental Systems Technology, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Schwob is president, Schwob Acoustics, Inc., Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.
  • Ngoc Dung (Rosine) Rohatgi, Ph.D., receives an award for “Effects of System Materials towards the Breakdown of Lubricants and Low GWP Refrigerants.” Rohatgi is president, Spauschus Associates, Inc., Bethlehem, Georgia, United States.

ASHRAE Journal Paper Award

Gwelen Paliaga, P.E.; Hui Zhang, Ph.D.; Tyler Hoyt; and Edward Arens, Ph.D., Life Member ASHRAE; receive the Journal Paper Award for the article, “Eliminating Overcooling Discomfort While Saving Energy,” judged to be the best article published in ASHRAE Journal. The article was published April 2019.

Paliaga is technical director, TRC, Oakland, California, United States. Zhang is professional researcher, Center for the Built Environment, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States. Hoyt is Staff Engineer, Comfy, Oakland, California, United States. Arens is director, Center for the Built Environment, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States.

 

Science and Technology for the Built Environment Best Paper Award

Mehdi Mehrabi, Ph.D., P.E. and David Yuill, Ph.D., P.E. are recipients of the Science and Technology for the Built Environment Best Paper Award for “Fouling and its Effects on Air-cooled Condensers in Split System Air Conditioners (RP-1705).” The article was published July 2019. The award is for the best paper published in the volume year of the Science and Technology for the Built Environment, the ASHRAE research journal.

Mehrabi is mechanical engineer, Paradigm Consulting Engineers, West Chester, Pennsylvania, United States. Yuill is Assistant Professor, Architectural Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Omaha, Nebraska, United States.

Student Design Competition

The 2020 Student Design Project Competition focused on building a new 17,500-square-foot document storage and archive center in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. The new facility’s purpose was to store rare documents, books, manuscripts, photos, and audio recordings in a manner that will ensure the preservation of historical items for future generations.

First place in the HVAC System Selection category was awarded to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States. Team members are Ashley Everitt, John Kramer, Jessica Lee and Mitchael Sieh.

First place in the HVAC Design Calculations category was awarded to Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt. Team members are Eslam Mohamed Ali, Ahmed Mohamed Soltan, Amr Gamal Fawzy, Moustafa Ahmed El-Saeid and Mark Magdy Fouad.

First place in the Integrated Sustainable Building Design category was awarded to Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom. Team members are Alekhya Yalamanchili, Amr Suliman, Jacob George and Mohamad Abdul Gaffoor Seyad. 

Setty Family Foundation Applied Engineering Challenge

The 2020 Setty Family Foundation Applied Engineering Challenge required students to design a system to be used by building occupants to report operational issues to building operators.

First place was awarded to Bandung Institute of Technology – Wetonia, Bandung, Indonesia. Team members are R Muhammad Nadhir Nasrudin Tanujiwa, Alpinus Raditya Dewangga, Kamilita Hening Musono, Reza Dzikri Khusaini, Hilman Prakoso and Selvia Diwanty. 

The ASHRAE Technology Awards

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 and serve to communicate innovative systems design. Winning projects are selected from entries earning regional awards.

First place recipients for the ASHRAE Technology Awards are:

  • Kwai Ping Lau and Raymond M. H. Yau, Ph.D., commercial buildings – existing buildings commissioning, Two Pacific Place, Hong Kong, China. The building is owned by Swire Properties Limited.
  • Tomoaki Ushio, PE, P.Eng, Harunori Yoshida, Ph.D., and Shigemi Mori, existing commercial buildings category, Kyoto Station in Kyoto, Japan. The building is owned by Kyoto Station Building Development Company Limited.
  • Shana Scheiber, PE and Roger W. Lautz, PE new commercial buildings category, American Family Insurance “The Spark,’ Madison, Wisconsin, United States. The building is owned by American Family Insurance.
  • Brian K. Rose, PE, existing educational facilities category, Historic Mercy High School Renovation/Cincinnati Public Schools Gamble Montessori project, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. The building is owned by Cincinnati Public Schools.
  • Aaron Smith, P.Eng, BEAP, BEMP, Denis A. Morris and Andrew Bartlett, new educational facilities, the Dalhousie IDEA and Design Buildings project, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The building is owned by Dalhousie University.
  • Reece Kiriu, PE and Jeff Stein, existing healthcare facilities category, Kaiser Vallejo Medical Offices, Vallejo, California, United States. The building is owned by Kaiser Permanente.

First Place and Award of Engineering Excellence

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.

First place and recipient of the Award of Engineering Excellence is:

  • Ned Greene, P.E., new health care facilities category, OHSU Knight Cancer Research Building, Portland, Oregon, United States. The building is owned by OHSU.

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.”

Sauermann launches six HVACR measuring instruments

BRUSSELS, Brussels, 07 February 2021: Sauermann’s new range of measuring instruments offers its 40 years of metrological expertise to distributors in the HVACR sector, the company said through a Press release.

Sauermann said it is offering six reliable and precise instruments designed to quickly check the functionality of HVACR systems. The new range of products covers a full spectrum of measurements, including temperature (dual input Si-TT3 and infrared Si-TI3 thermometers), humidity (thermo-hygrometer Si-HH3), pressure (digital differential pressure manometer Si-PM3), and air velocity (hotwire Si-VH3* and vane Si-VV3 thermo-anemometers), it said. Dependable, quick and easy measurements are done with just a few clicks, thanks to the instruments’ long-lasting batteries, it claimed.

The instruments are all equipped with a backlit display and a wireless pairing functionality, to be used with a brand-new mobile application available for iOS and Android devices (Si- HVACR Measurement Mobile App), the company said. Developed in-house at Sauermann, the app offers functionalities, such as the display of additional measurements (calculated parameters), and the recording of measurement campaigns that can be exported as PDF, XML or CSV reports (measurement tables and curves over time), it said. Further, Sauermann said it is offering reliable connected devices, with an integrated magnetic holder for handsfree measurements, with which a wide variety of measurements can be taken with ease and confidence.

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.

GEA Refrigeration Technologies Division gets new CEO

DÜSSELDORF, Germany, 02 February 2021: Kai Becker took over as CEO of GEA’s Refrigeration Technologies Division as of February 1, 2021.

Kai Becker (Photo courtesy GEA)

“In Kai Becker, we have an experienced manager who has successfully and continuously served in a wide variety of positions at GEA for more than 15 years,” said Stefan Klebert, CEO, GEA Group AG. “His international experience and technological expertise will be of great value for the continued success of the Refrigeration Technologies Division. Kai builds on a solid foundation, which we have Thies Hachfeld (former CEO of the Division) to thank for.”

According to GEA, Becker joined the company in August 2004 and, most recently, headed the homogenisation business unit within the Separation & Flow Technologies Division. He has held GEA positions in Germany, China and the United Kingdom.

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.

Danfoss Press Release – Fresh food, with minimum energy

NORDBORG, Denmark, 21, January 2021: Danfoss said it has strengthened its Alsense IoT services with a holistic store-level software suite, moving store maintenance from reactive to proactive. Making the announcement through a Press release, the company said the technology enables food retailers to prioritise and reduce their maintenance efforts across stores and critical events. It added that the software solution was originally developed by Honeywell.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Smart Refrigeration Solution and incorporate it into our Alsense cloud-based services,” said Jürgen Fischer, President, Danfoss Cooling Segment. “We are now putting predictive maintenance into action, allowing the food retail industry to prevent unplanned cooling system downtime and inefficiencies in energy consumption.”

Natalie Schnippering, Head, Product Management Digital Services, Danfoss, said: “Combining the Smart Refrigeration Solution with our existing Alsense portfolio accelerates our ambition of meeting food retail customers’ needs for optimizing and proactively maintaining a high store performance. The solution goes beyond the traditional monitoring systems that are primarily providing alarms and data overviews. It identifies operating issues, such as compressor failure or coil icing, and provides hands-on guidance to fix them.”

According to Danfoss, Alsense provides food retail professionals with transparency and executive overviews of refrigeration assets and energy efficiency at chain level. Going forward, the combined Alsense offering will enable managers to easily benchmark and prioritise efforts across stores to save time and optimise the impact of their maintenance spend, Danfoss said. Further, Alsense will provide service technicians with a prioritised action plan, empowering them to immediately address equipment performance and operating concerns upon arrival at a store, Danfoss added.

Chris LaPietra, Vice President and General Manager, Honeywell Stationary Refrigerants, said, “The Smart Refrigeration Solution software was developed based on customer requirements gathered from leading food retailers, who were looking to save money by reducing energy spend and improving performance of their refrigeration system.”

According to Danfoss, the step follows the launch of its Alsense IoT platform in October 2020 and will accelerate its efforts in providing food retail professionals with intuitive software tools and data-driven, expert-enabled insights to optimise operational efficiency, refrigeration asset performance and energy efficiency.

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.

‘The UAE leadership has a view of the future – and it is not just tomorrow’

Climate Ambassador Tomas Anker Christensen

Congratulations on your appointment as Denmark’s Climate Ambassador. Could you speak on the potential areas of cooperation between the UAE and Denmark?

I think it’s remarkable the far-sighted leadership the UAE has taken as an oil- and gas-producing country. The leaders have a view of the future – and the future that is not just tomorrow, not just five or 10 years, but they are thinking ahead to 20 or 50 years from now.

We are talking about the major transformation of energy systems. The largest solar farms in the world are in the UAE, and a lot of investment is being done in this area. The country is taking energy efficiency in buildings seriously and addressing the challenge of having had, years ago, the highest carbon footprint per inhabitant.

In that sense, cooperation between the UAE and Denmark on energy and other topics related to food and maritime issues makes imminent sense. We are the country in the EU with the largest oil -production. We have oil and gas in the North Sea. But we are slowly ending our exploration of that oil and gas, and in December 2020, the Danish Parliament decided to end fossil extraction in the North Sea by 2050 with a plan for the just transition of impacted workers and a conversion of the oil and gas fields to Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS)].

There is also a huge market for renewable energy, globally, as this transformation [can be seen] worldwide. In Denmark, we are building better and taller wind farms and offshore wind farms, including over the next two years in two new energy islands. As a result, there has been global interest surrounding Danish windfarm operators and wind constructors, many of whom are now in demand in a number of countries such as the US, Korea and Australia.

Could you speak more about the competitive advantage that countries such as the UAE can have from specialising in sustainable cooling solutions, both in terms of developing the expertise within the country and in terms of pioneering solutions? Do you see this to be a growing market?

The world is undergoing an energy transformation, and the UAE is also very well positioned to be part of it and, in some instances, to lead this transformation. As such, a partnership with a country like Denmark makes great sense.

When it comes to the development of cities, it’s clear that if you look at trends as a whole, [the population] is moving from the countryside to cities at an increased rate. I think the latest figures from UN Habitat and other global organisations is that almost half of the human population lives in cities. We have been going from 30-40% of the population to half, and the trajectory is pointing towards a world where most of the people are in cities.

There have been large movements in the Global South. In China, you have more than 70 cities with more than one million inhabitants, and many are newly constructed with poor quality of buildings that need to be retrofitted and rebuilt. In India, you have a growing middle-class population, and this has led to growth of new buildings in new cities or more modern buildings in new parts of the city. The same trend can be seen in the Gulf region. For a very long time, Dubai was home to most of the cranes in the world. In Africa, large cities that are already big, continue to grow. In Indonesia, we see a population in the process of moving Jakarta to a new island, because it is sinking.

Basically, in many places, the built-environment is not a done deal. We are at the beginning, not at the end. It’s only in older industrial countries in the West that the city structure is permanent. I would think the opportunities for both new buildings and retrofitting are very large, especially in warmer climates, where expertise is needed in challenging environments.

For us, in Denmark, it’s more about reverse engineering our experience with energy efficiency and insulation, and usinge and applying them in the UAE. Also, there would be solutions we need to develop from scratch, based on the circumstances and the physical environment. 

It’s clear that cooling also has some attributes different from heating. [In Denmark], some companies are experimenting with district cooling, but most are district heating, with a lot of combined power and heat plants. Also, some of them are doing this with garbage waste disposal and heat and power. With the more recent climate law, because of the move towards circular economy, we are now looking at recycling and reusing our waste rather than incinerating it.

What can further drive the development of expertise and solutions in the sustainability arena in a country?

A combination of energy pricing and embedding efficiency in building codes and regulation by central and local governments are key here. The building owner and operator might not be interested in building more efficiently because of the perceived cost, and they will try to defer the cost onto the tenants. That means rent goes up, bills go up, and they are not too happy either. That’s always a question for the less well off, that’s also the question of the fair and equitable distribution of the cost and benefit, [[when it comes to implementing sustainable solutions.].

In Denmark, people have been investing in energy efficiency because of energy cost and due to strict regulation since the 1970’s. Because of the cost of energy, there are huge paybacks at a shorter time.

In what ways can the public sector in the GCC region incentivise sustainability initiatives in the built-environment, both in terms of introducing retrofit targets and also ensuring new buildings adhere to higher energy- efficiency goals? 

For one, I would say that educating the general public is extremely important, in terms of the cost, economy, sustainability and potential social benefits.

The very practical education of engineers and economists, integrating energy efficiency into curricula in the built-environment, so that you have your own skilled engineers and technicians ¨to operate systems, do the buildings and learn from it. It is a mentality and way of thinking. We have done it for the last 50 or more years; we didn’t do it before that. It took us a long time and heavy regulation, strong incentives and a lot of private discussion among government and private sector and institutions of higher education to get that sector to operate in an efficient and integrated way. I would encourage public policy makers to think through different dimensions of how to establish a cluster of knowledge and expertise. The young students of today will be the leaders of tomorrow, and they have to make it work 10-15 years down the road.

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.

SAER pumps says reliability is key to winning customer trust in time of COVID-19

DUBAI, UAE, 10, January 2021: Reliability has been crucial for SAER Elettropompe, in terms of maintaining customer relations in the time of COVID-19, Ilaria Favella, the company’s Marketing and Sales representative, said, adding that the decision to keep the production in Italy rather than move it to other countries has played a fundamental role in the company’s ability to strengthen its position in the UAE. “We are giving continuity to our customers and providing a winning, high-quality solution to those who are looking for a supplier in these difficult moments,” she said. “This situation has given us the opportunity to increase customers’ trust.” Favella added that thanks to the Italian production and available stock, Saer has been able to keep the scheduled lead time, as well as win contracts where a short delivery time was required, even during the first phases of the pandemic.

Favella said that SAER has continued to maintain strong links with the GCC region, adding that it was the first market to be developed when the company started exporting from Italy over 50 years ago. Favella said the range of products that is more well-known from the company includes end suction, split casing, high pressure and in-line pumps, as well as submersible pumps and motors,, and applications in the civil, agricultural and industrial fields as well. She added that the company is also positioning itself to address evolving demand for water, which is a critical resource, pointing out that desalination is becoming an important alternative to traditional freshwater resources.

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

AESG in global expansion drive with 45% growth target for 2021

Saeed Al Abbar

Dubai, UAE, 06 January 2021: Consultancy, engineering and advisory firm, AESG announced the appointment of global directors for each of its lines of business, as well as the expansion of the role of the company co-founder, Saeed Al Abbar, to group-wide CEO. Making the announcement through a Press release, the firm said the move follows the establishment of offices in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom, and successful delivery of large-scale projects across the Middle East, Europe and Asia. The consolidation of service teams under unified global divisions, AESG said, will enable it to deploy the best skills and resources from all its international offices on projects worldwide.

Outlining how this strategy bolsters the company’s ambitious plans for the upcoming year, Al Abbar said: “2021 is set to be a significant growth year for AESG, as we build on the momentum we have established. While the Middle East will remain a focal market for us, we are also seeing steady growth in our business in the UK and Europe, as well as a surge in opportunities in Asia. Our reorganization perfectly positions us to capitalize on these opportunities, as we draw on the brightest and most qualified talent from each market to drive our success across the vast geography of our operations.”

Phillipa Grant

AESG said that under the direction of its newly appointed global directors it is looking to further grow its teams. The company said it has budgeted for a 45% increase in headcount, with the objective of scaling to 140 professionals through 2021. The company also revealed its intention to replicate in Asia the strategy that has proven highly successful in the Middle East and Europe by establishing a regional headquarters in Singapore. 

AESG said its newly appointed global directors will be tasked with leading teams, driving the growth of their service lines and ensuring best practices are implemented across regions. Two AESG Global Directors have been promoted from within the company, with Phillipa Grant and Nivine Issa now taking on the roles of Global Director of Sustainability and Global Director of Environment, respectively. Grant and Issa have also taken up equity partnership in the firm, demonstrating their long-term commitment to AESG and highlighting the company’s leadership in gender equality in the field.

Nivine Issa

With its appointment of Peter Downer to the position of Global Director of Fire and Life Safety, AESG said it is also looking to draw from the experience and expertise of a business leader who has worked with large multinational construction consultancy firms. An industry veteran of over 35 years – 15 of which have been in senior leadership positions – Downer has worked extensively on projects across the Middle East, Asia and Australia, AESG said. Prior to joining AESG, he served as the Senior VP at Jensen Hughes, where he led the Asia region, which included offices in China, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau.

Peter Downer

Al Abbar said: “AESG has successfully navigated the challenges of 2020, and as developers look to enhance and optimize the efficiency, sustainability, safety and manageability of their investments, our comprehensive portfolio of specialist services is now more relevant than ever. We maintain a highly optimistic outlook with confidence that our commitment to maintaining service excellence through our ongoing expansion will further validate our position as a leading global consultancy firm.”

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%.

GEA wins at RAC Cooling Industry Awards

 

The GEA Grasso Conversion Kit (GGCK) at the North Yorkshire site. Photo courtesy GEA

DUESSELDORF, Germany, 18 December 2020: GEA won in the ‘Contractor of the Year 2020’ category at the RAC Cooling Industry Awards, on December 9. In addition, GEA received a “highly commended” rating in the ‘Building Energy Project of the Year’ category, during a pandemic-induced virtual ceremony, organised and conducted by the British Refrigeration & Air Conditioning magazine (RAC), the company said through a Press release.

According to GEA, the award recognises companies that have made a special commitment to environmentally friendly and innovative solutions in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. 

GEA bagged the ‘Contractor of the Year’ award for implementing the Quorn Foods project, which the company said involved installing a new compressor to improve performance – in parallel with replacing a faulty refrigeration system during a planned shutdown at the food manufacturer’s plant at its site in North Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. The customer, as well as the judges of the RAC Cooling Industry Awards, were delighted with the solution it provided, GEA claimed. By investing in a GEA Grasso Conversion Kit (GGCK), Quorn Foods benefited from a larger compressor that replaced ageing equipment and increased cooling capacity by an additional seven per cent, GEA said. This not only improved the site’s efficiency, but also resulted in energy savings and a reduced carbon footprint, GEA claimed. GEA said it also upgraded the existing control system with a new OMNI Retrofit Panel control (GORP). The control and management system ensures optimal operation of the plant, it added.

Throughout the installation, the GEA Refrigeration Technologies team worked under great time pressure, with only 10 days available for all the work, GEA said, adding that it successfully completed the project in just five days and, as a result, Quorn Foods was able to restart production without interrupting the plant’s workflow.

GEA said the RAC Cooling Industry Awards judges praised its strong commitment at the awards. “GEA demonstrated great foresight and found a cost-effective solution for the customer within the given timeframe through its great expertise and decades of experience in refrigeration,” GEA quoted the judges as saying. “Furthermore, GEA also took the opportunity to improve the flexibility of the plant’s operation and realized energy savings.”

GEA said the jury of the Awards also praised its project for the Scottish premium ice cream manufacturer, Mackie’s, offering GEA a “Highly Commended” recognition for executing the project.

The Mackie’s project saw GEA replace the existing freezer at the ice cream maker’s Aberdeenshire plant with a design using an ammonia and CO2 low-carbon, energy-efficient cooling system to work alongside an absorption chiller. It was the first large-scale ice cream production plant in Scotland to combine biomass heat and absorption cooling, GEA said. The solution, it added, helped Mackie’s achieve its plan and ambitious target of CO2 reductions of 90% and energy cost savings of 70-80%

Mackie’s Aberdeenshire plant. Photo courtesy GEA

District cooling utility, Empower wins two Golden Bridge Awards

DUBAI, UAE, 17 December 2020: Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower) has won two Gold Awards in the 12th edition of the Annual Golden Bridge Business and Innovation Awards 2020, the district cooling utility said through a Press release. The winners received their awards during a virtual awards ceremony, on December 10.

Ahmad Bin Shafar

Empower said it earned recognition as the Gold Winner for ’Company of the Year’ in the Energy and Utilities category for its impressive achievements in 2019, including the practical innovations in developing the district cooling industry in the world and raising the standards of sustainability in the sector.

Additionally, Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower, received the honour, Gold Winner Award for ‘Executive Achievement of the Year’ in the Energy & Utilities category, in recognition of his pioneering contribution in encouraging the region to adopt district cooling concepts and his prominent role in leading Empower to become the world’s largest district cooling services provider, the district cooling utility said.

Previously, Bin Shafar was named as the ‘2018 IDEA Global Leader’, in recognition of his efforts for the enhancement of district cooling sector and his support towards global strives for a better environment. In 2017, he was also appointed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as a special advisor on district cooling for its global ‘District Energy in Cities Initiative’.

On this occasion, Bin Shafar said: “The winning of these two Golden Bridge Awards is an inducement for our work teams to move forward in making a qualitative difference. It is also an international recognition for Empower’s efforts in transforming the space cooling industry, globally, and an encouragement for decision-makers to adopt district cooling solutions and apply integrated green practices.”

Bin Shafar spoke of how Empower is pioneering in the District Cooling sector locally and internationally. The company’s efforts and the leading role in the industry also led to the crowning of Dubai as the ‘Champion City’ for district cooling globally, on the sidelines of the 8th International District Energy Association (IDEA) Annual Conference, held in December 2018. 

Empower said it has bagged many international awards, as a reflection of its determination and leadership and its ability to innovate solutions and technologies in the district cooling industry. The world’s first unmanned and fully automated district cooling plant it established in the JVC Dubai community is an example of innovative practices, the district cooling utility said.

Empower spoke of how it is a partner of UNEP and plays a vital role in UN-led global initiatives, ‘Cool Coalition’ and ‘District Energy in Cities’. Empower said it is also a member of international bodies of district energy and HVAC industries, such as ASHRAE and IDEA (International District Energy Association).

Bin Shafar added that the company’s success in achieving huge savings, in terms of energy, and protection of natural resources, is the fruit of its ongoing commitment to contribute in building a sustainable future based on a diversified economy and zero carbon emissions. Empower said it saved 1,224MW of electricity, worth AED 3.2 billion, as of the end of 2019. The company’s  total district cooling networks, it said, crossed 320 kilometres. It added that it awarded contracts to various companies at a total value of AED1.13 billion in 2019.

DriSteem wins award for its GTS LX Series Humidifier

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minnesota, 16 December 2020: DRI-STEEM Corporation (DriSteem), manufacturer of humidification, evaporative cooling and water treatment products, has received the BUILD Construction & Engineering award for the ‘Best in Commercial Humidification Solution Provider of 2020’ for its GTS LX Series Humidifier.

Making the announcement through a Press release, DriSteem said the Best in Commercial Humidification Solution award is selected by the BUILD Construction & Engineering research team. Those selected met merit-oriented criteria, researched via public domain with many factors taken into consideration, the company said. The nominee proved evidence of expertise within its field, dedication to customer service and client satisfaction with an ongoing commitment to excellence and innovation, the company added.

“We are truly thrilled to receive this prestigious award, five years running,” said Mysty Hanson, Product Manager, DriSteem. “It is always an honor when your work is recognized in the industry as being one of the best.”

According to DriSteem, the GTS LX Series Humidifier is the only gas-fired humidifier that combines the highest efficiency on the market with ultra-low NOx in a single design, thermal combustion efficiency, 94% higher heating value of fuel and 103% lower heating value of fuel. All LX Series humidifiers, the company said, feature new touchscreen displays. The new display, it added, has all the industry-leading functionality of its Vapor-logic controller, with intuitive interface animated graphics, and a Set-up Wizard for easier start-ups.

According to DriSteem, additional LX Series highlights include:

  • Condensing design for highest efficiency and PVC venting.
  • Ultra-low NOx certified to SCAQMD 1146.2 standards.
  • Smart drain technology adjusts drain intervals automatically based on water quality.
  • Universal water control for use with any water type, including RO/DI water.
  • Modulating output with minimum 5:1 turndown for accurate humidity control.
  • Outdoor and indoor models for application flexibility.

Daikin India acquires Citizen Industries

GURGAON, India, 16 December 2020: Daikin Airconditioning India acquired India-based AHU manufacturer, Citizen Industries through a share-purchase agreement, signed on December 15, the former said through a Press release.

According to Daikin, the acquisition will provide prominence to its current infrastructure influence and help increase its penetration across various applications.

Citizen Industries has two manufacturing units, a big base of R&D engineers and service technicians that Daikin said would complement its people strength. The integration of the two companies, Daikin added, would result in joint sales velocity; acquiring of ongoing air-side maintenance contracts; expansion into the applied and VRV solution business, including air side; a horizontal collaboration with American Air Filter (AAF); and catalysing economies of scale at Daikin’s Neemrana factory in the western Indian state of Rajasthan and its R&D centre.

Daikin said its acquisition of Citizen Industries mirrors its assertive philosophy of identifying opportunities ahead of time and building value around its offerings, while keeping customer requirements at the forefront to create a sustainable business, faster than the rest.

ASHRAE, CIBSE sign strategic partnership agreement

ATLANTA, Georgia, 15 December 2020: ASHRAE and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) have signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) formalizing the organizations’ relationship, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

Charles E Gulledge III, 2020-21 ASHRAE President, and Stuart MacPherson, CIBSE President, signed an SPA during a virtual signing ceremony on December 10. The agreement outlines how ASHRAE and CIBSE will work cooperatively on activities that serve their respective memberships, to promote the advancement of a more sustainable built-environment through HVAC&R technologies and their applications.

According to ASHRAE, areas of collaboration include:

  • Joint initiatives aimed at accelerating the progression of digital technologies and research
  • Virtual design and construction to improve the resilience of buildings and the health of occupants in an increasingly challenging climate
  • Coordinated promotion of joint grassroots meetings and conferences
  • Advocacy and work on common public affairs goals and ideologies
  • Consistent leadership communication
  • Publication development and distribution
  • Education and professional development co-development and cross marketing

“Our continued collaboration with CIBSE provides a meaningful opportunity to coordinate efforts on innovative technologies and resources to advance the growth of the built environment,” Gulledge said. “We value this partnership with CIBSE and are excited to leverage this collaboration to move the industry and buildings towards a more sustainable future.”

MacPherson said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with ASHRAE and strengthen the long-standing relationship between our organisations. The increasing local and global challenges of maintaining safe, healthy and efficient built-environments marks this as a particularly auspicious time to share knowledge and expertise to enhance our offerings for the benefit of both our members and wider society.”

 

Belimo representative joins Board of automated buildings association

DANBURY, Connecticut, United States, 15 December 2020: The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) has appointed Tom Daenzer, Manager of Digital Business Development for Belimo Americas. CABA is an international nonprofit industry association that provides information, education and networking to promote advanced technologies for the automation of homes and buildings, Belimo said, while making the announcement through a Press release.

Tom Daenzer

According to Belimo, Tom Daenzer has been with the company for over 10 years and is the Manager of Digital Business Development for Belimo Americas since 2018. He leads a team responsible for supporting the growth of HVAC valves and actuators that harness smart and/or connected capabilities, Belimo said. One of Daenzer’s primary roles is to guide the development of services and APIs that complement these connected products through relationships with industry peers and technology partners, Belimo said, adding he leads the Belimo Americas IoT Committee and is a member of the global IoT Core and IoT steering committees. Prior to his Digital role, Daenzer was Business Development Manager for Belimo’s Shared Logic line of intelligent actuator solutions. Before working for Belimo, he spent 17 years on the construction side of the building automation industry, with roles ranging from software engineer to project manager, the company said.

A CABA member company since 2018, Belimo recently began a collaboration with several other CABA members on what will be the first-of-its-kind market sizing study of the building automation control systems market, said Ron Zimmer, CABA President & CEO. “As an industry leader in the development of connected products and services, Tom Daenzer will be an outstanding addition to the CABA Board of Directors,” he said. “That extensive background, combined with active involvement in IoT task forces and committees, has given him unique expertise on the industry’s recent evolution, which I know will be an asset to the Board.”

Lexzander, Emitech enter into a JV

DUBAI, UAE, 01 December 2020: Lexzander and Emitech have formed a joint venture (JV) in a bid to give

V Sekhar Reddy

end-to-end solutions for MEP works, with the former saying it is coming forward with construction management and engineering capabilities and the latter saying it is bringing logistics and project execution expertise to the enterprise. Speaking to Climate Control Middle East magazine, V Sekhar Reddy, Managing Director, Lexzander, said the JV, established on November 16, aims to synergise the experience and expertise of the two companies in delivering right solutions at the right time.

The JV’s immediate target is the AED 25-30 million market segment, where it wants to offer a shorter conversion time and optimised resources. Rahul Duragkar, Managing Director, Emitech Group, spoke of a fair shortage of good electromechanical end-to-end solutions.

Rahul Duragkar

The JV, he said, aims to give clients more satisfaction than what they are paying for and that it includes offering specialised expertise in engineering and project management. Reddy added: “This association is to add value to the products that need to be delivered, with an emphasis on techno-commercial solutions. We are looking at projects that definitely need personalised attention and, as an outcome, are well-engineered.

The JV aims to work directly with clients on design-build solutions, instead of taking a main contractor approach. Broadly speaking, the scope of work includes mid-size MEP projects, with an emphasis on energy efficiency and good indoor air quality (IAQ), all executed at a low cost per ton. Additionally, the JV aims to serve energy auditing solutions to the market  and, further, renewable energy solutions, such as solar heating and associated solar sub devices, including solar PV.

“We come with a combined experience of 62 years and want to address questions arising out of a dearth of qualified MEP contractors,” Reddy said. “I will not hesitate to say that most people are doers, not thinkers. Irrespective of the value of the job, it needs due attention, and for various challenges, companies are not willing to invest in the AED 40 million segment, which takes a good portion of the market and, in the coming years, will form a substantial presence in market development and growth.”

Bacharach expands refrigerant gases on MGS-400 Gas Detectors

New Kensington, Pennsylvania, United States, 13 May 2019: Bacharach, which provides HVACR gas instrumentation, has added 22 halogen refrigerants for its MGS-400 gas detectors in commercial and industrial gas leak monitoring applications, the company said through a Press communiqué.

The newly added halogen refrigerants include R-1234yf, R-1234ze, R-134a, R-22, R-32, R-404a, R-407a, R-407C, R-407f, R-410a, R-422, R-422d, R-427a, R-434a, R-448a, R-449a, R-450a, R-452a, R-454a, R-454c, R-507a and R-513A. Support for additional gases are in development and will be released over the next few months, the company said through the communiqué.  

The MGS-408 Controller in operation

The MGS-400 series product family uses three different sensor types, depending on the measurement range, temperature and gas types when detecting for hazardous refrigerant leaks, the communiqué said. The variety of sensor types within the product line offers significant user benefits, including flexibility with refrigerant leak detection and providing peace of mind when helping to protect personnel and achieve compliance with safety standards like ASHRAE 15, CSA-B52 and EN 378 inside of machinery rooms, mechanical equipment rooms, chiller plants, cold storage facilities and walk-in freezers, the communiqué said.

Other user benefits, the communiqué said, include a mobile app interface for easy commissioning and maintenance without special tools and an added sensor life of 5-7 years with plug-and-play pre-calibrated sensor modules for quick, simple sensor replacement. According to the communiqué, generating calibration certificates from the mobile app makes calibration documentation easy to create and send by email or store in the cloud. A Modbus RTU interface, the communiqué said, and analogue and relay outputs enable easy safety alarming and automation control.

Baltimore Aircoil introduces Nexus Modular Hybrid Cooler

Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 21 April 2019: Baltimore Aircoil Company (BAC) has introduced the Nexus Modular Hybrid Cooler, which it claimed in a Press communiqué as being the world’s first intelligent, plug-and-play, modular, hybrid fluid cooling system. The Nexus, BAC said, is engineered to simplify system design and optimise water and energy savings, while providing the lowest installation, operating and maintenance costs.

According to the communiqué, the Nexus simplifies both the design and installation of fluid cooling systems. The units are up to eight feet shorter in height, have a 40% smaller footprint and are 35% lighter than traditional fluid coolers, the communiqué said. Modules are designed to be moved with a pallet jack and fit in a freight elevator – eliminating the need for special rigging equipment, the communiqué said. Structural steel requirements can be reduced by up to 50%, and permanent ladders or elevated platforms can be eliminated, the communiqué added. All fans, pumps, accessories and controls are factory-installed, and wired, for true single-point wiring, the communiqué further added.

The Nexus Modular Hybrid Cooler

According to the communiqué, BAC’s patented hCore Heat Transfer Technology delivers exceptional heat transfer performance, durability and longevity in a compact, corrosion-resistant package that has 65% less internal fluid volume and requires no passivation. The Nexus’ new, patent-pending DiamondClear design uses 60% less spray water volume than traditional systems, has turbulent spray water flow, and the spray water basin can be inspected while in operation, BAC claimed through the communiqué. BAC’s iPilot Control System, with patent-pending, embedded intelligence minimises operating cost by effectively balancing water and energy savings based on customer needs and preferences, the communiqué said. The EC Fan System, BAC claimed through the communiqué, provides superior efficiency as well as high external static capability, with a direct-drive radial fan and a variable-speed electrically commutated (EC) motor. It completely eliminates maintenance associated with traditional fan drive systems and delivers superior reliability, the communiqué said. 

The Nexus has the highest uptime and reliability, the communiqué said. As standard, it is a passivation-free unit with premium non-corrosive materials to keep customers up-and-running with their projects at the most critical times, the communiqué said. Code compliance is also very important for our customers, so a non-combustible option that meets the most stringent fire codes will now be available, the communiqué quoted BAC as saying. 

“This product highlights our leadership position in innovation,” said Don Fetzer, BAC President, “as we have created the world’s first truly smart hybrid cooling solution, with the ability to switch between evaporative and dry cooling in a modular compact footprint.”

ENGIE announces new version of the Quantum Air

Lindau, Germany, 14 April 2019: ENGIE Refrigeration is redesigning its entire air-cooled Quantum series, the company said through a Press communiqué. The new Quantum air models will be available worldwide from June 24, the company added through the communiqué.

“The requirements for the refrigeration industry have changed in recent years,” said Jochen Hornung, CEO, ENGIE Refrigeration. “Our customers are placing increasing value on greater efficiency and performance in their chillers, for example. We are accommodating these changing conditions by redesigning our air-cooled QUANTUM series.”

Jochen Hornung, CEO, ENGIE Refrigeration

On the launch date, ENGIE Refrigeration will offer 28 basic models of the Quantum Air. Fourteen of these models use the refrigerant R-1234ze, and 14 models use the refrigerants R-134a and R-513A; all of them require lower quantities of refrigerant, the communiqué said. Like its predecessor model, the revised chiller is ideal for use in a variety of industries – from automotive manufacturers and suppliers to the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry, industrial production and data centres, the communiqué said.

According to the communiqué, customers will benefit from additional important advantages in the future – ENGIE Refrigeration has combined the individual machine components in a new way, so that the Quantum Air surpasses even the exceedingly high efficiency of the current series. The chiller is also suitable for applications from 250 kilowatts to two megawatts, the communiqué quoted the company as saying, adding that with this refrigeration capacity, the Quantum Air outperforms not only its predecessor but also all air-cooled chillers from other manufacturers that are currently on the market.

Single- and two-phase secondary refrigerants have much to contribute to sustainable cooling, says academic

Uttar Pradesh, India, 14 April 2019: Single-phase and two-phase secondary refrigerants have much to contribute to sustainable cooling, said Dr Jahar Sarkar, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi. Explaining in brief about the concept, he said, “Secondary refrigerants are heat-transfer fluids and are used for sub-ambient temperature cooling applications, which involve the transfer of heat from a conditioned space to the evaporator of the refrigeration system.” Elaborating, he said, as the working pressure is high within the refrigeration system, there is a chance that the primary refrigerant may leak with long-route evaporator applications. “To avoid the leakage,” he added, “the secondary refrigeration loop is used for a multiple cabinet cooling application.” The single-phase secondary refrigerant consists of an anti-freeze solution, corrosion inhibitor, and biocides, which generally remains in the liquid phase through the loop, whereas the two-phase secondary refrigerants take advantage of the high latent heat during the phase change process in the loop, turning it from liquid to solid to the gaseous state, he said.

Highlighting the extent to which secondary refrigerants such as single-phase and two-phase fluids are used in India, Sarkar added, “Single-phase fluids, such as water-based brines (aqueous fluid), containing glycols (e.g. ethylene and propylene glycols) or salts (e.g. magnesium and calcium chlorides) are widely used in many industries, including ice plant, food processing plant and in supermarkets.” However, non-aqueous single-phase fluids, he said, are also available in the international market.

An Inadequate Reaction

“It’s still mainly business as usual,” says Daniel de Graaf, Scientific Assistant at the German Environment Agency, who believes that the air conditioning and refrigeration sector’s adoption of low-GWP refrigerants in the country remains inadequate. This, he says, is the case despite stakeholders encountering problems with procuring refrigerants owing to the European F-Gas Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 517/2014), citing recent reports of refrigerant theft to highlight the sense of desperation in the market. “We had a wake-up call, last year, when refrigerant prices went through the ceiling,” he says. “In January 2017, in Germany, you paid EUR 100 for 12.6 kg cylinder of R 134a. Now it’s EUR 600 or even more.” Regarding R-404A, which is the standard refrigerant for commercial uses, such as supermarket refrigeration, de Graaf says, the price hike was even more dramatic at approximately 1,000% in one year and a half.

De Graaf says that due to the CO2 equivalent based HFC phase down approach of the F-Gas Regulation, there is lack of clarity about the question, ‘Which refrigerant is future-proof for the European market and which is not?’ This becomes more obvious with prohibitions, which have been put down for some applications in Annex III of the F-gas Regulation, for example, for household or air conditioning appliances. “With portable air conditioners,” he explains, “you’re only allowed to sell appliances that use refrigerants with a GWP of 150 or less, from 2020 on. In this segment, you have a complete halt for HFCs, with prohibition of mini-splits containing refrigerants with a GWP of more than 750 from 2025.” But even more important, de Graaf stresses, is the prohibition to the placing on the market of stationary refrigeration plants using refrigerants with a GWP of more than 2,500, such as R-404A, starting from 2020.

While the F-Gas Regulation provides a framework to restrict the amount of HFC, de Graaf says it is up to the market to find the most economical solution. “The problem is people do not want to adopt accordingly, because sometimes it just blows away their business case,” he says. “If you sell chillers with HFCs and made a lot of money and you are told you have to use something else — propane or ammonia, for instance — that’s not what you had as a business case. This is especially true if you don’t only sell the chillers but also the HFC refrigerant for the chillers. Natural refrigerants are definitely no business case for HFC or HFO manufacturers.” Rolf Werner, Director, Application Engineering, Wieland, adds that for manufacturers, there is a lack of clarity on the type of refrigerant that will take the lead in the market. “We can see CO2 applications on the rise for supermarkets and buildings,” he says. “That’s clear, but for all of the other refrigerants, it’s quite unclear and uncertain.” Maciej Danielak, Export Sales Director, Kampann, weighs in, saying that the increasing prices of refrigerant have paved the way for water-based systems, which has seen an uptake, adding that the companies dealing with refrigerants are looking to complement and expand their portfolio.

Dr. Karin Jahn, Technical Manager, Sector department, Refrigeration and Heat Pump Technology, VDMA, believes that the current environmental policy framework in Germany is boosting the demand for climate-friendly solutions in the refrigeration sector, stressing that the European F-Gases Regulation and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol have triggered a lively discussion in the market about the use of various refrigerants, with renewed interest in natural alternatives.

De Graaf stresses that that there is further scope for natural refrigerants to be used, saying that manufacturers and end-users are settling for interim solutions that are unable to cope with looming targets. “R-32 is becoming more and more prominent in the market, when it comes to room air conditioners,” he says, “but R-32 still has a high GWP of 675. We need to get down to an average GWP of roughly 400 by 2030 — that’s still quite a gap to close. R-32 is not a final solution, but it’s what is marketed a lot right now in Germany and throughout Europe.”

Bottlenecks in the adoption of natural refrigerants, de Graaf says, can also be partially attributed to lack of training. Dr Jahn adds that many installers and workers are interested in converting existing refrigeration systems and ensuring the viability of future systems to be installed; however, the planning, installation and operation of systems with flammable refrigerants demands special legal expertise and safety-engineering know-how.

De Graaf believes craftsmen and technicians are the stakeholders that should be addressed, as they are the ones reluctant to move away from standard HVAC refrigerants and deal with flammable or toxic alternatives, with many apprehensive towards even R-32 appliances.

Dr Jahn remains optimistic, however, saying that the fundamentally high standard of training systems in Germany puts the industry in a very good position. “In principle, the training programmes in Germany are so broad that the graduates are familiar with all established refrigerant alternatives,” she says, “whether natural refrigerants, synthetic refrigerants or blends, and are able to pursue respective developments in refrigeration and air-conditioning companies.” Even so, Dr Jahn says that there remains a high demand for special seminars and courses to keep them up to date with the latest legislation and engineering developments.

De Graaf adds that, of late, there are a number of incentives, namely support programmes where end users can get money from the German government when opting for equipment with natural refrigerants. He also believes that investment into the development of new solutions with natural refrigerants makes economic sense for manufacturers, since they are F-Gas Regulation-proof also in the long run and outperform HFC as well as HFO equipment energetically. The latter is also important for end users, who accept higher initial investment costs when, due to lower energy costs, life cycle costs are equal or lower compared to HFC equipment.

Even with existing innovations, however, de Graaf expresses his concern at manufacturers’ reluctance towards introducing products to the market, citing instances wherein a manufacturer that received the German Blue Angel ecolabel certification for his product in March 2018, still refrained from introducing it to the market. “There are some other manufacturers, as well, for single split appliances with R-290 that still refrain from bringing them to the market because of the safety issue,” he says, “but they may be a little bit too cautious in this respect. In India, one such manufacturer sold 600,000 units, which are installed with no incident because technicians had proper training.” As such, de Graaf issues a plea to manufacturers that have solutions in their portfolio, “Please be a little braver in bringing your energy-efficient and climate- friendly solutions to the German and European market.”

China eyes a larger MEA footprint

Ten air conditioners will be sold per second in the next 30 years, says Moan Abraham, Vice President and General Manager for Air Conditioning, Hisense Middle East, quoting a key figure in the International Energy Agency’s “The Future of Cooling” report. The report forecasted that the global air conditioner market will grow from 1.6 billion to 5.6 billion by 2050. For Abraham, while the figure offers tremendous potential, it also poses a challenge for HVAC manufacturers, stressing that if the industry does not opt for energy-efficient systems from now on, the scenario in 2050 could be quite challenging with regard to heavy consumption. Abraham believes Chinese manufacturers could be well positioned to address this growing demand, with regard to both scale and energy efficiency.

Based on customs data published by the Chinese government, Abraham says that China is already taking a big portion of the air conditioning business, globally and that the number continues to grow for all major players. Mark Wang, General Manager of International Sales, Chigo, says the overall growth of China’s HVAC industry is expected to be around five per cent. Abraham says that Hisense alone has been able to increase its export shares by 50% in the last three years.

To further underscore the scale of Chinese exports, Abraham says that in 2018 alone, around 50 million sets were exported from China. In 2019, Abraham says, it is expected that 4.14 million units will be exported to the Middle East, and 3.19 million units to Africa. “If China is exporting [around] 50 million sets, and the Middle East and Africa is taking around 7.5 million sets, that’s a significant portion that the region is accounting for,” he says.

Growing presence in Middle East and Africa

Abraham says that the Middle East and African markets have been showcasing greater appreciation for Chinese brands. Gleaning from Hisense’s own experience in the region, Abraham says that in the past, the company was largely an OEM player but that since it has been focusing on its own brand, Hisense has achieved a good market share in the last 3-4 years. This, Abraham says, is owing to several reasons. First, he points to the gradual shift in public opinion. “The quality perception of China-made products have changed today,” he says. “You have government entities specifying China-made products – this means confidence. Basically, the quality and performance of Chinese ACs and brands have been quite high-end in the last few years. People are now recognising that the quality is next to none.” Secondly, Abraham points to affordability owing to economies of scale. “It’s not about buying low-cost products,” he says. “The product is more affordable, so people can buy. Again, the purchasing power increases and the affordability has come.” Abraham also points to reliability, stressing that Chinese brands’ move to partner with notable local companies has enhanced after-sales and maintenance services. Lastly, Abraham stresses that China has the capability to manufacture in big volumes, which allows it to remain competitive in big markets.

Abraham says that this offers a good opportunity for Chinese brands, as the demand will continue to grow, not only globally, as per forecasts, but in the region, as well, owing to a reduction in lifecycle of air conditioners, especially in residential applications. This, he says, can be attributed to three main factors: “Number one, it is exposed to harsh environments. The AC is taking a big beating in terms of performance. Also, usage – people are looking for extreme cooling.” In this regard, Abraham says there is a need to enhance consumer awareness with regard to moderate temperatures setting. “People want a set-point temperature of 16 degrees C,” he says. “This is bad for health and energy consumption. Some countries are putting some regulations, especially in Egypt, which limited thermostat setting to 20 degrees C. If regulation comes, you need to limit temperature setting to a certain level, and you can increase the efficiency   and life of ACs.”

Another cause for the reduction in life of air conditioners, Abraham says, is the lack of skilled personnel handling the maintenance of AC equipment in residential units. The third bottleneck, Abraham says, is the cost of repair as well as the response time of relevant personnel in the event there is a need for product replacements. “In peak season in the GCC region, a new air conditioner can be installed in 24 hours,” he says. “But if you have complaint relating to compressor failure, you may have to wait for 2-3 days.”

Opportunities in emerging market: Spotlight on Iraq

Chinese manufacturers are showing increasing interest in Middle East and Africa; however, it is not solely owing to the potential pipeline of projects. The growing importance the countries in the region is placing on energy efficiency has also piqued the interest of Chinese brands, which have become well-versed in navigating increasingly stringent regulations in China. Abraham says that in China, the government has cracked down on the supply chain of components to ensure that products meet certain environmental standards in view of the country’s commitment to the Paris Accord, leading to a spike in cost of products, as companies need to maintain certain standards of production. Sharing his observations on trends in China, Wang adds that the VRF market is also continuing to grow at good rate, and the proportion of VRFs, compared to conventional systems, will increase. Abraham echoes this, saying that in China, VRF systems are being sold in the market like a consumer product and that there are quality training systems for those entering the service industry.

A number of Chinese companies are leveraging this experience to address shifting standards in the region. Wang says: “With the enactment of Saudi Arabia’s new SASO energy efficiency standard, Bahrain and Oman have successively issued energy efficiency regulations similar to SASO. Kuwait has also raised the T4 energy efficiency standard that is expected to be implemented in September 2019.” As customers pay more and more attention to energy saving, Wang says, designers and consultants will also take this aspect into consideration when selecting air-conditioning systems, especially in green projects and government tenders. “The technical threshold of products is the basic requirement,” Wang says. “We are actively responding by the timely launch of related products.”

Wang says that in addition to key markets, such as Saudi Arabia, Chigo is committed towards reinforcing its presence in markets such as Syria, Palestine and, particularly, Iraq. “The political situation in Iraq from 2017 to 2018 has gradually stabilised and reconstruction has started,” he says. Wang adds that although there are challenges in the country, it will not be enough to stall the momentum the Iraqi market is undergoing, adding that the local market is evolving into a promising VRF market. Abraham echoes this, saying that as Iraq continues to develop an increasingly stable government, it will look to provide its citizens with basic services that will require further infrastructure, such as housing. “Those will be good drivers for most of the suppliers,” Abraham says. “If you look at Iraq today, 95% of what is imported is from China, and Iraq is a tough environment in terms of climate, so quality should be at the high end in order to gain the market in Iraq.”

Abraham says that for the most part, the Iraq market provides an even playing field for most suppliers, but that the differentiating factor is the partner of choice. “Local partner distributors’ knowledge in the market and relationships will play an important part in the development,” he says.

Speaking with regard to the goals of Hisense, Abraham says that the company aims to be named one of the top three brands in the next five years in the air conditioning category. The company aims to do this, he says, by offering innovative products, energy-efficient solutions and focusing on customer satisfaction, in addition to ensuring product quality, cooling performance and reduced downtime, all which will help in the company’s efforts to gain further market share. This, he says, is part of a brand’s evolution and part of its unfolding global narrative as a Chinese manufacturer taking on the global market. “It’s a journey,” he says. “You cannot build the Great Wall of China wall in one day.”

Food cold chain driving India’s refrigeration sector

Arvind Surange

Pune, India, 28 March 2019: The overall trend and future of the market of the Indian HVACR industry is very positive, said Arvind Surange, CMD, ACR Project Consultants, adding that the food cold chain has been the major driving force for the refrigeration industry and cold chain sector. “This is due to the fact that India is a major producer of perishable foods,” he said, sharing that India ranks No. 1 in milk production, No. 2 in fruits and vegetables production and is again one of top-ranking countries for meat, poultry and fisheries products. “The overall perishable food production in India is over 400 million metric tonnes (MMT),” he added.

Surange shared that current demand estimates show that the potential for growth in the cold storage capacity is about 10%. “However, in the food processing segment, there is a vast potential for the growth of the industry, as the current food processing capacity is less than six per cent of the production,” he said. Surange added that other applications of refrigeration showing great potential for growth include pharmaceutical and bulk drugs industry, beverages industry and the entertainment sector.

 

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