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Carel launches new iJM solution

BRUGINE, Padua, Italy, 22 September 2021: Carel launched a new iJM solution, backed by a strategic partnership with Vision IoT platform for connecting field assets, the company said through a Press release. Describing iJM as a dedicated product line for refrigerated merchandisers, Carel said the launch was against the backdrop of an increase in demand in the beverage cooler market for solutions that reduce environmental impact by cutting energy consumption and emissions, and for those that feature connectivity options to give beverage companies better intelligence on the sales performance and user habits of their merchandisers in the field.

Carel said it has extensive experience in this sector and continuously invests in new technologies to satisfy the trends. iJM, it added, is the latest result of these investments.

iJM, the company said, includes cutting-edge options for energy efficiency, such as direct control of variable speed compressors, and a completely new flat and frameless display, with various cosmetic customisation options, available according to the customer’s brand. Owing to its connectivity options (NFC, Bluetooth and Beacon), iJM is ready to connect to the Vision IoT cloud platform, so as to offer customers analytics to improve retail management, Carel said.

Vision IoT, Carel said, is a long-standing industry leader in IoT solutions for connected beverage coolers, with more than 1.7 million active units on its Harbor Cloud Platform. Carel and Vision IoT have defined an end-to-end seamless offering that will help Carel’s global beverage customers reduce asset loss, improve utilisation and increase sales, Carel said.

The new feature will allow bottlers to equip their merchandisers with the latest generation electronic controllers for energy-efficient management of their units, as well as to monitor them remotely, analyse their profitability and optimise operation through corrective actions in the field, Carel said.

The combined Carel, Vision IoT solution will provide key insights to bottlers, who will be able to gain competitive advantages at the point of sale, Carel said. For bottlers, being able to better understand the performance of their different assets in a retail environment allows them to take actions to improve important KPIs, such as planogram compliance and sales, reduce asset downtime and optimise asset locations within a store.

“CAREL has a strong presence in the beverage cooler market around the world,” said Giovanni Tonin, Group Marketing Manager – Food Service, Carel. “This partnership combines our quality and experience in control solutions with Vision IoT, a vertical, effective cloud platform for beverage coolers.”

Austin Groves, CEO, Vision IoT, said: “We are proud to have been selected as the platform partner of choice by Carel. Our device-agnostic platform is helping more and more global CPG brands gain mission-critical insights to their in-store operations. The scalability and ability to deliver insights directly to the representatives solving these issues are what’s enabling the continued success of our clients and partners.”

Smart Farnek launches HITEK solution 4.0

DUBAI, UAE, 11 July 2021: UAE-based smart and green facilities management (FM) company, Farnek, today unveiled its new 24/7 command and control room, located in Farnek Village, the company’s new staff accommodation centre in Jebel Ali.

L-R: Markus Oberlin; Khaldun Aburok, Director of Business Development, Farnek; Javeria Aijaz; and H.E. Frank Eggmann

Making the announcement through a Press release, Farnek said that through its 5G and Wi-Fi 6-enabled, operational ‘nerve centre’, it will be able to take advantage of increased bandwidth, ultra-low latency and enhanced security, to connect assets from multiple sites, so that they can be centrally monitored and managed.

This, Farnek said, will allow it to rollout connected and transformative applications of technology that not only uplift the face of FM digitalisation but also offer enhanced efficiency. This is achieved through the concept of a digitally connected workforce and customers, to its in-house stream of technically advanced and cost-effective solutions, utilising the Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based technologies, amongst others, the company said.

Following a tour of Farnek Village and the inauguration of its command and control room, H.E. Frank Eggmann, Consul General of Switzerland to Dubai said: “I was particularly impressed with the innovative approach Farnek has taken by developing its own in-house ‘Swiss made’ technology. Equally impressive is the way this is being utilised, which will not only improve cost-efficiency but also has staff welfare and sustainability at its core. This is an excellent example of Swiss state-of-the-art technology at its very best.”

According to Farnek, beyond operational efficiencies and sustainability, its HITEK solution 4.0 will save its customers significant amounts of money. The company said it has estimated that it can save up to 17% in manpower costs after traditional FM operational management has been transferred to HITEK’s smart management.

In addition, through IoT sensors, there is also the massive benefit of predictive and proactive maintenance, which can reduce downtime and improve the lifecycle of assets, facilitating remote monitoring with a fully connected and mobile workforce, Farnek said.

Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek, said: “In the case of manhours, a centralised system can manage multiple sites, whereas operating a traditional Building Management System (BMS) could well require a series of operators in each building. In addition, they may not be experts in every aspect of facilities management and probably will not have the advantage of benchmarking property performance.”

So far, Farnek said, its in-house technology team has developed initiatives, such as a smart washroom, wearable technology, eProcurement, telematic solutions, facial recognition as well as benchmarking and forecasting software to make buildings more sustainable.

Oberlin said: “As the technical specifications of 5G continue to evolve and expand that will capture and encourage even more advanced IoT and AI applications, which could start to become a reality, next year. So, we want to be ready to capitalise on these market opportunities, just as soon as the technology and connectivity is available.

“It is certainly going to take remote FM work to a whole new elevated level, enabling technicians to carry out tasks in either virtual reality or augmented reality environments, which are absolutely ideal for training purposes as well.”

According to Farnek, standalone 5G deployment consists of user equipment – the RAN and NR interface – and the 5G core network, which relies on a service-based architecture framework with virtualised network functions. Network functions that usually operate on hardware, become virtualised and actually run as software, the company said.

Javeria Aijaz, Senior Director – Technology & Innovations, Farnek, said: “We have managed to develop our own 5G network infrastructure-based intelligent and connected platforms, which has its own cloud-native network core, which connects 5G New Radio (NR) technology, and non-standalone (NSA) infrastructures, which still partially rely on existing 4G LTE infrastructure.

“Until Etisalat and Du are able to build out the independent infrastructure needed for 5G, our approach uses a combination of 5G Radio Access Network (RAN), 5G NR interface, and existing LTE infrastructure and core network to provide a 5G-like experience.”

BACnet International welcomes Netix Global as newest member

DUBAI, UAE; Atlanta, United States, 9 May 2021: BACnet International said Netix Global has become the latest company to join the BACnet community as a Gold member. Headquartered in Hoofdorp, in the Netherlands, Netix is a IoT- and AI-based advanced building automation systems provider, whose products and solutions include BAS/BMS, metering and energy savings, enterprise security and smart city integration.

“Netix is a fast-growing company that would continue to be associated with bespoke and globally accepted testing bodies like BACnet International,” said Sanjeevv Bhatia, CEO, Netix. “It gives customers and stakeholders the necessary confidence for ready acceptance, especially in newer markets.”

Netix said it joins more than 150 leading building automation suppliers as BACnet International members, supporting the promotion of BACnet as a global communications protocol. Andy McMillan, President and Managing Director, BACnet International, said: “Netix is a wonderful fit for the BACnet International community. They are taking advantage of new technologies to further enhance building automation capabilities in data analytics and energy management, which are critical to effectively and efficiently managing facilities in smart city solutions.”

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/.

Digitalisation of cold chain assets

While 2020 will undoubtedly join the pantheon of eminently forgettable years in modern recorded history, it will be remembered as the time when we further strengthened the food sector by making use of opportunities presented by technology and other disciplines. Indeed, it would be accurate to say that the pandemic sent food retailers into a tizzy with consumers relying on e-commerce platforms more than ever.

Now, amidst the melee that ensued on the front end, very few noticed the steady rise of IoT acceleration at the back end or the machinery. With that, the need for digitalisation of refrigeration technical assets started gaining pace with the objective of improved energy efficiency.

Since October 2020, companies such as Eliwell Schneider Electric, Danfoss, Carel, Carrier, Emerson, Bitzer and Daikin vigorously started showcasing their digital solutions through such shows as e-Chillventa. The digital ‘show of strength’ highlighted the importance attached to digital transformation and its vast positive implications on operational efficiency. Based on these developments, CPI Industry, which is organising the Food Chain conference – and in doing do so, stands on the threshold of conducting the 10th edition of the event – has aptly themed it as, “Digital transformation of cold chain & food machinery technical assets”.

Apart from the topic of food safety, the conference will be a platform for brainstorming on IoT acceleration, which is one of the main pillars of Industry 4.0 in back-end technical assets. Digital transformation is the current business buzz-term in the GCC region, and I do believe there is considerable untapped market potential for this in cold chain verticals.

What is digitalisation? How is it different from digitisation? Is it technological or cultural?

Who are responsible for making it happen? How does it help the cold chain verticals? Whom does it benefit? Why do we need it? To what extent does it play a role in energy and eco efficiency and sustainability? What are the human and technology-related processes? What are the skills required and their availability in the region? Is digital transformation a bane or a boon? Do we indeed need to incorporate digitalisation to progress?

I look forward to answering these and more in the April issue.

The writer is an independent cold chain consultant after having served in the refrigeration sector in the GCC region as part of major MNCs. In May 2021, he will serve as Chairperson of the 10th edition of the Middle East Cold Chain Food Safety Conference, popularly known as Food Chain. He may be contacted at rasubra7@yahoo.com

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.”

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.”

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.”

Sustainable cooling vital for smart cities, says MIT professor

Dubai, UAE, 24 March 2019: Although cities occupy only two per cent of the world’s surface, they host up to 50% of the world’s population and are responsible for 75% of global energy consumption and 80% of CO2 emissions, said Carlo Ratti, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Founding Partner, Carlo Ratti Associati, during his keynote address for the ‘Design and the City of the Future’ event on March 19, at the American University in Dubai (AUD). During a comprehensive discussion on how IoT is shaping the built-environment, Ratti underscored the important role that sustainable cooling must play in cities of the future. “Fixing energy usage and occupancy is vital,” he said, “when you think about how much energy you spend cooling your homes.”

Ratti said trends in modern architecture are steadily placing greater emphasis on the importance of designing better ways to control temperature with minimum use of energy. This, he said, is especially the case in office spaces, which continue to evolve based on digital connectivity and individual requirements. Providing an example, Ratti pointed to the redesign of the Agnelli Foundation headquarters, in Turin, Italy, where Carlo Ratti Associati developed a customised environmental bubble that provides personalised heating, cooling and lighting systems to occupants throughout the building. By leveraging IoT technologies, Ratti said the building was able to optimise space and energy usage. While the company was deeply involved in the overall architecture of the historic structure, Ratti said the implementation of key technologies related to heating and cooling was done by Siemens Italy, which equipped the building with sensors for different data sets, including the location of the building’s occupants, temperature, CO2 concentration and the availability of meeting rooms.

Ratti said that he believes such an approach is scalable for other projects. “I really see it happening in high-end buildings,” he said. “Monitoring occupancy in a very fine way to create a climate around ourselves.” This, he said, is a best way to harness energy otherwise wasted from cooling in an inefficient manner.

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