June 19, 2014: Vol. 13, No. 25 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



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Industry News

Cable TV Boxes Become Latest Battle in Energy Use Fight
LOS ANGELES—A set-top cable box with a digital recorder can consume as much as 35 W of power daily. The devices use nearly as much power turned off as they do when they are turned on. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the boxes are at the center of a battle between the cable industry and conservationists who believe the devices could be far more efficient. The industry agreed recently to voluntarily reduce the power consumption of new devices, which it said would save consumers $1 billion annually. However, experts say the deal will provide only a fraction of the potential gains and take years to realize. According to the article, the fight over set-top boxes is a stark illustration of the difficulty of wringing energy efficiency improvements even in an era when many Americans are trying to reduce their energy footprint. While the technology exists to make giant strides in energy efficiency, the economic incentives are often missing. In many cases, including with set-top boxes, there is no connection between who pays for electricity and who decides how much electricity gets used.

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China Largest Market for LEED Outside U.S.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—With 1,961 LEED-registered and -certified projects and more than 2,000 LEED professionals, Greater China is the second-largest region for LEED in the world outside the U.S. according to a new report from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The report, LEED in Motion: Greater China also states that LEED projects cover 110 million m2 (1.18 billion ft2) in Greater China. Fifty-four LEED projects have already been certified in China in 2014. The first LEED v4 project in the world, Haworth Showroom, is located in Beijing.

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Insurer Sues Chicago Over Climate Change
CHICAGO—U.S. insurance companies are preparing for climate change, and it behooves cities to follow suit. Insurance companies are beginning to file lawsuits against small towns and cities who the companies say haven’t prepared for climate-change-related floods and storms that potentially could cost the companies billions in payments. Earlier this month, Farmer's Insurance Group withdrew an unprecedented lawsuit against Chicago and its suburbs for failing to prepare for heavy rains and associated flooding last spring the company claims were fueled by climate change. Farmers argued in its lawsuit that the cities knew climate change had raised the frequency, duration, and intensity of regional rainfall since the 1970s and acknowledged vulnerabilities to increased flooding by adopting a Climate Action Plan in 2008. "We hoped that by filing this lawsuit we would encourage cities and counties to take preventative steps to reduce the risk of harm in the future," the company said in a statement. Legal experts said the lawsuit's withdrawal didn't alter the message it contained for governments: prepare now for climate change or pay the price. It was "the first loud shot in what I think will be a long-term set of litigation battles over failure to prepare for climate change," said Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.

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Engineering Still Seen as a 'Male' Profession, Says Poll

LONDON—Most still consider engineering a "male" profession, according to a recent survey by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Two-thirds of respondents said they associate the term "engineer" more with men. Only 27% said they associate the term equally with men and women. Forty percent of respondents said they think the current image of engineering is deterring women from the profession, compared with only 21% saying it is deterring both men and women.

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Office Construction Booming in Already Crowded Manhattan
NEW YORK—Developers will add 9 million ft2 of new office space in Manhattan between 2013 and 2015, the most completed in New York's primary business borough over any three-year period since 1990, according to a new analysis by the New York Building Congress. From 2010 through 2019, the city is projected to gain more than 24 million ft2 of new office space. That compares to 19.4 million ft2 added in the first decade of the millennium and only 10.7 million ft2 in the 1990s, according to the report, which was released June 16. Concerns that the city is producing a glut of office space were raised recently in lower Manhattan. New York will need to continue to create at least 20,000 new office jobs each year over the next decade to both keep vacancy rates low and to create demand for additional office space.

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In other news...

Six World Cup Stadiums in Brazil Achieve LEED Certification
U.S. EPA Considering Changing System of Judging Lead-Paint Threat in Commercial Buildings
Ohio Governor Signs Bill Halting Energy-Efficiency Requirements
Group of Doctors Petition WHO to Restrict E-Cigarettes
Energy-Efficient Clothes Dryers Could Save U.S. Consumers $4 Billion Annually


ASHRAE Publishes 2014 Refrigeration Handbook
The 2014 ASHRAE Handbook—Refrigeration, which covers refrigeration equipment and systems for applications other than human comfort, is now available for purchase. The 51 chapters in the new volume include information on cooling, freezing, and storing food; industrial applications of refrigeration; and low-temperature refrigeration. Updates and changes to the 2014 volume were made to chapters dedicated to and other information on topics including insulation, ammonia refrigeration systems, additives and hydrofluorocarbons.

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New Guideline Provides Information on Performance Monitoring of BASs
Guidance on performance monitoring is featured in a newly published guideline from ASHRAE. ASHRAE Guideline 13-2014, Specifying Building Automation Systems, is intended to provide designers of building automation systems (BAS) with background information, recommendations for good practice, project considerations, and detailed discussion of options with respect to the design of a BAS. The guideline includes online access to an example specification that illustrates the concepts described throughout the document. The guideline includes an appendix on performance monitoring. “The guideline defines three levels of performance monitoring and provides criteria for each level,” said Dave Kahn, chair of the Guideline 13 committee. “This allows even the basic systems to realize some performance monitoring benefits." Kahn is scheduled to give a presentation on specifying performance monitoring with the guideline as part of a session during the 2014 ASHRAE Annual Meeting in Seattle. The seminar will be held at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 2.

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Feature of the Week

Commissioning Existing Airside Economizer Systems
By Dave Moser, P.E., Member ASHRAE
According to the author, airside economizers are a common part of HVAC systems in commercial buildings since they are such a cost-effective method of boosting the overall energy efficiency of an HVAC system. However, they are prone to failure, and need some periodic observation and maintenance to keep them operating properly. This article makes a case for ongoing maintenance of such systems. It provides guidance on optimizing airside economizer systems through new building commissioning and existing building commissioning (EBCx).

This article originally was published in March 2013. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through July 3.

After July 3, access to the article from this eNewsletter will no longer be available. It will remain available for free download by members here and for purchase by nonmembers in the ashrae.org online store.

Product News

Laboratory Exhaust Fan From Greenheck
SCHOFIELD, Wis.—Greenheck’s new Vektor-MS inline mixed flow laboratory exhaust fan is designed to reduce fan energy in demand-based laboratory exhaust applications and enables variable frequency drives to be applied to laboratory exhaust fans. It features the company's Sure-Aire noninvasive flow monitoring technology, which enables the fan to respond to changes in airflow and static pressure in an occupied space, causing the fan’s operation to adjust throughout the day based on demand while the variable geometry discharge nozzle modulates to maintain constant discharge velocity at the fan exit.

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Occupancy Sensor/Lighting Control From Leviton
MELVILLE, N.Y.—Leviton introduces the Provolt ODC family of line-voltage occupancy and vacancy sensors. The new sensors include line voltage occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting and manual-ON/auto-OFF override control in a single unit that requires no special control stations.

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Evaporative Cooling Unit From Port-A-Cool
CENTER, Texas—The Port-A-Cool Hurricane portable evaporative cooling unit is designed to lower temperatures up to 30°F (17°C) and provides 14,500 cfm (6840 L/s). The unit uses high-efficiency cooling pads and water to naturally cool up to 3,500 ft2 (325 m2). Features include a digital control panel with easy-touch buttons for operation and status displays.

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