June 26, 2014: Vol. 13, No. 26 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



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Industry News

May 2014 Was World's Warmest May on Record
WASHINGTON, D.C.—May 2014 was Earth's warmest May since records began in 1880, beating the record set in 2010, according to new data from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and NASA. There have now been two back-to-back warmest months on record, since NOAA also determined April 2014 was tied for the warmest April on record. The combined average temperature over the entire globe in May 2014 was 59.93°F (15.53°C), which was 1.33°F (0.74°C) higher than the 20th-century average of 58.6°F (14.8°C), said NOAA. The United States was far from a record in May. May 2014 was the nation's 32nd warmest May on record.

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New HVAC System to be Installed in Sistine Chapel
VATICAN CITY—A new air-conditioning and ventilation system will be installed to help protect priceless Sistine Chapel frescoes. The HVAC system was custom-designed by Carrier to reduce the wear on the 15th-century Michelangelo artwork. The new system was commissioned by the Vatican Museum and is expected to be installed by the third quarter of 2014 and will replace a previous system that has been in place since the early 1990s. The new system will be twice as efficient and provide three times the capacity of the previous system. The custom-engineered solution uses innovative energy-saving technologies, as well as approaches to minimize noise and limit air motion around the frescoes. The design team used modeling technology to determine the optimal airflow around the artwork and how to maintain desired temperature and humidity levels.

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New Yorkers Can Control Their AC Over the Internet for Free
NEW YORK—New York City residents now can remotely control their air conditioners via the Internet for free. As part of the "CoolNYC" program from local utility Con Edison, customers can request a free device, called a "modlet," that acts as an intermediary between air-conditioning units and electric outlets. The device is connected to the Internet and enables control of the AC unit through a smart phone app and website. The app also enables scheduling of cooling by time and day of the week. The app will show exactly how much power a person’s unit is consuming, and how much the energy use costs. For residents with central air conditioning, Con Edison has a similar program to provide and install Internet-connected thermostats. The utility says it benefits because the program encourages conservation measures. Customers who let the utility company raise the temperature a few degrees in their residences on hot days when there is more strain on the electrical grid will receive a $25 gift card. This will give Con Edison more flexibility in preventing brownouts and blackouts.

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House Passes Two Energy-Efficiency Bills
WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed two energy efficiency bills. The "Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2014," H.R. 4092, creates an office within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to coordinate federal, state and local programs to help schools reduce their energy use. H.R. 4801 directs DOE to research the effect of thermal insulation on energy and water use. 

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How the 'Black Dragon' Burned European Carbon Credit Markets

LIVERPOOL, UK—A British hacker, speaking out for the first time since he was jailed for attempting to steal 8 million euros ($11 million) in carbon credits, said he was easily able to break into online government and corporate registries. Matthew Beddoes, known online as the Black Dragon, was arrested in November 2011 with two other men for hacking into carbon trading registries including those of Spain and the United Nations, along with the websites of a London-based commodity broker and an online carbon trading marketplace. Beddoes, who was released from prison last year, said in an interview that he had helped gain access to all accounts on the U.N. registry, which contained more than 500 million carbon credits worth around 10 euros ($13.60) each. Through the Spanish registry, the men acquired control over hundreds of millions of European Union credits, at the time valued at around 15 euros ($20.50) each. Beddoes' actions shed light on security breaches that helped prompt regulators to make sweeping reforms and EU lawmakers to call into question their flagship 36 billion-euro ($49 billion) market. A self-proclaimed "hacker for hire," Beddoes said he had little knowledge of emissions trading before he was contracted in February 2011 by an unnamed man seeking to access carbon registries—online hubs through which account holders can trade carbon credits with each other. "It was totally anonymous," Beddoes said. "He told me he wanted access to government registries, brokers and anything else I could get, so I went on the warpath and got whatever I could."

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Texas Inmates Sue Over Lack of Air Conditioning
NAVASOTA, Texas—Claiming that even the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is air conditioned, prisoners in Texas have filed a federal lawsuit over high temperatures in state prisons that they say have killed at least 12 prisoners in the last three years. The suit, filed by the Texas Civil Rights Project and the University of Texas School of Law Civil Rights clinic on behalf of the prisoners, isn't seeking monetary damages. However, it seeks to have prison facilities cooled to 88°F (31°C). The lawsuit, broadly concerned about the lack of air conditioning across state facilities, centers on a facility known as the Wallace Pack Unit. Located 70 miles (113 km) northwest of Houston, the facility houses about 1,400 men. It has no air conditioning, and the windows that do open provide little relief, the suit claims, leading to indoor temperatures that often exceed outdoor temperatures. The suit cites internal data from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice that found over the past three years that indoor temperatures have exceeded 100°F (38°C).

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NIBE to Acquire WaterFurnace
FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Sweden-based NIBE, one of the leading heat pump manufacturers in Europe, has agreed to acquire U.S.-based WaterFurnace by purchasing all of its outstanding shares. WaterFurnace, one of the market leaders in the North American geothermal heat pump heating and cooling solutions market, will continue to operate as a separate entity as part of NIBE’s business area NIBE Energy Systems. NIBE intends to develop the business as a growth platform in North America.

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In other news...

Greenheck to Build Education, Innovation Centers
Trane Introduces Tool to Provide Application-Specific Chiller Performance Metrics
Poll: Americans Support EPA Proposal to Reduce Power Plants' Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Cox Enterprises Offers Employees $500 to Buy Solar Panels
Hookah Bars Have Higher Indoor Air Pollution, Says Study
Size, Accessibility Key Selling Points in Residential Building Market
20 Dogs Die in Arizona Kennel After Air Conditioning Fails

Feature of the Week

Integrating Solar & Hydronic Heating in Residential and Small Commercial Systems
By Bristol Stickney
According to the author, hundreds of thousands of hot water boilers are installed in the U.S. every year. Even if only a small fraction of them could easily benefit from supplemental solar hydronic heat collectors, that still represents thousands of solar thermal installations each year. Also, the backlog of hydronic heating systems installed over the past 20 years represents an enormous opportunity for practical solar thermal retrofits. This article discusses applications where hot water produced by solar collectors can be easily allocated to multiple uses with a simple piping configuration and straightforward control strategies.

This article originally was published in February 2012. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through July 10.

After July 10, 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

HVLS Fan From MacroAir
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.—MacroAir Fans has launched the AirVolution-D HVLS fan. It features a direct-drive motor that the company says is three times smaller yet five times more powerful than conventional motors. The motor has no gearbox, which minimizes noise. The fan also features the company's AirBrain onboard processor, which is designed to integrate into operations systems and adapt to input voltages.

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Condensing Heat Exchanger From Bekaert
KORTRIJK, Belgium—Bekaert offers the Alucento small commercial condensing heat exchanger with water-cooled combustion chambers. The unit is made from aluminum with anticorrosion properties and high thermal conductivity and can be supplied complete with burner, condensation tray and flue gas connection.

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BACnet® Gateway From Carlo Gavazzi
BUFFALO GROVE, Ill.—Carlo Gavazzi offers the SBWEB BACnet gateway. The product is designed to simplify field-level wiring for building automation systems by eliminating multi-conductor cables from field devices to DDC controllers. It enables Dupline I/O modules, sensors and energy meters to be used as remote I/O for DDC controllers in building automation systems. The data is automatically converted into BACnet /IP objects.

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