April 25, 2013: Vol. 12, No. 17 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



 

 

 
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Industry News

Study Shows Energy-Saving Potential of Super-Efficient Air Conditioners
BERKELEY, Calif.—A new assessment of the potential benefits from deploying super-efficient air conditioners has found significant untapped potential for air-conditioner efficiency that could avoid more than 120 medium-sized (500 MW) power plants in the countries studied by 2020. "The main significance of this study is that the estimated future electricity footprint of air conditioners is on par with or surpasses the electricity to be generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar," says Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Nihar Shah, the lead author of the report. "This implies that policies to promote more efficient air conditioning equipment should be pursued with a similar seriousness and concern." Berkeley Lab said the study's findings could be used by governments and utilities to design AC efficiency improvement policies and programs.

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AIA Lists Top Green Projects for 2013
WASHINGTON—An apartment complex that capitalizes on favorable environmental features, a “net zero capable” federal building, a public utility's headquarters and a net zero energy house are among the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Top Ten Green Projects for 2013. AIA's Committee on the Environment (COTE) has compiled the Top Ten for the last 17 years to "celebrate projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology." The projects will be honored at the AIA 2013 National Convention and Design Exposition, June 20 – 22 in Denver.

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Nest Partners With Energy Companies in Efficiency Incentive Program
PALO ALTO, Calif.—Nest Labs, manufacturer of the Nest Learning Thermostat, has announced new partnerships with energy companies that will put the company's thermostats into the hands of thousands of customers across the U.S. Nest Labs also worked with energy companies to devise new ways to save customers' money and avoid costly energy-grid overloads during peak use. The partnerships will offer instant rebates to make the thermostat more attractive to customers. It also implements rewards systems to encourage responsible energy habits to help customers save money and help reduce strain on energy company infrastructure.

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EPA Lists Top Users of 'Green' Power
WASHINGTON—Intel uses renewable energy sources to cover 100% of its electricity load, making it the top corporate user of "green" power, according to a list compiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Microsoft increased its renewable energy use by 1.9 billion kWh to secure second place in EPA's Green Power Partnership's annual list of the top 50 organizations using electricity from renewable sources. Apple entered the annual Top 50 list for the first time at Number 10. Eighty-five percent of Apple's nationwide electricity now is generated from renewable sources.

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Prototype PV Thermal System Promises 80% Efficiency, AC and Potable Water
ZURICH—A cost-competitive photovoltaic system that is able to concentrate sunlight 2,000 times and then capture 80% of the concentrated energy is being developed by a group of researchers from IBM, Airlight Energy, ETH Zurich, and Switzerland's Interstate University of Applied Sciences. The High Concentration Photovoltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system also is designed to desalinate water and provide air conditioning. The system consists of a large parabolic dish covered with mirror facets that are coordinated to a sun-tracking system. The sunlight that hits the mirrors is reflected onto microchannel-liquid cooled receivers with triple junction photovoltaic chips. The photovoltaic chips are mounted on micro-structured layers that pipe liquid coolants within a few tens of micrometers off the chip to absorb the heat and draw it away 10 times more effective than with passive air cooling.

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Facebook Building Giant Data Center in Iowa
ALTOONA, Iowa—Facebook will build a massive data center on a 194 acre (78.5 ha) site in Iowa. According to Facebook, the new data center will feature the company's Open Compute Project server designs. The custom specifications cover motherboards, rack designs, and an efficient power delivery system that can handle both AC and DC. The basis for these specifications is Facebook's data center in Prineville, Ore., which has a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.07, compared to 1.5 for its older ones. Facebook said the large increase in server capacity is needed to handle Facebook's large user base. More than 1 billion people a month use the social network.

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In other news...

New Construction Starts Increase 8% in March
AHRI Product Certification Programs Achieve Exemplary Energy Star Compliance Rates
More Solar Jobs in Calif. Than Actors; More in Texas Than Ranchers
N.J. Elementary School Wins EPA Building Energy Reduction Competition
Digital Technology Changing the Nature of Skilled Trades
MIT Developing Heating, AC System That Could Increase Range of Electric Cars

ASHRAE News

Denver to Host ASHRAE Annual Conference
The 2013 ASHRAE Annual Conference will be held Saturday, June 22 to Wednesday, June 26 in Denver. The Technical Program will feature tracks such as Building Energy Modeling vs. Measurement and Verification; Renewable and Alternative Energy Sources; and Mile-High Efficiency and Equipment. The Integrated Project Delivery mini-conference, which takes place Sunday and Monday, presents successes and lessons learned. A newly created Research Summit—which comprises a major portion of the technical program with some 30 sessions scheduled—brings together distinguished researchers to present and discuss the latest research results, innovative research techniques and forecast future research directions. In addition, ASHRAE Learning Institute will offer seven in-depth training courses.

Click here to learn more and to register.

Feature of the Week

Designing for Comfort: Selecting Air-Distribution Outlets
By David A. John, P.E., Member ASHRAE
According to the author, most conventional air-distribution systems in North America are mixed air systems where space comfort is maintained through the induction of air from the occupied zone into the unoccupied zone. This creates air motion, which can be a source of discomfort overlooked by designers. By using some simple selection techniques such as mapping cataloged throw data and predicting air diffusion performance index (ADPI), designers can select and space outlets to maximize the comfort level in an occupied space.


This article originally was published in September 2011. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through May 9.

After May 9, 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

Rooftop Air Handler From Reznor
MERCER, Pa.—Reznor introduces the Model RHH high efficiency rooftop-mounted split system, designed to be 91% efficient. It is capable of handling up to 100% outside air. The system offers 17 different configurations for makeup air, space temperature control, thermostat control or other user control inputs. DX or chilled water cooling, or DX cooling with dehumidification also can be chosen.

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Geothermal Zoning Control From Arzel Zoning
CLEVELAND—Arzel Zoning offers the GTPro controller; which provides zone control for geothermal applications. It monitors duct, loop, and outdoor air temperature and can be controlled from any Web browser. It features a sensor that enables users to monitor the ground loop temperature ensuring proper function of the system. The system will stage up based on the temperature of the ground loop, keeping it at an acceptable level for maximum efficiency.

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Air Conditioner From Armstrong Air
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C.—Armstrong Air has launched the 4SCU13LB air conditioner; which delivers a 13 SEER efficiency rating. The unit features horizontal louvers for better coil protection and easy-to-remove panels for faster service and maintenance. It also features MHT Technology—the company’s proprietary heat transfer system—to deliver maximum heat transfer and performance.

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