August 15, 2013: Vol. 12, No. 32 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  


 

 

 
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Industry News

Global AC Demand Heating Up; Could Have Chilling Impact
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The United States currently uses more energy for air conditioning than all other countries combined. But as economic conditions improve in other large and hot countries, an increase in the use of air conditioning may put an unprecedented demand on the global energy supply, according to new research from the University of Michigan. In the peer-reviewed paper, published in the current issue of American Scientist, Michael Sivak, Ph.D., projects that eight countries may exceed America's use of air conditioning, due to a combination of their large populations and hot climates. In the city of Mumbai alone, Sivak estimates that there is the potential for an energy demand for cooling that is about a quarter of the current demand for all of the United States. The paper concludes that if other countries use air conditioning at the same rate as the United States, it could cause the world consumption of energy to skyrocket. By Sivak's calculations, India would use about 14 times as much energy for cooling as the United States. China and Indonesia would surpass U.S. energy use by factors of about 5 and 3, respectively.

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Installed Price of Solar PV Falling Rapidly
BERKELEY, Calif.—The installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2012 and through the first half of 2013, according to the latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual PV cost tracking report produced by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Installed prices for PV systems in 2012 fell by a range of roughly 6% to 14% from the prior year, depending on the size of the system, with commercial- and utility-scale installations experiencing the larger declines in price. “This marks the third year in a row of significant price reductions for PV systems in the U.S.,” said Galen Barbose of Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division, one of the report’s coauthors. The report suggests that PV system price reductions in 2013 are on pace to match or exceed those seen in recent years.

Click here to read more, or to download the Tracking the Sun report.

Investing in Energy-Efficient Buildings Makes Fiscal Sense
HARTFORD, Conn.—Energy efficiency is a good business decision for businesses, homeowners and the government, according to a recent report by the Rhodium Group and United Technologies. The report, Unlocking American Efficiency: The Economic and Commercial Power of Investing in Energy Efficient Buildings, finds that improving energy efficiency in U.S. buildings by 30% would create a $275 billion market for advanced technology, engineering and design services, and construction activity. In corporate finance terms, investing in this same 30% improvement in building energy efficiency would have an internal rate of return (IRR) of 28.6% over a 10-year period. An IRR of 28.6% is four times better than average corporate bond yields or average equity performance.

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Colorado Capitol Becomes First With Geothermal Heating and Cooling
DENVER—The Colorado State Capitol is becoming the first state capitol in the United States to have a geothermal system for heating and cooling. Contractor Chevron Energy Solutions has drilled an 865 ft (264 m) well under the building to run a pipe into the Arapahoe aquifers below the building, tapping into their 65°F (18°C) waters. The Department of Personnel & Administration, which is overseeing the project, says the geothermal units have been brought online and are now in the process of being commissioned and balanced. The project is replacing existing pumps and other equipment that date back to the 1940s. The open-loop geothermal system is expected to save about $100,000 in heating and cooling costs in the first year. The Colorado State Capitol's renovation project is expected to be complete in late summer or early fall 2014.

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Shanghai Tower Reaches New Heights of Sustainability
SHANGHAI, China—The Shanghai Tower topped out earlier this month becoming China's tallest building and the second tallest in the world. When it opens to the public in 2015, the 2,073 ft (632 m) skyscraper will total 6.2 million ft2 (576,000 m2), including 2.4 million ft2 (220,000 m2) of office space. The tower will also house retail outlets, a luxury hotel, a museum and nine atrium sky gardens. Shanghai Tower is also impressive for its sustainable features, including a transparent second skin that wraps around the entire structure, drawing in outside air from the bottom. The skin cools the air in the summer and makes it warm in the winter. The gardens that line the perimeter of the building, each about the size of a city park, will serve as green walls.

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In other news...

AAMA Releases New Specification to Streamline BIM Process for Fenestration
Japanese Company Unveils 'Worlds Coolest Chiller,' Claiming 400 kW Cooling Capacity
Largest Federally Owned Wind Farm Breaks Ground at Weapons Facility
'Lung-Protective' Ventilation Method Reduces Post-Op Problems
U.S. Government Report Provides Guidance on Protecting Electric Grid During Natural Disasters
USGBC, Green Sports Alliance Partner to Promote Sustainable Sporting Venues

 

ASHRAE News

ASHRAE 2014 High Performance Buildings Conference Set for April
The next ASHRAE High Performance Buildings Conference will take place April 7–8, 2014, at the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Building upon the 2012 High Performance Buildings Conference and 2009 Net-Zero Energy Conference, the 2014 conference is intended to advance the industry’s efforts to accomplish a true high-performing built environment. Session topics are intended to provide a comprehensive overview of high-performance building design with a focus on strategies in several areas. New subject areas include water efficiency, building occupant behavior, new building technologies and indoor environmental quality. In addition, there will be increased emphasis on lighting/daylighting and the building envelope.

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Feature of the Week

Shielding Fresh Air Ventilation Intakes
By Bjørn Petter Jelle and Knut Noreng
According to the authors, even if general guidelines for good air quality are available, air quality may often be questioned in many buildings. Since moisture problems in buildings may be traced back to snow and rain ingress through fresh air ventilation intakes, stronger emphasis must be placed on constructing new fresh air ventilation intakes and improving existing ones. Also, it is often challenging to investigate and diagnose moisture problems. This article provides guidance on installing air intakes. It also covers identifying building damage.

This article originally was published in April 2012. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Aug. 29.

After Aug. 29, 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

Scroll Compressor From Danfoss
BALTIMORE—Danfoss introduces four models of the LLZ scroll compressor. The product is designed to provide enhanced efficiency in a compact size for refrigeration applications in low temperatures for cold rooms, ice makers and cold storage spaces in mini-markets/supermarkets, restaurants, convenience stores and gas stations. The range provides a cooling capacity from 13,000 Btu/h to 24,000 Btu/h (3800 W to 7000 W) as standard. Higher capacities can be achieved with the optional economizer kit, which provides vapor injection with R-404a refrigerant.

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Infrared Heaters From Superior Radiant Products
STONEY CREEK, Ontario—Superior Radiant Products (SRP) offers two models of the Series TA/TX/TXR two-stage, gas-fired infrared tube heaters for heavy duty commercial and industrial use. The heaters are available in rates from 40,000 Btu/h to 220,000 Btu/h (11 800 W to 64 000 W), lengths from 10 ft to 70 ft (3 m to 21 m), and natural gas or LPG fuel. The heaters' jet stream burner design maximizes radiant output and is combined with 100% efficient parabolic aluminum reflectors to provide optimal energy efficiency and comfort.

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Air Valve Controller From Triatek
NORCROSS, Ga.—Triatek introduces the Universal Valve Module (UVM), designed to provide facility managers and engineers increased configuration options for renovations or new installations of pressure control systems in critical-care environments. When used in conjunction with a Triatek Venturi valve, the valve can be controlled by any controller providing a 0 V–10 V output or a Modbus connection, enabling it to be used on BACnet® and LON BAS networks.

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