August 22, 2013: Vol. 12, No. 33 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



 

 

 
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Industry News

'Engineering Hub' Cities Seem to Prosper
NEW YORK—There are several metropolitan areas in the U.S. with notably large concentrations of engineers among their populaces, according to an article in Forbes. The article notes that for the most part, regions with higher concentrations of engineers tend to do better, and seize the leadership of key industries. The San Jose/Silicon Valley area tops the Forbes list of "engineering hubs," with a ratio of 45 engineers per 1,000 employees—twice as high as any other big metropolitan area. This deep reservoir of talent remains the Valley’s key asset, and has made it by most measurements the nation’s most affluent metro area. Houston ranks second with 22.4 engineers per 1,000 employees. Wichita, Kan.'s 21/1,000 ratio lands it in third. The prominence of the energy sector and the aerospace manufacturing industry, respectively, in these cities make them important players in the national economy.

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Data Center PUE Test Favors Modular Design
PHOENIX—Data center provider IO recently conducted a comparison study to see which data center design approach—modular or traditional raised floor—is more energy efficient. The provider has both types of data center space at its Phoenix facility, which it used to collect power use data over one year. IO gave the data to Arizona Public Service (APS), the electrical utility serving the area, for third-party evaluation. APS found a 19% reduction in overall energy use by the modular solution over raised floor. The average annual power usage effectiveness (PUE) of the raised-floor environment was 1.73, while the modular environment's PUE was 1.41.

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Can Going In and Out of AC Cause Colds?
CARDIFF, UK—Summer often involves numerous daily shifts between outdoor heat and air-conditioned interiors. According to Ron Eccles, director of the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University in Wales, this exposure to extreme temperature swings can lower the body's natural defenses. Eccles notes that the body has various mechanisms to keep it at the optimal temperature of around 98°F (37°C). Shivering, sweating, and mottled skin are automatic reactions to regulate temperature. Another is the constricting of blood vessels. However, constricted vessels diminish blood flow, which lessens the presence of white blood cells, which fight bacteria and viruses. Sweating can amplify the risk by keeping the body colder longer and making it harder to regain an optimal core temperature.

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Sea-Tac Providing Air Conditioning to Parked Planes
SEATAC, Wash.—Planes waiting at gates at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) will now be air-conditioned or heated by air from within the terminal, a move the airport says will reduce pollution and costs for its airlines. To accommodate the initiative, the airport built a centralized plant that can cool or heat planes with air piped to all 73 gates through 15 miles of ducts. Sea-Tac says the "preconditioned" air will allow aircraft to turn off auxiliary power units until they're ready to push back from the gate. Sea-Tac estimates the pre-conditioned air will save about 5 million gallons (19 million L) in fuel each year, reducing costs to the airport's airlines by a total of $15 million.

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Philadelphia to Enforce Building Energy Benchmarking Law This Fall
PHILADELPHIA—Buildings in Philadelphia are starting to receive notices regarding the city's Building Energy Benchmarking Law, which requires owners/operators of buildings with more than 50,000 ft2 (4645 m2) of indoor floor space to disclose annual energy use and water consumption. The city’s benchmarking law was signed in August 2012, and regulations were issued in July 2013. The compliance deadline for reporting building energy and water consumption is Oct. 31, and failure to comply will result in a fine. To facilitate measurement and reporting of building energy use, Philadelphia building owners and operators are required to use the EPA’s free Portfolio Manager tool. Building data, such as age, size, type and use, are combined with utility consumption data to generate energy performance scores based on the building’s performance relative to similar buildings nationwide. The building energy disclosures will be made available online. Eight major U.S. cities now require benchmarking.

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In other news...

BSRIA to Present Session on HVAC Marketplace Trends at AHR Expo
Northeastern States Win Concessions From DOE on Appliance Efficiency Rules
Surge in AC Use Leaves S. Korea Close to Blackout
LG Electronics Provides Products for Showcase Sustainable Home
More Than 3,000 Buildings Enter EPA 2013 National Building Competition
FBI Called to Investigate St. Louis County HVAC Subcontract
DOE Invests $11 Million for Building Energy Efficiency Projects
Death Row Inmates Sue Southern States Over Lack of AC

ASHRAE News

ASHRAE to Host Seven Conferences Over Next Year
ASHRAE’s conference schedule for 2013–2014 is widespread in both dates and geography. The seven ASHRAE conferences scheduled between October 2013 and September 2014, including the Society's Winter and Annual Conferences, will present the latest developments in the industry and fundamental best practices. Topics range from high performance buildings to buildings that have combustion with low-grade fuels. The conferences feature peer-reviewed papers, presentations with hands-on information presented in a non-commercial format, Professional Development Hours and networking opportunities.

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Feature of the Week

Using CO2 to Reduce Refrigerant Charge
By S. Forbes Pearson, Ph.D.
According to the author, as refrigerant charge increases, more onerous legal requirements are being placed on owners and operators of refrigerating systems using refrigerants such as R-22 and ammonia. Also, other compelling reasons exist for reducing refrigerant charge in all refrigerating systems. These include the relationship between refrigerant charge and possibility of leakage, the cost of synthetic refrigerants, the possible environmentally damaging effects of refrigerant leakage and the risk to health from leakage of toxic refrigerants. This article shows some ways refrigerant charge may be reduced without significant penalty in terms of efficiency.

This article originally was published in October 2012. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Sept. 5.

After Sept. 5, 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

Centrifugal Chiller From Carrier
SYRACUSE, N.Y.—The Evergreen 19XR/XRV line of centrifugal chillers from Carrier provides both single- and two-stage compression in capacities from 800 to 1,600 tons (2800 kW to 5600 kW). Features include a semi-hermetic compressor motor and an aerodynamically contoured impeller that help to deliver an IPLV of 0.35.

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Refrigerant Leak Detector From General Tools & Instruments
NEW YORK—The RLD400 digital refrigerant leak detector from General Tools & Instruments detects CFC, HCFC, HFC, HFO, and PFC halogenated refrigerant gases at a leak rate of less than one gram per year. The device features a proprietary semiconductor sensor capable of detecting new ozone layer-friendly blends, such as R-22 and R-1234yf.

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Building Operating System Software From Selex ES
BASILDON, UK—Selex ES offers Di-BOSS intelligent digital building operating system software. The software continuously gathers data from multiple building systems, floor-level occupancy data, and ambient and forecast weather data. The data streams are integrated into a portable cockpit-style control panel for owners/managers, as well as tenants, to inform their energy-saving efforts.

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