September 19, 2013: Vol. 12, No. 37 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



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Industry News

Boston Named Top U.S. City in Advancing Energy Efficiency
WASHINGTON—Boston achieved the top spot in a newly released ranking of 34 of America's largest cities because of its efforts to cut energy use and costs. The other highest-scoring cities in The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's (ACEEE) "2013 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard" are Portland, Ore.; New York; San Francisco; Seattle; and Austin, Texas. The report also includes recommendations and strategies for all cities to lower energy use.

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China Imposes 6.5% Tariff on U.S. Solar-Panel Materials
BEIJING—China this week said it would impose tariffs on imports of U.S. raw materials used to make solar panels. China's Commerce Ministry said that it would impose a 6.5% tariff on materials from most U.S. polysilicon suppliers, beginning Sept. 20. The tariffs are actually lower than the 57% tariffs threatened in July. The decision follows a U.S. move last year to impose tariffs on Chinese-made solar cells, after the U.S government determined that Chinese manufacturers received illegal subsidies and dumped their goods in the U.S. 

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'Invisible' Skyscraper Planned for South Korea
SEOUL—The South Korean government has granted approval to begin construction on the world's first "invisible" tower. Designed by U.S.-based GDS Architects, the glass-encased Tower Infinity will top out at 450 meters (1,476 ft) and have the third-highest observation deck in the world. Its invisibility illusion will be achieved with a high-tech LED facade system that uses a series of cameras that will send real-time images onto the building's reflective surface. It will be built just outside of Seoul. The target completion date has not been made public.

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Walmart to Emphasize Sustainability, Energy Efficiency in Supply Chain
BENTONVILLE, Ark.—Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, says it will begin to offer products with less harmful chemicals, increase the use of recycled materials, reduce fertilizer use in agriculture, and increase energy efficiency in the products its stores carry. During its recent Milestone Meeting, the company outlined key initiatives where it can use its size and scale to help accelerate progress in sustainability throughout its supply chain. Those measures include working with suppliers to reduce or eliminate the use of “about 10" toxic chemicals used in consumables products in favor of "greener" alternatives. Also, as of January 2015, Walmart will require suppliers to provide public online ingredient disclosure for items sold at Walmart.

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Trying to Triumph Over Triskaidekaphobia Trepidation
NEW YORK—Although academic research shows the majority of people don't believe the idea that the number 13 is unlucky, less than 5% of mid- and high-rise residential condo buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn have a designated 13th floor, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. The article cited an analysis of roughly 1,500 condo declarations by real-estate listings website CityRealty. In most of the condos, the 13th floor is labeled as the 14th, so no one in the building is saddled with a 13th-floor address. The level of buyer concern is highlighted by one example. An owner has faced difficulty trying sell a $15.5 million three-bedroom Manhattan penthouse. The listing agent says one feature—not the price—has been mentioned by every potential buyer: It's on the 13th floor.

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AHR Expo-Mexico Honored as 'Best Event' by Mexican Convention Center
WESTPORT, Conn.—AHR Expo-Mexico was recently selected as the "Best Event of the Year" as well as the ”Best Industrial Exhibition" of 2012 by the Cintermex Convention Center in Monterrey, Mexico. The 10th biennial AHR Expo-Mexico was selected from more than 700 other events held at the Cintermex in 2012. The events included consumer and industrial events in 23 categories, representing some of the world's leading expositions. International Exposition Company (IEC) produces and manages the U.S.-based AHR Expo and also AHR Expo-Mexico. Both events are cosponsored by ASHRAE and the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

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In other news...

Chicago Ordinance Requires Buildings to Track, Disclose Energy Use
DOE Dedicates Clean Energy, Efficiency Research Facility
150 MW Wind Project in Ontario Closes Financing
Amendment to Senate Energy-Efficiency Bill Would Require Publishing of Use Data
Solar Decathlon Participants Designing Innovative Homes
EPA Launches Online Mapping Tool for Environmental Impacts
Improper Refrigeration of Maple Bacon Jam for Canadian Burger Makes Hundreds Sick
Residential Construction Market Rebounds
Midwestern Utility Seeks Reauthorization of Energy-Efficiency Programs


ASHRAE Seeks Presenters, Posters for 2014 HPB Conference
Presenters and posters are being sought for the 2014 ASHRAE High Performance Buildings Conference. Abstracts for presentations are due Oct. 25, while poster PDFs are due Feb. 21, 2014. The Conference program will have a mix of invited speakers and a call for presenters. In addition, there will be a poster session on “Measured Building Performance” and “Modeled Building Performance.” The conference will be held April 7–8 in San Francisco.

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Feature of the Week

Closed-Loop Ground-Coupled Heat Pump Systems
By Michel A. Bernier, Ph.D, Member ASHRAE
According to the author, closed-loop ground-coupled heat pump systems offer several advantages over conventional HVAC systems. Among the advantages are their sustainable use of renewable ground heat or rejected building heat, their relatively high coefficient of performance (COP), and their low GHG emissions. This article reviews the process involved in calculating the required length of a closed-loop vertical ground heat exchanger linked to geothermal heat pumps.

This article originally was published in September 2006. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Oct. 3.

After Oct. 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 online store.

Product News

Minisplit AC, Heat Pump Systems From Johnson Controls
MILWAUKEE—Johnson Controls introduces Luxaire minisplit air conditioners and heat pumps for commercial applications such as computer server rooms where temperatures must be maintained, even in winter when other parts of the building are not being cooled. The minisplits’ cold-blow prevention feature helps ensure comfort by slightly delaying the indoor fan at the start of a cycle to make sure the air comes out warm.

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Thermocouple Data Logger From Onset Computer
BOURNE, Mass.—The HOBO UX120 thermocouple logger is a four-channel LCD data logger for measuring and recording temperature in a range of monitoring applications. The logger is designed to make it easy and convenient to record temperatures over a range of –436°F to 3308°F (–260°C to 1820°C). It can accept up to four probes. In addition, the logger features an internal temperature sensor for logging ambient temperatures.

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Modular Chillers From ClimaCool
OKLAHOMA CITY—Packaged air-cooled modular chillers from ClimaCool are designed to provide flexible configurations, compact footprints and true N+1 redundancy. The 20-, 30- and 70-ton (70-, 106- and 246-kW) modules support banks of up to 420 tons (1480 kW) and deliver efficiencies higher than 10.0 EER at full load.

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