December 05, 2013: Vol. 12, No. 49 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



 

 

 
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Industry News

JCI, Hitachi to Create 'World's Largest Commercial AC Provider'
MILWAUKEE—Johnson Controls will take a 60% stake in the global air conditioning business of Hitachi Ltd., under a joint venture announced Dec. 3. The joint venture would combine new energy-efficient technologies developed by Tokyo-based Hitachi with Johnson Controls’ building efficiency business, which has nearly 700 offices in more than 150 countries."The addition of these capabilities adds key technologies to our product portfolio. Combined with our existing $15 billion building technologies and services business, this investment positions Johnson Controls as the world's largest commercial air-conditioning provider," said Alex Molinaroli, chief executive of Johnson Controls, in a statement. The companies said the joint venture is expected to launch in 2014, subject to regulatory and other approvals. The companies also said they were exploring additional ways to combine forces.

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NYC Bill Aims to Include E-Cigarettes in Clean Indoor Air Law
NEW YORK—The New York City Council is seeking to add electronic cigarettes to the city’s ban on smoking in public places. Since 2002, New York has banned smoking in bars and restaurants, parks, beaches and plazas. The councilman who proposed the new legislation, along with the city’s health commissioner, say that an increasing number of people are using electronic cigarettes—battery-powered, smokeless nicotine-delivery systems—in public places. They contend that this poses a threat to public health and may encourage a new generation to smoke.  Makers of electronic cigarettes have countered that they are safe because they do not burn tar or tobacco. The City Council is expected to vote on the proposal on Dec. 19, at its last scheduled voting meeting before new members and a new mayor take office.

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Online Marketplace to Make It Easier to Go Solar
LOS ANGELES—A new online marketplace will allow U.S. homeowners to weigh options for going solar as easily as they can compare prices for airline tickets. Startup company Geostellar is seeking to become the Expedia or Orbitz of the solar industry—a one-stop shop where consumers can compare the benefits of leasing or buying solar panels, and ultimately sign up for installations. Several large solar power companies will feature their products on the site, www.geostellar.com.

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Competition Heats Up to Be Tallest in Western Canada's Skyline
EDMONTON, Alberta—BCM Developments is proposing a new 71-story mixed-use tower in Edmonton, AB, Canada. The skyscraper, called The Edmontonian, is designed to be 278 m (912 ft) in height, which could make it the tallest building in Western Canada. Brookfield Place Tower One, which just began construction in nearby Calgary, AB, Canada, is also planning to lay claim to that title. At a designed height of 247 m (810 ft), the tower will be 31 m (102 ft) shorter than The Edmontonian's proposed height. The building team has to decide if it is good enough for Brookfield Place to be classified as the tallest in Western Canada upon completion, but only until The Edmontonian is finished. The Edmontonian is apparently not going to lose without a fight. “It’s largely the client’s ambition pushing the height; getting the record for the tallest building in Western Canada,” said Erik Lomeland, project leader for Hartwig Architecture, which designed The Edmontonian.

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Nonresidential Construction Spending Increasing
WASHINGTON—Nonresidential construction spending increased 1.6% on a monthly basis in October after declining 1.3% in September, according to data released Dec. 2 by the U.S. Census Bureau. On a year-over-year basis, nonresidential construction spending is down 0.7% through October. The latest report included two months of data due to the federal government shutdown. This is also what industry experts cite as the reason construction activity has lagged. "As expected, construction spending was hindered by a combination of elevated uncertainty and delayed procurement resulting from the government shutdown," said Associated Builders and Contractors chief economist Anirban Basu. "The October data suggest nonresidential construction spending could regain a certain degree of momentum during the months ahead, though the long-anticipated acceleration in spending is unlikely to occur until after the first quarter of 2014."

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In other news...

IAPMO R&T Publishes New National Standard for Solar Heating Systems
Federal Better Buildings Challenge Expanded to Include Apartments, Condos
Ventilation System Design Flaws Leave Patients at 'Catastrophic Risk' in UK Hospital
USDA, EPA Partner to Support Water Quality Trading Markets
Whole Foods Piloting Refrigerant Tracking System
U.S. Launches Investigation Into Chinese 'Dumping' of R-134a
DOE, EPA Release 2014 Fuel Economy Guide
New York Invests $225 Million to Turn Buffalo Into 'Silicon Valley for Green Energy Companies'
Carnival Cruise Lines Upgrades Ships With 'State-of-the-Art' HVAC Systems


ASHRAE News

ASHRAE Announces Technology Award Recipients
A net zero energy facility, a historic building, a cheese factory, a residence, a college building and an agriscience farm are being recognized by ASHRAE with Technology Awards. The ASHRAE Technology Awards recognize outstanding achievements by members who have successfully applied innovative building design. Their designs incorporate ASHRAE standards for effective energy management and indoor air quality. The awards communicate innovative systems design to other ASHRAE members and highlight technological achievements of ASHRAE to others around the world. Winning projects are selected from entries earning regional awards. First place awards will be presented at the ASHRAE 2014 Winter Conference in New York.

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Feature of the Week

Large-Capacity, Water-to-Water Heat Pumps For Centralized Plants
By Craig R. Campbell, Joseph A. Catrambone and Christian P. Paraskevakos, Member ASHRAE
A large-capacity (≥1,500 MBH [440 kW]) water-to-water heat pump (WTWHP) is a water-cooled chiller that has been adapted to produce hot water at a specified temperature. Heat is extracted from one low-temperature water flow, and its temperature is raised to a level that is useful, before being transferred to a second water flow. This article provides guidelines for building owners and designers interested in applying large-capacity WTWHPs in their facilities.


This article originally was published in May 2012. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Dec. 19.

After Dec. 19, 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

Mobile App From Green Badger
SAVANNAH, Ga.—The Green Badger LEED Documentation App is designed for general contractors, architects and LEED professionals who are looking for an easy solution to document LEED construction credits for future certification. The app enables users to track construction waste, create and send real time erosion control reports, manage all sustainable material credits, and verify the VOC contents of thousands of paints, coatings, sealants and adhesives from a smart phone or tablet.

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Boiler/Water Heater Monitoring Service From AERCO
BLAUVELT, N.Y.—AERCO International offers the OnAER Remote Monitoring Service. The service uses computer tracking to monitor, record, and analyze the company's boiler and/or water heater systems. Problems in systems are pinpointed in real time, allowing for quick resolution and preventing lost revenue due to undetected faults. In addition, OnAER provides monthly reports generated from the data captured from the system. The reports allow customers to track performance trends, maintain reliability, and identify opportunities to increase efficiency.

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Inverters From Fuji Electric Americas
EDISON, N.J.—Fuji Electric’s new low-voltage FRENIC-HVAC series slim-type inverters are designed to control water and airflow rates, pressure, and temperature optimally in fan and pump applications. The inverters feature a real-time clock, PID controls, torque vector control, a removable keypad, fire mode and filter-clogging-prevention functions.

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