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Industry News HVAC&R Distributors Cautiously Optimistic About 2014, HARDI Survey Finds
COLUMBUS, Ohio—More than half of distributors think that their revenue will increase by 5% to 10% in 2014 according to a survey by Heating, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI). The fifth annual Mid-Season HVAC Distributor Survey, conducted in partnership with JP Morgan Equity Research, concludes that "The normalization of the HVAC market is happening, with demand and consumer behavior approaching something closer to a medium-term trend line, inventories less lean and more in line with demand, while pricing is becoming incrementally harder to come by." C. Stephen Tusa, JP Morgan’s HVAC industry analyst, attributes some of the optimism to a slightly improved housing and construction market outlook. Also, according to the survey report, the commercial sector is expected to remain steady without any upward inflection. This is because the survey focuses more on unitary equipment sold through distribution than larger applied systems.
U.S. Solar Industry Achieves Second-Largest Quarter Ever
BOSTON—The United States installed 930 MW of solar photovoltaics in the third quarter (Q3) of 2013, an increase of 20% over the second quarter of 2013 and 35% compared to Q3 2012. According to a report by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), this represents the second-largest quarter in the history of the U.S. solar market and the largest quarter ever for residential PV installations. The "U.S. Solar Market Insight: 3rd Quarter 2013" also concluded that 2013 is likely to be the first time in more than 15 years that the U.S. installs more solar capacity than world leader Germany.
CTBUH's Top 12 Tall Building Happenings of 2013
CHICAGO—According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), 2013 was a banner year for skyscrapers, particularly in terms of news-media interest. The popularity of skyscrapers reached new "heights" in 2013. London's The Shard opened in February as the tallest building in Europe. In August, Shanghai Tower topped out as the tallest in China, and the capstone of a new Chinese building boom. In November, CTBUH afirmed New York's One World Trade Center's official height, making it officially the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
Click here to read CTBUH's month-by-month review of some of the top tall-building stories from 2013.
USGBC Names 'Greenest' Educational Institutions
WASHINGTON—Emory University in Atlanta has been named the "greenest" higher education institution and Lady Bird Johnson Middle School, outside Dallas, was named the greenest K-12 school in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools “Best of Green Schools 2013” report. Emory was noted for having “among the highest number of square feet of LEED-certified space of any campus in America,” according to the USGBC. The University also has goals of reducing energy use by 25% by 2015 and greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050 from 2005 levels, according to Emory’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives. Emory has 11 buildings that have achieved LEED Gold certification, and an additional six projects pending. At 152,250 ft2 (14 144 m2), the Lady Bird Johnson campus is the largest net zero energy educational facility in the country. This facility incorporates energy-reducing systems with goals to reduce energy consumption more than 50% from the traditional school model through the use of geothermal HVAC, passive solar interior daylighting, an efficient building envelope, a high efficiency kitchen and advanced controls systems monitoring.
Engineer Developing 'Personal Air Conditioner for Beds'
HARTFORD, Conn.—An under-development device acts as personal air conditioner for beds. Created by ex-NASA spacesuit engineer Mark Aramli, the "Bedjet" device consists of a main heater/blower unit that sits on the floor at the foot of the bed, along with a flexible hose that delivers either heated or room-temperature air between the sheets. To warm cold beds, the device is designed to be run for three to five minutes before the person gets in the bed. This raises the temperature in the bed by 30°F over room temperature, at which point the Bedjet will automatically turn itself off. Users then maintain warmth via their own body heat. In cases where it's too hot under the sheets, the Bedjet can be left running in the Cool setting throughout the night. The manufacturer is using "crowdfunding" website kickstarter.com to fund final production of the third generation of the design and take it from prototype to real product, with pledges of $249 currently winning a Bedjet within the U.S., or $329 plus shipping to buy one from the UK.
Bigger and Newer Made for the Most Popular HVAC&R Industry Stories in 2013
Tall buildings and innovative projects were the most popular "Industry News" items featured in The HVAC&R Industry in 2013 based on the number of clicks to the news stories' "Read more" links. A mid-October story about architects creating a full-scale room using a 3-D printer was the most popular item in The HVAC&R Industry in 2013. Two weeks later, a link to a story about a "reverse microwave" that chills beverages in seconds became the third most popular piece of "Industry News" in 2013. The June groundbreaking of China's Sky City, the world's tallest prefab building was the second most popular news item in 2013. China returned in July, as the fourth most popular newsletter story told of the massive New Century Global Center, the largest free-standing building, in terms of square meterage, in the world.
Click here to revisit the 3-D-printed room story.
Click here to revisit the Sky City groundbreaking story.
Click here to revisit the "reverse microwave" story.
Click here to revisit the New Century Global Center story.
ASHRAE News ASHRAE Publishes 2013 Version of Health Care Facilities Ventilation Standard
ASHRAE has published ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2013, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities. The 2013 version features updates, changes and clarifications dealing with humidity, ducted returns, recirculating rooms units and duct lining. Also, provisions for the application of energy recovery are now specifically addressed in Standard 170-2013. The standard also addresses some issues that may reduce costs to build and operate health care facilities.
UAE's Empower Receives Award for Work on ASHRAE District Cooling Guide
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—Empower, the leading district cooling provider in the Middle East, has received a special Editor’s Choice Award at the 3rd Annual Climate Control Awards for its support of the ASHRAE District Cooling Guide. Empower won the award for its financial and technical support of ASHRAE in the preparation and publication of the book, which provides design guidance for all major aspects of district cooling systems, including central chiller plants, chilled-water distribution systems and consumer interconnection. The guide was released earlier this year.
Feature of the Week Designing for Reliability: Identify Weak Spots by Asking 'What Can Go Wrong?'
By Steve Doty, P.E., Member ASHRAE
According to the author, designs that maximize reliability may be at odds with other criteria, including energy efficiency. Therefore, there may be additional first costs and increased annual operating costs. Identifying the costs involved helps pare down a list of wants into a more realistic list of needs. Doing this early helps establish a clear design path.
This article originally was published in July 2008. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Jan. 16, 2014.
After Jan. 16, 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 Data Center Cooling System From Emerson Network Power
COLUMBUS, Ohio—Designed specifically for medium to large data centers, the Liebert DSE room-based precision cooling system from Emerson Network Power has an energy-efficient SCOP (seasonal coefficient of performance) rating of 2.9. Liebert iCOM thermal system controls optimize the operation of each component to maximize free-cooling hours, minimize energy consumption, provide diagnostics and integrate to data center management systems. It also incorporates the EconoPhase “free cooling” technology as an optional feature.
Outdoor Condensing Units From Tecumseh
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Tecumseh offers Gen III outdoor air-cooled condensing units. The units are designed for refrigeration applications where reliable cooling is required under varying loads and operating conditions. Standard features include filter driers, a suction-line accumulator, an oversized receiver tank, pressure controls, service valves, a defrost timer and a crank-case heater.
Microchannel Condenser/Heat Exchanger From Delphi TROY, Mich.—Delphi’s MCHX microchannel condenser/heat exchanger uses a folded tube fabricated from flat aluminum braze sheet, rather than a conventional extruded tube, resulting in superior corrosion resistance.
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