January 31, 2014: Vol. 13, No. 5 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



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Industry News

2014 AHR Expo Sets Attendance Record
NEW YORK—The 2014 AHR Expo set an all-time attendance record despite a storm that dropped 10 in. (250 mm) of snow on New York City and created a state of emergency in parts of New York State. According to Show organizer International Exposition Company (IEC), more than 61,000 attendees (42,991 visitors and 18,219 exhibitor personnel) registered for the 2014 AHR Expo held at the Javits Convention Center on Jan. 21–23. "We were very happy with the attendance, as were all the exhibitors and attendees we spoke with," said IEC President Clay Stevens. "However, I’m sure we would have blown away the all-time attendance record even more if the weather hadn’t been so severe."

Is Your Data Center Ready for the Polar Vortex?
NEW YORK—Data center operators from colder climates offered tips on the website DataCenterKnowledge.com on adapting and maintaining data centers during events such as the Polar Vortex—this month's unusual weather pattern that has brought frigid air to large areas of the U.S. that don't normally see extreme cold snaps. "Cold weather is hard on equipment, can create unique challenges for fuel and cooling and can limit access to a site for customers and staff," said Matt Spencer, Chief Technology Officer of Cologix, which operates data centers across Canada and in Minnesota. "Severe cold can cause a data center to operate outside of its specific design parameters, which adds stress to the system," added Kenneth Cooper, Field Project Manager for Facility Operations at Schneider Electric. According to him, HVAC heating coils, cooling towers and humidification units can begin to leak water, while snow and frost can clog intake vents. If this occurs, it can be difficult for air to circulate and the entire system can shut down.

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Prototype Generator Harnesses Power From Humidity
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—A new type of electrical generator uses bacterial spores to harness the power of evaporating water. Researchers at Harvard University's Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering foresee electrical generators driven by changes in humidity from sun-warmed ponds and harbors. The prototype generators work by harnessing the movement of a sheet of rubber coated on one side with spores. The sheet bends when it dries out, much as a pine cone opens as it dries or a freshly fallen leaf curls, and then straightens when humidity rises. Such bending back and forth means that spore-coated sheets or tiny planks can act as actuators that drive movement, and that movement can be harvested to generate electricity. "Water evaporation is the largest power source in nature," said Ozgur Sahin, Ph.D., who led the study. "Sunlight hits the ocean, heats it up, and energy has to leave the ocean through evaporation," he explained. The research is published in Nature Nanotechnology.

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Last week's issue of The HVAC&R Industry, dated Jan. 23, included an "Industry News" item on new rulemaking by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Our summary brief included information that is inaccurate. The final rule that was recently published on the use of Alternative Efficiency Determination Methods (AEDMs) only applies to commercial heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, refrigeration, and water heating equipment. The rulemaking is still open for automatic commercial ice makers (ACIMs), refrigeration systems of walk-in coolers and freezers (WICFs), and beverage vending machines (BVMs). We regret the error.

Click here to learn more about DOE's Rulemaking regarding HVAC equipment and AEDMs.

U.S. Mayors See the Light of Energy Efficiency, Says Survey
WASHINGTON—Despite budget constraints, U.S. mayors expect to significantly expand their investment in energy technologies over the next five years, according to a new survey of nearly 300 city leaders highlighting how cities are deploying new energy technologies to make their city operations and communities more energy efficient. The "Energy Efficiency and Technologies in America's Cities" survey also found that mayors plan to make energy-efficient lighting technology a top priority over the next two years. LED/energy-efficient lighting was also overwhelmingly rated as the "most promising" technology for reducing city energy use and carbon emissions, with 82% of respondents listing it as their top choice. The survey was unveiled during the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) 82nd Winter Meeting.

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Giant Underground 'AC System' Brings Extra Snow to Swiss Resort
ZERMATT, Switzerland—A Swiss resort relies on what amounts to a giant underground AC system to increase levels of snow for visitors who want ideal skiing conditions. It uses 1,000 machines that generate 7 MW of power for conventional artificial snowmaking. However, these low-pressure systems, called lances, can only be used when temperatures are below freezing. Therefore, the resort also uses a machine called the Snowmaker for when temperatures get too warm. Originally developed to cool South African mines, it produces snow in a vacuum process similar to that of extracting salt or other minerals from water. Snow is just a by-product of the cooling process. The Snowmaker can generate as much as 400 metric tons of snow per hour. The entire system—Snowmaker, low pressure machines, and typical fan machines—is supplied by a massive underground plumbing network that runs throughout the mountain on which the resort sits.

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In other news...

Central AC, Heat Pump Shipments Increase in Latest AHRI Data
European Parliament’s Environment Committee Adopts Proposed F-Gas Regulations
Honeywell Partners With Japanese Manufacturer to Boost Supply of R-1234yf
U.S. Green Building Council Certifies 50,000th Unit Under LEED for Homes
Saudi Arabian Government Bans Manufacturing, Importing Inefficient AC Units


'Virtual Plugfest' to Drive Update to BACnet®
NEW YORK—The BACnet committee has approved an update to BACnet/Web services (WS) to better support more sophisticated needs such as smart grid and energy management. Addendum am is slated for public review in the first quarter of 2014. In order to drive a deeper review, the committee is conducting a "virtual plugfest" for prototype implementations. An open source BACnet/WS server reference implementation has been developed to seed the plugfest. It can be used as a test subject for client development and a basis for server prototypes, according to Carl Neilson, chair of the Standard 135 committee. The committee is asking for implementations of both client and server prototypes. The virtual plugfest will be conducted online and is expected to begin mid-March and run through early April.

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ALI to Present Health-Care Facilities Design Course at ACREX India
In conjunction with ACREX India 2014 International Exposition, the ASHRAE Learning Institute is organizing a special presentation of its updated "Healthcare Facilities: Best Practice HVAC Design Consideration and Criteria" short course. It will take place March 1 in New Delhi, India, at Pragati Maidan, site of the exhibition. Based on real-world practice, the course provides practitioners with training on new energy saving technologies and their applications specific to health-care facilities. The course introduces mechanical engineers and system operators to the unique requirements of health-care HVAC system design. An overview of these systems is provided including sustainable design, equipment sizing for heating and cooling loads, ventilation and outdoor air quality, and HVAC system hygiene. The instructor will be Frank Mills, C.Eng., Member ASHRAE.

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Feature of the Week

Using Time-of-Day Scheduling to Save Energy
By John Murphy, Member ASHRAE; and Neil Maldeis, P.E.
Scheduling HVAC&R systems can yield significant energy savings. This article provides information on how using scheduling systems offered some of the most significant savings in energy retrofit projects. The most common use of time-of-day scheduling is to start the HVAC&R system before the building is expected to be occupied, and to shut it off when unoccupied. Other methods for saving energy include using zone temperature sensors with a building automation system, avoiding scheduling through timed override buttons, and separate schedules for areas with differing usage patterns.

This article originally was published in May 2009. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Feb. 14.

After Feb. 14, 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

DCIM Software From Geist
FORT COLLINS, Colo.—Geist has launched version 4 of Environet customizable data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solution. The latest software release incorporates new asset management tools that enable tracking of rack equipment in the data center. The addition of the asset management functionality means the Environet solution spans across the more traditional IT and facilities DCIM solutions. This allows users to visualize and associate rack assets with actual real-time power usage data to monitor energy consumption at the circuit and rack level. The combination of asset data with real-time power and environmental monitoring allows cabinets to be loaded to the maximum capacity supported by the data center infrastructure.

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Packaged Rooftop System From Reznor
MEMPHIS, Tenn.—The YDSA DX packaged rooftop system from Reznor is designed to deliver 13.2 IEER and up to 92% gas heating efficiency via modulating digital scroll technology, ECM condenser supply fans and optimized coil designs. Additional features include energy-efficient blower design with variable speed control to deliver the airflow that the application requires, as well as Tcore3 condensing gas heat technology.

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Circulator From Xylem
MORTON GROVE, Ill.—Xylem has launched the Bell & Gossett ecocirc XL large wet rotor circulator. The energy efficient circulator leverages hydraulic performance, advanced motor design and "smart" communications capabilities to improve operations across a range of commercial HVAC and plumbing applications. Featuring a digital interface that provides the user with real-time pump performance information through proactive self-monitoring, the circulator is designed to significantly reduce system downtime for maximum operational efficiency. The intuitive human machine interface (HMI) keeps users informed of key pump settings, such as operating or fault modes, flow control and setpoint, further decreasing setup and installation time.

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