February 13, 2014: Vol. 13, No. 6 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  



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Industry News

HVAC&R Company Was Door Hackers Used to Enter Target's Computers
NEW YORK—Investigators say they believe that remote access granted through Target’s computerized heating and cooling software was the entry point through which hackers got into Target’s systems to access customer data. Pittsburgh-based Fazio Mechanical Services issued a statement acknowledging a role in the hacking attack on Target that stole sensitive information from 110 million customers. Cybersecurity analysts had speculated that Fazio may have remotely monitored heating, cooling and refrigeration systems for Target, which could have provided a possible entry point for the hackers. But Fazio denied that, saying it uses its electronic connection with Target to submit bills and contract proposals. It said that Target is the only firm that it performs these functions for, and that the U.S. retailer was the only firm affected by the security breach.

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Chinese Government Stimulates Solar Panel Demand to Ease Glut
BEIJING—China’s solar-panel makers are investing more in building their own power projects, expanding sources of revenue and soaking up some of the manufacturing capacity that depressed panel prices. The push is being led by China’s top five panel producers, which are planning at least 4.6 GW of projects this year, almost quadruple the capacity completed last year. State government planners are pushing the expansion with the China Development Bank Corp., extending 7.57 billion yuan ($1.25 billion) in new loans since December. This is the same system China used to wrest control of solar panel manufacturing away from German, U.S. and Japanese companies in the last decade. The move will solidify the finances of the manufacturers after a plunge in the cost of the technology triggered losses across the industry for more than two years. China is stimulating domestic panel demand after prices decreased more than 60% in the two years through 2012 on slower exports and a production surplus.

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Yawning 'Air Conditions' the Brain, Says Study
COLLEGE PARK, Md.—There are several theories about the cause of yawning. One of them has begun to gain more advocates. The theory is that yawning "air conditions" brains. In a paper published in the Journal of Medical Hypotheses, scientists Gary Hack of the University of Maryland and Andrew Gallup of Princeton University wrote that, during yawning, the sinuses act like bellows to cool off the brain. Persons who suffer from sinus congestion yawn more. "Brains, like computers, operate best when they are cool," the authors said. The findings also may explain why people yawn when they are tired. When deprived of sleep, the temperature of the brain rises.

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Tower of Fungus to Grow in New York
NEW YORK—This summer, New York's Museum of Modern Art PS1 will play host to a structure built of self-assembling bricks. Hy-Fi, designed by architect David Benjamin, will open in late June, and be built primarily from a combination of corn husks and fungus. Bricks made of the two organic materials will be set in place to create three open towers, before being topped by a smaller set of bricks coated in a reflective film. The blocks are made by mixing chopped-up corn husks and mycelium, the vegetative part of fungus. Once combined, they will be able to grow into rectangular shapes. The reflective surfaces of the bricks placed highest in the installation will help direct sunlight at the organic bricks below, encouraging them to grow and solidify further. The organic, carbon-neutral structure is designed to provide "outdoor air conditioning" in the form of cooling shade.

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'Professor Dumpster' Walks His Talk
AUSTIN, Texas—Jeff Wilson, Ph.D., an environmental science professor at Huston-Tillotson University, goes by the name Professor Dumpster. Earlier this month, he began living in a 33 ft2 (3 m2) dumpster in an attempt to use only 1% of the annual water, energy and waste than an average American. Right now, the only amenity the professor has is a sleeping bag to keep him warm, but within six months Wilson hopes to have an air conditioner, shower, toilet and even Wi-Fi. The professor has a team to help him and he plans to take his dumpster home to local elementary students to share his project. To follow Wilson and his team’s journey, visit dumpsterproject.org.

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In other news...

10 U.S. Cities Join Effort to Reduce Emissions From Buildings
Danfoss Seeking Entries for 'Envisioneer of the Year' Award
New York Power Authority Launches Energy Efficiency Innovation Collaborative
Proposed Madison, Wis., Ordinance Would Mandate Building Energy Use Benchmarking
UK Construction Industry Fears Government BIM Mandate Is 'Unachievable'
Los Angeles Weighs Mandate on Earthquake Retrofits for Buildings


ASHRAE Spring Online Courses Cover Significant Updates To Standard 90.1
Expert knowledge of sustainable techniques is in demand and the 13 online courses being offered this spring through the ASHRAE Learning Institute (ALI) allow professionals to keep up with the latest industry trends. Participants can access these instructor-led courses from anywhere with an Internet connection and earn continuing education units/professional development hours for each course completed. New this spring is the short course “Significant Changes to Standard 90.1-2010,” which will be held on May 14. The course provides an in-depth overview of the standard and answers questions about changes from previous editions in envelope, lighting and mechanical sections. The course also is part of ASHRAE’s Career Enhancement Curriculum, which focuses on IAQ Practices and Energy Savings (ES) Practices.

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Standard 189.1 Proposal Aims to Protect Ecosystem Sustainability
A proposed addendum to ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, is intended to ensure sustainability of ecosystems through protection of plants, soil and water and increased habitat for native birds and insects. “Supporting and maintaining the biodiversity is critical to the long-term health and sustainability of ecosystems of which humans and all life depend on for existence," said Anthony Floyd, a member of the Standard 189.1 committee. Proposed addendum bg, along with four other addenda, is open for public comment until March 9.

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Feature of the Week

Datacom Airflow Patterns
By Don Beaty, P.E., Member ASHRAE; and Tom Davidson, P.E., Member ASHRAE
This article discusses various aspects of, and constraints to, airflow patterns within a datacom room to gain a better understanding for whether the overall room environment is conducive to successfully cooling the computer equipment housed within it. According to the authors, many potential solutions and pitfalls exist in the goal to maintain airflow patterns that result in inlet conditions to datacom equipment within the recommended ranges. This article highlights some of these issues, and offers some schematic solutions.

This article originally was published in April 2005. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through Feb. 28.

After Feb. 28, 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

Cooling Tower With Axial Fan Option From Baltimore Aircoil Company
BALTIMORE—Baltimore Aircoil Company (BAC) introduces the Series 3000 cooling tower, which features a new Whisper Quiet fan option. BAC’s Whisper Quiet fan is designed to reduce sound levels up to 19 dBA. It also features axial fan blades constructed of high-grade marine alloy aluminum. The cooling tower is designed to be two times more efficient than the minimum requirements of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013.

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Insulation From CertainTeed
VALLEY FORGE, Pa.—CertainTeed introduces SMARTBATT insulation with MoistureSense technology, designed to manage moisture and create a healthier indoor environment. The insulation features an integrated smart vapor retarder that blocks indoor moisture from entering when humidity in the wall cavity is low and breathes when it senses high humidity that needs to be released, reducing the potential for mold and mildew growth.

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Specification Software From ARCOM
SALT LAKE CITY—ARCOM introduces Altarix, an addition to the SpecWare suite of specification productivity tools. The software automatically receives MasterSpec updates, and compares the newest edition of the specifications to the user's office master. It then intelligently incorporates the office master custom text and preferences without changing the specifications in existing projects. The software enables users to produce complete project manuals with the software's built-in tools such as global headers/footers, table of contents and report creation, project summary and tracking.

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