April 10, 2014: Vol. 13, No. 15 Advancing HVAC&R to Serve Humanity
And Promote a Sustainable World  
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Industry News

The Next Heat Source: Data Centers
SEATTLE—The city of Seattle is working on a project to make use of the heat that data centers produce. The city plans to route heat from two local data centers to help warm 10 million ft2 (930 000 m2) of building space in the surrounding area. The project is still in the conceptual phase, and the city hopes to have it under way "within the next year," said Jill Simmons, director of Seattle's Office of Sustainability and Environment. The construction cost will be borne by private utility Corix, which will recover its investment through rates paid by customers over a 30-year period. Seattle is following the lead of other cities around the world, including Munich and Vancouver, small portions of which also use heat from data centers. Meanwhile, a team of researchers from Microsoft and the University of Virginia envisions small servers they call "data furnaces" being installed directly at homes and office buildings. This solution, they say, would offer increased computing power to users along with a smaller carbon footprint. In addition, if the servers are connected to home or office furnace systems, they could serve as the primary heating source.

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Commercial Building Retrofits Booming, Not Necessarily for Energy Efficiency
BOULDER, Colo.—The worldwide market for energy-efficiency retrofits in commercial and public buildings will grow from $68.2 billion in 2014 to $127.5 billion by 2023, according to Navigant Research. “Because the existing building stock dwarfs the amount of new building space being added on an annual basis, energy-efficiency retrofits are a critical pathway to greening the world’s commercial buildings,” says Eric Bloom, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. However, for the majority of building owners and managers, retrofits are driven by system replacements, rather than improving energy efficiency, according to Navigant. The research company estimates that approximately 15% of all retrofits are initiated with increasing energy efficiency as the primary motivator, while the remaining 85% are initiated for other reasons.

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White Roofs Better Than Dark, Vegetated Roofs, LBNL Study Finds
BERKELEY, Calif.—Compared to traditional dark-colored roofs and green or “vegetated” roofs, white roofs offer greater ability to lower temperatures that lead to the urban heat island effect, and they do it at less cost, according to a recent report. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report states that building owners “concerned with global warming should choose white roofs, which are three times more effective than green roofs at cooling the globe.” The authors analyzed 22 commercial flat roof projects in the U.S. and performed a 50-year life-cycle cost analysis. They assumed a 20-year service life for black roofs and white roofs, and 40 years for green roofs. Compared to black roofs, the report says, white roofs save $25/m2 ($2.30/ft2) and green roofs have an additional cost of $71/m2 ($6.60/ft2). The authors also concluded that black roofs should be prohibited in some areas. “We strongly recommend building code policies that phase out dark-colored roofs in warm climates to protect against their adverse public health externalities,” the report states.

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Small Company Aims to Commercialize Thermoelectric Cooling System

DURHAM, N.C.—A North Carolina company has recently raised nearly $26 million in venture capital to bring a thermoelectric cooling technology for refrigerators to market. The company’s thermoelectric cooling system is designed to replace compressor-built appliances with semiconductors. Instead of pushing cold air in, the technology is designed to pump heat out of the system. “We can completely eliminate Freon; there’s no toxic refrigerants in our system now,” said Phononic Devices’ CEO Tony Atti. While it is starting with refrigeration, the company plans to expand its technology into other products such as cooling products for computer servers.

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U.S. Energy Use Increasing
LIVERMORE, Calif.—U.S. consumers used 2.3 quadrillion Btus (quads) more energy in 2013 than the previous year, according to a new report by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The report found that the majority of energy use in 2013 was for electricity generation (38.2 quads). Wind energy was found to be a growing source of energy generation. Wind energy increased 18% from 2012 to 2013 to a total of 1.6 quads. Along with the increase in energy use, the nation's energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increased to 5,390 million metric tons, the first annual increase since 2010.

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LEED Reaches 3 Billion Square Feet of Certified Space
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced that 3 billion ft2 (280 million m2) of construction space has earned LEED certification globally. "Green" construction is growing rapidly. McGraw-Hill estimates that it will comprise half of U.S. construction and be worth up to $248 billion by 2016. “More than 4.3 million people live and work in LEED buildings," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of USGBC.

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In other news...

Fracking Linked to Harmful IAQ in Surrounding Areas
UN Secretary-General: EU Must Agree to a 2030 Climate Plan in June
Nearly 50,000 Con Edison Customers Participated in Energy-Efficiency Programs in 2013
Automotive Air Conditioning Emits 'Super Greenhouse Gas?'
YKK AP America's New Manufacturing Facility in Texas Set to Open in July


Proposed Change to Standard 62.2 Would Include All Multifamily Building Heights
Dwelling units of multifamily buildings of any height would fall under ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings, under a proposed change designed to provide consistency of ventilation requirements. Currently, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2013, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, covers multifamily residential buildings four stories or more, while Standard 62.2-2013 has responsibility for residential buildings three stories and less. “The Standards 62.1 and 62.2 committees are proposing scope changes that would result in the dwelling units of all multifamily buildings being covered by Standard 62.2,” said Paul Francisco, chair of the Standard 62.2 committee. “Common areas would be covered by 62.1. This will provide consistency of ventilation requirements for dwelling units regardless of building height."

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Feature of the Week

Solar Technologies & the Building Envelope
By Paul A. Torcellini, Ph.D., P.E., Member ASHRAE; Shanti D. Pless, Associate Member ASHRAE; Ron Judkoff, Member ASHRAE; and Drury Crawley, AIA, Member ASHRAE
According to the authors, as the number of stories increases, the potential to have a net zero energy building within the building's footprint decreases. As efficiencies of photovoltaic (PV) cells increase, the potential to have net zero energy buildings increases. This article covers solar technologies such as daylighting, PV, transpired solar collectors, Trombe walls, and solar hot water systems, and how each can contribute to a low-energy building.

This article originally was published in April 2007. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through April 24.

After April 24, 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

Energy Management System From Venstar
CHATSWORTH, Calif.—The new Surveyor energy management system from Venstar enables small-box retailers and other multiple-location businesses to remotely monitor, control and manage HVAC, lighting/electrical and mechanical systems in all their locations. Users can program and control optimal building conditions, as well as lighting use through an easy-to-use interface that allows them to make system changes globally or to individual locations and regions.

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Burners From Industrial Combustion
MONROE, Wis.—The Q series of burners from Industrial Combustion is designed for use with cast-iron sectional boilers, firebox, commercial watertube, firetube, furnace and oven applications. The quiet, compact design features linkageless operation with dc pulse width modulation and a fuel/air ratio control.

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Exhausters From Canarm
BROCKVILLE, Ontario—The new ALX spun aluminum roof/wall exhausters from Canarm are available in eight sizes ranging from 10 in. to 24 in. (250 mm to 610 mm) for exhausting air from restaurants, offices or commercial buildings. The exhausters use backward inclined wheels for efficient air movement. They can be used in either rooftop or wall-mount exhaust applications. Available options include sleeves, bird screens, and roof curbs.

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