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Industry News L.A. Again Leads List of Cities With Most Energy Star Buildings WASHINGTON—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its sixth annual list of the top 25 U.S. cities with the most Energy Star-certified buildings. Los Angeles has remained the top city on the EPA's list since 2008, while Washington, D.C., holds onto second place for the fifth consecutive year. Atlanta, New York and San Francisco round out the top five. According to the EPA, by the end of 2013, the more than 23,000 Energy Star-labeled buildings in the U.S. saved nearly $3.1 billion in annual utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual energy use of more than 2.2 million homes. Commercial buildings that earn the Energy Star label must perform in the top 25% of similar buildings nationwide.
Egypt Restricts Air Conditioning as Power Shortages Worsen
CAIRO—Egypt, facing the worst energy shortages in years, will enforce a ban on the production and import of air conditioners that can be set lower than 20°C (68°F), as part of government efforts to ease the impact of power cuts already affecting homes and factories. The restriction will be implemented starting in mid-June. Meanwhile, Egypt's religious endowments minister has ordered mosques not to run air conditioners before May 15 and after that date to use air conditioning only during prayer time and half an hour before and after the call to prayer. Power generation in Egypt is largely dependent on natural gas, now in short supply. The government predicts production will fail to meet surging domestic demand in the next fiscal year, starting in July. The electricity minister said the government would not be able to prevent blackouts this summer.
Click here to read more about the ban on low-temperature AC production.
Click here to read more about the decision related to mosques.
New Chemicals Promise Low GWPs, Energy Savings
TOKYO—Multiple companies are introducing chemicals for various industry applications that promise low global warming potential (GWP), energy savings and other benefits. Japan’s Asahi Glass Company (AGC) has developed AMOLEA, a new air-conditioning refrigerant designed to have a GWP about one-sixth that of conventional hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) R-410A. AMOLEA is a mixed refrigerant. Its main ingredient is hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) 1123, which AGC helped develop as part of a state-subsidized project. AGC aims to launch commercial production in 2016. Minnesota-based 3M Co. recently announced a new cooling fluid for large computer systems that the company says reduces the need for power-hungry air conditioners and slashes energy costs by 95%. Partnering with Intel Corp. and SGI, 3M developed a fluid-based technology called immersion cooling. The technology involves computers actually inside a cooling bath of 3M's fluid. Also, DuPont Fluorochemicals announced "significant progress" in delivering a new foam expansion solution based on HFO technology, which the company says offers "breakthrough reduction in global warming potential (GWP) as well as energy-efficiency benefits." DuPont has established firm plans to start small-scale production this year of HFO-1336mzz, which will be marketed as Formacel 1100 foam expansion agent. In addition to its low-GWP and zero ozone depletion potential, Formacel 1100 also promises excellent thermal insulation performance, allowing for reduced energy consumption of rigid polyurethane foam insulation.
Click here to read more about AGC's AMOLEA.
Click here to read more about 3M's immersion cooling technology.
Click here to read more about DuPont's Formacel foam expansion agent.
Interest in Renewable Energy Growing, AHR Expo Survey Finds
WESTPORT, Conn.—More than 40% of attendees at the recent 2014 AHR Expo came to the world’s largest HVAC&R event seeking products related to “renewable energy resources” such as geothermal and solar, according to a recent post-show survey. More than 2,000 people responded to the survey. "We’re not surprised," said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company, which produces and manages AHR Expo. "We know the interest in renewable energy resources is growing rapidly, so it is especially encouraging to see such a wide-spread interest across all segments of HVAC&R professionals at the Show." Stevens added that there has also been a steady growth in the number of exhibitors showcasing renewable energy products in their booths. "This is an area where we’ve seen many long-time exhibiting companies expand their lines, as well as many newer exhibitors with more dedicated product offerings. For example, since we were last in New York in 2008, the number of exhibitors showcasing solar-related products more than doubled to 66 from 29." He also said that renewable energy has also gained traction as subjects in AHR Expo and ASHRAE educational programs offered at the Show. ASHRAE is a cosponsor of AHR Expo with the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).
GHG Emissions in U.S. Decreasing, Says EPA Inventory
WASHINGTON—There was a 3.4% decrease in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2012 from 2011, according to the latest government data contained in the recently released annual greenhouse gas inventory of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The major contributors to the decrease in emissions from 2011–2012 were the decrease in energy consumption across all sectors in the U.S. economy, and the decrease in carbon intensity for electricity generation due to fuel switching from coal to natural gas. According to the report, GHG emissions in 2012 were 10% below 2005 levels. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.
Solar Panels on Big Ben Among UK 'Green' Proposals
LONDON—In an effort by the UK Parliament to reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 34% by 2020, the House of Commons is now considering installing solar panels on the face of Big Ben. Big Ben, officially renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012, was constructed in 1859 and contains 6.9 m (22.6 ft) clocks on a 96 m (315 ft) tower. It is located on the Palace of Westminster and has become one of the most prominent symbols of the United Kingdom. Other proposed energy-efficiency plans include insulating the Palace of Westminster roof with sheep wool—a material that has been found to significantly reduce heat loss, while preventing leaks. Several initiatives are already under way. They include installing voltage optimization technology to mitigate wasted energy, identifying energy efficiency improvements for all estate buildings, and replacing traditional light bulbs with LEDs. The 34% reduction goal is mandated by UK's Climate Change Act of 2008.
ASHRAE News Supply Water Temperature Classifications Added to Data Center Cooling Guide
A recently published ASHRAE book provides best practice guidance for implementing liquid cooling systems in data centers. Don Beaty, publication chair of Technical Committee 9.9., Mission Critical Facilities, Data Centers, Technology Spaces and Electronic Equipment, says that one of the more important changes in the second edition of Liquid Cooling Guidelines for Datacom Equipment Centers is the addition of supply water temperature classifications. Beaty claims that the addition of liquid classes can have a similar effect on the industry as the creation of supply air temperature classes did. “There are five water temperature classes, with the highest temperature class being >45°C (113°F), which opens up possibilities for using the rejected heat for building heating systems,” he said. The guide bridges the liquid cooling systems by providing guidelines on interface requirements between the chilled-water system and the technology cooling system and on the requirements of liquid-cooled systems that attach to a datacom electronics rack to aid in data center thermal management.
Feature of the Week Thermo Active Building Systems: Using Building Mass to Heat and Cool
By Bjarne W. Olesen, Ph.D., Fellow ASHRAE
Thermo active building systems (TABS) are primarily used for cooling multistory buildings. By activating the building mass, there is a direct heating-cooling effect. The cooling demand is distributed over a longer period during the day and shifted from daytime to nighttime. This leads to lower peak loads, allowing the use of conditioning plants of reduced sizes. This article covers considerations of TABS such as impact on IAQ, cooling capacity, and control strategies.
This article originally was published in February 2012. Click here to download the article. It will be available here through May 1.
After May 1, 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 Building Automation System From Network Corporation
YOKOHAMA, Japan—The NBIS-BA540 from Network Corporation is an embedded and Web-enabled SCADA system featuring comprehensive BEMS and AST functionality. The modular system allows end users to monitor and manage a building remotely from anywhere on the Internet. A single unit can handle small to medium buildings of up to 1,500 IO points and includes drivers for all major building automation protocols.
Boiler/Water Heater From RBI MISSISSAUGA, Ontario—The Infinite Energy2 (IE2) boiler/water heater from RBI, a division of Mestek, features a radial variable circulation (RVC) stainless steel heat exchanger for maximum heat transfer and operating efficiencies of up to 98%. The unit is available in a range of horsepower capacities and up to 20:1 single-unit firing rate modulation.
Read more Thermoelectric Temperature Controller From Oven Industries
MECHANICSBURG, Pa.—Oven Industries has released the 5R7-573 thermoelectric controller, designed with a proportional integral control algorithm to provide precise control of Peltier effect modules in industrial applications. The device features a Hbridge control, which provides a seamless transition between heating and cooling, eliminating dead spots. Also, pulse width modulation regulates the power level in the thermoelectric module.
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