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Fastrack - March 9, 2011

March 17, 2011
Energy Retrofits: When Is the Time to Act?
March 9, 2011
Energy Retrofits: When Is the Time to Act?
By LANCE ENGLISH; VICTOR SANVIDO, PhD; and DON HARRISBERGER, PE, LEED AP; Southland Industries; Irvine, Calif.
Many building owners think of solar fields, cogeneration, solar hot water, and absorption chillers when they hear the words "energy savings." Although these high-profile, trendy options can reduce energy costs, they typically require substantial investments that must be financed over several years to achieve a reasonable return. Savings projections usually assume that existing mechanical systems, in conjunction with the previously mentioned technologies, are operating efficiently. History tells us that is not always the case. [MORE]
USGBC Releases List of Top States for LEED-Certified Buildings
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its 2010 list of top 10 states for LEED-certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita, based on 2010 U.S. Census information. The District of Columbia led the nation with 25 sq ft of LEED-certified space per person in 2010, while Nevada was the leading state with 10.92 sq ft per person in 2010. Other top states included New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Oregon. [MORE]
ASHRAE Online Courses Feature High-Performance Guidance
Two courses related to high-performance building design are being offered as part of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Learning Institute’s spring online series. Twelve online instructor-led short courses will run from late March through early May and are available to those interested in expanding their knowledge of the HVAC industry and keeping up to date with the latest technology. Many courses include updated material. [MORE]
LEED Volume Program Certifies 500th Pilot Project
More than 500 building projects have been certified through the LEED Volume Program since the pilot launched in 2006, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The program streamlines the certification process for high-volume property owners and managers, from commercial real-estate firms, national retailers, and hospitality providers to local, state, and federal governments. [MORE]
AHRI Releases January Heating- and Cooling-Equipment Shipment Data
According to the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), shipments of commercial gas storage water heaters decreased 7 percent in January 2011 to 6,138 units, down from 6,598 units shipped in January 2010. Shipments of commercial electric storage water heaters increased 6 percent in January 2011 to 4,381 units, up from 4,120 units shipped in January 2010. [MORE]
AHR Expo Product Review
Plastic piping
Approved by FM Global for light-hazard fire-sprinkler applications, polypropylene-random plastic is used in Greenpipe F and FireStop pipes. Available in ¾- to 4-in. diameters, the pipes feature heat-fusion-welded connections, meaning no glues, cements, or sealants are needed. Not chemically sensitive, the pipes can be used with glycerin and glycol. Impact-resistant and freeze-tolerant, the pipes are opaque and, therefore, do not support microbiological growth. [MORE]—Aquatherm
Circulating pumps
Designed for thermal solar systems and most circulation-pump applications for which conventional power is not available, ecocirc SC Solar direct-current spherical-motor circulating pumps feature direct connections to photovoltaic panels. The pumps have a soft startup and require less than 1 w of power. The pumps come with an over-temperature safety device that shuts off pump electronics when temperatures reach 230°F. All parts of the pumps that are exposed to fluid are corrosion-resistant. [MORE]—Bell & Gossett from ITT Corp.
Fiberglass duct liner
Used primarily as an acoustical liner in HVAC sheet-metal ducts, ToughGard T textile duct liner features a deep, black fiberglass mat. The liner helps improve the energy efficiency of an HVAC system by reducing heat gain or loss and minimizes moisture problems caused by condensation. Useful for green-building projects, the liner includes 75-percent recycled content. Composed primarily of long, textile-type glass fibers, the duct liner is durable, abuse-resistant, and easy to clean. [MORE]—CertainTeed
Heat-transfer fluid
Specially formulated for geothermal heat-pump systems, DOWFROST GEO 20 is a ready-to-use inhibited-propylene-glycol-based heat-transfer fluid. Biodegradable, the fluid has a low order of toxicity and is formulated with 20-percent propylene glycol by volume to provide high heat-transfer efficiency. The fluid also contains corrosion inhibitors that satisfy the requirements of ASTM D1384, Standard Test Method for Corrosion Test for Engine Coolants in Glassware, protecting equipment from damage or failure when used at full strength. [MORE]
—Dow Polyglycols, Surfactants and Fluids (PS&F), a business unit of The Dow Chemical Co.
Fabric-duct systems
Featuring an in-duct cylindrical tensioning device that eliminates sagging and wrinkling, SkeleCore fabric-duct systems maintain an inflated appearance, even during idle air-handler periods. Because of the tensioning device, the popping sound often associated with equipment startup is eliminated. The systems consist of a ¾-in.-diameter, lightweight aluminum tube supporting a series of 3/16-in.-diameter powder-coated-steel connecting rings sized to administer tension on inner fabric-duct walls for a permanently inflated appearance. The backbone tubes are 6 ft long and designed to snap into the support rings and couplers with a spring-loaded, quick-connect/release mechanism. The systems are available in 15 diameters ranging from 8 to 36 in. [MORE]—DuctSox
Adjustable-frequency drives
The M-Max series of sensorless vector adjustable-frequency drives offers increased system efficiency and product life. Including both single- and three-phase devices, the microprocessor-based drives incorporate standard features that can be programmed to tailor performance to suit a variety of applications, including pumps, fans, and transport drives. When mounted, the drives can be installed side-by-side. With integrated electromagnetic compatibility filters, the drives meet the requirements of commercial and industrial networks. [MORE]—Eaton Corp.
High-efficiency motors
For condenser-fan applications, Premium Efficient Permanent (PEP) split-capacitor motors are 76-percent efficient and can save up to 70 w. Totally enclosed and rated for 158°F, the motors feature ball bearings. The motors' all-position design has 48-in. leads. [MORE]—Emerson Climate Technologies/Nidec Motor Corp.
JADE economizers use outdoor air to cool and ventilate indoor spaces. The economizers include a liquid-crystal display that delivers continuous messages, important diagnostics, and system status and provide on-board fault detection and diagnostics, which quickly identify sensor failure or loss of communication. Additionally, the economizers feature built-in freeze protection to protect coils when temperatures drop. [MORE]—Honeywell
Condensing boilers
Available in five models ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 million Btuh, CREST condensing boilers offer firetube technology integrated with SMART TOUCH operating controls. With thermal efficiencies of up to 99 percent, the fully modulating boilers feature a low-nitrogen-oxide combustion system with a stainless-steel heat exchanger and a dual-system burner design with a turndown ratio of up to 25-to-1. The top-mounted, single micro-metal-fiber burners serve as two combustion systems in one, each with its own blower and gas-valve assembly to power the combustion process based on demand. [MORE]—Lochinvar
Centrifugal chillers
Intended for universities, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, and data centers, 700-ton Magnitude centrifugal chillers feature an oil-free, magnetic-bearing design. The positive-pressure, oil-free design ensures the chillers' efficient performance is sustainable through the units' operating life because there is no oil to contaminate the refrigerant and degrade system efficiency. The chillers have an integrated part-load value as low as 0.306 kw per ton, while maintaining full-load efficiency at 0.532 kw per ton. Using R-134a refrigerant, the chillers have no ozone-depletion potential or phaseout schedule. [MORE]—McQuay International, a member of Daikin Group
Dedicated outdoor-air systems
Designed to supply outdoor ventilation air to a building independent of the HVAC air-distribution or conditioning system, CITY MULTI VRF dedicated outdoor-air systems (DOAS) use heat recovery to provide free reheat. The DOAS precondition outside air for introduction into downstream HVAC units, lessening the load on HVAC systems. Because HVAC systems have to work less to condition air to a certain temperature when used in conjunction with the DOAS, end-users can save on utility costs. Available for use in new construction or retrofit commercial applications, DOAS accept 100-percent outside air at temperatures ranging from -4°F wet bulb to 109°F wet bulb, preconditioning up to 1,200 cfm of air for introduction into downstream HVAC units. [MORE]—Mitsubishi Electric
Spot air conditioners
Office Pro W20 water-cooled, portable spot air conditioners offer a cooling capacity of 15,700 Btuh. The units are designed for applications where air-cooled spot air conditioners cannot be used because there is no drop ceiling or other available space in which to exhaust hot air. Self-contained, the air conditioners combine a compressor, condenser, and evaporator within a single housing. No external condensing units or refrigerant charging are required. The units can be wheeled into place, connected to a water supply, plugged into a standard 115-v electrical outlet, and turned on. [MORE]—MovinCool
Hydrogen/refrigerant tester
Designed to use a safe, non-toxic tracer-gas mix of 5-percent hydrogen and 95-percent nitrogen (or any gas mixture with hydrogen), the Trace300 benchtop hydrogen/refrigerant leak detector determines leak tightness. It also can be used with applications in which 100-percent hydrogen is present. The tool can detect refrigerants such as R-22, R-134a, and R-410a. [MORE]—NuvoTrace
BACnet building controllers
Designed to exceed the requirements of a BACnet operator workstation, MACH-ProWeb BACnet building controllers are fully programmable with a built-in Web server and flexible Web operator interface. The controllers can be integrated into the MACH-System by programming the MACH-ProWeb point database, Control-BASIC sequence, and graphics, then dragging and dropping resource files using MACH-ProWeb Tools to build a Web interface. The interface provides the functionality required for day-to-day building operations. Using a standard browser on a PC or Mac, a user can enter the URL of the interface and navigate through the system to access and print point values, alarms, schedules, trend logs, runtime logs, and audit trails. [MORE]—Reliable Control
Draft-control systems
Sequence draft-control systems are complete engineered venting systems that maintain consistent flue pressure for hot-water appliances within the parameters of manufacturer requirements, ensuring optimal system performance and safe evacuation of combustion gas. The systems are designed to work with any combination of hot-water appliances, providing design solutions for complex installations requiring common venting. The systems monitor and adjust stack and boiler outlet pressure and can be customized to fit specific building and appliance requirements using off-the-shelf components. [MORE]—Schebler Chimney Systems
Spring-return actuators
Designed for hot-water, chilled-water, and steam-valve applications, the M900 series of electromechanical spring-return actuators offers quick field setup of all popular proportional and floating input signals. The actuators feature spring returns, including extend and retract models, that react in instances of power failure to provide maximum flexibility for use with new and existing valve bodies, preventing mechanical stress and system water hammer. [MORE]—Schneider Electric
Duct-temperature sensors
Featuring a Qwik Connect system that eliminates wire nuts, Qwik Series duct-temperature sensors come in three styles. The Qwik Box features a galvanized enclosure and is available in IP40- and IP54-rated models. IP54-rated, the Qwik Mini features a plastic enclosure. The Qwik Flange is available with a variable-air-volume option. All of the sensors come in a variety of negative-temperature-coefficient-thermistor or resistance-temperature-detector elements and have probe lengths from 4 to 18 in. The sensors also feature a small outdoor sensor, strap-on pipe sensor, and immersion sensor. [MORE]—Tasseron Sensors and Controls Inc.
Central monitoring stations
Useful in hospitals and laboratories, CMS-1650 central monitoring stations allow "at-a-glance" review of status for up to four rooms. The stations can be deployed in any situation in which room status (including isolation mode, alarm status, and room pressure) needs to be monitored closely. Available as a surface or flush-mounted unit, the stations integrate into a building's BACnet network and mate with fifth-generation FMS controllers, providing individual-room control with monitoring capabilities from a central location. [MORE]—Triatek
Coil packs
KOIL-KIT coil packs provide simplified coil-circuit installation while ensuring hydronic-system design requirements are met. The coil packs can be built to meet the needs of end-users and are provided as a preassembled package featuring drain valves, coil hoses, union port fittings, and balancing valves. Available in ½- to 2-in. sizes, the coil packs are suitable for a variety of hot- and cold-water applications, including treated and untreated water systems. [MORE]—Victaulic
Screw chillers
YVAA air-cooled variable-speed screw chillers have design energy-efficiency ratios of up to 11.6. On replacement projects, the chillers' energy performance can exceed that of older chillers by as much as 50 percent, while performance on new projects can exceed that of similar chillers by up to 25 percent. The chillers' performance can be tailored to meet targets for state, municipal, or utility rebates, where available. Additionally, the SilentNight feature works with a building-automation system to load-limit the chillers when noise reduction is a priority. [MORE]—York by Johnson Controls
Filters for Cooling Water Treatment: GO GREEN -- Conserve Space, Conserve Water, Conserve Time ORG automatic self-cleaning filters by ORIVAL, Inc. remove a lot of solids and very little water. In sizes from ¾" to 10", these filters address most cooling water needs with a wide range of filtration degrees. Plug-and-play skid packages are also custom built to user specifications. Visit our website at or email to [email protected] for additional information.
Choosing and installing the right silent check valve… Watch the Video The right silent check valve can minimize pressure drops and water hammer. Here is how to properly install a check valve, using the right gasket, flange and bolts… Watch the video.--Metraflex
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