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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.


Category: HVAC/R


Pond Loop for Ice Refrigeration

ASHRAE Journal, Sep 2015, by Jason Larosh.

2015 ASHRAE Technology Award Case Studies:
"The pond loop geothermal refrigeration system at the Janesville Ice Arena uses an adjacent pond as thermal storage to pull heat from and reject heat to the ice sheet refrigeration system. Other improvements to the arena include a new ice sheet and hot water heating system."

City Sewage Energy Recovery

North American Clean Energy, Jul/Aug 2015, by Erwin Schwartz B.Eng. is the President at DDI Heat Exchangers.

"Municipal wastewater heat recovery is a system in which a heat exchanger transfers heat energy from the sewer waste water to a solution of water and antifreeze (ethylene glycol). A heat pump then uses the heat of this solution to heat buildings, preheat domestic hot water, and heat garages in the winter and also cool the space in the summer."

Combination Ductless Heat Pump & Heat Pump Water Heater Lab and Field Tests

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), Aug. 26, 2015, by Energy 350.

New NEEA Report: "This report summarizes the lab and field test findings for Mitsubishi’s prototype Ductless Heat Pump (DHP) Plus H2O product. This product combines a ductless heat pump with a heat pump water heater into a single, integrated product. Mitsubishi has teamed with a water heater partner for the water heater portion of the product. NEEA has partnered with Mitsubishi to test the appliance and to provide feedback regarding performance. NEEA has selected Energy 350 to conduct the testing and reporting."

Post-HFC-Phaseout Refrigerant Options

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Aug. 3, 2015, by Ron Rajecki.

"The July 2 ruling from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that sets forth the timeframes for the phaseout of certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in specific applications presents some challenges for the refrigeration industry. The ruling also presents new opportunities for growth of the natural refrigerants market. The ruling, however, was not unexpected, and it did not catch many of the major refrigerant manufacturers flatfooted."

School Districts Strive for Efficiency, Occupant Comfort

Ari Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration, Aug. 3, 2015, by Jen Anesi.

"It’s no secret that many school districts across the country lack funding for buildings repairs and desperately need to upgrade their facilities. While some administrators put off HVAC projects for as long as they can, choosing to repair instead of replace antiquated equipment, others are looking for ways to save energy and money in the long run while operating as green and sustainably as possible. The following case studies illustrate how schools across the country are implementing different HVACR solutions to achieve these goals."

Thermostatic Radiator Valves for Multiunit Residential Buildings

HPAC Engineering, July 2015, by Bill Boss.

"A simple, cost-effective way to combat overheating in older apartment buildings."

Saving Water with Cooling Towers

ASHRAE Journal, Aug 2015, by Frank Morrison.

"Saving water with cooling towers. At first glance, this statement seems counterintuitive. Cooling towers save energy but aren’t they major users of water? This article will help readers understand the critical role evaporative heat transfer systems play in a sustainable environment, explore how water is consumed in such systems, and review the strategies that help minimize the use of both water and energy."

10 Cooling Tower Maintenance Tips

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, June 22, 2015, by Baltimore Aircoil Co.

"A well-maintained unit will continue to function at the original optimum efficiency. Over time, a neglected cooling tower’s leaving water temperature will increase, raising energy costs by up to 6 percent for every 2°F increase. However, a well-maintained cooling tower will continue to function at the original optimum efficiency, keeping energy costs low. These simple preventive cooling tower maintenance tips can help users save up to 15 percent on electricity costs. Routine maintenance also helps to conserve water and extend the operating life of cooling equipment."

Expensive Doesn’t Always Mean Efficient: Correctly Sizing, Selecting, and Installing Equipment...

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, June 22, 2015, by Joanna R. Turpin.

"HVAC systems now come with higher efficiencies than ever, with air-source cooling equipment surpassing the 25-SEER mark and gas furnaces achieving more than 98 percent AFUE. Customers who pay for these highly efficient (and expensive) systems expect them to achieve those ratings and provide superior comfort, and, if they don’t, they are often disappointed and even angry. When high-end equipment does not live up to consumer expectations, the culprit is almost always improper installation.

The bottom line: Properly sizing, selecting, and installing HVAC equipment is critical to ensuring energy efficiency and comfort

Technology Solutions Case Study: Overcoming Comfort Issues Due to Reduced Flow Room Air Mixing

U.S. Department of Energy, Building America, March 2015.

"The U.S. Department of Energy Building America team IBACOS studied when HVAC equipment is downsized and ducts are unaltered to determine conditions that could cause a supply air delivery problem and to evaluate the feasibility of modifying the duct systems using minimally invasive strategies to improve air distribution."
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