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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


USDA Grant Supports Installation of Pellet Boiler in N.H. school

Biomass Magazine, April 27, 2015, by Rep. Annie Kuster's Office [NH].

"Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., recently announced two grants from the USDA’s Rural Development program that will support projects in two New Hampshire communities.  The Bethlehem School District has received a $30,000 grant that will be used to replace an oil-fired hot water boiler heating system at Bethlehem Elementary School with wood pellet boilers, and the town of Stratford has received a $15,000 grant to improve its town garage, which houses all town vehicles."

Selecting a Boiler for Heating, Process Loads

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Apr. 2015, by Bradley A. Pankow.

"Boilers for heating and domestic hot water systems are used in many nonresidential buildings and across educational, hospital, and industrial campuses. This article reviews the codes and standards that regulate boiler system specification and design, plus energy efficiency and efficacy of these boiler systems."

Integration: Lighting and HVAC systems

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, April 2015, by Chris Rush.

"By considering the first principles of radiative energy, engineers can determine how to balance daylight, electric light, and HVAC systems, particularly considering various options for daylight control and the advent of LEDs."

Medical Data Center Controls Uptime, Energy With Variable-Frequency Drives

HPAC Engineering, Mar. 2015, by DANFOSS.

A "From the Field: Design Solutions" column, provided by the manufacturer, Danfoss.
"At a medical data center in the upper Midwest, cooling-system uptime reliability is ensured with redundant computer-room air-conditioning (CRAC) units. For example, in a room needing eight units, 10 are employed. Drives cut energy use 40 percent by controlling HVAC fan speed on CRAC units."

Part Two: Radiant Heating and Cooling Systems

ASHRAE Journal, Mar. 2015, by Kwang Woo Kim and Bjarne W. Olesen.

"Control of the heating and cooling system needs to be able to maintain the indoor temperatures within the comfort range under the varying internal loads and external climates. To maintain a stable thermal environment, the control system needs to maintain the balance between the heat gain/loss of the building and the supplied energy from the system."

Part One is here -

Energy-Efficient Makeup Air Units

ASHRAE Journal, Mar. 2015, by Hugh Crowther.

"Unless you live in paradise, delivering makeup air to most buildings is expensive. Table 1 shows the amount of work it takes to heat and cool air (based on Chicago conditions) for a standard rooftop unit (a unit that recirculates air with typical air conditioning loads) and a makeup air (MUA) unit."

LCCA for HVAC Systems

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Mar. 2015, by David J. MacKay and Kohler Ronan.

"Practically speaking, there are multiple building design options that can meet programmatic needs and achieve acceptable levels of performance. From a purely financial perspective, the only appropriate design alternative is the solution that satisfies the owner's project requirements for the lowest total cost of ownership. Lifecycle cost analysis (LCCA) is a powerful tool used to determine the most cost-effective option among competing alternatives. Although LCCA has been used for decades to reliably identify cost-optimal design solutions, many building owners and architecture and engineering professionals still rely on simple payback to make project investment decisions."

2015 ASHRAE Technology Awards: Energy Efficient Ice Rink

ASHRAE Journal, Mar. 2015, by Art Sutherland.

"An extensive study conducted by Natural Resources Canada determined that a typical 40,000 ft2 (3716 m2) ice rink in Canada will consume an average of 1.5 million kWh of equivalent energy per year. The Westhills Recreation Centre in Langford, British Columbia, is nearly twice as big uses only 768,000 kWh. And, the refrigeration system for the ice surfaces produces so much waste heat that excess is shared with a nearby housing development."

Chilled-Water Piping Condensation Control for Energy Savings and Risk Avoidance

Insulation Outlook, Feb. 2015, by Richard Lubinski.

"Proper mechanical insulation of chilled-water piping is critical. The life-cycle cost savings and risk avoidance made possible by insulating chilled-water piping is vital to the design of a high-functioning system. Chilled-water pipe insulation is the wrong place to attempt value engineering when designing new or replacement piping."

Using 4 Waste Heat Sources for HVAC Optimization

Chiller & Cooling Best Practices, Mar. 2015, by Thomas Mort.

"Heat recovery opportunities have resulted in the largest amount of savings of our common projects our industrial energy management teams have implemented. It is not the easiest type of project to implement but the amount of savings and the reduction of emissions makes this project very worthwhile."


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