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SEPTEMBER 2019

ASHRAE
JOURNAL THE MAGAZINE OF HVAC&R TECHNOLOGY AND APPLICATIONS ASHRAE.ORG

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Selecting and Specifying Pipe Flow Meters | Pressure Sustaining Valves
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CONTENTS VOL. 61, NO. 9, SEPTEMBER 2019

STANDING COLUMNS
14
62 ENGINEER’S NOTEBOOK
Selecting and Specifying
Pipe Flow Meters
By Stephen W. Duda, P.E.
70 PRODUCTIVITY – ASHRAE
Do Indoor CO2 Levels

©BRUCE DAMONTE
Directly Affect Perceived
34 54 Air Quality, Health, or Work
Performance?
FEATURES By William Fisk; Pawel Wargocki, Ph.D.;
Xiaojing Zhang
14 New Guidance for Residential 78 PRODUCTIVITY – CIBSE
Air Cleaners Identifying the Knowledge
By Lew Harriman; Brent Stephens, Ph.D,; Terry Brennan
Gaps for IEQ
By Julie Godefroy
24 Pressure Sustaining Valves 81 IEQ APPLICATIONS
By Hui Chen, P.E.; James Riley; Amy Chen; Les Williams; Wyatt Hahn;
Opportunities for Connected
Robert Henry, P.E. Devices to Improve IEQ
By Chuan He, Ph.D.; Carolyn B. Swope;
Jie Zhao, Ph.D.
34 How HVAC&R Changed the World
84 REFRIGERATION APPLICATIONS
By Bernard A. Nagengast
Refrigeration on a Budget
By Andy Pearson, Ph.D., C.Eng.
50 Achieving Resiliency in the Cold Chain:
Strategies to Maintain Food Safety DEPARTMENTS
By Mary Kate McGowan, Associate Editor, News 4 Commentary
6 Industry News
2019 ASHRAE TECHNOLOGY AWARDS 8 Letters
12 Meetings and Shows
54 Renovation Extends 85 Products
Building Life 100 Years 86 Special Products
87 Classified Advertising
By Eric Solrain, P.E.; Tyler Bradshaw, P.E.; Marsha Maytum; Gwen Fuertes
88 Advertisers Index

ASHRAE Technology Portal | Repository of ASHRAE Content PUBLICATION DISCLAIMER | ASHRAE has compiled this publication
with care, but ASHRAE has not investigated and ASHRAE
Techn
Free to Members: Journal Articles • Research Reports expressly disclaims any duty to investigate any product,
service, process, procedure, design or the like which may
ology
Porta
l Available by Subscription: be described herein. The appearance of any technical data,
editorial material or advertisement in this publication does
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technologyportal.ashrae.org like. ASHRAE does not warrant that the information in this
publication is free of errors and ASHRAE does not necessarily
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2 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


the ARTT of Building HVAC

Sustainability e
ART

o
th

f
LIT Y
B UIL

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N
Lighting G Security

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Ensure a strong level of S U S TA I N
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DATA such as BACnet virtual private adhering to WEEE, RoHS and LEED WASTE
networks (B/VPN). directives.

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Sustainability requires a high level of integration between HVAC, lighting, and security
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sustainability emerges. To learn more about the ART of Building Sustainability please visit
www.reliablecontrols.com/TABS
COMMENTARY
1791 Tullie Circle NE
Atlanta, GA 30329-2305
Phone: 404-636-8400
Fax: 404-321-5478 | www.ashrae.org Jay Scott
DIRECTOR OF ASHRAE PUBLICATIONS & EDUCATION
Mark S. Owen
EDITORIAL
Technology So Good It’s Taken for Granted
Editor
Jay Scott ASHRAE is celebrating its 125th anni- chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants made
jayscott@ashrae.org versary during the 2019-20 Society it possible for placing air-conditioning
Senior Managing Editor
Sarah Foster year. ASHRAE Journal kicks off a series of equipment directly into a living space.
sfoster@ashrae.org historical features on the industry with Noting the success of the household
Associate Editor
Rebecca Matyasovski a first article this month recognizing refrigerator, the industry was enthusi-
rmatyasovski@ashrae.org five developments of the 20th Century astic over the possibilities.
Associate Editor
Jeri Alger that deeply affected our lives but are By the 1930s, companies were begin-
jalger@ashrae.org now taken for granted. ning to combine cooling and heating
Associate Editor The article explores “some technol- technology for central air-conditioning
Tani Palefski
tpalefski@ashrae.org ogy we invented, used or improved so systems that were automatic and circu-
Associate Editor well that, outside our technical com- lating filtered, tempered air to all the
Mary Kate McGowan
mmcgowan@ashrae.org munity, pretty much no one appreci- rooms in a house, office or business.
Associate Editor ates how good that technology works However, these central systems were
Courtney Payne
cpayne@ashrae.org to keep us warm or cool or provide a too expensive for most people.
Contributing Editor, Europe & Middle East vast variety of safe food at our finger Enter the window air conditioner, a
W. Stephen Comstock
tips, efficiently and affordable,” the relatively low-cost method to spot-cool
PUBLISHING SERVICES
Publishing Services Manager author writes. “Everyone takes it all for rooms in a home.
David Soltis
granted. Insulted? Don’t be—it means
Production
Jayne Jackson we HVAC&R engineers have done our SLOWED AT FIRST by World War II,
ADVERTISING jobs very well.” the concept of window air conditioners
Associate Publisher,
ASHRAE Media Advertising began to flourish as competition and
Greg Martin THE FIVE TAKEN-FOR-GRANTED mass production brought down the
gmartin@ashrae.org
Senior Coordinator—Advertising
developments on which the author cost such that comfort air condition-
Production and Operations focuses are the electric motor, auto- ing became more affordable for more
Vanessa Johnson
vjohnson@ashrae.org matic heating, household refrigera- people. The window air conditioner
Coordinator—Circulation Development tors, chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants led to the “democratizing of the air
Austin Brafford
abrafford@ashrae.org and the window air conditioner. conditioner, as the Model T Ford did
ASHRAE OFFICERS The author points out that the win- for automobiles,” the author writes.
President dow air conditioner benefited from Forty-eight thousand units were
Darryl K. Boyce, P.Eng.
President-Elect the development of the first four sold in 1946 as the industry rapidly
Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E. innovations. converted back to peacetime produc-
Treasurer Sealed motor compressors, initially tion. More than 100 million units have
Michael Schwedler, P.E.
Vice Presidents developed by the household refrig- been produced in the United States.
K. William Dean, P.Eng. eration industry, were adapted for Worldwide, nearly that many room air
Malcolm Dennis Knight, P.E.
William F. McQuade, P.E. packaged air conditioning. Automatic conditioners are now sold each year.
Farooq Mehboob, P.E.
control by thermostat was applied to Window air conditioners are now so
Secretary & Executive Vice President
Jeff H. Littleton central AC systems with the technol- commonplace that consumers take
POLICY GROUP ogy downsized and simplified for their value for granted.
2019 – 20 Chair
Publications Committee
packaged equipment. The creation of Enjoy the issue.
Chee Sheng Ow, Ph.D., P.E.
Washington Office
washdc@ashrae.org Mission Statement: ASHRAE Journal reviews current HVAC&R technology of broad interest through publica-
tion of application-oriented articles. ASHRAE Journal’s editorial content ranges from back-to-basics features
to reviews of emerging technologies, covering the entire spectrum of professional interest from design and
construction practices to commissioning and the service life of HVAC&R environmental systems.

4 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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INDUSTRY NEWS

optimization of all parameters and


plant components across all systems
to ensure a high level of overall
efficiency. Compared to similar
systems, power savings of 70% were
achieved at a relatively low cost since
most of the improvements focused
on making standard components
work better together.
The air-conditioning systems
award was given for Hotel Nordport
Plaza, a new four-star-plus hotel
opened within sight of Hamburg’s
airport. The hotel opened in 2018.
The designer, premero Immobilien
More than 35,000 visitors and more than 1,000 exhibitors attended Chillventa 2018. One of the awards at the interna- GmbH & Co. KG; main supplier
tional trade fair highlighted innovation in the cooling sector and outstanding displays of teamwork. Daikin Airconditioning Germany

Assistance, Awards Drive GmbH; and the installation firm,


Climatech Leipzig Montage GmbH,

Innovation in Europe
planned and implemented the
building services strategies. For the
hotel’s energy strategy, the own-
BY WS COMSTOCK, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, EUROPE & MIDDLE EAST
ers wanted to use mainly renew-
NUREMBERG, GERMANY—Initiatives are on award programs. One of the able energy sources to minimize
underway in Europe to stimulate the award programs recognizing inno- its CO2 emissions. The highlight of
application of innovative technolo- vation in the cooling sector launched the energy strategy is that geother-
gies to improve energy efficiency late last year at the international mal energy meets all heating and
through government assistance and trade fair Chillventa. The trade fair refrigeration needs. Geothermal
award programs. and companion technical congress wells provide 261 kW of power, and
An example of government assis- attracted 35,000 visitors and experts 435 kW of heat sink power is also
tance is the European Commission’s in air conditioning, refrigeration available.
Horizon 2020 program that pro- and heat pumps. In the heat pumps category,
motes breakthrough discoveries. A twist to the Chillventa award Athoka GmbH designed a new
With a pool of €80 billion aimed at program was that it recognized out- stand-alone residence for the Büthe
supplementing private investment standing displays of teamwork along family. The goal was to achieve year-
and by coupling research and inno- with design functionality, innova- round comfort in terms of heating
vation, Horizon 2020 is helping to tion, cost-effectiveness and opera- and service water while ensuring the
achieve innovative discoveries with tion in four categories of refrigera- building was both highly cost-effec-
its emphasis on excellent science, tion and air-conditioning. tive and environmentally friendly.
industrial leadership and tackling In the large-scale refrigeration One special aspect of the project was
societal challenges. The goal is to category, Duschl Ingenieure was rec- the installation of Germany’s first
ensure Europe produces world-class ognized for a new refrigeration sup- air-to-water heat pump using R-32
science, remove barriers to innova- ply system for Ecoform Multifol. The for underfloor heating and service
tion and make it easier for the public designers switched from a decen- water production. A multi-split air-
and private sectors to work together tralized supply system to a central to-air heat pump with three termi-
in delivering innovation. refrigeration supply network. The nals ensures air-conditioning com-
Other European initiatives center key to the system’s success was the fort in the winter garden, the living

6 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


INDUSTRY NEWS

rooms and bedrooms. Pedotherm GmbH was responsi- Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV 2015), the Renewable
ble for engineering the underfloor heating and the con- Energy Act, the Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC and
trolled room ventilation with integrated heat recovery. the F-Gas Regulation were all essential conditions. KKR
One of the system’s special features is the combination Kälte-Klima-Reinraumtechnik GmbH worked with sys-
of panel heating and quick-response air heating dur- tem supplier compact Kältetechnik GmbH on an option
ing changes of season. This is with an active cooling and that uses four CO2 assemblies generating an ambi-
dehumidifying function in the living and sleeping areas ent temperature of -35°C (-31°F) in the storage areas
and controlled home ventilation in the form of an in- through direct expansion. Cooling for the cascade stages
floor system with heat recovery. is provided using cooling brine at -8°C (17.6°F). Eight
A refrigeration plant that expanded capabilities of cold-water sets using propane as a refrigerant produce
pharmaceutical manufacturer Biotest AG was selected in the brine. The eight machines and the resulting eight
the commercial refrigeration category. One of the cus- individual circuits make small refrigerant fill volumes
tomer’s specifications was to only use natural refriger- possible for each circuit.
ants while delivering a total of 100 kW for frozen storage The Chillventa awards are expected to be an ongo-
and 30 kW for temperature control, hot air curtains and ing feature of the trade fair, allowing for progress and
precooling. All machines had to come with 100% redun- implementation of successful solutions to be tracked.
dancy. Operational safety, short downtimes and the The next Chillventa is scheduled for October 13 – 15,
need to observe the latest requirements of Germany’s 2020, details at www.chillventa.de.

INDUSTRY IN BRIEF

Rittal, Industry Partners Unveil cylinders. These products began


Resilient Data Center shipping in January. The exclusive
CHICAGO—Rittal is partnering with ABB distribution agreement broadens
CREDIT: C BROWN UNIVERSITY

and Hewlett Packard Enterprise to Harris’ brazing and plumbing prod-


provide a turnkey edge data center uct lines.
solution for industry and telecom-
munications environments. The FabricAir Turns 45
Adding an organic solvent to a water-based turbulent resilient micro-modular data centers LAWRENCEVILLE, GA.—FabricAir® Inc.
heat exchange system creates bubbles, removing will be purpose-built for rough celebrated its 45th anniversary in
heat.
environments. The Secure Edge August. The first modern fabric duct
Boosting Heat Exchanger Capacity Data Center allows customers to run was developed and installed in a
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Researchers from enterprise-grade IT near their op- slaughterhouse in 1973 by FabricAir’s
Brown University and Tsing- erational technology environments, precursor, and the company made
hua University have devised a machines and equipment to enable its North American market pen-
way to dramatically speed up low-latency, secure and reliable digi- etration in 1989. Today, FabricAir
turbulent heat exchange. The tal processes. continues to innovate and expand,
new method works by adding an including its new research and de-
organic solvent to a water-based The Harris Products Group Expands velopment AirLab.
turbulent heat exchange system. HVAC&R Wholesale Business
The researchers experimented MASON, OHIO—The Harris Products For breaking news sent to
with the additive for three years Group is now the exclusive dis- your inbox, subscribe to
to maximize the speed of heat tributor of Worthington Industries ASHRAE HVAC&R Industry
transfer. The additive is non-cor- air-fuel equipment in the U.S. News at https://tinyurl.com/
rosive, non-flammable and ozone wholesale channel, and a distribu- hvacr-signup.
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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 7


LETTERS

Changes in IAQ TABLE 1 Comparison of contaminant levels.

Caused By Corona CONTAMINANT


Ozone
HIGH MEASURED VALUE
34.8 ppb
STANDARD
100 ppb (NIOSH)
OTHER GUIDELINE
50 ppb (CARB)
Discharge Air Cleaner Formaldehyde 3.74 ppb 16 ppb (NIOSH) 27 ppb (USGBC)
Acetaldehyde 1.71 ppb 200,000 ppb 25,000 ppb
In the December 2018 column “Changes in IAQ Caused (OSHA) (ACGIH)
By Corona Discharge Air Cleaner,” an in situ test done in Propionaldehyde .44 ppb N/A 20,000 ppb
a high school classroom formed the basis for the column. (ACGIH)

On reviewing this column, AtmosAir saw several incon- Butyraldehyde .31 ppb N/A N/A
sistencies and data presented in such a way that could Valeraldehyde .27 ppb N/A N/A
bias the reader into an uninformed conclusion. This let- Hexaldehyde .37 ppb N/A N/A
ter is written to help readers of this column better under- Acetone 8.22 ppb 250,000 ppb 250,000 ppb
(NIOSH) (ACGIH)
stand those inconsistencies and better educate the reader. NIOSH = National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
The column concludes that operation of the corona OSHA = Occupational Safety and Health Administration
discharge air cleaner degraded air quality as there were USGBC = United States Green Building Council
increased levels of ozone, aldehydes and ultra-fine par- ACGIH = American Conference of Governmental Industrial
Hygienists
ticles on days when the air cleaner was in operation. CARB = California Air Resources Board
In the testing described, lemon essence, containing
d-limonene, was evaporated into the subject classroom cites indoor levels ranging from 16.3 ppb to 34.8 ppb.
during the four separate phases of tests, as described Since ambient indoor ozone levels can be 10% to 50%
in the column. It is well known that limonene when of outdoor levels (Estimating Mortality Risk Reduction and
introduced to an environment with any ozone level, Economic Benefit From Controlling Ozone Air Pollution. 2008.
regardless of the source of the ozone, will precipitate The National Academies Press, Washington D.C.), it stands
an increase to aldehydes and ultra-fine particles. Many to reason indoor levels in the ranges measured could be
studies have concluded this (Weschler, C. J., and Shields, attributed to the concentrations found outdoors.
H. C. 1999. “Indoor Ozone/Terpene Reactions as a Source The column makes reference to various measured lev-
of Indoor Particles.” Atmos. Environ. 33(15):2301–2312). els of contaminants sampled in the space. However, the
The column would seem to suggest that the corona dis- column does not reference what the acceptable expo-
charge air cleaner operation was solely responsible for sure limits are for the various compounds measured.
these increases, but in fact ambient ozone levels in the See Table 1 for a comparison.
classroom, which cannot be definitively traced to solely As you can see the contaminant levels measured
the operation of the air cleaner, were a causal link to any were significantly lower than any published standard
levels of aldehydes and ultra-fine particles measured. or guideline, and some contaminants were so obscure
Also as we well know, ozone is a natural element of that no published permissible exposure limits could be
air and can be found in varying levels in both outdoor found. These levels do not show that bad air quality was
and indoor air. Indoor ozone levels have been found found in the tested space in any of the test conditions.
to track to outdoor ozone levels closely (Weschler, C.J. The same can be attributed to the measurements of
2001. “Ozone in Indoor Environments: Concentration ultra-fine particles. Since no baseline was established
and Chemistry.” Indoor Air 10(4):269–288). The measured nor outdoor levels measured, they cannot be definitively
increases in indoor ozone the test cites had no corre- traced to an indoor source or the corona discharge air
sponding outdoor ozone measurements taken, so the cleaner. Ultra-fine particles lack any indoor standards or
increase in any indoor ozone level cannot be definitively guidelines or permissible exposure limits, so a compari-
traced to solely an indoor source or the corona discharge son table cannot be provided.
air cleaner. The column also implies that the findings of this
Average outdoor ozone levels for the upstate New test were a factor in the New York State Education
York region in 2013 averaged 64 ppb (New York State Department determining corona discharge air cleaner
Department of Environmental Conservation). The testing systems cannot be used to apply the 403.2 exception,

8 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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LETTERS

which allows for reduction of out- during periods when the corona dis- fresh air flow rate provided by the
side air from standard ventilation charge was turned on to periods when ventilation system. The Department
rates. The fact is prior to and sub- it was turned off. The data, summa- found that the concentrations of
sequent to this testing; the 403.2 rized in Table 1 and Figure 2 in the ozone, ultra-fine particles and alde-
exception has not been allowed column, show that the concentrations hydes increased under these condi-
in New York State Education of aldehydes and ultra-fine particles tions. The study was not designed
Department. were consistently higher when the to determine the health effects of
Corona discharge is just one form corona discharge was operating. these air pollutants, but instead was
of an ionization process and one Data collected by the New York intended to test the claims that the
type of an electronic air cleaner. State Department of Environmental amount of fresh air brought into a
There are many types of these tech- Conservation (data available upon classroom can be reduced without
nologies, and they have been used request) shows hourly, average adverse impacts on air quality. Since
in literally 10,000-plus applications ozone concentrations ranged from corona discharge air cleaners are
in schools across the U.S. over the 21 to 38 parts per billion (ppb) at marketed as potentially beneficial to
past 20 where the 403.2 excep- the outdoor ozone monitor nearest health, it is appropriate to investi-
tion was applied. No IAQ issues the school during the study period, gate those claims.
Todd Crawford, Patricia Fritz, Member ASHRAE,
have ever been reported from any Feb. 18– 22, 2013, considerably lower and Thomas Wainman, New York State Department of
of these applications, and these than the 64 ppb concentration cited Health, Albany, N.Y.
schools have benefitted from lower in the letter. In fact, that value was
HVAC equipment and conditioning the fourth highest eight-hour aver- Editor’s Note: The authors’ response
costs plus good IAQ in those treated age ozone concentration in 2013 and to a June 2019 letter regarding this col-
spaces. Many studies with findings was recorded on May 2, 2013, during umn can be found at www.ashrae.org/
of improved IAQ using electronic air the ozone season. June2019Letters.
cleaning products have been done. As shown in Figure 1 of the col-
It is our position that the testing
the column was based on was poorly
umn, the indoor ozone concentra-
tions fluctuated between 2 and 25
Improving the
constructed. It lacked an adequate ppb when the corona discharge was Performance of
baseline and an outdoor air compar- turned off and 25 to 40 ppb when
ison. The column then makes state- it was turned on. The observed Steam Turbine
ments based on this flawed test. This
column would leave the reader with
changes in indoor ozone were clearly
associated with operating the corona
Chiller Plants
more questions than answers. discharge air cleaner. “Saving Energy: Improving the
Anthony M. Abate, Member ASHRAE, Fairfield, Conn.
The measurements were made in Performance of Steam Turbine
an unoccupied classroom during the Chiller Plants” by Charles G.
The Authors Respond school winter vacation, and the nor- Copeland in August 2019 highlights
Thank you for asking New York mal ventilation cycles were modified the importance of combined heat and
State Department of Health to maintain uniform outdoor air power-based steam power plants,
(Department) to respond to the supply rates during the study. There which could provide an economical
most recent letter regarding our col- were no interferences from changes electrical energy source as well as
umn in the December 2018 issue of in room or building occupancy, out- thermal energy for cooling/heating
ASHRAE Journal. side traffic patterns or from clean- for an overall efficient solution.
The Department determined ing or maintenance activities in the There are two factors which fur-
that increases in concentrations of classroom during the study. ther need the author's attention and
aldehydes and ultra-fine particles The study was designed to evaluate comments:
resulted from operating the corona changes in the indoor air quality of a 1. Fuel Options. The advantages of
discharge air cleaner in the classroom classroom while operating a corona a steam system-based energy solu-
by comparing the concentrations discharge air cleaner with a reduced tion should be highlighted in terms

10 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


LETTERS

of fuel options, especially because former attorney general Ramsey presented in the article is a single
oil and natural gas are becoming Clark defended it with the Public example experimental device, and
more expensive in developing coun- Service Commission, which gave that there are multiple equipment
tries, increasing costs of operating rise to the Public Utilities Regulation offerings incorporating desiccant
such plants substantially. Biomass Policies Act, which recently cel- technology that are currently used to
options should be highlighted, as ebrated its 40th anniversary. This reduce HVAC energy consumption.
in Pakistan and other agro-based permits the export of electricity from Spencer Goland, Baton Rouge, La.
economies a large number of high- localized generation such as cogen-
pressure steam boilers are fired by eration along with proper safeguards The Authors Respond
biomass (mostly bagasse, sugarcane to be exported into the grid. Thank you to Mr. Goland for the
Charles C Copeland, P.E.,
waste) in combined heat and power Fellow/Life Member ASHRAE, New York, N.Y.
interest taken in our article. We fully
mode, providing both economical acknowledge that desiccant is widely
process steam and electrical energy, used and effective in commercially
some even exporting to the national Desiccant packaged and well-proven desic-
grid and making good money.
2. Solar Option. There is a big
Dehumidification cant systems, such as the desiccant
wheel discussed in the article. The
opportunity for concentrated solar Process for Energy belt design from our article is abso-
power (CSP)-based thermal energy lutely a first-generation experimen-
to supplement boiler feed water Efficient AC tal model. That being said, we saw
heating, which could considerably The August 2019 article “Desiccant design benefits in the belt that are
reduce boiler fuel costs. I am not Dehumidification Process For not present in other commercially
aware of any industrial or large com- Energy Efficient Air Conditioning” available desiccant technologies,
mercial installation of this option, details a first-generation device including the use of low-cost silica
but technically this is feasible if roof consisting of a desiccant belt, aimed beads and operation at low regen-
or open space allows this. at reducing energy consumption eration temperatures.
Mr. Copeland's comments could for HVAC. Though the article is Our article illustrated a limited
clear the above options for possible well-written and well-presented, example including application
implementation. it represents a substantial “step of a relatively small system (i.e.,
Ainul Abedin, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, Karachi, Pakistan
backward” in desiccant technology, not much desiccant) to a building
using a methodology of a poorly with low outdoor airflow located
The Author Responds sealed desiccant laden belt, and in a climate with comparatively
Comments as follows: insufficient desiccant mass for the low humidity, and yet potential for
1. Biomass is certainly an option as application. energy savings was still observed.
the primary form of heating for boil- In comparison, multiple manu- Using a commercial product with
ers where oil and gas in parts of the facturers use a similar, though pat- optimized design and size, being
world are becoming more expensive. ented and proven, approach in this in high humidity climate, and/or
2. I’m not familiar with concen- very same application—minimizing requiring a higher amount of out-
trated solar power (CSP) to produce HVAC energy consumption using door air would greatly increase the
heat; usually solar panels these days desiccant technology. I am baffled potential of the desiccant technology
produce electricity. In the 1970s we as to why ASHRAE Journal would for energy saving. We recommend
worked on an early thermal solar publish an article on an unproven, that anyone interested in reducing
collector on New York’s lower east “step backward,” single example of system latent loads contact a local
side to heat domestic hot water. The a technology which is already sold commercial HVAC supplier or rep-
building later installed a windmill commercially and is already saving resentative to see all the options and
on the roof, which produced electric- energy cost in use. have them assist in the selection.
Tom B. Cremonte, Associate Member ASHRAE, Troy, Mich.,
ity, exporting some of it to the grid. I request that ASHRAE Journal clarify and Jonathan Maisonneuve, Ph.D.,
When the local utility objected, the for its readers that the method Auburn Hills, Mich.

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 11


MEETINGS AND SHOWS FULL CALENDAR: WWW.ASHRAE.ORG/CALENDAR

OCTOBER
EEBA High Performance Home Summit, Oct.
AHR Expo, Feb. 3–5, Orlando, Fla. Cosponsored
by ASHRAE. Contact the International Exposition
CALLS FOR PAPERS
1–3, Denver. Contact the Energy & Environmen- Company at 203-221-9232, info@ahrexpo.com or ASHRAE JOURNAL
tal Building Association at 952-881-1098 or http:// www.ahrexpo.com. ASHRAE Journal seeks applications ar-
summit.eeba.org. ticles of 3,000 or fewer words. Submis-
IAQA Annual Meeting & Expo, Feb. 19–21, West
CONNECT 2019, Oct. 2–4, Indianapolis. Contact Palm Beach, Fla. Contact the Indoor Air Quality As- sions are subject to peer reviews and
the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Asso- sociation at 844-802-4103, info@iaqa.org or www. cannot have been published previously.
ciation at 703-237-8100, customercare@naphcc.org iaqa.org/iaqa-2020-annual-meeting-expo.
or www.phccweb.org/connect. Submit abstracts before sending articles
MARCH to Jay Scott, Editor, at jayscott@ashrae.
AMCA Annual Meeting, Oct. 2–6, Maui, Hawaii.
Contact the Air Movement and Control Association IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Heavy org.
at 847-394-0150, communications@amca.org or Equipment Expo, March 15–18, Orlando, Fla. Con-
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
www.amca.org/news/60thannualmeeting.php. tact the International Institute of Ammonia Refrig-
eration at 703-312-4200, conference@iiar.org or FOR THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
RETA Conference, Oct. 8–11, Las Vegas. Contact https://tinyurl.com/IIARexpo. ASHRAE’s Science and Technology for the
the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians As- Built Environment seeks papers on origi-
sociation at 541-497-2955, info@reta.com or www. CMPX 2020, March 25–27, Toronto. Contact or-
ganizers at 416-444-5225, cmpx@salshow.com or nal, completed research not previously
reta.com.
www.cmpxshow.com. published. Papers must discuss how the
ACEEE National Conference on Energy Efficiency research contributes to technology. Pa-
as a Resource. Oct. 15–17, Minneapolis. Contact the APRIL
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Econo- NEBB Annual Conference, April 2–4, White
pers should be about 6,000 words. Ab-
my (ACEEE) at 202-507-4000 or http://aceee.org/ Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Contact the Nation- stracts and papers should be submitted
conferences/2019/eer. al Environmental Balancing Bureau at 301- on Manuscript Central at www.ashrae.
IFMA World Workplace, Oct. 16–18, Phoenix. Con- 977-3698, nebb@nebb.org or www.nebb.org/ org/manuscriptcentral. Contact Jeffrey
tact the International Facility Management Asso- events/2020_nebb_annual_conference. D. Spitler, Ph.D, P.E., at spitler@okstate.
ciation at 713-623-4362, events@ifma.org or http:// Building Innovation 2020, April 6–9, Arlington, edu.
worldworkplace.ifma.org. Va. Contact the National Institute of Building Sci-
SMACNA Annual Convention, Oct. 20–23, Aus- ences at 202-289-7800, nibs@nibs.org or www. DECEMBER
tin, Texas. Contact the Sheet Metal & Air Condi- nibs.org/page/conference2020. 50th International HVAC&R Congress and Exhi-
tioning Contractors’ National Association at 703- bition, Dec. 4–6, Belgrade, Serbia. Endorsed by
JUNE
803-2980, info@smacna.org or www.smacna.org/ ASHRAE. Contact organizers at 381 11 3230 041,
Thermag IX International Conference on Caloric
annualconvention. office@smeits.rs or http://kgh-kongres.rs.
Cooling, June 7–11, College Park, Md. Endorsed by
I2SL Annual Conference, Oct. 20–24, Denver. ASHRAE. Contact Mary Baugher, Center for Envi-
Contact the International Institute for Sustain- ronmental Energy Engineering, University of Mary- 2020
able Laboratories at 703-841-5484, info@i2sl.org or land, at 301-405-7661, mbaugher@umd.edu or FEBRUARY
www.i2sl.org/conference/2019/index.html. www.ceee.umd.edu/events/thermag2020. ACREX 2020, Feb. 27–29, Greater Noida, India.
ASPE Technical Symposium, Oct. 24–27, Pitts- ASHRAE Annual Conference, June 27–July 1, Contact organizers at +91 (0)11 47168888, info@
burgh. Contact the American Society of Plumbing Austin, Texas. Contact ASHRAE at 800-527-4723, ishraehq.in or www.acrex.in.
Engineers at 847-296-0002, info@aspe.org or www. meetings@ashrae.org or www.ashrae.org/austin. MARCH
aspe.org. Refrigeration 2020, March 23–24, Melbourne,
SEPTEMBER
CTBUH 2019, Oct. 28–Nov 2, Chicago. Contact the Australia. Endorsed by ASHRAE. Contact the Aus-
AHR Expo-Mexico, Sept. 22–24, Monter-
Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat at 312- tralian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Condi-
rey, Mexico. Cosponsored by ASHRAE. Con-
283-5759, info@ctbuh.com or https://ctbuh2019. tioning and Heating (AIRAH) at 03 8623 3000,
tact the International Exposition Company at
com. conferences@airah.org.au or www.airah.org.au/
203-221-9232, info@ahrexpomexico.com or
www.ahrexpomexico.com/en/. Refrigeration-Conference.
NOVEMBER
Greenbuild, Nov. 20–22, Atlanta. Contact organiz- APRIL
CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium, April
ers at 866-815-9824, info@greenbuildexpo.com or
www.greenbuildexpo.com.
OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA 16–17, Glasgow, United Kingdom. Endorsed by
ASHRAE. Contact the Chartered Institution of
OCTOBER Building Services Engineers at +44 (0)20 8675
DECEMBER European Heat Pump Summit, Oct. 22–23,
HARDI Annual Conference, Dec. 7–10, New Or- 5211, websupport@cibse.org or https://cibse.org/
Nuremberg, Germany. Contact Nürnberg- technical-symposium-2020.
leans. Contact the Heating Air-conditioning & Re- Messe GmbH at +49 9 11 86 06-49 06 or www.
frigeration Distributors International at 614-345- hp-summit.de/en. JULY
4328, hardimail@hardinet.org or www.hardinet. International IIR Rankine 2020 Conference, July
org. FILTECH 2019, Oct. 22–24, Cologne, Germany. 26–29, Glasgow, Scotland. Endorsed by ASHRAE.
Buildings XIV International Conference, Dec. Contact organizers at 49 (0)2132 93 57 60, info@ Contact the Institute of Refrigeration at +44 (0)208
9–12, Clearwater Beach, Fla. Co-organized by filtech.de or www.filtech.de. 6477033, ior@ior.org.uk or https://ior.org.uk/
ASHRAE and ORNL. Contact ASHRAE at 800-527- 14th Annual Conference on Advanced Building SEPTEMBER
4723, meetings@ashrae.org or www.ashrae.org/ Skins, Oct. 28–29, Bern, Switzerland. Contact or- IAQ 2020: Indoor Environmental Quality Perfor-
buildingsxiv. ganizers at +49 89 20000-4161, info@abs.green or mance Approaches, Sept. 14–16, Athens, Greece.
http://abs.green. Contact ASHRAE at 800-527-4723, meetings@
2020 ashrae.org or www.ashrae.org/IAQ2020.
NOVEMBER
FEBRUARY 7th International Conference On Energy Re- OCTOBER
ASHRAE Winter Conference, Feb. 1–5, Orlando, search and Development, Nov. 19–21, Kuwait. Chillventa, Oct. 13–15, Nuremberg, Germa-
Fla. Contact ASHRAE at 800-527-4723, meetings@ Contact ASHRAE at 800-527-4723, meetings@ ny. Contact organizers at +49 9 11 86 06-49 06 or
ashrae.org or www.ashrae.org/orlando. ashrae.org or www.ashrae.org/kuwait. https://www.chillventa.de/en.

12 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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TECHNICAL FEATURE

New Guidance for


Residential Air Cleaners
BY LEW HARRIMAN, FELLOW/LIFE MEMBER ASHRAE; BRENT STEPHENS, PH.D, MEMBER ASHRAE; TERRY BRENNAN, MEMBER ASHRAE

As HVAC&R professionals, we in the ASHRAE community are sometimes asked ques-


tions about residential indoor air quality (IAQ) and how to improve it. What contami-
nants are most hazardous? How do I get rid of a particular smell? Should I use this
air cleaner or that filter? Sadly, our friends and family generally lose patience when
we helpfully suggest: “Well, it’s complicated. But just read Chapters 46, 60 and 62 in
the ASHRAE Handbook—HVAC Applications, because there’s great information in there.”
In general, we find that information seekers are frustrated by such helpful advice.
Usually, the question is repeated (with some heat) in a form such as: “You’re the
professional. Can’t you boil it down? What should I DO in my HOUSE?”
Fortunately, two new resources can help you better mainstream and social media. When you get questions
answer such questions. First, the ASHRAE Residential from friends and family about residential air filtration
Indoor Air Quality Guide1 is a comprehensive summary of and air cleaners, you may find the U.S. Enivronmental
IAQ for homes and apartments, written by our mem- Protection Agency’s recently updated publications help-
ber colleagues and published by ASHRAE in 2018. This ful.2 The 2018 EPA guidance is specifically written to
book will be useful for professionals, and for others who inform consumers, as well as technical professionals.
have a deeper interest in understanding and improv- Here’s a simple summary of that guidance:
ing residential IAQ. Still, a 280-page book is more than • First, the most effective ways to improve indoor air
most consumers might choose to digest. Frequently, the quality are to reduce or remove the sources of pollutants
homeowner or renter’s IAQ concern is simpler and more and to ventilate using clean outdoor air. For example,
specific, having to do with air filtration, i.e.: “What kind refraining from smoking or vaping indoors makes an
of air filter should I use?” immediate and important improvement.
Some of us have heard more questions lately, because • If those measures don’t address the problem or
public awareness about particle air pollution is high. can’t be done, running a portable air cleaner and/or
Wildfires in North America and Europe, blowing dust in upgrading the air filter in a central furnace or HVAC
Asia and Africa, and burning biomass in South America system can help to improve IAQ.
and Southeast Asia are often highlighted in both • Portable air cleaners can be used to filter the air in a
Lew Harriman is emeritus director of research at Mason-Grant Consulting, Portsmouth, N.H. Brent Stephens, Ph.D., is associate professor and department chair: Civil, Architectural
and Environmental Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Terry Brennan is principal and founder, Camroden Associates, Westmoreland, N.Y.

14 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


TECHNICAL FEATURE

single room or area. To filter particles, choose a portable FIGURE 1 New residential IAQ guidance, over photos of August 2018 wildfire
air cleaner that has a high clean air delivery rate (CADR). smoke in Sacramento, Calif.
More specifically, choose a portable with a CADR label
that indicates it is large enough for the size of the room
or area in which you will use it. The higher the CADR,
the more particles the air cleaner can filter and the
larger the area it can serve. However, the CADR certifi-
cation only addresses particles. To filter gases, one can
choose a portable air cleaner that has a large amount of
adsorbent or chemisorbent media, such as an activated
carbon filter. Be aware, however, that currently there
is no industry consensus test method or certification
program that provides assurance of the effectiveness
and safety of portable, consumer-grade gaseous filtra-
tion devices.
• Central furnace and HVAC system filters are de-
signed to filter air throughout a home rather than only
in a single space. When the goal is to remove a signifi-
cant amount of airborne fine particles (i.e., particles
with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers and smaller: [PM2.5])
or even ultrafine particles (i.e., particles smaller than Technical Summary” is a much longer 74-page document
100 nanometers), a good choice for a central HVAC sys- summarizing current research about the impact of resi-
tem filter is one rated at a minimum efficiency reporting dential air cleaning equipment on pollutant concentra-
value (MERV) of 13 or higher. tions and human health. It also describes some impor-
• Be aware that for both portable air filters and cen- tant gaps that remain in our understanding. Several
tral systems, filtration effectiveness (i.e., the actual remov- specific recommendations from these documents are
al of particles from a conditioned space) is limited by the discussed in more detail below.
number of hours of fan operation. When a portable unit
is not operating, it’s not removing particles. And the run Reducing PM2.5 Exposure Can Provide Health Benefits
time of fans in residential systems is generally less than Although many contaminants have unfortunately not
25% of the hours in a year. To provide effective removal been comprehensively studied, decades of research
of PM2.5 from the space, much longer runtimes will be provide ample documentation of the negative effects of
needed for both portables and central systems. fine particulate matter exposure, including increased
mortality and other outcomes.3,4 For example, epide-
EPA Guidance miology studies have generally reported increases in
The EPA guidance published in July 2018 includes two all-cause mortality across study populations of ~6 to
documents in PDF format: brief answers for consumers ~7% per 10 µg/m3 increase in annual average outdoor
and a comprehensive technical summary for profession- PM2.5 concentrations.5,6 These studies have tradition-
als. These documents are in the public domain. They ally only used outdoor concentrations as surrogates for
may be distributed, printed, and copied as needed. The exposure. However, one recent study makes clear that
“Guide to Air Cleaners In The Home” is a consumer-targeted, indoor exposures are quite important, as indoor expo-
8-page document that answers many of the questions sure to particles of both indoor and outdoor origin likely
most frequently received by the staff at the Indoor accounts for about 70% of total PM2.5 exposure in the
Environments Division at the EPA. It also provides tips to U.S., on average.7 A detailed review of this large body of
help consumers make choices based on current under- research is beyond the scope of this article. But to help
standing of conclusions from health intervention stud- the reader assess the value of minimizing exposure, it
ies and ASHRAE research. The “Residential Air Cleaners - A may be useful to summarize a few more examples from

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 15


TECHNICAL FEATURE

the literature, particularly as they FIGURE 2 Outdoor air concentration of PM2.5 in Santa Barbara, Calif., during 2017.
pertain to air cleaners.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Portable air cleaners can improve
Sunday
health outcomes. Numerous air Monday
cleaner intervention studies have Tuesday
Wednesday
found statistically significant asso- Thursday
ciations between the use of por- Friday
table air cleaners in homes and (1) Saturday
reductions in indoor particulate Good (<=12.0 mg/m3) 285 Days
matter exposure and (2) at least one Moderate (12.1 to 35.4 mg/m3) 67 Days
measure or marker of improved Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (35.5 to 55.4 mg/m3) 3 Days
Unhealthy (55.5 to 150.4 mg/m3) 9 Days
health outcomes. For example,
Very Unhealthy (>=150.5 mg/m3) 1 Days
Allen et al. deployed portable HEPA
air filters and placebo filtration
in a randomized crossover intervention study of 45 FIGURE 3 Wildfire in Southern California—2017.
healthy adults in a woodsmoke-impacted community
during consecutive seven-day periods of filtered and
non-filtered air.8 Portable HEPA filters reduced indoor
PM2.5 concentrations by 60% on average. That level of
PM2.5 filtration was associated with improved endo-
thelial function (9.4% increase in reactive hyperemia

©TIM GRAY/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
index) and decreased concentrations of inflammatory
biomarkers (32.6% decrease in C-reactive protein).
Other studies of interventions with portable units have
shown similar effects. Much less is known about cen-
tral air filtration, primarily because it has been studied
far less than portable air cleaning units that have high
CADRs. rated as having a high CADR for smoke. Then oper-
Short term exposure can also affect health. Most studies have ate them when or if smoke builds up in the outdoor
documented the negative effects of long-term exposure. air. More comprehensive measures beyond air filtra-
However, there is also direct epidemiological evidence tion are also discussed in separate EPA guidance for
that short term exposure affects health. Schwartz, et response to wildfires.10 Readers interested in further
al.,9 performed an analysis of U.S. mortality (7.5 million details of health effects of PM2.5 are encouraged to con-
deaths in 135 U.S. cities) and compared death rates with sult the studies referenced in the technical summary of
locally-reported outdoor air concentration of PM2.5 at the EPA guidance.
the time of death. Over the period examined, each 10 µg/
m3 increase in daily PM2.5 concentrations was associ- Indoor PM2.5 Concentrations Frequently Exceed Outdoor
ated with a 0.6 to 1.5% increase in daily deaths (approxi- Concentrations
mately 112,500 individuals). Indoors, PM2.5 concentrations vary widely depend-
To put this finding into perspective, consider the ing on many factors. In the absence of indoor sources,
measurements of outdoor airborne particulate shown indoor concentrations are sometimes lower than out-
in Figure 2. In Santa Barbara Calif., during December doors, especially in modern tight houses which greatly
2017, airborne PM2.5 increased from less than 12 µg/m3 reduce particle infiltration from outdoors. But studies
3
to over 150 µg/m because of the local wildfire. The have also measured indoor concentration at higher
health-relevance of such short-term exposure suggests levels than outdoor concentrations. One review of 28
that in areas prone to wildfires, it would be wise to large-scale field studies measuring indoor and out-
prepare by acquiring one or more portable air cleaners door concentration in non-smoking homes in North

16 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


Setpoints
Settings

Clock Alarms
Schedule

Outputs Security
Inputs

Network USB

MARCH
5
TECHNICAL FEATURE

America noted that in 17 studies, indoor concentrations because fans operate for a surprisingly short number of
were between 1.5 and 3.5 times higher indoors than hours over the course of a year.
outdoors.11 For example, in a 2018 study of three years of run-time
These results are not surprising, since there are many records from 7,000 residential forced-air heating and
particle sources present in most homes. Heating food in cooling systems in North America, Touchie and Siegel13
the oven and cooking on the stove are generally the larg- found that typically, system fans operate for less than
est contributors, which is why it’s important to operate 20% of the hours in a year. Clearly, if air is not being
the range hood exhaust when cooking. Also, resuspen- filtered and recirculated through occupied spaces for
sion of settled particles can raise indoor concentration 80% of the year, central systems are challenged to make
above the outdoor level. For example, walking across a significant reduction in PM2.5 exposure. In light of
floors can account for a significant increase in PM2.5 this limitation, the updated EPA guidance recommends
concentration in the breathing zones of both adults and using a MERV 13 filter or higher to provide a more useful
infants. Also, simply sitting down in upholstered furni- degree of fine particle removal during its few operating
ture generates a cloud of resuspended particles, as does hours.
movement while sleeping. Further, many homes are now heated and cooled with
Interestingly, researchers in Taiwan recently quanti- the increasingly popular mini-split systems. These
fied the increase in airborne particle concentration homes face a different challenge with respect to fine
that comes from children bouncing on their beds.12 particle control. In that class of equipment, fans often
In a field study of 60 occupied bedrooms, research- operate continuously, using a strategy of variable but
ers found increases in airborne PM2.5 concentrations continuous airflow to provide air mixing. Although this
of 353 mg/m3 using “standardized percussion” as an provides a large number of filtration hours, the wash-
approximation of bouncing children. (One can only able screens in most of these units are designed for
regret the lost opportunity for STEM education by using equipment protection rather than for removal of fine
researchers rather than actual children to whack beds in particles. The revised EPA guidance suggests that add-
60 houses with sticks!) ing high-CADR portable units to specific spaces can be a
practical alternative, when heating and cooling equip-
Operating Hours Limit Filtration Effectiveness ment does not accommodate air filtration at MERV 13 or
Portable air cleaners and central systems equipped above.
with high efficiency filters can improve indoor air qual-
ity by removing small particles. But not if the system fan Residential Central System Recommendations
is not operating. The EPA recommends using a filter rated at MERV 13
For example, public health interventions using por- or higher in central systems. To be rated at MERV 13, the
table air cleaners have shown improvements in health filter must have achieved a defined level of fine particle
markers (5% to 10% compared to control groups in some removal efficiency.
short-term studies), and sometimes more substantial That simple recommendation, more or less under-
improvements (close to 50% improvement in markers standable by consumers is based on a (very) long exami-
for inflammation and cardiovascular function in other nation and evaluation of the technical and economic
studies). But without consumer education, the portable issues for both existing and new systems by the EPA
air cleaners may not be turned on, or may not be oper- and it’s consulting team. Most HVAC professionals will
ated in bedrooms where they usually provide the great- understand the confounding and critical issues of run
est benefit. time, filter bypass, airflow velocity, filter cleanliness, air
For central HVAC systems, there is very little research distribution resistance versus fan static pressure, along
that documents a health benefit from better filtration. with the variability of building airtightness and domes-
While logic suggests that better filters can make a posi- tic cleaning and furnishing preferences. For example,
tive difference, achieving and documenting measurable professionals know that if the filter is not snugly-fitted
improvements is apparently difficult. Perhaps this is into the filter slot, or if the air velocity through the filter
because central systems have been less-studied, and is not ideal, or if the filter is clogged because it has not

18 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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TECHNICAL FEATURE

FIGURE 4 Modeled fine particle removal. FIGURE 5 CADR rating label for portable air cleaners.

100
90
Modeled Removal Effectiveness (%)

80
70 MERV 13
60
50
40
MERV 8
30
20
10

MARIANNE TOUCHIE & JEFFREY SIEGEL


0
30 0 10
40 50 20 60 70 80 90 100
Air Handler Fan Runtime (%)
Monte Carlo model simulating removal of 1 to 3m particles from a home, based on a range of
air leakage rates from outdoors. Upper boundaries estimate effectiveness of a perfectly installed
system and filter in a tight house. Lower boundaries estimate effectiveness in a leaky house.

AHAM
been changed for a few years, or if the system simply
does not run for more than a small percentage of the hours in the year.13 The model suggests that if all other
hours in a year, then its effectiveness (removal of fine factors were equal, a perfectly installed MERV 13 filter
particles from the space) will be far below the lab-tested has the potential to remove 3x more fine particles than a
removal of particles from the airstream. MERV 8 filter (45% v. 15% of particles in the 1-3 microm-
Ultimately, the advice to consumers to choose a MERV eter range).
13 filter is based on the fact that with the low run-times HVAC professionals will also understand that
typical of houses and apartments in North America, the improved indoor air quality comes with some increase
MERV 13 filter has a better chance of removing a signifi- in operational cost. The technical summary addresses
cant percentage of the fine particles of greatest health the issues of energy and HVAC system capabilities.
concern. At present, an informal survey of residential air Certainly for all portables, better filtration effectiveness
filter distribution conducted by one of the authors sug- (through increasing operating hours) comes at the cost
gests that filters rated at MERV 13 and above currently of its fan energy consumption. Also, in central systems
account for about 15% of annual residential air filter more hours of operation mean better filtration—but
sales.14 It could be interesting to follow how this percent- also more fan energy cost. Also higher levels of filtration
age changes over the next few years, in light of the EPA can sometimes add pressure drop that reduces airflow
guidance. low enough to affect heating and cooling effectiveness,
Figure 4 shows the results of a mathematical model that although certainly not in all systems.15,16 So the advice
compares the best-case effectiveness of an ideal system to select a MERV 13 filter was not arrived at casually. The
with respect to removing fine particles from a home. technical summary addresses these issues in consider-
(Note that perfect installation and maintenance of filters able detail, based on field measurements of both energy
is the modeling assumption, namely: no air bypasses the consumption and airflow rates through different MERV-
filter, the filter is clean and remains so over a year, and rated filters in typical residential HVAC systems.
that air velocity is ideal rather than the lower-than-ideal
flow that is more commonly-observed in domestic HVAC Portable Air Cleaner Recommendations
systems.) This Monte Carlo simulation of 1,000,000 The EPA recommends choosing a portable air cleaner
cases estimates removal of fine particles (from the that provides a high clean air delivery rate (CADR)
space) using MERV 8 and MERV 13 filters. Recall that when removing smoke-sized particles. There are chal-
domestic systems typically operate less than 20% of the lenges when providing technically-robust guidance that

20 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


TECHNICAL FEATURE

consumers can absorb, in part because portable units the number of particles that would naturally settle out.
are not covered by ASHRAE Standard 52.2, the standard Rated removal is also based on the assumptions that
that establishes performance criteria for MERV ratings. the ceiling height is no higher than 8 ft (2.4 m) and that
Consequently, for portable unit performance ratings, the space exchanges less than one air change per hour
the EPA guidance refers to the Association of Home with other spaces. The EPA guidance to consumers notes
Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), an organization that that units with larger CADR ratings are better, and that
offers performance ratings and certification for particle if ceiling heights are greater than 8 ft (2.4 m) (such as
removal by portable air cleaners. spaces with cathedral ceilings) a consumer might con-
AHAM testing measures the “clean air delivery rate” sider using a larger unit or multiple units to achieve 80%
(CADR) of the device. The CADR is the amount of air reduction in particle concentration.
(in cfm) that has been cleaned of particles in three size Note the most important but unstated assumption is
ranges. The ranges are described by names that consum- that the unit is running continuously when the space in ques-
ers can relate to, namely: “smoke”, “dust” and “pollen.” tion is occupied. Short runtimes limit the effectiveness
AHAM defines these as 0.09 to1.0 µm for smoke, 0.5 to of portable air cleaners, just as they limit the filtration
3 µm for dust, and 5 to 11 µm for pollen. effectiveness of central systems. And with portable air
Further, the CADR also estimates the filtration effective- cleaners, operating noise can be an issue. The noise
ness of the device—the reduction in particle concentra- levels at which a given unit’s CADR was achieved are
tions in the occupied space, based on the maximum not currently described on the AHAM-verified label. It
recommended floor area for the rated unit. Rated units would be helpful if consumer packaging displayed the
are expected to remove 80% of the airborne small par- sound levels at which the CADR rating was achieved, to
ticles (0.09 to 1.0 µm) over an hour, above and beyond provide a basis for better-informed consumer choices.

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 21


TECHNICAL FEATURE

Efforts to Improve ASHRAE and Industry Standards Finally, for better health outcomes through air
Helping to update the EPA guidance has reinforced the cleaning we need more filtration operating hours.
authors’ opinion that there is an urgent need for a test For portables, this suggests reduction of current noise
method and certification program for portable air clean- levels. For central systems, the need for more operating
ers that measures safe removal of gaseous contaminants. hours means we need to reduce the energy penalty of
Progress in this area has been slower than the prolifera- continuous fan operation. In the HVAC community, we
tion of consumer products. know how to do this: supply and return ducts need to
AHAM is participating in the arduous process of be short, straight, big, airtight and heavily-insulated.
international consensus to establish a set of facility In other words, we need the construction budgets and
and instrumentation requirements for testing gaseous architectural designs that allow systems to be designed
contaminant removal by consumer devices. After those and installed the way all HVAC professionals would
decisions are eventually agreed upon, we might expect choose to do, when indoor air quality excellence is the
they will begin the even more arduous effort to achieve consumer’s goal.
international agreement on a test method and rating
system for labels on consumer products. This would be Summary
an important tool to protect the public from ozone and Based on the research that supports the 2018 EPA resi-
from potentially unwanted by-products of emerging gas dential air cleaner guidance, there are relatively simple
cleaning technologies. answers that can help when our friends, relatives or
Devices that claim to remove gaseous contaminants clients ask for advice about filtration and air cleaning
through electrochemical or photochemical means are in their homes. First, let them know that reducing the
not yet tested nor rated by any independent organiza- concentration of fine particles (PM2.5) has provided the
tion. The EPA guidance clearly states that ozone is a best-documented health benefits. Next, the best way to
pollutant to be avoided, and that without independent reduce particles is to avoid producing it by not smoking
testing and certification neither the safety nor the effec- or vaping indoors, and by exhausting the large amounts
tiveness of technologies that rely on ozone, plasma, of particles produced by cooking. After those basic steps,
ionization and photocatalysis (as implemented in air to remove PM2.5 using portable air cleaners, choose
cleaners in the consumer space) can be easily assessed units that have a high CADR rating for smoke. And when
at present. The guidance suggests that until testing and using a central system, choose a filter rated at MERV 13
certification is available, the consumer can be aware or higher. Finally, keep in mind that for any filtration
that activated carbon filters have been shown to absorb method, longer operating hours provide better par-
airborne gaseous contaminants and that chemisorp- ticle removal effectiveness, which in turn increases the
tion and contaminant conversion by sorbents such as potential for health benefits.
potassium permanganate have been widely used for gas
cleaning in the past. Acknowledgments
ASHRAE standards could also be improved to assist The authors served as consultants for the 2018 EPA
homeowners. ASHRAE-funded research confirms that guidance for air cleaners in the home. We are grateful to
while MERV ratings are useful for abstract comparison the EPA Indoor Environments Division for the support
of products, there is an equally important need to define needed to generate this article, and also grateful to Jeff
the requirements for the frames that holds such filters. Siegel and Marianne Touchie of the University of Toronto
In addition to short run times from oversizing equip- for the modeling and graphic shown in Figure 4.
ment, air bypassing the edges of filters is responsible for
significant shortcomings in particle removal from con- References
ditioned spaces. Future ASHRAE standards could con- 1. ASHRAE, ed. 2018. Residential Indoor Air Quality Guide: Best
tribute to better indoor air quality in homes by limiting Practices for Acquisition, Design, Construction, Maintenance and Operation.
Atlanta: ASHRAE.
the amount of airflow that can bypass a residential air
2. EPA. 2018. Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home and Residential Air
filtration assembly (the filter as installed in its holding Cleaners: A Technical Summary. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental
frame and surrounding duct). Protection Agency.

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TECHNICAL FEATURE

3. Cohen A.J., Brauer, M., Burnett, R., et al. 2017. “Estimates Group. http://built-envi.com/analyzing-a-database-of-over-6-
and 25-year trends of the global burden of disease attributable to million-online-sales-of-residential-hvac-filters-from-2008-
ambient air pollution: an analysis of data from the Global Burden to-2017/.
of Diseases Study 2015.” The Lancet 389:1907–1918. 15. B. Stephens, J.A. Siegel, A. Novoselac. 2010. “Energy
4. EPA. 2009. “Integrated science assessment for particulate implications of filtration in residential and light-commercial
matter.” Research Triangle Park, NC: National Center for buildings (RP-1299).” ASHRAE Trans. 116:346–357.
Environmental Assessment. 16. I.S. Walker, Dickerhoff, D.J., Faulkner, D., Turner, W.J.N. 2012.
5. Krewski, D., et al. 2009. “Extended follow-up and “Energy Implications of In-Line Filtration in California.” Lawrence
spatial analysis of the American Cancer Society study linking Berkeley National Laboratory, Report No.: LBNL-6143E.
particulate air pollution and mortality.”
Res Rep Health Eff Inst. 5–114; discussion
115–36.

FOAMGLAS
6. Fann, N, E.A. Gilmore, K. Walker.
®
2016. “Characterizing the long-term PM
2.5 concentration-response function:
comparing the strengths and weaknesses

INSULATION
of research synthesis approaches:
characterizing long-term PM 2.5
concentration-response function.” Risk Anal.
36:1693–707.
7. Azimi, P., Stephens, B. 2018. “A
framework for estimating the US mortality
burden of fine particulate matter exposure FOR CHILLED WATER
attributable to indoor and outdoor
microenvironments.” J Expo Sci Environ FOAMGLAS® CELLULAR GLASS
Epidemiol. www.nature.com/articles/s41370- INSULATION PROPERTIES
018-0103-4. Accessed Jan. 5, 2019. • Moisture Impermeable
• Constant Thermal Efficiency
8. Allen, R., Carlsten, C., et al. 2011. “An
• Mold and Mildew Resistant
Air Filter Intervention Study of Endothelial • Superior Compressive Strength
Function among Healthy Adults in a
Woodsmoke-impacted Community.” Am. SERVICES
Jrnl of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine • Education & Training
(183):1223–1230. • Energy & Thermal Imaging Surveys
• Insulation Thickness Calculations
9. Schwartz, J., K. Kong, A. Zanobetti.
• Insulation Guide Specifications
2018. “A national multicity analysis of the • Jobsite & Start-Up Support
causal effect of local pollution, NO2, and • Special Testing Services
PM2:5 on mortality.” Environmental Health
Perspectives 126(8).
Contact us to learn more
10. EPA. “Smoke-Ready Toolbox for www.foamglas.com
Wildfires.” (https://www.epa.gov/ 800-327-6126
smoke-ready-toolbox-wildfires).
11. Chen, C., B. Zhao. 2011. “Review of
relationship between indoor and outdoor
particles: I/O ratio, infiltration factor and
penetration factor.” Atmospheric Environment
45: 275–288.
12. Yen, Y.C, Yang, C.Y. et al. 2019.
“Jumping on the bed and associated
increases of PM10, PM2.5, PM1,
airborne endotoxin, bacteria, and fungi
concentrations.” Environmental Pollution
245:799–809.
13. Touchie, M., J.A. Siegel. 2018.
“Residential HVAC runtime from smart
thermostats: characterization, comparison,
and impacts.” Indoor Air. DOI: 10.1111/
ina.12496.
14. Stephens, B. 2019. “Analyzing a ©2019 Owens Corning. All Rights Reserved.
©2019 Pittsburgh Corning, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
database of over 6 million online sales
of residential HVAC filters from 2008 to
2017.” The Built Environment Research

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 23


TECHNICAL FEATURE

Pressure Sustaining Valves


How They Helped Solve Insufficient Plant Static Pressure on Large Campus Loops at Texas A&M
BY HUI CHEN, P.E., MEMBER ASHRAE; JAMES RILEY; AMY CHEN; LES WILLIAMS; WYATT HAHN, ASSOCIATE MEMBER ASHRAE; ROBERT HENRY, P.E.

Texas A&M University (TAMU) has implemented numerous energy conservation initia-
tives on its utility plants and buildings that have achieved $210 million in cost avoid-
ance through increased operating efficiencies since 2002. Two of these plants, TAMU’s
Central Utility Plant (CUP) and Satellite Utility Plant 3 (SUP3), provide low temperature
hot water (LTHW) and chilled water (CHW) to over 230 buildings with over 16 million ft2
(1,486,448 m2) through the hydronic network on main campus (Figure 1).
Negative pressures on the top coils of the cam- buildings, as of February 2018, and the tuning and
pus’s four tallest buildings were identified during adjustments were completed after the installation.
LTHW and CHW plant optimization projects in 2016. This article presents a PSV operation study that
Negative pressure in buildings that exceed the plant was carried out as an extension of the previous study
static pressure (PSP) is a common problem on large in order to qualify the practicality of the solution.
hydronic loops, and is often overlooked. This prob- Hydronic loops pressure distributions and simula-
lem causes excessive pump power consumption tions are used for scenario comparison and identify-
and introduces air into the water system, causing ing PSV pump requirements. The field PSV operation
noise, corrosion, and most importantly, decreases is analyzed to determine the PSV’s performance. This
heat transfer efficiency. A study1 was previously per- article addresses the concerns of effects that PSVs have
formed on several buildings to find a solution to the on building pump requirements, nearby buildings’
problem, and it looked at several possibilities such as flow return, and building pump power consumption.
raising PSP, installing heat exchangers, or installing Building A was one of the four buildings previously
pressure sustaining valves (PSV) on the return pipes identified with negative top coil pressure, and is the
of each of the buildings experiencing the issue. After focus of this case study. This study provides a techni-
extensive examination of the different possible solu- cal guide for both large hydronic loop and building
tions, PSVs were chosen as the best option because design, operation, and improvement.
the heat exchanger option was too costly due to exist-
ing building spacing constraints, and raising PSP Pressure Distribution Profile and Pump Requirements
would cause leaks widely throughout the hydronic A detailed plant, loop, and building pressure analysis
loop because large portions of it are over a cen- was performed to analyze building pump requirements
tury old. Consequently, PSVs were installed on four for different scenarios based on the Bernoulli2 and
Hui Chen, P.E., is senior utility engineer; James Riley is executive director; Amy Chen is energy engineer; Les Williams is director; Wyatt Hahn is mechanical engineer; Robert Henry,
P.E., is manager of technical services, at the Utilities and Energy Services, Texas A&M University.

24 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


TECHNICAL FEATURE

FIGURE 1 Texas A&M main campus CHW (blues lines) and LTHW (red lines) map. FIGURE 2 Schematic of plant and Building A with PSV.

Bldg. Side
548 ft. 5 AHU 6

Current Plant Static Pressure 50 psig 8 9


465 ft.
AHU

AHU
Plant Side
Plant Pumps Bldg. Pump
2 3 4
PSV
Boiler 10 7
Chiller
Exp. Tank
1

the Darcy-Weisbach equations.3 Building FIGURE 3 Simplified pressure distribution profiles (points correspond to Figure 2 Points) (a) raising
pump requirements vary with primary loop whole loop PSP; (b) pre-PSV operation; (c) new operation with PSV.
pressure, building friction pressure loss,
2
and the difference between PSP (in ft w.c.) 110 4
106 7
and top coil height. Figure 2 is a simplified 100
3
Pressure (psig)

schematic of TAMU’s large hydronic loop 1


90
that includes the CUP and Building A. It dia- Plant Static Pressure
grams the current PSP at 50 psig (344 kPag) 18
5
6
at an elevation above sea level of 465 ft (142 16
(a)
m), and the top coil elevation above sea level 4
102
of 548 ft (167 m). The building top coils are 2
198 ft (60 m) above the plant elevation. The 70
3 7
PSP only yields 115 ft (35 m) of head, which
Pressure (psig)

60
causes the negative pressures in the top coils 51 1 8
50
since Building A was built in 1974. Pressure Plant Static Pressure 5
14 9
distribution profiles for three scenarios 11
0
were generated to evaluate pump require- –24
(b) 6
ment and further identify whether the PSV 4
option is the best solution. These pressure 96 7
90
distribution profiles are displayed in Figure 2 10
70
Pressure (psig)

3: (a) is raising PSP to remove negative top


3
coil pressure; (b) is pre-PSV operation; and 60
1
(c) is with PSV and positive top coil pressure. 50
Plant Static Pressure 5
The purpose for listing scenario (a) here is 8 6
6
just for reference even though this scenario
(c)
has already been invalidated in the previous
study.1 These pressure distribution profiles
are drawn based on trend pressure values on the plant (Figure 2). In the Figure 3, the vertical axis indicates pres-
and building as shown in the simplified schematic sure value and the horizontal axis shows approximate

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 25


TECHNICAL FEATURE

location. Each of pressure distribution diagrams in TABLE 1 Pump head requirement for three options.
Figure 3 clearly shows primary plant pump head (Points OPTIONS RAISING PSP W/O PSV PSV
1–2), building pump head (Points 3–4), top coil inlet ITEMS
and outlet pressures (Points 5–6), and building return PSP in Height > Top Coil in Height? Yes No No
pressure at Point 7. The pre-PSV scenario (b) results in Top Coil Outlet Pressure ± psig +16 –24 +8
negative top coil outlet pressure, which is detrimental Bldg. Friction Loss, psig 6 6 6
to the hydronic loop. Raising PSP (a) and installing PSVs Lift Head, psig 0 36 30
(c) both eliminate negative top coil pressure, but raising Bldg. Pump Requirement, psig 6 42 36
PSP affects the entire hydronic loop and might lead to
other issues, while the PSV option just affects individual (289 kPag) of pumping head. The building pressure pro-
buildings with insufficient PSP. file analysis confirms the building pump head and power
Table 1 summarizes the building pump head require- for the PSV option is much lower than the pre-PSV opera-
ment for the three pressure distribution diagrams shown tion. When PSP is lower than top coil pressure in height,
in Figure 3. The pumping head required varies as a result the PSV is able to gain hydraulic pressure to meet the
of building friction loss and other factors such as lifting top coil’s requirement. Options 1 and 3 belong to closed
water head. The Raising PSP option shown in Table 1 has hydronic system operation while Option 2 is a “half” open
the lowest building pump head requirement at 6 psig hydronic system because air infiltration from leaks and
(41 kPag), which is only the friction head loss shown for water will coexist in the top coil outlet just above PSP.
comparison here. The PSV option requires a significantly
lower required building pump head of 36 psig ( 248 kPag), Simulation Model and Scenarios
compared to pre-PSV operation, which requires 42 psig Generally, large hydronic systems are too complicated
to manually test, so valid simulation software is becom-
ing more widely accepted as a reliable source of infor-
mation for understanding a hydronic system’s charac-
teristics and deciding on the best solution for compli-
cated problems. A commercially available hydraulic
simulation software has been used for the analysis of the
hydronic loop while varying primary pressure scenarios.
The software assumes incompressible, one-dimen-
sional flow and uses principles of heat transfer and
system energy balance to model pressures, flows, tem-
peratures, and power consumption in the loop. The
model was developed based on as constructed loop pipe
dimensions, materials, and elevation, and calibrated
using field data to obtain the most reliable results possi-
ble. Figure 4 shows a large campus loop simulation model
with two plants (CUP and SUP 3), four tall buildings
with PSVs, and others without PSVs. These two plants are
approximately a mile apart with 90,000 ft (27 432 m) of
underground piping throughout the loop.
The simulation assumes varying pumping speed to
react to primary pressure variation and to keep the
coil flow and design temperature differential constant.
Two scenarios were evaluated: varying primary sup-
ply pressure and varying primary return pressure. In
each case, a simulation was performed with the PSV
installed as well as without it, so the effect of the PSV

26 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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TECHNICAL FEATURE

could be analyzed. In the first case, FIGURE 4 Hydraulic loop simulation model.
the primary return pressure was kept
Bldgs. with PSV
constant at 57 psig (393 kPag) while the SUP 3
primary supply pressure was varied CUP
from 45 to 70 psig (310 to 482 kPag). B
In the second scenario, the primary
supply pressure was kept constant at
59 psig (406 kPag), while the primary C
return pressure was varied from 50 to
70 psig (344 to 482 kPag). The simu-
lation’s primary pressure data and
ranges were based on trended yearly
data patterns.

Building Pump and Primary Loop Pressure


The simulation results in Table 2 are
shown to compare building pump D

capacity and its power consumption A


for different scenarios (with and with-
out PSV). Table 2 exhibits primary sup- TABLE 2 Primary supply pressure vs. top coil pressure and pump data.
ply versus top coil pressure, pumping METHOD PRI. SUPPLY COIL INLET COIL OUTLET PUMP PUMP PUMP
power, and pump speed for Building PRESSURE, PSIG PRESSURE, PSIG PRESSURE, PSIG POWER, HP HEAD, FT SPEED (%)
A. Without the PSV installed, the top W/O PSV 45 10.2 –27 20.8 117.6 99%
coil inlet pressure was 10.2 psig (70 50 10.2 –27 18.8 106.1 96%
kPag) and the top coil outlet pressure 55 10.2 –27 16.7 94.6 92%
was –27.0 psig (–186 kPag). With the PSV 60 10.2 –27 14.7 83.0 88%
the top coil inlet pressure decreases 65 10.2 –27 12.7 71.5 84%
from 10.2 psig to 5.2 psig (70.3 to 35.8 70 10.2 –27 10.6 60.0 79%
kPag), and the top coil outlet pres- PSV 45 5.2 3.1 18.8 106.1 96%
sure becomes 3.1 psig (21.3 kPag). As
50 5.2 3.1 16.7 94.6 92%
primary supply pressure increases
55 5.2 3.1 14.7 83.0 88%
from 45 psig to 70 psig (310 kPag to 482
60 5.2 3.1 12.7 71.5 84%
kPag), pumping speed decreased from
65 5.2 3.1 10.6 60.0 79%
99% to 79% without the PSV, and 96%
70 5.2 3.1 8.6 48.44 74%
to 74% with the PSV. Pump head with
PSV dropped on average 14%, around
11.5 ft (3.5 m), compared to the pre-PSV option. With both pump power and head differences (with PSV or
the PSV the power consumption is about 2 hp (1.5 kW) not) are independent of primary return pressure.
lower than without the PSV, which declined about 13%.
The PSV method is able to reduce CHW pump power Return Pressure Blockage Identification
at $2,380/year and has an estimated payback period of One of the concerns that needed to be addressed was
3.5 years. how the installation of PSVs on each of the tallest build-
Field observations display that each existing pump ings on campus would affect the return loop pressures
was oversized and ran at full capacity before PSVs were of nearby buildings. A hydraulic simulation for Building
installed, so the actual pump power savings from the A (with PSV) and its surrounding Buildings E, F, and
PSV installation is more than the simulation estimation G (without PSVs), was performed for this hydronic
at Table 2. The second scenario simulation shows that return pressure blockage issue. Figure 5 shows the return

28 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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TECHNICAL FEATURE

pressure blockage identification map. Buildings F and FIGURE 5 Return pressure blockage identification map.
G are downstream from Building A, while Building E is
located upstream. Each building has a different demand Bldg. G
flow and pump pressure requirement because of the
building type, geographical location, and elevation. 8 in.
The “Return Pressure Blockage” simulation has two sce- 8 in. Bldg. E
narios: with and without PSV installed at Building A. The Bldg. A
building return pressure values only rely on primary 8 in. 10 in.
return pressure, and not primary supply pressure. 8 in.
Figure 6 shows the building return pressure versus 10 in. 10 in.
the primary loop return pressure with PSV installed
at Building A. Whenever primary return pressure
CHWR Bldg. F
increases, the nearby return pressures at each junc- CHWS
12 in.

tion also increase. The different return building pres- Bldg. w/PSV
sure values are all higher than their associated primary Bldg. w/o PSV
return pressure values at each junction, which is related
to their physical location on the hydronic
FIGURE 6 Varying primary return pressure effect upon nearby buildings.
loop with respect to the plants. Building E
has a higher return pressure than Building 80 p Building A Building E Building F Building G
Building Return Pressure (psig)

p
A because it is upstream of Building A, and 75
p
the higher pressure value is consumed to 70
overcome pipe friction loss between two 65
p

buildings: A and E. There was no reduced p


60
or completely blocked flow identified on p
Building A’s return flow pipe. Also Building 55

A does not block any flow from Buildings 50


50 55 60 65 70
F and G because water flow and pressure Primary Return Pressure (psig)
converges at each junction. Therefore, it
was determined that the installation of the PSV had no valve, not remotely. A wire sensor connects the control-
impact on the surrounding buildings. ler to the direct digital control (DDC) to provide PSV
position data (percent open). The valve has an automatic
PSV Operation & Performance modulation feature that reads the upstream pressure
Sequences of Operation of the valve and then adjusts the position of the valve
CHW and LTHW distribution systems at the university according to the pressure set point. The PSV operation is
consist of variable hydronic flow, primary pumping, and also directly connected to building pump control as an
building pumping as shown in Figure 2. The hydronic equation (1):
system operation for plants and buildings is heav-
Building Pump Speed
ily related to ambient temperature and the university
1/ 2
schedule. Based on primary and building pressure pro-  Ppri. supply − Ppri. return + ∆Pbldg . + Safety Factor  (1)
files, along with flow profiles and pump affinity laws, 4 =  
 Pbldg . pump head 
the sequences of PSV operation have been developed
to make sure the top coil receives sufficient pressure to where
maintain the PSV upstream pressure at its PSV set point. P_(pri.supply) = primary supply pressure
There are two types of PSV control, one is an automatic P_(pri.return) = primary return pressure downstream of
remote control and another is a standalone control. The the PSV
PSV at the university has standalone control, so its pres- ∆P_(bldg.) = pressure loss when building pump delivers
sure set point has to be physically set or adjusted on the water throughout the building, safety factor is for the top

30 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


coil and recommended to be around
3 to 5 psi (20 to 34 kPag) to ensure
Redefine
Flexibility
positive pressure at all times
P_(bldg.pump head) = actual pump
head
The speed of the pump needs
to be modulated to keep the PSV
upstream pressure equal to the PSV
set point. If the PSV upstream pres-
sure is higher than the PSV set point
pressure, then the pump needs to
decrease its speed and the PSV will
adjust itself to increase flow to main-
tain the set point value. If, instead,
the PSV upstream pressure is lower
than PSV set point, the pump needs
to increase its speed and the PSV also
needs to modulate to reduce flow.

PSV System Performance


Figure 7 and 8 illustrate the PSV
operation on the CHW system
at Building A on May 29, 2018.
Building Pump 1 runs (Pump
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the building and then back to pri- without affecting the rest of the chiller plant. The WaterFurnace
mary return loop. commercial product line has grown to fit almost any commercial
The PSV upstream pressure (blue or industrial job—whether it’s water source or geothermal, rooftop
line in Figure 7) keeps a constant or chiller banks, small offices or large campuses.

pressure value of 90 psig (620 kPag), To learn more about our expanded commercial solutions,
which is regulated by pump speed visit us at waterfurnace.com.
and modulation of PSV from 27% to
31% in Figure 8. Figure 8 shows the top
coil inlet pressure remains about 7.8
psig (53 kPag), while top coil outlet
pressure averages around 5.5 psig
(37 kPag).
The field operation shows that WaterFurnace Commercial Product Line
the replacement of the pre-PSV
pumps with large capacity pumps at
Building A is not necessary because
the PSV option requires smaller
WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc. ©2019 WaterFurnace International Inc.
building pump capacity than pre-
PSV. The daily field operation graphs

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 31


TECHNICAL FEATURE

clearly exhibit that both pump speed and FIGURE 7 Primary pressure and building pressure profile.
PSV modulation converged at the PSV set

Pri. Supply and Return, Bldg. Supply and


point, and pump power consumption 95

PSV Upstream Pressure (psig)


and pump head were reduced, compared
85
to the existing pump without the PSV, a
75
high operation performance as designed.
The PSVs are in full operation at all four 65
buildings which previously experienced 55
negative pressures in their top coils, and 45
all PSVs have been tuned, balanced and 11:45p 2:30a 5:15a 8:00a 10:45a 1:30p 4:15p 7:00p 9:45p
commissioned. Pri. Supply Pressure Bldg. Supply Pressure
Table 3 shows an inspection of PSV’s opera- Pri. Return Pressure PSV Upstream Pressure
tion as of May 15, 2018. The top coil outlet
pressure stays around 5 psig (34 kPag) for FIGURE 8 Daily PSV and pump operation.
all buildings, which provides some safety 100 10
PSV Position and Pump Speed (%)

during operation should anything not act 90 9

Top Coil Supply and Return


according to design. The building PSV posi- 80 8
70 7

Pressure (psig)
tion varies from 11.6% to 45.3%, which is 60 6
related to the PSV’s distance from the plant 50 5
40 4
and its modulation to keep its set point. In 30 3
same way, pump speed is also related to 20 2
10 1
each buildings demand flow, PSV set point, 0 0
11:45p 2:30a 5:15a 8:00a 10:45a 1:30p 4:15p 7:00p 9:45p
and distance from the plants. The inspec-
tion indicates these PSVs performed as PSV Position Pump Speed Top Coil Inlet Pressure Top Coil Outlet Pressure
designed.
TABLE 3 PSV operation and performance.
Conclusion
BUILDING HYDRONIC TOP COIL OUTLET DT °F PSV PUMP
This follow-up study confirmed that the PSV method NAME TYPE PRESSURE PSIG POSITION (%) SPEED (%)
is an energy-saving as well as practical solution. The
CHW 4.1 12 24.2 68
operation study revealed the installation of PSVs A
reduces pumping power by 13% and pump head LTHW 4.5 23 23.5 98
by 14%. These improvements resulted in one exist- CHW 4.8 11 25.4 73
ing CHW pump to save an estimated $2,380/year at B
LTHW 5.1 22 30.7 80
Building A with an associated payback period of 3.5
CHW 5.0 11 11.6 64
years. The PSV solution not only saves money, but also C
LTHW 4.3 25 22.8 82
eliminates the problem of insufficient PSP on the large
campus loop and improves the hydronic loop perfor- CHW 5.5 12 35.6 60
D
mance. The PSV method does not cause any block- LTHW 4.5 23 45.3 70
age on the return flow from surrounding buildings,
and the high PSV operation performance indicates References
the building pump capacity for PSV method is much 1. Hui Chen, et al. 2017. “Dealing with insufficient plant static
pressure: improving thermal loop performance.” ASHRAE Journal
smaller than pre-PSV’s requirement. This study will 59(4).
help engineers fully understand hydronic loops, build- 2. 2017 ASHRAE Handbook—Fundamentals, Chapter 3, Fluid Flow,
ing pressure distribution, and building pump require- pp. 3.2.
3. 2017 ASHRAE Handbook—Fundamentals, Chapter 22, Pipe Design,
ments. It offers a cost-effective solution and can be pp. 22.5.
used as a resource for PSV design and operation for 4. 2016 ASHRAE Handbook—HVAC Systems and Equipment, Chapter
design engineers and facility personnel. 44, Centrifugal Pumps, pp. 44.9.

32 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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CELEBRATING 125 YEARS

How HVAC&R
Changed the World
BY BERNARD A. NAGENGAST, LIFE MEMBER ASHRAE

The HVAC&R industry has changed our lifestyles so thoroughly that we take many
engineering innovations for granted. Although they have been continuous throughout
our industry’s history, some developments in the 20th century broadly and directly
affect our lives today. This article explores how these innovations developed in rela-
tion to one another. Much of the information presented here was published previ-
ously in expanded form by the author, and readers who wish to explore the topics
more deeply are encouraged to consult the references cited.
The 24-Hour Stationary Engineer—The Electric Motor also powered using oil or gasoline. Heat engines had
Much of what heats, cools and ventilates is operated the disadvantages of complicated construction that
by an electric motor. The motors used in HVAC&R frequently required skilled operation by an on-site “sta-
equipment are reliable, and their energy efficiency is tionary engineer,” and they were noisy, often dirty, and
continually improved, but consider that, at the turn of required a large amount of space. Also, they needed the
the 20th century, electric motors were a relatively new additional boiler or fuel tank. And then there was the
phenomenon. Also consider that their development inability, or at least great difficulty, of operating them
and application made HVAC&R technology available with automatic control.
unlike it had been before. 1880–1910 saw much inventive activity in the electri-
Although electric motors had been invented in the cal industry, with increasing emphasis on alternating
19th century, their use was limited by underdevelop- current systems and components. It was becoming
ment and limited availability of electric power. That clear that direct current systems had disadvantages
began to change after the 1880s as power distribution over alternating current systems, especially in the area
systems using the Edison direct current and the Tesla/ of transmission over longer distances. Direct current
Westinghouse alternating current approaches began to motors with the high starting torque needed for fans
spread throughout the world (Figure 1). and compressors were available, but they required
In 1900, it was common for heating-ventilating fans hand-operated “starting boxes,” which contained
and refrigeration compressors to be driven by heat a variable resistance used to bring the motor up to
engines, principally steam-operated, but they were speed.

Bernard A. Nagengast is an HVAC&R engineer and historian in Sidney, Ohio. He is a member of and past chair and consultant for the ASHRAE Historical Committee.

34 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


ASHRAE — CELEBRATING 125 YEARS

Development of the alternating current motor revo-


FIGURE 1 125 years ago, electric power was being introduced in cities, replacing
lutionized the HVAC&R industry by providing a less gas lighting. (From: author’s personal collection, unattributed source).
complicated, less expensive way to operate equipment,
and ac motors could be turned on and off using auto-
matic controls. Also, these motors were developed in
smaller sizes, opening the door to packaged equipment
development for heating, refrigeration and later, air
conditioning.
By 1920, most developed urban areas had ac power
available for homes, businesses and factories. Polyphase
ac induction motors, as well as synchronous motors,
were available for factory and large commercial equip-
ment. Homes and small businesses were served by
single-phase electric service within a voltage range of
104 to 230 volts. For those customers, a number of small
single-phase induction motors were soon available for FIGURE 2 The repulsion-start induction motor was widely used until the 1930s for
high-starting torque applications such as refrigerators in homes with skimpy elec-
appliances, including refrigerators, and for oil burners, tric service. (From: The Heating and Ventilating Magazine, July 1927, p. 189).
ventilating fans, etc. At first the need was served using
so-called “split-phase” induction motors; however, the
need for higher starting torque for refrigeration com-
pressors, etc. brought about invention of capacitor-start
and repulsion-start motors. The repulsion-start induc-
tion motor proved to be a solution to a vexing problem
when motor-powered HVAC&R equipment was intro-
duced into household use. Well into the 1930s, most
homes were wired with 30- or 60-ampere service. With
such skimpy capacity, it was common for the locked-
rotor (starting) current of a refrigerator to cause the
line voltage to drop precipitously, dimming lights and
often blowing a branch circuit fuse (which were usually
15-amp quick-blow fuses). The solution was to use the
repulsion-start motor, which could develop very high
starting torque at low line voltage using less current
than other types of motors. Repulsion-start motors were
available from 1/8 to 25 horsepower and were the pre-
ferred motor type used for HVAC&R in that power range
until they began to be supplanted by capacitor-start
motors beginning in 1930 (Figure 2).
Over time, electric motors were continually improved
by reducing weight and relative cost while increas-
ing efficiency, especially in the last 25 years. And now
we have variable-frequency drive motors that allow a ”the electric motor,” serves us silently, unobtrusively
level of energy efficiency and control that would amaze and with increasing efficiency as applied in heating,
the engineers of the early 20th century—we are well refrigeration and air conditioning. And that is quite an
aware of that within our engineering profession. What accomplishment!
about everyone else? Outside the community read- That progress in electrical development opened the
ing this essay, the “24-hour stationary engineer,” i.e., door to more innovations we also can’t live without.1

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 35


ASHRAE — CELEBRATING 125 YEARS

Cease Firing by Hand!—Automatic The first electric-motor-powered FIGURE 3 The first night setback thermostat was
Heating “coal stoker,” which mechanically introduced in 1907. (Engineering Review, December
By 1900, many homes and build- 1908, p. 104).
fed coal and removed ash from a
ings, particularly in cities, were boiler or furnace and could be con-
equipped with central steam, hot trolled by thermostat, was placed
water or hot air heating systems. on the market in 1912, and by the
Before the 1920s, most homeowners 1920s, automatic coal systems were
using central systems heated with available from many manufactur-
hand-fired coal furnaces or boilers. ers. However, this improvement in
They had to descend into a basement coal-fired systems soon succumbed
and contend with coal shoveling to what was seen as better fuels—oil
from a “coal bin,” ash clearance and and gas.
a method of temperature control Wartime restrictions on and
requiring a judgment of how much subsequent shortages of coal
coal to use and how much draft to stimulated the use of oil and gas as
allow for the firebox. Although ther- substitute energy sources for heat-
mostat-controlled draft regulators ing. Certainly oil and gas had been
had been available since the 1880s, investigated and even used in lim-
they were seldom used in homes or ited circumstances for heating prior.
small businesses. Automatic firing of Before World War I, there were sev-
heating equipment was hampered eral manufacturers of domestic oil
at first by lack of widespread avail- burners. Underwriters Laboratories
ability of electric power and reli- certified an oil burner in 1912. The
able electric motors, as previously first oil burner with high-voltage
discussed. Once the motors were electric ignition, tradenamed the
available, inventors had to figure “ELECTROL,” was introduced in
out how to apply them to the firing 1918. By the mid-1920s, the market
of heating systems. They also had to for household and commercial oil
develop controls that would permit burners skyrocketed.
direct control of the equipment. Gas heating advanced too. By
These efforts began before 1900 and 1900, there was a well-developed
accelerated through the next two infrastructure for gas distribution
decades. During WWI, a coal short- in many cities for gas lighting, but take off until the World War I coal
age and government initiatives to there was no real incentive to push shortages. By that time, electrically
conserve energy gave a push to auto- the use of gas for heating until the operated gas valves had been devel-
matic system development in the gas utility companies saw their oped, so the heating system could
United States. revenue decline as electric light- be readily controlled by thermostat.
Homeowners and businesses ing advanced. Casting about for a Although thermostatic control for
were used to “banking” coal fires at way to increase gas use, they began heating had been invented in the
night, waking up early to stoke the to investigate its use for heating. 1830s in England, it was not until
fire with fresh coal, opening and For example, the Ohio Gas Light the 1880s that it was improved and
adjusting draft dampers, and then Company installed gas heating sys- extensively promoted by innovators
waiting for bulky heating systems tems in 50 homes as an experiment such as Albert Butz, Warren Johnson,
to respond. Guesswork, weather in 1891. After 1900, some furnace William Powers, William Sweatt and
conditions and experience dictated and boiler manufacturers added others. Various heating thermostat
how much coal and draft to use, gas-fired equipment to their lines, designs were available by 1900.
but this was inherently wasteful. but gas equipment did not really The clock-operated night setback

36 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


ASHRAE — CELEBRATING 125 YEARS

thermostat was first marketed by Jewell Manufacturing FIGURE 4 Successful development of automatic heating systems led to industry
Company in 1907 (Figure 3). Such thermostats were promotion, as exemplified by a mid-1930s campaign by an industry trade journal.
widely promoted as fuel-saving devices during World (From: Automatic Heat and Air Conditioning, October 1936, p. 32).
War I and ultimately became popular enough that the
largest manufacturer of wind up clocks in the world was
said to be none other than the Minneapolis Honeywell
Regulator Company!
Other appurtenant controls were developed, such as
those designed and marketed by Honeywell Heating
Specialties Company beginning in 1924 exclusively.
Frankly, many factors were in place for a technical
development spurt. In the United States, progress was
hampered by the post-war depression that persisted
in the early 1920s. As the economy recovered, so did
renewed enthusiasm for technological development
in HVAC&R. A review of the trade publications of the
period shows increases in “new products” announce-
ments, accompanied by expanded advertising (Figure 4).
Packaged gas furnaces incorporating a burner,
blower, humidifier and filter did not appear until
the late 1920s. Probably the first was a gas-fired unit
invented by Carlyle Ashley, which was marketed as the
“Weathermaker” furnace by Carrier-Lyle Corporation
beginning in 1928. Ashley’s design was significant FIGURE 5 The oil-fired boiler that was introduced by General Electric in the mid-
1930s incorporated the latest heating technology. (From: Automatic Heating With
because it was the first high-efficiency (91%) gas furnace. Oil, General Electric Co., 1936, form FP-108, p. 12).
From the early 1930s on, advertisements and
announcements for packaged heating units with steel
cabinets began to appear in the trade press. Often these
units were promoted as being so clean and quiet that
they were suitable for placement in a home living area.
Such was the case with General Electric’s oil-fired boiler
introduced in 1932.
GE’s packaged boiler featured all the latest innova-
tions for comfort, safety and style. The unit included
a high temperature limit, pre- and post-purge of the
combustion chamber, automatic control by a night set-
back thermostat and were suitable for steam or forced
hot-water systems. And the unit included a built-in
heat exchanger for domestic hot water with separate
thermostatic control. The GE boiler could be combined
with air-cooling using a heat exchanger for a forced-air
residential air conditioning system. A similarly designed
gas-fired boiler, as well as a hot-air furnace, was also
available2 (Figure 5).
The newest technology was a sensation. Complete
home heating and cooling systems were prominently
displayed at the World’s Fairs of 1933 and 1939 by a

38 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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ASHRAE — CELEBRATING 125 YEARS

number of manufacturers, and it seemed that a new era FIGURE 6 Servel Corporation was one of the early entrants in the mechanical
of modern convenience was dawning—until it didn’t. refrigerator industry. (Note: SERVEL was an acronym for “Serve Electrically.” )
The “Great Depression” and the World War that imme- (From: Good Housekeeping, November 1925).

diately followed stifled the surge in heating technology.


The innovative systems of companies like Carrier and
General Electric were discontinued from lack of sales.
The period of the late 1930s through the 1960s saw slow
change in packaged furnaces, boilers and systems. The
limited progress included cabinet size reduction as
blowers evolved from belt-driven to direct drive. During
this period, the product mix steadily shifted from oil
toward gas-firing and from steam and hot water to
forced-air systems that could easily incorporate central
air conditioning. A renewed focus on energy efficiency
revived after the “oil shocks” of the 1970s. Then the heat-
ing industry responded with “reinventing the wheel” of
high-efficiency furnaces and boilers using modern tech-
nology that was unavailable 50 years earlier. This new
burst of innovation has continued to this day. Today,
few can remember a central heating system that did not
work automatically. Does anybody in a modern, eco-
nomically well-developed city or country worry about
waking up to a cold house? Firing a heating system by
hand has indeed ceased. frozen foods in an icebox? But that became a possibility
with mechanical refrigeration. And no more waiting
Freedom from the Shackles of Ice—The Mechanical Refrigerator for the ice man to come. The mechanical refrigerator
A survey in 1999 asked more than 1,000 people has made our lives safer and richer—can anyone now
which appliance would be hardest to live without—the imagine life without it?
answer: their refrigerator. The household mechani- The mechanical refrigeration industry before the 20th
cal refrigerator was one of the 20th century’s great- century had shown remarkable progress in perfecting
est inventions, allowing housewives to “strike off the the technology of ice manufacture and cold storage.
shackles of ice” (Figure 6). Previously, refrigerators were This technology worked well in those high-capacity
cooled with block ice, delivered directly to homes or applications, but it was a challenge to transfer it to the
businesses by local merchants. The “ice man” roved city small-capacity requirement for homes. This turned into
streets just like the “milk man,” calling on one place a quest—one that John Starr, the first president of the
after another. But unlike the milk man, the ice man American Society of Refrigerating Engineers, likened
delivered the product right to where it was used—in the to the pursuit of the dream of the old practitioners of
kitchen—to the so-called “icebox,” where he placed a alchemy—discovering the “Philosopher’s Stone” that
block of ice in the top of the refrigerator. The invasion would turn base metal into gold.
was at least a necessary nuisance. More problematic, By 1930, the household refrigerator was a reality, and
iceboxes could not maintain a constant storage tem- no stone was required. The solutions were found in
perature, which was frequently too high for proper electric motors, sealed systems, automatic control and
food storage. With a mechanical refrigerator, consum- non-toxic, non-flammable refrigerants. But these solu-
ers didn’t buy ice—they could even make it. With better tions required a slow and expensive evolution. Before
temperature control, they had new freedom in their WWI, there were scattered attempts to introduce house-
kitchens to store a wider variety of foods for a longer hold mechanical refrigerators—and there were a lot of
time. And frozen foods? Forget it—how could you keep good ideas, even some breakthroughs—but these were

40 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


ASHRAE — CELEBRATING 125 YEARS

disjointed, undercapitalized efforts. Mass production of FIGURE 7 By the 1930s, household mechanical refrigerators were becoming an
a low-cost, low-maintenance refrigerator was needed. important part of homes. (From: Good Housekeeping, May 1931).
That challenge was soon met. Refrigeration engineers
introduced eccentric shaft, closed-crankcase reciprocat-
ing compressors, replacing open-frame crosshead or
crank types and allowing higher operating speeds and
smaller size. Leaky stuffing boxes were replaced with
rotary mechanical shaft seals that minimized leaks. By
the late 1920s, using improved electric motors, exter-
nally driven systems began to be replaced with her-
metically sealed motor-compressors that reduced size,
weight and cost further, all but eliminating refrigerant
leaks. Effective methods of refrigerant control, such as
the constant superheat (thermostatic) expansion valve
and the capillary tube, were developed. Temperature
and pressure controls were applied to refrigerating sys-
tems, making them responsive to the vagaries of system
load that varied with room temperature, product load,
frequency of door opening and so on.
Until 1930, engineers had only toxic or flammable
refrigerants to choose from for their systems. Sulfur
dioxide, methyl chloride, ethyl chloride or isobutane
were used in virtually all household systems until chlo- that they assumed would later lead to a substantial mar-
rofluorocarbon refrigerants (discussed next in this ket for their products as well as a decent profit.3
article) were developed in 1928. The new refrigerant The application of engineering and capital from these
family’s use for household systems began in the 1930s two industrial giants, as well as others that joined them,
and accelerated the acceptance of the new technology. spawned a surge of technical development. And the
But this new technology for the home required a con- competition between many manufacturers resulted in
siderable engineering effort and a great deal of money leap-frog technology, where one company’s advance was
to make it a reality. The advances previously mentioned soon topped by another, better innovation. The result:
saw practical reality only after two industrial sectors the increasingly reliable, energy-efficient and affordable
committed engineering talent and a great deal of capi- mechanical refrigerator (Figure 7). The ice man is gone—
tal. The two sectors were the automotive and electrical no longer needed—replaced by the “can’t live without”
industries in the United States. refrigerator, that, like the benefits of automatic heating,
As World War I was ending, two corporations, General we just take for granted.
Motors and General Electric, began pursuing introduc-
tion of refrigeration into the home. GM was worried that It All Depended on a Guinea Pig—The Chlorofluorocarbon
a post-war depression would cause auto sales to plunge Refrigerants
and sought to find something else that dealers could sell. At the dawn of the 20th century, the dominant refrig-
GE had already begun expansion beyond electric light- erant was ammonia. Why? Because for almost 40 years,
ing—into electrical items such as electric irons, toasters it had proven to be the best refrigerant to use—its attri-
and so on—and saw an electric refrigerator as a logical butes included a high refrigerating effect and low cost.
addition to its “string of appliances.” But it had some notable disadvantages too, such as toxic-
Both corporations had large, diversified engineering ity. Since most refrigeration applications were indus-
staffs as well as considerable financial capital. Both were trial, any disadvantages were mitigated, or even toler-
willing to endure the unavoidable development failures ated, using technology that was well-developed by 1900.
and the associated costs to ensure a successful product After 1900, refrigeration took some new courses into

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ASHRAE — CELEBRATING 125 YEARS

specialized applications like households (as discussed with a preset pressure controller, connected to the
above), retail groceries or butcher shops, and air condi- system low side, which would cycle the condensing
tioning. Ammonia proved unsuitable for household or unit. A float metered refrigerant into a flooded-type
merchant uses, and although some existing refrigerat- evaporator that responded to the changing load. These
ing machinery manufacturers did try to enter that field, VRF systems had become fairly widespread by the late
downsizing their industrial equipment proved difficult. 1920s, particularly in larger cities. Most used sulfur
Besides, they were satisfied providing for the expanding dioxide or methyl chloride refrigerant and contained
demand for cold storage and ice making. And there was a large refrigerant charge that sometimes let loose into
the new technology of air conditioning for industrial the building if a line ruptured—with spectacular result
processes, as well as for personal comfort. These appli- if sulfur dioxide was involved. With searing lungs and
cations potentially exposed building occupants to a toxic stinging eyes, occupants would flee to the streets, even
refrigerant leak. For air conditioning, ammonia, as well in the middle of the night. However, a methyl chloride
as the other toxic or flammable refrigerants mentioned leak produced a more subdued—but deadly—situation.
previously, would not be acceptable. What to do? Methyl chloride has a sweet, ethereal odor, not irritat-
Obviously the solution was to use a ing like sulfur dioxide. In sufficient
different refrigerant. Previously used FIGURE 8 Before the chlorofluorocarbon refriger- concentration, it has both an anes-
ants, service on many household refrigerators
alternatives to ammonia, such as required a gas mask! (From: Frigidaire Installation thetic and toxic effect. There were a
methyl chloride and sulfur dioxide, and Service Manual, April 1927, p. 4). number of instances where a methyl
had been used in Europe and proved chloride system leaked enough
technically suitable for low-capacity refrigerant at night to kill entire fam-
systems. Some others, such as ethyl ilies. These tragedies were sensation-
chloride and isobutane were also alized in newspapers, and the public,
used. For air-conditioning applica- with the battlefield deaths from
tions, carbon dioxide, dichloroeth- poison gas used in WWI still fresh
ylene and methylene chloride were in their minds, demanded action to
used. All these refrigerants, except prohibit “death gases” from being
CO2, were problematic—toxic and/or used in refrigeration systems. City
flammable. health departments responded with
By the late 1920s, household restrictions on use of large refrigera-
refrigerators were reliable but still tion systems as well as refrigerants4
costly. Apartment houses, with a (Figure 8).
concentration of tenants, proved Improved reliability and lower cost
to be a potentially lucrative market had propelled household refrigera-
for refrigerator manufacturers. Apartment dwellers tor sales into the millions by 1928, and refrigerator
balked at purchasing a high-priced refrigerator, but manufacturers became alarmed that private and public
apartment owners, when constructing new build- concern and restrictions would affect their burgeoning
ings and competing for tenants, often opted for a new market. The Frigidaire Corporation division of General
idea—VRF! Yes, VRF, Variable Refrigerant Flow systems, Motors had been using sulfur dioxide refrigerant since
the concept recently popular in the air-conditioning 1918, even touting the refrigerant’s advantage as being
industry. At that time, the concept was used by plac- non-toxic because it was “self-alarming” and a leak
ing a central refrigeration condensing unit in the would compel a user to get out before any serious health
apartment house basement, directly connected with effects occurred. Frigidaire management was concerned
multiple liquid and suction lines to small refrigerators enough about their business that they asked the newly
in each apartment. The VRF aspect was accomplished formed General Motors Research Laboratory to develop
by using “low-side float” refrigerant controls in each a completely new refrigerant that would be non-toxic,
apartment, with the central system maintaining con- non-flammable and chemically stable. Thomas Midgley,
stant evaporator pressure (and therefore temperature) a research engineer, was assigned to that task. With his

44 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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ASHRAE — CELEBRATING 125 YEARS

FIGURE 9 The chlorofluorocarbon FREON could be safely used in packaged


FIGURE 10 Before comfort air conditioning, one had to resort to using an electric
air-conditioning equipment located in private or public places. (From: Kinetic fan. (From: Bulletin of the Philadelphia Electric Company, June 1914, pp. 12-13).
Chemicals ad, Heating Piping and Air Conditioning, July 1934, p. 67).

assistants, chemist Albert Henne sample was contaminated, result-


FIGURE 11 The first successful window air
and chemical engineer Robert ing in deadly phosgene gas being conditioners were marketed in the late 1930s.
McNary, a new refrigerant was pro- mixed with the refrigerant. In fact, (From: Collier’s, July 1, 1939, p. 52).
posed after a remarkable Saturday another four vials of the catalyst,
afternoon brainstorming marathon. antimony trifluoride, were found to
Midgley had thought that it was be contaminated. The fact that only
unlikely that one compound could five vials of catalyst had been avail-
fulfill the specified requirements able to the researchers—four of them
and that some type of blend would contaminated with a phosgene-pro-
be needed. However, the team ducing agent—meant that the odds
decided to try for a single compound were greatly against a successful tox-
using an unusual approach. The icity test.5 Would testing of dichlo-
Periodic Table of the Elements was rodifluoromethane proceed if the
consulted to explore relationships first guinea pig had died? Thomas
between elements that might yield Midgley later commented, “… I
something useful. The thought pro- often wonder if the sudden death of
cesses resulted in one compound, our first guinea pig would not have
dichlorodifluoromethane, which so completely shaken our confident
seemed to be an ideal refrigerant. expectation that our new compound
One of the most important could not possibly be toxic, that—
requirements was that any new well, I still wonder if we would have
refrigerant be non-toxic. Prevailing been smart enough to have contin-
thought was that any compound ued the investigation.”6
containing fluorine would likely In fact, experimentation with
be toxic. A small batch of the new the new refrigerant did continue,
refrigerant was prepared and and it was publicly announced in
tested on a guinea pig, with no ill 1930. The new refrigerant, Freon,
effects. Another batch was pre- was manufactured by Kinetic
pared, but this time the guinea pig Chemicals Inc., a stock company
died. Investigation showed that the owned jointly by General Motors such an important discovery that
catalyst used to prepare the new and DuPont. Freon was considered the new refrigerant was sold not

46 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


ASHRAE — CELEBRATING 125 YEARS

just to Frigidaire, but to any manufacturer who wanted a solution. The window air conditioner was introduced
to use it. Freon 12, the first CFC sold, was shortly fol- in the late 1930s, a relatively low-cost way to spot-cool
lowed by other chlorofluorocarbons for various refrig- rooms in a home.
eration applications, and before long, the other toxic How did that happen? This article has discussed electric
and flammable refrigerants disappeared from use. One motors, automatic systems, household refrigerators and
significant advantage of the chlorofluorocarbons was chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants. In fact, all those innova-
that they could be used in direct expansion systems for tions played a part in the story of the window air condi-
air conditioning (Figure 9). The new availability of a safe tioner. Automatic control by thermostat could and was
refrigerant did spur development of central and pack- applied to central AC systems, providing comfort cooling,
aged air conditioners beginning in the 1930s, which and that technology was downsized and simplified for
accelerated after World War II ended. The chlorofluo- packaged equipment. The previously mentioned sealed
rocarbons came to dominate non-industrial refrigera- motor-compressors, initially developed by the household
tion until scientists discovered that chlorofluorocar- refrigeration industry after 1918 or so, were adapted for
bons damage stratospheric ozone. This environmental packaged air conditioning. The development of the safe
hazard was not foreseen in 1928 when the concern for chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants opened the possibility of
safety was close at hand. No doubt the rapid expan- placing air-conditioning equipment directly into a living
sion of refrigeration and air conditioning in homes space. Industry was enthusiastic over the prospects, hav-
and public buildings was surely in large part due to ing noted the success of the household refrigerator.
this new, safe refrigerant. You could say it happened The economic depression of the 1930s stymied the
because a guinea pig didn’t die! nascent packaged air-conditioning industry, but the
depression’s end saw renewed interest. Although the
The Model T in the Window—The Window Air Conditioner first successful window air conditioners were being sold
“Cooling of rooms … bids fair to be at some time an by the late 1930s (Figure 11), again industry development
industry of considerable importance,” wrote Rolla was halted, this time by World War II. When wartime
Carpenter, Cornell University professor of experimental restrictions ended in 1946, the idea of a window air con-
engineering in 1896 in his book, Heating and Ventilating ditioner was pursued with a new vigor. Designs for pack-
Buildings. The idea that room air should be “refriger- aged air conditioners that could be placed in a window
ated” for comfort (the term “air conditioning” did not proliferated. Competition and mass production steadily
exist before 1906) seemed farfetched to all but a small brought the cost down such that comfort air condition-
number of undaunted engineers. The best folks could do ing was affordable for more folks—you could call it the
then was use an electric fan! (Figure 10) democratizing of air conditioning, as the Model T Ford
In the 20th century, comfort air conditioning would did for automobiles.7 Forty-eight thousand units were
become of such considerable importance that daily sold in 1946, as pent-up consumer demand began to be
life, and even population trends, would be affected. satisfied by industry rapidly converting back to peace-
At first, the technology was used in commercial situa- time production. Annual sales have increased steadily
tions where the cost and complexity could be justified. since then, and today, in aggregate, more than 100 mil-
But, just like with refrigerators, an interest developed lion units have been produced in the United States. And
for application of refrigeration to comfort cooling in worldwide, almost that many room air conditioners are
residences. now sold each year.8 Window air conditioners in our age
Frigidaire introduced the first successful “room cooler” are inexpensive, reliable, increasingly efficient and por-
in 1929, a bulky split-system that used sulfur dioxide table (Figure 12)—another engineering triumph most folks
refrigerant. By the 1930s, such companies were begin- don’t consider at all as they flip the switch to get cool!
ning to combine cooling and heating technology for cen-
tral home air-conditioning systems that were automatic, Summary
circulating filtered, tempered air to all of the rooms in As ASHRAE celebrates its 125th anniversary, we are
a house, office or business. But these central systems looking back at what we have accomplished in our
were still too expensive for most folks. Then there was profession. This article explored some technology we

48 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


ASHRAE — CELEBRATING 125 YEARS

invented, used or improved so well that, outside our FIGURE 12 By the 1960s, window air conditioners were easy to purchase and
technical community, pretty much no one appreciates install. (From: Life, June 2, 1961, p. 114).
how good that technology works to keep us warm or
cool or provide a vast variety of safe food at our finger-
tips, efficiently and affordable. Everyone takes it all for
granted. Insulted? Don’t be—it means we HVAC&R engi-
neers have done our job very well!

References
1. Donaldson, B. and B. Nagengast. 1994. Heat & Cold: Mastering the
Great Indoors, pp. 189-193. Atlanta:ASHRAE.
2. Nagengast, B. 2001. “An early history of comfort heating.” Air
Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration News (November 12):10-26. Note:
This issue of ACHR News was titled “Celebrating 75 years of heating” and
has much historical information on heating industry development. See
also: Donaldson, Nagengast 1994, pp. 193-199, 245-261.
3. Donaldson, B. and B. Nagengast. 1994. Heat & Cold: Mastering the
Great Indoors, pp. 204-243. Atlanta: ASHRAE. in: Morgan, R.W. 1950. “Room air conditioners—Past and present.”
4. Donaldson, B. and B. Nagengast. 1994. Heat & Cold: Mastering the Refrigerating Engineering, 58(1):34-41. And also: Galson, Edgar and
Great Indoors, pp. 137-147. Atlanta: ASHRAE. Allen. 1995. “Henry L. Galson – pioneer designer of self contained
5. Bhatti, M.S. 1999. “A historical look at chlorofluorocarbon air conditioning equipment.” ASHRAE Transactions 101:758-767.
refrigerants.” ASHRAE Transactions 105 (Pt.1): 1186-1206. 8. 1994. “World air conditioner demand by region.” Japan Air
6. Haynes, W. 1961. “Thomas Midgley, Jr.” Great Chemists, Edited Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration News, p.5. As quoted in Galson,
by E. Farber, pp. 1587-1597. New York: Interscience Publishers. Edgar and Allen. 1995. “Henry L. Galson – pioneer designer of self
7. Early room and window air conditioning history is covered contained air conditioning equipment.” ASHRAE Transactions 101:765.

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49 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


TECHNOLOGY UPDATE

Achieving Resiliency in
The Cold Chain: Strategies
To Maintain Food Safety
BY MARY KATE MCGOWAN, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, NEWS

Ensuring food security during natural disasters, loss-of-power events or refrigera-


tion equipment malfunctions calls for more than hoarding milk and bread. Whether
grocery stores and the broader supply chain for cold products lose power momen-
tarily, for hours during demand response events enforced by the local utility, or for
days after a hurricane tears through town, maintaining stable temperatures to keep
food safe is vital for everyday life and during emergencies.
Thermal energy storage in the low-temperature cold thermal energy storage can help improve resiliency for
chain provides both temperature stability to protect all of them,” Vance said.
food from temperature fluctuations during daily opera- Thermal storage is a broad umbrella for a lot of differ-
tions and during a catastrophic loss of power. There ent technologies, and applications range from supplying
are multiple strategies to achieve resilience in the cold air-conditioning to refrigeration to pre-cooling to heat-
chain and different viewpoints of what works best. ing to power generation.
Damon Vance, marketing director at Viking Cold “Each solution/end application has a lot of nuances,
Solutions, said TES improves resiliency and supports the so I think it’s important to consult with folks that have
cold chain in several key areas: worked in the end-user application that you’re looking
• Improving refrigeration system efficiency while into,” said John Lerch, vice president of sales and mar-
minimizing temperature fluctuations during normal keting for Axiom Exergy.
daily operations; Resiliency in cold chain application is critical.
• Minimizing the risk to the food from temperature Refrigeration systems operate 24-hours-a-day seven-
fluctuations while enabling power management of the days-a-week. Situations that call for adapting operation
facility; and strategies can happen at any time and vary in predict-
• Extending the protection for products during ability and length of time.
events such as equipment failure or power outages Thermal storage systems inherently provide some
caused by hurricanes, wildfires or other extreme events. resiliency protection, and the systems can add fea-
“Resiliency in the cold chain refers to a facility’s abil- tures to increase their resiliency protection, said
ity to withstand and recover from several factors, and Lerch. Thermal systems can play three major roles

50 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


TECHNOLOGY UPDATE

in resiliency: backup cooling during power outages, provide cooling to the cases and the walk-in freezers for
supplemental cooling during equipment failures and an extended period.
supplemental cooling during heat waves and high ambi- When frozen food experiences temperature changes,
ent temperatures. micro-thawing and micro-freezing create larger ice
crystals that degrade cell structure and reduce food
Strategies quality and shelf life, Vance said.
Using backup cooling during power outages is a strategy. Thermal energy storage systems provide a key element
Thermal storage can maintain temperature stability when of resiliency for long-term duration power outages and
the grid fluctuates when coupled with a small genera- normal daily business operations, which can also affect
tor or electrochemical battery, which powers pumps and temperature, food quality and product shelf life, said
fans. This can save money by preventing food spoilage and Vance. He said TES systems use latent heat to absorb
buying enough time to get refrigerated truck or backup 50%-85% of the heat infiltration, consolidate the heat
generator on site for longer duration outages, said Lerch. near the top of the room directly in the refrigeration
Thermal storage can provide cooling services if a com- airflow and shift more compressor runtime to nighttime
pressor, condenser or another piece of equipment fails hours. The result is systems with thermal energy storage
or underperforms. During heat waves, thermal stor- use an average of 25% less energy while improving tem-
age can supplement the cooling capacity, he said. This perature stability.
redundancy provides a level of resilience. “When all of this is understood, engineers and facility
Another strategy is connecting thermal storage to a operators can use TES for disaster back-up, temperature
small, on-site generate or a small lithium ion battery to stability during normal daily operations and for broader
power case fans. If the power goes out on-site, this can energy reduction strategies,” Vance said.

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ASHRAE Technology Portal


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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 51


TECHNOLOGY UPDATE


The integration of intelligent controls and phase change materials
(PCM) for thermal energy storage applications has advanced to the
point that any refrigeration project should consider TES for resiliency,
risk reduction, operational improvements and energy savings.

Design Considerations
Some TES systems for low-temperature, frozen appli-

footprint, racking measurements, mechanical interface
with the refrigeration system, control system integra-
cations can be designed into new facilities or added as tion), the local utility fee structure (demand charges,
a retrofit to existing facilities, said Vance. He said most time-of-use fees, efficiency or demand incentives avail-
design firms consider the heat loads, product turn, able) and required life-time maintenance of the TES
refrigeration capacity, airflow circulation, humidity and system,” he said.
envelope insulation when designing a facility’s refrig- TES systems can provide additional benefits such as
eration system. improved temperature stability, energy use reduction,
“When adding a TES system, designers should also component-level energy use measurements and tem-
consider the installation requirements (the system perature data for increased visibility and actionable

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52 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


TECHNOLOGY UPDATE

information for the facility operator. Collin Coker, vice president of sales and marketing for
“The integration of intelligent controls and phase Viking Cold Solutions, said that generation on the utility
change materials (PCM) for thermal energy storage grid is no longer centralized due to the increased use of
applications has advanced to the point that any refrig- renewable energy sources such as wind and solar and
eration project should consider TES for resiliency, risk the growth of distributed energy storage.
reduction, operational improvements and energy sav- Solar power provides a growing percentage of the load
ings,” Vance said. during the day and the utility grid is now experiencing
spikes when the sun goes down. The utilities must also
Grid Operations manage for fluctuating wind energy. These changes
Thermal storage systems can also help customers with make it difficult to balance supply and demand on the
load shifting and demand-response revenue benefits. grid, so utilities are providing incentives for energy stor-
The utility grid is changing. Operators are challenged age systems, including thermal energy storage, that help
with dealing with utility grid shut-offs, extreme weather level out demand across the grid. 
events and other obstacles that make managing the grid Regardless of how cold storage facilities are powered,
difficult. With higher demand charges, customer util- thermal energy storage systems can help avoid high
ity bills are increasing, and refrigeration is a big energy demand periods on the grid and improve resiliency for
consumer. Using an energy storage asset at facilities can the site while also protecting food quality and shelf life.
help customers save on their utility bill, and thermal “The load is changing, and thermal energy storage can
storage systems can take advantage of demand response help both grid operators and cold storage facility own-
or grid service revenue at the same time to help the ers tackle some of their greatest challenges at the same
operators, according to Lerch. time,” Coker said.

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 53


2019 ASHRAE TECHNOLOGY AWARD CASE STUDIES

Renovation Extends
Building Life 100 Years
An early 20th-century Army warehouse has been transformed into
an energy-efficient community cultural center and home for 21st-
century art students.

PHOTO CREDIT ©BRUCE DAMONTE BY ERIC SOLRAIN, P.E. ASSOCIATE MEMBER ASHRAE; TYLER BRADSHAW, P.E.; MARSHA MAYTUM, FAIA;
GWEN FUERTES, AIA

ASHRAE JOURNAL
HONORABLE MENTION | 2019 ASHRAE TECHNOLOGY AWARD CASE STUDIES

The transformation of an old U.S. Army warehouse into


a new campus for the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI)
interweaves historic and contemporary. Located at the
edge of San Francisco Bay, Pier 2 preserves the indus-
trial integrity of the 62,422 gross square foot (5799 gross
square meter) pier shed, integrates advanced sustain-
able strategies, reuses existing building resources,
supports the art institute’s teaching and environmental
goals and forges new community connections.

The building now houses a total of 83% less energy than benchmark
160 studios, workshops, media the- buildings per the Architecture 2030
aters, flexible teaching spaces and Zero Tool.
exhibition galleries. All spaces were Thermal Mass. The design relies
designed to welcome the public with heavily on the thermal mass of the
natural daylight, clean air and ther- building’s original structure to resist
mal comfort. outside temperature fluctuations
The evolution of Pier 2 from a and reduce load demands on the
military processing point for sol- inside.
diers and supplies during four wars Daylight. Historic windows and
into an interdisciplinary art campus the clerestory monitor provide
and community cultural center abundant daylight to most of the
was a public/private collaboration interior. Post occupancy daylight
between SFAI, Fort Mason Center readings indicate that 71% of regu-
for Arts & Culture (FMCAC), and larly occupied spaces receive ade-
the National Park Service (NPS). The quate daylight.
project promotes these cultural and Tempered Ventilation Air.
historical values along with eco- Supplied ventilation air is out-
nomic and environmental values door air that has been tempered
by integrating cost-effective sus- and filtered to optimize indoor
tainable systems, including a high- air quality and decrease equip-
efficiency radiant slab, a decoupled ment sizes. Exhaust vents are
HVAC system, a rooftop PV solar strategically located to remove
array, and an intrinsic daylighting contaminants where they occur
strategy. and protect the breathing zone for
occupants.
Energy Efficiency Renewable Energy. Energy bills
This project is a model for sustain- indicate the space is performing 76%
able renovation and exceeds the AIA better than modeled and that the PV
2030 Commitment target, using solar system produces 100% of the
required electricity for the building.
Eric Solrain, P.E., is a senior principal with Integral Group
in Oakland. Tyler Bradshaw, P.E., is principal and founder The building leverages both
of Blue Forest Engineering in Oakland, Calif. Marsha existing resources and modern
Maytum, is principal at LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects
in San Francisco. Gwen Fuertes, is associate at LEDDY technologies to achieve lofty energy-
MAYTUM STACY Architects in San Francisco. efficiency goals.

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 55


2019 ASHRAE TECHNOLOGY AWARD CASE STUDIES

low energy destratification fans to ensure even air dis-


tribution. Additionally, the building geometry allows air
to move freely through rooms without ceilings and cur-
tains while grouped spaces allow for shared air supply.
A unique project challenge was the use of art materi-
als in the space. At studio pods and brush washing sta-
tions, low level exhaust captures fumes and particulates.
Furthermore, studios were grouped together to create
little regions within the building for the purpose of pro-
viding a more effective ventilation plan rather than rely-
ing on a high air changes per hour rate. Tempered ven-
The completed renovation with rooftop solar PV. tilation air is supplied at an increased ventilation rate
and delivered within breathing range. Material selection
Indoor Air Quality including no-VOC paints, adhesives and sealants and
The building uses both natural and mechanical venti- formaldehyde-free materials ensures healthy indoor air
lation to meet ASHRAE Standard 55-2010 and ASHRAE quality.
Standard 62.1-2010. A dedicated outdoor air system Acoustic wood fiber panels were added to the historic
(DOAS) was integrated to ensure a comfortable and ceiling along with an integral acoustic floor deck at Level
healthy environment throughout the space with low 2 to promote acoustic comfort. The workshop and media
level exhaust where required by the particular art mate- theater are isolated using high performance acoustic
rials being used, user-controlled supply ventilation and glazing.

56 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


2019 ASHRAE TECHNOLOGY AWARD CASE STUDIES

Innovation extended for another 100 years.


SFAI at Fort Mason Pier 2 is a pow- Take the new hydronic radiant slab
erful example of design for change that was installed over the original
spanning over 100 years. This his- pier deck, for example (Figure 1). The
toric structure has been promoting radiant slab, with a little help from
the concept of long life/loose fit by the tempered mechanical ventila-
being successfully reused, adapted tion air, meets all heating needs
and transformed. The rehabilita- of the large volume of space and
tion of the 1909 concrete and steel enhances thermal comfort by creat-
structure capitalizes not only on ing an insulated barrier from the
the embodied energy of the exist- Bay. On top of this, it is preserving FIGURE 1 Thermal image of radiant slab.

ing building materials, but also on the historic tracks by encapsulating


the cultural history. This adaptive the pier deck. cooling for conference rooms with
reuse results in a 74.9% reduction Using the building thermal mass higher internal loads and exterior
in greenhouse gas (GHG) impact and temperate climate, no mechani- windows. Limited high-occupancy
from an equivalent new construc- cal cooling is provided for 90% of program spaces have separate local
tion building (per Athena Impact spaces. Instead, existing building HVAC units.
Estimator). thermal mass is used to keep spaces Ideally situated in the heart of Fort
By integrating energy-efficient cool during warm afternoons. Mason, the SFAI campus welcomes
systems and structural upgrades, Highly efficient variable refriger- an interaction between students and
the life of this building has been ant flow (VRF) systems provide the community. By offering a variety

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 57


2019 ASHRAE TECHNOLOGY AWARD CASE STUDIES

Figure 2 SFAI ENERGY SUMMARY. economy was an overarching pri-


ority to meet their teaching goals
50,000 5,000
within a limited budget. FMCAC,
45,000 4,500
40,000 4,000
SFAI and the design team actively

Natural Gas (Therms)


sought a variety of complex fund-
Electricity (kWh)

35,000 3,500
30,000 3,000 ing sources, including the National
25,000 2,500 Park Service’s Save American
20,000 2,000 Treasures program, Federal Historic
15,000 1,500
Preservation Tax Incentives program
10,000 1,000
5,000 500
and a grant from the Department of
0 0 Energy to successfully finance the
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun project.
2017 | 2018
Working with SFAI, the design
PV Production (kWh) Electricity Usage (kWh) Gas Usage (Therms)
team rehabilitated the existing
structure and integrated the new
of public programs and classes, free terms. In the short term, studios and program elements efficiently and
galleries, and open performance teaching spaces can be easily recon- with multiple benefits. We opti-
spaces, the project supports SFAI’s figured and adapted to serve evolv- mized the radiant zone shapes to
mission to make the creation of ing programs and technologies. The use a low cost radiant mat system
art transparent to the public. The building spaces are generalized to nearly halving the cost of the radiant
site’s location is within Fort Mason allow for future adaptation for alter- tubing. Program areas serve mul-
Center for Arts & Culture (FMCAC), native uses in the long term. tiple uses for an economy of space.
a vibrant culture hub of 24 arts Located in an active seismic The shared spaces are flexible and
organizations with two million visi- region, the rehabilitation included adaptable with sliding glass panels
tors annually. It positions artists at a seismic upgrade for life safety and that allow for an open or a secured
the center of public life and con- to preserve and protect the historic configuration depending on the
veniently creates awareness of the landmark. The large solar PV array event or exhibition. The studio pods
integration of sustainable adaptive will maintain limited operations are designed to be easily and inex-
reuse of buildings. during power outages and grid pensively reconfigured over time.
failure. The design responds to the
Maintenance and dramatic physical setting and lever- Environmental Impact
Operations ages the connection between natural Preserving Ecology. Over the last
For both cost-effectiveness and forces and the built environment. two centuries, the San Francisco
ease of operation, very few systems Working closely with the National Bay edge has been highly altered.
require control or maintenance. Park Service, the design team This includes at Fort Mason where
Boilers, pumps, DOAS air-handler addressed the requirements of the in 1882 the Army created this mili-
fans, radiant zone valves and VRF International Dark-Sky Association tary port over a diverse ecosystem
systems are integrated to provide a program to determine appropriate that supports 500 species. However,
system that is simple to operate and exterior and interior lighting strate- near Pier 2 remains one of the last
maintain. Easily accessible valves gies, as well as time clock/occupancy unaltered sections of the bay edge—
and manifolds keep the mainte- controls to address light pollution. Black Point. Here, the public can
nance and operations crew happy. directly connect with both the man-
Overall, this simplified system has Cost-Effectiveness made waterfront and the naturally
fewer components, controls and SFAI embarked on their campus rocky bay edge. The interior of the
ultimately less cost. expansion in one of the most chal- SFAI campus maximizes connec-
The building was designed to pro- lenging and expensive real estate tion to the Bay, city and park with
vide flexibility in both short and long markets in the world. Design for large storefront infill in the historic

58 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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2019 ASHRAE TECHNOLOGY AWARD CASE STUDIES

roll-up door openings along the integrating energy-efficient systems system—the largest installation on a
entire length of the pier. and structural upgrades, this build- national landmark—produces 100%
Adaptive Reuse and Embodied ing promotes the preservation of of the required electricity for Pier
Energy. The existing resources from history from the past and energy for 2 and is a highly visible symbol for
the building itself and the preserved the future. a carbon neutral future. Required
historical structure were strategi- Renewable Energy. A roof- electricity is lessened through the
cally reused in this rehabilitation. By top 255 kW photovoltaic solar efficient mechanical system and
daylighting strategy.
Water Use Reduction. Since the
project is located on a 500 ft (152 m)
pier over the Bay, the design of the
new plumbing system presented
a challenge. The new fixtures and
routing needed to be efficiently and
strategically placed to minimize
costly under-pier work between the
existing building slab and the Bay
surface.
To preserve the historic military
landmark setting, there is not any
landscaping, irrigation or site
water use at Pier 2. To accommo-
date the students, the required
art studio sinks, brush washing
stations, solids collection points,
and material storage cabinets
were minimized and located at key
points throughout the building.
The placement of the sink pods
was thus consolidated to optimize
the length of supply and waste pip-
ing, minimize material consump-
tion and reduce construction cost.
During full occupancy, the design
is intended to reduce building
water consumption by 32% from
baseline by implementing ultralow
flow fixtures and point of use
water heaters.
Through tours, public events,
press and conferences, the story of
this sustainable historic renova-
tion is being shared widely and
highlights the importance of advo-
cating for state/federal programs
for renewable energy rebates and
energy-efficiency initiatives.

60 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


COLUMN ENGINEER’S NOTEBOOK

Stephen W. Duda

Selecting and Specifying


Pipe Flow Meters
BY STEPHEN W. DUDA, P.E., BEAP, HBDP, HFDP, FELLOW ASHRAE

In my most recent “Engineer’s Notebook” column (May 2019), I discussed how


measuring airflow rates is an important part of most HVAC controls systems and
reviewed pros and cons of several types of duct-mounted airflow measurement
devices in various HVAC applications. This month’s column is intended to help
designers and engineers select and specify fluid flow measurement devices for
mounting in HVAC piping systems, which I will call “flow meters” hereinafter.
In my experience, measuring chilled water, heating various flow meter types but seems to lack a list of pros
hot water, condenser water, or steam flow in HVAC sys- and cons and recommended applications for each. So
tems is less common than measuring ducted airflow. this column hopes to expand upon the Handbook chap-
Most sequences of operation for hydronic systems con- ter and assist the reader in understanding the pros and
trol are based on water temperature, static pressure, cons of each type and ultimately in making an applica-
valve position, and the like. Other control sequences tion-based selection.
merely need to know whether water is flowing or not,
such as with sail switches. But there are certainly cases Electromagnetic Flow Meters
where continuous flow rate measurement is specified Permanent in-line electromagnetic-type flow meters
or desired, including medical or educational campus (Figure 1) are available for measuring flow both locally and
applications where an owner wishes to track and/or via a transmitter to send signals to a building automation
internally bill individual campus buildings for their system (BAS). These are mounted in the line of pipe, usu-
HVAC hydronic water use. Many green building evalu- ally joined to the pipe via bolted flanges as if they were
ation criteria include flow metering as a recommended a valve, strainer, or pipe fitting. They feature no moving
step for comparing or trending building energy use parts and are suitable for bidirectional flow measure-
under the philosophy “you can’t analyze what you don’t ment. Wetted parts (those parts in contact with the fluid
measure.” whose flow is being measured) are typically constructed
Therefore, this column reviews multiple distinct non- of stainless steel or synthetic materials (for good corrosion
proprietary types of pipe system flow measurement resistance in a wide variety of fluid types).
devices that are commonly applied in HVAC systems and The operating principle for an electromagnetic flow
are commercially available from multiple manufactur-
Stephen W. Duda, P.E., is senior mechanical engineer at Ross & Baruzzini, Inc.,
ers. Subchapter 7 within Chapter 37 of the 2017 ASHRAE in St. Louis. He is a member and former chair of TC 9.1, Large Building Air-
Handbook—Fundamentals1 includes such a discussion of Conditioning Systems.

62 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


COLUMN ENGINEER’S NOTEBOOK

FIGURE 1 In-line electromagnetic flow meter. FIGURE 2 Insertion turbine flow meter.

Electronics Enclosure
Electronics Enclosure

Insertion Rod (Inside Assembly)

Ball Valve
Piping
Branch Outlet Fitting
Turbines
In-Line Flow Meter Piping

meter comes from Faraday’s Law. We know that a volt-


age will be induced in a conductive fluid when it passes only for very critical measurement applications.
through a magnetic field. Furthermore, that voltage Incidentally, there are a few manufacturers of inser-
will be directly proportional to the velocity of the con- tion electromagnetic flow meters, which offer a signifi-
ductive fluid. So, this flow meter works by generating a cant improvement on cost while sacrificing just a little of
magnetic field (meaning it needs an external source of the accuracy of the in-line type. It may be worth keeping
electric power) then measuring the induced voltage via an eye on this technology as more vendors begin to offer
electrodes in the flow tube. Fluids to be measured must such a product.
have an electrical conductivity of at least 5 µS/cm, which
covers most HVAC fluids. It would not work with, for Insertion Turbine Liquid Flow Meters
example, deionized water. Another type of permanent flow meter in HVAC sys-
In-line electromagnetic flow meters tend to be both very tems is the turbine flow meter, which is more common.
expensive (especially in larger pipe diameters) and very These are not mounted in-line as valve or fitting would
accurate—usually much more expensive and more accu- be, but instead are inserted into a standard length of
rate than we typically need in the HVAC world. Accuracy pipe via an orifice designed for that purpose (Figure 2).
for the brands I’ve reviewed are about ±0.2% of reading Some are even designed to permit installation in an
from 1.6 to 33 fps (0.5 to 10 m/s) fluid velocity, and repeat- active pipeline via “hot tap” and are therefore good for
ability is ±0.5% of reading. They can even be used at low retrofit installations without pipeline shutdown. As
flow rates, below 1 fps (0.3 m/s), with reasonable accuracy. with the previous meter, wetted parts are typically con-
In addition to excellent accuracy, another advantage is structed of stainless steel or synthetic materials for good
that you only need three diameters of upstream straight corrosion resistance.
pipe and two diameters downstream in order to achieve The operating principle for the turbine flow meter is
that accuracy. Pressure loss in the conveyed fluid is usu- fairly simple. The device includes one or two small tur-
ally negligible because there are no restrictive devices, bines inserted directly into the flowing fluid. The flow of
and no parts of the flow meter protrude into the flow passing liquid spins the turbine, and a small magnetic
area. And since these types of meters have no moving counter mounted on the turbine’s shaft counts the num-
parts, they offer long-term reliability with little mainte- ber of revolutions in a minute (rpm). Simple calibration
nance and minimal recalibration. Potential applications converts the rpm to a fluid flow rate (ft/min or m/s) and
include chilled water, hydronic hot water, condenser then to a volumetric flow rate (gpm or L/s) based on a
water, water/glycol/brine solutions, and bidirectional known pipe diameter. A single turbine may be used in
flow detection for primary/secondary decouplers, and small-diameter piping (NPS 2 or DN 50 and smaller) and
domestic water. They are not appropriate for steam dual independent turbines with an averaging feature
systems, as they are rated for fluids up to 212°F [100°C] are recommended in larger pipes.
only. Because of the high cost, I typically specify these Turbine flow meters are a good compromise between

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 63


COLUMN ENGINEER’S NOTEBOOK

lower cost and respectable accuracy and reliability, mak- the lateral pressure changes, first on one side and then
ing them probably the most common choice for HVAC on the other. The frequency at which another vortex is
hydronics purposes. Accuracy is typically about ±2% of shed is proportional to the velocity of the flowing liquid.
reading from 0.4 to 30 fps (0.1 to 9 m/s) fluid velocity. The A microprocessor can be used to display totalizer flow,
cost of these devices is significantly lower than electro- flow rate, temperature, pressure, time, and date; micro-
magnetic flow meters, especially in larger pipe sizes, as processors can also be used as alarms for high and low
the cost of an insertion turbine device does not increase flow rate and temperature.
nearly as rapidly (it grows in physical size in only one This type of flow meter includes stainless steel wetted
dimension) compared to the in-line pipe device, which parts and flange pipe connections for permanent in-line
grows in three dimensions as pipe size increases. service. Performance is published at 10:1 turndown with
In addition to somewhat less accuracy, another disad- ±1.5% accuracy over full-flow range, including all errors
vantage of this type of flow meter is a longer straight run associated with velocity measurement, temperature and/
requirement. You will need 10 diameters of upstream or pressure measurement, and density compensation.
straight pipe and five diameters downstream to achieve One important advantage of the vortex shedding flow
the quoted accuracy. There is some pressure loss in the meter is that it can be used for steam and gases in addi-
conveyed fluid because of the protruding turbine and tion to typical HVAC hydronic applications. If specifiable
shaft, but it is typically less than 1 psig [7 kPa]. Turbine options are included, it can withstand temperatures as
flow meters provide unidirectional flow measurement. high as 500°F [260°C] and pressures as high as 1,500 psi
Since these types of meters have moving parts, they can- [10 MPa], making it a good choice for process applications.
not be expected to last as long between recalibrations A key disadvantage is a very long straight pipe length
and/or maintenance attention as those devices with no requirement, ranging from 10 to 50 straight pipe diame-
moving parts. ters upstream of the device and another five straight pipe
Typical uses for this type of flow meter include chilled diameters downstream. The inlet-side straight length can
water, hydronic hot water, condenser water, domes- be shortened by installing an insertion flow straightener,
tic water, process cooling, and brine. This is the type I but at added cost and pressure drop. This is the type of
typically recommend and specify most often in HVAC flow meter I typically recommend and specify most often
hydronic applications where extreme accuracy is usu- in HVAC steam applications.
ally not necessary, because I find that it offers a good
combination of low initial cost, an acceptable degree of Clamp-On Ultrasonic Flow Meters
accuracy, and reasonable longevity. If you specify high- The operating principle for the ultrasonic flow meter
temperature construction materials, a variation on the involves the transit-time technique. The flow meter uses
turbine flow meter can also be used in steam systems, a pair of transducers, with each transducer sending and
pressurized high-temperature hot water systems, and receiving ultrasonic signals through the fluid (Figure 3).
pumped steam condensate lines that always run full. It When the fluid is flowing, signal transit time in the
is not suitable for measuring flow in pipes that operate downstream direction is shorter than in the upstream
less than completely full, such as with gravity conden- direction; the difference between these transit times is
sate return systems, because at lower flow rates, the proportional to the flow velocity.
fluid could miss the turbines completely. One key advantage of this type of meter is that it can
be used on existing piping that is in service without cut-
Vortex Shedding Flow Meters ting into the pipe itself, making it the meter of choice in
The operating principle for the vortex shedding flow many retrofit applications, or in troubleshooting during
meter (in-line, similar to Figure 1) involves immersing a commissioning or test-and-balance. Since the meter
blunt-shaped object in a stream of fluid flow. The fluid clamps onto the outside of the pipe, it causes no pres-
separates and generates small low-pressure vortices that sure drop in the fluid being measured, other than the
alternate from side to side and are shed along the length pressure drop in the piping itself. Because the meter is
of, and downstream from, the blunt object. Sensors never in contact with the fluid being measured, it is use-
located downstream from the blunt object can detect ful for metering corrosive, toxic, high-purity or sterile

64 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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COLUMN ENGINEER’S NOTEBOOK

fluids. Ultrasonic flow meters can also be used on large FIGURE 3 Clamp-on ultrasonic flow meter.
diameter piping (up to NPS 24 or DN 600), whereas
a full-body in-line type meter may be prohibitively
Electronics Enclosure
expensive in those large sizes.
Since no tapping or cutting of the pipe is required, the
cost of labor to install is lower. Materials of construction
do not need to be compatible with the fluid being mea-
sured. Performance is published at ±1% accuracy for liq- Clamp-On Transducers
uids and ±2% for gases over a very wide range of velocities.
A disadvantage of the ultrasonic meter it that it must
Piping, Any Size
be individually configured and programmed for each
specific application. The customer must specify data, Mounting Hardware
including pipe material and pipe wall thickness, and
the exact fluid being metered. Once it is configured for It gives the building or campus owner a way to track
a given application (for example, natural gas in a Type L individual building use or even to bill individual tenants
copper pipe), it cannot be easily installed for a different for their chilled water and heating water usage based on
service (e.g., steam in a Schedule 40 steel pipe) without energy used.
somewhat complex field reprogramming. The cost of the This meter combines any of the flow meter technolo-
electronics and clamp-on transducers is comparatively gies discussed herein with a pair of temperature sen-
high when used on small-diameter piping, versus the sors in the supply and return piping. In my experience,
insertion turbine type, but the relative cost differential the insertion turbine flow meter is the most common
is more favorable on larger piping. choice for routine hydronic system thermal energy
Straight pipe length requirement is typically 10 straight metering. By measuring flow rate of either chilled
pipe diameters upstream of the device and another five water or hydronic heating water, in combination with
straight pipe diameters downstream. This may defeat the temperature sensors measuring the rise (or drop) in
previously mentioned advantage of installation in a retro- temperature entering and leaving a building, a Btu
fit if suitable straight lengths of piping cannot be found in (kW) measurement is an easy calculation. Advantages
the run where flow measurement is desired. and disadvantages match those of the flow meter itself,
I typically apply the permanent version of this meter plus the additional inaccuracy of temperature measure-
on natural gas piping for non-custody transfer conve- ment—now flow rate inaccuracy and temperature mea-
nience metering, not for utility company billing, but surement inaccuracy could compound each other. To
for purposes internal to a building, such as metering minimize that inaccuracy, the two temperature sensors
natural gas to each laboratory in a university research are usually bath-calibrated and matched for the specific
building. It is also the meter I choose for gravity steam temperature range for each application. The calculated
condensate return lines where flow may be less than differential temperature used in the energy calculation
full pipe volume. And, it is sometimes the only practical is typically accurate to within 0.15°F (0.08°C), including
option in existing systems operating 24/7/365 when it is the error from individual temperature sensors, sensor
not allowable for system shutdown to install in-line or matching, input offsets, and calculations.
insertion style flow meters.
Conclusion
Thermal Energy Meters This column offers an overview of several available
Finally, I want to mention thermal energy meters technologies for selecting and specifying pipe flow
(often known as “Btu meters” in the United States). metering in building HVAC systems, in an attempt to
Thermal energy meters are found in some multi-tenant add to and expand upon the information provided in
buildings that have a central heating and/or central the ASHRAE Handbook—Fundamentals.1 While there is not
chilled water plant, or at each building in a campus one correct answer for all flow measurement applica-
environment with a central heating/chilled water plant. tions, I most often choose the following:

66 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


COLUMN ENGINEER’S NOTEBOOK

1. For new HVAC hydronic ap- TABLE 1 Summary of common HVAC flow meter types.
plications, including chilled water, FLOW METER PIPE COMPARATIVE COST* MID-RANGE REQUIRED PIPE DIAMETERS
hot water, and condenser water, I TECHNOLOGY MOUNTING NPS 2/DN 50 NPS 8/DN 200 ACCURACY UPSTREAM DOWNSTREAM
choose insertion turbine flow me- Electromagnetic In-Line $1,900 $5,800 0.2% 3 2
ters; for sizes larger than NPS 2 [DN Turbine Insertion $700 $700 2.0% 10 5
50], I specify them to be dual-inde- Vortex Shedding In-Line $3,800 $9,200 1.5% 10 to 50 5
pendent turbines with an averaging
Ultrasonic Clamp-On $8,200 $8,200 2.0% 10 5
feature. *Costs are in U.S. dollars and should be used for comparison only, not for estimating or purchase.
2. For steam flow measurement, I
usually apply vortex-shedding flow meters. 6. For very critical measurement applications (exclud-
3. For pumped steam condensate flow measurement, I ing steam) where very high accuracy is necessary, I sug-
suggest using the insertion turbine flow meters specified gest specifying the electromagnetic flow meter, in spite
for higher-temperature components. of its high cost.
4. For gravity steam condensate return lines where 7. See Table 1 for additional guidance.
flow may be less than full pipe volume, I typically apply Ask the flow meter manufacturer for recommenda-
clamp-on ultrasonic flow meters. tions when metering cooling tower water, which may
5. For retrofit applications and for troubleshooting vary slightly in viscosity and in particulate concentra-
applications in existing systems where pipe service shut- tion, as to how these variations may affect the accuracy
down is inconvenient or worse, I suggest specifying the of each of these types of measuring devices.
clamp-on ultrasonic flow meters. I also specify these for References
non-custody transfer natural gas flow measurement. 1. 2017 ASHRAE Handbook—Fundamentals, Chap. 37, pp. 37.20-37.24.

68 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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COLUMN PRODUCTIVITY—ASHRAE

Editor’s Note: The following columns regarding indoor air quality and occupant productivity appear in the September issues of
ASHRAE Journal and CIBSE Journal.

Do Indoor CO2 Levels


Directly Affect Perceived
Air Quality, Health, or
Work Performance?
BY WILLIAM FISK, FELLOW/LIFE MEMBER ASHRAE; PAWEL WARGOCKI, PH.D., ASSOCIATE MEMBER ASHRAE; XIAOJING ZHANG

This article summarizes the findings of 10 recent studies investigating whether


increased carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, with other factors constant, influence
perceived air quality, health, or work performance of people.
Concentrations of CO2 in occupied buildings exceed documented associations of indoor CO2 concentrations
outdoor concentrations because CO2 is a product of with perceived air quality, health symptoms, and per-
peoples’ metabolism. Indoor CO2 concentrations are formance have been attributed to the other indoor air
indicators of the rates of building ventilation with out- pollutants with changes in concentrations indicated by
door air per person. A higher indoor CO2 concentra- the changes in indoor concentrations of CO2.
tion is often considered an indicator of poorer indoor Since 2012, 10 studies12–23 have investigated whether
air quality (IAQ), although many factors unrelated to increases in moderate CO2 concentrations, with other
indoor CO2 concentrations influence IAQ. When indoor conditions constant, adversely influence perceptions
CO2 concentrations increase and decrease, concentra- of indoor air quality, health, or cognitive performance
tions of other indoor air pollutants emitted from indoor in humans. The study features are described in Table 5
sources, particularly the bioeffluents from humans, in the IAQScience website.24 These studies have been
may also increase and decrease. Increased indoor CO2 performed with subjects in research facilities enabling
concentrations have often been associated (correlated) CO2 concentrations to be modified by adding pure CO2
with decreases in perceived air quality, with increases in to indoor air while maintaining all, or nearly all, other
acute health symptoms, and with reductions in aspects conditions constant. By providing high ventilation rates,
of human performance.1-3 Research prior to 2012, these studies have maintained low concentrations of
indicated that levels of CO2 itself, with other condi- bioeffluents. All studies maintained subjects unaware
tions constant, had no significant impacts on peoples’ of the CO2 concentrations. All studies recruited healthy
health or performance unless the CO2 concentrations
far exceeded the levels found in buildings.4-10 The William Fisk is a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley,
Calif. Pawel Wargocki, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Technical University of Denmark,
occupational limit for CO2 in the U.S. is 5,000 ppm Lyngby, Denmark. Xiaojing Zhang is an assistant professor at Beijing University of
for a 40 hour workweek.11 Therefore, the previously Technology, Beijing, China.

70 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


COLUMN PRODUCTIVITY—ASHRAE

FIGURE 1 Associations of CO2 concentrations with cognitive performance.

Statistically significant effect (P<0.05) # No statistically significant dose-response trend


12
Reduced Percent of Detected Errors in Proofreading Test 12
14
12
Reduced Reading Speed in Proofreading Test 12
14
13
Reduced Decision Making Test (SMS) 17
18
# 20
Pilot's Performance from Flight Simulator Data 16

Pilot's Performance Based on Examiner 16

Reduced Cognition Battery Speed # 20


Cognition Battery Accuracy # 20

Reduced Cognitive Performance 22

0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 3,500 4,000 4,500 5,000 5,500 14,500 15,000
CO2 Concentrations (ppm)

FIGURE 2 Associations of CO2 concentrations with perceived outcomes.

12
Statistically significant effect (P<0.05)
12
14
23
Reduced Perceived Air Quality
19
18

12
12
14
Increased Fatigue 23
19
18
Increased Sick Building
22
Syndrome Symptoms)

0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 3,500 4,000 4,500 5,000 5,500 14,500 15,000
CO2 Concentrations (ppm)

adults, often college-age adults, as subjects. One study Figures 1, 2 and 3 depict the major results of this body of
employed pilots16,21 as subjects, another employed sub- research with each horizontal line representing results
marine staff,18 and a third employed staff trained as from a single study or a part of a study. The circles indi-
astronauts.20 All but one of these studies18 measured cate the CO2 concentrations employed in the study. A
changes in perceptual, health, or performance outcomes filled in circle indicates a statistically significant (SS)
for each subject, with each subject exposed to multiple worsening in the outcome at the indicated CO2 concen-
CO2 concentrations. This design eliminated the poten- tration relative to the CO2 concentration denoted by the
tial errors that may occur when comparing different leftmost circle. The numbers to the right of each hori-
groups of subjects. One study18 employed a study design zontal line indicate the data source.
with three different groups of subjects, each group With respect to subjects’ cognitive performance, there
exposed to a different level of CO2 in the indoor air. are substantial inconsistencies among the results of

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 71


COLUMN PRODUCTIVITY—ASHRAE

these experiments. Five studies12,13,16,17,20 found SS with the reduction in speed at 1,200 ppm being SS. The
decreases in aspects of cognitive performance, when fourth study12 found a SS decrease in performance of
CO2 concentrations were increased and, in some a proof reading task but not in other tasks, when CO2
instances, the performance decreases were quite sub- levels were increased to 3,000 ppm, and proof-reading
stantial in magnitude. Concentrations of CO2 as low as performance decreased only in one of two experiments.
approximately 1,000 ppm, relative to 500 to 600 ppm, Five additional studies14,18,19,22,23 found that CO2 levels
significantly reduced performance.13,17 Four of these had no SS effects on performance. Four of these stud-
five studies13,16,17,20 employed demanding tests of cog- ies14,19,22,23 used tests of task performance (e.g., arith-
nitive performance, either a 90-minute assessment of metic tasks, text typing, proof reading, memory) as well
decision making via a test system called the strategic as tests of reaction time and attention. In one study,23
management simulation (SMS) or a 180-minute test of CO2 levels as high as 5,000 ppm did not influence per-
pilots’ performance in flight simulations. One of these formance. One of these studies,19 was conducted at high
studies20 found an SS reduction in decision-making indoor air temperature of 95°F (35°C) and increased
performance at 1,200 ppm CO2 relative to 600 ppm, but CO2 did not modify responses attributable to increased
performance decreases were not found at 2,500 or 5,000 temperature. The fourth study18 found CO2 levels as
ppm CO2. Besides assessing performance in decision- high as 15,000 ppm to not affect performance in the SMS
making, this study also employed a battery of more test. Overall, among the 10 studies, three13,16,17 provide
traditional cognitive performance tests and perfor- strong evidence of reductions in cognitive performance
mance in this battery of tests was generally not affected with increased levels of CO2. Two additional studies12,20
by CO2 concentrations. The exception was a general provide limited evidence of cognitive performance
trend toward reduced performance with 1,200 ppm CO2 decreases with increased CO2 levels, but also include

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72 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


COLUMN PRODUCTIVITY—ASHRAE

evidence of CO2 not affecting performance. The results associated with the cognitive performance test might
of one additional study,22 suggest a possible effect of explain the discrepancies among findings. Higher CO2
increased CO2. The mechanism by which increased CO2 levels were associated with diminished performance
concentrations may affect cognitive performance was primarily from studies with very demanding, likely
not clearly identified in any of the studies. A possible stressful, tests of performance. In support of their
explanation is provided by another study,25 albeit one hypothesis, they found a tendency for subjects to have
that increased CO2 levels by restricting ventilation rate higher salivary α-amylase concentrations, suggesting
per person, hence concentrations of other bioeffluents higher mental stress, when CO2 concentrations were
increased when the CO2 levels were higher. In this study, increased. Further support for this hypothesis comes
as subjects were exposed to levels of CO2 increasing from from findings that pilots’ performance in flight simu-
approximately 400 to 3,000 ppm their forced expiratory lations was reduced when their heart rate variability
volume in 1 second and forced vital capacity decreased. indicated a high level of stress.21 Also, two studies12,15
Using models and prior published data, with exposure report some increases in blood pressure with exposure
to higher levels of CO2, the authors predicted increases to higher CO2 levels, suggesting higher levels of stress.
in arterial CO2 partial pressure and corresponding The authors of two papers hypothesized that the dis-
increases in the bicarbonate content of the blood with a crepancies among research findings when subjects took
reduction in blood pH. The increased blood bicarbonate stressful cognitive performance tests was a consequence
and reduction in blood pH was suggested as the expla- of the different types of subjects. In one paper,20 the
nation for a change in brain functioning when occu- authors suggested that the astronaut-like operations
pants are exposed to higher levels of CO2. personnel and submariners might have been better able
Two papers15,19 hypothesized that the level of stress to compensate for effects of elevated CO2 due to their

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 73


COLUMN PRODUCTIVITY—ASHRAE

FIGURE 3 Associations of CO2 concentrations with physiological outcomes.

Statistically significant effect (P<0.05)


12
12
15
Increased Respiratory Frequency 23
19
22
15
Increased Exhaled CO2 Concentration (ETCO2) 23
19
12
12
Increased Diastolic Blood Pressure 15
23
19
12
12
Increased Heart Rate 15
23
19
22
Increased Mental Effort Based on Heart Rate 12
Variability (HRV) 12

Increased Stress Based on HRV 21


15
Increased Stress Based on Salivary α-amylase 23
19

Sleepiness Measured with


Electroencephalogram (EEG) 22

0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 3,500 4,000 4,500 5,000 5,500
CO2 Concentrations (ppm)

prior training. The authors of the other paper20 hypoth- that blood pressure, respiration rate and volume, and
esized that their subjects (submariners) might have been mental effort (based on heart period variability) were
unaffected by CO2 as a consequence of their prior regu- increased with higher CO2 concentrations. In contrast,
lar occupational exposure to CO2 at 2,500 ppm or higher other studies15,19,23 generally found no statistically sig-
concentrations. nificant effects of CO2 levels on a broad range of physi-
Five of the studies12,14,18,19,23 investigated whether sub- ological outcomes except for increases in the concentra-
jects’ perceptions of IAQ, e.g., acceptability of indoor air, tions of CO2 in exhaled air, called end-tidal CO2, and two
was influenced by CO2 concentrations. Only one study12 instances of increases in heart rate. In one study,15 heart
found that subjects reported air quality as less accept- rate decreased less during the exposure session with
able with 3,000 ppm, 4,000 ppm, and 5,000 ppm CO2 3,000 ppm CO2 vs. 500 ppm CO2 while another study22
relative to 600 ppm. reported a SS increase in heart rate with exposure to
Six studies, reported in eight papers,12,14,15,18,19,21-23 2,680 ppm CO2 relative to 700 ppm CO2. Another study19
investigated whether the level of CO2 influenced health found that levels of α-amylase, markers of mental stress,
symptoms reported on questionnaires or health-related were higher with 3,000 ppm CO2 compared to 380 ppm
physiological outcomes such as blood pressure, pulse, CO2. Other research26 has shown that exposure of mice
respiration rate, markers of stress, and exhaled concen- to 2,000 and 4,000 ppm CO2 for two hours triggers an
trations of CO2. Four studies that included question- inflammatory response and vascular injury with genera-
naires on acute health symptoms,14,19,22,23 including tion of microparticles by immune system cells. Also, in
fatigue, found that CO2 level had no statistically sig- human immune system cells, microparticle generation
nificant effect on symptoms. One study12 reported that resulted from increased CO2 exposures.27
subjects were significantly more tired with 5,000 ppm Main findings of this research are summarized below.
CO2 relative to 600 ppm CO2. This study12 also found • There is very limited evidence that CO2 levels below

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kitchen ventilation
be taken too far?
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5,000 ppm influence perceived air
quality, acute health symptoms, or
physiological outcomes other than
end-tidal CO2 and heart rate. The
studies using mice and human im-
mune cells (in vitro) indicate that
higher CO2 levels trigger inflamma-
tory responses, but these findings
have not yet been demonstrated in
people.
• With respect to acute health
symptoms and perceived air quality,
the study results, with one excep-
tion,12 are consistent and find no
effects at CO2 below 5,000 ppm.
• The results of research on the
effects of moderate CO2 levels on hu-
man cognitive performance are not
consistent. Some studies find effects
of higher CO2 concentrations on cog-
nitive performance while other stud-
ies find no effects on this outcome.
• There is substantial, but still in-
consistent, evidence that performance
on challenging tests of decision-mak-
ing and challenging flight simulations
is worsened by CO2 concentrations as
low as 1,000 ppm. The mechanisms
underlying the reductions in perfor-
mance are unknown.
• Further research is needed to
address the discrepancies among
the current findings. Additionally,
research to date has not investigated
the effects of CO2 on children, the
elderly, and people with health
problems. Also, the effects of long-
term continuous or periodic expo-
sures to elevated CO2 levels has not
been investigated. Finally, the extent
to which CO2 mediates the influence
of other factors on health or perfor-
mance requires more research.

References
1. Seppänen, O.A., W.J. Fisk, M.J.
Mendell. 1999. “Association of ventilation
rates and CO2 concentrations with health

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COLUMN PRODUCTIVITY—ASHRAE

and other responses in commercial and institutional buildings.” 20. Scully, R.R., et al. 2019. “Effects of acute exposures to carbon
Indoor Air 9(4):226–52. dioxide on decision making and cognition in astronaut-like
2. Sundell, J., et al. 2011. “Ventilation rates and health: subjects.” npj Microgravity 5(1):17.
multidisciplinary review of the scientific literature.” Indoor Air 21(3): 21. Cao X., et al. 2019. “Heart rate variability and performance of
191–204. commercial airline pilots during flight simulations.” International
3. Fisk , W.J. 2017. “The ventilation problem in schools: literature Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16:237.
review.” Indoor Air 27:1039–1051. 22. Snow, S., et al. 2019. “Exploring the physiological,
4. Case, E., J. Haldane, 1941. “Human physiology under high neurophysiological and cognitive performance effects of elevated
pressure: I. Effects of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and cold.” Journal of carbon dioxide concentrations indoors.” Building and Environment
Hygiene 41(3):225–249. 156:243-252.
5. Fothergill, D., D. Hedges, J. Morrison. 1991. “Effects of CO2 and 23. Zhang, X.,Wargocki, Z. Lian. 2016. “Human responses to
N2 partial pressures on cognitive and psychomotor performance.” carbon dioxide, a follow-up study at recommended exposure
Undersea Biomedical Research 18(1):1–19. limits in non-industrial environments.” Building and Environment
6. Vercruyssen, M., E. Kamon, P.A. Hancock. 2007. “Effects 100:162–171.
of carbon dioxide inhalation on psychomotor and mental 24. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 2018. “Building
performance during exercise and recovery.” International Journal of ventilation, supporting information.” [cited 2018 December 3];
Occupational Safety and Ergonomics 13(1):15–27. Available from: https://iaqscience.lbl.gov/vent-info.
7. Sayers, J., et al. 1987. “Effects of carbon dioxide on mental 25. Shriram, S., K. Ramamurthy, S. Ramakrishnan. 2019. “Effect
performance.” Journal of Applied Physiology 63(1): 25–30. of occupant-induced indoor CO2 concentration and bioeffluents on
8. Sheehy, J.B., E. Kamon, D. Kiser. 1982. “Effects of carbon human physiology using a spirometric test.” Building and Environment
dioxide inhalation on psychomotor and mental performance 149:58–67.
during exercise and recovery.” Human Factors 24(5):581–588. 26. Thom, S.R., et al. 2017. “Inflammatory responses to acute
9. Henning, R., et al. 1985. “Behavioral impairment with elevations of carbon dioxide in mice.” Journal of Applied Physiology
normobaric, hyperoxic 6% CO2.” in Undersea and Hyperbaric 123(2):297–302.
Medical Society Annual Scientific Meeting. Long Beach, Calif. 27. Thom, S.R., et al. 2017. “Increased carbon dioxide levels
10. Consolazio, W., et al., 1947. “Effects on man of high stimulate neutrophils to produce microparticles and activate the
concentrations of carbon dioxide in relation to various oxygen nucleotide-binding domain-like receptor 3 inflammasome.” Free
pressures during exposures as long as 72 hours.” American Journal of Radical Biology and Medicine 106:406–416.
Physiology-Legacy Content. 151(2):479–503.
11. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health
Administration. 2018. Table Z-1 “Limits for air contaminants.”
[cited 2018 December 7]; Available from: https://www.osha.gov/ Precision Discharge Air Control
laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.1000TABLEZ1.
with the Rawal APR-E® Valve
12. Kajtár, L., L. Herczeg. 2012. “Influence of carbon-dioxide
concentration on human well-being and intensity of mental work.” Control any single or 2-stage DX system to a precise discharge
Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service 116(2):145–169. air setpoint with our electrically driven & electronically
13. Satish, U., et al. 2012. “Is CO2 an indoor pollutant? Direct controlled APR-E™. This Rawal Valve is an external compressor
effects of low-to-moderate CO2 concentrations on human decision- unloader for aftermarket installations. The APR-E™ provides
making performance.” Environmental Health Perspectives 120(12):1671– modulation for any DX air-conditioning system and is easily
1677. integrated into an existing BAS/BMS or with a stand-alone
14. Zhang, X., et al., 2017. “Effects of exposure to carbon dioxide controller for New or Retrofit Systems.
and bioeffluents on perceived air quality, self-assessed acute health
symptoms and cognitive performance.” Indoor Air 27:47–64. E
OBTAIN THY
15. Zhang, X.,Wargocki, Z. Lian. 2017. “Physiological responses FLEXIBILIT D
CH IL LE
during exposure to carbon dioxide and bioeffluents at levels OF A STEM
WATER SYA
typically occurring indoors.” Indoor Air 27:65–77. ON
ET!
DX BUDG
16. Allen, J.G., et al. 2018. “Airplane pilot flight performance
on 21 maneuvers in a flight simulator under varying carbon
dioxide concentrations.” Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental
Epidemiology https://doi.org/10.1038/s41370-018-0055-8.
17. Allen, J.G., et al. 2016. “Associations of cognitive function scores
with carbon dioxide, ventilation, and volatile organic compound
exposures in office workers: a controlled exposure study of green • Dew Point Control for
and conventional office environments.” Environmental Health critical environments
Perspectives (Online). 124(6):805-812. • Applicable to any
VAV/MUA/DOAS systems
18. Rodeheffer, C.D., et al. 2018. “Acute exposure to low-to-
• Reset DAT to minimize
moderate carbon dioxide levels and submariner decision making.”
reheat for energy savings
Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance 89(6):520–525.
19. Liu, W., W. Zhong, P. Wargocki. 2017. “Performance, acute
health symptoms and physiological responses during exposure to RAWAL DEVICES, INC. | PHONE: 800.727.6447
FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: WWW.RAWAL.COM
high air temperature and carbon dioxide concentration.” Building SEND ALL INQUIRIES TO: SALES@RAWAL.COM
and Environment 114:96–105.

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COLUMN PRODUCTIVITY—CIBSE

Identifying the
Knowledge Gaps for IEQ
BY JULIE GODEFROY

A key focus for the revision of CIBSE TM40 has been to define performance criteria for
significant environmental factors, underpinned by scientific evidence from medical
bodies such as the World Health Organization and Public Health England wherever
available, as detailed in the recent CIBSE Journal supplement on Health and Wellbeing,
June 2019. However, the work is constrained by gaps in current understanding, which
combine broadly into three strands:
• How individual environmental factors affect health, Institute for Health and Care Excellence) have recently
comfort, and cognitive performance . published a consultation guideline for IAQ in homes.1
• The impact of combined factors: guidelines are However, there are still gaps in a number of areas:
typically based on the impact of a single factor, rather • Exposure to multiple pollutants: cumulative effects,
than the concurrent exposure to several factors, as is and mixture effects (“cocktails”) that may reduce or
likely in real life. For example, exposure to air pollution dampen the overall effect.
and noise in locations near busy roads, or the effects of • Emerging pollutants, whether new or sparsely
cold, damp, and inadequate ventilation in low quality studied, for example those emitted by consumer prod-
housing. ucts such as air freshener, cleaning or personal care
• How to cater for a wide range of physiologies, medi- products, or by fire-retardant materials in furniture,
cal conditions, personal preferences and other criteria furnishings, etc.
that contribute to the needs of the individual. • Effects on cognitive performance and productivity
Some of these knowledge gaps may be filled in the (see sidebar on CO2).
future; for others, their complexity likely means that a • Mold, microbial contaminants and allergens such
precautionary approach will be required with informa- as dust mites: guideline levels would be very complex
tion accumulated from monitoring over time, to evolve a to define and are unlikely to emerge in the near future.
range of environmental conditions and design measures Instead, CIBSE guidance follows recommendations
that do not cause detrimental effects. by the WHO2 and refers to a recommended range of
relative humidity, surface temperatures, and ventila-
Defining Good Indoor Environments— tion, based on empirical evidence of environments that
Air Quality and Humidity reduce the risk of detrimental conditions such as mold
Broad guidelines for indoor air quality are available as
starting point. In England for example, NICE (National Julie Godefroy is technical manager at CIBSE in London.

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growth and fabric degradation.


In addition, current guidelines are necessarily simpli- Effects of Internal CO2 Levels on
fied to apply to most cases for healthy adult populations. Performance—CIBSE and ASHRAE Reviews
There is a paucity of established guidance for specific Recent research reviews by CIBSE8 and ASHRAE9
have reached similar conclusions on what should be the
parts of the populations that may be more sensitive,
right limits to internal CO2 levels, and the associated
such as children, pregnant women, the elderly, or peo- potential for improvements to cognitive performance:
ple with existing medical conditions. CO2 does seem to have an effect on its own, other than
This complexity is illustrated by allergies, asthma simply being a proxy for ventilation effectiveness, but the
and sensitivities, an area where our understand- evidence is still somewhat inconsistent and most statisti-
ing of causes and effects is still relatively limited. In cally significant effects are shown as occurring at CO2
levels well above the CIBSE recommended range (itself
some cases, individuals who exhibit strong responses
based on BS EN 15251, with similar or higher levels rec-
to exposure to a particular substance may be seen ommended in its replacement BS EN 16798:1-2019).
as “canaries in the coal mine” as they exhibit a more
immediate, obvious and acute reaction to something
that affects us all but to lesser degrees. Others, such even with well-intentioned phaseouts and substitutions:
as food allergies, produce reactions that are specific for example, some concerns have been expressed that
to the individuals, whether due to medical conditions the use of low-VOC paints may lead to increased risks
or other factors such as medication or drug use, while of bacteria and mould growth, or to the use of biocides,
the rest of the population does not risk harmful effects which themselves have adverse effects.5 The following
from exposure. approach is recommended when examining potential
In other cases, individuals are convinced that exposure new solutions:
to a particular factor is causing them harm, and they • Are the product’s claimed benefits based on real-
suffer from very real symptoms, but the science does not world experiments? If so, how were the multiple param-
support a causal link to the factor being blamed; this is eters of a real-world environment controlled for? In the
the case for example with “electro-sensitivity,” or per- case of laboratory studies, how representative are they of
ceived hypersensitivity to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), real-life situations?
where metaanalyses and double-blind experiments do • Are the effects expected and proven in the long-
not support a link between such symptoms and short- or term?
long-term exposure to EMFs.3,4 • The proposed solution may have proven positive
Some evidence suggests there may be broader causes, impacts on specific target pollutants, but have possible
such as personal circumstances or the acceptance (or reactions with other components in the air been consid-
not) of new technologies, particularly when these tech- ered?
nologies are perceived as imposed without personal • What is the required extent of application of the
control. This means that built environment profession- system or product (such as in exposed area per room
als sometimes need to show an understanding of the volume), and is this realistic?
distress of individuals, while being able to support their • If a pollutant is claimed to be “removed,” by which
design proposals with the best available knowledge at process is this? In the case of absorption (or other “fixa-
the time. tion” process), is it proven over time, taking account of
possible re-release? In the case of decomposition, what
Innovative Solutions for Indoor Air Quality are the by-products and their effects?
There is much R&D regarding how to deliver the • Are the claims based on independent research?
most appropriate environments. Some features being • Is data available from existing case studies?
researched, such as indoor planting (flora) and the use The following examples illustrate the importance of
of traditional building materials, have been in use for a these questions. Indoor planting is a large R&D topic
number of years and the main uncertainty is about the in itself and is, therefore, not discussed here; there are
claims being made. There is much more uncertainty and recent articles in the CIBSE Journal and a planned CIBSE
risk of unintended consequences with new products, or publication on this.

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COLUMN PRODUCTIVITY—CIBSE

Photocatalytic removal using titanium dioxide. This implies applications for furniture, floor and wall cover-
has been studied for many years to address a range of ings rather than insulation.7 The body of evidence is not
pollutants, with potential indoor and outdoor applica- yet substantial and the effect may be small, but long-
tions including paints or wall coverings and internal standing historic applications mean there is little risk of
duct surfaces. A recent independent comprehensive unintended consequence. Other new products claim to
review6 on its potential to reduce NOx levels concluded decompose VOCs into “inert products” that would then
there is little evidence of impact in outdoor applications, be either released into the air or bound to the product
or the impact would be very small and require very large in question; however, there is little public data on the
exposed areas; it does appear to reduce NOx levels when mechanisms and by-products, and claims should be
applied indoors, but there remains much uncertainty examined carefully.
as to other possible consequences—for example, other
hazardous pollutants such as ozone may be generated Conclusions
from the photocatalytic decomposition of NOx and other An important conclusion from this evolving field is
air pollutants. to follow the precautionary principle and apply source
VOC-reducing materials. A number of claims are control, as some effects on health many only manifest
being made about materials that may help reduce themselves in the long-term, as in case of asbestos
indoor VOC levels, typically either by absorbing or and lead paint. This does not prevent innovation, but
decomposing them. One example is wool, which has requires a cautious review of claims, possible effects,
been shown to have VOC absorbent properties. The and monitoring and evaluation so as to keep new uses
extent would depend on the type of wool, and the under review.
air would need to be in contact with the wool, which Further articles in the next few months will cover
other topics, including housing refurbishment and its
IMPROVE impact on comfort, air quality, humidity and energy
consumption; and air quality monitoring procedures
ENTRYWAY DESIGN and equipment.
ASHRAE 90.1 approves AIR CURTAINS
for vestibule replacement References
1. NICE. 2019 Forthcoming. “Indoor air quality at home.”
https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-ng10022/
consultation/html-content-2.
2. WHO. 2009. "Guidelines for indoor air quality: dampness and
mould,” World Health Organization.
3. WHO. 2005. "Electromagnetic fields and public health—
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity, Backgrounder.” December.
4. SCENIHR. 2015. “Opinion on Potential health effects of
exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF).” European Commission.
5. Cullinan P. 2016. Building health and ill-health, Presentation
at annual BSRIA Briefing, November 2016, London.
6. Defra and Air Quality Expert Group. 2016. “Paints and
Surfaces for the Removal of Nitrogen Oxides.” Prepared for:
POWERED AIRE Air Curtains Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Scottish
Government; Welsh Government; and Department of the
Reduce construction costs Environment in Northern Ireland, Crown.
Increase marketable sq. ft. 7. Mansour E., R. Marriott, G. Ormondroyd. 2016. “Sheep wool
insulation for the absorption of volatile organic compounds.” Young
Cut door maintenance costs Researchers’ Forum III Innovation in Construction Materials.
Save energy! 8. Godefroy, J. 2019. “A rigorous exercise.” CIBSE Journal: Health
and Wellbeing Special. June.
888-321-AIRE (2473) 9. Fisk, W., P. Wargocki,X. Zhang. 2019. “Do indoor CO2 levels
www.poweredaire.com directly affect perceived air quality, health, or work performance?”
ASHRAE Journal 61(9).

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The Wellness Smart Home

Opportunities for
Connected Devices to
Improve IEQ
BY CHUAN HE, PH.D., MEMBER ASHRAE; CAROLYN B. SWOPE; JIE ZHAO, PH.D., MEMBER ASHRAE

Connected devices that make up “smart homes” are increasingly in high demand.
Such connected devices may include home automation systems, consumer elec-
tronic devices, home appliances, security, and communications and entertainment.
Traditionally, smart home systems employing these connected devices have aimed
at energy efficiency, convenience, and security. Connected devices have easily auto-
mated settings and are remotely controllable, and such devices can easily concentrate
energy usage at programmed times (e.g., when residents are home), and reduce it at
other times, to achieve overall energy savings and improve convenience.
As the incorporation of connected devices into smart to respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.1 Volatile
homes has evolved, however, one potential benefit is organic compounds can increase risk of short-term
often overlooked: the potential to improve residents’ health effects including eye, nose and throat irrita-
health, comfort, and well-being. In this piece, we define tion, headaches, and nausea, as well as long-term
the “wellness smart home”—the integration of wellness health problems such as kidney, liver, and central
solutions in connected home devices to help promote nervous system damage, and potentially cancer.2
health and well-being through improving IEQ, includ- Such pollutants can be remediated in home envi-
ing major opportunities in air quality, thermal comfort, ronments through different types of air purification
and lighting. technologies, e.g., media filters or activated carbon
filters. Carbon dioxide levels can also be an indicator
Air Quality of whether the home is receiving adequate outdoor
A number of air pollutants in the home environment air ventilation, which is important given that concen-
have well-established linkages to adverse health out- trations of many internally-generated pollutants are
comes for residents. Airborne particulate matter pol-
Chuan He, Ph.D., is a senior director at Delos in New York City. He is a member of ASHRAE
lution is the sixth-leading risk factor for disease and TC 2.3 and 2.4. Carolyn B. Swope, MPH, is a senior associate at Delos. Jie Zhao, Ph.D., is an
premature death globally, contributing significantly executive vice president and head of Delos Labs at Delos. He is a voting member of MTG.OBB.

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often two to five times higher indoors than outdoors.3 core body temperature for the sleep cycle.5,6 As another
Thus, it is critical to ensure both appropriate outdoor example of how temperature can affect well-being, a
air ventilation rates in addition to filtration of indoor slightly cooler temperature has been associated with
air, in order to protect residents from harmful expo- higher productivity7 and a warmer temperature with
sure to airborne pollutants. relaxation.8
A wellness smart home endeavors to maximize health Traditionally, smart homes offer residents the ability to
and well-being benefits for its residents as its primary adjust and program the temperature, but residents may
goal. Traditionally, smart homes consider energy sav- not be aware of health-based temperature standards.
ings and equipment life in determining demand opti- Wellness smart homes can help provide optimized tem-
mization for HVAC systems. A wellness smart home, peratures for health and well-being through default
however, would also consider air quality, operation- settings, while still maintaining residents’ ability to
alized as the levels of potentially harmful airborne adjust the temperature to their comfort. For example,
pollutant concentration, to be important as well. As devices could reduce the temperature before an indi-
one example of how a wellness smart home could be vidual’s scheduled bedtime to help align the body to
driven by a health priority of reducing exposure to circadian rhythms and prepare for sleep, or could warm
pollutants, a connected sensor network could monitor the temperature when residents come home to help
pollutant levels, and the system could then turn on air them decompress after a long day at work. They can also
filtration or ventilation when it detects that pollutants include setback strategies that reduce energy use during
reach and stay above programmed thresholds that are unoccupied periods.
known to pose risks to residents’ health. The filtration
or ventilation would then turn off once pollutant levels Lighting
have been reduced to an acceptable level. Smart sen- Light is the most potent environmental signal
sors could also help protect residents’ health by going impacting the human circadian clock.9 As noted ear-
beyond accessing data about air quality, to inform lier, the body has circadian rhythms synchronized to
them of whether the air quality may pose a health the Earth’s 24-hour cycle that govern the timing of
risk and to suggest tips for residents to protect their physiological functions like sleep, physical activity,
health (e.g., using kitchen exhaust fans). The wellness and energy intake. Emerging research over the last
smart home concept focuses on human health ben- few years has found that the eye not only perceives
efits, but also includes energy saving features, such as visibility effects from light, but also receives non-
occupancy-based products and systems that are able to visual signals that regulate these functions.9 Bright
detect when residents are not home and reduce energy light with a cool blue-white temperature during the
use at those times. day stimulates alertness and activity, while dimmer
and warmer light in the evening and before bed sup-
Thermal Comfort ports sleepiness. Indeed, inappropriate exposure
Indoor temperature has important effects on resi- to light – such as insufficient light in daytime or too
dent comfort as well as beneficial physiological and much light at night—has been linked to a range of
cognitive outcomes. For example, core body tempera- health and well-being outcomes, from depression
ture decreases in preparation for sleep and conversely and impaired cognitive function, to diabetes and
increases in preparation for waking. Sleep is criti- obesity.9–11
cal for physiological and mental function, yet 35% of Smart homes offer advanced functionality with
Americans do not achieve the recommended amount customizable lighting intensity and spectrum (corre-
of sleep per night.4 Fluctuations in daily ambient lated color temperature), as well as ability to control
temperature—with lower ambient temperature when lights remotely and program them for energy savings.
going to sleep, and warming temperature close to wake However, given the novelty and technical nature of
time—support a healthy sleep cycle by sending cues research on lighting’s health effects, residents may
to help keep the body’s circadian clock aligned, and not know how to independently program health-
facilitating thermoregulation to reach the appropriate based settings. Wellness smart homes can optimize

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COLUMN IEQ APPLICATIONS

artificial lighting intensity and color temperature to to make the healthy choice the easy choice. By automat-
mimic the natural pattern of sunlight, which aligns ing smart home devices, wellness smart homes can
with and may help to maintain residents’ circadian make a meaningful difference in residents’ health and
rhythm when they are in indoor spaces. Specifically, well-being.
wellness smart homes offering bright cool light to
keep residents energized and alert may help sup- References
port general functions during the day, and gradually 1. Institute for Health Metrics (IHME). 2019. GBD Compare.
Seattle, WA: University of Washington; http://ihmeuw.org/4sux.
dimming to a warm amber glow in evening may help Accessed April 22, 2019.
them get a good night’s sleep.
2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2014. “Volatile Organic
Compounds’ Impact on Indoor Air Quality.” US EPA. https://www.
Conclusion epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/volatile-organic-compounds-
Currently, smart home products and platforms have impact-indoor-air-quality. Published August 18, 2014. Accessed
May 21, 2019.
shown significant potential to help improve health as
3. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1987. “The
well as sustainability and convenience goals—specifically Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) Study:
with respect to improved air quality, thermal comfort, Summary and Analysis.”; https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPURL.
and lighting. Even if residents already have smart home cgi?Dockey=2000UC5T.TXT. Accessed May 22, 2019.
devices installed, they may be unfamiliar with the opti- 4. Liu, Y., et al. 2016. “Prevalence of healthy sleep duration
mal settings for health (e.g., light intensity for different among adults—United States, 2014.” MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep.
2016;65. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6506a1.
times of day), or lack knowledge of how to program their
5. Joshi, S.S., et al. 2016. “The importance of temperature
devices for these settings. The popular and easy-to-use and thermoregulation for optimal human sleep.” Energy Build.
settings for energy efficiency provide a model for how 2016;131:153-157. doi:10.1016/j.enbuild.2016.09.020.
6. Yadlapalli, S., et al. 2018. “Circadian clock neurons constantly
monitor environmental temperature to set sleep timing.” Nature.
2018;555(7694):98-102. doi:10.1038/nature25740.
7. Seppänen, O., W.J. Fisk, Q. Lei. 2006. “Effect of Temperature
on Task Performance in Offfice Environment.” Ernest Orlando
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
8. Wargocki, P., D.P. Wyon. 2017. “Ten questions concerning
thermal and indoor air quality effects on the performance of office
work and schoolwork.” Build Environ. 2017;112:359-366. doi:10.1016/j.
buildenv.2016.11.020.
9. LeGates, T.A., D.C. Fernandez, S. Hattar. 2014. “Light as a
central modulator of circadian rhythms, sleep and affect.” Nat Rev
Neurosci. 2014;15(7):443-454. doi:10.1038/nrn3743.
10. Cho, Y., et al. 2015. “Effects of artificial light at night on human
health: A literature review of observational and experimental
studies applied to exposure assessment.” Chronobiol Int.
2015;32(9):1294-1310. doi:10.3109/07420528.2015.1073158
11. Park Y-MM, et al. 2019. “Association of exposure to artificial
light at night while sleeping with risk of obesity in women.” JAMA
Intern Med. June 2019. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.0571.

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COLUMN REFRIGERATION APPLICATIONS

Andy Pearson

Refrigeration on a Budget
BY ANDY PEARSON, PH.D., C.ENG., FELLOW ASHRAE

The investment in new refrigeration equipment is one of the largest capital commit-
ments that a cold store or freezer operator can make. There is always pressure to
figure out how to minimize the “sticker shock” associated with the project cost.
Careful purchasing can pay dividends, but there is always the risk that a false econ-
omy will result in a significantly higher spend over the life of the project.
It can be difficult to get a hard-pressed project manager and irreparable damage to reputation that follows all such
to care about this. They will be measured on the bottom- incidents, simply isn’t worth it.
line cost of their project, and usually the operating cost Having said that, do take stock of the true nature of the
doesn’t feature highly in their thinking during the plan- cooling requirements and ensure that the plant is not
ning stages; they just want a lower capital expense figure. oversized for the job required. This might involve installa-
There are several ways that they can get their life-cycle tion of modular systems that can be extended as the busi-
cost approach wrong, with expensive consequences, but ness grows, or it could simply be a modest increase in the
also many ways to save money without courting disaster. size of a cold water buffer tank to enable a smaller chiller
Don’t economize on the operating perfor- to be specified. Even the use of one size larger
Saving is cool.
mance of evaporators and condensers by diameter chilled water pipe can provide useful
undersizing them. Putting in air-coolers that buffer capacity and save on capital plant cost.
are too small could result in operating a low Do ensure that sufficient measures are
suction pressure that could easily add 10% to included for performance measurement, even
CREDIT: ISTOCK/BEANO5

15% to the annual electric bill. It might knock if this is only the provision of pockets for tem-
$50,000 off the project cost but will add more perature probes and a few pressure gages. The
than that every year to the energy tab. Turning number of systems that are “flying blind” with
that around, who wouldn’t want a payback of no way of knowing how well they are perform-
less than a year on an energy saving measure? ing is really quite depressing, when for a few dollars more
Don’t skimp on maintenance access provisions that will some simple metrics could have been included.
result in lack of attention to the condition of equipment. Do take every possible measure to minimize the heat
If it requires a lot of effort to arrange a mobile platform to load imposed on the refrigeration system. We ought to
clean condensers then they are likely to operate in a dirty measure buildings and production systems on the basis of
condition more than you might think. This may not have the amount of cooling required divided by the minimum
an obvious effect for most of the year, although energy necessary to achieve the output. Currently, this is only
consumption could again be higher than it ought to be, done for data centers with the power usage factor (the
but when the hot summer weather comes the plant may total amount of electricity used divided by the amount
be unable to cope. The cost then is the consequence of used by the computers). How about introducing a refrig-
cooling plant failure and all the panic response that fol- eration usage factor along similar lines?
lows, in addition to the hike in annual energy cost. Most importantly, do specify the plant in sufficient
Don’t economize on other health and safety issues detail to ensure you get what you need, and then hold the
through the project or in the operation of the plant. The project team to account to make sure you really get it.
danger of something going wrong and resulting in seri-
ous injury or worse, coupled with the business disruption Andy Pearson, Ph.D., C.Eng., is group managing director at Star Refrigeration in Glasgow, UK.

84 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


PRODUCTS

PRODUCT SHOWPLACE Gas Detector


Bacharach has added 22 halogen refrigerants
To receive FREE info on the for its MGS-400 gas detectors in commercial
and industrial gas leak monitoring
products in this section, go to:
applications. The product uses three different
www.ashrae.org/freeinfo sensor types, depending on the measurement
range, temperature and gas types.
www.info.hotims.com/72836-157
A HVAC&R Environmental Meter
The EM54 meter from FLIR features Air-Source Heat Pump Outdoor Unit
Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS)’s A HVAC&R Environmental Meter
humidity, wet bulb and dew point functions
to measure deviations from proper S-Series (PUMY) air-source heat pump By FLIR
relative humidity levels. Its Type-K contact outdoor unit has been expanded to include
temperature probe can check electric motors Hyper-Heating INVERTER® technology in its
and thermal equipment components for P36 and P48 models. They can provide year-
proper operating temperatures. round comfort in cold climates and extreme
www.info.hotims.com/72836-151 temperatures.
www.info.hotims.com/72836-158
B Scroll Compressors
Danfoss DSH scroll compressors with Differential Pressure Transmitter
Intermediate Discharge Valve (IDV) Dwyer Instruments’ Differential Pressure
technology to enhance seasonal part-load Transmitter Series 629HLP is now available
cooling efficiency now support R-454B in ranges up to 90 psi (621 kPa). It is suitable B Scroll Compressor
and R-452B refrigerants. The compressors’ for monitoring differential pressure in By Danfoss
multi-refrigerant compatibility, along with applications such as air handlers, heat
similar drop-in performance versus R-410A, exchangers, chillers and hydraulic systems.
is designed to ease refrigerant transition. www.info.hotims.com/72836-159
www.info.hotims.com/72836-152
Ductless Split System
C Data Center Heat Exchanger Heil ductless systems are available in a variety
Nortek Air Solutions introduces the ADHX 35- of single and multizone configurations,
6B, a 35 kW active rear door heat exchanger including new light commercial and ducted
(ADHX) to its ServerCool™ data center to offer installation flexibility, especially in
liquid cooling product line. The upgraded homes without space for ductwork.
design consumes less than 500 watts of www.info.hotims.com/72836-160
power.
Service Valve Kit
www.info.hotims.com/72836-153 C Data Center Heat Exchanger
Webstone, a brand of NIBCO, announces new
E-X-P Service Valve Kits for tankless water By Nortek
D Thermostat
The Bosch Connected Control (BCC100) heaters with integrated PRV and/or drain
thermostat from Bosch Thermotechology has a ports. The kits isolate the unit for servicing
touchscreen for easy scheduling. It connects and feature color-coded handles and easy-
to Wi-Fi to control temperature and settings to-install union connections.
from a mobile device or laptop and is fully www.info.hotims.com/72836-161
functional without Wi-Fi signal.
Cooling Tower
www.info.hotims.com/72836-154
The Marley NC Everest factory-assembled
E Fume Hood Blowers cooling tower from SPX Technologies offers D Thermostat
HEMCO blowers remove hazardous fumes up to 50% greater cooling capacity, higher By Bosch Thermotechnology
from a fume hood. The belt or direct-drive energy savings, fewer components and
blowers, which have adjustable discharge lower maintenance costs. It can be used in
and weather covers, come in sizes from HVAC, process cooling and light and heavy
250 cfm to 2,000 cfm (118 L/s to 944 L/s). industrial applications.
www.info.hotims.com/72836-155 www.info.hotims.com/72836-162

Condensing Gas Furnace DOAS with Inverter Compressors


Carrier’s Comfort™ 95 59SC5 condensing gas Greenheck dedicated outdoor air systems
furnace can achieve 95% or higher AFUE. feature inverter compressors on select RV
This product is part of Carrier’s revamped and RVE models. New models RV-110 and
gas furnace line redesigned to meet new RVE-180 can provide 30 tons to 70 tons E Blower
DOE fan energy ratings. (105 kW to 246 kW) of cooling. By HEMCO
www.info.hotims.com/72836-156 www.info.hotims.com/72836-163

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 85


SPECIAL PRODUCTS

RENEWABLE ENERGY Variable Frequency Drive With App


Greenheck’s VGD-100+ internal variable
EQUIPMENT frequency drive is equipped with Bluetooth
To receive FREE info on the communications and a smartphone
products in this section, go to: companion app that makes set-up, status
monitoring and troubleshooting easy and A Thermal Ice Storage Modular Tanks
www.ashrae.org/freeinfo intuitive. By EVAPCO
www.info.hotims.com/72836-202
A Thermal Ice Storage Modular Tanks Chilled Beam Pump Module
Thermal ice storage tanks from EVAPCO have FläktGroup SEMCO’s NEUTON smart, plug-
a capacity from 370 to 1,000 ton-hours (1300 and-play controlled chilled beam pump
to 3516 kWh). They complement renewable module can provide condensation control
power generation. They provide cooling to up to 20 chilled beams and serve larger B
during peak demand, and excess renewables spaces. It reduces installation costs by up to
Energy Recovery Ventilator
can charge ice banks. 30%.
By American ALDES Ventilation Corporation
www.info.hotims.com/72836-200 www.info.hotims.com/72836-203
Dedicated Outdoor Air System
B Energy Recovery Ventilator Heat Recovery System The DN Series from RenewAire is a non-
The InspirAIR® Compact E80-HRX from Daikin’s new VRV IV X heat recovery compressorized, fully integrated dedicated
American ALDES Ventilation Corporation systems adapt Daikin’s industry leading outdoor air system using state-of-the-
features an EC Motor that saves up to 35% VRV technology to the unique North art energy recovery ventilation with
on electricity compared to PSC motors. The American HVAC market. VRV IV X static plate enthalpy core technology for
E80-HRX delivers ENERGY STAR® qualified systems are engineered to provide ease of dehumidification. It is designed for sensible
performance and a latent transfer of over configurability and optimal total life cycle and latent load management that reduces
65% in a compact package. cost. AC equipment tonnage by up to 25%.
www.info.hotims.com/72836-201 www.info.hotims.com/72836-204 www.info.hotims.com/72836-205

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86 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


CLASSIFIEDS

RATE SCHEDULE: SOFTWARE

Classified line advertisements Everything Your Reps Need…


are inserted in 7-point type at the ...to increase sales
rate of $4.00 per word. This
includes heading and address. For All HVAC Products
Maximum insertion 15 lines. Prices Selection
are net. Classified line insertions Pricing / Configuration
for members are $2.00 per word. Submittals
Parts
Classified Column Inch Customer Support
Border Advertisements
are inserted in 8-point bold heading More...
and address type of 7-point body www.bcatech.com
type at the rate of $125.00 per 407-
407-659-
659-0653
column inch, includes heading and
address. Maximum length 5 inches.
Maximum width 2-1/8”. Prices are Green
net. Border classified insertions for
members are $65.00 per column BIM Energy Simulation
inch.
> Easy to learn and use GUI, similar
to AutoCAD®/IntelliCAD®
Classifieds are accepted in the FineGREEN utilizes a familiar CAD interface, which
categories of Job Opportunities, makes you feel as if you already know it.
Rentals, Business Opportunities, > Full DWG and IFC Compatibility
and Software. FineGREEN can import any DWG file, as well as any 3D
IFC BIM architectural model from other programs like
Revit®, Archicad®, Vectorworks®, SketchUp Pro® or
Closing date: equivalent.
Copy must be received by the
> Smart 3D BIM Model
classified department by the 3rd of FineGREEN allows the user to work directly on the real
the month preceding date of issue. 3D ΒΙΜ model to perform both, geometrical and
intelligent/logical BIM operations within an open energy
simulation environment.

> EnergyPlus based Calculations


FineGREEN embeds the EnergyPlus (e+) calculation
Address: Send request for further engine (sponsored by DOE) ensuring reliability of results.
information to: 4M belongs to the e+ 3rd party interface developers.

> Seamless Integration with


ASHRAE JOURNAL FineHVAC and FineMEP
FineGREEN belongs to the 4M BIM Suite including also
Vanessa Johnson Architectural Design (IDEA) and Mechanical /Electrical
1791 Tullie Circle NE Services (FINE-MEP), within a collaborative environment
Atlanta, GA 30329
Phone 678-539-1166
Fax 678-539-2166
E-mail: vjohnson@ashrae.org
info@4msa.com, www.4mbim.com, www.4msa.com

CLASSIFIED ADS are ALWAYS PRODUCTIVE


Contact Vanessa Johnson, Ad Productions & Operations Coordinator
at 678-539-1166 for a quote.

SEPTEM BER 2019 ashrae.org ASHRAE JOURNAL 87


ADVERTISING SALES
Advertisers Index/Reader Service Information ASHRAE JOURNAL
1791 Tullie Circle NE | Atlanta, GA 30329
Two fast and easy ways to get additional information on (404) 636-8400 | Fax: (678) 539-2174
products & services in this issue: www.ashrae.org
Greg Martin | gmartin@ashrae.org
Associate Publisher, ASHRAE Media Advertising
Go to www.ashrae.org/freeinfo to search for products by category or Vanessa Johnson | vjohnson@ashrae.org
Advertising Production Coordinator
company name. Plus, link directly to advertisers’ Web sites or request
information by e-mail, fax or mail. NORTHEAST U.S.
Nelson & Miller Associates –
Denis O’Malley
5 Hillandale Ave., Suite 101
Stamford, CT 06902
(203) 356-9694 | Fax (203) 356-9695
*Regional sales@nelsonmiller.com
Company Page Company Page Company Page

*ASHRAE eLearning................... 45 Freedom Inc. ............................... 26 Petra Engineering ...................... 41 SOUTHEAST U.S.
Millennium Media, Inc. –
590 Hickory Flat Road
Alpharetta, GA 30004
AAON Inc ......................................17 Greenheck...................................... 9 Doug Fix (770) 740-2078 | Fax (678) 405-3327
Pottorff......................................... 67 Lori Gernand-Kirtley (281) 855-0470 | Fax (281) 855-4219
dfix@bellsouth.net; lg@lindenassoc.com

Accurex LLC ................................ 75 Greentrol Automation Inc ......... 33


Powered Aire............................... 80 OHIO VALLEY U.S.
LaRich & Associates – Tom Lasch
512 East Washington St.
Acrefine Engineering................. 68 Heat Pipe Technology Inc......... 52 Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
Rawal Devices Inc ..................... 77 tlasch@larichadv.com
(440) 247-1060 | Fax (440) 247-1068

AHR Expo Orlando 2020 ............13 Johnson Controls Inc./Verasys ..... MIDWEST U.S.
....................................................... 19 Reliable Controls.......................... 3 Kingwill Company – Baird Kingwill; Jim Kingwill
330 W. Colfax Street, Unit 102
A-J Mfg Co. Inc.......................... 73 Palatine, IL 60057
(847) 537-9196 | Fax (847) 537-6519
Mitsubishi Electric ...................... 5 Rotor Source Inc........................ 51 barry@kingwillco.com; jim@kingwillco.com

Aria Brands Inc........................... 72


SOUTHWEST U.S.
*Mitsubishi Electric Sales Canada Lindenberger & Associates, Inc. –
Ruskin .......................................... 49 Gary Lindenberger; Lori Gernand-Kirtley
....................................................... 45 7007 Winding Walk Drive, Suite 100
Armacell LLC............................... 57
Houston, TX 77095
(281) 855-0470 | Fax (281) 855-4219
*Samsung .................................... 29 gl@lindenassoc.com; lg@lindenassoc.com
ASHRAE Technology Portal...... 51 Mostra Convegno 2020............. 61
CANADA & WEST U.S.
Seiho International Inc ............. 47 LaRich & Associates – Nick LaRich, Tom Lasch
Automatic Airflow Balancing ... 60 Munters Corp.............................. 37 512 East Washington St.
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
nlarich@larichadv.com
tlasch@larichadv.com
Munters Corp......................4th Cvr Shortridge Instruments Inc. .... 83
Belimo Aircontrols USA ............ 65 (440) 247-1060 | Fax (440) 247-1068

KOREA
Buckaroos.................................... 86 Niles Steel Tank ......................... 59 Shuangliang Eco-Energy Systems YJP & Valued Media Co., Ltd – YongJin Park
Kwang-il Building #905, Dadong-gil 5
Co. Ltd......................................... 56 Jung-gu, Seoul 04521, Korea
82-2 3789-6888 | Fax: 82-2 3789-8988
Cambridge Engineering............. 53 Nortek Air Solutions New Product hi@YJPvm.kr
....................................................... 76
Titus.............................................. 27
EUROPE & MIDDLE EAST
Daikin North America LLC............. Steve Comstock
32 (0)2 234 77 11 | comstock@ashrae.org
..........................................2nd Cvr-1 Owens Corning ........................... 23
Uponor.......................................... 39
INTERNATIONAL
ASHRAE – Greg Martin
Desiccant Rotors International Panasonic Appliance AC North (678) 539-1174 | gmartin@ashrae.org
Pvt. Ltd......................................... 86 America........................................ 21 Waterfurnace International...... 31
RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING AND REPRINTS
ASHRAE – Greg Martin
(678) 539-1174 | gmartin@ashrae.org
Ebtron...................................3rd Cvr Parker/Sporlan Valve................. 43 Yaskawa America Inc ................ 69

88 ASHRAE JOURNAL ashrae.org S E P T E M B E R 2 0 19


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