DMI Takeaways From 2018 ASHRAE Winter Conference & AHR Expo

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recently held their annual winter meeting in Chicago, IL. Two of DMI’s associates, Jim Megerson and Mike Regan attended and here is what they came away with:

Jim Megerson The biggest thing I heard from the meeting is that ASHRAE 90.1 (energy efficiency standard for commercial buildings) is going to continue to require more energy efficiency components in order to comply with the standard. There was talk that the new standard may require that all hospitals use reclaim energy for 70% of their chilled water usage. In order to comply, they would have to reclaim the heat rejection to make hot water for other uses in the building. At this point the new version of the standard is not complete so it’s hard to tell if that will actually end up in the next update. But it does give you a glimpse into what the committee is pursuing.

Mike Regan I walked the whole show and my overall impression was it was more evolutionary than revolutionary in what was shown. There were over 2,200 booths at the show. If you have ever been at an ASHRAE Expo, you would appreciate how overwhelming it can be. Some general observations:

• There were more variable speed compressor and fan technologies on display as the new 2018 Energy Efficiency Requirements in the commercial world have been focusing more on IEER (part load efficiencies) than on EER (full load efficiency). The increased use of ECM fan motors and variable speed compressors are helping to address part load efficiencies. We will be seeing more of this technology in equipment this year.

• York introduced their new YZ Low Pressure Refrigerant Chiller, which they said was redesigned from the ground up. They claim it will be the most efficient chiller on the market.

IMG_0578a• This compressor assembly was just sitting in the back corner of the Daikin booth (pictured above). I could not find any booth information on it so it must be a “teaser” display by Daikin. It looks like an old Trane “bench grinder” dual impeller, low pressure chiller compressor. I heard second hand that Daikin was going to come out with a low pressure refrigerant chiller as well. We shall see.

IMG_0581a• In part of the large Emerson booth, they were promoting Transformative Wave’s eIQ platform (pictured above). Emerson became a significant shareholder in Transformative Wave a couple of years ago. For those who are unfamiliar with Transformative Wave, they are the ones who were on the leading edge of the advanced RTU retrofit initiative. Their flagship products are the CATALYST™ Advanced RTU retrofit product that marries up with their eIQ Platform for state-of-the-art advanced fault detection and diagnostics (AFDD) technology. AFDD is gaining increased interest as it can catch and alert for problems before you see a big energy bill or lose a major component in your HVAC equipment. They are moving this same technology to the refrigeration world. I am happy to say that Design Mechanical recognized the importance of this company and has been a TW affiliate since 2013.

Design Mechanical encourages our associates to attend industry professional development seminars to stay up on the latest standards and technologies so that we can provide our customers with the best solutions possible.

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