Data center HVAC has come a long way since ’80s-era strategies and even since turn-of-the-century room parameters. Consider that evolution, and how options like economizers and evaporative cooling may be more appealing in light of wider environmental envelopes.
The building design and construction industry has been guided and encouraged by Federal legislation and private programs to reduce energy consumption in new buildings and major renovations with initiatives such as EPACT 2005 and USGBC’s LEED®. But what about existing buildings not slated for significant capital improvements?
hospitality, municipalities, and industrial applications may face
their best chance in years to save money (and natural resources) with
a combined heat and power (CHP) system. From steam turbines that rely
on boilers to gas turbines, on to reciprocating engines and fuel
cells, the variety of options is as wide as the range of settings
where it might make sense. Reacquaint yourself with CHP, including
the sidebar’s “small” example that can save over $100,000
the virtues of various fuel types to options for designing your
biomass boiler system, consider this the nuts and bolts - the chips
and pellets? - of an increasingly popular strategy as it ranges
from district steam to radiant floors.
ventilation may sound like an unconventional, sustainability-driven
idea to some. However, it was the energy-friendly status quo up
through the middle of the last century, back when “green buildings”
referred to paint color. If you consider traditionally favorable
conditions, several design considerations, and control options, you
may recognize a future project where natural ventilation is an idea
whose time has come again.
After becoming an established comfort tool in
Europe and Australia, chilled beams are finding their way into North American
designs, and they can generate benefits all the way back to the central plant.
Learn to discern the two types available, design tips for both, and the ways
they coexist with controls, heating, and other building systems. By Carl C.
The effect of altitude on the performance of HVAC systems and components all comes down to the variable of atmospheric pressure. Below 10,000 ft, this effect is negligible on certain properties of air such as specific heat, thermal conductivity, and viscosity. However, important properties of air, such as density, enthalpy, and dewpoint temperature, are all affected to an extent that influences the way we must engineer our HVAC systems.
In many projects, and in government facilities in particular, staff must dedicate more time and money to assessing possible threats and risks relating to IAQ and mechanical systems. Then it's a matter of deploying the proper mitigation measures. Look over internal release, external release, and shelter-in-place as response tactics, and review the latest in air cleaning technologies, from particle and sorbent filtration to UV light.
The engineering community’s general knowledge of biological safety cabinets was already below that of fume hoods in general, and then the NSF changed the classification of cabinets, only increasing the air of mystery. Nevertheless, the past few years have seen a steady increase in funding for bioresearch – often involving university facilities. With more and more design opportunities involving BSCs, now is the chance to breathe easier by reviewing classification, operation guidelines, and tips for these important devices. By Carl C. Schultz, P.E.
We like to talk about breaking the mold around here, but this month, we’re talking about stopping the ominous, fungal kind. Mold has several opportunities to creep in, starting before the building is even finished. Consider the risks during renovation, and the relationship between climate and building envelope, and perhaps the section on remediation won’t become relevant. By Carl Schultz, P.E.
Leaning on experience and data from various K-12 cities and projects, the author pursues some less conventional design approaches. They may revolve around radiant heating and/or cooling, but depending on school size and other factors, the smart use of heat recovery, DOAS, and improved central plants could also put a project on the HVAC honor roll.