Another Energy Solution

September 8, 2008
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Contractors are using air curtains (aka, air doors) increasingly to solve their clients’ energy challenges today. Whether it’s solving energy loss problems on existing buildings or value-engineering new building projects, air curtains can generate energy savings and satisfied clients.

While air curtains are better known for their long-time use as energy savers in industrial uses, their newfound expansion into more commercial applications such as hotels, retail stores, office buildings, and restaurants is escalating as quickly as today’s energy prices.

Air curtains are typically mounted inside a doorway and continually discharge a steady stream of air to separate indoor and outdoor conditions. They can be a quick and inexpensive long-term fix to substantial open doorway energy losses as well as indoor air comfort issues.

Air curtains are also useful in controlling infiltrations of dust, insects, and humidity. In these times of escalating energy costs, air doors have become invaluable in preventing the infiltration of warm outdoor air in the summer and cold air during the winter.

Many contractors and engineers have the misconception that air doors are useful only in winter to minimize energy losses and add comfort with internal hot water or steam coils and electric heating elements. But, energy losses through open doorways in summer air conditioning months are typically more costly than during winter operation. Thus air doors are useful beyond winter months.

A CASE HISTORY

The Café at the Frick is an upscale restaurant housed in a former coach house on the museum grounds of former industrialist Henry Clay Frick’s estate in Pittsburgh. An air curtain solved an indoor air comfort problem there. Wintertime patrons were chilled from a nearby single entrance door that was continually held open by long lines of people waiting for a table in the 500-square-foot dining spot.

With the installation of a 3-foot-wide aesthetic-looking air curtain that color-coordinates with the interior side of the door, the resulting airstream eliminates cold air infiltration and keeps nearby patrons warm at their tables with supplemental electric heating. The air curtain is activated when the door opens. The onboard electric heater is thermostatically controlled to run until temperature setpoints are reached after the door closes.

Air curtains have the option of a hot water coil and/or electric heating that not only reduces equipment costs, but also lowers operating costs especially when adding a control package.

SIZING & SPECIFYING

Air curtains typically take air from inside the facility and discharge it through factory-aligned, field-adjustable ±20°F nozzles to produce a nonturbulent airstream that meets the floor approximately at the threshold of the door opening. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of the air returns to the space. Because air curtain discharge velocities generally range from 3,000 to 6,500 feet per minute at the discharge, the strong airstream prevents outside air and insect infiltration.

Selecting the proper air curtain is critical and there are great variances among manufacturers and their equipment performance claims. Therefore, an air curtain model should have certified air performance data in accordance with Standard 220 - Testing Methods for Air Curtain Units from the Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) International (www.amca.org) to ensure its claims are accurate.

Air curtain manufacturer salespeople and/or Websites should be able to provide assistance in selection sizing, energy-savings calculations, and payback. Typical air curtain paybacks range from one to three years.

CONTROL PACKAGES

Not all air curtain models have controls or control packages that are equal to one another, but the ones that do can save additional energy. Control packages have many options such as two- to 10- fan speed selections, built-in thermostats, door switches, off-on switches, and built-in timers. At the high end of control packages, there is the option of a programmable digital LED display switch that functions almost like a mini building automation system for its respective air curtain.

Extra control equates to money savings. For example, instead of just one or two speeds, the fan can be set to operate at a speed that provides the optimum air comfort and air barrier, but at the least possible operating expense. Additionally, the timer can save huge amounts of energy if it is programmed to operate only during occupancy hours, which will eliminate the need for store managers to turn it on or off.

The continuing escalation of energy prices will undoubtedly send many building owners to contractors for solutions to energy losses. Contractors that have experience or the knowledge in marketing and selling air curtains as a viable energy-saving alternative will undoubtedly satisfy these requests by lowering energy bills, while simultaneously adding to their profit margins.

Publication date: 09/08/2008

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Refrigeration Energy Saving & Produce Waste

Mark
September 13, 2008
I came across this pressreleaseand thought I would share it will you PRESS RELEASE 9/12/08 $30.00 REFRIGERATION GADGET TO SAVE ENERGY AND PRODUCE WASTE ACROSS THE U.S U.S house wife is Looking to help business and home owners Saver Energy across North America Are you aware that it is estimated that 18.7% of the Worlds energy is used by refrigeration. In today's world we take for granted the refrigerator cooling our groceries 24/7 and when we turn off the lights in our homes and businesses, and lock the door for the evening, one of the things which will continue to use power around the clock is our refrigerators and freezers. New energy saving technologies, are being launched every day, but who can afford some of these technologies which we are being offered, or how difficult are they to install. And how long will it take for me to get my money back in energy savings, big questions. Refrigeratorsaver is the simplest, most effective, and inexpensive energy saving device for refrigeration. Invented in the UK by two highly recognized Harry Banham & Guy Lamstaes, who have both recent been listed in the Guardian Observer in the top (50) people who could save the planet, The Refrigeratorsaver is a silicone gel based thermometer that reads the exact product temperature rather than the air temperature, most refrigerators cool produce colder than needed, and on many home refrigerators we cannot see what the produce temperature, only the reading only the air temperature reading. This technology which won a millennium award, has no installation, you simply place the Refrigeratorsaver on the shelf, leave for (1) hour, and then you can make slight adjustments on the dial thermostat dial, or digital display in line with the product temperature. For every one degree you are able to adjust your home or business thermostat is the equivalent to 8% in energy savings, and we have averaged 20 to 24% on most home refrigerators. We have also found that by cooling produce at the right temperature, produce life extends by 2 to 3 days and with gas prices rising, many businesses are feeling the pinch with fuel charges being added to deliveries, this simple device makes huge saving on any businesses bottom line. The Refrigeratorsaver is a must for all restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, and especially homes, www.refrigeratorsaver.com

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