Last April, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a substantial investment of $114.3 million in funding for the rapid deployment of approximately 1,000 fuel cell systems in key early markets including combined heat and power (CHP). A team from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is now assessing these systems.
One of the greatest challenges HVACR wholesalers face daily is convincing service technicians to try new products or tools, but two Johnstone Supply countermen in Portland, Ore., have discovered a solution - use it themselves to help skeptics become believers.
One tactic that helps cut fuel and other transportation costs and is growing in popularity is called route optimization. It’s being employed by the mega-fleets of major retailers down to small HVAC businesses. It’s gaining in momentum because of its ability to not only cut costs but also improve customer service.
These conditions were noted in an energy audit report: “The fire/smoke damper was closed.” “The coils are still dirty.” These are not unusual examples. Since 40 percent of the energy used in the United States is used to operate buildings, it is obvious that a big step in making America green is to make our buildings green.
What’s the fastest growing sector of the green building movement? According to consultant Jerry Yudelson, not the usual architectural highlights of zero energy buildings, but the more prosaic existing building upgrades profiled in his latest green building book, Greening Existing Buildings. Building upgrades are being seen throughout the U.S. and Canada.
As an HVAC contractor, you have an opportunity to help educate your customers. With the amount of environmental pollutants we’re exposed to every day, it’s crucial for us to ensure we’re providing our customers with not only high-performing products in their homes, but also healthier indoor environments.
With help from James River Air Conditioning, the Children’s Museum of Richmond has substantially reduced its utility usage implementing the contractor’s Practical Green® solutions - a combination of preventive maintenance and retro-commissioning - designed to reduce operating costs and extend HVAC equipment useful life.
Seeing the large increase in heat pump shipments in July gives us all a glimmer of hope as the economy continues to recover. I also find this to be an encouraging sign because many of us have heard that heat pump technology can often be very confusing as consumers determine whether it’s a good option for their homes.
While many contractors are still hesitant to try refrigerant sealants, Brothers Air, Heat & Plumbing trained its service techs not only in proper application, but also how to market sealants to customers with leaking equipment. When the recession hit hard, Brothers policy of using sealants positioned them to not only retain customers, but add to profitability.
The Frito-Lay plant in Killingly, Conn., has installed a combined heat and power (CHP) system designed to help remove it from the Northeast power grid. Located in a region with severe electrical transmission constraints, Frito-Lay saw CHP as a potential opportunity for achieving near-term energy efficiency improvements and reducing emissions.