Articles by Peter Powell

There’s Reason to Fuss About Hydrocarbons’ Flammability

A reader raised concerns over a refrigerant product on the shelf of a farm supply store. The product had as its sales pitch, “Why switch from the traditional R-22 refrigerants,” and it was noted on the label that the package contained the equivalent of 30 pounds of HCFC-22.


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Expo Attendees Discuss R-22 Limitations

About a month before the AHR Expo, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicated it would permit the industry to produce and import 39 million pounds of virgin HCFC-22 in 2013, down from 55 million pounds in 2012.


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Beyond Familiar HFCs

While much of the buzz at the AHR Expo was on dwindling supplies of new HCFC-22, reclamation of that refrigerant, and use of alternative HFCs in retrofits, a number of conversations centered on alternatives beyond familiar HFCs. 


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Climate Change Rejoins Agenda

So just when we thought regulatory actions related to the environment were pretty mute, given not much traction in Washington mainly due to a sluggish economy, along comes, of all people, the president of the United States.


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Safe Servicing of HCs

HC refrigerants have an A3 safety rating, meaning there are flammability issues. Even so, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially gave Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) approval to R-290 (propane), R-600a (isobutene), and R-441A (a blend marketed by ComStar International as HCR 188c).


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Taking Opposite Sides on the Same Refrigerant

This past fall, the automobile manufacturer Daimler came out saying it was holding off using HFO-1234yf for auto air conditioning even though a directive from the European Union was calling for moving away from HFC-134a. Some saw that as a question about how much traction HFOs were getting as long-term alternatives to HFCs.


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Considering Cascade, Transcritical, Transport, and Heat Pumps

CO2 as a refrigerant in cascade supermarket systems, transcritical applications, transport refrigeration, and heat pumps were among major developments in recent years. Here is a summary of those developments.


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EPA Further Tightens the R-22 Spigot

2013 Allocation Reduced to 39 Million Pounds
It appears as if the spigot of new R-22 available to HVACR contractors has been tightened even more in 2013. Users of the world’s most popular HCFC could expect close to 30 percent less of new R-22 this year than last, according to some reports.


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RSES Matches Trainers with Training Needs

There is no question that ongoing training is needed in the HVACR industry. The real question may be: How qualified are those doing the training? RSES has proposed an answer through the development of its RSES Certified Trainer (RCT) program.


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Industry Finding Great Value in Veterans

Across the HVACR industry, contractors and trade associations are welcoming veterans in an organized and conscientious way, with numerous success stories resulting from their efforts.


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2014 SMACNA Annual Convention

Views from the 2014 SMACNA Annual Convention in San Antonio.

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NEWSMakers: Chris Mathis

Chris Mathis, president of Mathis Consulting Co. and vice chair of ASHRAE’s residential ad hoc committee, talks about ASHRAE’s exploration into the residential market. Posted on Oct. 17.

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EFFICIENCY STANDARDS

DOE has denied AHRI’s petition for reconsideration of walk-in standards. Is it getting harder to reach consensus on efficiency standards?
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