Articles by Peter Powell

Speakers Discuss Field Practices, Labor Shortage

By Peter Powell
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At a joint session of Purdue University’s Compressor and Refrigeration Conference, a high-ranking official in the Department of Energy (DOE) called on HVAC engineers to continue to improve energy efficiencies, but also offered a slap on the wrist to “tradespeople who use bad practices in the field.”
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Still Developing Environmentally Safer Refrigerants

By Peter Powell
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A new generation of contractors and technicians may not know how the industry moved from CFCs to HFCs. To a great measure it was the result of government regulations, but officials merely called on our industry to come up with alternatives to CFCs. The industry responded. DuPont, for example, has taken part in the search for alternatives from the beginning, and the search for acceptable alternatives is not over, says the company.
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'Long-Term' HFCs Under Scrutiny At Conference

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Perhaps it is time to think of HFCs as only being conditional “long-term replacement” refrigerants for the air conditioning and refrigeration (ACR) industry. At the recent Purdue University Compressor and Refrigeration Conference, a number of papers looked at alternatives to HFCs, with CO2 being the most talked about.
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Contractor Turns To Cookies, But Still Needs Refrigeration

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Jerry Elam left a full-time contracting business to bake cookies. But his experience from his former occupation has been helpful in his new one. His baked goods business has grown so big that refrigeration is vital. And his company’s refrigeration systems have benefited from his expertise and that of his refrigeration equipment suppliers.
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It’s Time For A Real ‘Return On Investment’

By Peter Powell
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In these times of economic insecurity, the term “return on investment” can sometimes get down to a matter of immediate dollars and cents. But the HVACR industry may need to step back for a bit of broader perspective.
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Attaining New Standards For High Efficiency

By Peter Powell
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Space conditioning indoor air typically involves more than just cooling. Occupant comfort requires moisture removal and air exchange with the outdoor air for improved indoor air quality (IAQ). Each of these aspects requires additional air conditioning capacity, resulting in drained condensate water and exhausted indoor air. What if there was a way to reclaim this capacity to improve the efficiency of the mechanical cooling system?
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Transport Theme: Keep It Quiet

By Peter Powell
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If there are trends in transport refrigeration, they concern quietness and precision. Noise reduction comes in because trucks often bring products to supermarkets conveniently located in residential areas — but with deliveries needed first thing in the morning. Enhanced temperature control is designed to preserve products at optimum shipping temperatures while controlling costs. Thermo King focused on such factors in the development of its SB-100 trailer refrigeration unit.
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FMI Energy Confab Stresses Latest Trends

By Peter Powell
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Each fall, the major trade association for the supermarket sector — the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) — holds an Energy and Technical Services Conference, with the prime purpose of bringing those who work on mechanical refrigeration equipment up to speed on the latest trends and technologies.
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Space-Age Technology Comes Down To Earth

By Peter Powell
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If an ultrasonic leak detector works in outer space in the hands of an astronaut, can it do the job on the ground when operated by an HVACR service technician? Yes, said a Westminster, MD-based manufacturer whose small, handheld leak detector has been used in both applications.
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From Refrigeration Racks To Thermometers

By Peter Powell
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Just as successful supermarkets give customers what they want, suppliers of components for mechanical refrigeration for such stores are offering most anything a decision maker could possibly want. The recent Food Marketing Institute Educational Exposition stressed a wide range of options for cooling and freezing. All were linked by a commitment to energy conservation, from a basic coil to complex electrical distribution systems.
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