A number of manufacturer sponsors presented technical papers. But along the way, some of the manufacturers had other chances to showcase what they were doing globally in terms of the latest research, new technologies, environmental issues, and energy savings. And portions of those talks related specifically to China, including their efforts with the 2008 Summer Olympics taking place in Beijing next August.
Three speakers from Carrier headed up a technical seminar titled “Energy Efficient HVAC and Refrigeration Technologies.” Robert Chiang, director of engineering, Building Systems and Services (BSS) Asia, discussed technology for green buildings and energy efficiency. A new World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Energy Efficiency in Buildings study recently reported that buildings are responsible for 40 percent of total energy use in many countries. And worldwide building energy consumption is expected to grow by 45 percent over the next 20 years, it was reported.
Change comes with regulations, Chiang said, and China is currently becoming a more regulated country in terms of energy issues. Coefficiencies of performance are increasing, he said, and integrated part-load chillers and higher-grade chillers are part of the regulatory equation.
He noted that in China, “chillers operate at part-load about 99 percent of the time,” thus use of part-load chillers have a practical aspect. Chiller technology being used includes centrifugal and absorption hybrid systems, and variable- and fixed-speed chiller hybrid systems.
“The China HVAC market is expected to grow by 40 percent by 2010 and become one of the largest markets in the world,” he said.
Yang Liming, product marketing manager, Carrier China, noted that 70 percent of the 2008 Beijing Olympic air conditioning contracts have been awarded to Carrier to date. In fact, the company has “a remote monitoring center to deliver 24-hour monitoring of chillers for the Olympic venues which tracks and analyzes dynamic data with pre-alert capability,” according to a statement from the company.
One of the projects involves the National Aquatics Center in which the company is providing a centrifugal chiller with heat recovery option, which utilizes more than 50 percent of the exhaust heat as part of the heat source for the swimming pool.
For the showpiece National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, Carrier will be providing air-handling units.
Tobias Sienel, engineering manager, CO2 Systems, reported on research Carrier is doing with CO2 as a refrigerant including supermarket applications. He noted use of CO2 with other refrigerants in subcritical cascade approaches, as well as efforts to use CO2 as a standalone refrigerant in trans-critical systems.
The technology is being tried in both low- and medium-temperature applications, he said. Issues being dealt with include high pressures. He noted at least a dozen stores in Europe using CO2 in various ways that is allowing data gathering and further modifications.
ENERGY CONSERVATION“Technology Solutions, Energy Conservation” was presented by two speakers from Johnson Controls, which recently acquired York International.
Tony Digmanese said Johnson Control’s new vision was for “a more comfortable, safe, and sustainable world.” He reviewed a shift in refrigerants and noted global warming issues are being addressed by the industry with more leaktight and energy-efficient systems to deal with direct and indirect emissions.
He said systems once leaked up to 10 percent of refrigerant, but the newest models have brought that down to “1 percent or lower.” Further, he said there is an emphasis on recycling, reclamation, and safe destruction of refrigerants.
In his presentation, Digmanese reviewed and compared various technologies offered by Johnson Controls to conserve energy and reduce emissions. These ranged from single-chiller technology to those applicable to the energy chain.
He pointed out the increasing use of variable-speed drives for chillers to allow seasonal energy savings and a fast payback on the upfront cost of equipment. “Key factors in this include load profile, operating hours, utility rate structure, and utility incentives,” he said.
New directions in chillers include series-counter-flow systems for improved efficiency. For heat pumps, the focus was on large water-to-water with centrifugal and screw compressors that could replace boilers for considerable energy savings and payback within one year.
Digmanese cited projects using this approach at the University of Texas, as well as hospitals in Toronto and Arkansas. Yet another approach involved ice thermal storage with screws and centrifugals to balance energy demand and reduce peak load.
Digmanese also talked about combined heat and power systems involving steam and gas engine chillers with district heating and cooling. He described this as a way to maximize energy chain efficiency and reduce energy consumption and CO2 emission. He noted a few district cooling projects with York equipment at the U.S. Capitol; Petronas Towers in Malaysia, the Eurotunnel, the NASA Assembly Building in Florida, Prophet’s Mosque in Saudi Arabia, and Jemera Lake retail and residential project in Dubai.
The second speaker, Rob Moult, discussed the value of building automation systems. He said the four steps to achieve an energy-efficient building are proper design, equipment selection, intelligent control, and good operations-maintenance practices. It is in those last two steps that building automation technology has an impact, Moult said. He gave examples of how building automation technology impacts intelligent control and good operations-maintenance practices.
ON TOURDanfoss had a noticeable presence throughout the conference. The company sponsored the opening reception and Danfoss Inc. president (United States and Canada) Robert Wilkins was a keynote speaker. The company’s Inderpal Saund gave a 90-minute presentation in which he explained some of the newest developments in using CO2 technology in supermarkets.
Also, 18 conference attendees traveled by bus some 90 miles to the Wuqing Industrial Park where Danfoss has two large production facilities. The tour included the observation of the company’s production lines for automatic controls, commercial compressors, industrial refrigeration, electronic controls, and sensors as well as the R&D labs.
According to a statement from Danfoss, “The company has focused on the rapid pace of de- velopment in Asia, especially the China market through its regional production base in Wuqing.
“Since the establishment in 1996, Danfoss has invested substantially in this largest production facility outside its home base in Denmark.”
It was reported that some 1,160 employees work at the two Danfoss Wuqing plants. In all, there are some 500 companies employing 220,000 persons at the industrial park, which is located near the city of Tianjin.
MORE EVENTSAlso during the week of seminars, representatives of Daikin gave a presentation on air conditioning research and development being done by the company, and Haier presenters looked at the sine-wave technique for air conditioners and the light-wave technique for refrigerators.
And Trane sponsored an awards dinner near the close of the conference. Benny Goh, vice president, Business Development Strategy & Marketing, Trane Asia, brought greetings to the diners.