Trane Turns Knowledge Into Power
Products focus on energy efficiency and improved installation
ATLANTA — One of Trane’s missions is to reduce the energy intensity of the world, and the company believes that the way to do this is through education. Trane’s theme at this year’s AHR Expo was “Knowledge Becomes Power.” Scattered across the displays were attendees with headsets piped directly in to what the professionals had to teach.
“At Trane, we are strong believers that when we combine our knowledge and expertise, we have the power to increase every building’s potential while decreasing its energy footprint,” said Al Fullerton, vice president, sales, Trane. “With that power, we have the momentum to achieve and to know even more, thereby better serving our customers. Through knowledge comes power, and we are getting smarter together.”
When it comes to considering the built environment, the Agility™ magnetic-bearing chiller provides features designed specifically to achieve energy savings and ease installation, even in a retrofit situation. With optimal function at both full- and part-load operation, the chiller has the capacity to save users up to 9 percent in utility costs, according to Trane.
Chris Tanaka, portfolio leader, chillers, Trane, explained that in addition to the energy efficiency of this chiller, end users are able to get it through a 36-inch door.
“So often, the buildings that these are going in, when the original chillers were set, the door didn’t exist,” he said. “The modular design bolts together, so installers can take it apart into two pieces that will slide through a single-width door.”
The company also separated the compressor and the variable-frequency drive from each other in the unit to help with maintenance and repair costs.
“Typically, the compressor and most of the metal for a chiller is going to have a 15- to 25-year life, and in many cases, you have chillers operating at 40 years,” Tanaka said. “But for any form of electronics, about 10 years is more the expected life span. So chances are, you are going to be replacing your electronics faster than you need to replace the heavy iron components of the chiller.”
Refrigerant is being considered with every equipment design that Trane is working on currently. The Agility chiller, for example, requires less refrigerant than previous models and so does the Trane/Mitsubishi Electric CITY MULTI® VRF product line, created in partnership with Mitsubishi Electric. The company provides VRF outdoor, heat recovery, and water-source units in this system.
“This year, for the CITY MULTI VRF, we’re excited that we have our next-generation outdoor units that are coming out, which across the board improved performance and heating capacity,” said Steve Hanlin, VRF product manager, Trane. “With our hyper-heat model, there is a 70 percent heating capacity at minus 22°F. One of the other big improvements is that with shrinking buildings and shrinking spaces, the footprint of the unit overall has been reduced by 30 percent. This has led to a 13 percent reduction in the refrigerant charge.”
Building design tools were also a key piece to Trane’s mission. The Tracer® SC+ system controller spans from light commercial building applications to enterprise controls and energy management. Its role-based user interfaces customize experiences for building occupants and optimize building energy use and comfort.
“The strength and the heart of Trane is systems knowledge,” said Matt Biesterveld, leader, systems tools portfolio, Trane. “This product has the ability to take all these really great products, controls, and pieces and bring them together in a way that’s going to give a more efficient HVAC system that is fully integrated so that components aren’t fighting against themselves.”
According to Fullerton, the Systems Tools Group is focused on ways to plug products together, producing the right equipment for the right situation.
“These tools aren’t just leading contractors down the hallway to a Trane product,” he said. “It’s about here’s the right application for your building, and then our hope, of course, is that it’s an intersection with the products and services we offer.”
Publication date: 2/18/2019