Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Electric Motor Primer

Aaon has published an electric motor primer that discussed the differences between AC, DC and ECM motors. It is a useful resource for engineers who want to optimize their choice of motors in the products they select and specify.

This document can be found here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Greening RTU's: Aaon High Efficiency Units

Today's codes and customers are demanding higher and higher efficiencies from their units. And Aaon has been continually improving their product offering to stay one step ahead of the curve. Not only do they offer energy-saving features like heat recovery, foam core panel construction, digital scrolls and the best RTU economizers on the market, but they also offer industry-leading cooling efficiencies.

To help customers select the unit that is right for their project, Aaon has created this quick select guide that shows the available efficiency levels of their RTU products (Energy Star, ASHRAE 90.1, ASHRAE 189, CEE Tier 1 or CEE Tier II) for all of their units from 2 tons to 70 tons.

See what else Aaon is doing to revolutionize the efficiency of rooftop units at our Greening RTU's section of this blog!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Smardt Displaying at 28th West Coast EMC Show, June 15-16

Smardt is bringing their high-efficiency chillers to Seattle to show in the upcoming 28th West Coast Energy Management Congress Expo. Come see the industry leading oil-free compressor chillers and chiller controls systems first hand!

Exposition Hours:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Wednesday, June 16, 2010: 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Free tickets to the expo are available here.

The show will highlight energy efficiency products and programs and is supported by local utilities, industry organizations and local industry. It should be a very informative and exciting show, and it is conveniently located at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in downtown Seattle.

See you there!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Aaon Completes Conversion to Foam Core Construction with Announcement of New RQ

A few years back, Aaon made a committment to convert all of their air handling products to high-performance foam core panels. With the introduction of the new RQ rooftop unit (1-6 tons) this conversion is complete!

We've mentioned the many benefits of the foam core technology before, but it is worthwhile to revisit the subject to understand how much better this R-13 double-wall cabinet is than the standard single wall R-1 to R-3 batt insulation cabinet design in the industry. This detailed report on the performance of the foam core panel shows that in Seattle's environment, as much as 20% energy savings can be realized just from the better thermal performance and low leakage of this design.

But the RQ is not just better because of its high-performance cabinet. This product also makes available all of the energy saving advantages of the larger AAON RN product, like:

And offers a new energy savings feature: ECM Fans!

And while SEER's are of relatively small importance to the overall efficiency of a rooftop system in a heating dominated climate like Seattle's, the RQ boasts SEER's that are in line with CEE's Tier 1 and Tier 2 efficiency levels

With the introduction of the RQ, Aaon has set a completely new standard in energy efficient rooftop air conditioning systems.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Energy Labs Announces IBC 2006 Seismic Certification

Energy Labs Air Handling units have received IBC 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009 seismic certification.

The certificate of compliance qualifies the company’s Air Handling Units for use in building structures wherever seismically rated equipment should be considered.

Air Handling Units play a critical role in maintaining the building environment and making them functional. Seismically Certified Air Handling Unit equipment is required in the 50 states that have adopted the IBC code.

Air handling Units must not only survive earthquakes, the intent of the IBC is to encourage manufacturers to create equipment that remains online and functioning during and after a catastrophic event in order to provide critical life–safety support.

Applications where seismically certified equipment should be considered include hospitals, healthcare facilities; fire, rescue and police stations; emergency shelters; telecommunications centers; power plants; air traffic control centers; military and government buildings; and water treatment facilities.

To qualify for seismic certification, Energy Labs Air handling Units were tested by the VMC Group, an ICC–approved, independent approval agency. All tests were done in accordance with IBC 2000, 2003 and 2006 Section 1707.7.2 and Section 1708.5.
Energy labs certified equipment will have a certificate and label in a clear, viewable location to assure the customer that this equipment qualifies for seismic locations.

When should you specify this certification? Energy Labs has created a quick slideshow to help illustrate the requirements of the code.

How should you specify this requirement? These suggested specifications from Energy Labs should help.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Greening Small Rooftop Package Units: Foam Core Panels in Depth

A while back, I summarized the benefits of foam core panels in comparison to the industry standard of fiberglass batt insulation.

Now Aaon has published an in-depth, seventeen page study of the benefits of the foam core panel.

Foam core panels have many advantages over standard insulation:
  • Superior R-value
  • No thermal breaks
  • Greater Rigidity
  • Lower leakage
  • Stronger damage resistance

This new study calculates the effect of these advantages over the course of a year, in heating and cooling, for buildings in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Seattle and Tulsa.

This study quantifies the benefit of this advanced cabinet construction to assist engineers and owners asses the benefit of demanding higher performance out of their roof top systems.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

White Rust: What it is, and How to Protect Your Project

What is "white rust"? Well, while it is white, it really isn't 'rust' in the normal sense of iron-oxidization. White rust is instead a corrosion product of zinc oxidization that often strikes galvanized surfaces subjected to moisture. In our industry, the most common victims of this corrosion mechanism are cooling towers and fluid coolers. And in these products, white rust can cause thousands of dollars of damage in a relatively short period of time.

White rust damages equipment by allowing a rapid and localized corrosion of the protective zinc coating on galvanized surfaces. Normally, in a galvanized surface, the zinc protects the underlying steel by providing a sacrificial cathodic protection to small areas of exposed steel, and provides bulk protection by providing a durable protective inert zinc oxide coating to prevent exposure of the underlying steel.

In white rust, however, this normal oxidation of the zinc surface goes wrong, and instead of providing a durable dull-gray surface, a porous, powdery or waxy oxide is produced instead. This corrosion product allows a rapid removal of the protective zinc surface--made worse in that the corrosion is generally localized in 'cells' which cause a very quick penetration of the zinc surface, exposing the underlying steel in a pitting process.

In recent years, the incidence of white rust has increased dramatically, leading the industry to study the process in greater depth. The Association of Water Technologies has produced an informative paper (pdf) that investigates the reasons for this increase (essentially changes in the methods used to produce galvanized sheet metal and water treatment methods) and how to prevent its occurrence.

Generally, white rust is more prevalent in soft water areas, which makes it a big problem in the Pacific Northwest. Preventing it entails both design and operational considerations.

White Rust Cells in Basin of Tower

If galvanized surfaces are used in your tower, it is critical that the tower be subjected to a 'passivation' treatment. This is a temporary water treatment regimen in the first few weeks of tower operation that acts to ensure the development of a desirable zinc oxide surface. Evapco discusses this process in this engineering bulletin. If Evapco's non-chemical Pulse~Pure product is provided, passivation is be included in the first year service that is provided with all installations. It is critical that this be performed immediately upon filling the tower with water--if water is left in the tower untreated for a period of time before the passivation treatment begins, white rust cells can develop in the interim. This is a very common cause of white rust corrosion in otherwise well-treated towers.

The other method to avoid problems with white rust in your tower installations is simply to chose your materials of construction wisely. In cooling towers, the most critical portion of the system is the basin--white rust can cause a rapid pinhole leak through the basin of a galvanized basin that would require immediate refurbishment. Providing a 304 ss basin is a very economical way to avoid costly system renovation at a future date. For areas with high chlorides, or when using water treatment methods that operate at high cycles of concentration (thus increasing the low chloride content of the utility water to dangerous levels) 316 ss is also available. Of course, the entire tower can also be constructed from these corrosion-resistant materials if desired.

In fluid coolers, however, the coil is an additional problem area. White rust on this galvanized component can rapidly lead to perforation of the closed-loop side of the system causing loss of cooling water and/or glycol coolant into the open loop side of the system. This can be a triple-threat due to the economic loss of glycol and water, an increased threat of freeze up, and huge water-quality problems due to bacterial growth and plasticization due to glycol exposure in the open side of the cooler.

Plasticized Bacteria/Glycol Slime: Yuck

The coil in your fluid cooler is the single most expensive component in it, by a large margin. And replacing coils can be an extremely costly proposition, especially in coolers without easy access to the coil section.

Until recently, there hasn't been a lot of choice for protection of this critical component of the system. Other than selecting a tower, like Evapco's highly efficient ESWA fluid cooler, that provides easy coil access for coil replacement, the usual option was to ensure a thorough passivation program. However, Evapco has now introduced 304 SS fluid cooler coils to protect your project's investment in this costly and critical component.

White rust is a problem that can cause great economic losses for building owners and operators. Thus it is critical that designers and contractors are aware of the prudent requirements necessary to prevent this damage. But with simple precautions, namely requiring a passivation program or wisely selecting materials of construction, this problem can be avoided in your projects.


But what if it's too late, and you already have white rust on your tower? Well, there are an array of options, including attempting to re-passivate the galvanized surfaces or a full refurbishment of the basin using a polymer coating like Evapco's Evapliner. The helpful people at Fluid-Tek would be happy to help you determine the best course of action for your project.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fan Matrix White Paper

In a previous post I discussed the advantages of the Climate Craft Matrix fan array system.

Climate Craft has now published a white paper that explores these advantages in more depth.

This paper discusses applications and advantages of this system, including:
  • VFD Considerations and Electrical Requirements
  • Sound and Efficiency Considerations
  • Vibration
  • Space Considerations
  • Reliability
  • Serviceability
  • Fan Isolation (Backdraft Dampers)
  • Cost
  • Common Options
This white paper is well worth review and will help designers and owners evaluate the best applications and advantages of this fan innovation.

LEED™ and Pulsed-Power Water Treatment

Pulsed-power water treatment offers many advantages to designers of sustainable systems.

First, it eliminates the use of industrially produced chemicals and their subsequent release into the environment. Secondly, it provides superior control of scale and biological growth, both of which negatively affect the efficiency of systems utilizing treated condenser water. Pulsed-power water treatment also allows safe operation at high cycles of concentration in the condenser water which acts to reduce the use of our limited water resources.

But there are other ways in which Pulsed-power water treatment can contribute to the sustainability of your project--and these can often lead to opportunities to gain LEED™ points.

has developed their Pulse~Pure pulsed-power water treatment system in an effort to minimize the impact of our engineered systems on the environment. They have also provided a handy guide to attaining credit for this reduced impact through attaining points through the LEED™ program:

If you are considering a sustainable project where condenser water systems are to be used, it is well worth the effort to see if pulsed-power water treatment fits into your goals.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Johnson-Barrow/Fluid-Tek support Leukemia Research

Johnson-Barrow/Fluid-Tek are participating in this year's "Big Climb Seattle" on March 22nd, 2009.

This is a stair walk (or run) up 69 flights of stairs in the Columbia Center building. That's 1,311 steps total, with an elevation gain of 788 feet!

Our "Go Green" team is currently soliciting donations to meet our team goal. If you think this is a worthy cause, please click on the link above and click on the team member whose totals you wish to add to.

If you use this website and find it has useful information, I would consider a donation in the name of Rand Conger to be a fitting thank-you. If you think the whole idea is a good one, I might suggest donating in Angela Lambert's name, since she was the one who coerced all of us into this....

Please consider donating to this cause. Help the "Go Green" team reach their 'lofty' goals!

(Or, even better, JOIN team "Go Green"!)

That's a long way up (gulp!)