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Building Management Hawaii February/March 2014 - (Page 28)

HVAC: Top Trends Unloved but important home products get reinvented. By Drew Santos L eading trends in air conditioning for 2014 include Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) and Multi-Zone Systems, along with Smart Thermostats and Advanced Duct Systems. HVac Industry Innovations Technology and efficiency are key factors in the quickly changing HVAC market. For example, the NEST Learning Thermostat was developed by some of the same software engineers that designed for Apple computer products. The NEST doesn't need to be programmed. It remembers the temperature you set and builds a personalized schedule for you. NEST turns itself down when you are away to help save energy and you can change the temperature from anywhere using your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Innovations in equipment The NEST Learning Thermostat design and thermostats are only the beginning. Admor HVAC is also seeing a revolution in the way building owners duct cool air throughout a building envelope. For instance, Knauf KoolDuct is a high performance, pre-insulated air ducting system specifically designed for the demanding requirements of the residential and commercial markets. It offers many competitive 28 February-March 2014 BMH advantages over conventional sheet metal duct systems. The major advantage is that the KoolDuct system eliminates fiberglass from the air stream. There is no fiberglass wrap or liner with the KoolDuct system. With an R-Value (the measurement thermal resistance ) of 6, it is 40 percent more efficient than standard wrapped or lined ducts. The KoolDuct System is constructed with chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free phenolic foam board and patented aluminum flanges. Both sides of the KoolDuct are sealed so that air only flows on aluminum, making it ideally suited for high specification applications. The product is ultra-lightweight yet strong enough to handle abuse and even the weight of several large adults. SEER-ing Good Rates The efficiency of air conditioners is often rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The SEER rating of a unit is the cooling output during a typical cooling-season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. The higher the unit's SEER rating the more energy efficient it is. While we will see a change in the national minimum rating go from 13 to 14 SEER, there are many systems that deliver 20 to 27.2 SEER. For 2014, the ongoing trend of energy efficiency continues to drive HVAC products toward new and better technologies. When it comes to energy efficiency, Fujitsu is leading the way with VRF and Split System technology that saves energy and money. Fujitsu VRF systems are designed for commercial buildings and allow the building owner to "zone" the air conditioning load so that only rooms that are occupied or require cooling are being cooled. By utilizing smaller indoor air handlers, which circulate conditioned air, Fujitsu HFI System each room is individually computer controlled to minimize operating time and maximize savings. This is in direct contrast to a large chiller or package unit air conditioning system that comes on all at once and cools all spaces whether the rooms are occupied or not. VRF technology brings precise temperature control to each zone and can be controlled from a central remote control or by a remote computer system. For those non-commercial buildings, Fujitsu has introduced an advanced line of multi-zone systems called Hybrid Flex Inverter (HFI). The HFI System is less expensive than a VRF system and allows you to cool up to eight zones from a single, compact and quiet outdoor unit. The HFI System is ideal for single-family homes, condominiums and light commercial applications where threephase power is not available. Both the VRF and HFI systems utilize inverter compressor technology. Inverters are a big reason why we are seeing a rapid increase in SEER ratings. Inverter compressors do not come on at full speed and run 100 percent like traditional compressors. Instead, an inverter compressor ramps up and down slowly depending on the cooling load. This allows for a "soft" start at minimum amperage draw. As the cooling load increases so does the speed of the compressor. The beauty of an inverter is that if the compressor only needs to run at onequarter speed to meet the cooling load, it automatically ramps down and uses less energy. Another inverter product is the Maytag IQ Drive Air Conditioning System. With SEER ratings upwards of 24, these are the most energy efficient www.buildingmanagementhawaii.com http://www.buildingmanagementhawaii.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii February/March 2014

Engineered Efficiency: A Holistic Approach
Why Host An EV Charger
The New Age Of Energy Metering
Are You On Island Time?
Time To Stay Cool
Through The Tinted-Glass, And What Savings You’ll Find There
Managing Off-Site
Safe & Secure
HVAC: Top Trends
An Industry Unites At Expo 2014
The (Often Overlooked) Success Factor
On Site: Men At Work

Building Management Hawaii February/March 2014