AABC to Hold TAB Talk Webinar on Pressure Independent Valve Technology

The Associated Air Balance Council will hold a new AIA-approved webinar in their TAB Talk series on May 19, in collaboration with the newest AABC Industry Partner, Belimo.

Pressure independent valves are commonly used in the HVAC industry to control chilled and hot water for air conditioning and heating. PI valves supply a specific flow for each value of the DDC control signal, regardless of pressure variations in the system. The speakers will discuss valve characteristics and how they relate to hydronic coil performance, valve sizing and valve authority, and how these elements affect the equipment’s operation in the central energy plant. The session will conclude with a review of the different types of pressure independent valves and valve technologies.

Webinar title: Pressure Independent Valve Technology: Performance & Testing Consideration

When: 2 p.m. Eastern / 1 p.m. Central / Noon Mountain / 11 a.m. Pacific, May 19

Duration: One hour

Registration link: https://www.aabc.com/register-for-the-pressure-independent-valve-technology-may-19/

Presenters: Bob Walker, regional application consultant, Belimo Americas and Brian Venn, TBE, CxA, Mechanical Testing, Inc.

Learning objectives:

• Define and describe the function of PI valves
• Identify the piping and pressure implications of PI valves
• Describe the operating sequence of a mechanical PI valve
• Describe the operating sequence of an electronic PI valve
• Explain the steps to commission a PI valve

Continuing education credits: AIA 1 LU

Cost: Free for AABC, ACG and EMA members; $39 for non-members

Mestek Boiler Group Introduces New Inverter Air-to-Water Heat Pump

The Mestek Boiler Group introduces its first inverter-driven air-to-water heat pump, which will be sold under the RBI and Advanced Thermal Hydronic Brands. Perfect for light commercial and commercial applications, the air-to-water heat pump encompasses all of today’s hydronic equipment innovations.

Heat pumps absorb low-temperature heat from outside air and deliver higher-temperature heat to an emitter inside the occupied space using water as the heat transfer medium. When cooling, heat pumps reverse the cycle and deliver chilled water through the same emitter.

Features and benefits include heating capacities to 288 MBH, cooling capacities to 203 MBH, inverter compressors, low-ambient performance (-20 F), enhanced vapor injection technology and hot water to 140 F. In addition, the new heat pump offers user-friendly touch-screen controls, no refrigerant handling, are easily piped and zoned, boast high-performance DC motors, as well as C-fin heat exchangers and built-in redundancy.

Armstrong Unveils New Outdoor Pumps Available with Permanent Magnet Motors up to 10 Horsepower

Armstrong Fluid Technology has announced that Design Envelope pumps with Permanent Magnet motors are now available NEMA 4X/IP66 rated, for outdoor installation.

Featuring advanced-performance mapping technology and load-limiting logic, the new pumps reduce energy consumption by as much as 30% compared to pumps supplied with a loose-variable speed drive. Together with more-efficient pump hydraulics, the new 1-10 horsepower pumps can save an additional 20% compared to competing integrated products with induction motors.

Other features of the new Design Envelope outdoor pumps include:

  • Cover to protect touch-screen user interface from dirt and sunlight
  • Overhead weather shield protects motor fan from ice seizures
  • Factory-tested NEMA 4X rated controls are TL approved
  • Available Parallel Sensorless control provides additional energy savings through best-efficiency staging
  • Available Pump Manager service provides pump performance tracking along with alerts, alarms and data storage

For more information, visit www.armstrongfluidtechnology.com.

Aquatherm Welcomes Southern Pipe & Supply as Distribution Partner

Aquatherm has added Southern Pipe & Supply as a distribution partner.

Founded in 1901, Southern Pipe & Supply is one of the largest privately held, independent distributors of brand-name plumbing, HVAC, industrial, mechanical and water works supplies in the Southeast, with more than 100 locations in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Arkansas, Florida and Tennessee.

“Southern Pipe has always aligned themselves with the brand leaders in the marketplace,” said William Jolly, director of purchasing – Southern Pipe & Supply. “We are honored to partner with Aquatherm, the leader in polypropylene piping systems.”

Glen Miller, vice president of sales, Aquatherm North America, said the company has been strategically adding distribution to support its contractor customers.

Rinnai Products Approved for Use with Hydrogen Gas Utilizing A Greener Energy Source

Creating a healthier way of living is Rinnai’s brand promise, and there’s no better way to uphold it then to invest in research and improvements resulting in cleaner and more efficient energy sources.

Rinnai, whose previous product inventory leveraged industry norms like propane or natural gas, tested the use of hydrogen-enriched natural gas across its tankless water heaters, boilers and direct-vent wall furnaces. This low-carbon energy source – a combination of natural gas with hydrogen – decreases carbon intensity and improves combustion in end-use products. After thorough research and testing, Rinnai’s products have been approved for use with HENG and depending on the product can use up to 30% hydrogen. End users benefit by preserving fuel, improving the products cost efficiency and most importantly, reducing carbon dioxide emissions to better the environment.

The demand for clean energy has been on the up and on for quite some time and the importance to customers continues to rise. With those user preferences in mind, HENG makes it possible to lower the carbon intensity of natural gas, delivering a cost competitive solution for protecting the environment.

For decades, hydrogen has been considered as an alternative energy carrier. According to the paper “Hydrogen-Enriched Natural Gas, Bridge to an Ultra-Low Carbon World,” the concept isn’t new. Due to its small carbon footprint compared to other fuels, natural gas is playing an important part in changing the environment for the better through reducing release of other pollutants besides carbon dioxide, such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and other hydrocarbons.

By applying already-set-in-place infrastructure to lowering carbon dioxide emissions, HENG helps maintain high efficiency and reduces the carbon footprint of Rinnai water and space heating appliances, which is a great step towards Creating a healthier way of living.

To learn more, visit www.rinnai.us.

Bosch Thermotechnology Expands SSB System with New System Integration Module

Bosch Thermotechnology released its Stainless Steel Boiler Low Loss Header accessory, completing its SSB System for a fully contained, compact boiler solution.

The Bosch SSB LLH 4-in-1 combination separator incorporates hydraulic separation, air separation, dirt separation and ferrous impurity separation. The dirt and magnetic separator helps to ensure clean water circulation through the boiler loop. With one hot water supply and one water return, every connection is only used once.

Temperature is not an issue with this system, which is ideal for temperatures from 32 F to 194 F without insulation.

The Bosch SSB Low Loss Header features include:

  • Hydraulic separation, air separation, dirt separation and ferrous impurity separation
  • Suitable for water and glycol solutions
  • Max pressure range 80 psi
  • Pipes can be fitted on either side of the boiler
  • Integrated 75 psi pressure relief valves
  • 5-year non-prorated heat exchanger warranty

The SSB System was engineered by Bosch on a single-platform design, making installation and commissioning easy, regardless of the output required. With an efficiency of 96%, the SSB is loaded with standard features that include dedicated boiler pumps, two heat exchangers and on-board control with weather compensation, practical control solutions for any application and several venting options, as well as many other features.

For more information, visit https://www.bosch-climate.us/.

Sheet Metal Training Center Now Includes Architectural, Commercial Facility

The pandemic didn’t slow down progress at Sheet Metal Workers Local 10 in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Beginning in March 2020, construction began on the training center’s new 3,700-square-foot commercial service and architectural lab.

The inside of the building is designed as a commercial service lab while the outside was created to serve as an architectural lab, complete with removable panels. Equipment includes a small air handling unit, in addition to one on the roof that services the building, several fans, variable speed drives, pumps and motorized variable air volume boxes.

“We’re pushing really hard to get into the commercial service market,” said Carl Zitzer, Local 10’s recently retired training coordinator, who was instrumental in the creation of the lab. “We were running classes, but we didn’t have any commercial equipment.”

Zitzer said this lab will help contractors bid the work and showcase the skills, expertise and professionalism sheet metal workers bring to the marketplace: “We install it. We should be the ones servicing it.”

With the completion of U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings, in recent memory, architectural work is yet another specialty sheet metal workers want to keep in their wheelhouse.

Three sides of the new building serve as a lab for the installation of any type of architectural panel system, and the interior also can be used as an architectural lab. Once an apprentice class is finished installing panels, the next class begins the project by taking it apart and then installing a new design. The lab is an important part in training this type of work, as it is highly specialized, Zitzer said.

“When you can’t actually do the work in school like they do on the job, it’s hard to explain,” he added. “This is as realistic as possible. This is like doing a real job.”

In 2018, Local 10 installed a fire life safety lab in order to not only train apprentices but also educate local politicians, fire officials and leaders about the importance of fire life safety.

Apprentices like those at Local 10 receive college-accredited training during the four-year program in AutoCAD, air balancing, refrigeration/service, welding and heating, ventilation and air conditioning design, fabrication and installation. While they are learning in the classroom, they are gaining skills on the jobsite including installation of architectural sheet metal, kitchen equipment and duct for heating and air conditioning systems in residential and commercial buildings.

The goal is for apprentices to graduate with a college degree, zero college debt and a career to last a lifetime. More than 14,000 apprentices participate in 148 training centers across the United States and Canada, learning curriculum and using the free training materials provided by the International Training Institute, the education arm of the unionized sheet metal, air conditioning and welding industry.

For more information about ITI and its available training curriculum for members covering sheet metal trade work, visit the website or call 703-739-7200.

Navien, Inc. Launches NPE-2 Series Condensing Tankless Water Heaters

Navien, Inc. has launched the brand new NPE-2 series. Navien NPE-2 series is the biggest update to condensing tankless water heaters in North America since the NPE series changed the landscape of the industry in 2012. The NPE-2 is offered in four Standard models up to 199,900 Btu/hr and three Advanced models up to 199,900 Btu/hr.

Advanced innovation engineered into the NPE-2 allows for new high-efficiency features and technology including a turndown ratio up to 15:1, EZNav advanced multi-line control with built-in intuitive software and easy-to-use Setup Wizard, increased 2-inch PVC venting length up to 75 feet, vent installation detector, built-in HotButton on-demand system controls, expanded cascade capability up to 32 units and expanded common venting capability up to 12 units.

The NPE-2 will continue to offer features such as dual stainless steel heat exchangers, half-inch gas pipe capability up to 24 feet and ComfortFlow recirculation system with built-in recirculation pump and buffer tank on the NPE-A2.

Navien’s NPE-2 will continue to support its popular accessories for enhanced installations including NaviLink Wi-Fi remote control system, NaviCirc recirculation crossover valve, H2Air for combination space heating and domestic hot water system and ReadyLink manifold system for simplifying multi-unit installations on walls or racks.

To learn more, visit Navieninc.com.

PEX Pipe, Tubing Freeze-Break Resistance & Benefits Addressed in New Technical Report

The Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. has published a new technical report related to the break resistance of PEX pipe and tubing when fluid inside becomes frozen. PPI is the major trade association representing the plastic pipe industry.

PPI TR-52 Resistance of PEX Pipe and Tubing to Breakage When Frozen (Freeze-Break Resistance) explains how proper installation and protection of piping can prevent freezing of fluids inside PEX, how the inherent material properties of PEX can delay freezing of water and how PEX can resist breaking if the fluid inside does freeze.

“The inherent flexibility of crosslinked polyethylene results in excellent freeze-break resistance,” explained Lance MacNevin, P. Eng., director of engineering for PPI’s Building & Construction Division. “This means that if water or fluid-filled PEX pipe or tubing freezes, the elasticity of the material typically allows it to expand without cracking or splitting, and then to return to its original diameter upon thawing. However, there are installation variables that can cause PEX to fail in certain situations, which are described within this report, and the freezing of fluid within any type of pipe should be prevented for multiple practical reasons.

TR-52 includes excerpts from Canadian and U.S. model plumbing and mechanical codes about protecting all pipes from freezing, as well as PPI’s recommendations to protect pipes in specific applications.

Published on PPI’s website directly at https://plasticpipe.org/pdf/tr-52.pdf, TR-52 is one of several PPI documents related to the design and installation of pressure pipe materials, which are published as a service to the industry by PPI’s Building & Communications Division.

ASHRAE, IAPMO to Co-Publish Water Efficiency Document

ASHRAE and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials will co-publish a document to address water efficiency in buildings. The document will combine ASHRAE 191P, Standard for the Efficient Use of Water in Building Mechanical Systems, along with WE-Stand, IAPMO’s Water Efficiency and Sanitation Standard, to offer complimentary water efficiency guidance and references in one publication.

“Water efficiency and energy conservation are major considerations in the design and operation of HVAC systems in high-performance buildings,” said 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E. “Escalating costs and concerns regarding availability have brought much needed attention to the issue of water use in the built environment. We are pleased to collaborate with IAPMO to provide a balanced resource to the water energy nexus as the demand for sustainable strategies grow.”

ASHRAE 191P provides minimum requirements for the design of building mechanical systems that limit the volume of water required to operate HVAC systems. WE-Stand focuses on achieving safe and efficient water use in both residential and non-residential buildings.

“We’re excited to coordinate our development efforts on WE-Stand with ASHRAE’s 191P Committee,” said Dan Cole, senior director of technical services and WE-Stand Secretariat. “With the development cycle for 2020 now finalized, we will look forward to ensuring that both standards eliminate any conflicts toward achieving high levels of water efficiency for both mechanical and premise plumbing systems.”

The co-published document will be available upon the conclusion of the 2023 WE-Stand development process, which is on a three-year cycle.