Danfoss Turbocor VTT Gains Recognition

At the 2015 AHR Expo in Chicago this year, a well-known and leading manufacturer of high-efficiency electronic and mechanical components and controls for HVAC, Danfoss, was awarded top honors.  A panel of judges named Danfoss’ Turbocor VTT series of compressors its “Product of the Year”.  This award is given to one of the year’s 10 AHR Expo Innovation Award winners, and was announced during the award presentation ceremony on January 27th.  Previously, Danfoss Turbocor VTT series of compressors had been named the 2015 AHR Expo Innovation Award winner in the “Green Building” category.

Jeremy Bednarsh Danfoss Turbocor

Danfoss Turbocor VTT

Intended for water-cooled chillers and with a capacity of 350 tons per compressor, Turbocor VTT compressors are oil-free, with variable speed and magnetic bearing centrifugal compressors ideal for commercial air-conditioning or process cooling chillers reaching up to 1,000 tons or more.  Turbocor VTT series introduces “IntraFlow”, an innovative, patent-pending technology meant to improve efficiency and prove extended stable operating ranges while also simplifying capacity control.  IntraFlow eliminates the need for inlet guide vanes or mechanical variable geometry diffusers, which allows VTT compressors to offer both superior full-load and part-load performance and enable chiller manufacturers to achieve the latest in efficiency standards.

The compressors also feature an exclusive new drive technology, the result of integrated R&D efforts that blend Danfoss’ extensive expertise and capabilities in high-efficiency compressors and variable frequency drives for the HVACR industry.  The VTT drive offers superior reliability and performance in just a small frame size, thanks to refrigerant-controlled heat removal.  Since these compressors are oil-free, users ultimately experience lower maintenance costs than are typically associated with systems that can suffer from repair chronic lubrication problems.  This marks both the third and fourth times that Danfoss has been recognized in the AHR Expo Innovation Awards, as well as the first time that a Turbocor product has been named “Product of the Year”.  All in all, Danfoss has been recognized 19 times in the past 12 years in the Innovation Awards Program, more than any other HVACR manufacturer.

Purina Beneful Lawsuit

Jeremy Bednarsh Purina

Could this seemingly harmless-looking dog food be causing the death of countless dogs?

Purina’s Beneful brand is truly one of the most popular pet food brands in the country.  Through their aggressive marketing campaigns, they’ve become one of the most recognizable animal food brands.  However, a recent lawsuit has claimed that Purina’s Beneful brand is hurting and killing pets.  Dog-owners have filed over 3,000 online complaints that claim Purina Petcare Beneful’s dry kibble variety is killing and hurting dogs.  The brand is still on store shelves in the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana area, and has yet to be recalled.

This class-action suit concerns kibble dry food, along with various other Purina Beneful brands.  According to the lawsuit currently being held, the packaging used for these foods makes various claims about the food’s high quality.  However, in addition to the packaging on the sites, the lawsuit lists stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, bloat, kidney failure, weight loss and seizures as symptoms that dog-owners consistently report after feeding their pets Beneful.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Frank Lucido, who claimed in the suit that after purchasing a bag of Beneful for the first time in late December, all three of his dogs began to fall ill with stomach and liver symptoms, and that he fed them only Beneful for less than a month.  Lucido’s English bulldog, Dover, ultimately died after starting to show signs of internal bleeding in his stomach and lesions on his liver.  Lucido’s German Shepherd Nella has shown similar symptoms, and his third dog, the Labrador Remo, is currently undergoing testing after feeling unwell.  Lucido claims that these illnesses, as well as similar illnesses of other dogs that have become sick and/or died after eating Beneful, were caused by toxic substances in the food.

Overall, there have been hundreds of complaints about Purina Beneful.  There have been thousands of complaints about dogs who have suffered serious side effects, including death, after eating Purina Beneful.  The suit lists the automotive antifreeze component propylene glycol, which is toxic to dogs and cats, as a primary ingredient in Beneful’s dog food.  This isn’t the first time that Ppropylene glycol has been part of food safety cases.  Fireball Whisky, for example, was recalled in Scandinavia last October for what some claimed were dangerous levels of the chemical.

Grateful Dead Reunion Concert

This upcoming Fourth of July weekend at Soldier Field in Chicago, theJeremy Bednarsh grateful dead surviving “core four” members of the Grateful Dead will be reuniting for three concerts to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary.  For the shows, which are scheduled to take place between July 3rd and 5th, Weir, Lesh, Hart and Kreutzmann will be joined by an assortment of guests, including former touring member Bruce Hornsby and Phish co-founder Trey Anastasio.  In a promotional video for the event, Jerry Garcia’s daughter Trixie announces her pride in knowing that the Grateful Dead, a truly American rock band, will be celebrated on the birthday of America.  The choice of Chicago is also significant for other reasons, since it’s not only a geographical center of the US, but also because it’s the last place where the Grateful Dead played together in 1995.

These shows also sound like the closing of an age.  As Weird told Billboard, these will be the last shows with the four surviving core members of the Grateful Dead together.  That’s why they’ve chosen to do their show in Chicago, returning to where it all ended 20 years earlier.

To many, the Grateful Dead doesn’t feel like a band as much as they do a religion.  They were one of the first cult acts in music; although the Grateful Dead wasn’t originally as popular as other psychedelic bands, they were the leaders of the Haight-Ashbury music scene, with an intense cult following.  During the 1970s, as the Grateful Dead became more popular around the country, a number of fans began to travel to see the band in as many shows as they possibly could.  Through this, a culture began to develop around the band, with “Deadheads” developing their own idioms and slang.  Soon, Deadheads began to sell tie-dye shirts, veggie burritos and other items at Grateful Dead concerts so that they could make enough money to follow the band around.

Part of this popularity was due to the fact that Grateful Dead shows were experiences in themselves, with no one show like another.  Night-to-night song selections changed over shows, and the band typically played two set in a show, often followed by an encore.  With the same fans attending every concert, the Grateful Dead were allowed to experiment more with their concerts and continue touring.  As one generation of Deadheads aged, new ones sprung up, with multiple generations attending concerts together.

The popularity of the Grateful Dead is comparable to that of Phish, one of my personal favorite bands.  Like the Grateful Dead, Phish has gained (not without good reason) a rabid fan culture due to the popularity of their concerts.


New Air Conditioning Units

jeremy bednarsh new acIf you are in the market for a new HVAC system for your home, it may be the time to consult with a professional installer to see what would work best for your home and habits. You want to make sure that you have explored all of your options before purchasing an entirely new HVAC system. One of the most important things to consider is how energy efficient your system is, it is important for both the environment and your wallet to seek out a system that uses energy as efficiently as possible. To make sure you find the best system that is the most energy efficient in your living space, consult an HVAC service expert.

To vet your options when looking for an appropriate expert, make sure your HVAC contractor is licensed in your state and that the company they work for has a good reputation. When you feel like you have found a reliable representative, make and appointment for them to consult with you and have them look at your home and discuss your options. When you are thinking of buying  anew air conditioning system, be sure to ask the following questions. Make sure you check the Service Energy Efficiency Rating, also known as SEER on any product you are considering. Current law requires new AC systems to have a 13 SEER rating or higher. Be sure to also ask your HVAC expert about where to place the air conditioning unit, because it should be located in a place where you can conduct maintenance easily. You will also want to discuss a maintenance plan for your new unit and any warrantee provisions. When all of this is sorted you can purchase and install your new AC unit for the summer season. This investment will lower your heating and cooling costs and make your home more comfortable.

Save Energy with Lights

jeremy bednarsh lightTo really save money and energy, the key is to integrate your lighting control system into your HVAC system. This is not done very frequently because it is complex, however it is possible and it will save you a lot of energy. Additionally as technology is advancing it is become more frequent that people will integrate these systems for the aforementioned benefits.

More often in new buildings there is a trend towards making the energy performance of the space very high. The U.S. Green Building Council has instituted a rating system to help categorize how energy efficient a building actually is. This rating system takes into account that buildings should be getting better and some jurisdictions even mandate these new standards even as lighting is becoming more and more complex. At the same time, though, HVAC monitoring and controls is now more formalized and standard across the board. This means that as these advanced lighting systems are released out into the market, it will become more common for these light and HVAC systems to be integrated in the future. Design and construction are still obstacles for this goal, but there is so much saved in energy and money that it is worth exploring how this could benefit your building. The efficiency of a building does not just refer to the consumption of energy, but also if the inhabitants are thermally comfortable and can see comfortably. It used to be that these systems were on a timing basis as people might be in the area. There is a better way with an integrated system. Some shy way from tying together their lighting and HVAC system because of the high initial cost. However, as the code develops and it become easier to link them, more and more applications are being completed. The integrated system offers many benefits to the users. A few of these benefits include improved efficiency because of common scheduling, occupancy control, and optimization of both thermal and visual systems. What could be better than tying them together?

Prepare Your Home for Summer

jeremy bednarsh spring hvacAfter a long, cold, exhausting winter it’s finally spring and soon will be the glorious sunny days of summer. Your summer prep probably includes buying a new bathing suit and sunscreen, but this is also the time to get your home ready for the warm months ahead.

First, make sure you clean your front door. Summer is the time for outdoor barbecues and food-filled porch picnics, make sure your front entry way is ready for all of your summer guests. Your front door is the first thing visitors will see so it is important to make it shine. The winter has probably covered your front door with salt and other grime and refinishing, sanding, and painting your front door will give it a nice makeover for the summer. Using exterior polyurethane with ultraviolet inhibitor will make the improvements you’ve made to your door last.

While you’re preparing for that outdoor barbeque or grill-session with family and friends, make sure you clean your grill. There may be dust and cobwebs inside from lack of use over a few months. Clean the grill surface with grill cleaner and use a wire bristle brush to scrape off any unwanted residue. Other deck and lawn items may also need to be cleaned for your backyard garden/grill parties. It is worth the investment to rent or buy a power washer. This can be used to clean lawn furniture, siding, gutters, fences, and driveways. It makes cleaning fast and easy and will make you feel quite powerful!

Before summer is in full swing and in the transition from heating to cooling, make sure to check your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. With harsh winter weather, your home is shut up and your HVAC system works very hard to keeps you comfortable. The spring transition is the perfect time to replace or clean all your air filters so that they are working efficiently for the summer.

Spring is also time to ready your yard and landscaping. Rake away any left over leaves from the fall, trim trees and bushes, and clear out gutters. This is also a great time to make sure you have all of the gardening supplies you need like hoses, shovels, and gardening gloves. Spread some mulch on your flowerbeds and get ready for a glorious summer!

HVAC Efficiency Ratings in Australia

jeremy bednarsh efficiencyAustralia is the first country to introduce energy efficiency ratings for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units. Sustainability Victoria is overseeing the development of the ranking systems for energy efficiency. The rating tool that they are developing will use quantitative and qualitative data assessing design, the installation and operational phases, and the performance of the various units. Hopefully the outcome of this ranking system will encourage manufacturers to strive to offer the best practice products on the market.

While Sustainability Victoria is overseeing the project, there are other major players involved in the development of the standards. The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-conditioning, and Heating (AIRAH), the Property Council of Australia, the Facilities Management Association of Australia, and the Air-conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association are the industrial leaders that are helping to develop standards for energy efficiency.

The resulting HVAC criteria will hopefully put pressure on companies to improve the efficiency on their products, resulting in greater efficiency and sustainability in facilities throughout the country. Amazingly, HVAC systems make up half of the energy usage/consumption in buildings and also account for over fifty percent of potential improvement in energy efficiency. The standards that are being put together will result in an online tool that will be easy to access. This ‘Calculating Cool HVAC Tool’ will be used for data collection, long-term monitoring, and comparative analysis.

Australia is the first in the world to creative energy ratings criteria specifically for HVAC systems. Hopefully, other countries will take notice and adopt the ratings system or develop one of their own. The Australia system will be compatible with the NABERS and Green Star Design suite of rating tools. The new HVAC rating system is currently still in development, but should have a public review by the end of 2014.