HVAC in Laboratories: Special Considerations?

HVAC in Laboratories: Special Considerations?Every commercial building needs efficient HVAC; employees can’t work and customers won’t linger if heating systems fail in the winter or air conditioning units can’t keep up in the summer. As noted by a recent CSE Magazine article, however, there are some facilities—such as laboratories—which have unique HVAC requirements far beyond those of a “typical” business. And while it’s not worth replicating these systems in restaurants or office buildings, it’s worth taking a look at more extreme HVAC examples as a way to improve performance and longevity for all air movement systems.

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Foul Play? Cooling Tower Cleanliness Key to Plant Efficiency

Foul Play? Cooling Tower Cleanliness Key to Plant EfficiencyAt most commercial and industrial plants, chiller systems get the lion’s share of investment, attention, and maintenance. It’s no wonder: HVAC plant chillers account for approximately 45 percent of utility costs and use more than five times the energy of cooling towers on average. As a result, companies are willing to invest in tube wire brushing, chemical descaling, and eddy current monitoring to keep these systems running.

What’s often overlooked, however, is the direct link between cooling tower performance and chiller efficiency—if fouled, towers can bog down an entire plant or even spread infectious diseases such as Legionella. Bottom line? Clean towers are key to better cooling.

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Shell Gets Go-Ahead to Drill Alaskan Coastline

Shell Gets Go-Ahead to Drill Alaskan CoastlineAny talk about offshore drilling prompts a strong response. Those in favor of tapping this natural resource using offshore platforms rightly say that the industry creates thousands of jobs and fills a necessary economic need. Those opposed, meanwhile, have valid concerns about the safety of drilling rigs and pipes used to move tons of crude on a daily basis.

The debate is especially heated when it comes to Alaska’s northwestern coast, home to both Alaska Natives and a number of endangered animal species. According to Komo News, however, Shell has just crossed a major administrative milestone with approval from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to conduct a multi-year exploration plan in the Chukchi Sea. Does this mean going offshore in Alaska is now a foregone conclusion?

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Battery Boredom—Does Tesla Have the Answer?

HiResBatteries are obviously not a new technology. Every grocery and convenience store sells a variety of small-scale batteries for use in household devices and hobbyists dedicated to making their own storage units can cobble together strings of batteries to create longer-term solutions. But the storage side of renewable energy sources—wind, geothermal, and especially solar—has been largely overlooked because it’s not exciting or revolutionary.

Now, entrepreneur Elon Musk of Telsa motors and Space X has introduced new “Powerwall” technology which is sleek, sexy and simple. Is this the answer to consumer battery boredom?

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Boosting Biomass: New Senate Bill Looks to Improve Outlook

Boosting Biomass: New Senate Bill Looks to Improve Outlook It’s not a new idea: Burn wood to generate energy. The simplest form is your fireplace, but companies are now tackling this concept at scale to produce what’s known as biomass energy. Hoping to take its place alongside solar, geothermal, and wind as the next big renewable, biomass enjoys it share of champions and critics, but according to Renewable Energy Magazine, the United States is looking to encourage biomass generation with the introduction of a new grant program from the Department of Energy (DOE), which legislators hope will both create jobs and boost innovation.

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