Canadian Consulting Engineer

Tech Notes: tools and guidance for renewable energy, construction waste, variable refrigerant flow, tensile structures

An upgrade to the RETScreen suite was released by Natural Resources Canada on June 1. The RETScreen sofware is a free Excel-based software tool for the technical and financial viability of potential renewable energy, energy efficiency and...

July 17, 2012   Canadian Consulting Engineer

An upgrade to the RETScreen suite was released by Natural Resources Canada on June 1. The RETScreen sofware is a free Excel-based software tool for the technical and financial viability of potential renewable energy, energy efficiency and cogeneration projects.

The software has 340,000 users worldwide and is estimated to be responsible for over $7 billion in user savings to date.

The new RETScreen Suite integrates RETScreen 4 clean energy project analysis software and the RETScreenPlus energy management software.

New features include a global benchmark database, an interactive Bing Map for climate database, 875 new products, and 13 new energy resource maps.

www.retscreen.net/ang/download.php

SMARTWaste Canada software is a tool for creating construction site waste management plans and monitoring waste generation. It was developed through a partnership betweeen the BRE (Building Research Establishment) Group and Juno & Associates of Canada. It was used in the construction of the 2012 London Olympic Games, helping to increase the reuse of materials on site. For purchase from www.smartwastewcanada.ca

ASHRAE’s new 2012 ASHRAE Handbook – HVAC Systems and Equipment includes new guidance on variable refrigerant flow. The topic is covered in Chapter 18, and includes a system design example and important guidance on costs, controls and safety. In previous volumes, variable refrigerant flow was covered in the unitary products section.

Paul Doppel, chair of ASHRAE’s technical committee on variable refrigerant flow that wrote the chapter, said. “The chapter offers an excellent overview of VRF technology, including discussion about 2-pipe and 3-pipe system performance during heating operations.”

Other highlights in the 2012 volume:

• Chapter 12, District Heating and Cooling, has an extensive new section on economic comparisons, plus several new detailed examples.

• Chapter 17, Ultraviolet Lamp Systems, has new results from ASHRAE research project RP-1509 on degradation of materials irradiated by UVC energy.

• Chapter 19, Duct Construction, has a rewritten section on duct leakage, and new information on air dispersion systems and factory-built grease duct systems.

• Chapter 21, Fans, has added descriptions of types of fans and their applications; many upgraded figures; vibration categories, grades and limits; and a complete rewrite and update for the controls section.

• Chapter 51, Thermal Storage, has new content on unitary thermal storage systems (UTSSs), two new detailed sizing examples, several new figures, and extensive new guidance on equipment selection and operation.

Call 1-800-527-4723 or www.ashrae.org/bookstore.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is planning to combine the standards for tensile membrane structures and air-supported structures. It wants to eliminate the duplication of requirements and remove conflicting information.

ASCE says its standard 55 includes frame-supported structures but is not all-inclusive, and there is no known standard today for air-inflated structures. There is also confusion today with terms such as “membrane-covered” in the International Building Code. ASCE/SEI 55-10 would be the base template and and ASCE would add relevant portions of ASCE 17-96. The new, combined standard would pertain to tensile membranes, air-supported membranes, air-inflated membranes, and frame-supported membranes.

For more information, contact Lee Kusek, Codes and Standards Administrator, at lkusek@asce.org.


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