RPA Vice President's Note: What's new with radiant and hydronics in 2019
The Radiant Professionals Alliance is looking forward to a productive year on several fronts. After a successful AHR Expo in January, where the RPA exhibited and sponsored an education track with technical sessions on radiant and hydronic technologies, we are now looking forward to this year’s co-sponsorship of the PHCC CONNECT 2019 Conference and Product Showcase in Indianapolis, Oct. 2-4. We’ve already assembled a superb lineup of technical presentations for the event, and exhibit booths are filling up fast. To reserve a booth, visit www.radiantpros.org/connect.
The Hydronics Industry Alliance — Commercial (HIA-C) committee of the RPA continues to promote the new and improved Building Efficiency Software Tool (BEST). It’s free, and allows the HVAC professional to quickly compare up to 30 different HVAC system types on a yet-to-be-constructed building anywhere in the U.S., Canada or Mexico. It provides a practical, quick and reliable tool for evaluation and comparison of various HVAC system candidates early in the conceptual design phase, to save time and money and complete projects more efficiently. Convenient drop-down menus make it easy to select equipment and distribution systems to model a system. To learn more and download your free copy of BEST, visit www.BESThvac.org.
On another topic, RPA and HIA-C members have been closely following the rulemaking deliberations taking place under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) in regards to efficiency testing and rating procedures for variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air conditioners and heat pumps. The issue is a pending update to AHRI Standard 1230 Performance Rating of VRF Multi-Split Air-Conditioning and Heat Pump Equipment, which was supposed to be completed by now, but was delayed by concerns voiced by a number of members of the VRF Working Group and other participating stakeholders.
The concerns focus on the substantial difference between the equipment efficiency ratings generated by the AHRI Standard 1230 test procedures, and the actual performance of the rated equipment in the field. One stakeholder group consisting of California’s largest utilities, who operate energy efficiency programs which provide rebates based on the AHRI ratings, are particularly vocal about the need to change Standard 1230 testing procedures/ratings to better reflect actual performance of VRF systems.
All this is of course music to the ears of HIA-C member companies, who provide hydronic-based heating and cooling solutions which are substantially more energy efficient than VRF in many commercial building applications, and who have for years pointed out the disparity between VRF ratings and actual operating efficiencies. To learn more, search on: EERE-2018-BT-STD-0003. Let the debate go on!