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Michaels Energy

image of a kitchen hood

Kitchen Hood Heat Recovery

By Emerging Tech Briefs
What is it? Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs), which recover heat from exhaust air, are common in commercial HVAC systems but have typically not been included on kitchen exhaust systems because grease build-up hinders their effectiveness. However, new generations of ventilation equipment are overcoming this obstacle to allow exhaust air to be used to pre-heat domestic hot water. How does it work? One approach to heat recovery for kitchen hood systems has been to use systems similar to traditional ERVs and either clean the exhaust air sufficiently upstream or provide wash-down to maintain effectiveness. These approaches have had limited success. A...
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CO2 Refrigeration

By Emerging Tech Briefs No Comments
What is it? Carbon dioxide (CO2) is everywhere in nature, but it’s not widely known that it can be used in refrigeration systems. Calling CO2, designated “R-744” as a refrigerant, an emerging technology may be a bit of a stretch. It was originally patented as a refrigerant in 1850; however, it fell out of use with the development of synthetic refrigerants. In recent years, CO2 has become increasingly popular again as a refrigerant with an increased focus on environmental safety and ozone depletion. How does it work? CO2 is used in vapor compression refrigeration systems similar to any refrigerant. When...
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image of an air conditioning unit with remote

Membrane Air Conditioning

By Emerging Tech Briefs No Comments
What is it? Membrane air conditioning is a category of cooling technologies that utilizes hydrophilic (attracted to water) membranes to dehumidify air efficiently as part of a cooling system. How does it work? Warm, moist air enters the system and the water (in vapor form) in the air is pulled out in the membrane. A vacuum pump then pulls the water vapor out of the membrane to a condenser, where it is turned back into liquid water for evaporative cooling or use in a heat exchanger. No heat is added or removed during this process. Because the water is removed...
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Advanced Setpoint Controls

By Emerging Tech Briefs No Comments
What is it? Building operators have long abandoned hope of keeping everyone, everywhere comfortable. However, that’s because they have to set setpoints that occupants have little to no control over. Advanced setpoint controls take the guesswork out and allow users to give the system feedback directly. How does it work? Advanced setpoint controls are software systems that sit along the existing building automation systems. The software includes cellphone apps that allow occupants the ability to provide feedback on their space comfort conditions. The system uses this feedback to broaden or narrow the temperature ranges considered comfortable for spaces each person...
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Lithium Ion Forklift Batteries

By Emerging Tech Briefs No Comments
What is it? Lithium ion batteries are familiar to most of us. In fact, there is a good chance one is powering the laptop computer or cellphone you are using to read this. Their high energy density and light weight makes them perfect for these applications. Forklifts have continued to use old fashioned lead acid batteries because they are cheaper, and their weight is actually useful in counterbalance forklifts. However, as the cost of lithium ion batteries continues to fall, their benefits, including energy efficiency, are making them more and more attractive to forklift buyers. How does it work? Both...
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Consumer Goods

Guest Post: Want to know the value of a free lunch, comrade? Stand in the bread line.

By Energy Rant No Comments
This week’s Energy Rant is courtesy of guest writer, Brian Uchtmann, Evaluation Engineer at Michaels Energy. Energy efficiency programs remind me of a joke about economists; here is my version for evaluators. Feel free to use this joke at your next party[1]. Two energy efficiency program implementers and an evaluator go on a deer hunt. In the distance, they see a magnificent buck. The first implementer aims and fires. The evaluator yells “Missed, way too high!” and jots down a few notes. The second implementer lines up and shoots. The evaluator yells “Missed, way too low!” and adds an entry...
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