February 1 HVAC&R Industry Newsletter T2
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Shaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today
February 1, 2024
An international research team developed a novel radiative cooling approach, dubbed v-PV, that employs two 45-degree inclined mirrors on two sides of a photovoltaic (PV) module. Solar irradiance collection efficiency was enhanced by 15% compared to an aligned, horizontal PV module. The front mirror allows for incident sunlight to reflect on the module, and on the back, a spectral reflector directs thermal radiation to the sky, preventing the module from heating up by scattered sunlight. Read more
Radiative Cooling Tech for Vertical Solar Panels
Schematic of the v-PV system. Source: pv magazine
Caterpillar, in collaboration with Microsoft and Ballard Power Systems, demonstrated at a Wyoming site that large-format hydrogen fuel cells could be used to supply backup power to data centers. The project showed that hydrogen fuel cells could support energy-intensive installations requiring uninterrupted supplies of electricity, demonstrating the potential of hydrogen fuel cells to address data centers’ critical power needs while reducing emissions. This innovation will help Microsoft reach their goal of becoming carbon negative by 2023. Read more
Although hydrogen hubs are intended to pair large-scale clean hydrogen production with industrial and other end-uses, U.S. Department of Energy-funded hydrogen hubs will produce “blue” hydrogen. Blue hydrogen involves fossil fuel combustion and has been questioned as a "clean" energy source. The seven hydrogen hubs selected by the DOE for $7 billion in awards would also receive federal tax incentives estimated by Clean Energy Group at $70 billion in over ten years, consisting of hydrogen production incentives for all projects and carbon capture incentives for blue hydrogen production.  Read more
ASHRAE Journal
By Thomas Lawrence, Ph.D., Fellow/Life Member ASHRAE, and Costas Balaras, Ph.D., Fellow ASHRAE
We have seen a trend toward what is now known as “building decarbonization” in the built environment sector, which is also a major priority for ASHRAE. This article shows how environmental challenges and related regulations have risen to become global issues, what the current standings are regarding building decarbonization and where this trend in decarbonization may lead us in the future. Download here
The 2024 ASHRAE Winter Conference proved to be a dynamic convergence of HVAC&R industry leaders, experts and professionals with a central focus on critical topics such as decarbonization, climate change, artificial intelligence and more. Read more
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In Case You Missed It
Although shipping containers have become a popular sustainable housing option, some regulations prohibit use of heavily used shipping containers, and some experts argue new containers would be better put to use for their original purpose. Importantly for sustainability, temperature regulation is difficult in the steel containers, leading to high energy bills. Read more
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