HVAC&R Industry News – May 2, 2024

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Shaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today
May 2, 2024
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have reduced the time and energy required to cool materials to a few degrees above absolute zero. Their prototype device could save an estimated 27 million watts of power, $30 million in global electricity consumption and enough cooling water to fill 5,000 Olympic swimming pools. By modifying the pulse tube refrigerator (PTR) commonly used in research, the scientists cut down the time it takes to reach cryogenic temperatures by between one half and one quarter. Read more
NIST Researchers Modify Common Lab Refrigerator to Cool With Less Energy
Illustration of a pulse tube refrigerator. Credit: S. Kelley/NIST.
BlackRock and Singaporean state investment firm Temasek revealed it had raised $1.4 billion for its first fund.  Others to back the venture and late-stage growth equity fund, which will focus on companies that can help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, include U.S. insurer Allstate, Spanish lender BBVA and energy firm TotalEnergies. In total, more than 30 institutional investors from 18 countries invested in the fund, the firm said in a statement, including public and private pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and family offices, helping it pass a $1 billion target. Read more
Approximately 1,000 people were forced to evacuate a California Costco due to a refrigerant leak. Employees became aware of the hazard when someone spotted a white cloud moving through the store. About 800 customers and 200 employees were inside the store during the incident, though no injuries were reported. Read more
ASHRAE Journal
By Ron Bernstein, Member ASHRAE
This article is an overview of how to design a robust cybersecurity plan for safeguarding commercial buildings against computer and network vulnerabilities, ranging from basic structures like gas stations and supermarkets, to critical infrastructure, i.e., hospitals, military facilities and data centers. Download here
ASHRAE News
The technical program is now available for the 2024 ASHRAE Annual Conference taking place June 22-26, at the Marriott Indy Place in Indianapolis, Ind. At this year’s Annual Conference, AI in buildings, electrification, building life-cycle assessment and workforce development are among the anticipated topics. Read more
In Case You Missed It
An energy startup aimed at cleaning up artificial intelligence’s massive use of electricity is getting a multi-million dollar boost from investors, including OpenAI's CEO, Sam Altman. The company, Exowatt, develops shipping container-sized modules fitted with solar lenses that turn the sun’s energy into heat, which can warm up cheap material, and can be stored for up to 24 hours. The modules then produce electricity by passing the stored heat through an engine. The company’s goal is to benefit from cost reductions by storing energy as heat. Exowatt reportedly wants to offer electricity for as low as one cent per kilowatt-hour minus subsidies, and hopes to deliver its modules later this year. Read more
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