Jim Connelly

Recent Posts

LED Lighting in Commercial and Industrial Buildings

The APPRO team has some exciting information to share with our readers. New options for LED lighting are available to the commercial and industrial market. In an effort to assist our clients with lighting selections for office and warehouse spaces, we have installed a variety of different options available throughout our office. The following is a summary of the new lighting available, applicable energy rebates, and information about this manufacturer.

In this blog article, you will learn about:

  • Lighting types
  • Resources for installation
  • Resources for rebates
  • Local company providing a variety of lighting types

Commercial Property Maintenance: Air Filters

Commercial property maintenance is an important component of the life of your commercial building. If you are the person responsible for this maintenance for your business, you may find the following information helpful, if not a little fascinating!

Commercial Building Design: Then and Now, Applied Power

By Jim Connelly

Commercial Building Design - Then and Now:

Commercial building design is at the heart of what we have been doing for almost 30 years. Our group has had the privilege of working with many companies repeatedly over that time and have watched as not only their businesses grow, but their buildings, as well!

Today, we take a look at the groundbreaking pictures of Applied Power Products, located in Lakeville, MN. Additionally, we introduce a new project for this group.

 

Cool Roofs for Commercial and Industrial Buildings in Minnesota’s Climate

Roofs for Commercial and Industrial Buildings – An Overview

Image Source: CRRC (http://coolroofs.org/resources/home-building-owners)

Roofs for commercial and industrial buildings are an important consideration for all building owners, and at APPRO, we are seeing a lot of discussion about, and implementation of cool roofs. The Department of energy has published a guideline for selecting environmentally friendly cool roofs aptly labeled “Guidelines for Selecting Cool Roofs” (click on the title for the link to the document) prepared by a sustainable energy consultant. The 23-page report goes into a broad overview of defining what a cool roof is and what the benefits are.

Solar Energy – A Good Idea?

Solar Energy - The Pros and Cons of Alternate Materials in Commercial Construction

Image Source: Wikimedia, 2014 - Solar Panel Installation

A Solar Energy incentive program (Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program) for both residential and commercial buildings recently came to our attention. Upon being asked our opinion of the program, a lively discussion ensued in the offices of APPRO and CERRON surrounding the use of environmentally friendly materials and sustainable energy resources.

Wood Framing in Commercial Construction

Curious about wood framing in commercial construction?

Photo Source: Wikepedia, 2013.

Occasionally, changes in wood supply cause a downgrade in the structural properties of wood. You can see an example of this type of activity in the article at this link for the information put forth by Carolinalive.com at: http://www.carolinalive.com/news/story.aspx?id=674670.

Why Do We Measure Air Conditioner Capacity in Tons?

, via Wikimedia Commons

Like modern air conditioning, the expression has a cold-climate origin

Originally posted on May 29 2013 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD, GBA Advisor on the Green Building Adviser Website at: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/building-science/why-do-we-measure-air-conditioner-capacity-tons

When we talk about “tons” of air conditioner capacity, the expression refers to the weight of a quantity of ice that would provide the equivalent amount of cooling. Before modern air conditioning, buildings were cooled with ice harvested from frozen lakes.

A few years ago, a HERS rater student in a class I taught told a funny story. He was an HVAC contractor and said he was installing a new air conditioner for an elderly woman. As he was explaining things to her, he mentioned that they would be installing a 4-ton unit. "Oh, my," she said. "How are you going to get something so big into my back yard?"

The confusion here is completely natural. HVAC and home energy pros find this story funny because when you say an air conditioner is 4 tons, we know we're not talking about the weight of the equipment. It's a number that tells how much heat the air conditioner can remove from the house in an hour. (Fro now, let's ignore the issues of nominal vs. actual capacity and AHRI derating.) A 4-ton air conditioner is one that can remove 48,000 BTUs of heat per hour from the house. (A BTU is a British Thermal Unit, approximately the amount of heat you get from burning one kitchen match all the way down.) For most people, though, 4 tons means 8,000 pounds.

It's cold enough to start harvesting, so get out your ice saw

Most pros also know how such a common term as “ton” has turned into a bit of HVAC jargon. Before Willis Carrier invented the modern air conditioner, people used to cool buildings in the summertime with ice harvested from rivers and lakes in the wintertime. A Green Homes America article quotes ice production figures from a 19th-century journal, Ice and Refrigeration, indicating that the 1890 crop from the Hudson River was about 4 million tons.

OK, so people used to cool and refrigerate with ice. How does that equate to air conditioning capacity in BTUs per hour, you ask? Well, let's get quantitative and find out.

The latent heat of fusion

When ice is below freezing and it absorbs heat, its temperature increases. When ice is at its melting point, 32°F, and it absorbs heat, its temperature doesn't change. Instead, it melts. If you've had a physics or chemistry class, you may recall that the amount of heat needed to melt ice is called the latent heat of fusion. In Imperial units, that number is 143 BTUs per pound.

That's actually a lot of heat to pump into a pound frozen water. Once the ice is melted into liquid water, it takes only 1 BTU per pound to raise the temperature 1 degree. So if you've got a pound of ice at 32°F, you put 143 BTUs into it to melt it completely. Then it takes only 180 more BTUs to raise the temperature of that pound of water from 32°F to 212°F, the boiling point.

Anyway, getting back to our main discussion: if you have a ton of ice, it takes (143 BTU/lb) x (2000 lbs) = 286,000 BTUs to melt it completely. You could do that in one hour or 10 hours or a year, depending on how quickly you pump heat into it. Somewhere along the line, though, someone decided to use 1 day — 24 hours — as the standard time reference here. If the ice melts uniformly over the 24 hours, it absorbs heat at the rate of 286,000 / 24 hrs = 11,917 BTU/hr.

Rounding that number up makes it a nice, round 12,000 BTU/hr. In air conditioning jargon, then, a ton of AC capacity is equal to 12,000 BTU/hr. There it is.

We've been talking about “tons of cooling” for a century

If you're wondering how this term got institutionalized, it was probably the usual way. People in the industry start using it, and then the professional organizations make it official.

An architecture website has a quote from 1912 that claims the American Society of Mechanical Engineers standardized it. It sounds likely, but their numbers don't work out, so I'm gonna go with Honest Abe (see image below) on this one and remain skeptical (until someone in the comments shows me what's wrong with my thinking anyway).

For the fearless: If you want to read some funny HVAC banter on this topic, check out this thread in the HVAC-Talk forum. And if you figure out what “heat of zaporization” is, let me know!

Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.

Thinking about making a change to your building's HVAC system? For more than 25 years, APPRO Development has been working as a general contractor with building owners in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. Let us know how we can help you with your current building needs by contacting us here.

Design Ideas and Architectural Innovation

Do you ever come across a new idea and find yourself amazed at the creativity of another? I think we have all found ourselves. For us at APPRO, it is what keeps each of us striving for excellence.

Groundbreaking in Burnsville

Quality Ingredients Corporation Breaks Ground on Job-Creating Expansion

Construction of New Dental Office Completed

[caption id="attachment_409" align="aligncenter" width="448" caption="Elm Street exterior or new construction brick and cast stone"]

    
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