Thomas Ingold & Shamim Ahamed

posted May 5, 2014, 11:50 AM by ASHRAE Saskatoon Vice President
Thomas Ingold & Shamim Ahamed were recipients of this year's ASHRAE Saskatoon Student Travel Scholarship to the ASHRAE Winter Conference in New York City. Here are their reports on their experiences.

Thomas Ingold
I would like to start this report on my experience at the 2014 ASHRAE Winter Conference in New York City with a sincere thank you to the members of the Saskatoon ASHRAE Chapter. I would not have been able to attend this conference were it not for the generous scholarship given by the local chapter. It was an experience that will be remembered throughout my life. During my time at the conference I was able to learn about and see a plethora of new technologies, design methods, and existing applications. In the essence of brevity for this newsletter report, I have highlighted some of the most interesting things that I learned or experienced.

One of the highlights of the conference was technical tours. While in New York, I was able to tour the Hearst building, a Platinum LEED building, and 55 Water Street, a skyscraper in the financial district. One of the innovative elements of the Hearst building was the water feature in the buildings main atrium. This water feature is run in part by rain water that is captured from the roof. In addition to having visual appeal, this water feature serves to cool and humidify the atrium. Heating and the majority of the cooling was achieved through the use of radiant panels. This design choice minimized the amount of visible venting, giving the atrium a clean and polished appearance.

During the tour at 55 Water Street, a 3.5 million sq. ft. building with a capacity of 14,000 people, I was able to see the building's cooling plant and their thermal storage facility. The thermal storage method utilized was ice. Ice storage was used for cooling purposes and is only economical due to the fact that the cost of electricity varies by time of day in the United States. As such, the building operators purchase additional electricity during the night, while it is cheaper, to freeze the water in the ice storage tanks. Then during the day, when electricity is more expensive and temperatures are higher, the ice is melted for cooling purposes and to level out the peaks in the cooling demand to minimize the building's electrical demand. It is an interesting solution to minimizing electrical costs; however, such a system would not be economical in Saskatchewan due to the cost of electricity being a set rate.

The majority of my time at the conference was spent attending a variety of seminars, technical paper sessions, and forums on numerous topics. One interesting concept was personalized ventilation. This was attempted in a number of different ways, but the most effective method utilized a wearable head set ventilator with a nozzle and an air supply tube delivering filtered air to the individuals' breathing zone. It should be noted that the personalized ventilators are sensitive to occupant movement and positioning of the ventilator.

Some other interesting things that I learned include that the RTS (radiant time series) method is not very accurate for calculating cooling loads for radiant systems. Radiant systems typically have higher peak loads that conventional systems; however, this does not mean that it has a higher energy consumption. The operative temperature should be used instead of dry bulb temperature when designing with radiant panel or chilled beam systems. Double-skin facades can be used to increase building performance. Frit can be used to reduce glare issues and the shape, colour, and size of the frit impacts its effectiveness. Hydrophilic coatings on a heat exchanger plate will cause condensation on the fin to spread out in a very thin layer, whereas hydrophobic coatings will make the water bead up and minimize the contact of water with the surface. It was found that super hydrophilic coatings resulted in the greatest reduction in condensation reduction, even more so than super hydrophobic coatings. The above examples are but a few of the concepts that I learn about while attending the technical program.

The AHR Expo featured an immense number of vendors and products. One of the products that I found most interesting was brazed plate heat exchangers. Prior to visiting the expo the majority of my hands on experience with industrial heat exchangers was with large plate and frame, shell and tube, and wheel heat exchangers. The brazed plate heat exchangers are extremely small and according to the vendor they are more efficient than gasketed plate and frame heat exchangers. I am a little sceptical about this claim but have not yet had the time to research it in more detail.

In closing, I would like to reiterate my gratitude for being given the opportunity to participate in such a large and worthwhile event. I learned a great deal and the experience amplified my interest in the HVAC field. If anyone would like to hear about my experience in greater detail, feel free to contact me at or talk to me at one of the monthly local ASHRAE meetings.
Thomas Ingold

Shamim Ahamed
I am very much pleased after attaining the ASHRAE winter conference in New York. It was a great opportunity for me to get a new experience to join in an international conference and attain in some presentation related to HVAC research area.  It was my first international conference where most of the events were really excellent to me, especially to meet with some expert and new engineer from different part of the world. As graduate student, I am personally working with HVAC system of greenhouse. As result, I have learned some valuable outcomes of the recent research related to HVAC system and also to share my experience with two researchers who are also working with greenhouse HVAC system. I was excited to visit the exhibition and it was really great opportunity to get experienced about the large numbers of company and their products for HVAC system.

I believe this kind of opportunity funded by ASHRAE Saskatoon Chapter is really a great opportunity for the graduate and undergraduate student of University of Saskatchewan.   I would like to thanks to all of the people of ASHRAE Saskatoon chapter who are giving their effort to support the student to attain the conference organized by ASHRAE.