Description of a series of dreams that I hope will come true in the future within the HVAC industry.
by Camilo Botero *
Quoting the famous phrase of Martin Luther King "I have a dream", I also have several dreams, with respect to our beloved Air Conditioning & Refrigeration union, even though I will mainly refer to the Air conditioning, as this is the field in which I performance. Those dreams are:
Training - Standardization - Certification.
Since my beginnings in Mechanical Engineering and in my specialty, which is Thermal Engineering, I have always been oriented to the training in which I already fulfilled more than 50 years (as well as in my professional practice), dictating all the subjects of the branch thermal in several national and international universities, as well as multiple conferences on these topics and more recently I have been dedicated in this area to the Air Conditioning Graduates and different courses such as Applied Psychrometry, Thermal Load Calculations, Fluid Mechanics, Commissioning (Assurance of Quality) under the ASHRAE 202 standard, ASHRAE 55 Standard, on people's Thermal Comfort, Cogeneration and Trigeneration, Thermal Districts, etc. I estimate that some 3.500 engineers and technicians have attended my formal and non-formal courses.
The above is to emphasize that my first great dream for the union is that we continue to insist on training, at a level in the state of the art, because the changes that are coming technologically are gigantic and represent challenges of great magnitude.
I am reading the book "Sálvese quien puede", by Andrés Oppenheimer, deeply documented in where life is analyzed under the revolution of robotics and artificial intelligence. Only the most qualified will be able to adapt to this change and this is achieved through the permanent training of our professionals in science and technology, without neglecting the other areas (Management, Finance, Humanities, etc.).
It was because of this dream that I decided to present myself to the presidency of ACAIRE in the 2009 and 2010, in order to propose and consolidate the ICAIRE, (Colombian Institute of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration), with a model very similar to SENAI in Brazil, the which has an impact of excellence in the guild of that country. It has not yet been possible to consolidate this proposal, which always in the strategic planning and in the ACAIRE assemblies, appears as the main theme, but it does not materialize. I hope that this, my first and main dream, becomes a reality and then it is projected to all the member countries of the FAIAR, that do not have institutes of this type, that integrate the Climatization Association of each country, with theoretical and practical training and laboratories for teaching, research and evaluation of equipment.
My second dream is that we achieve our own regulations on issues such as: thermal comfort, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, renewable energy, etc. For 10 years I have been insisting with the RITE (Regulation of Thermal Installations in Buildings) version for Colombia (Ecuador based on ours, practically already approved it), but it has not been achieved, due to the irresponsibility of the ministries in Colombia, to the which is concerned with this task.
Recently the Ministry of Mines and Energy has proposed a Regulation that incorporates the RITE, the regulation for Boilers and a new one for Thermal Districts (what I have called a "Frankenstein"), with the pilgrim argument that there are too many regulations in a country where there is none for Thermal Engineering!
FAIAR has been working on the Ibero-American Regulation for Indoor Air Quality, a commitment in which I wish you great and soon success; Once this is approved, it will be easier to obtain the approval of the RITE (I would say).
Mechanical Engineering Faculties
The faculties of Mechanical Engineering must be restructured, incorporating more artificial intelligence, but without forgetting the fundamental nature of the laws of nature, mainly in our case the laws of thermodynamics and especially the deep study of the minimization of the generation of entropy, causing of the degeneration of energy.
Turn decisively towards alternative energies to those of hydrocarbons that have so much impact on global warming (countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark, go to zero HC).
As a guide we should at least study the Hawking Equation of Entropy (Taken from the internet and from the book about its biography)
-'S 'would refer to entropy (measure of the amount of chaos).
- 'h' refers to the Planck constant (exposed by the German Max Planck).
- 'G' Newton's constant or universal gravitation.
- 'A' to the area of the event horizon or point of no return beyond which you can not escape from a black hole.
- 'C' speed of light.
- K 'the Boltzmann constant.
- * BH: they are placed in honor of the initials of the surnames of their two inventors.
The topic of entropy has fascinated me since my student days at the National University of Colombia and as a teacher for more than half a century. It is interesting to see how it is easy to deal with this thermodynamic property in the different power cycles with the help of temperature vs. entropy diagrams and in the polytropic processes of expansion and compression ... and how it is difficult to understand its essence, which did Stephen Hawking (at least I think so ... I have not succeeded !!!).
Parallel with the modernization of the Mechanical Engineering curriculum, in addition to the degree awarded by the respective duly accredited University, there must be a certification process as a specialist in one or more of the multiple disciplines of our profession, as does ASHRAE; I think that an institute like ICAIRE would compete for these certifications; This would be my third dream.
While writing this summary of my "dreams", I finished reading Andrés Oppenheimer's book in which technological change is analyzed in aspects such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics, and its impact on the jobs of the future; predicting that around 50% of current jobs will be lost (in industrialized countries), creating many that do not yet exist, and only the most prepared ones in topics such as programming, software development, data analysis, manufacturing in 3D printers, mechatronics etc., they will keep their jobs and / or their companies. All those repetitive tasks will be replaced by robots; only tasks that are not easily defined will remain.
In teaching, students should be encouraged to search for their passion, stimulate their curiosity and encourage their perseverance. They will prioritize "softer" teachings, such as ethics, teamwork, investigative spirit and resilience; concludes. In our field, specifically, we must have a complete understanding of psychrometric processes, the mechanics of fluids, the different mechanisms of heat transfer, the behavior of all types of heat exchangers, energy saving equipment and mass balances. and energy, using in addition to the one-dimensional equations in steady state, also mathematical models that incorporate differential equations.
Very important to be able to do simulations for different hours, climates and partial demands. Of course you must have a thorough knowledge of control strategies, so that specialists in this discipline design the appropriate controls.
Equipment Certification - National Productions: this is a need felt by the national manufacturers of countries that do not have organizations such as AHRI in USA or REVHA in the European Union, and that it is very expensive for them to obtain certifications in those institutions.
This requires appropriate laboratories and highly specialized personnel. The ICAIRE or similar, could be in charge of the certification of nationally produced equipment.
Utilization of Renewable Energies: energy should be increasingly democratically distributed and globally used, that is why, from the guild, we must promote the use of renewable energies such as solar energy, especially in tropical countries; wind energy, geothermal energy, tidal energy, etc.
Update of equipment (Update): we must start a program to update old systems that consume too much energy. In my region there are still chillers of more than 40 years with piston compressors, so their exchange for new equipment of considerable greater efficiency, would immediately generate an energy saving or condensation water (if it were the case) or equipment with flow of variable refrigerant, or direct and / or indirect evaporative cooling, with simple investment returns of less than two years.
Consultants: The consultants should be grouped as Chapters within the framework of the associations of each country. Brazil already has its Association of Designers, as they call it, and they hold their congress every two years together with COMBRAVA and FEBRAVA. In Colombia, the process is beginning with the creation in the first instance of a Panel of Experts, which is in its configuration.
More Books and Columns: with the exception of ATECYR in Spain and some ABRAVA in Brazil, the literary production of our associations is very low, we must encourage it, as well as dedicate ourselves to write more articles in the excellent publications that exist in our Ibero-American guild, accompany the impressive technological change that is taking place.
Efficiency - Less Impact on the Environment -
In search of excellence: it must be designed, built, operated and maintained to achieve maximum efficiency and minimum impact on the environment. To start one could ask what are high performance air conditioning systems, with maximum efficiency in their operation and care of the environment and could answer that they are those that meet the following conditions:
Ideal air conditioning project:
- Maximum energy efficiency
- Minimum impact on the environment
- Fulfillment of owner requirements for the RDP project
- Ease of operation
- O & M Maintenance (Operation and Maintenance)
- Stability during its life cycle
These conditions are easily written, but really it is not so obvious and we have too many facilities that behave very far from the ideal. The fundamental answer to achieve the above, in addition to others, is the ASHRAE 202 - 2013 Standard on Quality Assurance (Commissioning) in air conditioning systems, which in its prologue defines it:
"It is a process oriented to quality to optimize the delivery of a project. The process focuses on evaluating and documenting that all systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained to meet the owner's requirements for the project. " It is a process focused on quality to improve the delivery and O & M of a project.
It is therefore a process that focuses on verification and documentation so that the installation and all the systems are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained to meet the requirements of the owner RDP, worth the redundancy.
In every project there are four very defined phases that must have a quality assurance process and that must be strictly respected and fulfilled:
- Occupation, O & M.
All knowledge associated with this goal should be promulgated through congresses such as the CIAR (Ibero-American Congress of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration), CIC & R (International Congress of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, in Colombia), COMBRAVA (Brazil), and all the rest Diplomas and courses mentioned.
The first ethical issue that I will touch is that of design, which must be done by a firm dedicated to that purpose and independent of the construction firm and the management and supervision of the work. Must report only to the project owner (may be through project management) and must fundamentally follow the guidelines of the quality assurance (commissioning), under the direction of the Commissioning Manager. If said Commissioning Manager and the designers do not have that hierarchical and conceptual independence, the project does not start or end well.
Obviously to the projects, and especially the dimension that occupies us, they must be done evaluations and audits of technical character of a lot of rigor. In no way should designers depend on the manufacturer, much less receive commissions from suppliers.
The second ethical issue that I will outline will be that of construction; for any reason the builder must deviate from the approved and audited design and the specifications that are issued by the designers with the approval of the Project Management and the Commissioning Manager. Much less can the builder decrease or not meet the specifications present in the documents issued for construction by the commissioning, with the intention of benefiting economically.
A third ethical issue is related in that for no reason the builder will pay bribes to whom or who adjudicate the works. Surely that money will come from a lower quality of the work, or a greater value of this, which, in good romance, is stealing those monies.
To conclude, I am convinced that a Code of Ethics should be applied to our professional practice, for example that of ACIEM (Colombian Association of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers), or that of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers), which already They have several years of validity, or similar. I have written articles and given lectures on the subject, without achieving much assimilation; I must say it.
"Life is a dream and dreams are dreams." Pedro Calderón de la Barca
* Camilo Botero is the current Secretary of the Federation of Latin American Associations Air Conditioning & Refrigeration - FAIAR; he was president of ACAIRE and is president of Camilo Botero Ingenieros Consultores Ltda. He has taught in several Colombian, guilds and now universities in ACAIRE courses graduate air conditioning projects, energy efficiency in air conditioning and refrigeration, cogeneration and trigeneration , psychometrics applied thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer and turbomachinery. (Cbg@cbgingenieria.com).