Design Guides and Local Sources

Question:

I am a mechanical engineer, working in a Canadian firm that designs building services systems for industrial and commercial buildings.  I have access to terrific design guides and references (by Trane, Carrier, Ingersol Rand, etc.) and a very large number of supplier catalogues, for conventional building services systems and equipment.  Unfortunately, we have no design guides or catalogues for "alternative" systems. This is at least partly due to the "tree-hugger", do-it-yourselfer, quick hack aura that seems to surround the field; an aura that makes engineers cringe – especially older engineers, and my company is composed primarily of engineers who have been practising for many years.  Also, engineers are a particularly judgmental and unforgiving lot; if a supplier doesn’t seem to know what they are doing, or if they make a mistake, the engineer may judge them to be incompetent, and may never use their product again.  Finally, the relative infrequency of use of alternative systems in commercial and industrial (especially industrial) applications leads to a perception of "newness" and, to engineers, anything new should be approached with extreme caution (change is bad!); a strange attitude for a group of people who are supposed to find new and innovative solutions to problems. Actually, I’m being unfair.  Most engineers are not like that.  Engineers in building services are, though.  It is a self perpetuating problem, caused by the demands of the commercial and industrial firms: don’t worry, I’m not going to explain my theories why that is. The net result of the above is: There are few engineers in Canada who can or will design alternative systems for commercial and industrial facilities. There are few reputable companies that provide equipment and design assistance.  There are few commercial or industrial facilities with functioning alternative systems. It’s a vicious circle. My company designed a 1.6M sq. ft. building two years ago.  Hot water heating in the winter.  Boilers used year-round.  Natural gas perimeter heat.  1.3M sq.ft. of usable, unobstructed roof area, and not a single solar panel in site. Finally, on to the purpose of this post. I am looking for information:  solar electric, solar thermal and wind.  The names of professional journals.  The names of companies that produce good design guides, and/or the names of the design guides.  The names of companies that produce industrial quality equipment.  The names of companies that provide design assistance.  Or perhaps the names of engineering firms that design alternative systems for commercial and industrial facilities. Or just the places I can look to find this information. I have looked on the web, but there is so much noise that it would be a full time job just to filter it to find the few voices saying what I need to know. I’ve looked for professional journals and publications, but any search I perform yields nothing, or too much, if I broaden the search parameters. Can anyone help? Sorry for the length of this post. Thanks in advance for any help.

Response:

Mark, If you post this request to alt.hvac and sci.engr.heat-vent-ac (my two regular NG,s),I’m sure the response will be favourable.        Gord J. – Hide quoted text — Show quoted text – I am a mechanical engineer, working in a Canadian firm that designs building services systems for industrial and commercial buildings.  I have access to terrific design guides and references (by Trane, Carrier, Ingersol Rand, etc.) and a very large number of supplier catalogues, for conventional building services systems and equipment.  Unfortunately, we have no design guides or catalogues for "alternative" systems. This is at least partly due to the "tree-hugger", do-it-yourselfer, quick hack aura that seems to surround the field; an aura that makes engineers cringe – especially older engineers, and my company is composed primarily of engineers who have been practising for many years.  Also, engineers are a particularly judgmental and unforgiving lot; if a supplier doesn’t seem to know what they are doing, or if they make a mistake, the engineer may judge them to be incompetent, and may never use their product again.  Finally, the relative infrequency of use of alternative systems in commercial and industrial (especially industrial) applications leads to a perception of "newness" and, to engineers, anything new should be approached with extreme caution (change is bad!); a strange attitude for a group of people who are supposed to find new and innovative solutions to problems. Actually, I’m being unfair.  Most engineers are not like that.  Engineers in building services are, though.  It is a self perpetuating problem, caused by the demands of the commercial and industrial firms: don’t worry, I’m not going to explain my theories why that is. The net result of the above is: There are few engineers in Canada who can or will design alternative systems for commercial and industrial facilities. There are few reputable companies that provide equipment and design assistance.  There are few commercial or industrial facilities with functioning alternative systems. It’s a vicious circle. My company designed a 1.6M sq. ft. building two years ago.  Hot water heating in the winter.  Boilers used year-round.  Natural gas perimeter heat.  1.3M sq.ft. of usable, unobstructed roof area, and not a single solar panel in site. Finally, on to the purpose of this post. I am looking for information:  solar electric, solar thermal and wind.  The names of professional journals.  The names of companies that produce good design guides, and/or the names of the design guides.  The names of companies that produce industrial quality equipment.  The names of companies that provide design assistance.  Or perhaps the names of engineering firms that design alternative systems for commercial and industrial facilities. Or just the places I can look to find this information. I have looked on the web, but there is so much noise that it would be a full time job just to filter it to find the few voices saying what I need to know. I’ve looked for professional journals and publications, but any search I perform yields nothing, or too much, if I broaden the search parameters. Can anyone help? Sorry for the length of this post. Thanks in advance for any help.

Response:

Dear Mark Clarkson- My company, Sol-Air Co., makes a new type of residential SHVC (Solar Heating and Ventilation Cooling) module.  I don’t know if the application you have in mind is suitable, but the following information may interest you. -Bill Kreamer —- Solar Comfort for All Seasons The P. C.20(

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