Added a video to the Cooling Tower Flow Variation page that shows a pressurized cooling tower distribution system in action, which is a contrast to the first two videos, which show gravity feed cooling tower distribution systems.
Added a video to the Cooling Tower Flow Variation page that shows how weirs interact with variable condenser water flow to cause the flow in a distribution basin to favor the entering face of the fill before allowing flow to reach fill that is deeper into the tower.
Added a link on the home page to RCx University. This is a really great site created by a team lead by Brian Clark at the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) to support their RCx training program. It is available to the general public and is very well organized to facilitate a self education process for those interested in learning the skills and techniques you need to work in this field. The only way you can truly appreciate the site is to go visit it. Once you are there, you will have a hard time leaving and I am sure its bookmark will be somewhere near the top of your favorites list.
Created a web page where I plan to place scans of the 1964 Carrier Design Manual (second printing 1968). Even though the manual was written a while ago, since it is based on physics, and since buildings and systems that were designed back then (in the olden days) are still around, the manual can be a useful tool if you encounter a design from that era, either in its original configuration or modified.
Added a video of a GoToMeeting session with a student from the PEC were we discuss the system diagram he is working on for a very complex air handling system and how to move from paper and pencil (nothing wrong with that incidentally) to using something like PowerPoint and the System Diagram tool we have on this website to do the drawings. In the video, in addition to discussing the system diagram, I demonstrate how to work with MS Office drawing objects like the ones in the System Diagram and Logic Diagram tools. Note that there are also a number of other videos at this location where I am discussing system diagram techniques and concepts, and in some cases, savings assessment techniques with several students, all of whom offered to share them since the information may be helpful to others.
Uploaded a paper and related resources for presentations I was involved with at ACEEE 2004, and NCBC 2004 regarding real time testing for building envelope leakage.
Uploaded a recording of a GoToMeeting session I had with a student to discuss a system diagram they had developed and how to go about performing a savings calculation for potential fan static pressure reductions and schedule optimizations in an air handling system they are working on.
Uploaded follow-up materials for the EBCx Series 13, Session 11 class; primarily in the form of a recording of a GoToMeeting session I had with a student to discuss a system diagram they had developed and how to go about performing a savings calculation for a HHW system reset schedule.
Finished uploading materials to the website for the RCx 101 Class.
Started to upload materials to the website for the Wednesday RCx 101 Class.
Uploaded the flyer for the next Existing Building Commissioning Workshop class I helped teach at the Pacific Energy Center. We will be starting a new series on June 28, 2018. The prerequisite RCx-101 class will be presented on June 6, 2018. You can find out more about both classes along with the flyer on the Training page.
Posted the presentations for the week for the NAVFAC Pacific DDC Controls Class I am helping with next week. I also posted some supplemental materials for the Monday session.
Added a spreadsheet tool that I use to visualize things like transmitter operating lines or reset schedules; anything that is defined by the equation of a straight line. The page also includes some slides about calibration since that is one of the primary things I use the tool for.
Uploaded the basic presentations we are using for the NAVFAC SE class.
Added the supporting information for the Monday and Tuesday classes for NAVFAC SE.
Added the follow up and supporting materials for the U of W DDC class Wednesday and Thursday sessions.
Updated the Logic Diagram Tool and related symbol list to version 9, which fixes a number of typos, improves several symbols, and adds a symbol for hard wired interlocks like safeties. These control elements lie outside of the control system programmed logic, but must work in concert with it. This symbol allows you to indicate that the functions exist so there impact can be assessed by someone studying the logic for a particular system.
Updated the sample logic diagrams included on the Logic Diagram Tool page to reflect the latest version of the logic diagram tool.
The logic diagram tool uses Microsoft Office drawing objects and shapes for the symbols. If you are not familiar with how to use them, I added some links to on-line tutorials about the basics for you to reference on the Logic Diagram Tool page. Since the System Diagram Symbols are also built from Microsoft Office objects, the techniques illustrated by the links on the Logic Diagram Tool page will also help you work with the system diagram symbols.
Modified the class dates for upcoming Pacific Energy Center classes to reflect recent changes to the schedule that we made to minimize wear and tear on the old guy (me) and save travel costs. They are not big changes. In general terms, the Design, Performance and Commissioning Issues class I do each month will move from Tuesday of the week I am there to Wednesday of the week I am there. The EBCx Project Review class (open only to graduates of the EBCx Workshop Class and similar programs elsewhere) will move from Monday of the week I am there to Friday of the week I am there.
Repaired a problem that was causing some of the links in the buttons on the Pacific Energy Center Classes web page to ask for a password instead of taking you to the correct location. Something had changed the html code that made some of the links work and to be honest, I really don't know how that happened. But I have fixed and tested all of the links on the Pacific Energy Center classes page and they seem to all work again. I will test the buttons on the other pages later today or tomorrow and make sure they work. If you encounter an issue like this, be sure to let me know, and thanks to the person who brought this to my attention (it took me a while to figure it out).
Related to the preceding, the buttons only jump you down a page in most instances or in some cases, jump you to a different page on the web site. So, if you run into this problem before I find and fix any issues that are left, the work around is to not use the button and either page down until you find the content further down the page or, if the button was taking you to a different page on the site, navigate to that page using the drop down menus.
Updated the Logic Diagram Tool with a new version that clarifies some of the instructions about using the tool (the information on the "Instructions" tab, all the way to the left in the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet).
Updated the Logic Diagram Tool with a new version that fixes a few minor bugs. The examples that were in the original tool were moved to separate files; see below.
Reorganized the drop down menus so they were in alphabetical order.
Added examples of logic for the mythical Bureaucratic Affairs Building HHW system, a typical mixed air temperature control loop, and a cooling tower with variable speed fans and a bypass valve on the Logic Diagram Tool webpage.
Started to develop a "What's That Thing?" page illustrating the components of a field erected direct expansion refrigeration system that I was fortunate enough to spend some time with. Currently, I am loading pictures into the slide show. Once I get that done, I will create a page that you can link to if you want to know more about any of the items you see in the slide show.
Shifted my materials for the EBCx workshop class to the Pacific Energy Center Class Materials Archive page. The reason Ryan and I decided to do this is that class is led by multiple instructors and in addition, some of the items Ryan provides are only available to class attendees. Thus, the only way to get a comprehensive download of all of the materials for a given class is to use Ryan's FTP site. It turns out that it created confusion for me to post my materials for the class on the PEC Class Materials web page. So bottom line, you will still find my materials there but you should use Ryan's FTP site or the USB drive he passes around in class as the source for a comprehensive download of all of the class materials.
Changed the home page a bit so the copyright on the picture always shows. The picture is one my brother took of the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania skyline a while back. I lived most of my childhood there and its a pretty cool picture.
Added a webpage with Pneumatic Control Resources. These resources were originally located on a different "cloud" but I moved them to here to improve access and make them easier to organize and maintain. I have also added a little silent movie that provides an overview of pneumatic hardware that I have encountered on my EBCx projects along with animations that illustrate how one and two pipe pneumatic controllers work and a few bottom lines on the topic of pneumatic control and actuation.
Added my NCBC 2015 presentation about how to operate filters for best life cycle cost and the benefits associated with that approach, along with the ACEEE paper that I wrote with Mike Chimack on the same topic.
Added install files for older versions of SketchUp to the SketchUp Models page so that people with older machines that will not support the current 64 bit version of SketchUp can still work with the models if they want to.
Updated the models for the Chilled Water System Diagram exercise to the latest version of the models. The new models are not fundamentally different from the models that were there previously, but have more detail.
Added the most recent version of anEBCx Skills Guidebook that we use as a resource for a number of the technical classes that I teach. It is structured around the framework of the ten key commissioning skills that I discuss in my blog post titled Key Retrocommissioning Skills.
Added a 10 Skills Learning Objectives Checklist tool that complements the guidebook by providing a list of learning objectives for each of the skills that you can use to track your progress if you undertake a self study effort focusing on commissioning skills, in particular, existing building commissioning skills.
Added the materials from the PEC class last month titled RCx 101.
Added a cooling tower image slide show to the "What's That Thing" home page. I still need to add information describing the various images to the actual cooling tower page, but this is a start.
Fixed the problem I mentioned previously (see the 2017-05-22 "Head's Up") about the axis being mislabeled in the pump curve examples and in the sample Plot Digitizer Spreadsheet. I think I have all of them fixed now and a new version of the spreadsheet uploaded.
I managed to miss-label the axis on the pump curves and related images that I recently uploaded to the website; The Y axis should be head in ft.w.c. and the X axis should be flow in gpm. I have them the other way around; couldn't see the forest for the trees I guess. Specifically, the issue exists with the images on the Square Law formulas page, the Pump Digitizer Pump Curve Example page, and in the curves in the Pump Digitizer Spreadsheet tool you can download from that page. I will be fixing that and uploading new versions of the files, but I probably will not get to that for a day or two and wanted to let you know. The issue is purely a labeling issue with the axis and you can change it yourself if you have already downloaded a copy of the spreadsheet too. My apologies for the error, and my thanks to Sabastian St. John and Jay Cmiel for pointing it out to me.
A pump optimization case study that looks at how the dynamics of piping systems that have large pumps in parallel serving long, common headers can be leveraged to save energy.
A copy of a magazine article that I wrote for Consulting Specifying Engineer that looks at condenser water system piping design issues, where things are literally a game of inches. This item as well as the pump optimization case study complement a blog post I wrote about pump cavitation.
A Fisher Controls bulletin that discusses control valve cavitation that I reference in a blog post I wrote about pump cavitation.
A Plot Digitizer Pump Curve example, which is a spreadsheet that illustrates a pump curve created in Excel using Plot Digitizer data and which can serve as a template for creating your own Plot Digitizer generated pump and fan curves.