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A growing concern
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August 2018 / ISSUE 114
A growing concern 10 HVAC&R Nation is published by the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning and Heating (Inc). AIRAH – National Office James Harrison Centre 3/1 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia. Tel: 03 8623 3000
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Toxic mould is now being identified as the cause of a range of illnesses. Sean McGowan investigates this phenomenon and looks at how HVAC&R systems may be part of the problem.
Contributing writer Sean McGowan
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8 Global Update Industry news from around the world
Duct design procedure
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Green Wedge Students at Queensland University of Technology have found new way to charge their phones on campus
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19 Tax Talk
Disclaimer HVAC&R Nation is an official publication of the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating Inc. Statements expressed in HVAC&R Nation do not necessarily reflect the policy or views of AIRAH or its members. No responsibility is accepted by AIRAH, the Editor or HVAC&R Nation’s supply partners for the accuracy of information or for errors or omissions. HVAC&R Nation is distributed without charge to all financial members of AIRAH. The publisher reserves the right to alter or omit any article or advertisement submitted and requires indemnity from advertisers and contributors against damages or liabilities that may arise from material published. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission of the Publisher.
Changes to fringe benefits rules could be a game-changer for work utes
WordSkills Australia’s ace apprentices fight it out for WorldSkills gold
26 Around the Nation Who’s in the news?
Cool Tech The latest craze in sportsgear has its roots in tradition
28 Smoko with . . .
Family affair Five family businesses in the HVAC&R sector share their stories – and reveal the pros and cons of working with their nearest and dearest.
Q&A with Jarrod Taylor
13,142 March 2018
Lighter Side The shonkier side of the nation
PLEASE CONSIDER THE ENVIRONMENT AND RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO KEEP IT.
August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 3
SMELLS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT Some of us will be the ball-chasing midfielders, some the defenders. Being an editor is a little like being a goalkeeper, stopping mistakes before they go to print. Unfortunately, no one gets to see the great saves, only the howlers!
It’s true that there’s no “I” in team, but as David Brent in The Office sagely pointed out, there is a “ME” if you look hard enough. While we were working on this issue, “teams” was a word we heard a lot as the World Cup came to its climax. Flags from all over the world, cheers and tears, Mexican wrestlers and Belgian devils – and that’s just in the grandstands!
Maybe in your role you are more of a team captain, marshalling the people around you. Maybe you’re the coach. We can’t all be stars, but all of us contribute to the result.
On the field it’s a month-long piece of sporting theatre. And that's not a sly dig at the acting. It’s a grand drama with flashes of technical brilliance next to feats of dogged determination, incredible goals and excruciating near misses, last-gasp victories and bitter defeats. All wrapped up in neat highlights packages if you can’t be bothered to get up for the 4am kick-off. Inevitably we focus on the stars. In some teams it’s all about the talent of one player, or maybe two. Other times a well-drilled group of lesser-knowns can spring an upset. I love seeing the shot that curls into the top corner, of course, but I also love the less spectacular stuff – the grit and team spirit. After the whistle blows, we turn off the TV (or computer, or phone) and head off to our own jobs, and our own teams. Although our exploits may not be broadcast around the globe and edited into highlights
We can’t all be Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo (and no, wearing the CR7 fragrance doesn’t count)
packages, we too have our near misses and goals, our defeats and victories.
In this issue we look at some teams that are united in a special way: by family. I’ve always had a great admiration for families who can work together and build a legacy, and it’s surprising how big a part these businesses play in the HVAC&R industry. The feature starts on page 20. We also have a story on some very talented individuals – the apprentices competing in the WorldSkills competition. You could call it the World Cup of HVAC&R technicians. Check it out on page 24. By the time you read this, the World Cup will be over. But in our day-to-day lives and teams, the work goes on. Whatever your game, good luck!
What kind of player are you? We can’t all be Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo (and no, wearing the CR7 fragrance doesn’t count).
Mark Vender Editor email@example.com
The online AIRAH Industry Directory has relaunched as HVAC&R Search ✔ Australia’s ONLY dedicated HVAC&R directory ✔ Control your own profile via customer CMS ✔ Add videos, photos, products, articles and more ✔ Join your HVAC&R peers and competitors ✔ Boost sales enquiries ✔ Increase traffic to your site ✔ It’s FREE to join!
Join Australia’s leading HVAC&R directory www.hvacrsearch.com.au 4 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 5
Better view from Olympus
The units feature optional zone control, allowing users to manage the airflow to different areas of the home, as well as inverter technology, DC componentry, programmable weekly timers and economy mode that Fujitsu says provide flexibility and energy efficiency.
Olympus has released the IPLEX G Lite industrial videoscope, designed to capture images inside aircraft engines, piping, and other equipment, without the need for disassembly.
The range includes three models: AOTG30LBTC, AOTG36LBTC and AOTG45LBTC, powering three indoor units respectively: ARTG30LHTA, ARTG36LHTA and ARTG45LHTA.
“The IPLEX G Lite is small and lightweight, making it easy to use with one hand, while also featuring enhanced image processing,” says the company. “The tip of the videoscope is fitted with a very small camera and can be freely manipulated, making these instruments ideal for tasks such as periodic maintenance or inspecting a component’s quality.”
Go to www.fujitsugeneral.com.au/commercial-range n
New features include a touch-panel monitor and electrically operated scope tip bending. Recording and playback functions have also been added, including constant video recording and the ability to add bookmarks to save time during video reviews.
Quality Air Equipment recently released a new range of Qline motorised zone dampers, which are used to control the flow of air in HVAC systems.
To help with inspecting oily environments, Olympus has added an oil-clearing tip adaptor. This uses a capillary action to drain oil away from the lens and keep the image clean and visible.
The range consists of sizes from 150 diameter to 450 diameter. They are available in both 24V and 240V options. “We have housed the motors (Yellow) 24V and (Red) 240V for convenience,” the company says.
“The IPLEX G Lite also has an option that allows users to switch the light source from LED to infrared (IR) or ultraviolet (UV) illumination,” says Olympus. “IR is a very important feature . . . capturing images in the dark, while UV is used to detect fine scratches that are hard to see with the naked eye.”
“Other features include a 3.5Nm torque motor, additional blade support, sealed joints (no rivets, no spot welds), insulated casing, sealed joints to eliminate air leakages, and a dual-earth cable option (240V).”
Go to www.olympus-ims.com/en/rvi-products n
Oventrop’s balancing act
The new range of dampers also come with a five-year warranty for motors in a domestic application and a one-year warranty for commercial applications.
Go to www.qualityairequipment.com.au n
Oventrop has launched the next-generation Cocon QTZ PICV combination valve, with a range of sizes, from DN10–DN32.
“The pressure-independent control valve Cocon QTZ is a compact valve combination for automatic hydronic balancing, consisting of a flow regulator and regulating control valve in one,” the firm says. It is made of dezincification-resistant brass and can be equipped with an actuator, a temperature controller or a manual head with connection thread M 30 x 1.5. The Cocon QTZ allows for the control of the temperature of terminal units and sections of the system in chilled ceilings, fan-coil units, fan convectors and central and surface heating and cooling systems. Oventrop says the key advantages of the new valve are: higher flow capabilities and smaller dimensions; constant high valve authority of a=1; repeatable flow-rate accuracy of +/- 5 per cent, no cartridges; 600kPa differential pressure management; PN25 operating pressure; linear characteristic lines or EQM capable with specific actuators; and optional flypass flushing by-pass commissioning sets DN15 to DN32.
Q is for Quality
Bitzer’s better selector
Compressor specialist Bitzer has updated its selection software to allow customers to calculate the performance data for more components within its product range. The company says this will provide a reliable tool for users to select the appropriate components for their systems. 03
“Thanks to the update to version 6.8, the software now includes the newly introduced Orbit+ and Orbit Fit scroll compressors for the refrigerants R410A, R454B and R32, as well as the CSVW variable-speed compact screw compressor series with permanent-magnet motor,” Bitzer says. “Furthermore, users can now carry out the motor selection for Bitzer OS.95 screw compressors. As for reciprocating compressors, Bitzer has added the Varipack frequency inverter selection for its Ecoline+ series as well as for the two-stage semi-hermetic reciprocating compressors.” Users can now customise the dimensions of Bitzer liquid receivers and condensers.
Go to www.oventrop.com n
Go to www.bitzer.de/websoftware n
Fujitsu General has released a new range of ducted outdoor units aimed at existing residential properties and new developments with limited outdoor space.
Sydney-based company Promek Technologies has developed a retrofit hood that removes hot condenser air from tight enclosures.
“The new unit is Fujitsu General’s most compact and lightweight high-static-ducted solution, delivering flexibility with a contemporary design,” the company says. “A reduction in height and weight provides developers and installers with more positioning options when adhering to the installation space requirements.” 6 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
Vane boost – no vain boast
Simple axial condenser fans are transformed into a vane axial type, and the path of discharge air is straightened and exhausted up to 5m away from the heat exchanger. 05
“Short cycling of hot discharge air from condensers has been an industry problem forever,” says Promek. “Now there’s a fix.”
Toolshed The engineered discharge hood is fitted with vanes that are designed to not only eliminate bypass but in some circumstances improve airflow across the coil face by up to 5 per cent.
“With much better long-term stability than other sensor technologies, NDIR sensors can significantly reduce overall cost of ownership when compared to more traditional gas detector options.”
A recent refrigeration installation in Sydney achieved immediate improvement in performance after installation of eight Vane Boost hoods on 20-year-old condensers. According to Promek, the plant engineer commented that the effect was immediate.
The Monotox IR has “drop-in” sensors, meaning it can be reconfigured for detection of different gases, making it suitable for detection of refrigerant leaks in systems that may be undergoing retro-fitment or replacement due to the HFC phase-down.
“When fitted, Vane Boost also reduces motor current slightly and drops noise breakout by around 3dBA,” says Promek. Go to www.promek.com.au n
Specific features include multiple sensor and configuration options, multiple outputs for life-safety systems or BMS integration, LED alarm and status annunciators, programmable alarm thresholds, open collector outputs for control of local area strobe/sirens or alert notification, an alarm acknowledgement/mute button, and an IP54-rated enclosure.
Air-Met has designed the Monotox IR to be used in plant rooms, laboratories, electric power equipment and manufacturing.
Air-Met has released the Monotox IR, a new gas detector that offers gas-specific detection of CO2, SF6, and an ever-increasing range of HFC and HFO refrigerants.
Go to www.airmet.com.au n
“The IR-series detectors utilise the latest technology non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) sensors to provide unparalleled levels of reliability and trouble-free performance over their five-year-plus rated life-span,” says Air-Met.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org All submissions received will be considered, though publication cannot be guaranteed.
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August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 7
FLAT BEER FEARS
Bosch has run a competition to encourage HVAC&R workers to describe what they love about their profession.
What was claimed to be the worst CO2 shortage in years threatened UK beer supplies during the World Cup – and led to major refrigerant customers buying up stocks of the gas.
Would you pay $55,000 for a household fridge? Well, plenty of people have since Dolce&Gabbana and Smeg first unveiled their limited-edition Frigorifero d’Arte two years ago at the Milan Furniture Fair.
The shortage affected all forms of CO2, including that used in food and drink. It was caused by high summer demand coinciding with maintenance shutdowns at several production facilities. It affected leading suppliers of CO2 in its refrigerant form.
The first run of 100 Smeg FAB28 fridges were covered in traditional, vibrantly coloured designs, hand painted by Sicilian artists. In 2017 the companies returned with the “Sicily is my love” collection, which included not just sexy and expensive fridges, but also kettles, toasters and juicers.
“At Bosch Heating & Cooling, we’re proud to be part of an industry that works to make everyone’s lives a little more comfortable,” the company says. “Now we want to show off why you’re proud to be in the HVAC industry.” Participants had to submit a short video in which they answered the question, “What makes you proud to be HVAC?” and share it through the company website or Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Prizes included some modest sums of cash, and Bosch gear. As HVAC&R Nation was going to print the competition was just wrapping up. You can check out the winning entries at the Bosch #WeAreHVAC website. n
The pure refrigerant version of the gas is produced at a much smaller volume than other applications, and it was not clear whether the shortage would even have an impact on refrigerant supplies. However, major supermarkets still responded by buying up the gas in bulk. n
HONESTY THE BEST POLICY You might think of honesty boxes as a throwback to old times, but Dublin Airport believes they might be the way of the future. The airport is trialling a new honesty-based food and beverage system. A fridge is stocked with a selection of sandwiches, wraps, salads, pastries, snacks and drinks. Passengers grab their items, scan them and pay for them via a cashless self-service checkout. The fridge unit, which has a range of up to 73 different food and drink products, texts the kitchens as sales are made to maintain stock levels. Dublin Airport has operated a successful honesty payment system for its Plane Water brand since 2014. Typically, about 92 per cent of passengers pay the €1 charge for a 500ml bottle of water. n
Unsurprisingly, the companies have cooked up another collection in 2018 – the Divina Cucina range. This time it also includes cookers and extractor hoods. If you’re wondering what to get for the reno that has everything, the models will be available Down Under next year. n
The Indian government is looking to make 24°C the mandatory default temperature setting for air conditioning.
Microsoft has dropped a 12m long data-centre pod onto the seafloor off the coast from the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, north of Scotland. The idea is to bring energy-efficient, low-latency servers closer to where people live.
A new campaign seeks to promote energy efficiency in the area of air conditioning in an effort to reduce greenhouse gases. Manufacturers have been advised to keep the default setting at 24°C, and the government may consider making this mandatory in the future. The total connected air conditioning load in India due to air conditioning is predicted to be 200GW by 2030. Estimated total installed air conditioner capacity is 80 million ton of refrigeration (TR) in India, which will increase to about 250 million TR by 2030. The Ministry of Power says that widespread adoption of the default temperature would result in savings of 20 billion units of electricity per year. n
8 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
The interior of the data-centre pod consists of 12 standard computer racks holding 864 servers with 27.6 petabytes of storage – enough for around 5 million movies. The racks are equipped with heat exchangers, which transfer the heat from the air to a liquid – believed to be ordinary water. That liquid is pumped to heat exchangers on the outside of the pod, which in turn transfer the heat to the surrounding ocean. The cooled transfer liquid then returns to the internal heat exchangers to repeat the cycle. n
Clean Air Home & Office™ HVAC & Duct System Protectant, Cleaner / Freshener Clean Air Home & Office™ is a simple and economical way to clean and freshen HVAC systems and ductwork from large central systems to small wall units. A full treatment takes only minutes, requires no tools and has immediate and long lasting results. Clean Air Home & Office™ cleans away the residue in evaporators and drain pans which is the cause of odours and the growth of bacteria, algae, fungi and moulds. The Clean Air Home & Office™ freshens the entire system leaving behind a durable, invisible, protective coating which is leach-resistant and non-migrating. It protects from broad spectrum biostatic activity on many surfaces and lasts approximately three months in HVAC systems. Heat transfer loss is not compromised due to the microscopic coating. In fact, it can increase efficiency as it breaks down surface tension of condensate water, allowing it to drain out of coils. Clean Air Home & Office™ has little degradation up to 170° C and contains no phenols, tin, heavy metals, lead or formaldehyde. It is non-toxic, water based and provides long term protection. One 250gm can of Clean Air Home & Office™ can treat a five to six tonne unit (approximately 5,000 sq ft of building area), or two to four typical wall units (15,000BTU). For ducted systems, locate the return air grille and remove the filter, with the system ON spray the contents of the can into the duct, the product will then be pulled into your system where it goes to work. You will immediately smell a light fragrance coming from the air vents in every room as the product travels through the entire system. The fragrance should disappear within 24 hours leaving the coating behind to continue its work.
August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 9
A GROWING CONCERN
We all recog nise mould as undesirab but we are n le in the ind ow discoveri oor environm n g th a t e ent, v e to building o n small amo unts can be ccupants. Se debilitating an McGowa n re p o rt s o n the impac of mould on ts human healt h. According to the Department of the Environment and Energy, Australians spend 90 per cent of their time indoors. And with indoor air pollution consistently ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health by the US EPA and its Science Advisory Board, it’s easy to wonder whether this is slowly killing us. Although we know that the quality of indoor air can be adversely affected by introducing gases and other chemicals, organic pollutants such as fungi and microbial contamination can be hard to identify, and their impacts on human health even harder to understand. “I don’t believe we know the extent of mould in homes and workplaces, and how it might affect the occupants,” says Jesse Clarke, M.AIRAH, building science manager at Pro Clima Australia and president of AIRAH’s Building Physics Special Technical Group.
“We do know, however, that mould can have adverse effects on health,” he says, “as mould is generally the same all over the world and much literature has been published on this.” The effects of mould on building occupants are varied. For some, it could cause an allergenic reaction such as asthma. For others, the impact could be pathogenic and cause disease. “Some who are genetically susceptible suffer a chronic inflammatory response, and at sufficient levels it can be toxicological for anyone,” says Dr Tim Law PhD, architectural scientist at Archsciences. “Most health practitioners will be familiar with the allergenic, pathogenic and toxicological effects of
10 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
Unfortunately for humans, mould likes the same temperature conditions that we do.
mould,” he says, “but in contrast it is the aspect of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome that is not as well-known and medically recognised in Australia.” The term Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, or CIRS, was created by Dr Ritchie Shoemaker, an American physician and researcher. It is used to describe an illness caused by the body’s reaction to biotoxins produced by a number of microorganisms, including mould. Symptoms can include chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and even multiple sclerosis (MS). Yet according to Law, CIRS is virtually unknown in the building and HVAC industries, particularly here in Australia.
Cover Feature “The idea that even small, invisible quantities of mould can be debilitating to occupants is still a foreign concept,” he says.
MOULD IN BUILDINGS Clarke says understanding mould and understanding the conditions that allow mould to grow are two very different things. If microbiologists are experts in mould and mould growth, engineers are the ones with the knowledge to limit the conditions in which mould can thrive in an indoor environment. “Understanding psychrometrics is critical in limiting moisture conditions in building components, HVAC services and building assemblies that can be conducive to mould growth,” says Clarke. “You just need to know the limits at which mould will germinate and thrive.” So while you might usually associate mould with tropical humid climates, or with old, run-down buildings where damp is a problem, the truth is that mould can occur anywhere in the indoor environment where moisture remains present for a prolonged period. And unfortunately for humans, mould likes the same temperature conditions that we do – meaning the potential for mould growth is exponentially greater than most would imagine.
“Even in climates not commonly associated with high humidity, such as a temperate climate, there are daily cycles of dew and even frost formation,” says Law. “In parts of the building where condensation regularly forms and does not regularly dry out, there is every likelihood that mould will be present.” Even in well-sealed buildings where water leaks are not occurring, water activity can be caused by a high dew point and low surface temperature. The former is created by the addition of heat and moisture to the building interior (as well as a lack of ventilation), while the latter is a result of thermal bridging. “High insulation levels won’t guarantee there will be no mould interstitially within the structures and the assembly layers,” says Clarke. “Surfaces contained within the building envelope can easily reach 80 per cent humidity if the internal air is allowed to migrate into the structure and contact cooler surfaces towards the outer layers of the assembly. This is simple psychrometrics.” In such cases, Clarke says there is the potential to create a petri dish within the building. “Surfaces on the outside of a building get cold in any climate in Australia due to the re-radiation of energy to the night sky,” he says. “The more insulation you have, the colder they will get, and more thought needs to be given to high humidity within the construction.”
SPORE STOPPERS Jesse Clarke, M.AIRAH, says there are four crucial steps to keeping the structure of a building dry. Drain the rain Weatherproof using properly sealed water barriers with highly durable (50+ years) tapes in favour of sealants and mastics that only last five to 10 years before failing and allowing water leaks. Seal it tight Prevent internal humidity entering the structure by using taped and sealed internal air barriers. Selection Select vapour control properties for internal and external water control and air control layers (AS/NZS 4200.1-2017) using dynamic hygrothermal analysis based on the external climate and internal HVAC systems, with designed temperature and humidity set points. See ASHRAE 160 Criteria for Moisture-Control Design Analysis in Buildings. Ventilate right Ventilate the internal space with minimum outdoor air rates according to AS/NZS 1668.2. Humidity control of the supply air or internal environment is a must in humid climates. “And do not use metal sheet as a weather barrier,” says Clarke. “Do not use insulative foam sheathing (PIR, XPS, EPS) over the outside of structures insulated with fibrous insulation.”
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Cover Feature THE ROLE OF HVAC According to Clarke, HVAC systems can play a critical role in preventing interstitial mould issues within the building fabric because they create the vapour pressure that drives moisture into and out of a building’s construction assemblies. “Mould is generally not an instantaneous problem,” he says. “There is a time factor in the equation and moisture accumulation in the building envelope can take many years depending on the materials used.” It is therefore critical that relative humidity and temperature is controlled as intended for the lifetime of the building. But of course, HVAC systems themselves can also be vehicles for mould growth and distribution within a building. In air conditioning systems, mould can often be found where condensate exists, such as around cooling coils. It can grow and thrive in other areas of a system too, should it not be maintained and serviced adequately. “Left unchecked, the (mould) spores transport through the ducts. There, in the presence of high relative humidity and relatively warmer conditions, they flourish,” says Law.
ONE OF OUR OWN Working in and around buildings and HVAC&R systems on a daily basis, professionals in our industry are exposed to mould more often than they think.
This was unfortunately the case for Alex, a longtime member of AIRAH, and a regular contributor to HVAC&R Nation.
NOT TO BE UNDERESTIMATED
Having worked in the HVAC&R industry for more than 30 years, Alex was recently diagnosed with CIRS as a result of long-term exposure to toxic mould. An active and senior member of the local HVAC&R industry, Alex had seen and worked on almost every air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration system there is – from air-handling units to supply air, coolrooms, freezers and a variety of different buildings from manufacturing facilities to offices and homes. “Prior to my diagnosis I was very fit,” says Alex. “I jogged 5km every morning seven days a week, and played sport too, while working full-time in the trade, running my own small business.”
If you are working in environments where you suspect mould may be present, personal protection equipment (PPE) should be considered. While it may be impractical to don a full-face respirator, HVAC&R professionals should consider wearing a HEPA mask and if possible, disposable clothing. “Unfortunately, we cannot always see or smell mould, and this allows us to think we are safe,” says Alex. “The air filtration systems that we change, clean or service are commonly a collection centre for all types of contaminants, bacteria and debris that is more harmful than has been acknowledged in the past.”
But two years ago, Alex began to feel depleted, sick and run down.
Alex cautions those who know they have worked in environments affected by mould to take precautions against transferring it to other environments, including your vehicle and home.
Determined there was nothing wrong, Alex tried to maintain the same rigorous schedule of work and exercise, but became slower and weaker as each day passed. “Eventually I knew there was something seriously wrong,” Alex says. “I asked my doctors if my trade could be a factor in my illness, as we work with gases, oils, chemicals etc., but I never considered mould to be the cause.” After remaining undiagnosed and unwell for a year, Alex came across the term Toxic Mould Syndrome while she was attending an AIRAH event about Sick Building Syndrome.
“And if you suffer from unexplained fatigue, or weird headaches, don’t assume you are OK,” says Alex.
“During the presentations, I began to realise I had all the symptoms,” Alex says. “I went back to my doctor and requested specific blood tests be done.” Alex was subsequently diagnosed with Toxic Mould Syndrome late last year.
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12 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
If you experience these symptoms, it may be worth taking a Visual Contrast Sensitivity (VCS) aptitude test. While not diagnostic by itself, VCS tests can be taken online via your computer screen, tablet or phone. If you fail the VCS test (as Alex did), then you should follow up with more definitive health checks via your doctor. These can include Shoemaker symptom clustering, HLA genotype test, NeuroQuant volumetric MRI, blood biomarker tests and a MARCoNS swab. An inexpensive VCS test can be taken by visiting www.vcstest.com
“I had been exposed to mould for most of my career,” Alex says. “Some of these exposures were more virulent than others, and in the process, I had contaminated my work van, my home and my possessions.”
As well as the impact on Alex’s health, there has been a lifestyle and financial impact too.
Editor’s note: For legal and personal reasons, AIRAH has elected to protect Alex’s identity and location. If you or someone you know identifies with aspects of Alex’s story, we recommend seeking the advice of a medical professional.
“I had to leave my home,” says Alex. “I have given up all my possessions and changed my vehicle.
UNDERSTANDING THE GROWTH OF MOULD Research conducted at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics in Stuttgart, Germany, reveals the correlation between temperature and relative humidity in the development of mould within the built environment. Dr Hartwig Künzel, the head of department at the Institute, will be keynote speaker at the AIRAH Building Physics Forum 2018 to be held in Wollongong from November 22–23.
Almost a year on, Alex remains unwell and is now unable to work. Chronic fatigue remains the main symptom but there are others as equally debilitating. “I am in constant pain, and suffer from numbness to my wrists, legs, shins and feet,” says Alex. “I often can’t
Development of the lowest isopleths or mould isopleths of different species. 100
The most common symptoms of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome and Toxic Mould Syndrome are chronic fatigue and brain fog.
“I’ve spent thousands of dollars in medical costs to be diagnosed, and thousands in seeking advice and treatment. I am literally fighting with my body every day and I’m not getting better.” n
85 80 75
Temperature °C Mycellium growth
100 95 90 85 80 75 70
Source: M. Krus, K. Sedlbauer, W. Zillig, H.M Kunzel, Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, 2001
TAKE THE TEST
walk, have minimal energy most of the time, suffer from brain fog and headaches and struggle to hold onto a thought.”
Lowest isopleth for mould
August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 13
TOWER OF POWER
the design for real-world implementation and are now field testing it on campus. They hope to set up similar kiosks around the country and make it a commercially viable solution. Vertiv, which sponsored the competition and helped secure the batteries for the solution, has ordered its own model of the kiosk to showcase to local government customers. It is also aiming to have a demonstration at Smart Cities Week in October.
Students at QUT have created a solar kiosk for charging smart phones. The life of a student is filled with questions: Baked beans or two-minute noodles for dinner? Did I pass that exam? What will I do with my life!? And for the modern generation: Where can I charge my smart phone on campus?
a smart solar mobile charging station. The winning students worked closely with the QUT EESS to modify
“Charging mobile devices isn’t the largest burden on the grid, but it still plays its part,” says Kirk Wetherell from Vertiv ANZ. “This is a fusion of cool architecture and clever engineering, and the result is an energyefficient solution which could be used in a huge variety of settings.” n
At the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), architecture and engineering students have teamed up to provide a solution to the last of these questions – and learn along the way. The Tower of Power is an off-grid kiosk fitted with solar panels positioned for optimum efficiency. The kiosk has eight seats in and around it so that students can sit down and interact while their devices charge. It’s also connected to an app that shows how many ports are available at any time.
The winning team with members of EESS, QUT design students and staff, GPA Engineering and Vertiv.
The kiosk was a response to a challenge from the QUT Electrical Engineering Student Society (EESS) to design
AIRAH TRADE NIGHTS AIRAH Trade Nights are a great opportunity to broaden your networks and see the HVAC&R industry’s latest innovations. Whether you’re looking for the latest technology to improve your business, or extending your networks, there will be plenty on offer.
AIRAH Trade Nights are free to attend and open to everyone, but you must be registered to attend. August 2
Free entry – Doors open at 4pm Exhibitors with the latest HVAC&R products and innovations. Drinks, food and more.
Register online at www.airah.org.au/tradenights
14 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
NSW Vic NSW
DUCT DESIGN Skills PROCEDURE Workshop HVAC&R
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY
Skills summary n What? A guide to duct design procedure, including calculating cooling load, planning duct layout and sizing.
Relevant for anyone involved in the design, selection, installation, operation, maintenance and assessment of air conditioning systems.
METHOD 1. Firstly, obtain a plan of the residence, such as the one shown in Figure 1. 2. Complete a ‘cooling load’ calculation for the residence, taking into account the ‘zoning system’ that is best suited to the size of the building and needs of the occupier. If we consider a simple “day-night two–zone” system, it would be necessary to calculate the day load for the living areas (i.e., lounge, dining, family room and kitchen) and then calculate the night load for the sleeping areas (bedrooms). The plant would be sized for the larger of these two loads. 3. From the completed load estimate, obtain an airflow rate per cubic metre of conditioned space: L/s/(m3) =
Total litres/second to be supplied by the conditioner Total volume of the space supplied at any time
4. Determine the volume of air (litres/second) required to provide the necessary cooling for each room, by multiplying the overall flow rate (L/s)/m3 by the volume of the room. 5. Draw a preliminary duct layout – as shown in Figure 2. The position of diffusers should be close to the centre of the room for best results. Since most residential installations today use flexible round ducts, free hand sketching is sufficient. 6. Construct a table showing each duct (numbering each one for convenience) and the quantity of air required to pass through it. (See Table 4 – column 3.) 7. To use the simplest method for duct sizing, the “velocity reduction” method, refer to tables of recommended velocities. Table 1 may be used, as representative of various tables. Then assign various velocities to each duct according to its function (Table 4 – column 4).
A complete residential or small-commercial air conditioning installation is within the range of skills of a competent refrigeration technician, provided they can do the basic calculations involved in determining loads, and the air proportions necessary for each room, to permit duct design. The economics of such installations demand that the design procedures and installation of components such as ducts and outlets be as simple as possible yet provide customer satisfaction. Bad design and/or faulty installation is likely to prove costly to all, including the installer – who may not get paid! This Skills Workshop sets out a procedure for duct design and provides an example of duct design for a residential job.
8. The duct can then be sized using duct‑sizing charts or a “duct design calculator”. Or, for this type of simple installation, calculate round duct diameter using the equation: (See Table 4 – column 5.) Volume = area x velocity π D2 = x velocity (where π = 3.142) 4 Then diamater (D) =
11. Select from your design the full range of accessories required – i.e., elbows, tees, reducers etc., plus necessary pressure‑sensitive tape or sealing straps to form airtight joints.
Table 2: Recommended outlet velocities from grilles, registers and diffusers to avoid noise
volume x 4
velocity x π
9. Adjust the duct sizes to conform to the nearest commercially available duct size. (See Table 4 – column 6.) 10. Select suitable diffusers from a supplier’s selection catalogue. Generally, the diameter of the duct will give an indication of the size of diffuser which should be selected. However, carefully check your selected diffuser for its rated volume, with the required radius of throw and noise level etc.
Outlet velocity (m/s)
TV and radio studios
1.5 to 2.5
Residences, apartments, hotel bedrooms
2.5 to 3.75
Theatres, private offices – sound‑proofed
2.5 to 3.75
Private offices – no sound treatment
5 to 6
Stores – upper floors – main floors
Table 1: Recommended maximum duct velocities in metres/second Supply data Trunk and large risers
Small risers and branches
4 – 5
3 – 4
4 – 6
Private offices – average
Shops – small
Department stores – lower floors
Department stores – upper floors
August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 15
HVAC&R Skills Workshop Table 3: Recommended outdoor air intake and filter velocities Air intakes
kitchen General private and public buildings
dining *Check manufacturers’ recommendations.
EXAMPLE OF DUCT DESIGN PROCEDURE (RESIDENTIAL)
Total load = 10.0kW and air volume = 650L/s.
(b) Bedroom area (night use)
(a) Living area (day use) Lounge, dining, family and kitchen rooms
family room duct continuous air supply
2. Cooling load estimate Assume the following results are determined from the heat load calculation:
Figure 1: Plan of residence used for heat load estimate (ceiling height = 3m).
1. Plan of residence Figure 1 shows a ground plan of a residence to be conditioned by the “day-night” system whereby conditioned air is delivered to the living areas during the day and bedroom areas at night.
Restaurants, stores, industrial buildings
Total load = 6.7 kW and air volume = 450 L/s
∴ Size conditioner for 10kW and supply fan for 650L/s.
day–night changeover splitter
Figure 2: Preliminary duct layout to all rooms using a two‑zone (day-night) changeover system.
3. Airflow rate/m space 3
Assume the total volume of the “day” area = 250m3
∴ L/s/(m3) =
total L/s room value m3
= 2.6 (L/s)/m3
4. Air volume per room (day) Assuming the rooms are proportioned as follows, they will require the stated volumes using:
L/s = room value x (L/s)/m3
(a) Lounge – 88m3 ∴ supply air = 88 x 2.6 = 230L/s
(b) Dining – 38m3 ∴ supply air = 38 x 2.6 = 100L/s
(c) Kitchen – 46m3 ∴ supply air = 46 x 2.6 = 120L/s
(d) Family* – 77m3 ∴ supply air = 77 x 2.6 = 200L/s
Total supply = 650L/s
Note: * The family room duct can be used to balance the air quantities for day and night use – otherwise night use would be 200L/s less than the day requirement, causing severe balancing problems. T he duct design would therefore require that the family room duct be installed so its flow was continuous, and unaffected by the operation of the changeover splitter – see Figure 2.
Air volume per room (night)
(e) Bedroom 1 – 46m ∴ supply air = 46 x 2.6 = 120L/s 3
(f) Bedroom 2 – 50m3 ∴ supply air = 50 x 2.6 = 130L/s
(g) Bedroom 3 – 38m3 ∴ supply air = 38 x 2.6 = 100L/s
(h) Bedroom 4 – 38m3 ∴ supply air = 38 x 2.6 = 100L/s
5. Preliminary duct layout A preliminary duct layout can be compiled – as in Figure 2 – with each duct numbered, and showing the volumes required in each room. 6. Duct‑sizing table Construct a table, like Table 4, showing the volume and assigned velocity for each duct, with the duct diameter selected from a duct‑sizing chart such as Table 5.
Table 4: Table for duct sizing Duct number
Assigned velocity m/s
Duct diameter mm
Nearest available standard duct
16 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
HVAC&R Skills Workshop Table 5: Pressure drop in straight, circular metal ducts, 20°C air, absolute roughness 0.000 15m 10 8 6 5 4
2 1.5 1.0 0.8
0 0.3 5 0.2
0 0.2 4
0 0.5 5 0.4
m dia t c du
ty, oci vel
flow rate, m³/s
1.0 5 0.9 0 0.9 5 0.8 0 0.8 5 0.7 0 . 07 5 0.6 0 0.6 5 0.5
2 0.1 0 0.1
0.08 0.06 0.05
7 0.0 6 0.0
6 0.1 0.02 0.015
3 0.0 1
5 8 10
friction loss, Pa/m Notes Table 4:
Example of determining duct size (using Table 5)
Volumes in litres/second divided by 1000 = m3/second.
1. Read up the vertical axis for the required volume – in this case 0.23m3/s; and read across horizontally to intersect the required velocity line – in this case, 4.0m/s.
N IGER ATIO AN REFR ITIONINGE AUSTRALI AIR-COND L RESOURC NATIONA AND
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY
2. The duct diameter is determined from the sloping “duct diameter” lines read on the left‑hand side – in this case as 0.275m or 275mm.
Standard duct sizes are available from manufacturers.
HT UG O
Duct diameters determined from Table 5. If rectangular duct required.
Assigned velocities taken from Table 1.
THE I ND
This month’s Skills Workshop has been taken from Australian Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Volume 2, by Graham Boyle, F.AIRAH.
Next month: Preparing for an ARC permit condition check. August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 17
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18 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
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GAME-CHANGER FOR WORK UTES New tax rules could allow for greater private use of work vehicles – tax communications director at H&R Block Mark Chapman fills us in.
It isn’t often that the taxman delivers good news.
Under the new guidelines, the FBT exemption will still be available provided that any private use meets the following criteria: • Any diversion to the normal trip between home and work adds no more than 2km to the ordinary length of the employee’s trip • No more than 750km in total for each FBT year relates to wholly private trips • No single, return journey for a wholly private purpose exceeds 200km.
It isn’t often that the taxman delivers good news, but in a potential win for tradies and small businesses, the ATO is proposing to relax some of the tax rules around the private use of work utes.
The existence of this exemption has been one of the driving forces behind the boom in sales of so-called “luxury” utes and four-wheel drives, which manage to be both well-equipped and rather luxurious inside the cab, while still being capable of doing the hard work traditionally associated with this type of vehicle.
The potential effect of this loosening of the rules is that employers will no longer lose access to the FBT exemption where employees use their work ute for common private journeys such as trips to the supermarket on the way home, picking up the kids from school or attending a medical appointment. Notionally, the new guidelines are still in “draft” phase, but in practice the new rules came into effect some months ago and apply to any benefits provided in the 2018 tax year and later years.
• Dual-cab utes, provided they are not primarily designed to transport passengers
The problem with the exemption is that to get it, the employee needs to meet very strict criteria that effectively prevents virtually all private use of the vehicle. Experience has shown that employers find the current rules hard to police. Employees get confused as to what – if any – private use is allowable, and the ATO has to invest resources policing a system that raises very little tax.
• Four-wheel drive vehicles, provided they can carry a load of more than one tonne, or they can carry more than eight passengers, or they are not primarily designed to carry passengers.
So, to get around that, the ATO has issued guidelines setting out a relaxation of the rules that will allow some limited, clearly defined private use of qualifying vehicles without losing the FBT exemption.
Typically, the government imposes fringe benefits tax (FBT), a tax paid by employers, where an employer makes a vehicle available for private use by its employees. However, some types of vehicles are exempt from FBT provided certain criteria are met. The vehicles that qualify for the exemption include: • Single-cab utes
Of course, these new guidelines don’t give drivers of work utes carte blanche to use their vehicles for all private use; only for the very narrow, minor usage set out above. Expect the ATO to take a keen interest where a work ute is provided to an employee with no other private vehicle, since most reasonable people would find it hard to imagine restricting their use of the ute to just 750 private kilometres per year. n
August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 19
FAMILY AFFAIR of experience, which has now enabled us to diversify our own business,” says Tammy.
She believes one of the main benefits of operating a family business is the flexibility it affords them both, particularly with a growing family. But with that flexibility comes the responsibility to balance work and family. “Work doesn’t just turn off at the end of the working day,” Tammy says. “There’s still many discussions to be had about what happened on each job, what issues arose during the day and planning for the next day. But over the years we’ve learned to balance this a lot better.”
FATHER AND SON The Lommers name has long been associated with Western Australia’s building services industry. Cees Lommers, L.AIRAH, is an AIRAH life member and son Mark, M.AIRAH, is a former president of the AIRAH WA division committee.
The team at Mick’s Air Conditioning (L-R): Mick, apprentice Lachlan, 13-year-old son Jacob, Tammy. On the number plate is the company mascot: Bob the penguin.
Australia’s H VAC&R indus try is made u and sizes – fr p of busines om large mu ses of all sha lt inationals to pes working on s ole traders in the tools eve small towns ry day. And s all are family omewhere a businesses, a mong them s Sean McG owan report s. According to the Australian government’s Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, today’s family enterprise sector accounts for 70 per cent of all businesses in Australia, including small, medium and large privately owned businesses across a wide variety of industries.
Run by Mick Stagg and his wife Tammy since 2009, the business started out doing domestic air conditioning and refrigeration installations and repairs before expanding to include commercial HVAC&R.
And the HVAC&R industry is certainly no different. From husband and wife teams, to fathers and sons, and bands of brothers working together in the trade, the HVAC&R industry has been home to family business for decades.
“We started the business with me doing the admin side of things and with Mick being in the field,” says Tammy. “On the bigger jobs I would be the TA on the tools beside him.”
You don’t have to look far to see the influence these businesses have had. Family names like Coombs and Smith – to name just two – have been synonymous with the industry for decades, and continue to be leaders in the sector today.
But as the businesses has grown, so have the administration requirements, leaving Tammy to predominantly take care of the office while Mick and second-year apprentice Lachlan are on the road.
HVAC&R Nation reached out to a handful of family businesses to discover just what makes them tick.
HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM Mick’s Air-Conditioning Services near Rockhampton is one of those small HVAC&R businesses you probably wouldn’t come across unless you lived around “Rocky” and the Capricorn region of Queensland.
Although Tammy had previously worked for an air conditioning business and knew a little of the industry, Mick’s entry into HVAC&R was somewhat different. When his previous job as a finisher in the furniture industry began to impact on his health, he decided to take on another trade. And with a new mortgage and young family, he chose an industry that he felt would support a mature-aged wage as well as offer future opportunities. “We were very lucky in that he had supportive mentors who were able to give him a broad range
20 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
Together they run Lommers Engineering, a diverse building services consultancy offering services including design, building and system compliance review, and management of maintenance works in the built environment. “When Dad came to Australia, he worked as a draftsman,” says Mark, “and this developed into mechanical engineering. From there, he worked for companies such as Refrigeration Industries, Stastra Page and Associates, and Lincolne Scott before forming his own company.” Cees (pronounced “Case”) founded the company in 1986, and Mark joined his father in 2003. Mark’s mother, and wife Katherine, are also now involved in the business, which was recently restructured to become Lommers Engineering. Mark says one of the benefits of operating a family business is that he gets to share his day with family and work closely with his father. “Being able to learn from and work with Dad over the years has been a wonderful experience,” he says. “The biggest challenge is being able to separate work from family time. My sister is not involved in the business, and I’m sure she is sick of Dad and me bringing work discussions to family functions.” He says another challenge is the family dynamic, which changes depending on the day. “Unfortunately, when you share a business with family you also share the stresses that go along with it.” Lommers Engineering is built on the family values of seeing things through. Mark describes it as a “self-ownership thing” and sees the business remaining in the family. “My son Quinn is already planning his takeover,” says Mark. “He loves spending time in the office with Opa (Cees) designing his personal business cards and has even taken it upon himself to learn AutoCAD and demand we give him work to help out.” Not bad for a five-year-old! The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree in the Lommers family.
Feature Brothers Phillip, Stephen and Paul Podetti (L-R) have grown QAE into a thriving business.
The biggest challenge is being able to separate work from family time
“Our mother helped us with our first container by trading in her car for a container of grilles,” Stephen recalls.
THREE BROTHERS Quality Air Equipment (QAE) is one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of air diffusion products including grilles, diffusers, registers, louvres, dampers, sheet metal and flexible duct for both residential and commercial applications. Based in the Sydney suburb of Chipping Norton, the company was formed by the Podetti brothers: Stephen, Paul and Phillip. “We have all worked in the HVAC&R industry from a young age,” says Stephen, “and have different skills and separate roles which span across and cover every part of the business.”
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The brothers originally formed a small installation business in 1998, installing air conditioning systems for the domestic market and doing light commercial work, all while operating from their parents’ garage. “Just prior to QAE being formed, we purchased some machinery to manufacture sheet metal boxes for ourselves for the installation business,” Stephen says. “Once others caught on that we were manufacturing, we had clients asking us to manufacture for them.” Soon after, the brothers began importing a small range of grilles and diffusers for their own use, and in October 2000, Quality Air Equipment was established to support HVAC distributors. Requests for custom-made grilles and diffusers followed, leading to Pro-Grilles also being set up.
As well as the three Podettis, close family members work alongside the brothers, including Paul’s wife, their sister and two brothers-in-law, who Stephen says are a great support to the boys and the family business. “The benefits of operating a family business are loyalty, trust and stability,” Stephen says. “Having a structure that works and trying to separate business from family can sometimes be a challenge, however, we have a good succession plan in place for children and family.” Although the three Podetti brothers are all directors in the business, they believe they have created and maintained a good family dynamic, which they hope will ensure that the business remains in the family well into the future.
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August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 21
10 HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL FAMILY BUSINESSES
Leave work at work and home at home.
Have clearly assigned roles for each family member to avoid feelings of being taken for granted, over-worked or under-utilised.
Pay the market rate – remunerate the job and not the person.
Have clear, consistent communication – both good and bad news must be shared.
Clearly define entry and exit criteria for family members before an event occurs.
Develop a strong, capable management structure – don’t confuse ownership or inheritance with management.
Develop a succession plan and ensure that it is endorsed by interested parties – a communicated process rather than a sudden event. Use outside advisers who can provide unbiased, objective advice – preferably accredited, family business advisers. Hold regular communication sessions and family retreats – the best results are those facilitated by a third party. Use external advisers, sounding board, mentors and family business forum groups. Source: Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman www.asbfeo.gov.au
enables me to run the business on a day-to-day basis, and attend functions out of hours when necessary, without feeling like our children are missing out on anything. “I’d like to think that this element of respect is felt and valued by our customers when they do business with us.”
ALL IN THE FAMILY Based in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Sky Refrigeration is the last of the 100 per cent Australian-owned manufacturers and suppliers of copper and brass fittings. Operating for over eight years, the business is run by Bernadette and Peter Schey, M.AIRAH, along with the youngest of their three daughters, Manon. Middle daughter Eliza is also involved, producing artwork for the company’s catalogues and website. Before establishing Sky Refrigeration with his family, Peter had worked as a refrigeration engineer for over 25 years, including stints with some of the industry’s leading companies. “I had an uncle who was a well-established refrigeration mechanic with an industry-leading company, and he encouraged me into the trade,” says Peter.
Tiffany Bond and husband Chris are the family team behind Envirochill.
Having grown to represent renowned international brands in Australia, Sky Refrigeration opened a new distribution hub in 2016. Peter says one of the benefits of being a family-owned business is the collective buy-in from staff. “This translates into a greater passion to achieve agreed core outcomes, which in our case is a customer service focus,” he says. Among the many challenges of running a family business – including cash flow, separating work from home, and financial risk – is competing with larger businesses. Interestingly, Peter says customers are often far more demanding of a small business than they are of a large multinational.
FRANCHISE TO FAMILY EnviroChill has evolved significantly in the 12 years since Trinity Bond purchased the original franchise for the Ipswich and Toowoomba region in 2006. Starting out as a franchise with a single product, the business survived the demise of two franchise systems before eventually rebranding in 2015 and becoming an independent, family-owned company. EnviroChill now specialises in helping hospitalitybased businesses save money and improve their food safety. It provides coldroom cleaning and hygiene services as well as the latest in automated temperature monitoring for sports clubs, hotels and restaurants.
She says one of the benefits of running a business with her husband is that the wider implications and impacts certain business decisions may have on family are better understood, as compared to working with an external business partner. And although there are sometimes conflicts of opinion, she puts their personal and business success down to their uncompromising respect for each other. “I value the technical and practical skills my husband brings to the business equally to the contributions he makes as a husband and father,” she says. “In the same regard, his unwavering support and encouragement
“For example, if there is an expected warranty issue, an answer and compensation is demanded instantly of a family-owned business,” he says. “Whereas when the same thing happens with our competitor’s product, customers seemingly just accept that they may never get an answer and are happy to be fobbed off.” But Peter says there are numerous advantages too. “We know the strengths and weaknesses of each other, and tailor the work accordingly. And as a family unit, there is a sense of achievement with what we have created – for what we also believe are all the right reasons.” n
“I originally ran the whole business on my own for 18 months – from prospecting for new business to servicing clients and all the administration and bookwork,” says Trinity. “After 18 months, we were offered the opportunity to purchase a further two existing franchise territories in the Brisbane region, which made it viable for my husband to join the business.” Trinity says operating a family business allows both her and her husband the opportunity to spend quality time with their young family. “We are able to schedule everything from our routine services to individual customer appointments around our family,” she says. 22 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
Peter, Manon and Bernadette Schey (L-R).
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More importantly, as we design and manufacture in Australia, you’ll never have to call overseas or wait long for service and support. With our call centre on-site and a National Service Network that has staff on the ground and parts on the shelves, you can trust us to provide local service you can count on. ActronAir. It’s better air conditioning for how Australians really live.
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August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 23
WHERE THERE’S A SKILL THERE’S A WAY! Kyle Borg shows off his work.
Silver medal winner Chris McNally.
They’re proficient with pipe benders, dab hands at diagnostics and masters of time management – they’re the young and talented WorldSkills competitors. If you visited ARBS earlier this year you might have noticed a buzz of activity at the back of the hall. While most people were talking business or just wandering through the displays, 11 apprentices from around Australia were battling it out for gold, silver and bronze in the National WorldSkills Australia Refrigeration and Air conditioning Competition.
in 35 regions around the country in all the different WorldSkills disciplines, testing the skills and knowledge of more than 4,000 apprentices, trainees and students.
Since 1994 the competition has been run in conjunction with ARBS, once every two years. In the lead-up, more than 500 competitions are held
As well as being crowned national champion and receiving a gold medal, the winner is asked to become an Australian Apprenticeship Ambassador
Each region then puts forward its best and brightest for the national competition. They are benchmarked across Australia to compare them to other regional competitors from around the country.
or VET Alumni. The victor also has the chance to become a Skillaroo, competing at international events.
WHAT’S INVOLVED? The national challenge runs over three days and consists of four tasks. Refrigeration fault-finding and electrical fault-finding challenges run for half an hour each. There is a three-hour capacity check, and then they have a 14-hour major project, building a primarysecondary refrigeration system from scratch. The tasks are designed by professionals with either an education (VET) or industry background. The idea is to have both represented in the process) In order to test skills relevant to industry standards as well as meet training package requirements. As one of the judges says, it tests many things.
Heatcraft, Refrigerant Reclaim Australia, BOC, ARBS and RACCA have been big supporters of the competition over the years.
24 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
RACCA President Kevin O’Shea, gold medallist Patrick Brennan, silver medallist Chris McNally, bronze medallist Matthew Cleave, and 2016 winner Nathan McHugh. Images courtesy of WorldSkills Australia.
“It’s time management, it’s stress management, they’re showcasing their skills,” he says. “It brings out many different qualities in them, that’s for sure. It allows them to work under a bit of pressure and stretch the legs and show us what they’re capable of.”
COLD GOLD This year’s Refrigeration gold medallist was Patrick Brennan from the South West Queensland region. Brennan is a third-year apprentice working full time at Tony Stephens Refrigeration (TSR) in Gympie and studying at TAFE in Acacia Ridge. He believes the competition tasks are a good test of the skills an HVAC&R technician needs in the field – and a decent test all round. “It’s pretty much like piping up a coldroom or something like that,” he says. “It’s very relevant – your fault-finding’s relevant, it’s all real life and identical to what you do every day at work. I quite enjoyed the refrigeration fault-finding – that’s one of my strengths. The time is the most stressful thing. You’re always trying to do a good job but be efficient and then keep everything tidy. It’s very stressful.” Despite the pressure, Brennan says the overall atmosphere of the competition was enjoyable and in fact one of the highlights. “I really enjoyed having it at ARBS, and especially the group of fellas who did the competition,” he says. “They’re all such good blokes and it was a good environment to do the competition. The judges said it was one of the friendliest competitions that they’d had.” So, no sledging then? “Well, there’s always sledging between Queensland and NSW – it’s a given!” Brennan’s boss Tony always organises a special trip to ARBS with a few staff members, so he had his own cheer squad. “Everyone was stoked at getting into the top three, which they announced first,” he says. “And when the awards were on, my phone was just going off.”
Since he’s only 20 years old, Brennan is eligible to take part in the international competition, but nothing has been set in stone yet. “It’s a good opportunity, and you only get one chance,” he says. “So, if something comes up I’ll have a crack at it.”
SKILLS TRANSFER If he does continue to compete, Brennan will be looking to another Queenslander for advice. Nathan McHugh won the previous national competition and went on to participate in Abu Dhabi in 2017. “In 2016 I came down here full of energy, like these boys have, and put my best foot forward on competition day,” McHugh says. “And I ended up walking away with the gold medal. It was a great honour – it gives me chills thinking about it – and that made me eligible to go to internationals.” But if you think it was just a matter of packing some tools and hopping on a plane, think again! For McHugh it involved training in Germany, mock competitions in China and Australia and practice, practice, practice. “Training ramped up – I started one day a week, two days a week, three days a week, and then I ended up having three months off and trained solid, just to give me the best opportunity,” he says. “Going to China, their passion for perfection was a real eye-opener. And it showed me that if I wanted to be on the podium I had to really put in everything I had, because I couldn’t possibly train as hard as those guys. I had to be more efficient and use my at-work experience to better them.” Although he had the skills, McHugh had to refine them to an international level. “We’re obviously talking very small tolerance on pipe bending, very good quality solders, good work practices,” he says. “So I had to learn all the different steps and then international standards as well – they’re not all the same as Australia. Thankfully our standards are over and beyond, so it was just coming back from that a little.” Finally, in October 2017, it was time for the main event in Abu Dhabi.
CAN I HAVE A CRACK? Although the next ARBS is not until 2020, the regional competitions will be running in 2019, so start planning if you want to get involved. To be eligible, you have to be undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship, be undertaking studies towards a qualification at an RTO/TAFE or have completed the qualification during the competition cycle. There’s no age restriction for the regional competition; however, to compete in the nationals you must be 24 or younger in the year of that competition. If you’re good enough to make it to international level, you must be 22 or younger in the year of that competition. For more information go to www. worldskills.org.au/get-involved/compete
“I had some really good competition days there and went really well overall,” he says. “You know there’s always things that you’d love to change, but at the end of the day I put in 110 per cent, and I burnt every bit I had at the competition and walked away in the top 10 – I got seventh. That was the goal and it was really rewarding, knowing that I’d left everything on the table and they were just better than me.” McHugh continues to be involved with WorldSkills, acting as one of the judges at the 2018 national competition. “If I can give a little piece of knowledge to one of these guys it will be worth it,” he says. “I just absolutely love the industry and I love what the industry’s done for me, the opportunities it’s given me, just a normal person but obviously really keen. It’s opened up a lot of doors, which has been awesome.” n
August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 25
Around the Nation 4 2
Honeywell has announced a “breakthrough” new nonflammable refrigerant called Solstice N41 for stationary air conditioning systems that it says could replace R410A, and could also potentially be a rival for R32. The HFC phase-down has prompted the search for alternatives to high global warming potential (GWP) gases such as R410A. At present, many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have switched to the lower GWP refrigerant R32. However, R32’s rating of A2L (mildly flammable) means it is not a completely straightforward replacement. Solstice N41, also known as R466A, is believed to have a GWP of around 733 – similar to R32’s GWP of 675 – but with the advantage of being non-flammable. Although it is still undergoing ASHRAE certification, it has been given a preliminary designation of A1 (non-flammable, non-toxic). Solstice N41’s midrange GWP means it is not a viable long-term solution; however, it could provide medium-term relief as supplies of R410A shrink during the HFC phase-down. Honeywell has stopped short of calling Solstice N41 a “drop-in” replacement for R410A, but it does claim that switching over “would require minimal changes to equipment and no additional training for installation and repair technicians. Preliminary data indicates that the refrigerant may allow OEMs to easily convert from R410A.” Solstice N41 is expected to be commercially available next year. n
CHECK YOUR JETS
The Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) has released a guideline to assist building certifiers, engineers, builders and installers when preparing or reviewing a proposal involving impulse (jet) fans in carparks.
The 2015 revisions of AS1670.1 and AS1668.1 provide additional fire safety requirements for impulse fans in carparks. These standards address previous concerns raised around early shutdown of jet fans in a fire.
allowing knowledge building for all levels of contractors who are considering the use of CO2 refrigeration systems,” says lead presenter and Heatcraft segment engineer Douglas Herkess.
“On this basis for buildings that are required to comply with the BCA 2016 a fire safety performance solution is not required,” says fan specialist Fantech.
“We have been designing and manufacturing CO2/134a cascade racks since 2009, so we have extensive experience.”
“Where jets fans are installed in series, a mechanical engineering performance solution will be required,” the company says. “The mechanical engineering performance solution should contain detailed engineering justification to demonstrate that the jet fan system will not have a significant detrimental effect on the safe egress of occupants or operation of the sprinkler system.
If you are interested in attending, email training@ heatcraft.com.au or call 13 23 50. n
“Fantech can provide jet fan carpark design assistance and a turnkey product solution that includes integrated smoke detection and control logic to shut down the jet fans in the very early stages of fire development as required by this doctrine.” Go to www.fantech.com.au n
GET A CLUE WITH CO2
Heatcraft’s first round of industry CO2 training will begin this month. It is open to refrigeration contactors and consultants who are interested in specifying, selling, installing, commissioning and servicing CO2 systems. “The content will provide first-hand experience for all participants to gain an understanding of CO2 refrigeration technologies, providing hassle-free installation, start-up and operation,” says Heatcraft. The course will take place at the Heatcraft Milperra (NSW) training facility. Attendees will also receive product application training and first-hand installation tips. “While there will be a significant focus on transcritical CO2 technology, our goal is to position this training,
26 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
TALENT TIME FOR SA
AIRAH is celebrating the achievements of South Australian apprentices at its annual awards night. The South Australian Apprentice Awards Night will be held on Friday, August 17 at the Hackney Hotel from 7–10pm. The Apprentice of the Year Award will be presented, along with the Runner-up Award, the Encouragement Award and the Airefrig Scholarship Award. “The Apprentice Awards Night is a fantastic way for the South Australian HVAC&R industry to recognise outstanding candidates newly entering the field,” says Ben Quast, M.AIRAH, who was MC at the event last year (pictured). “It provides a valuable opportunity for attending apprentices to engage with the wider industry, which they are just beginning to become a part of.” The Awards presentation night includes a three-course dinner, drinks package and award presentations. So bring your partner and colleagues to applaud South Australia’s high achievers. AIRAH thanks sponsor ActronAir for its continued support of the South Australian Apprentice Awards night. Tickets are $85 for AIRAH members and $95 for nonmembers. The RSVP date is August 7 so get in quick! Go to www.airah.org.au/events n
Around the Nation 6
COOLCHAIN GROWS STRONGER
installers, dealers and retailers across the Mitsubishi Electric City Multi VRF, Commercial and “M” / “P” Series residential systems.
At the recent AIRAH Trade Night in Perth, wholesalers ARW Osborne Park and ARW Jandakot took the opportunity to unveil their new look under the brand CoolChain National HVAC&R Wholesale.
“Each course has been designed with a specific role in mind to ensure the training effectively focuses on best industry practices and particular techniques relevant to each aspect of the business,” says Mitsubishi Electric Australia’s Jeremy Needham.
Although they were already operating as part of CoolChain’s 16-store national network, the Western Australian branches were the first to undergo the rebranding that will be rolled out across the country as the company seeks to strengthen its national image and presence. This comes on the back of CoolChain’s new commercial partnership with Haier Air Conditioning, reported in Around the Nation last month. “The AIRAH show was a tremendous success,” says WA managing director and CoolChain national chairman Jeff Macmillan. “The team took pleasure in showing our current and prospective clients our products, and the new brand, which we believe will enhance our service to the industry.” CoolChain is aiming to grow its network to 20 stores by 2020, and Macmillan confirms the firm is still on track to do this. “We have had interest from New Zealand and another two in Australia that we are talking with,” he says. Go to coolchain.net.au n
FREE TRAINING WITH MITSUBISHI
For the rest of this year Mitsubishi Electric Australia is running free, tailored air conditioning service and installation training courses around the country.
For course dates or to register your interest in the training, contact a Mitsubishi Electric Australia sales or service representative. Go to www.mitsubishielectric.com.au n
AC BOOST FOR NSW SCHOOLS
The NSW government has allocated $500 million in its state budget for air conditioning in schools. The new policy, called Cooler Classrooms, is intended to provide improved learning environments for classrooms and libraries in up to 1,000 schools. As well as providing systems for existing schools, all new schools and school upgrades will have air conditioning installed in all classrooms and libraries. The announcement also includes funding for the removal of unflued gas heaters where new air conditioning is installed. “[The initiative] will look at other factors that influence how a classroom feels for students such as humidity, the local microclimate, design of the classrooms and schools, as well the impact of hot days on students with specific needs,” the government says in a statement.
LIFE’S GOOD AT JNG
OEM spare parts distributor JNG Australia has added LG spare parts to its product range. Now into its 10th year of operation, JNG has grown in that time to supply parts for most leading brands, and proudly claims to be the spare parts market leader in the OEM HVAC&R industry. “The addition of LG spare parts to the JNG brand portfolio is another exciting step forward, enabling the trade access to spare parts from a ‘one stop shop’ business model,” says JNG account manager John Nye. “Our experienced spare parts and technical support team consists of refrigeration mechanics and industry professionals with decades of hands-on experience and knowledge. We understand time is money for tradesmen, so we endeavour to achieve the fastest possible delivery of parts and technical support.” Go to jng.com.au n
TRADELINK GETS BUSY IN BRISSIE
Tradelink has transformed its Milton branch into the company’s first stand-alone store specialising in HVAC. It offers a range of HVAC pipe, valves and fittings from leading brands including MM Kembla, Oventrop, Viega, Hydroboss, CTS HVAC-R and Thermotec, along with a small selection of plumbing products. Tradelink’s national business manager for HVAC Peter Jeffress said the decision to change the offering at Milton was all about offering the right product for customers at the right location.
It will also use smart systems that offer heating, cooling, humidity control and outside fresh air to ensure students have healthy and comfortable environments to learn in.
“By expanding our HVAC offering and providing the local trade community with a specialty HVAC store, we are well positioned to help meet the growing demand for HVAC products in the Brisbane city area,” he says.
The training is available to all industry members. The sessions cater to a variety of levels, from new attendees to previous learners looking for refresher sessions.
“To ensure the initiative is sustainable, the power required will be offset by power generated by solar panels and, where possible, supported with battery storage,” the government says. “The systems will automatically shut down after hours.”
The store upgrade is the next step in Tradelink’s expansion, which has seen 20 stores open a year for the past two years, along with a number of new stores specialising in civil.
The courses are relevant to a diverse range of industry roles, from engineers, specifiers and technicians, to
Details about how equipment will be purchased and installed are not yet available. n
Now in its 15th year, the annual series of courses takes a hands-on approach to learning with product simulators, as well as information on new systems and essential regulation updates.
“We are aiming to open at least one specialty HVAC store in each state,” says Jeffress, “and build from there.” Go to tradelink.com.au n
August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 27
Cunningham left a longstanding role with Major League Baseball in order to work on the product manufacture side. And Leather Head Sports was born out of his passion for making beautiful, heirloom-quality sporting goods. It takes Cunningham about 35 minutes to make a football (the company’s biggest seller) from cutting and stitching the leather panels to pumping air into the internal bladder.
When it comes to sporting goods, sometimes old school rules.
Nike and Converse have commissioned versions of the Leather Head basketball. “Paul’s sports balls are like museum pieces,” says one admirer. “But you can play with them.” n
In the world of professional sports, millions of dollars are frequently invested in order to obtain the slightest of technical or physical edges. We see this in the development of ever-more efficient and faster race-car engines, lightweight and aerodynamic sneakers, or streamlined performance sportswear constructed from the latest laboratory creation. Yet at least one company is taking things in the other direction, swapping the high-tech for an artisanal, hands-on approach. Image: Ale Di Lullo. Leather Head Sports, based in New Jersey in the US, creates beautiful hand-made leather baseballs, basketballs, footballs, rugby balls and medicine balls for those who appreciate ruggedly beautiful sports tackle. The products are built to last, and in fact are designed to get better with age. The patina just adds to the overall effect.
“Ultimately, I want a ball that has a lot of sensory appeal,” says founder Paul Cunningham. “It should look beautiful, it should feel supple, and it should have a warm, enticing leather aroma.”
Leather Head Sports products are available from www.bespokeglobal.com
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Name: Jarrod Taylor nd ia, based on Christmas Isla Company : Carrier Austral maintenance to -based working ser vice and site e, -tim Full on: ati cup Oc and commissioning. zer room, plus installations all forms of AC, cool and free d many different do you work in? I’ve hel What par t of the industry nagement, writing ls and then into account ma jobs in the trade, on the too maintenance contracts. AC &R industry? about working in the HV What are the bes t things the Pilbara ugh Queensland, Victoria, all thro I’ve been able to travel to on trains, d rke wo job is different too. I’ve and many mine sites. Every k in the day. bac py am sw ’s even my Nanna ships, mining equipment, and rs. d in the industry? 21 yea How long have you worke remove panels fridgie-related, but lets me Favourite tool: Not really therman. Lea my and alt impact driver with ease – my 10.8V DeW do you HVAC &R industry, what If you didn't work in the mechanic. y dut vyhea a Most likely think you would be doing? gapore I drove a Murcielago in Sin Dream car : Lamborghini. d rules! roa of ple cou a have broken a few years ago and might Italy, so I always my ancestry dates back to Dream holiday: Some of t out. wanted to go and check tha Christmas Island, tely, there's no tap beer on Drink of choice: Unfortuna so it’s stubbies.
28 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
fee and You can’t beat an iced cof Favourite smoko snack: pepper! the on vy toasted sanga – hea a chook, cheese and mayo the West Coast Eagles. od idol, Peter Wilson from Sporting hero: My childho feed for the missus . . . Usually prepping a big When I’m not working I’m dering how I'm going the ocean from my yard pon – I love to cook. Or watching . nce to finish my helicopter lice to come up with 60 grand
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August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 29
The Lighter Side This month’s Lighter Side is brought to you by
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ORWARD THINKING FThese units will be easy enough to fix when maintenance drones are invented; until then, good luck! Thanks to Sam from NSW for the photo. n
EALLY SCREWED UP RJesse was called out to look at a three-monthold split system installation in Canberra that was leaking when the cooling was on. He found this drain connection. n
LET IT ALL HANG OUT J“I’mUST sure they’re going to fix it soon!” says Glenn, who spotted this install in Moorabbin, Victoria. n
MAGIC DUCT Phil from Queensland sent through this piece
of creative ductwork. n
IT FOR PURPOSE? FPeter was asked to install a thermostat in a Townsville coldroom. He says he laughed and walked away when he found a standard box AC running a three-fan evap. n
HAVE YOU COME ACROSS SOMETHING SCARY, UGLY OR JUST PLAIN FUNNY? If your entry is deemed the monthly winner, a 750ml bottle of Jim Beam will be on its way to your door. Please include a postal address with your entry. Entrants must be 18 or over. Send your hi-res (>500KB) photos to Editor, Mark Vender at email@example.com
30 | HVAC&R Nation | www.airah.org.au/nation | August 2018
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August 2018 | www.airah.org.au/nation | HVAC&R Nation | 31
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