Oct. 5 2012

Its been about 6 months since I moved to the NY area and I have to say I have taken a real liking for this city…. Although I live in Jersey, I do spend a bunch of time in the city and the anonymity is really fun! I was in the city last night, and was in a really happy mood in the morning today…while on the subway to work I smiled at a dozen people and no one smiled back!! A friend told me a while back, ” If you want to creep New Yorkers out, just smile at them” … Guess it is true !!! :P

A heat pump is essentially a machine that moves thermal energy against the natural energy flow. The lower temperature region from which thermal energy is removed is called the source and the higher temperature region to which the heat is moved is call the sink. Refrigerators and air conditioners are types of heat pumps that are most common, but there are many more devices that perform this function. To move the heat energy from the source to the sink, some of it is transformed into another form of energy, which will reappear as thermal energy in the sink.

A heat pump water heater is a water heater that uses the principle of heat pump to heat water. In a HPWH, the cooling fluid is pumped along the loop where it gets cooled as it passes through the expansion valve. This cool fluid in turns cools the air at the evaporator coil and warms. This further warms as it passes though the compressor and this heat is transferred to the water at the condenser coil. The thermal energy used to heat the water is obtained from the ambient air. This implies directly that the water heater can also provide some air cooling as a bonus. Thus, the input energy used very effectively when both the heat extraction and addition capabilities of a single heat pump are used. That is, a heat pump domestic water heater located in the living area of a home could cool the home, reducing or eliminating the need for additional air conditioning. This installation would be best-suited to a climate that is moderate all year round.

A super-efficient HPWH can cut water heating costs by 60% – saving of more than $200 approximately per year. As it heats the water, it produces up to 7,000 Btu per hour of free cooling and dehumidification. A typical HPWH is somewhat like a mini-air conditioner that transfers the waste heat into your hot water tank instead of transferring it outdoors. These can be located in a utility room as it does not take up lots of space. The utility room (or maybe a basement space) can be turned into a comfortable dry living space. Alternatively, the cold air produced can also be ducted to the rest of the home to supplement cooling.

I conducted a survey among Bangalore residents I knew using a questionnaire (52 responses), that showed that a majority use air conditioning and water heating. This survey was conducted mostly among the neo-rich immigrant population. This might make the result inaccurate from a total population standpoint but for the target population that this study is looking at, it is quite relevant. An important fact to note is that the population that uses air conditioners almost always uses a water heater as well. This means that there is a good section of people who might look at this way of reducing their energy use by adopting the HPWH.

It can be concluded that Bangalore with its moderate climate is a feasible location for the efficient use of the HPWH for water heating and air cooling. Also, with a large immigrant population of small families that can afford to buy and use new appliances, who also have higher awareness levels, it is one of the most likely locations for the success of this new technology in India. The projected growth rates of the economy, and the associated increase in income among this community shows that the sales of electronic items and therefore the energy use will increase. In such a scenario, the introduction of an energy-efficient heat pump water heater that simultaneously heats water and cools air is appropriate.



This is a little paper I wrote as part of an infrastructure course in school. Enjoy!

Bechtel is one of the oldest and largest family-led corporations in the United States, founded in 1898 as a railroad grading operation in the Oklahoma Territory. Through four generations of Bechtels, the company has been in the forefront of engineering and construction for more than 110 years. Since its founding in 1898, Bechtel has successfully completed more than 23,000 projects in 140 nations and seven continents. In this journey, Bechtel has earned its place as a firm that undertakes mega-projects, projects that are considered too big, complex or remote, for example the Hoover Dam, the Channel Tunnel and the San Francisco BART system.

The Reliance Group, founded by the late Dhirubhai Ambani, is India’s largest private sector enterprise, with businesses in the energy and materials value chain. The flagship company, Reliance Industries Limited, is a Fortune Global 500 company, the only Indian firm on the list. Backward vertical integration has been the cornerstone of the evolution and growth of Reliance. Starting with textiles in the late seventies, Reliance pursued a strategy of backward vertical integration – in polyester, fiber intermediates, plastics, petrochemicals, petroleum refining and oil and gas exploration and production – to be fully integrated along the materials and energy value chain.

My interest in Bechtel is due to an article I read a while back about the Jamnagar Refinery, a project that Bechtel and Reliance Petroleum Ltd. worked together on in Gujarat, India which claims to be the world’s largest oil refining hub. The Jamnagar complex in northwest India is the largest refinery and petrochemicals complex ever built from the ground up. It was later expanded by Bechtel by adding a second refinery adjacent to the first. This expansion has made it the largest oil refinery, capable of refining 1.2 million barrels a day.

The construction of the second refinery required over 200,000 engineering and supplier documents, 1.5 million cubic meters of concrete, more than 4 million meters of piping, and 4,400 pieces of major equipment. The work site itself covered an area larger than London. At peak construction, the project employed more than 70,000 workers. Corporations on different continents, today, can take advantage of working together, using a concept called a “virtual company” or a “24-hour knowledge factory (24HKF)”. To meet the challenge of the second refinery, Bechtel and Reliance created a “virtual company” with global resources. Over 2,800 professionals handled engineering, procurement, project management, and construction consulting from London, Houston, Frederick, Toronto, Shanghai, New Delhi, Mumbai, and Jamnagar. With 19 offices and 10 cities in five countries this was the most widely distributed workforce Bechtel has ever applied to a project. A virtual company needs to ensure that everybody can work together as if they’re in the same place, and for this, Bechtel had a purpose-built communications network that reaches every location and enables simultaneous collaborative work on engineering drawings and other documents among people in multiple locations around the globe. The virtual team has been especially important in keeping the project on its aggressive record-breaking schedule.

I believe that for global project success, 24HKF is a very promising idea and has many positives. The biggest advantage of 24HKF is the time saving that companies can take advantage of while allowing the work to be done during off-working hours in their country, leading to cost savings for both parties since the cost associated with in-house employees is usually substantially higher than the cost of supplying work to an outside provider. There is also access to specialized knowledge offered by workers in different location, i.e., individuals with different skills and knowledge set.

The first post!

Mike testing, mike testing!! New to blogging and hoping this will be an enriching experience. Image


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