HVAC Quick Load, www.carmelsoft.com, app for the iPhone and iPad performs rule-of-thumb HVAC cooling and heating load calculations for many types of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential buildings. Optimized for each format, the app adjusts the layouts of the inputs and results for maximized viewing of details on each device.
The app enables users to quickly calculate the total required cooling and heating loads (in BTU/hr or tonnage) and air flows (CFM or L/s) by inputting the building type, total square footage and number of people. Slider controls facilitate increasing or decreasing the input parameter values and immediately seeing changes in the calculated results on screen. The results, viewable in the field, are, the developer notes, useful for quick analysis of heating and cooling properties of a space or a building though the app is not designed as a substitute for rigorous heating and cooling load calculations. The app has the ability to e-mail inputs and results.
Below are two mobile apps aimed at HVAC contractors in the field that can help contractors and service personnel perform quick, accurate calculations while on service and installation calls.
HVAC ASHRAE 62.1 – 2010 Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch (downloadable at www.iTunes.apple.com) sets minimum ventilation rates and other requirements for commercial and institutional buildings. Based upon both the Standard 62.1 - 2007 and 2010 versions, the user can select either version by project so as to accommodate LEED and other requirements.
The app, loosely based on the “62MZCalc.xls” Excel spreadsheet that comes with each copy of the 62.1, the app can perform comprehensive minimum ventilation rate calculations in the field and can store an unlimited number of projects, systems and zones that can be modified at any time.
Taking advantage of slider-controls, the user can see instant updating of an increase or decrease in the input values. The app accesses all 70+ ASHRAE 62.1 space types with “per person” and “per unit” ventilation rates. Default templates can be created and used to create new projects.
Emerson PT Pro mobile app for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry (downloadable free from Emerson at www.emersonclimate.com) can be a good alternative to carrying/using a pocket pressure/temperature chart to check superheat. The app provides pressure, temperature conversions and superheat calculations. The user selects a refrigerant and enters a temperature to get the saturated pressure (in Bar or Psig). Entering a pressure gives the saturated temperature for that pressure. Entering the bulb temperature calculates the superheat.
The HVAC Check & Charge mobile app for Android or iPhone devices (downloadable free from Emerson Climate Technologies at www.emersonclimate.com) is an instant onsite refrigerant charge calculator for air conditioning applications. Based on historic sliding cardboard charge calculators, the app enables users to calculate the correct system refrigerant charge for R-22 or R-410A. The user chooses subcooling, superheat, or airflow and enters the specified system temperatures and the latent and sensible environmental loads. The app utilizes those values to determine the proper system charge and if the charge amount, based on those conditions, should be altered.
There is a major upgrade to RazorSync, www.razorsync.com, (free to existing users, app carries a monthly per user fee, free 30-day trial) the cloud-based desktop and mobile field service management software app covered in the August 2013 column, with several features designed to improve communication among office staff, service workers, and customers. The most significant upgrade to the app, which can be accessed from any browser on a desktop or laptop and runs on any iOS or Android tablet or smartphone, is the launch of a self-service customer portal which contractors can offer their customers.
Customers can be given the option to independently request service, schedule their own service requests, view invoices, and check on job progress. Additional features in Version 4.8 include the ability of personnel in the office and in the field to view work order status at a glance with flexible color-coding options, e.g., green if the field worker is onsite, or red if the work order is complete, and a new list view that supports sharing of notes and messages between office and field personnel. In addition, office staff can drag-and-drop new service onto a field worker’s timeline.
Flow Free v.2 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch (Big Duck Games, downloadable free at www.itunes.apple.com) is a plumbing puzzle hard to shut the screen on. Match colored ends of pipes to create flow without crossing or overlap. The app features simple graphics and soothing sound effects. Easy until it isn’t. Difficulty escalates from 5 x 5 connections up to 9 x 9 for iPhone, up to 14 x 14 for iPad. Hints and buy-out to shut off occasional pop-up ads carry a fee.
Bill and Patti Feldman write articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. They can be reached at [email protected].