November 2017 Print

President's Report

President's Report

From the President’s Desk……


Oscar Cobb Jr., PE

During this season I always take time to reflect on the blessings that I have and the wonderful things that I have been afforded. I am grateful for so many things. I am especially grateful for family, for good health, for a home, and for employment.  This is a special year though because I have a great responsibility that I am grateful for.  I am grateful to be serving as the President of this wonderful chapter of talented individuals.

I am also very grateful for the wonderful support that so many of you have shown throughout this year. Because of your support we have had four tremendous events this year.  Three very well attended chapter meetings and an unprecedented gathering for our November YEA event.  Our attendance numbers have increased, our young engineers’ participation, has increased, and every event has been an exciting one. So this season I'm very thankful for you and your support of Detroit ASHRAE.  

I am thankful for every dollar that has been spent by each organization sponsoring our meetings.  I am thankful for the efforts of every chairperson that has worked on the agendas for this year's successes. I am thankful for everyone who has come with a friend or invited a buddy to come out to a meeting. I am thankful for those who volunteer their time to come and talk with students about Career Development. I am thankful for those members old and young who came out to enjoy a fun night of feather bowling with the young engineers of ASHRAE.  

There is so much to be thankful for and so much of it is represented by you.  Thank you Detroit ASHRAE for an outstanding year in 2017!  I am definitely looking forward with great expectation to 2018.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and I pray for a safe and enjoyable close to this year.  We hope to see you real soon…at our January Meeting! 

Your Detroit ASHRAE President,

Oscar Cobb

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AHR Conference

Forward Thinking – Chicago ASHRAE Conference and Beyond


Why do I go to ASHRAE Conferences?? Because during the ASHRAE Conferences I learn more about the exciting things happening in our industry than I can anywhere else (see link to 6 Reasons…).

If you have been to an ASHRAE Winter Conference, you know there are great speakers on the state of the industry and where it is going, new tools and techniques to help you do your job better, a huge exhibit hall with the latest and greatest products and services, and the evening parties where you get to have a good time and talk with people from all over the world.  Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your time – and money – at the Conference.

  1.        Go! If you have never been to an ASHRAE Conference, this one in Chicago is reasonably close to SE Michigan and easy to get to. While there, you can check out some of the great restaurants and other things to do in the Chicago area.
  2.        Review the exhibitor list beforehand and decide which vendor booths you want to see.  This helps me make the best use of my time and focus on those vendors that will really make a difference to my clients – or potential clients. I’ve found it’s the only way to get through an exhibit hall of more than 1,500 vendors in less than 6 hours.
  3.        Attend the seminars and talk to the presenters afterwards. Having presented at many such conferences and conventions, I can tell you the presenters want to hear from you and get to know you. Exchange business cards - you never know when you may need to call on that person as a resource in the future.
  4.        Get involved with ASHRAE Technical Committees (TCs). The TCs are at the helm of what is coming down the industry pike in terms of laws, regulations and how people are thinking about these issues for the future. Among other things, the TCs decide the topics for the seminars, update the handbooks, and recommend projects to be funded.  In them are the movers and shakers of the industry.

With nearly 100 different Technical Committees, there is something for everyone. I have been involved with Technical Committees for a long time. It truly is an honor and a privilege to serve on the TCs – and that way I get to keep my finger on the pulse of the industry.

Find your interest from this list of ASHRAE Technical Committees. Responsibilities typically include attending the meetings that occur twice during the year, during the winter and summer conferences. Today, there are call-in numbers for those who can’t attend in person.

If you belong to other industry trade groups, as I do, consider that I could write the same thing about the conventions of these other organizations.  It pays to be active in these organizations, and I highly recommend it, both from a learning standpoint and from the social/business networking you can do with existing and potential clients.  You learn a lot that you can use in your business right away, personally and for your company, plus you gain a business advantage over others who are not at these meetings.  

It is time – and money - well spent.

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Next Meeting Update

January 16th   5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Livernois Tap- Axel Brewing Co.

567 Livernois St, Ferndale, MI 48220


Topic: High Performance Air Systems

  •         The impact of ASHRAE 90.1 (2013) for air system design in Michigan.

  •         Design strategies, fan optimization.

  •         Efficiency and way to lower BHP/cfm


Speaker: Andrew Jenkins | Airside Business Marketing Leader | Trane

Andrew joined Trane in 2008 as product support engineer for airside products. In his current role as a marketing leader for airside products, he leads the commercialization of new product options. His expertise includes selection software development, air system design and overall system optimization. He also serves on airside related AHRI and ASHRAE engineering committees. Andrew is also the current president for the Bluegrass ASHRAE chapter. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and MBA from the Gatton School of Business.

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Membership Promotion


If you have received a notification from Society to renew your membership, please do so soon.  If your original renewal date was in June, your membership is likely going to lapse soon.  All it takes is just a few simple clicks and you can be back all set.

To Join or Renew –

When renewing remember to click to pay Detroit Chapter Dues to support our chapter.

Thanks in advance!

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Chapter Technology Transfer

Chapter Technology Transfer

ASHRAE’s 2017-2018 Technology Awards

Arunabha Sau – Chapter Technology Transfer Committee Chair

We’re coming upon the time of the year where resolutions are made to better your future.  So now is a perfect time to start thinking about your submission for the ASHRAE Technology Award competition. For the past several years the Detroit Chapter has received multiple Regional and Society level awards for entries--we want the legacy to continue.  You can be a part of this legacy by submitting a project.  All you have to do is be an ASHRAE member, have an innovative or energy efficient design, and fill out the application.  Note that this program is not limited to consulting engineers/firms only; contractors can also submit projects as long as they had a Professional Engineer on their team. There are more and more design build/assist projects around today so don’t be afraid to submit your projects!

The purpose of the ASHRAE Technology Awards is threefold:

  1. To recognize ASHRAE members who design and/or conceive innovative technological concepts that are proven through actual operating data.
  2. To communicate innovative systems design to other ASHRAE members.
  3. To highlight technological achievements of ASHRAE to others, including associated professionals and societies worldwide, as well as building and facility owners

ASHRAE Technology Award applications are accepted in each of the following categories:

  1. Commercial Buildings (New, Existing, EBCx)
  2. Institutional Buildings (New, Existing, EBCx)
    • Educational Facilities
    • Other Institutional
  1. Health Care Facilities (New, Existing, EBCx)
  2. Industrial Facilities or Processes (New, Existing, EBCx)
  3. Public Assembly Facilities (New, Existing, EBCx)
  4. Residential

This year we want the Detroit Chapter in the winner’s circle again. Of course this competition also serves as a means for passing on of new technology to future engineers. If you have a design that you think is worth sharing…go ahead and submit it!  

The deadline for this year’s Chapter entries will be in April 2018

So please begin planning for your submission now!

If you want more information the “Technology Award Program Overview, Requirements, Judging Criteria and Helpful Hints” are available on ASHRAE’s website at the following link: or you can email CTTC chair at with any questions you may have.


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Honors and Awards

Let’s get some AWARDS!!!

By Paul Prentice – R.L. Deppmann Co.

As Honors and Awards Committee Chairman I am looking for a few good chapter members. We all know our chapter is blessed with many dedicated and ambitious members who have contributed to our chapter for many years and in many ways. We also have members who have made great achievements and contributions to ASHRAE on a regional and national level.

Any successful organization has a way of rewarding those who contribute to its mission in a meaningful manner – so it is with ASHRAE. Our award recipients exemplify the best in engineering and engineering technology by continually bringing credit to the profession and the Society.

ASHRAE is proud of the many contributions its men and women have made on behalf of the Society and to our industry. We encourage you to help us recognize those members who deserve to be thanked by nominating them for an appropriate award.

I am hoping you as a chapter member can give me some member names for a couple awards that I’m sure we have candidates for. From there I will contact the person and get with him /her to help complete the necessary data to submit an entry to ASHRAE. Deadlines are throughout the year but please call me as soon as possible. Feel free to nominate yourself if you qualify.

Our Detroit Chapter Distinguished Service Award

Nominees for this award will have given generously of their time and talents in a variety of different ways over an extended period of time. This is a chapter level award and a member is nominated by any other Detroit Chapter member with nominations brought to the chapter board of governors for final decision. Nominations are due to the board or to myself by January 5th , 2018. Award will be presented at the Past Presidents Meeting. The recipient of this award will also be submitted to The Engineering Society of Detroit for recognition at the Gold Awards.

Some of the many ASHRAE Society awards are the following (with due dates):

Distinguished Service Award – (May 1st)

–                                    Recognizes members of ASHRAE who have served the Society faithfully and with distinction on committees or otherwise given freely of their time and talent on behalf of the Society (15 service points are required).

Exceptional Service Award(May 1st)

Recognizes members who have served the Society faithfully and with exemplary effort, far in excess of that required for the Distinguished Service award (45 service points are required). The individual must have been a full grade Member for a minimum of ten (10) years and a past recipient of the Distinguished Service Award

Andrew T. Boggs Service Award (May 1st)

This award, named after Andrew T. Boggs, former ASHRAE Executive Vice President, recognizes past recipients of the Exceptional Service Award for continuing, unselfish, dedicated and distinguished service to the Society.

Louise and Bill Holladay Distinguished Fellow Award - (May 1st)
This award honors Fellows of the Society for continuing preeminence in engineering or research work.

Milton W. Garland Award

Past Chapter Refrigeration Committee Chair who has done outstanding work in promoting refrigeration at the Chapter level. 

Student Activities Achievement Award

Chapter Student Activities Chairman who has contributed to the goals and growth of student activities at all levels.

Several other awards are offered by society and can be seen on the ASHRAE website.

This link also include instructions on how to nominate and the application forms.

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Tips From The Fan Man

Tips from the Fan Man – by Jim Newman, CEM, LEED AP BD+C, ASHRAE BEAP & OPMP


Forward Curve vs. Backward Inclined and Airfoil Wheels                

It is important to keep in mind that there are 2 main differences between forward curved (f.c.) and backward inclined (b.i.) or airfoil fans. The first is that the f.c. fan has a flatter operating curve, which means that, for a given change in pressure, e.g., the loading of filters with dirt over time, there will be a greater change in the volume of air handled than with the b.i. (or airfoil) wheel.

The second is that the f.c. fan has a constantly rising HP characteristic, as opposed to the non-overloading HP characteristic of the b.i. fan. This can lead to overloading of the motor on the f.c. fan, which are typically used with many rooftop units - at time of startup, when the filters are clean. Why?  The static pressure in the system will typically be less than designed, so the fan will handle more air than the design cfm, and the BHP will typically go much higher on the f.c. fan than on the b.i. fan, depending on where they are picked on the fan curve, of course.

Not Enough Air Flow?

When analyzing a system that seems to be putting out less air than expected, the most important thing to remember is K.I.S.S. (keep it system simple).

The first thing to do is to make sure the fan wheel is rotating in the proper direction.  If the wheel is running backwards, it will still put out a certain amount of air, but the amount depends on whether it is a forward curved or a backward inclined wheel, as well as the designed static pressure.  The complex part of this scenario is that the BHP and the static pressure may be close to what was specified, especially on backward inclined wheels, leading you to look for other problems in the system.

Only after you have confirmed the proper rotation should you begin checking for other problems, some of which we will discuss in the next column.

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Social Media


If you have taken photos at any of our recent events we would love to see them, please post them on social media with #ASHRAEDETROIT


You should have received an invite to connect with us on LinkedIn, please join our Group so we can share meeting content and latest updates on ASHRAE Chapter, Region and Society happenings.

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