Helping Mushrooms Grow More Efficiently

    Posted on Tue,Jun 27, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

    In the production plant of Kuhn Champignons AG, seven to eight tons of mushrooms produced daily. To accelerate the growth, an artificial "autumn climate" is created. Under the ideal temperature and humidity, the mushrooms grow, ripen and become ready for harvest within three weeks.

    But after 30 years, the existing plant and hydraulics were obsolete and no longer met the current standards of sustainable production. The entire plant needed updating.

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    After 30 years, the existing plant and hydraulics were obsolete and no longer met the current standards of sustainable production. The entire plant needed updating. Energy saving was the main objective for the new production plant. Additional requirements were constant temperature and humidity in the production for the optimal growth of mushrooms and the ability to switch to variable amounts of water to be able to react according to the season and demand. Reliable and innovative products that contribute to energy saving.

    The advanced butterfly valve assembly fulfills the task of dissipating the heat within the plant, which means the warm water will be pumped into the ground water for cooling again. This is a daily occurrence. The butterfly valve assembly was easy to install because of its lower height and reduced weight.  The advantage of the hand crank if the need arises to switch the system to manual operation. The biggest benefit is 80% energy savings.  The advanced butterfly also guaranteed reliable operation through intelligent self-adjusting valve design Near Field Communication(NFC) along with BACnet communication provide superior application data access for easy troubleshooting, commissioning, and programming.

    The innovative advanced butterfly valve was installed in the new plant of Kuhn Champignon AG in March 2016 and has been running flawlessly. The advanced butterfly valve is the most intelligent, energy efficient, and reliable high flow solution in the HVAC market. With a focus on ease of installation, application flexibility, and longevity, this series set new performance standards.

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    Tags: Featured Case Studies

    Retrofit Solution Eases the Pain of DDC Conversion at VA Hospital

    Posted on Tue,Feb 04, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

    Making the switch from a pneumatically controlled HVAC system to a DDC system opens the door for tremendous energy savings. It is also one of the most costly and complex renovations a facility can undertake. A significant portion of this investment of time and resources involves the replacement of existing valves and/or actuators. Actuator replacement alone can be a long and tedious task, especially if there are hundreds of terminal units involved. If both actuators and valves must be replaced, the breadth of labor and cost go up significantly since welders and pipefitters are required. However, thanks to new actuator retrofit technology from Belimo, the process of converting a pneumatic building to a DDC system is a lot less painful. In Spring 2013 Oklahoma City VA Hospital was the first to receive the cure.

    Engineered Systems & Energy Solutions, Inc. (ES2), a building automation contractor in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was granted the opportunity and the challenge to bring the 30-year-old VA hospital’s HVAC control system up-to-date. The hospital was ready to begin the long, arduous process of converting its pneumatic system to DDC. Through a competitive bid process, ES2 was awarded the contract to convert the existing proprietary protocol system to a non-proprietary BACnet system from Automated Logic and retrofit all existing control valves with new DDC actuators. The latter would ultimately include actuator retrofits to over 600 globe valves serving variable air volume (VAV) boxes and fan coil units, many of which contained both hot and cold-water coils.

    Technology Worth the Wait
    The existing globe valves were in good shape and didn’t warrant replacement. This wasNew Generation Globe Valve and Retrofit Linkages fortunate since valve replacement, as opposed to retrofitting new actuators, would have dramatically increased labor cost and complicated the permitting.

    “We would have had to hire both pipe fitters, and also insulating contractors for the cold water valves. Plus, we would have had to acquire additional “Hot Work” permitting for the use of blowtorches on hospital premises,” explained Bill Kinser, President of ES2.

    Still, the actuator retrofits would have been tedious and time consuming on their own had it not been for Belimo’s recently released New Generation Linear Globe Valve Actuators and Retrofit Linkages. Several months before the first retrofit linkages left the factory, Kinser decided the new actuators and linkages would be an ideal fit for the VA hospital project. Kinser was so impressed with the product previews he had received that he and his team decided to delay the retrofits until the first retrofit kits were available! According to Kinser, it was worth the wait.

    The new generation valves and retrofit linkages are not only designed to deliver greater power than previous models, but extraordinary flexibility. The actuators are engineered to fit a broad range of HVAC applications and the linkages are universal so they can adapt to almost any globe valve body. No special tools are required for the installation, which only takes minutes. A self-centering device that is included with the linkage makes aligning the stems of the valve and actuator fast and simple. This feature alone was enough to convince Jeff Woods, Control Technician for ES2 that waiting for the new retrofit kits was the smart thing to do.
    “A single retrofit only takes about 30 minutes to complete, which is about 45 minutes less than a typical retrofit. The self-centering device and stroke indicator features are very intuitive and really helped cut our installation time. All other linkages require some disassembly of the valve,” said Woods.

    The Oklahoma City VA hospital was the very first project to use the new generation actuators and linkages. The fact that ES2 was not only willing to wait for the product, but be the first to use it, is indicative of their confidence in Belimo technology and innovations. Neither Kinser nor Woods had any reservations about being the first to use the product.

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    Tags: Featured Case Studies, Retrofit Solutions

    Phoenix Reduces Chilled Water Expenses

    Posted on Mon,Jul 23, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

    Hartford, Connecticut’s most iconic building also may be one of its most difficult to heat and cool.

    The corporate headquarters of The Phoenix Companies, Inc. at One American Row in Hartford’s downtown is a true architectural landmark. The 13-story building, designed by famed twentieth-century architect Max Abramovitz and completed in 1963, is the first New England office building to be both LEED certified and on the National Register of Historic Places. But the building’s ship-like profile and glass curtain walls cause tremendous solar gain, creating ongoing heating and cooling challenges for Phoenix.

    Controlling the flow of chilled water into the cooling system is one significant issue. The building is located close to the utility that supplies chilled water, exposing its mechanical system to extremely high supply pressures, frequently in excess of 200 PSI and differential pressure exceeding 40 PSI during peak cooling loads. Over the years, these pressures have wreaked havoc on numerous globe valves, which have proved incapable of maintaining proper flow through the building’s major air handlers.

    Large pressure differentials were the main problem, according to Michael Mayhew, Facility Maintenance Technician. “We control the valves based on supply air temperatures which we try to maintain at 55°F. The valves continue to open until air reaches this setpoint. However, these old globe valves had trouble maintaining proper flow when differential pressure exceeded 40 PSI and they had trouble closing against that high pressure,” said Mayhew.

    Under these circumstances, which occurred regularly, it would take the valves up to 30 minutes to respond to flow and temperature changes. Meanwhile, a lot of chilled water passed through the system, increasing costs for the company.

    Mayhew explained that the utility charges based on “Day-Tons,” a unit of measurement based on the amount of temperature differential the building sees, and the gallons of chilled water it uses. Phoenix closely monitored their consumption but had few other options to improve its cooling efficiency due to the building’s unique footprint and historic aesthetics.

    A Test Run on Pressure Independent Technology

    Fortunately, Belimo’s new electronic pressure independent valve, the ePIV, was introduced toBelimo Energy Valve the market, providing a potential solution for Phoenix’s increasing chilled water costs.

    The ePIV valve directly controls the water flow as required by the coil, regardless of pressure fluctuations in the system. The valves are selected based on the GPM requirements of the coil and eliminate the need for balancing valves. Most important, the ePIV eliminates overflow thru the coil, saving energy for the building owner.

    The ePIV also incorporates Belimo Multi-Function Technology® (MFT) which allows for a wide variety of programmable inputs and feedback signals. This technology, combined with the Belimo PC-Tool software, allows ePIV users set, modify, and read the position of the valve simply by plugging a laptop into the valve actuator. Setpoints can be specified and actual values monitored and recorded in a graphical format for documentation.

    To test the technology out, the staff at Phoenix applied the ePIV to a large AHU with two side-by-side chilled water coils, each supplied by a separate chilled water valve. One of the existing valves was left in place, while the ePIV was applied to the other coil for comparison.

    The reduction in flow through the coil with the ePIV flow was dramatic and convinced Phoenix to retrofit several other AHUs.

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    Tags: Pressure Independent Valves, Green Building Technology, Featured Case Studies

    MIT Reaps the Rewards of Higher Delta-T!

    Posted on Mon,Jul 09, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

    Low Delta-T Syndrome is a common (and costly) problem in many large facilities, especially on sprawling campuses with central chilled water plants.  This was and still is the case at The Power Consumption/Waste ZoneMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  But the problem isn’t as bad as it used to be. Facility engineers within the University’s Sustainability and Utility Planning are now optimistic that it will continue to improve.  This is in thanks to new valve technology from Belimo that was applied to MIT’s Charles Hayden Library as a beta test for a new Belimo product – the Belimo Energy Valve™.  The results are promising for any large facility currently battling Low Delta-T Syndrome. 

    With the Energy Valve, Belimo Low Delta Tset out to design a “smart” valve that would combine the function of an electronic pressure independent control valve that also included a flow sensor, and return and supply water temperature sensors, along with the communications and logic capability to use these sensed values for improving coil performance.  The technology would be used to optimize the heat transfer performance of individual coils by continuously monitoring the coil Delta-T and comparing this value to the desired Delta-T setpoint.  If these values were not the same, or suitably close, the valve would readjust itself.  Furthermore, data gathered at the valve would be reported back to the Building Automation System (BAS) and used for further trending and diagnostics.

    MIT had the perfect test case opportunity for this developing technology:  The Charles Hayden Library. Download complete case study or listen to the proceeding from International District Energy Association (IDEA) Annual Campus Energy Conference.

    Tags: Green Building Technology, Featured Case Studies

    Pressure Independent Valve Technology Provides Long Term Solution

    Posted on Mon,Feb 06, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

    Shell Point Retirement Community in Fort Myers, FL, is an extraordinary property. With over 400 acres and nearly 2000 residents, it is Florida's largest life care retirement community, combining all the services of a comprehensive staged elder care facility and the amenities of an all-inclusive resort. Also extraordinary is the fact that this sprawling property, which includes a 75-acre island and a wide assortment of medical, recreational, and living facilities, is served almost entirely by one central energy plant. The efficient and seamless delivery of heating and cooling to the outlying buildings is, in no small part, thanks to the nearly 1500 Pressure Independent Control Valves (PICCV).

    Belimo has played an important role in Shell Point’s HVAC system since the property Shell Point Retirement Facilityembarked on a 20-year multistage expansion several years ago. In addition to numerous new construction projects, this expansion included transference of several independently cooled buildings onto the central plant system. Ultimately the centralized cooling system would include 5 miles of underground piping. This massive system and a desire to resolve existing low ΔT problems led Shell Point Energy Plant Manager, Dan Parker, and Project Development Engineer, John Trowbridge, P. E. to explore Belimo pressure independent technology.

    According to Trowbridge, pressure independent control eliminated the need for balancing newly constructed systems, as well as rebalancing systems already connected to the central load. Balancing would have been especially burdensome since all the air handling units already connected to the central plant would require rebalancing at the same time; a daunting challenge for even the most skilled contractor. This, along with the high differential pressures found in some areas of Shell Point, made Belimo PICCVs an appealing solution.

    How the PICCV works:

    The PICCV combines a differential pressure regulator with a two-way control valve and actuator for electronic flow control. The pressure regulator controls the amount of flow passing through the valve according to the change in pressure. All pressure changes are absorbed by the pressure regulator allowing the differential to be held constant over the control valve section, thereby providing consistent flow. This is different from conventional 2-way control valves, whose operation can be severely distorted by system pressure changes.

    “The PICCVs circumvented the issues we had and provided us with a totally self-balancingBelimo Pressure Independent Characterized Control Valve system,” says Trowbridge. “With the PICCVs, we are assured that the ΔT across the coils is at design conditions, working optimally, and pumping energy is minimized.” Because the PICCV has a very high close-off pressure rating, it can easily close off against the higher pressures found at some of the air handlers on the property, making it every bit as reliable as globe valves in many applications, often at a fraction of the installed cost. Even so, Dan Parker, a seasoned veteran in chilled water systems, was prepared for certain flow issues to crop up when the first PICCV controlled system went on-line. He was pleasantly surprised. “There was no impact on the system whatsoever. No increases in flow, chilled water demand, or pump power,” said Parker, adding “that since startup, no manual balancing has been required thanks to the dynamic system balancing the PICCV provides.”

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    Tags: Pressure Independent Valves, Green Building Technology, Featured Case Studies

    From concept to state-of-the-art reality.

    Posted on Mon,Nov 14, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

    When the mechanical contracting group of The Trane Company won the bid from McClier Corporation to do the mechanical engineering for the new, state-of-the-art New York Post printing facility, its control design team chose Belimo as its supplier of actuators and valves. The decision was based on Belimo’s reputation for reliable products and timely, all-inclusive customer service.

    C POST resized 600The new, five-story, 430,000 sq. ft. facility incorporates all of the latest advances in printing and automation technology and relies heavily on climate sensitive electronics. The temperature must be precisely maintained at 72º F., the humidity at 65%, primarily to prevent static electricity. The plant environment could also adversely affect the viscosity of the inks and the integrity of the paper running through the high-speed presses. Even the monster, 50-foot high, 117 foot long, web offset presses could overheat and malfunction if the temperature and humidity were not precisely maintained.

    The Belimo Aircontrols’ sales and technical support team was there with Trane’s project management from the beginning, through every stage of construction, to ensure the success of the project. The team worked on the damper and valve schedule, selecting the precise type and size, and made necessary field adaptable design modifications to meet changing job site conditions.

    Belimo provided more than a complete range of control valves and damper actuators for the project, which included butterfly valves, globe valves, and Characterized Control™ ball valves – the most advanced control ball valves in the industry – along with more than 200 actuators. Belimo even came up with unique approaches for mounting the actuators on the outside air dampers.

    McClier’s project manager, responsible for the mechanical and electrical side of the project, commented that he was very pleased to see the bright orange Belimo actuators when he arrived at the site. He was familiar with them from other projects and knew that they would be reliable in controlling the air and water flow to maintain the temperature and humidity at critical set points.

    McClier, headquartered in Chicago with offices in New York City, provided the architectural, engineering, and construction services and will be there for startup of the Post facility, scheduled for early 2001. Trane, headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with offices in Long Island City, New York, provided the three chillers, three cooling towers, four boilers, and 20 air handlers, six of which are Trane’s largest modular climate changers. Trane also provided the digital control system at all critical points to monitor and control the temperature and humidity.

    The New York Post, part of Rupert Murdoch’s global media and entertainment News Corporation Limited, has a circulation of more than 550,000 daily and 400,000 Sunday newspapers in the New York metropolitan area.

    The new printing and distribution facility in the Port Morris section of the Bronx in New York City, utilizes some of the most sophisticated equipment available to the newspaper business today. The four new Goss Graphic Systems “Postliner,” doublewidth, offset presses give the Post the ability to consistently produce the highest quality color reproduction for its advertisers and readers.

    Its business and editorial offices will remain in Midtown Manhattan, at 1211 Avenue of the Americas.

    Tags: Featured Case Studies

    Precision Control Plays Important Role in Sonoma State University Renovation

    Posted on Mon,Aug 08, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

    You don’t change a 30+ year old university library into what Pacific Gas and Electric Company calls northern California’s most energy efficient building without careful attention to detail.

    Sonoma UniversitySonoma State University had high aspirations for converting the original Ruben Salazar library into a multi-use facility and was willing to go the distance to achieve their goal without a large increase in campus demand for peak power. Be assured, a project like this demands a lot of careful consideration, from selection of the 106 kW solar photovoltaic system to the valves and actuators that control water flow and damper operation in over 100 zones.

    Principal Engineer, Tony Costa, and Design Engineer, Edmund Cancio, of Costa Engineers, Inc. were well aware of the campus goals of enabling the building to maintain 100% outdoor air and maintain accurate flows to maintain comfort at the lowest possible pump speed.

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    Tags: Green Building Technology, Featured Case Studies

    Control Strategy has University of North Florida Seeing ORANGE

    Posted on Mon,Jul 25, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

    The University of North Florida (UNF) chilled water plant gives new meaning theUniversity of Nothern Florida term "Florida orange." At first glance it looks as though the chilled and condenser water piping were laden with large, orange-colored tropical fruit. But the assortment of brightly colored Belimo control valves is in place throughout the plant (and campus) to save the university energy and labor. It’s part of a carefully orchestrated control strategy, developed and implemented by the Campus, the engineering community, and Facility Automation Solutions in Jacksonville, Florida that gives plant personnel computerized remote control over chilled water and cooling tower operation.

    This design has been under the very explicit requirements set forth by Wallace Harris, Associate Director of Facilities at UNF. According to Harris, labor savings has been the primary incentive for the multitude of actuated control valves at the UNF chiller plant. With over 50 valves in the plant alone, facility personnel can seamlessly mix and match chiller and cooling tower operation via the Andover Continuum building management system (BMS) according to load or other requirements. For example, if a tower needs service or cleaning, the system will automatically switch over to another cooling tower cell.

    Chiller Plant Univeristy of Northern FloridaWith actuated valve control over (5) 1000-ton chillers and (10) 500-ton cooling towers, UNF is equipped with a lot of operational flexibility – all of which is completely automated through the actuated valves and BMS.

    "We’ve tried to leverage automation to keep from buying labor. So I don’t have to have a man out there physically turning a valve on or off. It’s much cheaper this way," said Harris.

    The system automatically makes the necessary changes should any of the hot or chilled water equipment go into fault. Harris and other facility staff receive e-mail and text notifications from the Andover system of any critical alarms, but there is no "babysitting" of equipment.

    Automation Equals Optimization
    There’s a significant energy advantage to all this automation. Most importantly, UNF isn’t pumping water through cooling towers when they don’t need to. If return water temperatures to the chillers are low, they can take one or more cooling towers off line without danger of overflowing a basin, which would lead to more unnecessary energy use. There are both two-position and modulating valves in place, so the plant can accurately vary flow through the cooling towers while maintaining set points and minimizing energy consumption.

    The valve and actuators also help UNF take advantage of a heat recovery system that recovers the heat rejected from the cooling towers and uses it for hot water reheat. This offsets some of the additional energy required to reheat the chilled water after it has been overcooled for dehumidification purposes.

    "There are multiple valves that dictate which cooling tower gets linked to the heat recovery package. The control system automatically adjusts so that the cooling tower with the greatest load is the one feeds the heat recovery system," said Dave Sarratori, Construction Manager with Facility Automation Solutions. "This is particularly useful since the chilled water system is required for year-round dehumidification."

    Approximately 2.2 million square feet of UNF building space is fed off of the central chilled water system. The system is all variable flow, so Belimo pressure independent valves are also utilized throughout the campus to automatically regulate flow through air handlers, variable air volume boxes, and other terminal units regardless of changes in load or pressure. These automatic adjustments not only eliminate a lot of balancing labor, they help UNF save pump energy.

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    Tags: Green Building Technology, Featured Case Studies

    Habitat for Humanity Home Utilizes CCV Valves for Energy Efficient Design

    Posted on Mon,Jul 04, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

    Habitat for Humanity in Riverside, CA has raised the bar on energy efficient residential design with a unique system that uses one heat source — a tanklessHabitat for Humanity boiler — for both domestic hot water and radiant floor heating. Peter “Rugg” Lehrbass, a Facilities & Planning Services engineer at California Baptist University was called upon and volunteered his design services for the Habitat home, which is on track to become Habitat’s first LEED platinum certified home. While gas fired tankless water heaters have become extremely popular for efficient hot water delivery, Lehrbass, using his solar integration & automation controls experience, took the idea a step further by using a tankless boiler to incorporate space heating as well.

    Belimo valves and actuators are a critical part of this overall design as they maintain low restriction & accurate flow through a dual flow primary (domestic hot water) loop and a secondary (floor heating) loop. Lehrbass’ design specified two Belimo 3-way characterized control valves and actuators.

    The challenge was to design a system that was within both LEED and Habitat-for-Humanity guidelines.
    "We wanted to prove that it is possible to build a house that is both affordable and green," said Lehrbass. "As an affordability consideration, the combining of the two systems allowed us to roll the equipment cost savings of using a single boiler toward the materials cost of a hydronic floor, making it viable against the originally planned systems cost."

    The functionality of the design necessitated accurate flow and temperature control which led to the Belimo selection. “The Belimo product gave us the ability to effectively combine and control the two systems,” said Lehrbass.

    The Habitat design incorporates a 199,000 btuh natural gas-fired fully-modulating Noritz ASME rated tankless boiler, a Bradford White all stainless steel Indirect Domestic Water Heater (IDWH) with dual internal heat exchanger coils & a 3-zone REHAU radiant floor heat system.

    The system is designed to operate in one of five modes.
    This operation allows the fastest recovery time of domestic hot water. When the temperature inside the IDWH tank drops to 10 degrees below the 120 degree setpoint, flow rate through the boiler increases (P-1) and operates at a high 180 degree setpoint. During this mode (V-1), a Belimo 3-way 2-position characterized control valve with position end-switches, directs water through both indirect heat exchanger coils. (A future separate solar hydronic heat source can be connected using the lower coil with the top coil as a “boiler back-up” source.)

    Low Domestic Water Demand Only
    When the IDWH demand drops to 5 degrees below the 120 degree setpoint, the boiler operates at both a lower flow (P-2) and priority setpoint capacity of 140 degrees, minimizing gas consumption when DW demand is low and allowing accurate temperature cut-off without overshoot.

    Low Domestic Water Demand with a Space Heating Demand
    This mode is activated when there is a need for both heating and domestic hot water. The boiler operates at the low priority setpoint of 140 degrees, supplying the hottest water to the IDWH first. However, because the leaving water temperature through the IDWH internal heat exchanger will be no less than 110 degrees, there is enough heat to provide space heating loop operation as well.

    Space Heating Demand Only
    When the IDWH thermostat is completely satisfi ed, the Belimo valve (V-1) repositions to allow the primary loop flow to bypass the IDWH. An end switch closure signals low priority boiler and floor loop operation based on a space heating demand only. The floor loop temperature is regulated by modulating Belimo 3-way valve (V-2) for accurate mixing of primary loop water into the secondary (floor heating) loop. The valve operation allows floor loop temperature to be controlled between 80 and 110 degrees, based on an outdoor air temperature reset schedule for additional operational savings.

    No Domestic Water or Space Heating Demand (System Standby)
    Flexibility was one of the main reasons Lehrbass selected the Belimo valves. During the design stages he did not know what control signals would be required by the valves, but he did know that Belimo control valves can be re-programmed at the jobsite to respond to the correct control signal, whether it is any VDC range, proportional, floating point, on-off, feedback signal.

    "When we perform system start-up and commissioning, we’ll be able to see what signal comes from the floor heat controller, and using the inexpensive Belimo configuration software on my laptop, we’ll program the valve actuator to respond correctly to that signal," said Lehrbass, who has specified Belimo products at California Baptist University because of their high quality & inherent flexibility. "By using Belimo MFT, we can stock just a few sizes of replacement actuators, and be covered, for any air or water control application, since they can be individually programmed," said Lehrbass.

    Lehrbass is also a fan of Belimo's characterized control design. As with all CCVs, the valves that Lehrbass chose for this project have a special characterizing disc inside the valve that give it an equal percentage characteristic that is typically only associated with more expensive globe valves. A rotating, rather than a rising stem motion helps maintain a leak-free valve service life.

    “We were delighted to be a part of the Habitat project in Riverside,” remarked Sue Ramirez, Area Sales Manager for Belimo. “Habitat for Humanity is not only a wonderful cause, the LEED component provides a wonderful forum to showcase energy saving technology - like characterized control valves with MFT.”

    Using a single high efficiency tankless heat source for both domestic water and space heating will enable Habitat for Humanity to acquire LEED points for the home under the categories of Energy & Atmosphere and Innovation in Design categories pushing the project into the LEED Platinum status.

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    Tags: Featured Case Studies, Belimo News

    Belimo Unique Application Calendar

    Posted on Mon,Apr 04, 2011 @ 10:00 AM
    Belimo releases it new 2011/2012 (April 2011 - April 2012) Belimo Calendarunique application calendar. Many of Belimo customers have submitted unique HVAC application images. This calendar is a first of it kind. Request your calendar now! 

    Tags: Green Building Technology, Featured Case Studies