Session Number 222

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Watch the program & get CEUs

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Emerging Role of VRFs in Maine’s Commercial Properties

Rick Meinking - Senior Program Manager for Commercial Initiatives

Efficiency Maine Trust, Augusta, Maine

Rachel Roy - 

Commercial Area Manager for Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont

Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS)

Mike Fask - P.E., Project Manager

City of Portland, Portland, Maine 

Nick Collins, P.E. , Associate Director

Energy & Resource Solutions, Augusta, Maine

Jerry Bernier - Director of Building & Grounds

Gould Academy, Bethel, Maine

About this program:

This panel discussion focuses on variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology, a heating and cooling solution that is quickly being adopted in Maine schools and commercial buildings. The technology is exciting because these systems can simultaneously and efficiently heat and cool different parts of the building by  taking waste heat captured in one part of the building and delivering it to spaces that need  heat. These systems have the ability to control the amount of refrigerant to the indoor units, which makes VRF/VRV technology ideal for applications with varying loads or where zoning is required. The panel will cover the kinds of buildings and situations where variable refrigerant flow systems are appropriate, costs and benefits of VRF systems, and things to consider when choosing between VRF and other systems like a multi-zone high-performance heat pump.  It will highlight a recent study of economic opportunities for Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems which finds that in the right situation, VRFs can cost-effectively provide heating and cooling for Maine’s businesses and institutions. The report was prepared by Energy Resource Solutions (ERS) of Augusta, ME, 3/9/2020.  Moderated by EMT Staff member.  Panel to include the study authors.

About the Presenter(s):

Rick Meinking

Senior Program Manager for Efficiency Maine Efficiency Maine is the independent administrator for energy efficiency programs in Maine. Efficiency Maine’s mission is to lower the cost and environmental impacts of energy in Maine by promoting cost-effective energy efficiency and alternative energy systems. As Senior Program Manager, Rick administers the programs relevant to Maine’s businesses, including lighting, heating equipment, and the Small Business Initiative.

Rick is a certified Building Analyst through the Building Performance Institute and a Certified Building Operator through the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council with over 25 years of experience as a Commercial Building Facility Manager.  Additionally, Rick spent 9 years on active duty and 11 years in the Reserve with the United States Navy.

Rachel Roy

As the Commercial Area Manager for Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont for Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS), Rachel is part of the team that provides training and product selection and design guidance for the City Multi Commercial VRF product line.  A graduate of The University of Maine at Orono, Rachel is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Maine, and has over 20 years of experience in the commercial HVAC market, including 17 years as practicing consulting mechanical engineer.

Rachel has had an active role in the Maine chapter of ASHRAE, including being the president from 2015-2018 and is currently serving as the Chapter Regional Conference (CRC) Chair.

Mike Fask

Project Manager for the City of Portland (ME) Public Buildings and Waterfront Management Department, where he works with the Fire Department and various Public Buildings. Mike began working for the City of Portland in October 2017. Prior to working for the City of Portland, Mike spent five years working for consulting engineering firms in New York City, NY and Portland, ME. Mike is a registered Professional Engineer (Mechanical HVAC) in the state of Maine. Originally from Worcester, MA, Mike moved to Portland in 2014 and lives there with his wife, two kids, and dog. Mike enjoys getting outside as much as possible and staying active.

Nick Collins

Associate Director of ERS’s Maine office. He is a professional engineer licensed in Maine, and manages the Efficiency Maine C&I Custom Program delivery team. His areas of expertise include the monitoring and verification of energy efficiency projects and the analysis of energy efficiency and demand-limiting measures in commercial and industrial facilities. Nick is proficient in project and construction management, with an emphasis on sustainable design, high-performance buildings, and building methods in commercial construction.

Jerry Bernier

Jerry Bernier has been the Director of Buildings and Grounds at Gould Academy since January 2011. He graduated from Maine Maritime Academy with a degree in Marine Engineering and a 3rd Assistant Engineer license in 2001.  He lives off grid with his wife Nicole and makes his own power through solar, wind, and hydro, which he researched and installed himself.  He is interested in understanding building systems and trying to make them as efficient and holistic as possible.

Program Level: Intermediate

Content Area(s): Building Design & Construction (including Green), Energy Efficiency, High Performance Buildings, Facility Operations & Management