ASHRAE Awards Refrigeration Award for Project Excellence to Trane Canada Engineer

ATLANTA—Cameron E. Lowry, P.Eng., receives the Milton W. Garland Commemorative Refrigeration Award for Project Excellence. Lowry was recognized at ASHRAE’s 2014 Winter Conference, Jan. 18-22, New York City, N.Y.

The award recognizes the designer of a non-comfort cooling refrigeration application that highlights innovation and/or new technologies in a unique manner. It is named in recognition of ASHRAE Fellow Milton Garland, known as “Mr. Refrigeration” for his work with refrigeration systems.

Lowry worked closely with Donald Hay of Tecnología en Sistemas de Refrigeración S.A. de C.V. to design a heat recovery system for the City of Vancouver.  The system is installed in South East False Creek (SEFC), Vancouver, B.C., Canada, home of the Olympic Village during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“The solution we proposed was to use a positive displacement screw compressor, but since this had never been done before—at the extreme conditions demanded by this project—extensive engineering would be required to solve the technical issues compulsory for its application,” Lowry said.

Some ways Lowry and Hay overcame these technical issues included using a cast steel compressor housing to permit the re-rating of the compressor to 500 pounds per square inch maximum working pressure, instead of the standard 350 PSIG head pressure; making several modifications to the balance piston, oil flow and using additional heat exchangers to increase the design oil temperature from 54 to 60 C; and designing and fabricating a double contained oil system to eliminate the risk of cross contaminating of oil to the district hot water system, to name just a few innovative solutions.

The unit maintains a coefficient of performance of around 3.0 by obtaining free heat from the sewer system.   This heat energy is used in a district heating plant that serves a large waterfront neighborhood in downtown Vancouver.  Since 90 percent of all the power produced in Vancouver is hydro generated, the carbon footprint of the heat recovery unit is approximately 2 percent of that generated by natural gas fired boilers.

In 2012, the heat pump unit provided about 78 percent of the annual space heating and domestic water heating needs of the SEFC neighborhood, and resulted in over 2000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions reductions

Lowry is industrial markets leader, Canada, Trane Canada, Burnaby, B.C., Canada.

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a building technology society with more than 50,000 members worldwide. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today. More information can be found at


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