Last week’s column looked at efficient but also very expensive ground-source heat pumps; this week we’ll look at a less expensive option that’s becoming more common even in our climate: air-source heat pumps. Traditionally, air-source heat pumps have been an option mainly for more southern climates, because they have to extract heat from the outside air, and when it’s cold out their performance drops significantly.However, a few things have changed. One is a relatively new type of air-source heat pump that’s optimized for cold climates. The Hallowell Acadia cold-climate heat pump, manufactured in Maine, is an advanced, two-stage heat pump. [Editor’s note: Hallowell has gone out of business, and this heat pump is no longer available.] This feature both allows the unit to work at much colder temperatures than conventional air-source heat pumps, and it boosts the efficiency—referred to as “coefficient of performance” with heat pumps.While conventional air-source heat pumps essentially switch over to electric-resistance heating at temperatures much below 40 degrees, the Hallowell Acadia can operate at temperatures below 0 degrees and still perform significantly better than electric-resistance heat. Because these two-stage heat pumps are more complicated than conventional air-source heat pumps they’re more expensive—but it’s still a lot less expensive than ground-source heat pumps because trenching or drilling wells isn’t required.The other technology that’s gaining popularity and has quite good performance in our climate is the “mini-split” heat pump that has been popularized by the Japanese companies Sanyo, Mitsubishi, and Daikin. Like central air conditioners, these are “split” systems that have an outside compressor and an indoor evaporator coil/air handler. A tube carries refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units.Because they do away with costly and space-hogging duct systems, these units are often called “ductless mini-splits.” Refrigerant lines also move thermal energy more efficiently than ducts. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that ductless systems lose 1%–5% of their thermal energy through distribution, compared with 30% distribution losses for ducted systems.Mini-splits often come with variable-speed compressors, improving energy efficiency. In typical air-conditioning systems, both compressors and air-handling units cycle between off and full capacity, with no settings in between. In most mini-splits, both the compressor and the fan coil are controlled by inverters, which can turn the compressor on at a low amperage and adjust the capacity as needed to meet actual loads. This improves system efficiency and durability as well as occupant comfort.Most mini-splits can provide heat fairly effectively at temperatures as low as 0 degrees, Fahrenheit, with one Mitsubishi model able to work at outside temperatures as low as minus-13 degrees F. On the interior, most mini-splits are mounted high on a wall and offer one convenient system for blowing either heated or cooled air into the space.Although more expensive than conventional central air systems, ductless mini-splits make up for that to some extent with lower costs to install, and their efficiency should make them less expensive to operate. If you already have a clean-burning, efficient heating system, and have an air-conditioning system you’re happy with, there aren’t many reasons for you to consider ductless mini-splits, or a cold-climate heat pump, for that matter.But if you’re looking to switch from a less efficient system, and you have some need for cooling as well as heating, ductless mini-splits or cold-climate heat pumps could provide a convenient, relatively cost-effective, efficient option. As I’ve written at other times in this column, electric heating and cooling can also make sense in a super-efficient off-the-grid home—another case where these systems are worth considering.Not all local heating contractors offer these newer systems. For information and help locating a dealer, visit websites of Mitsubishi and Sanyo.Editor’s note: For information on obtaining parts and service for Hallowell heat pumps, see Hallowell International and Acadia Heat Pump Resources.
New Delhi, Jun 28 (PTI) The process of filing nominations for the July 17 presidential election ended today as opposition nominee Meira Kumar submitted her papers, which were among the 108 sets that have been filed in all.A total of 95 people have filed their nominations.Barring two nominees — Kumar and NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind — the rest have either already been invalidated or are almost certainly going to be rejected during scrutiny tomorrow, for every nomination has to be signed by 50 members of the electoral college and endorsed by another 50.Among those who eyed the top constitutional post were a proclaimed Guinness record holder, a Patel couple from Maharashtra and a candidate from Salem in Tamil Nadu who has contested 150 elections so far.Kumar filed her nominations in the presence of Congress and other opposition party leaders. She was accompanied by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu also filed papers on behalf of Kovind, who had submitted three sets of papers on June 23 in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.While Gandhi and the leaders of 16 other non-NDA parties are proposers and seconders to Kumars candidature, a number of Union ministers and leaders of NDA allies have endorsed Kovind.Modi and BJP veterans L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were among the prominent leaders who proposed former Bihar governor Kovinds name in the nomination papers, seconded by Union ministers and MLAs.The presidential election is set to become a direct fight between Kumar and Kovind, who are likely to remain in the fray after scrutiny of nominations tomorrow.advertisementAccording to sources in the Lok Sabha secretariat, 108 nominations were filed by a total of 95 candidates, with some having filed multiple papers. A candidate can file a maximum of four nominations.Of these, 35 candidates have already been rejected as they have not submitted the mandatory security deposit of Rs 15,000. Many more nominations are likely to be rejected tomorrow during scrutiny, as a majority of them do not have the adequate numbers of proposers and seconders from the electoral college.Under the rules, elected members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and state legislative assemblies — who comprise the electoral college — can propose and second the name of a candidate for the post of the president, elected through a system of proportional representation.Officials said some of the candidates mentioned their neighbours and relatives as proposers and seconders.Some said they merely wanted to enter Parliament House.”It seems these days more people are coming to Parliament to become president than going to Mumbai to become actors,” a source in the Lok Sabha secretariat quipped.The Patels from Mumbai, who filed their nomination papers on June 14, told officials they would like to share the two top constitutional posts of the country between them.Saira Bano Mohammed Patel and Mohammed Patel Abdul Hamid said it would be “good” if one of them became the president and the other the vice president, an official said.K Padmarajan from Salem, Tamil Nadu, is among those who have filed nominations for the presidential election. Known as “Election king”, he has contested over 150 polls so far. The so-called Guinness record holder says he sports the maximum number of tattoos on his body. PTI JTR/SKC BDS
PSG coach Tuchel unsure of future for Barcelona target Rabiotby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePSG coach Thomas Tuchel admits Adrien Rabiot’s situation is in flux.The Parisians do not want to lose the 23-year-old and will fight until the end as they look to sign him to a long-term deal, though Rabiot’s agent – his mother Veronique – has reportedly been in Barcelona negotiating a move.”It’s not an easy situation for him,” Tuchel said about Rabiot.”He’s not the first player to have this problem in the dressing room, but he’s still working everyone else and is very professional.”It is what I expect of him and I am sure it will stay like that; we must be [professional], too.”The dressing room knows his situation.”It is a complicated market situation, he is our player and everything can happen.”It is a situation between the club and the player.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Arsenal hero Podolski mocks Spurs with Gnabry nominationby Paul Vegas21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal hero Lukas Podolski enjoyed a dig at Tottenham by claiming Serge Gnabry should be the Gunners’ player of the month.Former Arsenal youngster Gnabry bagged four as he returned to north London to take on his former side’s biggest rivals, Spurs.The four goals of strikes helped complete an staggering 7-2 victory for Bayern Munich at White Hart Lane.On Thursday evening, Arsenal tweeted a pole for their player of the month for September – and Podolski came back with a cheeky response, reports the Mirror.Matteo Guendouzi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Calum Chambers and Emiliano MartInez were listed by Arsenal as the nominees.But Podolski had other ideas – and replied to the tweet with a GIF video of Gnabry waving. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Challenge America Military Opportunities (CAMO), a national veteran’s support organization, announced today that Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the nationally syndicated Emmy award winning “The Dr. Oz Show” will be joining an expanding multi-disciplinary team of experts and organizations participating in the inaugural CAMO Dallas Family Fitness Day on Saturday, January 19, 2013, at Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.Dr. Oz, will be joined by Dallas-area health professionals to provide information and support to active-duty military, veterans and their families on health issues.Part festival and part educational and support program, CAMO Dallas will link returning military veterans with experts, organizations and groups who can help them with health, employment, housing, education, family, emotional and other issues military veterans face as they transition from combat and active duty back into mainstream life. Local sports celebrities also will be in attendance and will participate with attendees in fun sports activities. The day will end with a family-style picnic and evening concert on the field, hosted by music legends and CAMO Honorary Co-founders Vince Gill and Amy Grant. The complete artist line-up of the concert will be released at a later date. The event is open to all active-duty military, veterans and their families. A full schedule of event activities is available at www.challengeamerica.com/camo/dallas.In addition to the Saturday event, Challenge America and the F7 Group, a women’s veteran support organization, will sponsor a transitional workshop and reception for women of the military. The time and location of the workshop will be announced at a later date.Admission to all events is free, but tickets are required. Registration for the events is open here. Members of the military and veterans may register for up to six concert tickets (Family Pass) and up to four concert tickets (Neighbor Pass) for members of a guest non-military family.“Dr. Oz has been a tireless advocate for the physical and emotional health of our returning military veterans, and we are so pleased that he will join our team in working with our military and veterans here in Texas,” said Houston Cowan, CEO and founder of CAMO. “Many returning veterans face critical physical and mental health challenges when they leave the military, and it is vital that they have ready access to the resources and support they need for themselves and their families with they return home.”CAMO Dallas is the first of five events Challenge America will stage across the country to assist veterans with transitional issues. While the setting is festive and fun, the ultimate goal of the effort is to connect military, veterans and their families to the communities of care across the country. Other CAMO events will be held in Florida, California, Virginia and North Carolina, states that join Texas in having the nation’s highest concentrations of active duty military and veterans. Honorary chairpersons for the events include former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalyn Carter. Other honorary chairpersons will be announced at a later date.“Charity is not the answer when it come to supporting our veterans. Community is the answer,” Cowan said. “Our goal is to unify what is typically a very fragmented effort to serve and support veterans. We want to tear down the silos that exist and create an integrated infrastructure of support in each community – families, non-profits, support groups, healthcare professionals and businesses – that makes it easier to find and access the resources they need to make that transition back to mainstream life.”Source:PR Newswire
St. Louis Blues goaltender Martin Brodeur, who retired Tuesday, is a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer, having backstopped the New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cups while setting the all-time record for most goaltending victories. He was also arguably the best puck-handling goaltender ever, inspiring subsequent goalies to leave the crease so often the NHL instituted new rules to curtail the activity. In the mainstream view, Brodeur’s legacy will be that of the consummate winner and innovator.Brodeur’s statistical legacy, however, has always been more complicated. Although he excelled in traditional goaltending categories like wins and goals-against average, his career also coincided with the advent of more sophisticated hockey analysis. For instance, Brodeur led the NHL in wins nine times, and finished in the top five on five other occasions — but suddenly it made less sense to credit the goaltender for the entire quality of his team. Brodeur had the second-lowest goals-against average of his era, but that number needed to be adjusted for the quality of his defenders (he faced the league’s second-lowest rate of shots per minute). And all that fancy puck-handling? Turns out it barely matters, if at all.One of the first analytical hockey blogs I can remember was called “Brodeur Is A Fraud.” Clickbait-y title? Sure. But behind it was a crusade for statistical thinking that mirrored the early efforts of sabermetricians in baseball. Brodeur took on outsize importance to the author (eventually revealed to be a Canadian accountant named Philip Myrland) because he was symbolic, a stand-in for all of the players overrated by traditional numbers. Brodeur was the flashpoint where conventional wisdom abutted hockey’s burgeoning analytics movement.So, with the benefit of further statistical advances, where does Brodeur stand? According to Tom Tango’s wins above replacement (WAR) method, Brodeur rates as the fourth-most valuable goalie since 1983-84, when the league officially began tracking save percentage.A lot of that is attributable to Brodeur’s durability. As Cam Charron wrote, Brodeur wasn’t a whole lot better than average at stopping pucks on a per-shot basis, but he did it for an extremely long time. Brodeur has 59.5 career WAR; a completely average goalie would have posted almost exactly half that — 30.0 WAR (which itself would rank 17th since 1984) — if he’d played as much as Brodeur did. By comparison, a league-average net-minder would have just 28 percent of Patrick Roy’s WAR total, and 23 percent of Dominik Hasek’s, if he matched their playing time.This is not necessarily a knock on Brodeur. Perhaps more advanced metrics don’t view him as favorably as his high win total seems to warrant, but they also recognize the long-term value of consistent quality (he was above-average every season but two between 1993-94 and 2009-10) at a position where excellence is so difficult to maintain.
There was a time when Ramon Sessions could shoot, pass and score well enough to offset some of his incompetence on defense. Sadly, those days are long gone. CARMELO calls for Sessions to not only play ruinous defense, but also to significantly hurt his team on offense when in the game. The result is a negative wins above replacement projection, drifting toward zero (presumably when teams realize how awful Sessions is). It wasn’t long ago that Nene was one of the game’s premier big men. That time is over. He never could stay healthy, even in his prime, so the relatively low number of minutes CARMELO projects for Nene isn’t a surprise. But his lack of per-minute offensive effectiveness is a recent development, fueled in part by drastic downgrades in shooting efficiency and foul-drawing, to go with worsening rates of offensive rebounding and turnovers. What started as a slightly negative trend upon his arrival in Washington has become a legitimate concern, and CARMELO thinks 2015-16 will be the final season in which Nene’s defensive skills outweigh his disintegrating offense. We’re inaugurating our NBA player projection system, CARMELO, with 2015-16 season previews for every team in the league. Check out the teams we’ve already previewed here. Learn more about CARMELO here. Washington certainly has the top-end young talent to someday move beyond .500 land. Our long-term forecast1Judging from CARMELO-projected wins above replacement over the next six seasons. ranks three Wizards among the top 100 NBA players in projected future value: John Wall (10th), Bradley Beal (20th) and Otto Porter Jr. (77th). But for now, the Wiz are biding their time in the middle of the NBA pack — and that may not be as bad a strategy as it once seemed, particularly in the perennially weak Eastern Conference.You can find projections for all the Wizards (and the rest of the NBA) in our interactive, but here’s what CARMELO thinks about Washington’s key players in 2015-16: For two years running, the Washington Wizards have epitomized a “solid team,” averaging 45 wins with a pair of second-round playoff exits. It used to be argued — including by yours truly — that such status was undesirable, since those kinds of teams seldom find a springboard to greater things. In fact, teams stuck around .500 get doubly punished in the NBA: They have little chance of winning a title, yet are also unlikely to acquire a franchise player in the draft.But the unexpected rise of clubs such as the Atlanta Hawks, who last season won 60 games after years spent posting near-.500 records, gives hope to others trying to build from the middle. And for what it’s worth, FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO thinks the middle is exactly where the Wizards will be again. (I do mean “exactly,” too — our projections call for them to finish 41-41 in 2015-16.) Having moved past the knee injury that cost him half the 2012-13 season, John Wall keeps getting better and better. Three years ago, the improvement was on offense; seemingly all at once, Wall boosted his assist rate, slashed his turnovers and started shooting more efficiently, all despite carrying a bigger offensive burden. Then, last season, Wall transformed into one of the league’s best defensive point guards, without sacrificing his offensive output. As a result, CARMELO thinks Wall will be a top 10 NBA player over the next six seasons — though it also bears mentioning that his top comps tended to produce only a few more great seasons before entering long and steady declines. Read more:All our NBA player projectionsAll our 2015-16 NBA Previews The 3-and-D wing is an underrated species of NBA player — or at least it was until very recently. But even among that group, Jared Dudley is often overlooked. Sure, Dudley seldom scores, shoots almost nothing but jumpers, doesn’t rebound and wasn’t obviously good on defense until last season (his only campaign spent with the defensive-minded Bucks). But CARMELO thinks those solid defensive metrics were mostly legit, which gives Dudley real 3-and-D value when combined with his tendency to let fly from downtown on offense. Then again, CARMELO also links Dudley to a bunch of guys whose offensive skills eroded not long after they turned 30. CARMELO giveth, and CARMELO taketh away. After a breakout 2014-15 campaign, what can Bradley Beal do for an encore? Quite a bit, if you ask CARMELO. Our projections see Beal continuing to develop his offensive game, cranking out a steady stream of 5-WAR seasons2For reference’s sake, think of a player roughly as valuable as Greg Monroe, Ty Lawson or Luol Deng was last season. for the foreseeable future. What might keep Beal from reaching the truly elite class of wings, though, is his defense — as was the case with many of his top comparables, Beal hasn’t convinced CARMELO that he can ever be much more than an average contributor at that end of the court. Somewhat quietly, Marcin Gortat has ranked among the NBA’s top 10 or so centers over the past five seasons. What’s driving his value? Mainly it’s an unusual combination of durability, rebounding, defense and efficient finishing around the basket. But it’s no coincidence that many of his comps are relics of a bygone age of big men — Gortat plays the way most centers did a generation ago. And at age 31, he’s reached the stage of his career at which those players started to deteriorate. Don’t be surprised if Washington needs to search for Gortat’s successor soon. It’s to Kris Humphries’s credit that he turned around what had been a sub-replacement-level career through six NBA seasons and has become a functional NBA player in the five years since. He has plenty of limitations — particularly on offense — and his presence as one of Washington’s key bench players speaks volumes about the Wizards’ overall lack of depth, but he can be counted on to grab rebounds, play decent defense and stretch the floor a little with the threat of mid-range jumpers. After a completely dreadful rookie season in 2013-14, Otto Porter Jr. was one of the NBA’s most-improved players last season. CARMELO thinks he can build on those gains and maintain an above-average level of play for many years to come, even if he never really provides much in the way of scoring punch. Porter’s a great argument for why versatility is so important in a wing prospect: When the ability to create shots doesn’t translate to the pros, a well-rounded game can provide a nice fallback. In Porter’s case, he does enough positive things on defense and the glass to compensate for a microscopic assist percentage and comparatively small usage rate.
The Ohio State men’s basketball team took over the No. 1 ranking in the latest ESPN/USA Today coaches’ and Associated Press Top 25 polls, released this afternoon. Now the Buckeyes (18-0, 5-0 Big Ten) just hope their reign lasts longer than the OSU football team’s did. Off to their best start since beginning the 1961-62 campaign 22-0, the Buckeyes play seven of their next 10 games against ranked opponents. OSU earned 28 of 31 first-place votes in the coaches poll and 49 of 65 top votes in the AP. The OSU football team held the nation’s No. 1 ranking for one week in mid-October before losing at Wisconsin, 31-18, and falling in the polls. Also today, point guard Aaron Craft earned the nod as Big Ten Freshman Player of the Week. Craft scored a career-high 19 points in the Buckeyes’ 69-66 win over Penn State on Saturday. OSU has swept the award through the first 10 weeks of the season, with forward Jared Sullinger winning eight times and forward Deshaun Thomas once. Sullinger is a National Player of the Year candidate, averaging 17.6 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, both team highs.