ASHRAE La Crosse History for 2020 CRC

The La Crosse chapter of ASHRAE has a long tradition and we want that to be on display for everyone to see, even if they can’t come see our display in person this year. So, this post contains our most recent chapter history display and a presentation on the history of Trane TRACE software that was later published in a paper in ASHRAE Transactions, authored by our previous chapter historian, John Sustar. Enjoy!

2019 ASHRAE La Crosse CRC History display

Link to “History of Trane TRACE Software” presentation

Photos from “History of Trane TRACE Software” presented at ASHRAE Winter Conference 2020

Link to ASHRAE Transactions article.

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September Virtual Program: Indoor Agriculture

Indoor Agriculture

Presenter: Eric Sturm

Please join us this month while we kick off our 2020-2021 La Crosse Area ASHRAE virtual program schedule. We have spent some time this summer putting together an exciting list of presenters and topics for the upcoming year that our audience can enjoy from the comfort of wherever they choose. 

In this presentation, Eric will provide an overview of indoor agriculture and juxtapose it with comfort cooling. He’ll also review common load calculation methodologies and the determination of proper supply air conditions. Finally, he’ll review several common HVAC systems and their advantages and drawbacks.

About the Presenter

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering, Eric began his career at Trane. In his current role as an applications engineer, Eric’s areas of expertise include acoustics, airside systems, indoor agriculture, and indoor air quality. Prior to joining the applications engineering team, Eric spent several years in the Customer Direct Services (C.D.S.) department as a marketing engineer and product manager for the TRACE™ 700 load design and energy simulation application. As a C.D.S. marketing engineer, he supported and trained customers globally.

He is currently involved with ASHRAE as a representative on Members Council and member of the “indoor agriculture” and “sound and vibration” technical committees. Eric is the recipient of a Young Engineers in ASHRAE Award of Individual Excellence for service to the La Crosse Area Chapter and nationally recognized with an ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award.

Date:    Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

Time:    12:00–1:00 PM


Cost:     Free

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Iowa Chapter Webinar on Viral Transmission Mitigation in Schools


Date: August 6, 2020 at 12 pm

Title: HVAC System Strategies to Mitigate Airborne Viral Transmission Risks in K-12 Schools

Presenter: Corey Metzger, PE

Summary: This presentation will provide a brief update on the status of guidance provided by the Schools Team of the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force for reopening buildings, along with some background on the recommendations provided as part of this guidance.  Discussion will be held on specific strategies that may help to mitigate the buildup of airborne viral particles in occupied spaces.  Finally, information will be provided on current work of the Epidemic Task Force and expected updates to guidance moving forward. 

Please register for Iowa Chapter Meeting on Aug 6, 2020 12:00 PM CDT at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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March Program

HVAC Rules of Thumbs for Troubleshooting
Presenter: Erich Binder, ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer

This presentation will provide some common Rules of Thumb for Troubleshooting HVAC&R Systems.

  • Rules of Thumb are abbreviated short cuts, time savers, and approximations.
  • Each is a quick estimation of what most systems should do most of the time, but remember that none of these numbers are infallible.
  • The rules are not cast in concrete.
  • Rules of thumb usually assume certain normal design and operating criteria, which are not always present.
  • The rules are not to be used for system design purposes. Rather, they are the result of carefully studying good system designs.
  • Technicians and engineers, can benefit from using Rules of Thumbs for estimating and solving operational problems.
  • They do not always apply to every system, nor do they work in every circumstance.
  • It is expected that the engineer or technician using them is a professional who can use reason and exercise caution in their application.


About the Presenter

Erich Binder is an independent engineering consultant with extensive experience in the sustainable design of commercial, institutional, industrial and cold climate heating ventilation & air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, fire suppression & specialty mechanical systems. Erich is also a certified risk manager with over 20 years of process safety, loss prevention, industrial hygiene, health & safety engineering and auditing experience.

Erich has extensive experience engineering mechanical systems for a variety of cold climate applications and has engineered HVAC systems for support facilities for various industrial projects.

Register by Sunday, March 8th under the Events tab

Date:    Monday March 9th, 2020

Time:    11:30– 12:30 PM

Place: Trane Bldg. 13

Large Group Meeting Room

1700 Horton Street

La Crosse, WI 54601

Lunch: Bring your lunch (optional)

Cost:   Free


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Joint Societies Meeting

Is Residential Rooftop Photovoltaic Solar Power a Sustainable Solution?
Presenter: Stephen “Steve” Kujak

Solar power generation using photovoltaic (PV) panels continues to be one of the fastest growing renewable energy sources. In fact, many characterize capturing energy through PV panels as inexhaustible and sustainable energy source that is reliable for the long term, which is cost effective, efficient and is non-polluting. Unfortunately, sustainability means more than generating energy without the consequences of generating greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuel. The concept of sustainability is composed of environmental, economic and social impacts.

The presenter installed a 13 kilowatt fixed mounted residential rooftop PV system in June 2018. The system is comprised of 42 – 310 watt panels controlled by 21 micro-inverters. PV systems are marketed as a turn-key installations, easy to maintain and they have matured to the point of being just appliances without the need for monitoring. However, this is far from the case.

The presentation will cover the challenges and performance of this PV system for the past 18 months. It will cover challenges with system selection, installation and summarize both electrical generation and economic performance as well as the trials and tribulations. In the end, the audience will understand whether residential rooftop PV solar energy is sustainable. Many might be surprised by the answer.

About the Presenter

Steve has spent over 28 years being involved in numerous technology and product development projects involving development of new refrigerants, lubricants, compatibility of system materials and environmental sustainability initiatives. Steve holds Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a master’s degree in analytical chemistry from the University of North Dakota.

Steve has been member of ASHRAE since 2005 and is a distinguish service member of ASHRAE. His ASHRAE and industry activities include contributing to refrigerant safety and use standards. Steve has been an author or co-author on greater than 50 publications related to refrigerants and has 17 patents related to HVAC products.

Steve has lived with his wife Annette on the Mississippi River for the past 10 years (Lake Onalaska and now the main channel in Brownsville, Minnesota) and both enjoy the beauty the drift-less region provides. Steve enjoys doing environmental or outdoor related activities. His activities include gardening, fishing, hunting and camping with his family. He is involved in local organizations working on environmental conservation minded projects, like the Friends of the Refuge – Mississippi River Pools 7 & 8 (FOR78).

Register by Tuesday, February 11th on the Events Tab

5:00-6:00 PM – Social
6:00-6:45 PM – Dinner
6:45-7:00 PM – Announcements
7:00-8:00 PM – Presentation

Wednesday February 19th, 2020

WTC – Lunda Center
319 7th St N, La Crosse, WI 54601

$15 (includes dinner and one drink)

Required by Tuesday February 11th,                                              

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