Category Archives: Chapter Events

April 25, 2017 Program Meeting: Hydronic Coil Freeze Protection

Members and Friends of Mid-Columbia ASHRAE,
The April 25th program meeting received enough interest where we are going to have it as mentioned in our previous newsletter. Tuesday, April 25th, 6:00pm at Bamboo Garden restaurant in Kennewick, WA. The presentation topic will be “Freeze Protection for Hydronic Coils”. This will be a no-host dinner and all attendees will be able to purchase a meal and drinks.

Address for Bamboo Garden is 8021 W Grandridge Blvd, Kennewick, WA 99336.

We hope to see you there!

Confirmed Date: Mid-Columbia ASHRAE RP Golf Tournament – June 2nd, 2016

Save the date on your calendars. We now have a confirmed date for our chapter’s annual golf tournament benefiting ASHRAE Research. Thursday, June 2nd, 2016. It will be at the Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland, WA. Tee time will be at 1:00pm. Click here for the flyer and signup information! If you have any questions about the tournament, please contact Colin Bates, our Chapter Research Promotion chair, at or 509-737-6962.

April Program Meeting: Energy Storage Lecture

This month we are welcoming ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer Mark MacCracken to our chapter. He will be giving a one hour lecture on Energy Storage at PNNL’s ETB Building on April 12th from 12 noon to 1 pm. You are encouraged to attend in person. Please follow directions to the PNNL ETB building shown at the end of this invitation. Badges are NOT needed. You can also call-in and watch his presentation online (see details below).

Mark’s Bio and details about his presentation topic are provided below. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thank you! And see you there.
Rahul Athalye
Chapter President

When: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 — 12:00-1:00pm Pacific Time (Bring your lunch!)
Where: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Campus, Environmental Technology Building (ETB): Columbia River Room. No security badge required. Click here for a map to the location. Skype call-in is provided at the bottom of this post.

Presented by Mark M. MacCracken, CEO, LEED Fellow

Energy Storage: A Vital Element in a Lower Carbon Future

Abstract: Whether the reason is Energy Independence, National Security or Climate Change, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels will be critical to our society’s future. One critically important aspect about fossil fuels is that they are not just forms of energy, they are forms of “stored” energy. If we are going to reduce our dependence on them by using renewable energy like Wind or Solar, which are forms pure energy, we will also have to replace the storage aspect of the them. Energy Storage on both the Grid side and Building side of the meter will be covered along with their respective applications, including “net” Zero Energy Buildings.

Bio: Mark M. MacCracken is the CEO of CALMAC, which is the largest manufacturer of Thermal Energy Storage equipment in the world, with over 4,000 installations in over 60 countries.

In his almost 40 years with the firm, MacCracken has been involved in all aspects of the company including, R&D, contracts, patents, manufacturing, marketing and finance. He was the Principal Investigator on research projects with Oak Ridge National Labs, NASA and National Renewable Energy Research Lab. In his continual support of energy efficiency he is regularly in contact with the DOE, EPA, EPRI and electric utilities across the country and around the world.

MacCracken has his BS in Mechanical Engineering, has three U.S. Patents and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of New Jersey and a LEED® Fellow™. He is presently or has recently served as:

U.S. Green Building Council National Board of Directors, 2011 Chair
New York City Building Resiliency Task Force
Recipient of AEE Energy Engineer of the Year Award
AHRI Board of Directors and Thermal Storage Product Section Chairman
Distinguished Lecturer for ASHRAE
Chairman of ASHRAE’s Thermal Storage Technical Committee
Member of Alliance to Save Energy
Member of Electricity Storage Association
Vice Chair of ASHRAE Standards Committee 189.1

Mark is visiting the ASHRAE Mid-Columbia Chapter as part of the Distinguished Lecturer Program.

March BOG Meeting & Facility Tour in Yakima

EDIT 03-28-2016: The BOG Meeting location after the tour has been changed from our newsletter information! See below.

This month, the Mid-Columbia ASHRAE chapter BOG meeting will be held in Yakima. To make it more interesting, we have also setup a tour at the Columbia Reach facility here in Yakima.  This facility uses anhydrous ammonia as the refrigerant and we will have the opportunity to tour two of their four machine rooms.  These two machine room have different types of systems, which should be interesting.  The older machine room and system uses a combination of liquid recirculation using pressure in the system as the moving force, and also a few some flooded type cold rooms.  All liquid feed out to the various rooms is supplied from a control pressure receiver.  The screw compressors liquid injection oil cooled. The other machine room (which is only a few years old) and the associated cold rooms are all flooded, with the room surge drums located in “dog houses” on the roof of the facility.  The screw compressors have thermosiphon oil cooled.  All liquid to this system is feed from a high pressure receiver. Beside seeing the machine rooms the group should also see some of the various cold storage rooms, and the differences between them.

Columbia Reach Facility Tour

Time: 3:30-4:30 pm

Address: 3107 River Rd., Yakima Click here for site map including meeting place (red arrow).

Site Contact: Kem Russell (cell: 509-949-9721)


Chapter Monthly BOG Meeting

Time: 5:00-6:00 pm

Location: Doubl-Kold Offices. 3401 Ahtanum Rd., Yakima, WA.
UPDATED LOCATION: Abby’s Legendary Pizza, 4804 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA (No-host dinner.)

March BOG Meeting Preview

For the month of March, we have a special program meeting planned. On Wednesday afternoon, March 30th, we will be hosting our program and Board of Governors meeting in Yakima. More details will be forthcoming in our next newsletter and here on our website.

The program meeting will consist of a tour of the refrigeration systems of the Columbia Reach Fruit packing facility. Afterwards we will proceed to another location to conduct our BOG meeting. Mark your calendars and we hope to see you there, especially our members in the Yakima, Wenatchee, and Ellensburg regions.

Derek Archer
Mid Columbia ASHRAE BOG Member-At-Large and Newsletter Editor

February Program Meeting Info

Greg Jourdan will be presenting on Energy Efficient Chiller Terminology, Ratings, and the Energy Code on Tuesday, February 9th. This will be a web meeting that begins at 12:00 noon pacific time. For more information and access instructions, please click here. If you have any trouble logging into the web meeting, please contact

No January 2016 Program

Just to let everyone know, we will not be having a January program meeting as previously scheduled. This event has been removed from our calendar. We will have some updates on our upcoming programs in our newsletter to be released soon! Keep watching here and your email box for the newsletter! Have a good new year!

Save the Date. Holiday Party December 15th!

We will be having our chapter holiday party soon and would like to invite all members and their companions to attend. We will be having a no-host dinner at Fujiyama Japanese Steakhouse in Richland, WA (2522 Queensgate Drive). Tuesday, December 15th, at 7:00pm. Please RSVP to our President, Rahul Athalye, at to ensure we have enough space for those attending.

November YEA Social

The Mid-Columbia Chapter is hosting a Young Engineers in ASHRAE (YEA) Social on Tuesday, November 10th, from 6 pm to 7:30 pm at Meier Architecture Engineering. 8697 Gage Boulevard, Kennewick, WA.

All chapter members are invited. Pizza and soft drinks will be provided.

The event is an opportunity for young engineers to network, and meet other more senior engineers from the chapter. The event will feature a couple of brief talks from two chapter members about their experiences as engineers in the tri-cities.

Participation of students is encouraged, as is participation of other young engineers who may not be ASHRAE members.

Program Meeting Tuesday October 13th

This will be an online web meeting. The October program meeting details are below. Kem Russell, P.E., who has considerable field experience with refrigeration systems in the Pacific Northwest will be giving a talk on ammonia refrigeration systems. We hope that you will join us for this presentation during the lunch hour. Attendance will count towards one PDH.

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 — 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Meeting number: 8773361839
Access Code: 3664058

Teleconference: 1-877-336-1839
Access Code: 3664058

Call in#: 866-528-1882 or 509-375-4555
Conference ID: 88033461

Presented by Kem Russell, P.E.

Ammonia Refrigeration: Safety, Options, Uses & Opportunities


This presentation shall first addresses some of the properties and safety issues for anhydrous ammonia. Then briefly reviews optional system approaches: Single stage versus Two stage and the three primary types of systems: Direct Expansion, Liquid Recirculation, and Flooded. Example of the use of these types of system will be presented. Concluding with opportunities in the ammonia refrigeration field.


From grade school through college Kem worked in a family owned refrigeration construction business based in Seattle, Washington with customers in the seafood, dairy, meat, and fruit and vegetable industries. After graduating from the University of Washington in 1978 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering he moved to Yakima, Washington working as V.P. of Refrigeration for Food Plant Engineering. In 1999 he returned to refrigeration construction as V.P. of Engineering for Doubl-Kold an industrial refrigeration contractor that does a large amount of work in the fruit storage industry, as well as design and construction in the seafood industry. He has been involved in the design and construction of industrial refrigeration systems throughout the continental U.S., Alaska, and in Central and South America. Kem also assists companies with OSHA – PSM and EPA RPM regulations specifically for ammonia systems.

Kem is actively involved in the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) Safety Committee helping in the development of many bulletins, posters, and videos as well as participating in the updating of many IIAR standards. He served as Chairman of the IIAR Safety Committee from 2006 to 2012. He also serves as a voting member of the IIAR Code Committee. He also served on the IIAR Board of Directors from 2009 to 2014. Kem is an instructor for hazard material technicians for dealing specifically with anhydrous ammonia since 1999. Kem is also part of the Yakima County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and serves on the Executive Committee. He has given many presentations at County LEPC meetings on emergency planning for ammonia releases.