We recently sat down with Randy Wilson, a mechanical engineer at Parameter Generation and Control, to gather insight from his more than 35 years’ experience with the company. Randy is responsible for unit design, project design, product improvement and other engineering activities at Parameter.
Parameter Generation and Control:
What engineering challenges have you encountered while working with Parameter Generation and Control units?
A few things come to mind:
- Customizing our products to our customers’ precise specifications.
- Minimizing the ways and speeds at which water can attack the metals in our products. Water temperature and water type — regular tap water, reverse osmosis water, deionized water, for example — degrade metals differently and at different rates. We are working to minimize and address those effects.
- Making equipment small enough to reduce its footprint within the physical space, but still allow reasonable access for service.
- Addressing the various voltage needs of customers worldwide.
- Complying with new EPA regulations for electrical, mechanical and refrigeration systems. For example, as a result of new EPA regulations, we’ve switched all of our units from 404A refrigerant to 134A refrigerant. We believe this will make the jump to other refrigerants in the coming years much smoother, as well.
PGC: What are some advantages Parameter systems have over other systems?
RW: We customize our systems to our customers’ precise specifications. Parameter products also offer energy efficiency and durability. We actively support units that have been in service for more than 50 years.
PGC: What changes have you seen take place in the last 30 years?
RW: There have been quite a few changes. Here are some that stand out:
- Units are more compact and capable of doing much more.
- Our integrated controls improve “communication” between systems. They allow different systems to correlate with each other and work well together.
- Improved thermal breaks help us reduce extra moisture in systems, which allow us to better maintain humidity and temperature control. For example, picture a house that has old windows. If it’s warm inside the house, but cold outside the house, you will see condensation on the windows. We have improved the thermal breaks in our units so that humidity and temperature remain constant, reducing the free water that is downstream of the spray eliminator. This allows us to run low dew points better and more efficiently.
PGC: How does a Parameter unit save customers money in the long run?
RW: Our uniform mapping allows maximum usage of the entire enclosure, which saves money for our customers. Parameter units also are energy efficient and durable — they use less electricity and water and don’t have to be replaced as frequently as other systems.
PGC: Do you foresee any major changes occurring in the coming year?
RW: Earlier I mentioned the changes in EPA and DOE regulations regarding refrigerants. We’re waiting to see what those will be and what they’ll mean to our industry. In the meantime, I’m excited to announce that we’re working on a Touchscreen Control upgrade, which will be ready in a few months. We’ll also offer more universal electrical options, which will give customers better control over all electrical components, more efficient components, and components that are readily available and can be supported for a long time.