PROFilE willis carrier DaDDY In 1902, Willis Carrier developed the first modern system for controlling a buildings temperature, humidity, ventilation and indoor air. Brian Roberts, of CIBSE Heritage Group, profiles the father of air conditioning W Conditioning still proudly bears the name of the visionary engineer. illis Carrier was neither the inventor of air conditioning nor the first to take a scientific approach to it, but he is still regarded as the father of air conditioning. His achievements are many, in particular his vision of a new industry air conditioning. Carriers foresight resulted in one of the first scientifically designed air conditioning systems in 1902, and later led to the invention of dew-point control. More than a century on, Carrier Air were retrofitted to the existing heating plant and Carrier never considered the 1902 installation a success, though the advertising department chose to ignore this (Heat & Cold, ASHRAE, 1997, p332). The installation was removed after a few years. In late 1902, while waiting for a train on a foggy day in Pittsburgh, Carrier is said to have had the flash of genius that eventually led to dew-point control. He developed the spray-type washer, for at the Buffalo Forge Company. Carrier had intended to specialise in electricity while his prospective employer was engaged in the manufacture of blowers, exhausters and heaters but, in July 1901, he went to work for Buffalo Forge. He soon realised that rule-of-thumb practices were being used to design and install equipment, leading to excessive margins of safety and cost. So Carrier set himself the task of researching existing data, and produced a formula for selecting boiler fans for maximum efficiency and minimum power. This impressed his employers to such a degree that he was allowed to set up what later became an industrial laboratory. In turn, this led to the young Carrier being asked to solve printing problems caused by atmospheric humidity variations at the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing Company, in Brooklyn, New York. He conducted tests using his own ideas for dehumidifying air and keeping its moisture content constant. These included circulating cold water through heating coils, and Carrier produced a scheme for what was then believed to be the worlds first scientifically designed air conditioning system. Unfortunately, for reasons of cost, the dehumidifying coils and to present his rational psychrometric formulae in a 1911 paper. In 1914, the first edition of the Buffalo Forge manual Fan Engineering was published, having taken Carrier eight years to compile. However, later that year with a world war pending the owners decided to close down its subsidiary. Making his own way On 26 June 1915, Carrier and six young colleagues pooled their resources to start Carrier Engineering Corporation (CEC), Brunswick-Kroeschell and York Heating & Ventilation. The new company now had to survive the Great Depression and found it was able to serve all types of buildings except one the skyscraper. Carrier solved this problem with his invention, in 1939, of the Conduit Weathermaster System using high-velocity induction units with ejector nozzles entraining recirculation room air. However, many consider Carriers greatest technical achievement to be the system he designed for the Cleveland wind tunnel of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (Naca) started in 1940 and opened in April 1944 which was required to simulate freezing, high-altitude conditions in which to test prototype aircraft. The completed installations used an air-flow rate of 10 million ft3/min, cooled to -670F by 14 refrigerating machines requiring a total of 21,000hp. This helped Nacas contribution to the war effort, but, afterwards, Carrier semi retired and suffered ill health. He died in New York on 7 October 1950, after a long and distinguished career. Carrier was president of the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers in 1927, of the American Society of humble beginnings Willis Carrier was born on 26 November 1876, near Angola, in New York. His parents were farmers, and life was often difficult. However, in 1897, he won a four-year state scholarship to Cornell University, from where he graduated in 1901 with a degree in electrical engineering. Shortly afterwards, he was invited to attend a job interview which he obtained a patent in 1906. While his use of spray water was readily accepted for humidifying, the idea of dehumidifying air using cold water was ridiculed by many but, still, Carrier went on to revolutionise the textile industry. In 1907, Buffalo Forge set up the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America so their employee could continue his work. Carrier went on to develop a constant-friction method for duct sizing, to invent automatic dew-point controls, While waiting for a train on a foggy day in Pittsburgh, Carrier had the flash of genius that eventually led to dew-point control in New York. Carrier was president and, by the end of the year, 40 contracts had been secured. Unlike its rivals, CEC did not guarantee its installations by horsepower capacity or air volumes, but Heating and Ventilating Engineers in 1931 and, in 1941, received the Franklin Institute Medal. He was inducted into the ASHRAE Hall of Fame in 1994, in recognition of his significant contributions to establishing air conditioning as an industry, and psychrometrics as a science. cJ eade Rmor earlY air conDitioning by providing specified space conditions. About this time, Carrier recognised the inadequacy of existing refrigerating machines and, over the next few years, visualised a centrifugal compressor with direct drive and compact heat exchangers. However, he lacked either a suitable refrigerant or a compressor manufacturer. In 1921, on a visit to Germany, he found a compressor manufacturer and a possible refrigerant dielene. A prototype machine was unveiled at the CEC Newark factory on 22 May 1922, and by the end of 1924 nine machines had been sold. Carriers big break came with the opening of the comfort market, when centrifugal systems were introduced into movie theatres. CEC went on to develop a downwards supply air distribution method and a return air bypass system of control. Further centrifugal installations included a deep gold mine in Brazil, and the warship USS Wyoming. In 1930, CEC provided air conditioning for the railway dining car Martha Washington, operating between New York and Washington, and in the same year Carrier Corporation was formed by the merger of CEC with Carrier, Margaret Ingels, Country Life Press, 1952. Recollections of Willis H Carrier, Carlyle M Ashley, ASHRAE Journal, October 1994, pp50-54. The Evolution of Modern Office Buildings and Air Conditioning, David Arnold, from The First Century of Air Conditioning, ASHRAE, 1999. REFERENCES: The Romance of Air Conditioning, Logan Lewis, Carrier Corporation, c1950. BRIAN ROBERTS FCIBSE is a member of the CIBSE Heritage Group, and was chairman from 1984 to 2011 Father of Air Conditioning: Willis Haviland earlY air conDitioning The earliest installation that made provision for both cooling and humidification was Dr David Boswell Reids system, in the temporary House of Commons, in 1835. However, this had been quickly erected inside the shell of the former House of Lords after the fire of 1834. The earliest building designed to incorporate what we would now call air conditioning was St Georges Hall, in Liverpool. The system there again designed by Reid first came into use in 1851. In 1893, German professor Hermann Rietschel published the basis of an engineered approach to comfort cooling. In 1901, the consulting engineer Alfred Wolff applied these principles to his design of the cooling systems for the New York Stock Exchange, which featured 2,100kW of absorption refrigeration using electric generator exhaust steam. This installation recognised humidity control as a design objective. A pioneer in discovering psychrometric relationships was Stuart Cramer, of North Carolina, who coined the term air conditioning in 1906.