July 2012


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Christian PylesEMAIL INTERVIEWChristian Pyles and Ken Sinclair

Christian Pyles has been in the HVAC industry for many years on both the design and distribution sides. With his experience working in Honolulu, Boston, and San Antonio, his service in the military, and education, he was able to launch the Airflow Exploration Center (AEC).

The Airflow Exploration Center

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Sinclair:  What is the Airflow Exploration Center?

Pyles:  It is an educational company that focuses on HVAC, and is geared for all levels of people in the industry.   We collect and publish great unbiased information from manufacturers and top professionals for our audience to learn from.  The idea is that companies and professionals who specialize in particular fields are by far the best people to learn from, but it is rare to find articles and tutorials by all of them in the same place.  We want to provide a free and valuable reference for our readers.

We officially launched our website a few months ago and it is off to a terrific start.  We have gained a lot of support, and based on feedback and reviews people are quickly accepting it and return when there are updates.

Sinclair:  Name some topics that we can find tutorials on at your site.

Pyles:  The website for the Airflow Exploration Center (AEC) has lots of tutorials that have been arranged into graduating experience levels, Novice thru Senior.

The Novice section has tutorials for people just getting introduced to the industry.  Some topics you will find there are ones like how mechanical drawings are organized, what the most common performance measurements are, quick and light articles on DX systems and Chilled Water systems. 

The Junior section contains some articles on how fans are categorized and how their performances change based on the fan laws.  There are other articles on how steam and humidifiers work, what components can be found in an air handling unit, and other great topics that help explain some of the basics principles of HVAC.

In the Intermediate and Senior sections the tutorials go into more advanced topics.  People who have been in the industry for several years or decades can enjoy articles that are very relevant to modern theory and techniques.  There are articles on designing perchloric acid fume hood exhaust systems, facility energy management, and modern VRF systems.

We really strive to have articles and tutorials that have lots of value and that people enjoy.

Sinclair:  Is the website just articles?

Pyles:  No, there is an extensive glossary of HVAC terms, there is a page that lists and describes a lot of prominent non-profit organizations, and a gallery that we love adding new pictures to.

In the future we will be redesigning the site a little in order to incorporate a forum, a conversions and formulas page, a page where anyone can pick questions to post an answer to, also a virtual classroom where PE’s can get professional hours for their annual quota.  Also, expect to see a search box.

contemporary Sinclair:  The name Airflow Exploration Center implies a physical location, is the company just a website, or is there a facility as well?

Pyles:  For now the website is our focus, it is our Phase One program.  As the business grows we will move into Phase Two that does include a facility.  The facility concept is extensive and fun.  It offers the possibility of a location in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and San Antonio.

We have come to the conclusion that people in the HVAC industry really enjoy learning more about the equipment and the systems around them.  We hope to evolve into a company that can really feed that desire.

Sinclair:  Can you talk about the major motivator for you with regards to this company?  Why are you focusing on HVAC?

Pyles:  HVAC is fun, challenging, and a very deep subject.  I have always enjoyed learning about the theories and concepts of design, and I see that same enthusiasm in the techs and contractors who like learning about installing and repairing the equipment.  This industry is so diverse that there are PhD’s and GED’s all involved and playing a role in the industry that is continually moving forward.  Couple that with the global trends and energy concerns and you have a very interesting industry.


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