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issue: May 2005 APPLIANCE Magazine

Richard Farr of R&R Supply Co.

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After a 50-year career in the HVAC industry, Richard Farr shows no signs of slowing down.

Richard Farr

Mr. Farr graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1939 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Shortly after graduation, he went on a tour of duty in the South Pacific during World War II. It was his memories of the hot climate on the equator and a correspondence course in comfort air-conditioning from the University of Wisconsin that led him to an interest in the HVAC industry.

In January 1946, he began his career working as a sales engineer for a York air-conditioning and refrigeration contractor, and then from 1950 as a manufacturer’s representative for several manufacturers of air-conditioning components. Continuing his career as a manufacturer’s representative, Mr. Farr moved on to the coil business of McQuay, which later became Heatcraft, starting in June 1954. Two years later, he started R&R Supply Company, a company that supplies engineering design software to HVAC equipment manufacturers around the world through licensing and on a service fee basis.

In 1959, Mr. Farr altered a process created by Stanford University mechanical engineering professors William M. Kays and A.L. London. Mr. Kays and Mr. London pioneered the number of thermal units (NTU) and capacity ratio concepts that lead to direct selection procedures for heat transfer methods.

The two professors looked at a single-phase fluid moving through tubes, and sensible-only heat exchange on the finned side. Mr. Farr accommodated the process to include two-phase liquids, with heat exchange calculated in terms of the airside, which enabled the prediction and modeling of finned-tube heat exchangers for evaporators, condensers, and steam coils.
Mr. Farr began collaborating with Richard Green in 1967 to develop software to compute the process. Constant feedback from customers led Mr. Farr to expand the software to compute heat transfer capabilities for air/air and water/air refrigeration systems.

Working with Lordan & Co., an Israeli-based heat transfer company, Mr. Farr added an additional Windows version of the program. After R&R granted marketing rights to Lordan in July 2003, it wrote new Windows versions for both metric and English units for R&R Supply.

Mr. Farr has held numerous heat transfer seminars for R&R customers. He also wrote a book on his life’s work entitled Heat Transfer Technology, which he plans to continually update. He has a lifetime contract with Heatcraft to maintain and support its R&R software.

“My lifetime philosophy has been to attack problems as they arise to the best of my ability, and to accept the results without fear of failure,” notes Mr. Farr. This is one of the philosophies that Mr. Farr has held onto when approaching work.

Mr. Farr enjoys staying healthy by eating right and exercising on a regular basis. When taking time to relax, he enjoys golfing. He quips: “As I become older, my scores match or are lower than my age.”


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