A Cool Breeze Sweeps Into Town

March 19, 2010
AHR Expo visited Orlando in January, with products from more than 1,800 exhibitors. The spirit of innovation was alive, and thousands of attendees were refreshed by the news.

The AHR Expo is the first big HVACR show of the year, and for good reason. How can contractors and other HVACR professionals resist the chance to walk aisle after aisle of innovative products? Nothing like thousands of product ideas to make you feel like getting down to work, and forgetting what people say about the economy. This year's Expo provided a welcome respite from depressing headlines.

AHR Expo show managers report more than 1,800 companies were on hand for 35,000 HVACR professionals at the 62nd AHR Expo in Orlando, January 25-27.

Hope still exists that business will pick up soon.

"We expect that there is already some pent up demand for new products and technologies and that thousands of buyers from around the world will be coming to the show to make purchasing decisions," said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company, the show organizer.
In addition to the numerous products on display, industry experts provided valuable educational perspectives on leading technical topics, including energy efficiency, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), energy saving and reclaiming, and building control and automation. Green building initiatives and sustainability were also hot topics of discussion.

Contractors in Search Of . . .
Craig Mathias, president, Math Mechanical, Inc., a commercial/industrial contractor based in Portsmouth, VA, was overwhelmed by the product offerings at AHR Expo.

"There's so much great stuff here; the green products, and solar products interest me, and I've seen some things I'm going to be using. I wouldn't have known about them if I hadn’t come to the show," he said.

Mathias was also looking for franchise opportunities that would help him expand his business into other areas. He succeeded by finding two such opportunities he’s now exploring.

Dave Yates, of F.W. Behler Inc., York, PA, made the journey to AHR Expo in search of enhanced wireless controls to integrate HVAC systems for homes and businesses.

"I think wireless is the future for the HVACR industry," Yates said. "We found about three dozen control systems, at different levels of sophistication. They're still a relatively expensive item, but they're coming down in cost. Eventually, their simplicity will drive the business with contractors."

Mathias, Yates, and thousands of other HVACR contractors realize that their success is up to them, and that’s why they came to AHR Expo. Here's a sampling of what they took in. (For information on all products shown, visit

The MovinCool® CM25 self-contained, ceiling-mounted air conditioner offers a very high cooling capacity for an air conditioner of its class, but at a lower cost than conventional solutions, such as precision cooling systems. It has a total cooling capacity of 25,000 Btu/h and a high sensible cooling capacity of 18,900 Btuh. Circle 170

Fulton introduced the Reliance high-efficiency hydronic boiler. Designed for non-condensing hydronic heating applications, this newest addition to the Fulton line of commercial heating products features a copper finned tube heat exchanger with a stainless steel heat exchanger jacket. Pulse width modulation with 5:1 turndown capabilities and a variable-speed blower motor ensure precise load matching to maintain building temperatures. Circle 171

The Eternal condensing hybrid water heater is designed for extremely easy installation. It can be wall mounted or floor standing, with water connections on the unit’s top. The Eternal condensing hybrid features a full modulation infrared burner that is dual activated by both a thermostat similar to a tank, or flow sensing similar to tankless. Circle 172

Danfoss’s EcoFlow™ expansion valve solves the challenge of achieving balanced distribution of refrigerant in air conditioning systems, and maldistribution in evaporator circuits. "The solution is adaptive distribution," said Stephen Gugliotta, vice president, Danfoss Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Controls, North America. "EcoFlow handles everything automatically, constantly monitoring the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator and adjusting the flow to each circuit independently," Gugliotta said. Circle 173

Honeywell Analytics
Honeywell Analytics' gas monitoring tools are helping facility owners and managers, and building contractors improve the way they manage a building's energy requirements. E3Point is a new gas detector for the commercial building industry that sources describe as more flexible and adaptable, to serve the widest range of applications. It works as a standalone device or within a network.E3Point can be configured to detect one gas or two gases. It works with virtually all communication protocols or building automation systems, including Modbus or BACnet. It connects to a wireless gas monitoring system, such as Honeywell's 301W wireless gas monitor and 301C controller, to form a hybrid wired/wireless gas monitoring system. Circle 174

Daikin AC
The Daikin Altherma is an innovative alternative heating and domestic hot water solution that's three to five times more energy efficient than using conventional fossil fuel systems, sources say. The air-to-water heat pump system maximizes comfort and energy savings by capitalizing on Daikin's technological strengths. Additionally, Daikin Altherma features a space cooling ability not common with traditional systems.

The Daikin Altherma consists of two main components (outdoor unit and hydrobox), combined with optional accessories, such as a water tank and solar thermal kit. Circle 175

LG Electronics
LG showcased its Multi-V system, which offers a cost-efficient solution with Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) technology to ensure comfort. VRF refers to the system that controls the amount of refrigerant flowing to each evaporator of the indoor unit. Indoor evaporators are available for different capacity, configuration, and individualized comfort control as well as simultaneous heating and cooling in different zones. With this system, commercial businesses have control of temperature zoning to avoid expending unnecessary energy in unoccupied rooms. Circle 178

Emerson Emerson Climate Technologies announced the launch of a complete line of high efficiency, variable speed electronically controlled motor (ECM) solutions for residential and light commercial air-moving applications. These motors provide OEMs with a full range of ECM solutions, all featuring exceptional control, easy integration and long-term reliability, sources say. Emerson Industrial Automation, a business of Emerson, also announced the launch of Control Techniques' "Spare Me the Bypass" program. This new Emerson program will aim to further educate the HVAC industry on the benefits and pitfalls of specifying variable frequency drives (VFDs) and spares versus a bypass Circle 179

Daikin McQuay introduced the Pathfinder™ air-cooled chiller with a variable frequency drive (VFD) option on high and premium efficiency models. The Daikin McQuay® Magnitude™ frictionless centrifugal chiller, already known for its oil-free, magnetic bearing design, is now available in models with up to 550 tons of capacity, making it ideal for mid- to large-size buildings such as schools, universities and hospitals. Circle 180

Field Fusion
The Field Fusion business management tablet/keyboard and software was designed in cooperation with a leading commercial HVAC contractor. It streamlines service calls, and much more. The tablet is powered by Fujitsu. "The software is designed to bolt onto existing accounting packages, to maximize the value of those packages," says Designer Tim Scheutzow. "It pulls information from existing systems, and populates the scheduling queue, which is combined with the field service component." Components: operations manager, mobile office, executive dash board, and server manager. Circle 184

Multistack The Airstack ASP30X features a single-point microprocessor-based control system, built-in redundancy via independent refrigerant circuits, simple future expansion, low sound signature, and critical cooling applications. For 2010, Multistack took all of the existing features and added microchannel heat exchangers that reduce the refrigerant charge by 35-40% to increase Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Circle 185

Silentium exhibited its proprietary "Silence in a Chip" noise control solutions. According to company sources, Silentium's active noise reduction technology provides HVAC manufacturers and contractors a clear, green edge; it allows cooling and heating units to work at their highest, most energy-efficient speeds, reducing operating costs. Circle 186

The Versatec Ultra series from WaterFurnace combines high efficiency, maximum flexibility, and industry leading standard options in a compact water source heat pump for water loop and geothermal applications. It has a 17.2 energy efficiency ratio (EER) and a 3.5 coeffient of performance (COP). Circle 187

Modine introduced the Effinity93 with Conservicore™ technology. Six models— from 135,000 to 310,000 Btuh and 93% efficiency — give commercial HVAC users a more efficient way of heating their buildings so they can dramatically lower their energy bills, and keep their environments controlled for optimal comfort and safety. Circle 188

Taco, Inc. introduced the TC Series of single-stage, double suction, vertical split case pumps for use in heating, air conditioning, pressure boosting, cooling water transfer, and water supply applications. The TC Series' top suction and discharge makes this product line the ideal choice for minimizing installation footprints in tight mechanical rooms. Circle 189

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Nine companies offering new and innovative products were found worthy of AHR Expo Innovation Awards.

The 2010 AHR Expo Innovation Award winners in each category are:
Building Automation. The WBT900 from AIC Wireless provides wireless transmission of BACnet MSTP information over 900 MHz. The plug-and-play unit requires no network setup, and baud rate changes can be configured through HyperTerminal. Circle 190

Green Building. Danfoss, Inc.'s Performer VSD cooling package constantly matches the capacity required to maintain the homeowner’s set point – without cycling on and off. Circle 191

Heating. Daikin AC (Americas), Inc.'s VRV® III–C heat pump system features a two-stage compression cycle using multiple smaller compressors. A second outdoor booster unit, introduces the second stage refrigeration cycle and increases the pressure, to levels that allow

high-efficiency comfortable heat at outdoor temperatures as low as -13°F. Circle 192

Indoor Air Quality. Samsung Electronics' SPi Bacteria Eradication Technology is an ion generator that eliminates harmful contaminants, bacteria, allergens, viruses and fungi. Circle 193

Refrigeration. The 3C Condenser from Muller Industries is an adiabatic remote air-cooled condenser for commercial refrigeration systems. Circle 194

Cooling. Delphi's MCHX® evaporator performs cooling and heating for indoor residential and commercial settings. Circle 195

Software. ArtrA O&M (Operations & Maintenance) from AEC Design Group allows HVAC contractors to attach operations and maintenance documentation and data to 3-D models, to install and maintain HVAC systems more efficiently. Circle 196

Tools. LA-CO Cool Gel heat barrier spray spray helps prevent damage to components during soldering, brazing and welding. Circle 197

Ventilation. DuraDuct HP from DuraSystems Barriers is a fire and blast duct system for ventilation in high-risk buildings. It can withstand a charge of two bar overpressure, and has a fire rating of two hours. Circle 198

ASHRAE Standard 189.1 Released

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) press breakfast provided an in-depth look at Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The energy efficiency goal of Standard 189.1 is to provide significant energy use reduction over that in ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007. It offers a broader scope than Standard 90.1, and is intended to provide minimum requirements for the site selection, design and construction of high performance green buildings.

"The far-reaching influence of the built environment necessitates action to reduce its impact," said Gordon Holness, ASHRAE president. "Provisions in the standard can reduce negative environmental impacts through high-performance building design, construction and operations practices. Kent Peterson, P.E., chair of the Standard 189.1 committee, said the standard is "a game changer" for the U.S. building industry, in much the same way that Standard 95 was developed in the 1970s, to establish energy codes. "This is a step for sustainability in the build environment. This is what code jurisdictions are looking for: minimum requirements for energy, water, and material resources," Peterson said.

NEBB Publishes Retro-commissioning Standard

Steve Wiggins, president of The National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB) held a press conference during AHR EXPO to announce the publication of NEBB's Procedural Standards for Retro-commissioning of Existing Buildings. NEBB Procedural Standards for Retro-Commissioning of Existing Buildings is designed to establish a uniform and systematic set of criteria for the performance of the retro-commissioning (RCX-EB) process, when applied to existing building systems such as a building’s mechanical, electrical and building envelop systems.

"We’re looking forward to what we can do for the built environment. The greatest need we see is the greening of our existing buildings," Wiggins said. "Many buildings have never been commissioned properly. It's estimated that the cost to operate those buildings is four to five times the cost of a properly commissioned building." The standards and procedures outlined in this NEBB publication are the minimum NEBB requirements that a NEBB Certified RCX-EB Firm shall follow when performing retro-commissioning.

The new publication covers definitions, requirements for quality control, quality compliance, instrumentation requirements, and report requirements. Requirements for instruments and test equipment are also identified, as are processes and procedures.