Commercial Rooftop Units: Unseen Providers of Comfort

July 1, 2009
They're out of sight, but never out of mind. Rooftop systems are getting more attention in the age of efficiency.


The Coleman Outfitter uses R-410A refrigerant and is EPAct 2010 compliant. Built on the reliable platform of the existing Outfitter packaged product, the outdoor units feature a compact design suitable for almost any outdoor installation, sources say. The Coleman Outfitter line offers single pipe and single- and two-stage commercial condensing units and heat pumps. Many models are available in a four-pipe design.
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Daikin's VRV® III is an alternative to traditional rooftops or chilled water central plant and cooling towers. It replaces heavy and bulky machinery with lightweight modular equipment.

Multiple zoning needs can be served, because of flexible piping capabilities and precise temperature control. Daikin's VRV III has 208-230V or 460V three phase power supply and a larger capacity of up to 20 tons.
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Emerson Climate Technologies, a business of Emerson, reports that the Copeland Scroll Digital is now available in a complete line of 3-15 horsepower models for commercial air conditioning applications. The Copeland Scroll Digital offers an innovative way to modulate the capacity of the compressor from 10 to 100%, so that output precisely matches the changing cooling requirements of the space, without changing the speed of the motor. (See p.12)
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Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls now offers the Series 10 single packaged unit. The Johnson Controls Series 10 single packaged unit combines efficiency ratings (up to 11.5 EER/80% SSE) and ease of installation in a light commercial HVAC unit. Cooling capacity is 6 ½ to 12 ½ tons. It uses environmentally responsible R-410A refrigerant, and comes wired, piped, charged, and tested from the factory.
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The 24-ton-capacity Strategos rooftop unit from Lennox is rated up to 11.6 EER and 14.8 IPLV. Strategos units are available with Lennox' revolutionary new MSAV (multi-stage air volume) supply fan technology. With up to seven levels of airflow, the 24- ton Strategos rooftop units provide just the right amount of conditioning for controlled energy use and are the most energy-efficient rooftop units of their kind.
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LG Electronics' Multi-V system offers commercial buildings and lodging and hospitality environments high energy efficiency with easy temperature controls in a cost-effective solution, sources say. The Multi-V system uses a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heat recovery system that operates cooling and heating simultaneously with only one outdoor unit.
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The Ovation systems from Luxaire® are EPAct 2010-compliant and incorporate aluminum MicroChannel coil technology along with scroll compressors to increase system efficiency. One- and two-stage operation improves part-load efficiency and comfort levels, and the capacity range and refrigerant piping configurations (two or four pipes) make Ovation versatile for almost any application, company sources say.
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The Mammoth P6SP Series high-efficiency units are compatible with most standard footprints and available in 6, 7.5 and 10 ton sizes. The units utilize R-410A refrigerant and deliver up to 11.2 EER. The P6SP Series fits most standard rooftop applications and can be easily adapted for exceptions. The units feature a fully insulated bottom pan, a never-rust mesh hail guard, and quick-release filter access panels.
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Mitsubishi Electric HVAC has updated its Y- and R2-Series CITY MULTI Variable Refrigerant Zoning Systems (VRFZ) to provide greater cooling and heating capacity and application flexibility. The units are desrcibed as quiet, with a low operating sound of 58 dB(A) for the 6-ton outdoor unit, and 65dB(A) for the 30-ton outdoor unit system.

Compressor compartments are sealed by metal panels to minimize sound levels in all directions.
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Munters Oasis

Munters Oasis indirect evaporative cooling system uses a corrosion-resistant polymer heat exchanger to produce dry, cool air without refrigeration. Best suited for hot, dry climates, the Oasis treats makeup air for 50% less energy and provides cooling energy recovery and winter heat recovery. The Oasis also assists in reducing peak demand loads, which helps qualify for utility rebates.
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Rheem R-410A package gas electric and package air conditioners have an EER of up to 11.5, which exceeds 2009 Energy Star® requirements. A thermostatic expansion valve is used to monitor R-410A providing precise refrigerant control. The package gas electric (model RKNL) and package air conditioners (model RLNL) are available in 3-5 ton, 6-12 ½ ton and 15-25 ton sizes, allowing contractors to meet a wide range of applications. Ten- and five-year warranties apply.
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The Trane Tracer SC system offers a flexible, scalable, efficient, and cost-effective solution for maintaining facility climates. Sources say that when Tracer SC is used with a rooftop VAV system, it reduces operating and lifecycle costs because of the energy-savings program's fan pressure optimization. The which controls pressure in the ductwork based on demand and ventilation reset, which conditions only the required amount of outdoor air, sources say.\engineer
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Johnson Controls' York® Predator® is a new line of EPAct 2010-compliant and economical commercial split cooling and heat pump systems. Available in 7.5- to 20-ton capacities, York Predator systems use R-410A refrigerant and feature a compact design that's based on the robust and reliable platform of the Predator line of packaged rooftop products. MicroChannel condenser coils on the cooling units provide superior heat transfer and use less refrigerant. It uses scroll compressors.
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