2014 AHR Expo: HVAC Residential Controls
The NEWS was very busy at the AHR Expo in New York City, visiting as many booths as possible in search of new products. Below is a comprehensive list of all the residential control products we found on the show floor.
Cellar Cool showcased its Smart Control cellar monitoring system. The Smart Control is fully integrated to not only monitor the cellar environment, but to monitor each component of the cellar’s cooling system equipment to assure all systems operate seamlessly to maintain the ideal environment for aging of fine wines. The communication module keeps collectors in the loop on the operating status of the system and cellar environment via website tracking and smartphone integration.
Electro Plastics Inc., dba Step Warmfloor, introduced its Step Touch thermostat for controlling the Step Warmfloor system. The thermostat features a clean and simple two-control design for ease of operation, three-digit auto-dimmable LED display, maintenance-free touch sensor controls, a clear and flat acrylic surface for a clean and contemporary look, and elegant stainless steel perimeter housing. It interfaces to an external temperature sensor and works with Step Warmfloor, Step Snowmelt, and Step De-icing systems. It is also capable of interfacing with smart home systems.
Emerson Climate Technologies launched its Sensi™ thermostat, which features remote access from a smartphone, tablet, or PC. The thermostat, manufactured and marketed by White-Rodgers, offers homeowners a simple approach to controlling the temperature in their home anytime, anywhere, while contractors are afforded a new business opportunity to sell a Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat at a reasonable price. With no C-wire, the Sensi thermostat is quick and easy to install, and connecting the thermostat to a home Wi-Fi system is also easy with the step-by-step guide provided in the Sensi thermostat mobile app.
EWC Controls Inc. exhibited its Ultra-Zone VCD Series of manually adjusted rectangular volume control dampers. The VCD allows a technician to properly balance the HVAC duct system during a test-and-balance procedure. The rectangular VCDs are constructed using heavy-duty 0.080-inch extruded aluminum and high-strength acetal gears driving the opposed blades. The VCD includes an adjustable heavy-duty manual quadrant with a positive locking wing nut. The VCD is designed to provide reliable and quiet volume control at nominal duct velocities. The opposed blade design achieves low turbulence and low 0.01-inch wc pressure drop across the damper. VCD balancing dampers are easy to install and adjust. VCDs are available in size 6-by-6 inches through 36-by-32 inches and come with a five-year warranty. The company also exhibited its VCD Series of manually adjusted round volume control dampers. The round VCD includes a field-adjustable, heavy-duty manual quadrant with large, easy-to-read open, close, and mid-range positions with a positive locking wing nut. It is constructed from 24-gauge galvanized steel with stiffening beads at both ends of the shell. The blade is heavy-duty, 20-gauge galvanized steel and is designed to provide reliable and quiet volume control, at nominal to moderately high duct velocities. VCD balancing dampers come with a five-year warranty.
HaiLin Energy Technology Inc. showcased its HaiLin Touch Screen thermostat. The thermostat is Wi-Fi-enabled, seven-day programmable, and universally compatible. It features an improved programming function and visual appearance, upgraded armchair programming, smooth lines and natural curves, and full touch-screen operation.
ICM Controls Corp. highlighted the I3 Series of touch thermostats featuring large displays and an interface for intuitive programming that uses familiar icons that illuminate only when they are needed.
Ivar S.p.A. displayed its patented Equicalor, a wireless system comprised of different devices powered by normal or rechargeable batteries. It consists of one or more zone chrono-thermostate and one or more actuators, which are installed directly on the radiator valves instead of the thermostatic heads. It can provide independent temperature control for each room, while the actuators work with a proprietary algorithm that automatically compensates for the temperature detected near the radiator, and provides an effective regulation of the room’s temperature. It features battery life of up to three years.
Pro1 IAQ Inc. introduced its Ultimate Comfort thermostat solution. The device gives a homeowner complete control with the ability to control temperature from all locations in the home independently, so everyone can be comfortable everywhere. The solution minimizes energy consumption by only conditioning rooms that are occupied. Thermostats feature precise temperature reading, multiple temperature-sensing locations, remote temperature controls, wireless technology, and room-by-room temperature control.
QwikProducts by Mainstream Engineering showed QwikSEER+™, an electronic control that operates in the cooling mode of an existing air conditioner or heat pump. By using the existing speed taps of a permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor, the QwikSEER+ control board selects the best possible airflow based on conditions in the home. This enhances system performance while providing energy savings and improved humidity control.
Rheem Mfg. Co.’s EcoNet™ Control Center enables Rheem products to communicate with each other on one network, making it faster and easier for contractors to accurately install, set up, and maintain the system. EcoNet is a scalable, forward-compatible controls platform that provides remote connectivity for homeowners and contractors, and will interface with other systems and services, such as utility, energy management, and home automation devices. EcoNet is initially compatible with select Rheem HVAC and water heating products.
Tarm USA displayed its LK 120 SmartComfort electronic indoor temperature controller for hydronic radiator and under-floor heating systems. The LK 120 SmartComfort regulates the mixing valve to provide the system with the exact amount of heat required in the building at any given time. It is delivered with a room temperature unit allowing easy setting of the desired indoor temperature. The room temperature unit is available in two versions: with SmartComfort RT fixed cable or wireless receiver SmartComfort RTW.
Trane, a brand of Ingersoll Rand, introduced Nexia, a new technology that enables dealers to remotely view live data directly from their participating customers’ HVAC systems. Using the diagnostic tool, dealers can check system data in real time when the homeowner calls with a problem or question; use the system in conjunction with annual maintenance plans to review system performance prior to visiting the home; proactively identify trends or alerts that may lead to potential system issues and contact the homeowner to make them aware of the issue; and review the system performance after an installation or service call for quality-control purposes to help verify the changes were effective.
Viega LLC showcased its radiant control product for hydronic and HVAC applications that allows for easy installation and system integration. The products include: 0-10 vdc powerhead, 0-10 vdc actuator, zone valve, and thermostat. The 0-10 vdc powerhead provides short response times and self-calibrates every 24 hours. The powerhead features a plug-in connection cable and 360-degree installation position. The compact design, noiseless function, low power consumption, and maintenance-free performance are additional benefits. 0-10 vdc Actuator provides short response times, which results in improved control response for radiant systems. The zone valve’s thermal electric motor allows for easy wiring in 2- and 4-wire applications. The thermostat features intuitive programming and icons for easy use. The thermostat integrates well with a variety of HVAC equipment, and mounts to drywall or junction box with easy, color-coded wire connections.
Publication date: 2/17/2014