Testing, Monitoring, Tools / Meters & Gauges / Data Loggers / Leak Detectors

2014 AHR Expo: Testing + Monitoring

February 17, 2014
Trans

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 testing and monitoring products we found on the show floor.

Airtest Technologies Inc. showed the TR9299 CO2 and temperature sensor, a battery-powered Wi-Fi communicating CO2 transmitter. The wall-mount transmitter has a high-level indicator for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) applications and is able to log data to a website that can provide graphing, email, and text-messaging alarms. Versions are available for humidity and temp and freezer/cooler monitoring.

Amprobe Test Tools displayed the LT-10 fluorescent lamp tester, designed to test whether fluorescent light bulbs and ballasts are working prior to installation or removal. The single-button operation allows technicians to troubleshoot lamps and avoid wasteful disposal of fluorescent light bulbs and ballasts. This compact tool fits in a pocket, and its 48-inch antenna makes it easy to test fluorescent bulbs while still in the fixture.

Bacharach Inc. featured Snifit®+, a compact personal-safety monitor ideal for alerting users when potential dangerous carbon monoxide conditions are detected. The company also introduced Monoxor® Plus, an advanced, portable carbon monoxide analyzer that delivers quick and accurate CO and temperature measurements in residential and commercial applications. In addition, Tru Pointe® IR was on display, which is a hand-held refrigerant leak detector that utilizes a long-life infrared sensor to locate and pinpoint leaks containing chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), and hydrofluoroolefin (HFO)-1234yf refrigerants. Also featured was the IAM-100 gas monitor, which offers real-time continuous gas detection in commercial applications.

Badger Meter offered its Vision turbine flow meters, which are designed for flow measurement of low-viscosity and non-aggressive liquids, including demineralized water, alkaline solutions, oils, water solutions, and coolants. The company also highlighted its Industrial Oval Gear (IOG) flow meters, which provide an effective solution for optimizing process operations, enabling users to match the meter size to their application for utmost accuracy.

Calibration Technologies Inc. debuted its GasGuard R Refrigerant Sensor, which senses leaks of R-22, R-134a, R-404a, and R-507a, among others. It features a gas-specific infrared-sensor technology to help avoid false alarms, while the sensor is designed to adapt to environments from -50? to 120?F. It also has real-time continuous monitoring and self diagnostics of sensor elements for fail-safe operation.

Cleveland Controls, a division of UniControl Inc., exhibited the Model PVG-1 pressure/vacuum generator. It was said to provide a constant air source for field-calibrating differential-pressure airflow-sensing switches. There is a separate coarse adjustment valve for initial pressure or vacuum range selection.

Continental Control Systems LLC featured the WattNode Revenue Modbus, the first meter in the Revenue line to be independently certified to the requirements of the American National Standard for Electric Meters Code for Electricity Metering. It provides line-powered single- and three-phase wye or delta configurations up to 600 vac and loads to 6,000 A. Also, the CTRC Rogowski coil current transformer was shown. The device was designed to simplify installations to meet the increasing demand for accurate current measurement on conductors where traditional split-core and solid-core CTs are difficult to use.

Defender Detectors Inc. exhibited its LL6070 sealed lithium battery-powered low-level carbon monoxide (CO) monitor, which continuously displays CO levels detected at 5 ppm or more. Visual alert signals are activated when 10 ppm of CO is detected, and visual and an audible alarm signals the homeowner at 15 ppm. The Defender LL6070 provides an early warning to chronic low-level carbon monoxide exposure, which can be harmful to young children and the elderly.

E Instruments Intl. LLC introduced the AQ Pro for the IAQ professional. It features the latest in IAQ monitoring and real-time data logging for IAQ analysis in hospitals, buildings, schools, labs, clean rooms, airports, and more. The AQ Pro has the ability to customize up to three gas sensors at one time, and it is upgradeable to add volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, O2, NO2, SO2, and H2S sensors. The compact, hand-held unit includes a magnetic rubber boot, Bluetooth capabilities, PC software, USB, and a lithium-ion rechargeable battery.

E-Mon displayed a multiple-branch circuit energy monitor that collects granular energy intelligence data for tenant billing, cost allocation, and energy management. The device can accommodate up to 36 sub-metering pints, giving flexibility for configuration of up to 36 single-phase, 18 two-phase, and 12 three-phase on any combination.

ECOM America Ltd. highlighted its ECOM D, a hand-held instrument with powerful magnets on the back to allow the technician to work hands-free. Available with up to four sensors, the unit is engineered with a modular design that allows the user to add a thermal quick-printer for instant documentation of the measurement values as well as optional Wi-Fi data transfer. A further extension is available for the optional mini-gas cooler (instead of condensation trap), which is recommended when adding optional sensors NO2 or SO2.

Fieldpiece Instruments Inc. featured the SDMN6, a dual-port manometer that also accurately tests pressure switches by simulating a draft with an internal pump. The SDMN6 allows contractors to test pressure switches by adjusting the pump’s speed to create a negative pressure (vacuum). The red LED indicates when the switch closes.

Flir Systems Inc. exhibited numerous new offerings, including its E-Series Thermal Cameras, which feature a 3-inch LCD display, wide-angle autofocus lens, intuitive camera controls, on-board digital camera, and Flir’s exclusive MSX® technology, which integrates visible details from digital camera photos onto thermal images. The 1.2-pound device offers an intuitive interface with one-handed button controls and a temperature range of -20? to 250?C. The company also demoed its MR77 moisture meter designed to help users tackle HVAC and disaster restoration projects. The device can measure moisture in a wide range of wood types and building materials using a pinless sensor that captures non-destructive readings up to ¾-inch below material surfaces. The company’s CM78 clamp meter streamlines HVAC diagnostics. The digital clamp meter incorporates a spot IR thermometer and Type K thermocouple with ac/dc measurements up to 1,000 A or V. The company’s AN500 thermo-anemometer uses innovative sensor technology. The device allows easy access through openings as small as 3/8-inch via its 8-mm probe, which is located on the end of a telescoping wand that extends more than 2 meters in length. Its RD300 refrigerant leakage detector is designed to increase reliability in the field, detecting all existing refrigerants in various a/c and refrigeration systems.

Fluke Corp. demonstrated its 1730 three-phase electrical energy logger. The compact energy logger conducts key measurements of voltage, current, power, and power factor to identify areas of energy waste. All measured values are logged automatically and can be reviewed during logging. Common setup errors are rectified through re-engineered cables, digital check and auto-correct of all connections, and an on-screen wizard for interval setup. It has a high safety rating (600 V CAT IV/1000 V CAT III), can be powered directly from the measured circuit, and has two USB ports for fast data downloads to PCs or standard thumb drives. Data logged by the 1730 can be imported into Fluke’s Energy Analyze software for further processing and archiving. Fluke also displayed its Ti200, Ti300, and Ti400 infrared cameras. The cameras feature LaserSharp Auto Focus, which uses a laser to pinpoint exactly where the camera should focus. The cameras enable faster communication with wireless image transfer directly to a PC, iPhone, or iPad, and can capture up to five additional measurements with the CNX Wireless System. In addition, Fluke showed its VT04 visual IR thermometer, a troubleshooting tool with built-in digital camera and thermal heat map overlay that bridges the gap between traditional IR thermometers and infrared cameras. The ultra-compact Fluke VT04 is fully automatic with built-in intelligence, so issues can be detected instantly with no training required. The VT04 includes advanced alarm features for troubleshooting stubborn intermittent issues, including a temperature alarm that flashes on the screen if the user-selected temperature goes out of the selected range; a time-lapse image capture can be set to capture images in 30-second to one-hour intervals; and an auto-monitor alarm that initiates image capture automatically after a temperature alarm has been triggered, allowing users to automatically capture images — even while the VT04 is unattended — using the universal tripod mount. It displays and saves images as full-digital, full-infrared, or in three blended modes (25, 50, and 75 percent).

General Tools & Instruments exhibited several new products, including its PalmScope™ video inspection system. The pocket-sized system is built to survive in the harsh elements. The device’s clamshell design allows the camera-tipped, 2-foot-long probe to be coiled safely and conveniently inside the device. Four LEDs on the camera head produce a bright, crisp video on a 2.7-inch high-contrast LCD color screen with a 320-by-240-pixel resolution. The company’s Digital Dual Mode Refrigerant Leak Detector (RLD440) is built to detect all commercially available hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), hydrofluoroolefin (HFO), hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), and chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerant gases. After charging a system with fluorescent dye, technicians and contractors use the RLD440 to scan system components with UV light from three LEDs mounted on the end of the instrument’s grip. Any dye escaping will glow a bright yellow-green color. It’s certified to comply with ASHRAE standard 173-2012; SAE J2791, J2913, and J1627 standards. The company’s 4:1 IR Thermometer with NCV Detector & Flashlight (VR40) is an instrument with multiple functions including an infrared thermometer, non-contact voltage detector, and flashlight. Readings are displayed on a four-digit LCD and are automatically held for 15 seconds. The company also released its HVAC Meter Kit (KHV57030) and HVAC DMM Kit (KHVP57068), ideal for contractors and technicians who routinely measure surface temperature and electrical parameters. The HVAC Meter Kit includes General’s rugged TRMS Multimeter with NCV Detection (DMM570) and 30:1 Ultra Wide-Range IR Thermometer with K Port (IRT730K). The HVAC DMM Kit also includes the DMM570, but combines it with General’s Auto Ranging AC/DC TRMS 400 Amp Clamp Meter (DAMP68). Both kits also contain accessories that work in conjunction with the instruments.

Greystone Energy Systems Inc. showcased carbon monoxide detectors in wall or duct models with a menu-driven setup and calibration, an electromechanical sensing element, a built-in test switch, and a field-adjustable alarm buzzer.

HK Instruments Inc. exhibited its DPT-R8 Series Differential Pressure Transducers engineered for building automation in the HVACR industry. The devices include multiple measurement units, field-selectable via jumper; eight field-selectable measurement ranges, unidirectional or bi-directional, selectable via jumper; and proportional output options including voltage (0-10 V) and current (4-20mA). The DPT-R8 Series devices are commonly used in HVACR systems for fan, blower, and filter monitoring; pressure and flow monitoring; valve and damper control; and pressure monitoring in clean rooms.

Honeywell Analytics displayed its ammonia sensor design as part of its Sensoric product range. These electrochemical sensors are employed in a range of applications including refrigeration, chemical and fertilizer plants, food processing and production, and wastewater treatment.

Imperial, a Stride Tool Inc. brand, introduced iManifold™, which leverages a smart device’s processing power, communications, GPS, and other inherent features to make the process of troubleshooting, charging, reporting, servicing, and assessing equipment performance easier than ever before. The powerful and easy-to-use program features built-in onboard diagnostics that allow an entry-level technician to be as productive as a seasoned veteran, and remote communications allow a service manager, factory support, or other field support representative to see the readings on the iManifold in real time and offer service advice. Featuring an intuitive user interface, high-precision durable sensors, and reporting, the iManifold offers remote connectivity and support to solve problems quickly.

Kahn & Co. Inc. displayed its Optidew Dewpoint Hygrometer, which uses fundamental optical dew point measurement to provide drift-free long-term performance. It offers a wide measurement range of -76? to 194?F dew point (or 0.5-100 percent relative humidity) at temperatures from -40? to 194?. Optidew provides two linear 4-20mA outputs in addition to serial communication, allowing setup and monitoring by a suitable computer or PLC system, or via Optidew’s own logging software. An adjustable dry-alarm contact means that Optidew can be used for direct process control.

Macurco, a trademark of Aerionics Inc., exhibited several offerings, including its Macurco™ TX-6-HS Hydrogen Sulfide Detector, TX-6-ND Nitrogen Dioxide Detector, and TX-6-AM Ammonia Detector. Each unit is a a low-voltage, dual-relay detector, controller, and transducer with selectable 4-20mA output, buzzer, and digital display options. The TX-6-HS can detect 0-50 ppm of hydrogen sulfide; the TX-6-ND, 0-20 ppm of nitrogen dioxide; and the TX-6-AM, 0-100 ppm of ammonia. The company’s GD-2B Combustible Gas Detector detects combustible heating-type gases and is designed for fire alarm and burglary control panels. The company’s MRS-485 Modbus Adapter is an accessory used to convert the 4-20mA analog signal from Macurco 6-Series type detectors to a digital signal for use with multipoint addressable systems. Also exhibited was the DMK-1 Duct Mount Kit, an airtight enclosure that provides a means to mount any Macurco gas detector to an air duct.

Measurlogic Inc. introduced its smart, revenue-grade electrical energy ac and dc sub-meters. They integrate with a building management system (BMS) and Supervising Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. There are no limitations on user count or connected devices.

MRU Instruments Inc. displayed its NOVAplus combustion industrial portable multi-gas analyzer for up to nine gas components. The portable emission analyzer can be equipped with up to six electrochemical sensors and a CO2/CH4/CO IR-bench (sensor) for simultaneous measurement. Selected cells can be installed for low CO and low NO with resolution down to 0.1 ppm.

Network Corp. showcased the BEMS aggregator, designed to help building owners and contractors monitor energy-use trends. It uses the cloud for remote set up and maintenance to reduce manpower and hardware costs.

Nu-Calgon announced the release of its Visible Defects Heat Exchanger Inspection System, which is a complete kit used to identify and locate potentially dangerous cracks in the combustion cells of gas furnaces during routine inspections. The system utilizes a fluorescent-based penetrant that is nontoxic, low-odor, and creates no smoke after application. Combined with the UV light and inspection mirror, the system can be used to evaluate clamshell-, serpentine-, and tubular-design heat exchangers in standard-efficiency furnaces.

Onicon Inc. exhibited its thermal-mass flow meters, which provide volumetric flow measurement of natural gas, compressed air, and other industrial gases. They are available as inline and insertion-style with or without a local display. The no-moving-parts design measures mass flow directly to provide standardized volumetric flow data without the need for temperature or pressure compensation.

Onset Computer Corp. displayed how-to guides related to utility incentive programs, data loggers, green-roof performance, and comfort complaints, and other topics.

Pressac Communications Ltd., a promoter of EnOcean Alliance, highlighted its range of self-powered sensors. Electricity usage can be monitored by clipping Pressac’s wireless Current Transducer (CT) around any ac cable. Air quality is monitored (CO2, temperature, and humidity) within buildings using Pressac’s energy-harvesting solar-powered CO2 sensors. These products wirelessly communicate using EnOcean wireless protocol. The gateway integrates sensor data into any IP backbone or the dashboard analytics service.

Quality Thermistor Inc. exhibited its Hydroguard QTIP68 Series of parts, which combines a highly stable precision thermistor encapsulated with an extremely durable waterproof housing. The probe is ideal for HVACR applications. The temperature sensor offers excellent performance during harsh freeze-thaw cycles, with an operating temperature range of -40° to 110°C. The typical wire size is No. 24 AWG and the unit meets or exceeds IP68 moisture-resistance rating.

Refco Mfg. Ltd. introduced its Digimon SE, a two-way and four-way manifold characterized by compact design and sturdy construction. Key features include 48 refrigerant tables, analog and digital display, class 1.0 accuracy, and direct calculation and display of superheat and subcool. Available accessories include a K-type thermocouple as well as an external vacuum sensor. Refco also displayed the Ref-Locator leak detector. The sensor has a lifecycle of approximately 10 years. The Ref-Locator features a large LCD display and can be adjusted to three sensitivity levels.

Ridgid showed the LM-400 advanced laser distance meter, which offers quick distance readings and advanced calculations at your fingertips. Using the LM-400 and the free app for Android and iOS, it is possible to dimension a photo or sketch and share with others, as well as automatically populate a list with accurate dimensions. Features include a large, backlit, 4-line display; inclination angle measurements; and the ability to adjust units to inches, feet, or meters.

Ritchie Engineering Co. Inc.’s Yellow Jacket Products Division introduced its eVac II programmable digital vacuum gauge. The compact gauge accurately measures vacuum pressure with resolution down to 0.1 micron. Its programmable target pressure and hold timer allow for unattended evacuation of HVACR systems of all sizes. The unit features an analog vacuum level bar graph and an automatic warning when oil enters the sensor, which is designed to resist contamination. Yellow Jacket also showcased its Mini Refrigeration System Analyzer (Mini RSA). According to the company, it brings digital capabilities to a contractor’s existing analog brass manifold at an economical price. It monitors one pressure and one live temperature then displays automatic superheat and subcool calculations for nearly 100 refrigerants.

Robinair, a division of Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, featured RAVG-1 digital micron (vacuum) gauges, which employ a sophisticated MEMS Pirani-type sensor that directly measures flow, so it is not affected by temperature. This gauge measures vacuum from atmosphere to 10 microns in six different scales and can withstand overpressure beyond 30 bar. The unit employs a multi-color backlight that functions as an instant go/no-go indicator of acceptable vacuum or leakage.

Rothenberger AG exhibited a line of high-performance cameras, including the Rocam 3, Roscope® 1000, and Roscope 500. The Rocam 3 is a drain inspection camera featuring a 10.4-inch TFT LCD color display, a heavy-duty push cable, multimedia capabilities for recording photos and video, and an exchangeable head system to attach various camera heads. It’s designed for pipes 2 to 12 inches in diameter, features a camera head with 90-degree flexibility, and offers an on-screen digital distance counter. The Roscope 1000 is a modular, multifunction camera with a dual-core processor and 3.5-inch TFT LCD display. The camera head features 90-degree flexibility, a 720-by-480-pixel resolution, an expandable storage capacity with SD card slot, and an AV-out/mini USB for external monitor or transfer. The Roscope 500 is an all-purpose camera with 2.5-inch 180 image resolution that is lightweight, compact, waterproof, and can store more than 2,000 still images.

Sensata Technologies Inc. featured the 2HMP Series of HVAC and refrigeration pressure sensors. The company said the sensors offer electrical isolation to help protect against electrical shock or equipment damage. The sensors include flexible threaded-fitting or braze-tube pressure connections and mounting options.

SenseAir highlighted the tSENSE family of CO2 temperature and relative humidity transmitters with touch display for ventilation control. Data is transmitted to a building management system (BMS)for stand-alone control using industry standard output signals and communication protocols.

Setra Systems Inc. showed its Power Patrol, a networked, three-phase power meter that works with Rogowski coils and has a small enough form factor to be mounted inside or outside of the panel using either mounting tabs or the DINrail lip.

Shortridge Instruments Inc. showcased its ADM Series AirData Multimeters, which are used as hand-held portable meters for air velocity, pressure, and temperature measurement. These meters may also be used to obtain direct airflow readings with an 8400 FlowHood Kit. Any model meter can be upgraded to a model with greater capabilities whenever needed. Note that any of the ADM Series AirData Multimeter Kits may be purchased with or without an 8400 FlowHood Kit.

Spectronics Corp. introduced its OPK-40EZ/E EZ-Ject™ leak-detection kit, which comes with everything needed to accurately and quickly find leaks in small- to medium-size air conditioning and refrigeration systems, including high-pressure R-410A systems. The company also highlighted OPTIMAX™400, an economical, violet-light LED leak-detection flashlight that emits less visible light than conventional inspection lamps, so refrigerant leaks are easier to spot, saving valuable inspection time. The flashlight’s prefocused beam optimizes fluorescent response without any adjustments, and it works effectively with all popular universal/polyolester (POE) dyes.

Superior Signal Co. LLC highlighted AccuTrak® VPE and VPE-GN ultrasonic instruments, which are offered in a selection of customized kits tailored to specific professional needs. From the basic introductory kit to the VPE-Pro Plus, these leak detectors help find any kind of refrigerant or gas leak and troubleshoot faulty valves in just minutes. Quickly identify and locate leaks of almost any size, high or low pressure, even vacuum. Optional sound generator finds leaks in gaskets, enclosures, and refrigerator case doors.

Testo Inc. showcased its 552 digital vacuum gauge for the evacuation of heat pumps, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. The Testo 552 digital vacuum gauge features a maintenance-free sensor and is built to withstand a 6-foot drop. It also has an illuminated display, is water- and dust-resistant, and provides 2,400 hours of battery life. Testo also displayed its 870 Series of thermal imagers. The thermal images are displayed in real time on a large 3.5-inch LCD view screen. Critical center temperature and automatic hot-and-cold spot detection is a standard feature, which can be displayed directly on the view screen. Detailed image analyses and reports can be performed on any Windows PC using the IRSoft analysis software supplied with every imager.

The H.O. Trerice Co. highlighted its 575SS field test gauge, which offers portable inspecting and testing of pressure systems and vessels prior to startup or to troubleshoot existing applications. The gauge has a mirrored dial face, adjustable pointer, and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-traceable certification.

Universal Enterprises Inc. displayed the AC900SC digital refrigerant system analyzer, which features patented pressure bar graphs that allow users to see pressure dynamics intuitively for quick diagnosis. It comes with 45 pre-programmed refrigerant profiles and is upgradable for additional refrigerants. The easy-to-read LCD screen has large digits with green backlight for clarity, even in low light conditions. The display offers a convenient layout with all corresponding high- and low-side readings displayed together. The digital readings offer ¼-psi resolution on low side and 1-psi resolution on high side.

Vaisala Corp. introduced the 3-in-1 GMW90 carbon dioxide, temperature, and humidity transmitter series for demand-controlled ventilation. Features include snap-on electronics, dip switches, and integrated display. The product provides digital communication with BACnet/Modbus and has user-exchangeable humidity, temperature, and CO2 modules incorporating HUMICAP® and CARBOCAP® sensors.

Warren Controls Inc. displayed the Monitrol, which operates differently than a pressure independent control valve (PICV) while accomplishing the same goals, more efficiently. The Monitrol uses one control element, and through its sensors it accurately knows the current flow rates. The user gets the same result of a PICV-guaranteed constant flow for a given control signal, but in the Monitrol, it is much more accurate and repeatable than in a traditional mechanical PICV. There is also the benefit of energy savings as pumps no longer have to flow against two control elements — only one.

Winters Instruments introduced its lead-free product line of pressure gauges, thermometers, and accessories. The line has been manufactured to comply with the 2014 Safe Drinking Water Act. The act, which took effect Jan. 4, limits the amount of lead content of all products installed in potable/drinking water systems.

Publication date: 2/17/2014 

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