Drives & Motors Rev Up at the AHR Expo

February 19, 2007
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DALLAS - Behind every good HVAC system is a very good support system. Not designed to be seen or heard, but these products play an important and integral part of the total HVAC system. These unsung heroes were on display at the 2007 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo). The list includes drives and motors, which made their debut on the market on the world’s largest HVAC stage.


A.O. Smith Corp. ( displayed its new line of HeatMaster™ totally enclosed condenser fan replacement motors for the heating and air conditioning market. These motors are built with Class F insulation for 70°C maximum ambient temperature ratings and are available in the 4-in-1™ multihorsepower replacement motor design.

The 4-in-1 motors are known for their ease of installation with one capacitor (7.5MFD/370V) and two leads that replace many of the most common OEM motors. The popular 4-in-1 design is now also available in the HeatMaster™ brand. HeatMaster™ replacement motors are available in 1/6 through 3/4 horsepower (hp) with double sealed ball bearings or dependable all-angle sleeve bearings.

In addition, the use of high-temperature UL & CSA-approved thermal overload protectors that reduce nuisance trip outs and ultra-high torque designs permit HeatMaster™ motors to operate with heavy-duty loads. These energy-efficient, PSC-design motors are capable of reversible rotation and have many other contractor-friendly features such as extra mounting fasteners and long high temperature power leads.

The new HeatMaster motors are backed by a three-year limited warranty.

Emerson Climate Technologies introduced the Emerson UltraTech™ variable-speed motor at the 2007 AHR Expo.

Danfoss NAMC ( introduced VLT® HVAC, the next generation VLT Series of variable-frequency drives specifically engineered to satisfy the unique demands of the HVAC market. VLT HVAC variable frequency drives are available from 1.5 hp through 600 hp at 460 and 600 vac, and 1.5 through 60 hp at 208 and 230 vac, in either NEMA/UL Type 1 or 12 enclosures (600 vac release mid-2007).

The drives feature a modular design that allows users to buy precisely what they need for their specific application, according to the company. The range of standard I/O can be expanded through factory or field installable ridged, self-identifying option cards that fit seamlessly under the drive keypad. With enhanced HVAC-specific capabilities and custom programmability, including integral cascade control, fan control, and compressor control features, each drive provides simple out-of-the-box operation. Integrated fuses and disconnect capability are included in each drive enclosure.

VLT HVAC drives also feature open communications, enabling them to speak and understand any HVAC language. An enhanced user interface and display provides an intuitive, English-language menu graphical readout for easy operation. Enhanced PC tools such as HVAC Energy Box (an energy analysis tool), MCT 10 (drive configuration and setup software), and a USB-port interface, further enhance user friendliness and ease of use.

Emerson Climate Technologies ( introduced the new Emerson UltraTech™ variable-speed motor. The UltraTech variable-speed motor is a four-wire, two-way communicating electronically commutated motor and control that receives, digests, and follows commands sent to it and acknowledges that the information has been received, resulting in improved system performance and reliability. The motor provides an array of built-in benefits for contractors such as a minimal number of SKUs to programmable software and stored history.

GE ECM by Regal-Beloit ( unveiled its sixth generation of premium ECM residential HVAC blower motors, the ThinkTank 3.0 blower motor. The new motor features BlaKBox technology for diagnosing system functions and customizing unit performance. As a result, the ThinkTank 3.0 gives manufacturers an ability to refine furnace, heat pump, and air conditioner products with expanded diagnostic functions.

Visitors to the Danfoss booth at the AHR Expo saw many different products, including the new VLT® HVAC.

“Over the last 20 years, our products have redefined what is achievable in HVAC systems by introducing advanced features that just aren’t possible with conventional motors,” said Paul Selking, industry leader for Residential ECM Products.

“With the ECM ThinkTank motor, innovation moves outside of the motor to give manufacturers diagnostic tools that will allow them to advance all aspects of future HVAC technologies.”

For contractors, the new motor is a response to input from field technicians and manufacturers who work with the ThinkTank 2.5. In addition to offering the same service features of the ThinkTank 2.5, including error reporting, the ThinkTank 3.0 will also be fully compatible with all versions of the TECMate,™ the service tool used to test ECM motors in the field.

Selking said, “Moving beyond laboratory conditions, the ThinkTank 3.0 will allow design engineers to give contractors extraordinary access to real-world performance data. In addition, designers can look forward to a series of innovations that will maximize comfort and installed efficiency. The upshot is that this information will produce a quantum leap in HVAC technology over the next 10 years.”

Publication date: 02/19/2007

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