Intense Engineering Draws out Potential

February 19, 2007
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DALLAS - Nearly all new IAQ products shown at the 2007 Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) featured some kind of sophisticated controls, even the residential models. The proliferation of products intended to save energy while improving air quality was pretty obvious, and controls certainly can contribute to both those objectives.

When it comes to cleaning the air, the science of UV light has taken some big steps. One product even competes with sunshine.

RECOVERY AND VENTILATION

Berner Energy Recovery Inc.’s (www.bernerenergy.com) Model ERV stand-alone energy recovery unit (ERU) allows outside air to be added to a ventilation system while recovering energy from exhaust air. The packaged unit contains an air-to-air energy recovery wheel and supply and exhaust fans. The enthalpy wheel cools and dehumidifies supply air in summer, and heats and humidifies supply air in winter. A triangular plenum design is said to reduce the dimensions of the ERU while improving its performance.

Aprilaire's redesigned Website helps customers discover IAQ problems and solutions through an interactive medium, making it easier for contractors to make product recommendations. The company also saw great interest in its whole-house dehumidification system, even though it wasn't actually introduced this year. (Click on the image for an enlarged view.)

Broan-Nutone (www.broan.com) is one of those companies whose products blurred the lines of IAQ and control sophistication this year with the introduction of its SmartSense® intelligent ventilation system. According to Tom Heidel, IAQ product manager, the product helps homeowners and contractors meet the intermittent and continuous ventilation requirements of ASHRAE Standard 62.

“To maintain a healthy home, it is important to exhaust stale indoor air and minimize opportunities for mold and mildew growth through continuous ventilation throughout the day,” said Heidel.

The product creates an integrated ventilation system in the home, said Karen Collins, marketing communication manager for the company. A master control monitors fan usage in the home, such as during shower time. The control calculates the volume of air ventilated and deducts this from the total ventilation required, Heidel explained. “If necessary, it will intermittently operate fans throughout the home to achieve optimal ventilation and superior distribution of fresh air.”

Greenheck (www.greenheck.com) now offers a wide range of temperature control options for energy recovery units (models ERH, ERCH, ERT, and APEX). From the simplest offering of factory-installed current, temperature, and pressure sensors to the new microprocessor controller - there are controls for any type of project. The new microprocessor controller is available for either room or discharge control, and has the capability to interface with BACnet, LonWorks, or Modbus.

Ruskin (www.ruskin.com), traditionally a manufacturer of dampers and louvers, introduced a line of energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) at the expo. Used to recover exhaust air energy and reintroduce it into the conditioned space, these ERVs can stand alone or be ducted to the a/c unit. The units are designed for rooftop unit, mechanical room, and ground applications. The energy recovery wheels have a patented design of parallel layers of wrapped polymeric material impregnated with silica gel.

Meredith Stines, president of American Ultraviolet Co., said this latest Eliminator UV product features externally accessible, high-output lamps that provide twice the output of standard UVC lamps. According to Stines, no tools are required to replace the lamps, and no panels need to be removed.

UV LIGHTS AND FILTERS

Meredith Stines, president and CEO of American Ultraviolet Co., described his company’s latest Eliminator UV product for HVAC system UV cleaning: the Eliminator RPT for residential applications. The product operates several high-output UV lamps from a single power supply enclosure. This unit can be used to place lamps to irradiate the coil and the airstream with one power center, instead of several different enclosures with individual power cords.

The lamps feature externally accessible RPT high-output lamps that plug directly into existing receptacles near the HVAC unit. The lamps are said to provide twice the output of standard UVC lamps. According to Stines, no tools are needed to replace the lamps, and no panels need to be removed.

Air Purifiers Inc. (www.airpurifiersinc.net) combined high-intensity UVX light with a specially developed rare metal hydrophilic coating on an engineered matrix. Radiant Catalytic Ionization (RCI) reduces airborne contaminants and odors while creating superoxide ions and hydroperoxides. These products of an advanced oxidation process continue working to reduce more odors and VOCs, and to attack microorganisms.

According to company engineer Walter Holberg, “By engineering the proper light wavelengths in the RCI cell, we have developed a highly effective system to utilize 254-nm hv germicidal UV light.

Falling between visible UV light and invisible X-rays in the light spectrum, UVX makes use of the same oxidation and ionizing properties of light as naturally occurring sunlight.” The company’s Fresh Air DuctwoRx duct-mounted air freshener is said to be suitable for systems up to 3 tons (1,500 cfm) with accessible ducts, including residential and small office applications.

Aprilaire (www.aprilaire.com) showed its redesigned Website with an interactive IAQ tool to help people understand their IAQ problems and product solutions.

GeneralAire (www.generalaire.com) introduced a Super Plasma UV air purifier, Model GUV25403A. Super Plasma, the company explained, is an excitation of gas by the energy of UV light. When it interacts with organic contaminants, the company said, the plasma breaks them down into carbon and water, rendering them relatively harmless.

The company’s Hybrid PCO2450 UV (photocatalytic oxidation) air purifier uses a VectorFlo® semiconductor to deliver a high performance kill rate. The unit’s venturi are said to significantly increase the time exposure of airborne contaminants.

UltraViolet Devices Inc. (UVDI, www.uvdi.com) displayed its Altru-V® V-Ray™ FO, a full-output UV lamp system designed for fan coils, ceiling-mount unit ventilators, rooftop units, and heat pumps; the V-Ray WD, a wash-down design that allows the entire lamp assembly to be washed down without removing the lamp from the air-handling unit; a mobile UV room sanitizer; and a portable UV air purifier for health care applications.

“Our commercial and residential air treatment business has grown 40 percent in 2006,” said Larry Randall, senior product marketing manager, adding that the company expects the trend to continue in 2007.

Publication date: 02/19/2007

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