Getting Comfortable Is Part of the Plan
July 11, 2011
Unlike in a typical single-family residential setting, equipment in a light commercial installation has to make a greater number of people comfortable. That can be hard because everyone has a different definition of what’s comfortable.
One thing that contractors can agree on is ease of installation and servicing makes their work life better and simpler. That’s something that the winners of the 2011 Dealer Design Awards in the Light Commercial category have in common. The SunSource® Commercial Energy System by Lennox Industries won gold for its design, while the McQuay International Maverick MPS 15-50F won silver, and Daikin AC’s Round-Flow Cassette FXFQ_PVJU won bronze.
GOLD WINNERThe Lennox Industries SunSource® Commercial Energy System is a commercial HVAC system that incorporates the premium Energence® rooftop unit (RTU) line with an easy-to-install solar energy system. The system can be installed on rooftops of virtually any shape or size for any building where a 3- to 6-ton Energence rooftop unit will be used. The SunSource system is available only for use with Energence units, which is an RTU rated up to 17 SEER.
Installation of the SunSource modules can be completed in a single day, due to a plug-and-play modular design. Instead of tying all solar panels in a series to a single string inverter, the SunSource system uses microinverter technology, so it continues to operate even if a panel fails. Energence rooftop units used with the SunSource system include all the features of the original RTUs, including the color-coded SmartWire® sys-tem for faster, easier installation and the Prodigy® control system for operation verification to reduce startup issues.
According to the manufacturer, the SunSource system “eliminates many barriers to using renewable energy and allows contractors to quickly and affordably provide a solution to customers who want to lower their operational costs by incorporating free, clean solar energy into their commercial buildings.”
The SunSource modules arrive as a package to the jobsite with up to 21 modular panels and hardware included; the panels are easily mounted and activated by the contractor. Each panel’s energy output is tied directly to the rooftop unit, eliminating the need to string all the panels together (and eliminating any chance of system failure due to the failure of one panel).
The SunSource system is used on the advanced Energence rooftop line, designed with several features for simplified installation. The RTU also includes hinged access panels for quick access, an isolated compressor compartment for performance check during normal operation, and the BACnet® module for two-way communication for system monitoring, diagnostics, and remote troubleshooting.
The judges’ comments included, “This concept is very interesting.”
One judge mentioned its sales potential. “Federal, state, and utility rebates will drive sales of this product line.”
Another judge commented, “I think this product will slowly grow in popularity starting with residential and small government application in the Sun Belt. Commercial applications will come but only if ROI and cost justification can be proven. It’s definitely on the right track.”
SILVER WINNERThe Maverick MPS 15-50F by McQuay International is a packaged rooftop unit from 15-50 tons with MicroTech III DDC integrated control, BACnet or LonTalk communications, up to five stages of capacity control, modulating furnace for up to 100°F temperature rise, optional modulating hot gas reheat, airfoil plenum fan, and optional energy recovery wheel.
Features that make installers and servicers work faster and simpler include a hinged access door on both sides of every section, a factory run test of the entire unit and controls, a double wall air-handler cabinet that is more robust and easier to clean, and the MERV 6 construction filters, which are factory-installed. Also, the factory-installed VFDs for supply and exhaust fans are complete with static pressure control for both; the microchannel condensers are more robust, easier to clean, and requires less refrigerant charge, says the company.
A judge praised the unit, saying “The access for serviceability and maintenance is excellent. The slide-out condensate pan, outside pressure access ports, and the slide-out motor make this very user friendly. It looks like a good addition to the McQuay line.”
“This is a well thought out unit that seems to have available all of the features that a contractor might ask for on a commercial rooftop unit,” said another judge.
A third judge summed up the thoughts of all the judges by saying, “It looks like a solid design.”
BRONZE WINNERThe Daikin AC Round-Flow Cassette FXFQ_PVJU features a built-in condensate pump, eliminating the need to purchase one locally at the time of installation. Outside air integration is possible. The unit measures just 11 (length) by 33 (width) by 33 (height) inches, and installation is easier due to a reduction in weight and a lightweight fan that also improves efficiency, said the manufacturer.
The design of the Round Flow ceiling cassette features a new drain pan structure and discharge grille style, resulting in effective and uniformed 360-degree air distribution into the space. The unit features a hollow, serrated design turbo fan combined with a new high-efficiency fan motor.
Installation and service benefits include built-in self diagnostics, and it comes standard with a washable filter.
One judge pointed out specifics he liked about the unit. “It’s an outstanding product. Two features I like: The first is the condensate pump as standard. It never made sense to have it as an option. The second is that there is no air distribution sweeper. [It has] consistent airflow. It’s easy to clean and install.”
Another judge raved about the equipment. “This is a very impressive unit. It seems to be flexible in its applications, and it appears the manufacturer has thought of nearly everything, including the condensate pump. The fact that many sizes are available shows their effort at being flexible.”
2011 Honorees: HVAC Light Commercial EquipmentGold Winner
SunSource® Commercial Energy System
Maverick MPS 15-50F
Round-Flow Cassette FXFQ_PVJU
Single Zone VAV RN Series
Publication date: 07/11/2011