ACHRNEWS

Zeroing In On The Optimal Humidity Level

February 21, 2003
CHICAGO — The 2003 Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) provided attendees with the opportunity to see several new products and product upgrades from various manufacturers.

Humidification and dehumidification manufacturers had several new developments to showcase at the expo for both residential and commercial applications.

Pictured is Nortec's new SAM-e Short Absorption Manifold.

Residential Applications

Aprilaire (Madison, Wis.) displayed a number of new and current indoor air quality (IAQ) products. One of the new offerings was the Aprilaire Model 400 Automatic Humidifier.

Humidification is nothing new to Aprilaire, but according to the company, the Model 400 Automatic Humidifier is special because it is a whole-house humidifier that utilizes 100 percent of the water in the unit.

The new technology uses a wicking water panel, which is designed to allow all of the water in the system to be used in the evaporation process. This means that there is no standing water left in the humidifier.

“This makes it an ideal humidifier for environmentally conscientious consumers and septic system owners,” said Bruce Darkow, Aprilaire product manager. “In order to prolong the life of a septic system, it is recommended that homeowners decrease the amount of waste water that drains into it.”

The Model 400 Automatic Humidifier also adjusts the relative humidity in the home by responding to outdoor temperature changes more than 86,000 times per day, the company said.

Nortec (Ogdensburg, N.Y.), a manufacturer of commercial humidification products, introduced a product that will cross over into the residential market. The company introduced the Resdelux home humidifier, which uses electronic technology to deliver up to 8 pounds per hour of steam humidification, the company said.

According to Nortec, consumers can set the relative humidity level, and an electronic controller will automatically maintain that level. Another highlight of the product is a disposable plastic cylinder, which will collect impurities and minerals in the water. A light on the unit indicates when the cylinder needs to be replaced.

Home dehumidification was also a focus at the AHR Expo. DryKor Ltd. (Fayetteville, Ga.) debuted its new DryKor Residential Comfort Conditioner (RCC-60). The company said the product is ideal for hot, humid climates, and the system can be used in private homes, apartments, condominiums, and seaside properties. The RCC-60 is a stand-alone, self-controlled unit that dries and cools or dries and heats with optimal temperature control, according to the company. The product is a whole-home dehumidification system also offers cooling and heating, filtration, and disinfection.

Dri-Steem's Steam-to-Steam (STS) humidifier has been completely redesigned for easier maintenance.

Commercial Humidification

Nortec also introduced several new products and components for commercial applications. The company’s complete line of Livesteam equipment was on display in Chicago, as well as several other humidification products. According to Nortec, the Livesteam steam injection humidifiers deliver humidity from a facility’s steam boiler.

New products from Nortec included the Nortec SAM-e Short Absorption Manifold. According to the company, the product is ideal for humidification applications where the shortest possible absorption distance is required. The manifold can disperse controlled steam uniformly into the airstream, the company said. The steam is discharged from both sides of the distributor pipe perpendicular to the air stream using stainless steel nozzles. The SAM-e is offered for both atmospheric and pressure steam.

Also new from Nortec is a humidification engineering and load sizing program. The new software package, called H.E.L.P., is designed to guide the user through detailed engineering calculations in order to construct and implement humidification systems.

Herrmidifier (Sanford, N.C.), a division of Fedders Corporation, introduced a new electric-to-steam humidifier that the company said is ideal for several light commercial applications, including cleanrooms and office spaces.

The Herrmersion™-RE Self-Generating Electric Resistance Humidifier was on display at the show. According to Herrmidifier, the new product is beneficial because it can supply humidity to reduce static electricity in manufacturing facilities and cleanrooms.

The humidifier is available in two compact cabinet sizes and can also work with any type of water. Herrmidifier said that the device can work with its Herrican steam distribution system, which is designed to provide better dispersion in air-handling units and ducted systems.

Other highlights include an advanced microprocessor for precision control and an SSR modulating heater element for humidification output demands.

Dri-Steem (Minneapolis) used this year’s expo to introduce the redesigned Vaporstream electric humidifier and its STS Steam-to-Steam humidifier.

The Vaporstream will now be equipped with the Vapor-Logic3. According to Dri-Steem, the new component will add several new capabilities, including a temperature sensor that enables the controller to hold water at a preset temperature, data reports to monitor performance, and a real-time clock that allows for time-stamped alarm tracking.

Upgrades to the Steam-to-Steam humidifier include an improved maintenance access. The top cover can now be removed without the need for disconnecting a vapor hose or dispersion piping. Also, the new side cleanout plate will allow direct access to the heat exchanger for inspection and cleaning. Dri-Steem said that the STS can also be ordered with an optional Vapor-Logic3 controller.

The Integrated Custom Air Handler (ICA) incorporates double-wall construction with a no-through metal design.

Dehumidification

Munters (Amesbury, Mass.) introduced two new systems for dehumidification. The company introduced its new Humidity Control Unit (HCU). The company stated that the HCU is important because it has been designed to treat 100 percent makeup air and works in conjunction with existing air-handling units, as well as stand-alone systems.

All of the energy required for the operation of the HCU’s desiccant dehumidifier is recycled from cooling components. According to Munters, when there is a call for cooling only, the HCU helps lower energy costs by providing cooling at a higher coefficient of performance than the existing air conditioning system.

Munters also displayed its Integrated Custom Air Handler (ICA). The ICA incorporates double-wall construction with a no-through metal design either 2 or 4 inches thick. The no-through metal design is maintained on all surfaces, including the base. Munters believes that the ICA is beneficial for pharmaceutical and food process manufacturing applications.

In addition to its new residential dehumidification system, DryKor also introduced a commercial dehumidification system called the DryKor O.A.S.I.S.® 100% Outside Air Supply — Integrated System.

Scott Haynes, national sales and marketing manager for Munters, provides information about the company's new product offerings.
The system is a single module multi-functional rooftop package. DryKor said that the system treats up to 100 percent fresh air and can save 60 percent on energy savings. The O.A.S.I.S. can provide dehumidification, cooling, heating, and active and passive air filtration. According to the company, the system also disinfects against microorganisms and bacteria.

A dehumidification system for commercial and industrial applications has been made available from Stulz Air Technology Systems Inc. (Frederick, Md.). The DryHandler Plus desiccant dehumidification system is a self-contained defined product and is available in 15 incremental sizes with optional pre- and post-cooling modules. Stulz said that the desiccant technology removes water directly from the air. The industrial design offers precision humidity control and can improve indoor humidity levels, according to the company.

Dectron Inc. (Roswell, Ga.) introduced the SupervisAire® microprocessor-based monitor controller for the company’s Dry-O-Tron heat recovering indoor swimming pool dehumidifiers. The device is available in several models and can interface with automation protocols, including BACnet™, Modbus™, and LonWorks®.

Publication date: 02/24/2003