Frank Lloyd Wright. I. M. Pei. Louis Henry Sullivan. Buckminster Fuller. These names are familiar to those interested in architecture, and some, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, may be recognizable to those who have no interest in architecture whatsoever. And their buildings such as the glass pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre (by I. M. Pei) are sometimes even more well-known than the architect who designed them.

In contrast, the HVAC equipment installed and serviced in commercial buildings is often hidden away, where the installers and service technicians are among the few who see the units. However, they are not the only ones who experience the equipments’ work, whether or not the vast majority of people think of the units at all.

Realizing the importance of the function of HVAC equipment in making people comfortable in their daily lives,The NEWShonors these units in the HVAC Commercial Equipment category of the fourth annual Dealer Design Awards.

The VRV-WII by Daikin AC (Americas) Inc. has reached the pinnacle of this category with a gold award, and the Motivair Corp. MLC-FC Chillers with Integrated Free-Cooling also achieved high honors by placing in the silver spot.

GOLD: Daikin AC (Amerias) Inc.’s VRV-WII is an individual air conditioning system that utilizes water as a heat source.


Daikin AC (Americas) Inc.’s VRV-WII is an individual air conditioning system that utilizes water as a heat source. The unit connects to the company’s VRV indoor units, which are supplied with standard washable filters, with optional high-efficiency calorimeter filters and integration to outside air for improved IAQ.

The VRV-WII is supported by a full range of indoor units comprising four-way cassettes, ceiling suspended, built-in ducted, wall-mounted, floor-standing, and concealed floor-standing models.

The system is designed for use in new build commercial projects where no roof or external space is available for outdoor condensing units or where stringent noise restrictions apply. It can also be fitted to an existing chilled-water/cooling tower circuit during refurbishment operations.

The system layout allows operation independent of the ambient condition. Because the system is modular, it makes it easier to install because it can be done so in stages and can be brought into the building via standard elevators. It weighs 300 pounds and stands less than 40 inches high.

The unit’s size caused one judge to comment that it “appears to provide a useful solution to space-restricted environments.”

Simple, two-wire nonshielded transmission links condensing unit(s) to multiple indoor units via a single two core wire. The VRV-WII provides an auto address setting function and check function that detects connection errors in wiring and piping for easier installation. The water piping goes only to the VRV-WII unit, with refrigerant piping run in occupied spaces.

The use of power connection outlets on the side and front of the condensing unit simplifies installation and maintenance.

The unified condensing unit allows simplified application for heat pump or simultaneous heating and cooling (heat recovery) applications.

The VRV-WII is available in 5, 6, 7, 12, 14, 18, and 21 tons.

“This is a good product for the retrofit market. I see it being used in old apartment conversions. The installation and maintenance appears easy. It has good application and a good range of tonnages,” remarked another judge.

Other judges liked the product, too. One judge said, “This seems like a great product to really give individualized temperature control to a commercial building while being very energy efficient. There are a lot of pipes and wires to run, but the reward outweighs the effort.”

Another judge remarked that the “product looks solid.”

One judge declared, “It’s an excellent product,” which pretty much briefly summed up the judges’ thoughts.

SILVER: The Motivair Corp. MLC-FC Chillers with integrated free-cooling offer a totally packaged approach to air-cooled chillers for free-cooling applications.


The Motivair Corp. MLC-FC Chillers with Integrated Free-Cooling offer a totally packaged approach to air-cooled chillers for free-cooling applications.

Screw compressors in two independent, air-cooled circuits provide the mechanical refrigeration. Also included in the same single, prepiped and prewired package are the free-cooling coils, valves, and controls, as well as optional storage tank and pump. This eliminates the need to supply separate fluid coolers, controls, valves, pump, and tank.

A built-in PLC is programmed to take maximum advantage of outside ambient temperature by automatically diverting the re-turn chilled-water/glycol solution through the free-cooling coils. It continuously monitors the outside ambient, return chilled water temperature, and the required chilled water supply temperature. The controller automatically directs the return chilled water through the economizer coils, via a motorized three-way valve, as soon as the ambient is cold enough to provide any useful free cooling.

The refrigeration compressors run less as the free cooling effect increases, until eventually they are no longer required and remain in the standby mode. At this time, full cooling capacity is provided by condenser fan power alone.

The PLC features remote communication via RS485 to any Modbus platform, or via Ethernet to any BACnet or LonWorks system, for easy remote monitoring and system diagnostics. Compressor running hours are automatically logged by the PLC, so the energy savings are available for inspection or verification at any time.

Fifty percent free cooling is achieved when the outside ambient is 10°F below the chilled-water set point, while 100 percent free cooling is achieved at 20° below the set point.

Depending on the unit, the dimensions of the units range from 79 (width) by 158 (length) by 85 (height) inches to 79 (width) by 354 (length) by 85 (height) inches. The equipment is available in 70-240 ton sizes.

Struck by several aspects of the chiller, one judge stated, “It’s great that this product has made it more convenient to take advantage of free cooling in a chiller application. The equipment setup seems to be intuitive. The equipment is not overly large, either.”

Other judges also liked the chiller. One said it is “good equipment for select applications.”

Another referred to it as an “excellent product. It has many cost advantages to the contractor and end user. It has good use of existing technology with intelligent repackaging.”


Daikin AC (Americas) Inc.

Motivair Corp.
MLC-FC Chillers with Integrated Free-Cooling

Publication date:07/16/2007