New technology has had a significant impact on the zoning market in the last five years. This roundup provides a sampling of the latest products and systems available from industry suppliers to assist contractors in zoning system design, installation, and service.

Alan Manufacturing
Alan Manufacturing offers zone control dampers with wireless controls attached at the factory. The dampers come complete with a transformer 120 to 24 V. The featured damper has a power-open/power-close motor and an indicator light that glows green when the damper is open and red when the damper is closed. The zone control dampers also come with the Wi-Stat wireless thermostat, which is available in programmable or nonprogrammable versions. Other available mounted controls are from Jackson Systems. These controls can be combined with the PIRO-Sensing and occupancy controller.

Aprilaire enables residential contractors to offer add-on zoning to their customers with a complete line of redesigned slip-in dampers for hard pipe installations. The new dampers feature fail-safe design (power-close/spring-open), durable and reliable Flex-Link™ technology, a simple two-wire connection, a visible orange damper position indicator, and a five-year warranty. The slip-in dampers complement the company’s line of zone panels, dampers, and thermostats.

Arzel Zoning Technology
Arzel Zoning Technology has introduced a nonproprietary residential and light commercial geothermal zoning system called GTPro. It provides additional flexibility with three staging options: time, temperature and number of zones calling. The GTPro analyzes indoor and outdoor air temperatures and monitors loop temperature and multipoint thermostat data to maximize service efficiency, operational control, and comfort. A humidity control allows contractors to make adjustments for different seasons or climates. The GTPro also enables contractors to have multiple configurations on auxiliary relays for complete application customization.

Can2Go offers the DA2, a proportional damper/valve actuator based on the Belimo MP-Bus platform. The programmable damper actuator can communicate wirelessly with Can2Go controllers using ZigBee. Wireless communication reduces wiring and downtime costs on deployment. According to the company, it is ideal for HVAC applications such as retrofitting water-based central heating systems, geothermal systems, chillers and cooling towers, chilled beams and ceilings, water-source heat pumps, and radiant floors or chilled slabs.

Comfort Products Inc.
Comfort Products Inc. offers the Ecojay SmartZone, which simplifies zoning installation and troubleshooting with time-saving, screw-less wiring; a full-function, color-coded display; and LEDs on all wiring terminals. Contractors can view the status of all thermostats, equipment, and dampers in a glance without a flashlight or multimeter. SmartZone is configurable for up to eight zones for single or multi-stage equipment, including gas/electric, heat pump, and dual fuel. Adjustable time and temp staging/protection limit settings and fresh air control provide additional flexibility to meet homeowner needs.

Duro Dyne Corp.
The RED4 zoning panel from Duro Dyne is a configurable microprocessor-based control panel. It is suitable for use with gas/electric, oil, electric, conventional, and dual-fuel heat pumps with two stages of cooling. Dip switches on the panel allow the contractor to program it to operate in virtually any application. The RED4 panel is protected by a built-in circuit breaker and is compatible with most thermostats on the market. It can also be programmed for fresh air intake in accordance with local codes.

Emerson Climate Technologies
The Emerson® Blue™ Easy Set™ thermostat features easy-to-use preset buttons for “home,” “sleep,” and “away” — making it an ideal zoning control, according to the company. Available in single-stage and heat pump models, Easy Set thermostats offer homeowners temperature on demand and the ability to enjoy all the comfort that zoning offers by using a thermostat that allows them to quickly switch between favorite settings.

EnTouch Controls
EnTouch Controls designed its energy management system (EMS) specifically for small business energy management. The system allows facility energy monitoring for all main and branch circuits, synchronized HVAC control that maximizes comfort while minimizing waste, and remote monitoring that includes automated performance and maintenance issue alerting. Its simple installation, full-color touch screen interface, and remote web browser access make it suitable for facilities between 2,000 and 20,000 square feet.

EWC Controls
The Ultra-Talk (UT-3000) zone control system provides intelligent control of a communicating HVAC system or 24-V legacy HVAC system at a maximum of three zones using 24-V motorized dampers and any off-the-shelf 24-V thermostat or compatible communicating thermostat. According to the manufacturer, the UT-3000 is 100 percent plug-and-play when connected to a communicating HVAC system and network thermostats. It includes features such as proportional operation, automatic equipment recognition, dual-fuel functions, and precise control of supply-air target and limit setpoints.

The Honeywell TrueZone offers contractors zoning installation simplicity and convenience by eliminating the need to set manual dip switches. According to the company, it also helps eliminate callbacks by ensuring the system is operating properly before the installer leaves the jobsite. TrueZone can be enabled with a wireless protocol specifically designed for the HVAC industry — RedLink™ wireless comfort systems. Honeywell also offers the Honeywell Total Connect Comfort app, allowing users to remotely monitor and manage their zoned heating and cooling system from an iPhone, iPad, or Android device.

Jackson Systems
According to Jackson Systems, its Green Zone™ control panels are reliable, versatile, and simple to install. The Z-200 panel provides customers with improved temperature control and energy savings at an affordable price. More zones, features, and flexibility are available in the Z-300 series. It can handle single-stage, multi-stage, heat pump, and dual-fuel applications. The Z-600 six-zone panel offers more features and maximum application flexibility, expanding up to 12 zones.

Taco has added chilled water applications to its energy-saving Zone Sentry zone valve. The plastic components of the valve’s actuator are corrosion-proof. The board is sealed, eliminating any chance of the electronic portion of the valve coming in contact with moisture. The Zone Sentry’s patented technology uses a microcircuit-based logic to control a gear-driven electronically-actuated ball valve to control fluid flow. According to Taco, the advanced design uses up to 93 percent less energy. The flexible configuration of actuator and valve makes for simple, trouble-free installations. The Zone Sentry is available in two-way normally open or normally closed, and three-way diverting options.

The new Digi-Zone™ panel (Model MDP3) controls up to three zones and is expandable up to 103 zones with additional MDZA two zone adder panels. The MDP3’s LCD digital display provides easy system configuration and settings. The digital display replaces the dip switches and dials settings for temperature and timing, making for more precise control. According to the manufacturer, the MDP3 can control virtually any single-stage, multi-stage, heat pump, and dual-fuel system. Used with Zonefirst’s exclusive plug-in damper motors, each zone can control up to 10 dampers and can be easily checked with the damper test button.

Publication date: 05/14/2012