Only two contenders emerged with a win in The NEWS’ninth annual Dealer Design Awards’ HVAC Light Commercial Equipment category. It was a battle among products to see which would be deemed worthy of honors, but the AAON SB Series and the Lennox Energence® rooftop package fought hard and together climbed to the top of the Dealer Design podium with their entries receiving gold and silver, respectively.

Gold Winner

The AAON SB Series is a water-source/geothermal heat pump self-contained system that provides energy-efficient full- and part-load cooling and heating. Its compact footprint helps make it easy to install, and its large service access assists in easing ongoing maintenance. Available from 2-30 tons, the high-performance SB Series includes 10 to 100 percent variable-capacity scroll compressors, variable-speed electronically commutated motor (ECM), direct-drive backward curved plenum supply fans, and double-wall rigid polyurethane foam injected panel construction with lockable hinged service access doors.

“Overall it’s a nice rooftop unit,” said one of the judging panelists. “The product has some very good features.”

Service doors with stainless steel hinges and lockable handles provide access to the complete unit, including fans, filters, coils, compressors, coaxial refrigerant-to-water heat exchangers, and control components. The compressors, controls, and refrigerant-to-water heater exchangers are contained within a single compartment isolated from the airstream for ease of service. Direct-drive backward curved plenum fans have no belt to maintain.

Corrosion-resistant stainless steel drain pans and double-wall construction make the unit easily cleanable. Included within the service compartment are the installation, operation and maintenance manual; laminated unit-specific color-coded wiring diagram, which matches the color-coded wiring; and factory run test report.

According to the company, the AAON SB Series is ideal for applications that require precise energy-efficient cooling and heating, without sacrificing serviceability.

Silver Winner

Lennox Industries Inc.’s Energence® 7.5- to 25-ton packaged rooftop unit product line “appears to be a good step up in rooftop units,” said one of the contractor judges.

According to the company, the product combines ultra-efficient performance with the intelligent Prodigy® control system to achieve a low total cost of ownership. Designed to help buildings qualify for LEED® points, the Energy Star® qualified Energence rooftop unit is rated up to 12.5 EER and 14.5 IEER. New Energence models with MSAV® supply fan technology allow units to lower airflow for a dramatic reduction of energy in multiple modes of operation — including part-load cooling, heating, ventilation, and free-cooling.

Energence units were designed to reduce start-up issues by up to 60 percent using the Prodigy control system’s guided setup and patent-pending SmartWire™ system. The guided setup walks the technician step by step through the critical parameters required for properly setting up a unit for operation. The SmartWire system has a wiring color scheme standardized across all Energence products, and features color-coded and keyed field connections to help prevent miswiring and simplify installation of field sensors or thermostats. Each connection is also labeled for faster troubleshooting and servicing. The intuitive, easy-to-use pushbutton navigation and display on the Prodigy unit controller provide a guided menu setup to reduce the complexity of start-up and commissioning of rooftop units.

Sidebar: 2012 Honorees — Light Commercial Equipment

Gold Winner
Manufacturer: AAON
Product: SB Series

Silver Winner
Manufacturer: Lennox Industries Inc.
Product: Energence® Rooftop Unit

Publication date: 7/9/2012