Aaon Heating and Cooling Products took home the gold award in the 2015 Dealer Design Awards Ventilation Products category for its Low Leakage Damper. The damper is factory engineered and installed in Aaon air-handling units and packaged rooftop unit equipment. Low leakage dampers save energy by controlling ventilation air and reducing ambient air leakage through the HVAC equipment into the building. Aaon air-handling units are also available with the Aaon Low Leakage Damper for chilled water or DX air-handling unit applications.
Product development began about three years ago, when Aaon decided it would manufacture its own damper instead of contracting the work out to a damper manufacturer, according to Stanley Wilkins, marketing engineer, Aaon. The manufacturer received contractor feedback throughout the design process, primarily from its west coast customers because of the regulations in California.
The unit is Air Movement and Control Association Intl. Inc. (AMCA) Class 2 certified up to 5 inches water gauge (wg) of static pressure at standard air density. AMCA certification requires the assembly pass testing requirements at an AMCA test facility or AMCA-sanctioned test facility. The maximum allowable leakage for Class 2 certification is 10 cfm per square foot at 1-inch wg. The damper meets California’s Title 24 damper air-leakage requirement.
“The biggest advantage of this product is, when we compare it to an uncertified damper, we’re able to save about $3,000 in annual cooling costs just by the nature of using this damper without changing anything else about the system,” Wilkins said.
Ric Furness, owner, All Florida Mechanical Services Inc., Wesley Chapel, Florida, said he likes that the new product has a better seal. “They used to have the soft seals, and they would fall out. Now, they have better seals on everything so you don’t get any cross contamination. The quality is much improved — it’s a much better damper. Seals are everything in air conditioning.”
“The greatest thing about it is, because of the way they changed the damper sibling around it, it doesn’t stick as often as it used to,” said Ed Phillips, service manager, Adams Companies Inc., Mooresville, North Carolina. “It’s easier to maintain, functionality lasts longer, and it seals extremely well.”
Aaon said it has plans to further expand the product. This year, the company has plans to roll out the Low Leakage Damper as a standard feature on all of its air-handling equipment. Currently, it’s only available on 6- to 140-ton packaged rooftop equipment.
“We’re expanding that offering,” Wilkins said. “Each product line will have its own subtle differences based on the nature of the application.”
According to Wilkins, the expansion should be complete by the end of the third quarter this year.
Field Controls LLC received the silver award for its Enthalpy Sensor. The E-Sensor interfaces with the Healthy Home System Control Plus. As the brain of the Healthy Home System, it works independently or in concert to monitor environmental changes, providing or inhibiting ventilation, as needed. As the product prevents outdoor air from being pulled into the home based on humidity and/or temperature. The E-Sensor and HHSC+ can also be utilized for providing makeup air for mechanical exhaust devices within the home. The system can be triggered on demand or automatically by a variety of other monitoring devices. Additionally, the E-Sensor can be customized to satisfy the needs of the home and homeowner.
Field Controls began having conversations about ventilation approximately 10 years ago. Actual product development began in June 2013. “Depending on what climate you live in, you may have an intermittent temperature or humidity problem,” said Tim Begoske, Midwest regional sales manager, Field Controls. “So, we started determining how we were going to address this. We came up with E-Sensor, which controls low temperature, high temperature, and dew point temperature.”
According to Begoske, the product was developed to meet contractor demand.
“Regional sales managers across the U.S., including myself, would get questions or concerns from the mechanical contractors in different climate zones asking how to deal with cold temperatures, high temperatures, and/or humidity. And there are certain conditions where we may not want to ventilate based on adverse conditions existing outdoors. It was coming directly from the contractors’ voices.”
Begoske said Field Controls is constantly innovating to keep up with the changes in the marketplace. “We do our best to respond to the customers’ needs. Buildings are becoming tighter and tighter. We must manage the air in the building, keeping it fresh, clean, and pure for comfort, health, and efficiency.”
Taking bronze is the Mixed Flow Fan by Greenheck. In development for more than two years, the Model EQB is designed to efficiently exhaust, supply, or recirculate general clean air in a building. The fan utilizes a patent pending octagonal housing, and the compact, yet rugged design maximizes air performance and reducing energy usage and lowering sound levels, thanks to the aluminum mixed flow wheel.
The octagonal housing is manufactured from formed galvanized steel panels coupled with a heavy-gauge steel drive frame that provides exceptional strength and durability. New maintenance features include standard external lube lines, universal mounting supports, field-rotatable housing, and removable duct collars that allow for easy maintenance and installation.
The Mixed Flow Fan is recommended for indoor, commercial, and clean-air applications where quiet, economical operation is desired. Typical installations include office buildings, educational facilities, libraries, hospitals, concert halls, and parking garages.
Both contractor demand for a more efficient product and company innovation drove the product’s creation, according to Greenheck reps. The result is a product that is produced more efficiently while reducing cost for both the company and its customers. Contractor feedback was also instrumental in the design and function of the Mixed Flow Fan. Many of the key differentiating features were direct requests or suggestions from contractors.
Greenheck said it plans to further innovate and enhance the product by expanding its size and accessory offerings as well as developing a direct-driven version with energy-efficient motor technology.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE WINNERS
Aaon Heating and Cooling Products
Aaon Low Leakage Damper
Field Controls LLC
Greenheck Fan Corp.
Mixed Flow Fan
Publication date: 7/20/2015