The Magnitude® magnetic bearing centrifugal chillers from Daikin Applied not only reduce maintenance requirements and offer increased efficiencies, according to one Dealer Design Awards judge, but they also feature nearly nonexistent compressor vibration and top-tier customer support. These features, combined with outstanding customer support, helped the Magnitude come out on top as this year’s gold winner in the 2015 Dealer Design Awards’ HVAC Commercial Equipment category.

Lee Hodgkinson, project manager at Mann Engineering Ltd. in Toronto, said his business strives to help clients save energy and reduce costs, including maintenance costs. “As the frictionless, oil-free compressors and chillers were being developed, we were watching very closely, and we feel the Daikin chillers are best-in-class.”

The Magnitude frictionless magnetic bearing compressor was developed to improve performance and reliability while reducing service requirements compared to conventional centrifugal compressor designs. The unit has a single rotating component — the compressor shaft — levitated on a magnetic field. This cushion means the shaft does not contact any other part of the compressor while operating, which eliminates bearing-related wear and service as well as any requirement for lubrication. This cutting-edge magnetic bearing technology enables outstanding energy efficiency and reliable, long-life operation.

“The Daikin Magnitude magnetic bearing centrifugal chillers lead the industry in efficiency and total cost of ownership,” said Adam Meddaugh, director of centrifugal products, Daikin Applied. “Considering total life-long energy consumption and maintenance, the Magnitude centrifugal chillers offer lowest total cost of ownership machines for commercial refrigeration.”

Christopher L. Curtis, president, C-K Air Conditioning, Clifton, New Jersey, first heard about the Magnitude through D&B Engineering, Daikin’s local representative. “We get excellent support from [them], which dovetails nicely with our company goal to provide customers with superior service.”

For Curtis, the most appealing features of the Magnitude are “the energy efficiency, compact design, and ease of installation.” Meanwhile, the customer gets an energy-efficient, reliable product that stands apart from its competition.

“We’ve been able to provide customers with a great product and smart-start rebates,” he added.

Hodgkinson is very impressed with the chiller’s efficiency, which leads to reduced operating costs for his clients. But the support he receives from Daikin, he said, is unmatched.

“We’re continually impressed by the support the factory can supply,” Hodgkinson said. “A lot of manufacturers don’t give you a say or don’t have wiggle room, whereas, with Daikin, the factory can provide changes in design and adjustments to meet our needs even better. We would say to them, ‘We prefer a chiller with this configuration — what will it take?’ And, instead of shooting it down, they’ve been supportive, which has made the installations a lot faster and more cost-effective.”

In addition to providing great customer service, Daikin also relies “extensively” on contractor feedback when developing and designing chillers. “One of the key requirements of contractors and installers was to ensure the machine is as compact as possible and the simplest machine on the market to disassemble and reassemble,” Meddaugh said. “From the factory, the chillers can be delivered either fully disassembled, or ready to disassemble in the field, to meet the needs of the project.”

Hodgkinson also pointed out the Magnitude’s drastically reduced noise and vibration has helped his clients save money by not having to install vibration isolators. “I walked down to the chiller plant yesterday and put my hand on the compressor, and the compressors were running smoothly and quietly at 100 percent load. To be able to put your hand on a compressor and feel no vibration — that’s amazing.”

“The Gold Dealer Design Award recognizes Daikin’s commitment to improving equipment performance, serviceability, reliability, and design,” Meddaugh said. “Magnitude meets and exceeds our goals and expectations … which we find very gratifying.”


The SA 250 HTHV Direct Fired Heater from Cambridge Engineering Inc. is a commercial and industrial direct-fired heater that provides heating, ventilation, and destratification — all from one unit. This year’s silver winner is a 92 percent-efficient, 100 percent-outside-air, direct-fired heater that is an energy-efficient way to heat and ventilate a building with high bay ceilings. It allows HVAC contractors to provide customers an energy-efficient alternative to an energy-inefficient unit heater. The SA 250, through a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) study, saves at least 20 percent on natural gas heating costs.


Daikin Applied also takes the bronze with its RoofPak™ packaged rooftop system with modulating variable-speed inverter compressor technology. The RoofPak’s features include modulating variable-speed inverter compressor, variable frequency drive (VFD) fan motors, MicroTech® III controls/BAS integration, custom sizing flexibility, modulating hot gas reheat, energy recovery wheel, return or exhaust fans, 20:1 high-turndown gas burner, blow-through or draw-through coils, return or exhaust fans, and evaporative condensers. RoofPak units are an ideal rooftop solution for school, large office building, health care, hotel, casino, and data center applications, providing building owners with superior temperature and humidity control as well as exceptional energy savings.


Daikin Applied
Magnitude® Magnetic Bearing Centrifugal Chillers

Cambridge Engineering Inc.
SA 250 HTHV Direct-Fired Heater

Daikin Applied
RoofPak™ with Modulating Variable-speed Inverter Compressor Technology

Publication date: 7/20/2015

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