CHICAGO — The International Exposition Co. (IEC) announced the winning companies of the 2018 Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) Innovation Awards, and their products are being featured in Chicago. One of the winning products listed below will be named 2018 AHR Expo Product of the Year at an awards ceremony held during the show.

The annual awards competition honors the most inventive and original products, systems, and technologies showcased at each year’s AHR Expo across 10 categories. Winners were selected by a panel of third-party ASHRAE members, who evaluated all award entries based on innovative design, creativity, application, value, and market impact.

“Each year, our winners set the bar higher for innovation in HVACR, and this year is no exception,” said Clay Stevens, president of IEC, the producers of the AHR Expo. “We congratulate each of these leaders from across the industry and look forward to seeing their inventive solutions in action at the 2018 AHR Expo.”


Building Automation:


Setra Systems Inc.

Setra FLEX™ is a high-performing, flexible room monitor and controller that can be used to ensure safe and energy-efficient indoor environmental and ventilation control conditions for operating rooms, isolation rooms, bio-safety laboratories, clean rooms, and all pressurized critical spaces. It provides a flexible room control and monitoring solution in a pre-configured, package. Some of its features include:

  • Intuitive display that can be operated with medical gloves;
  • Optional onboard or external room pressure sensor that provides flexibility to locate the sensor where it is most convenient for recalibration;
  • Control for three rooms, using onboard logic, or network control via read/write BACnet objects;
  • Two control and monitoring sets, which enable energy savings when the room is not in use; and
  • Full monitoring and control remotely over BACnet/IP and BACnet MS/TP, with 479 objects.

“For the end-user, Setra FLEX is easy and intuitive to use because the display and touch screen were designed with feedback and usability studies from dozens of health care and laboratory professionals,” said Michael Soper, senior segment manager, Setra Systems Inc. “For the building network integrator, everything that can be done via the touch screen display can also be done over the network. Complete access to read/write BACnet objects means full flexibility to report on any room condition that can be monitored and override control parameters when necessary.”

For installing contractors, there is a high degree of flexibility to get the job done fast and on time, which is facilitated by using features like onboard or external sensors, sensors located in areas for easy recalibration, USB configuration cloning, and expanded input/output for more complex application scenarios, said Soper.

Copeland Scroll



The Copeland Scroll™ two-stage compressor is optimized for mid-tier comfort and efficiency rebates with improved full- and part-load performance up to 5 percent. Two-stage compression technology provides better temperature and humidity control for a comfort difference that can be felt. This compressor enables contractors to provide the comfort customers want at an affordable price, according to the company.

Every product and innovation Emerson introduces is designed to create comfortable environments, said Brandy Powell, vice president and general manager of the residential air conditioning group, commercial and residential solutions, Emerson.

“The Copeland Scroll two-stage compressor enables enhanced comfort in a partial replacement scenario whereas, currently, a full system replacement is required to enable this level of comfort,” she said. “For homeowners who are caught in the middle between premium comfort and base model efficiency, this compressor provides a very affordable solution. Contractors are now able to install a modulating two-stage system without having to replace a perfectly good indoor unit.”

The two-stage compressor is compatible with Emerson’s CoreSense™ technology, which provides the contractor the opportunity to monitor and interpret compressor and system information and deliver advanced protection, diagnostics, and communications to enhance the performance and reliability of the compressor.

The Copeland Scroll two-stage compressor is designed to operate at 65 percent part-load capacity, addressing comfort and efficiency needs in both residential and commercial applications, said Shane Angle, vice president and general manager for the commercial air conditioning group, commercial and residential solutions, Emerson.

“Initially launched for 1- to 5-ton applications, these compressors provide OEMs a best applied cost solution in 15- to 16- SEER applications to more easily meet CEE [Consortium for Energy Efficiency] tiers while also providing additional comfort benefits, such as better humidity and temperature control for homeowners,” he said.

Danfoss Turbocor

Green Building:


The new Turbocor® TTH/TGH high-lift compressors feature oil-free, variable-speed, magnetic bearing operation for optimal full- and part-load efficiency, low vibration and sound, a small footprint, and reduced maintenance. A unique feature of this compressor is its expanded operating map and ability to operate at high lift conditions for all air-cooled chiller applications around the world, as well as heat recovery chillers and water-to-water heat pumps.

The compressor’s ability to operate at high lift allows OEMs and end users to benefit from significant installation, operating, and maintenance cost savings by using air-cooled chillers instead of water-cooled chillers, said Jose Alvares, vice president of sales and marketing, Danfoss Turbocor Compressors.

“Using air-cooled chillers eliminates the need for cooling towers and their associated maintenance,” he said. “In addition, waste heat from the condenser can be used to pre-heat water to a boiler when using heat recovery or water-water heat pump applications, resulting in lower utility costs.”

This new compressor is unique in that it is not a positive displacement type but a centrifugal compressor that uses oil-free, magnetic bearing technology to deliver full- and part-load efficiency and low sound. In addition, the compressor’s oil-free technology ensures performance does not degrade over the life of the chiller and reduces complexity by eliminating costly oil management systems.

Installing and servicing contractors will appreciate the compressor’s lightweight construction, which reduces the overall weight of the chiller, as well as its oil-free technology, which minimizes the amount of maintenance, said Alvares.

“In addition, the TTH/TGH high-lift compressors comply with evolving refrigerant regulations through available refrigerant options, such as ultra-low-GWP [global warming potential] HFO-1234ze [hydrofluroolefin-1234ze] and low-GWP R-513A with an A1 non-flammable safety rating.”

Calefactio One



The ONE® brings together an expansion tank, air separator, and dirt separator in one device to  save time and money on installation. It also reduces leak possibilities because the tank is hooked up to the system by two national pipe thread (NPT) couplings, so it only has two adaptors instead of the usual seven.

At the center of The ONE tank is an air, solid, and sludge separator made of highly resistant brass, which offers a high efficiency rate.

Because of its large diameter, The ONE quickly reduces fluid velocity, resulting in effective microbubbles, solids, and sludge removal. Designed for use in any hydronic residential and small commercial application, The ONE is often used in new installations, although it can be easily retrofitted with piping modifications.

“In addition to being easy to use, The ONE saves space, which is important, because we all know that mechanical rooms are often challenging on that end,” said Jean Pichette, engineering director, Calefactio. “It also has an integrated drain valve to facilitate maintenance, plus it is provided with an optional tee for filling the system or to connect the hot water supply.”

Spartan Legionella Detection System

Indoor Air Quality:

Spartan Bioscience

The Spartan Legionella Detection System is designed to prevent Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks in buildings by detecting and quantifying Legionella bacteria in water samples in 45 minutes.

The system consists of a coffee-cup-sized DNA analyzer called the Spartan Cube® and a single-use disposable test cartridge. Building operators can use the system to test their cooling towers on-site to monitor and prevent Legionella outbreaks.

Currently, facilities managers who perform regular bacterial culture testing for Legionella ship water samples to a central lab, which takes 10-14 days to process. This turnaround time is too slow because Legionella can reach outbreak levels in as few as seven days, and the culture test method may be inaccurate, said Paul Lem, CEO and founder, Spartan Bioscience.

“Unlike culture testing, the Spartan Legionella Detection System has no shipping delay and accurate results are available in 45 minutes,” he said. “With widespread testing, there is the potential to basically eradicate Legionnaires’ disease. We believe this is the biggest breakthrough against Legionnaires’ disease since the discovery of the disease 40 years ago.”

The Spartan Legionella Detection System is portable and can be used wherever building operators and HVAC specialists want to test for Legionella. The system is plug-and-play with no installation required, and it can be used without specialized training.

recirculation system




AquaMotion Inc.

The Aqua-Flash™ is a new technology recirculation system that delivers hot water comfort while saving approximately 15,000 gallons of water per year for a family of five.

With its built-in timer, the system is calibrated to deliver hot water when programmed, which saves energy.

The Flash valve can be installed under the sink without power requirement in 10 minutes, saving on labor. Suitable for residential and commercial applications, it can be used with both hot water tanks and tankless systems.

Aqua-Flash is installed under the sink that is located farthest from the hot water heater. When it senses the water drops below a specified temperature, the pump starts to flush the existing contents of the hot water line into the cold water line for return to be reheated. At the same time, it starts filling the hot water supply line with water that is heated to the proper temperature. A user-set timer determines when the system should be operational, so it does not turn on when there is no call for water.

“This combination of waste water elimination and instant hot water availability when it is in demand are what makes the AquaFlash system a device that not only provides convenience but also an economic return to the homeowner,” said Hans L. Kuster, president and owner, AquaMotion Inc.

“Contractors love the design because they can install it quickly, it is competitively priced, and it comes with a 36-month limited warranty,” he added.

Opteon™ XP44 (R-452A) refrigerant





Opteon™ XP44 (R-452A) refrigerant offers a solution to OEMs, end users, and contractors who are looking for a direct replacement for R-404A or R-507 with lower global warming potential (GWP) that does not require discharge temperature mitigation in new or retrofit applications. Opteon XP44 has a near-identical match to the mass flow rate of R-404A, eliminating the need for a thermal expansion valve (TXV) or powerhead replacement or redesign without sacrificing performance or reliability, according to the company.

“Opteon XP44 provides a unique solution to OEMs and end users, allowing them to reduce their GWP by about 50 percent while matching performance and discharge temperature when compared to R-404A and R-507,” said Stefanie Kopchick, North American marketing manager, Chemours Refrigerants. “Discharge temperature match, especially at low temperature conditions, has been highlighted by OEMs as a key reliability consideration for hermetic compressors and is critical for applications like transport refrigeration where condensers operate at more extreme conditions and temperatures.”

Opteon XP44 was designed for use in low- and medium-temperature commercial refrigeration applications as well as transport refrigeration. It can be used in both new systems and in the retrofit of existing equipment that has been designed for R-404A or R-507 with minimal system changes.

While there are several refrigerants on the market that can replace R-404A or R-507, some are flammable and require complete system re-design and replacement, said Kopchick.

“Other refrigerants, such as Opteon XP40 (R-449A), provide end users with non-flammable retrofit or new equipment solutions, yet they operate with somewhat higher discharge temperatures and lower mass flow rates,” she said. “For applications that require a closer match of these properties, Opteon XP44 provides the solution.”

Motor Efficiency Calculator


Regal Beloit America inc.

The Browning®  Toolbox Technician™ Motor Efficiency Calculator is a mobile app that allows users to identify efficiency differences between different generations of integral horsepower electric motors. This app not only identifies the potential efficiency gain, it allows users to tailor the motor usage parameters to mirror their application or overall facility usage, so a projected return on investment (ROI) can be displayed.

“The tool is ideal for a building owner or a facility manager to use as an audit tool,” said Don Sullivan, director of marketing, Regal Beloit America Inc. “About 98 percent of the total cost of ownership in a motor’s lifetime (motor cost, electricity, and maintenance) will be the electrical energy it takes to operate it. That means only about 2-3 percent of all lifetime cost is the motor purchase. With this app, facility managers or building owners can easily identify and project ROI. Parameters, such as hours per day of operation, number of units, and days of operation per week, are adjustable within the tool to help refine projections.”

Contractors and engineers are typically focused on operation, preventive maintenance, and prompt replacement when a motor fails, while facility managers and building owners are constantly looking for new ways to lower electrical consumption and stretch valuable budget dollars.

“Identifying motor upgrade opportunities is very easily done with this application, and it provides contractors and engineers the information they need to make recommendations to those responsible for facility or organizational energy usage,” said Sullivan.

T6-1000 and T6-600 electrical testers

Tools and Instruments:

Fluke Corp.

The T6-1000 and T6-600 electrical testers with FieldSense technology make troubleshooting safer and more efficient by allowing electricians to take simultaneous voltage and current measurements — not just detection — without test leads. The T6 testers make it possible to take reliable true-root mean square (rms) measurements in crowded junction boxes or along conductors with inaccessible end points, saving time and minimizing potential errors.

With FieldSense technology, T6 testers generate a reference electrical signal, which is carried to Earth ground. Most often, this is accomplished by capacitive coupling through the user. When the open fork FieldSense detector is placed around a conductor carrying AC voltage, the electromagnetic field created by that voltage interacts with the reference signal. The T6 tester then calculates the AC voltage in the conductor. The 17.8 mm open fork allows measurements to be made up to 200A on 4/0 wires (120 mm2).

“This is a novel approach developed by Fluke engineers, designed to make the user’s job safer, faster, and more efficient,” said Luis Silva, business unit manager of testers/accessories, Fluke Corp. “The ability of the T6 electrical testers to safely, simply, and accurately measure AC voltage without test leads is going to revolutionize how electricians measure voltage in a safer manner.”

FieldSense technology allows voltage measurements to be made anywhere along the wire, which reduces risk of arc flash. In addition, there is no need to open panel covers or remove wire nuts to get access to a measurement point — simply slide the open fork over a single conductor.

“With the T6-1000 tester, technicians can measure voltage and current simultaneously, which gives more insight,” said Silva.

Triatek fume hood



The Stable Vortex® II fume hood is a dynamic, low-flow, high-performance fume hood that protects chemists from harmful dusts and vapors during experiments. It delivers a safe environment for the user while providing substantial energy savings, according to the company. The Stable Vortex II passes the ASHRAE 110 test as manufactured, installed, and used because the design accounts for how people actually use fume hoods.

The fume hood is based on the principle that efficient and stable hood operation is determined by controlling the airflow pattern through the hood and not by the entry velocity of the air in the sash opening.

It is named for the vortex that operates in the upper chamber of the hood and prevents chemicals from recirculating in users’ breathing space.   

Publication date: 1/8/2017

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