CHICAGO — Energy efficiency was the name of the game for Regal Beloit Corp., which debuted several new energy-efficient products, including the GlacAir™ motor and fan and Browning® Toolbox Technician motor efficiency calculator app, at the 2018 AHR Expo.


Regal’s GlacAir motor and fan utilizes an axial flux electronically commutated motor (ECM) design for higher-efficiency commercial refrigeration applications, such as display cases and reach-in coolers. It is designed to offer customers a compact, versatile, and quiet airflow solution while boosting efficiency and reducing their environmental footprint.

“The GlacAir motor and fan design presents a global solution for our customers by meeting UL, CE, and AtEx certifications while providing an opportunity to minimize inventory through a universal voltage feature that enables SKU reduction,” said Sylvia Feng, marketing leader, global commercial refrigeration, Regal. “It’s a very quiet, very low-vibration solution. The height of the fan pack is 60 mm, which allows customers more display space for sodas or produce in their racks or cases and minimizes any unutilized space.”

The product will launch in April of this year.

“We’re introducing this product under the Genteq brand, which represents 25 years of ECM technology expertise, and we’re combining that with the Morrill motors brand, which is the expert in commercial refrigeration,” Feng said. “This merge will deliver an exceptional innovation for the commercial refrigeration market.”


Regal added two new features to the 2018 AHR Expo Innovation Award-winning Browning Toolbox Technician, a free, app-based toolset for HVAC contractors and maintenance professionals that features calculation and conversion tools as well as installation and troubleshooting guides.

Enhancements include a mobile motor interchange that enables users to identify a Marathon® motor equivalent while in the field. This feature provides detailed information related to the Marathon Integral Horsepower Motor (IHP) equivalent for the majority of commercial HVAC motors, including efficiency levels, dimensions, line drawings, bearing type, mounting, and more. With this information, technicians can easily identify the most suitable interchange motor.

With the addition of the new retrofit audit sheet, the belt optimization process is significantly simplified by the ability to now fill out the standard form for a belt drive optimization electronically versus manually and submit that information to a Regal professional for evaluation and follow-up — all within the app. Regal can then provide an assessment with recommendations on selecting the optimal drive based on current design criteria to reduce the cost of components and increase belt drive efficiencies.

Don Sullivan, director of marketing, HVAC and belt drives, Regal Beloit America Inc., explained how the app can save building owners and contractors thousands of dollars during a demonstration at the manufacturer’s booth.

“Under the ‘Useful Tool’ tab, we’ve developed an efficiency calculator,” he said. “Users can calculate the savings from making a belt upgrade from a flat belt to a notched belt, and they can upgrade their motors from standard efficiency motors to premium efficiency motors. This allows users to put different motor parameters in, and it shows them the potential savings they can achieve by upgrading and what the payback period is. Users can also take a look at both the motor and belt upgrade at the same time.

“A typical big-box store uses a 7.5-hp rooftop unit,” Sullivan continued. “It typically has about 25 units that operate 24/7. A flat belt is, say, $12, and a notched belt is $18 per unit. If the person doing the audit looks at the motor, let’s say the motor is operating at 85 percent. Let’s say at 7.5 horsepower, the new premium-efficiency motor is $600. The app is loaded with the cost of energy by kilowatt hour, and by inputting that data, it will show the annual energy savings on the belt upgrade, the motor energy savings, and total energy savings. In this example, a user will save $10,000 in savings by making these motor and belt upgrades. The lifetime savings over the motor — let’s say it’s 20 years — is $3.1 million.”


Regal also showcased its Opt2MAX™ motor, which delivers two-speed motor operation and is designed to replace traditional one-speed induction motors.

Motivated by feedback from customers looking to upgrade the performance of their air-handling systems, Regal engineers designed an economic solution to conserve power consumption in both full- and part-load airflow conditions. Their goal was to utilize the existing induction motor size for easy replacement while optimizing motor efficiency to meet 2018 IEER requirements for commercial unitary systems.

The result is the Opt2MAX motor. The 56/140 frame motor comes pre-programmed with an integrated drive and provides seamless transition from high to low speed. Available in 1–10 hp, it is designed for direct-drive and belt-drive applications.

“The Regal team is excited to bring this innovation to our OEM customers and distributors,” said Bryan Snipes, business leader of Regal’s commercial HVACR, commercial and industrial motors. “The two-speed motor/drive combination optimizes energy efficiency while offering an easy plug-and-play solution.”

The motor is intended for use in rooftop units, air handlers, exhausters, condenser and chiller fans, and other variable-torque load applications.  

Publication date: 2/26/2018