CHICAGO — For the second consecutive AHR Expo, Fujitsu General America Inc. was talking with attendees about an agreement they have struck with another HVAC manufacturer.

This year, in Chicago, Fujitsu announced a Series B investment in Ventacity Systems. Ventacity is a producer of ventilation equipment and a cloud-based building controls system for small- to mid-sized commercial properties.

“Ventacity is about smart ventilation,” said Craig Bender, director of business development, Ventacity. “We separate the ‘V’ from HVAC. We handle the ‘V,’ and we are partnering with Fujitsu, who will handle the heating and cooling. We have one control system over both of them. It is a cloud-based control system, so you can be anywhere in the world and monitor and manage your system.”

The funding will support sales expansion activities and product development of the recently-introduced Ventacity HVAC2 Smarter Building Platform™, which integrates and networks all HVAC equipment to optimize efficiency, health, and comfort for the entire building or a portfolio of buildings. The company said the platform makes buildings more efficient, smarter, and healthier, reducing energy usage by 50-70 percent while delivering precise management control for optimal comfort and health. Through auto-detection-based commissioning, it delivers fault-proof plug-and-play technology, reducing installation time, complexity, and maintenance costs.

“As a global leader in variable refrigerant flow [VRF] systems, and in energy efficiency, we’re always looking for new
technology and ideas that can support our customers’ need for smart building solutions and healthier, more efficient ventilation,” said Andy Armstrong, vice president of sales and marketing, Fujitsu General America Inc. “Ventacity Systems is a great example of a company delivering market-ready technology that aligns with our vision of the smart, energy-efficient, commercial building of the future.”

The two systems, working together seamlessly, enhance comfort, provide better zoning, and create a healthier indoor environment, according to Fujitsu.

“Our partnership with Fujitsu will take the HVAC industry into the 21st century, and, for the first time, enable HVAC contractors to apply modern cloud-based technology and simple automated processes to provide commercial buildings with a healthier, more efficient, and more smartly managed environment,” said Sal D’Auria, founder and CEO, Ventacity Systems.

In addition to this agreement, Fujitsu was showcasing several new products at its booth.

Fujitsu General America has recognized and answered the need for smaller indoor units as part of its Airstage VRF systems. Wall-mount, floor-mount, compact cassette, and slim duct evaporators are now available in 4,000-Btu capacities. The new indoor units are compatible with Fujitsu’s Airstage VRF  V- (three-phase) and J-Series (single-phase) heating and cooling systems. The smaller capacity of these units creates more flexibility in the growing residential VRF market and in commercial applications with tighter building envelopes or smaller zones.

Although inverter technology allows for VRF systems to adapt to the needs of the space, smaller zones in new construction may only need 1,500-2,000 Btus. If a designer is given this type load and is forced to use 7,000-9,000 Btu indoor units, the comfort of the space will be compromised, said the company. In addition, the overall size of the outdoor units will need to be larger to accommodate the larger indoor products.

“With the expansion of green building practices, Fujitsu is introducing 4,000 Btu indoor units to provide just the right amount of load, eliminating oversizing, and creating an energy-efficient solution ideal for high-performance buildings,” said Kal Osman, director of product management, Fujitsu. “Because these indoor models are compatible with the full Airstage line of VRF products, they are the perfect solution for low-load applications in both residential and commercial sectors.”

As the construction of high-performance buildings is on the rise, the smaller evaporators are designed to meet the needs of Passive house, net zero, and other green building practices.

“Homes today are a lot more insulated, so, a lot of times, you don’t need a large indoor unit,” said Brendan Casey, VRF product manager for Fujitsu.  

Publication date: 2/26/2018