WESTPORT, Conn. — The winners of the 2018 AHR Expo Innovation Awards have been announced. The annual competition recognizes some of the most inventive HVACR products, systems, and technologies that will be featured at the 2018 AHR Expo.

The winners were selected by a panel of third-party ASHRAE member judges who evaluated all award entries based on innovative design, creativity, application, value, and market impact. The winners will be recognized in a formal ceremony during the 2018 AHR Expo, Jan. 22-24, 2018, at McCormick Place in Chicago. The AHR Expo will also announce the winner of the highly-anticipated Product of the Year Award at this ceremony.

“Each year, our winners set the bar higher for innovation in HVACR, and this year is no exception,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., the producer 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.”

The winners and finalists include: 

Building Automation
Winner: Setra Systems, Inc. (2018 AHR Expo Booth 4021)
Innovation: Setra FLEX
Setra FLEX is a complete room monitoring and control solution, is 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. Visual and audible alarms are configurable and fully comply with ASHRAE Standard 170 as well as US Pharmacopeia 797 and 800.
Finalists in this category were Belimo Americas’ 6-way Electronic Pressure Independent Valve, Cielo WiGle Inc.’s Breez: Smart Controller for Ductless Air-conditioning Systems, and Emerson’s Site Supervisor facility control platform.

Winner: Emerson (2018 AHR Expo Booth 5300)
Innovation: Copeland Scroll
The latest generation of Emerson’s Copeland Scroll two-stage compressors from 1-10 ton has been redesigned for improved performance and reliability in residential and commercial air conditioning systems. The third-generation technology is optimized for mid-tier comfort and efficiency rebates with improved full- and part-load performance up to 5 percent. 
Finalists in this category were Delta Cooling Towers Inc.’s Delta Anti-Microbial Cooling Tower, Johnson Controls Inc.’s York® Affinity™ YXV 20 SEER Variable Capacity Air Conditioner, and ZIEHL-ABEGG Inc.’s ZAvblue centrifugal fan.

Green Building
Winner: Danfoss (2018 AHR Expo Booth 2510)
Innovation: Danfoss Turbocor® TTH/TGH High Lift Compressor
This compressor is optimized for air-cooled chiller and heat recovery applications. Engineered for high-lift applications, including air-cooled chillers and heat recovery, Danfoss Turbocor TTH/TGH models feature oil-free, variable-speed, magnetic-bearing operation for outstanding full- and part-load efficiency, low vibration and sound, a small footprint, and reduced maintenance while providing an expanded operating map suitable for air-cooled chiller and heat recovery applications.
Finalists in this category were International Wastewater Systems Inc.’s PIRANHA HC thermal energy recovery hot water production system, Nexus Valve Inc.’s Pressure Step Deaerator, Regal’s NovaMAX™ Motor - 600 RPM,; and Smardt Chiller Group Inc.’s Smardt Solar Integrated Chiller (SSiC).

Winner: Calefactio (2018 AHR Expo Booth 7577)
Innovation: The ONE
The ONE is a three-in-one expansion tank, air separator, and dirt separator. The ONE innovates by eliminating an important number of joints, thus limiting the leaking possibilities; using less space and taking less time to install compared to installing the three devices separately; reducing costs — it is much less costly to buy The ONE than to buy all the devices separately.
Finalists in this category were Cleaver-Brooks Inc.’s Cleaver-Brooks ClearFire®-CE hydronic boiler, Johnson Controls Inc.’s York® Affinity™ YZV 20 SEER Variable Capacity Heat Pump, and WaterFurnace Intl., Inc.’s Versatec Variable Speed water source/geothermal heat pump.

Indoor Air Quality
Winner: Spartan Bioscience (2018 AHR Expo Booth 8175)
Innovation: Spartan Legionella Detection System
This on-site Legionella DNA test is designed to prevent outbreaks. Spartan’s Legionella Detection System fully integrates DNA collection, extraction, and analysis in a compact format. Spartan’s technology enables unprecedented portability with no sample shipment to an outside laboratory and no technical expertise requirements. In addition, the system provides results in 45 minutes.
Finalists in this category were AAF Flanders’ Sensor360™ filtration monitor; Addison’s Linear Capacity™, Dedicated Outdoor Air System; and Johnson Controls Inc.’s GLAS smart thermostat.

Winner: AquaMotion Inc. (2018 AHR Expo Booth 6816)
Innovation: AquaMotion Aqua-Flash™
The Aqua-Flash is an under-sink hot water recirculation system. The Aqua-Flash by-pass valve provides an improved bypass design that prevents the hot water from entering the cold line when the hot water faucet is opened, A bi-metal coil element that closes the internal shuttle by-pass port in the valve when hot water reaches the valve, a bi-metal element that is calibrated to deliver the hot water temperature desired, and more than double the pipe diameter to prevent calcium buildup.
Finalists in this category were Caleffi Hydronic Solutions’ LEGIOMIX® electronic mixing valve with disinfection and John Guest USA Inc.’s JG ProLock twist-to-lock fitting system.

Winner: Chemours (2018 AHR Expo Booth 4544)
Innovation: Opteon™ XP44 Refrigerant (R-452A)
This non-ozone depleting, low-GWP (global warming potential), hydrofluoroolefin (HFO)-based refrigerant serves as a replacement for R-404A/507. It offers approximately a 50 percent reduction in GWP compared to R-404A/R-507 while providing the closest match to the compressor discharge temperature of any other low-GWP solution on the market. With the regulations addressing high-GWP refrigerants, such as R-404A/R-507 in commercial refrigeration applications, Opteon™ XP44 uniquely provides equipment manufacturers and end users an option to cost-effectively cut the environmental impact of their refrigerant choice in half without sacrificing performance or equipment reliability.
Finalists in this category were CAREL INDUSTRIES S.p.A.’s HEEZ control and management solution and Emerson’s Fractional horsepower low-temperature Copeland Scroll™ compressor.

Winner: Regal (2018 AHR Expo Booth 4945)
Innovation: Browning® Toolbox Technician® Motor Efficiency Calculator
This mobile app calculator module is available on Apple and Android platforms. It allows a user to identify efficiency differences between different generations of integral-horsepower electric motors. This app not only identifies the potential efficiency gain, but it allows the user to tailor the motor usage parameters to mirror their application or overall facility usage so a projected return on investment (ROI) can be displayed.
Finalists in this category were Coolfront Technologies’ Coolfront Mobile flat rate pricing app, LG Electronics USA Inc.’s LG Air Conditioning Technical Solution (LATS) Revit drawing plug-in, and SuperCool Slide Rule SuperCool HVAC app.

Tools and Instruments
Winner: Fluke Corp. (2018 AHR Expo Booth 6549)
Innovation: Fluke T6 Electrical Tester
This electrical tester takes simultaneous voltage and current measurements without test leads. The T6 testers now make it possible to take reliable true-rms measurements in crowded junction boxes or along conductors with inaccessible endpoints, saving time, minimizing potential errors, and greatly reducing the possibility of arc flash. 
Finalists in this category were GrayWolf Sensing Solutions’ GrayWolf’s DirectSense® II Smart Probes/Sensor), Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp.’s 102 x 77 Spot Infrared Imager, and SuperCool Slide Rule’s Line-set Saver cleaning device.

Winner: Triatek (2018 AHR Expo Booth 4344)
Innovation: Stable Vortex® II Fume Hood
This dynamic, low-flow, high-performance fume hood protects chemists from harmful dusts and vapors during experiments. It delivers a safe environment while providing substantial energy savings. The Stable Vortex II passes the ASHRAE 110 test as manufactured, as installed, and as used because the superior design accounts for how people actually use fume hoods, in order to truly keep them safe. 
Finalists in this category were Regal’s UlteMAX Axial PM Motor; Titus’s TJD, OMNI diffuser; and ZIEHL-ABEGG Inc.’s ZAbluefin bionic, high-efficiency impeller.

For more information regarding the AHR Expo Innovation Awards, visit ahrexpo.com/awards-winners-2018/.

With 2,000-plus exhibitors, 100-plus seminars and product presentations, and more than 65,000 attendees, the AHR Expo provides a unique forum for the entire HVACR industry, from product designers and engineers to installers and end users, to come together and share ideas, discover new products, and find solutions to technical problems. To register, visit the AHR Expo registration website.

Publication date: 10/12/17