2019 Dealer Design Awards: Ventilation Products
Ventilation products offer a breath of fresh air
ProductVari-Green® Drive Model 100+ with Companion App
Greenheck won Gold for its Vari-Green Drive® Model 100+ with companion app, which was in development for more than two years. The factory-mounted, wired, and programmed variable-frequency drive was specifically designed to bring demand-controlled operation to larger fans and motors. The companion app allows a user to take advantage of the advanced features and functions such as input/output terminal configuration, startup reporting, and troubleshooting help, all without the need of an onboard keypad or screen.
“The Vari-Green Drive addresses the challenge of maintaining a skilled workforce by giving technicians the features needed to do their jobs quickly, effectively, and efficiently,” said David Mayer, product manager at Greenheck. “A phone screen and app are much quicker and easier to navigate than a traditional keypad and display interface. The app will also assist in service/troubleshooting by providing detailed fault information as well as direct links to our tech support team.”
In designing the drive, Greenheck conducted many voice of customer studies in various focus markets, and the insights received directly influenced the development of the product. A brief questionnaire was devised to understand current processes and extract information regarding customers’ pain points and unmet needs. Several different types of customers were studied in order to understand everyone’s perspective.
With the Vari-Green Drive, the troubleshooting functionality accessible through the companion app will save the technician’s time diagnosing and resolving a fan’s issue. In addition, every Vari-Green Drive comes factory mounted, wired, and programmed, so commissioning is as simple as installing the fan and connecting it to power, saving technicians hours of time typically spent performing the necessary drive installation and programming tasks. Finally, technicians are able to create automated startup reports once the commissioning is complete using the companion app.
ProductBreezSignature SIG80-110ELED Bathroom Fan
Delta Electronics earned Silver for its BreezSignature SIG80-110ELED bathroom fan. Starting in 2015, Delta worked with different contractors to gather input for a new feature: a dimmable edge-lit LED light on the Delta Breez Signature bathroom fan series. After the successful debut of its fan with a dimmable edge-lit LED light, many home improvement stores and customers reached out with positive feedback, but they also wanted an adjustable color temperature feature to complement the style of modern bathrooms.
In 2017, Delta started to develop bathroom fans with a dimmable, edge-lit, adjustable color temperature LED feature, allowing end-users to easily change the edge-lit LED to match the bathroom décor. By leveraging Delta’s core technologies – brushless DC motors and its own LED design modules – Delta was the first-to-market with a bathroom exhaust fan and LED light combination, according to Kai Wang, senior product manager of the fan and thermal management business group at Delta Electronics (Americas).
“The BreezSignature SIG80-110ELED’s uniqueness is also highlighted by its expandable extension brackets. Technicians can easily mount the 12-to-24-inch brackets to the joists, which is especially important for new construction,” Wang said. “Additionally, the fan’s room-side installation feature can save a significant amount of time for remodeling projects, since technicians no longer need to crawl in the attic to wrap the tape.”
ProductH3 Series Energy Recovery Wheel Air Handling Unit
Aaon took Bronze for its H3 Series energy recovery air handler, which was in development for about a year. The company has been working on implementing energy recovery wheels in all its products for more than 20 years, and the H3 Series completes the availability in the full Aaon air handling unit product line. This proven technology balances indoor air quality and energy savings, helping to satisfy both ASHRAE 62 and ASHRAE 90.1 standards.
In developing the H3 Series energy recovery air handler, Aaon relied on the feedback from its sales representative council, service technician council, and from requests that come through its Applications Engineering department. Component and unit performance testing in the Aaon research and development lab helped determine the best parts to go into the new equipment.
Service technicians will appreciate that the energy recovery wheel and exhaust fan access door can be propped open with factory-provided rods, said Eric Taylor, marketing manager at Aaon.
“Thanks to the full-length piano hinges, the access door can also be fully opened to rest on the air handler roof,” he said. “The energy recovery wheel is designed to slide out from the unit, and the wheel segments can be easily removed for cleaning.”