ManufacturerHeat Transfer Products Group
ProductEcoNet® Enabled Unit Coolers
with EcoNet Command Center
Miscellaneous might refer to products that can be more difficult to categorize, but it isn’t hard to identify what this year’s Gold winner does for customers and technicians. The EcoNet® Enabled Unit Coolers from Heat Transfer Products Group are intelligent, electronically operated evaporators for walk-in coolers and freezers, designed for both energy efficiency and easier installation.
Developed in conjunction with Rheem Mfg. Co., the product builds on the success, reliability, and efficiency of Rheem’s EcoNet technology. The EcoNet technology saves energy in refrigeration systems through precise superheat and space temperature control, fan cycling, and controlling how often the system goes into defrost based on compressor runtime. It eliminates unnecessary defrosts, maximizes energy efficiency with less compressor runtime, reduces liability by eliminating icing issues, reduces fan speed to 50 percent during off cycle to save energy, and reduces temperature fluctuations by regulating defrosts for improved product quality.
Two contractors who spoke about the product for The NEWS identified multiple ways the product also saves time for their techs.
“Other products require scrolling through many levels of settings not normally used in food service applications,” said Rich Sarno, president and sales manager of Tri-Star Mechanical Inc., in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. This winner, he said, is much easier to program and offers clear and user-friendly instructions.
“The fact that it is enclosed in the evaporator compartment eliminates kitchen personnel trying to tamper with the control settings,” he added.
Meanwhile, Aaron Essley, superintendent for Ace Coolers Inc. in San Diego, found value in a different area after several months of working with the product.
“The end user can easily monitor and track refrigeration status and temperatures,” Essley said. “[It also] provides an improved level of control, accuracy, and efficiency, compared to standard mechanical controls.”
The EcoNet Enabled Unit Coolers can be configured to work on a single or dual evaporator coil, and can be used with a condensing unit in single and multiple evaporator installations as a group. The controller features a back-lit heated, two-row LCD display screen on the controller board that serves as a basic full text user interface to specify space temperature and superheat set points, check temperature status, view alarms, select refrigerant, force a defrost, and more.
The company’s EcoNet design provides a single interface to conveniently manage everything from temperature to the most advanced system settings of all EcoNet Enabled coolers and freezers on the EcoNet communication bus. One display is able to control up to 32 devices including the Command Center (up to four groups with up to six evaporators per group wired on a single bus).
Being able to monitor multiple connected EcoNet Enabled Unit Coolers from one display is a huge advancement and timesaver, the company said.
Furthermore, the EcoNet Command Center includes everything in the box to quickly install the device on the wall outside of the walk-in.
ProductFluke Pack30 Professional Tool Backpack
How many pockets are too many pockets? With the silver-medalist Fluke Pack30 Professional Tool Backpack, the manufacturer bets that for the mobile technician, “too many” is more than 30. Fluke used a combination of on-site visits, “shadow” research, phone calls, and online polling to develop this winner’s mix of features.
Its two and a half dozen pockets and pouches are designed for an array of Fluke tools and accessories, plus screwdrivers, pliers, tape rolls, and other hand tools. The backpack contains a pocket just for tablets and laptops, alongside a pouch for safety glasses and earplugs, and of course, a space for phones.
In the bigger picture, the pack offers six zippered pockets. One of those is a large main pocket that is segmented to give space to individual tools.
The outside counts as much as the inside in a situation like this, so Fluke designed a stable, waterproof base for the Pack30. Its back support and chest strap are designed to relieve and prevent as much stress as possible on the user’s back. Coming in at 6.3 pounds to begin with doesn’t hurt, either.
Developed by technicians in the industry, the Humidicycle from JB Solutions picks up a Bronze award in this year’s contest. These techs saw a need and an opportunity for recycling the massive amounts of water wasted by flow-through humidifiers on residential HVAC systems. The system intercepts the waste water leaving the humidifier, sends it to the 3-gallon mounted storage tank, and pumps it back into the humidifier tray for reuse.
The Humidicycle works in tandem with the company’s HVAC IV biocide treatment system in the tank to ensure that the recycled water is kept in pristine condition.
JB Solutions’ testing has shown that a typical humidifier wastes 16 ounces of water every 64 seconds of operation, but conservation was not the only concern during design.
Being technicians themselves, the designers focused on service (helped by a small footprint) and installation as well (internal components are pre-plumbed). They report that the wiring aspect is uncomplicated, the pump uses the power supply that feeds the humidifier solenoid, and the unit is up and running with a simple swap of the terminals.
ProductRooftop Pipe Support
Completing this year’s tie for bronze in the Miscellaneous category is the Rooftop Pipe Support from RectorSeal. A lightweight, nonpenetrating support, the company designed it for applications such as pipes, conduits, ducting, condensate and refrigerant lines, and even solar installations on flat commercial roofs.
The light weight doesn’t equate to being light on performance. Manufactured using high-quality UV-resistant polymers, the support is designed to withstand temperatures up to 200°F, along with loads of 250 pounds with strut or 200 pounds without.
It features several elements off the bat for making contractors’ work easier. Interlocking tabs allow for easy expansion, while an insulated foam base protects the roof surface and dampens vibration. Meanwhile, numbered pipe grooves serve to align and stabilize conduit and pipes. A UV-resistant, perforated metal strap allows techs to quickly clamp up to 2-inch pipes