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Connectivity is more than a buzzword, said Katie Woodling, head of product management for air conditioning, North America, at Bosch.

“As the technology for inverter boards becomes more and more complex, and as the existing generation is starting to retire and there’s more new people in the trade, the technology as a whole is at an all-time high,” she said. “How can we bridge that gap between really, really advanced technology with maybe a less trained workforce? I think connectivity is one of the ways that we can do that. We can provide the data that's necessary upfront, really aiding the contractor with install and troubleshooting.”

Debuting at the Bosch booth are two new versions within the IDS Family — IDS Premium Connected and IDS Light — and the third generation of the Climate 5000 ductless system mini-split heat pump. All three products are set to become available to the market in the first half of 2022.

Bosch IDS Premium Connected.

ADD AN APP: The IDS Premium Connected works with a mobile app to aid contractors with remote troubleshooting. (Staff photo)

Bosch Climate 5000 3.0.

GEN 3: As the market demand for ductless mini splits continues to grow, Bosch responded with the Climate 5000 3.0. Its latest mini-split heat pump includes occupancy and humidity sensors. (Courtesy of Bosch)

IDS Light is Bosch’s first 15 SEER inverter product and the only 15-SEER inverter compressor solution on the market, said Woodling. It provides the comfort of an IDS system at a more standard efficiency level and lower price point.

“Previously, we had 18 SEER and 20 SEER,” she explained. “Now we’re expanding into that mass market appeal, which is 15 SEER, bringing all the benefits of inverter technology to a larger target audience.”

It can ramp down to about 30% of its rated capacity, which adds comfort as well as energy efficiency and lower energy bills, and is available in 2-ton, 3-ton, and 5-ton sizes.

The Premium Connected is a variation of Bosch’s 20 SEER IDS Premium that adds connected technology through a mobile app. It was developed after market research as a solution for the pain points that contractors and homeowners experience.

“We have a gateway device that sends data via 4G, as well as Bluetooth communication protocol, and it connects with an Android or iOS smartphone for both contractors and homeowners,” Woodling said. Homeowners receive information about how to most efficiently utilize their product, and can opt-in to send information to their contractor remotely.

On the contractor end, the goal with the Premium Connected is to make installation and troubleshooting faster and more efficient, especially in light of the technician shortage.

“The contractor dashboard is kind of like a Google Maps view. It’ll show a pin in the location where every IDS Premium Connected has been installed, and it'll be a different color based on [status],” Woodling said. “If everything’s going well, it'll be green, or if there’s an active fault code, something that needs to be addressed, it will be red. It'll give the contractor information about what that fault code is, and what the three most probable causes are for that fault code. It gives the contractor the ability to know have a better idea of what's wrong before they go on-site.”

As the market demand for ductless mini-splits continues to grow, another product on display on the air conditioning side was Bosch’s latest mini-split heat pump, the Climate 5000 3.0.

“We’re calling it our mini split ‘Gen 3’ — it’s kind of a facelift to our existing ductless mini split line,” Woodling said.

The highly efficient system provides residential heating and cooling up to 60,000 Btuh for single-zone and up to 48,000 Btuh for multi-zone applications. This inverter-driven heat pump is available in indoor and outdoor models and provides both regular and high heat solutions to suit any home.

“We have an occupancy sensor on the indoor unit, so it'll ramp the unit down when no one's in the room and then ramp it back up when someone is, for energy efficiency,” Woodling said. Other features include a humidity sensor and enhanced energy efficiency of up to a 28 SEER rating, which is a 6 point improvement from the 2.0 system.

Several additional products featured at the booth included the WQ and QV Series heat pumps, Bosch Connected Controls, and Singular Combi Boiler Series. WQ stands for “whisper quiet.”

“The target market here is high-rise buildings or condos where you have a water-source heat pump directly in the living space, or a blower and a compressor right in your living space,” Woodling said. “If that's ramping on and off, it can be really loud and uncomfortable. We have a Bosch patented compressor encapsulation, which reduces the noise significantly.”