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Gold medal. NYK Modular Heat Pump.
Aermec/Mits Airconditioning
NYK Modular Heat Pump

The Gold award in the HVAC Commercial Equipment category goes to the NYK modular air-to-water heat pump from Aermec. The 25-ton NYK heat pump provides water as hot as 149°F using vapor injection compressors, with operation between -4°F and 107°F ambient air temperature. This heat pump provides both heating and cooling and is able to provide 40% heat recovery in cooling mode. When using the NYK, backup heat will likely not be required in many regions to meet heating design temperature and domestic hot water requirements.

“Industry professionals across North America have been consistently requesting a flexible heat pump system that provides efficient heating, cooling, and domestic hot water without using fossil fuels,” said Jim Chaters, North American sales manager at Mits Airconditioning, the master representative for Aermec. “With that objective in mind, Aermec has expanded the product line and developed the NYK, which is a revolutionary solution that fulfills those precise requirements. It is an all-in-one solution.”

The NYK is so new to the market that many contractors have not yet had the chance to install it, but Matthew Robinson, vice president of Pitt Meadows Plumbing in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada, can’t wait until he can get his hands on it. He has installed other Aermec heat pumps over the last eight to 10 years, and he is looking forward to the NYK for a number of reasons.

“With the current equipment, I have to put it in a mechanical room, then the heat from the heat pump goes through heat exchangers and pumps in order to produce domestic hot water,” said Robinson. “With the NYK, we will be able to cool or heat spaces and produce hot water all at the same time. It will completely eliminate the need for the small mechanical room on the roof. It’s the simplicity of one unit being installed versus a unit with heat exchangers and pumps. That will be a big cost savings.”

Maintenance is also simple on a modular chiller, said Chaters, since any issues that arise can be pinpointed to a single module without having to look at the entire plant. Each unit has individual disconnects, so that a single unit may be isolated while leaving the rest of the system in operation. This ensures uninterrupted operations during maintenance.

Four years of research went into creating the NYK, with the in-house engineering team at the Aermec headquarters in Bevilacqua, Italy, designing the heat pump with North American market conditions at the forefront of the development process.

“Minimizing the use of fossil fuels is key to transforming the HVAC industry and critical to averting the impacts of climate change,” said Chaters.

Robinson agreed, noting that as society moves towards decarbonization, the NYK is the ideal sustainable solution for many end users.

“This could reduce our heating with electricity at a much, much more efficient rate than just using electric boilers. And all those existing buildings that have a chiller on the roof, as well as a boiler and storage tanks, this one unit is going to come in and wipe all that out. Our customers are going to go crazy for it.”

XL Press Fittings.
Rapid Locking System (RLS)
XL Press Fittings

The Silver award goes to Rapid Locking System’s (RLS’s) XL press fittings. This line of extra-large fittings provides a time- and cost-saving alternative for commercial contractors who install or maintain large refrigeration systems and cold rooms designed for grocery stores, shipping centers, manufacturing facilities, and large multifamily residential projects, among other applications.

The line of XL press fittings was developed in response to customer feedback and demand for press fittings that are specifically designed and engineered for use in high-pressure HVAC and refrigeration systems. They are fully registered and listed to UL207 for pressures up to 700 psi. The new line of XL press fittings offers 1-5/8- and 2-1/8-inch couplings, tees, elbows, and reducers. The line of extra-large fittings is developed for use with a 32 kN tool to press and RLS actuator jaws to complete the press cycle, including the new Klauke 32 kN Tool and Jaws.

“RLS press fittings are an efficient and reliable alternative to brazing, as they streamline on-site installation/maintenance processes and allow more jobs to be completed in less time,” said Paul Schubert, president of RLS. “RLS press fittings not only simplify the work of contractors but also improve the profitability of their business.”

CREST Boiler.
CREST Boilers with Hellcat Combustion Technology

The Bronze award goes to Lochinvar’s CREST boilers with Hellcat combustion technology. These boilers were designed for use in a variety of hydronic heating systems, including low-temperature applications, such as radiant heat and snowmelt, as well as commercial process applications. These units feature integrated control platform systems that consist of six boards (user interface, comfort control board, boiler control board, pump board, combustion feedback board, and O2 sensor board), which provide flexibility and keep the unit heating at thermal efficiencies of up to 96.2%.

CREST boilers with Hellcat combustion technology were designed to provide a better maintenance experience for technicians. The units’ rigid panel construction results in easier-to-maneuver panels, which grant better access to components and allow for easier maintenance. In addition, the panels are lighter than the previous generation, and an added interior light increases technicians’ visibility when servicing the unit. A larger 10-inch capacitive touchscreen offers better visibility.

“Serviceability is always top of mind when developing new products and technology at Lochinvar,” said Robert Wiseman, product manager of hydronics at Lochinvar. “With the introduction of CREST boilers with Hellcat combustion technology, Lochinvar aims to add another technician-friendly unit to our already extensive lineup of products.”