The Gold award in the Refrigeration and Ice Machines category goes to the Atlas DS-5000 charging scale by JB Industries Inc. Designed for use with R-600a and R-290 refrigerants, the scale allows technicians to accurately service a critically charged system in two canister orientations, inverted and upright.
“The Atlas DS-5000 scale is the most accurate refrigerant scale for R-290 (propane) and other refrigerants that are available in small canisters,” said David Madden, director of manufacturing at JB Industries Inc. “It’s unique in that it charges through the load cell (pass-through), so the hose weight/movement won’t affect scale reading. That prevents the user from inadvertently affecting the weight when moving or flexing the charging hose.”
The Atlas DS-5000 is small, lightweight, and durable, and its accurate load cell assures technicians that the charge is accurate, particularly with small charge weight in ounces. Other features include a backlit LCD display so technicians can read weight in all conditions, a large weighing platform, and a cylinder adapter with SecureSeal low-loss fitting that allows for inverted charging without refrigerant loss. A charging ball valve provides a mechanism for precision charging, a Schrader prevents refrigerant loss/leaks, and a Velcro loop stabilizes the refrigerant canister for upright charging.
Contractors will appreciate that the ¼-inch flare fittings and internal passages allow refrigerant to flow through the scale, as this method prevents the user from inadvertently affecting the weight when moving or flexing the charging hose, said Madden. Instructions are printed right on top of the scale platter to offer easy reference.
Bob Runge, a service and installation technician at DeKalb Mechanical in DeKalb, Illinois, loves everything about the Atlas DS-5000. He appreciates how small and lightweight it is, as well as how accurate it is when charging propane systems in commercial refrigeration applications.
“The amount of propane used in one cooler could be 5 or 6 ounces, so it’s a very small amount, and you have to be extremely accurate when measuring it in,” he said. “If you overcharge or undercharge a piece of equipment by even a half an ounce, that's 15% of its total charge. You have to be extremely accurate, and that's what the Atlas DS-5000 does.”
Runge also appreciates that the Atlas DS-5000 allows him to charge a system using either liquid or vapor, noting that the simple process requires him to just flip it upside down and use the included hose adapter.
JB Industries spent two years researching and developing the Atlas DS-5000, utilizing focus groups, customer feedback, and competitive analysis to design the final product.
“Essentially, this charging scale is super easy to use and is extremely accurate, which means we’re going to have fewer callbacks,” said Runge. “You get the exact charge you’re looking for, and you don’t have any waste in the hoses. It just makes a huge, huge difference on the job.”
The Silver award goes to Trenton Refrigeration’s ESP+ Intuitive Evaporator Control technology, designed to replace traditional electromechanical refrigeration controls typically used on medium- and low-temperature applications. The ESP+ combines adaptive technology along with an electronic expansion valve and solenoid valve for total evaporator control and installer peace of mind, said Vince Zolli, vice president of engineering at Trenton Refrigeration.
“Installing an evaporator equipped with factory pre-programmed ESP+ Intuitive Evaporator Control technology is simple,” said Zolli. “Two pipes, two wires, and you’re done. No interconnecting control wiring between the evaporator and the condensing unit is required.”
The ESP+ is an optional technology for most of Trenton’s evaporator lineup and allows for manual and remote control and monitoring of box temperature, superheat, defrost initiation, defrost termination, fan motors, and defrost heater (electric defrost models). In addition to quick and simple installation, the package offers improved performance by minimizing excessive frost on the evaporator; energy savings through evaporator fan management; improved system diagnostics; and precise temperature control.
Trenton spent more than two years creating the ESP+, working directly with wholesale and contractor customers, as well as suppliers, in order to design this product. The system is updated via firmware on a regular basis.
The Bronze award goes to the TQ2 - Quiet Refrigeration Duty condensing unit, also from Trenton Refrigeration. This condensing unit is well-suited for refrigeration applications where space limitations, energy efficiency, or sound levels are of concern. Its compact design and attractive styling make the unit highly desirable in urban or light commercial applications, said Vince Zolli, vice president of engineering at Trenton Refrigeration
“The TQ2 is a new and improved unit that is still quiet, compact, and efficient but now includes enhanced communication and control,” he said. “Designed with two-way communication capabilities in mind and an upgraded electronic system, the TQ2 is stronger, quieter, and smarter than ever before. This outdoor condensing unit is perfect for restaurants and refrigeration professionals looking for a quiet, energy-efficient unit all in one.”
The TQ2’s compact design allows ample room for service access, and its new electronic controls feature a familiar design and an easy-to-operate interface. The unit comes with advanced onboard alarms and diagnostics to make the service technician’s life easier.
Trenton spent more than two years designing the original TQ2 and an additional year to create the latest enhanced model. The company utilized surveys and focus groups consisting of wholesalers and end users to design the new model and extensive laboratory testing to ensure the TQ2’s performance.