Nortek Global HVAC was granted a U.S. patent for a method of controlling and stabilizing hot gas reheat circuits in air conditioning systems.

Patent number U.S. 10,066,860 B2 lists the inventors as four Nortek employees: James Patrick Downie, controls department manager; Richard Brian Reed, design engineer; Richard Gerard Blasko, director of engineering; John Patrick McKissack, P.E., product manager; and a former Nortek cooling research engineer, Avinash Keshavrao Gholap, Ph.D.

The method eliminates hot gas reheat circuit instability and the risk potential of freezing experienced by most current air conditioning reheat technology, especially on dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS) when operating during cold and high humidity ambient conditions. The current industry standard typically protects systems only mechanically with inefficient on/off thermostatic expansion valve (TXV) bypass diversions.

Reheat is required when the space has no internal load, however the outside air needs to be dehumidified and delivered to the space. The most critical reheat time is spring and fall rainy seasons with outdoor ambient temperatures between 56-66°F. Conventional direct expansion (DX) systems avert cold weather evaporator frosting through a coil frost-stat that deactivates the DX system when the evaporator coil temperature reaches 32°F. Other solutions utilize ineffective low ambient condenser fan control.

Instead, the patented Nortek method, which already appears on Reznor and Mammoth branded DOAS units, uses a DDC algorithm to prevent sub-cooling of the evaporator coil via a DDC-controlled modulating hot gas reheat TXV. Therefore, the DOAS’ dehumidification operation functions without coil frosting or inefficient air conditioning process interruption. The net result is stable and uninterrupted humidity control for the operation.