Heatcraft's redesigned 3- to 15-hp condensing unit.

ATLANTA, GA — In a year when it seems like all we have been talking about is conserving energy, contractors attending the AHR Expo here had every reason to expect they would find new, energy-saving equipment designs.

After all, the a/c industry has been held accountable for much of the ruckus caused in California’s late-summer blues that saw electricity bills for Golden State residents rise as much as 400%.

What contractors found were a plethora of combination units (see article on the American Gas Cooling Coalition, page 16), and several new units that promise to be more energy efficient than those that came before.

Residential: Clean and Healthy Living

The Frigidaire and Tappan 10-, 12-, and 13-SEER air conditioners and heat pumps fromNordyne(O’Fallon, MO) offer a number of features that the company says will allow for durability as well as low maintenance.

The top grille is removable to allow service from above without disconnecting the fan motor leads, and the full-service brass valves are accessible, simplifying servicing, the company said. Copper tubing and aluminum fin coils are designed to optimize heat transfer, minimize size and cost, and increase durability and reliability.

The company said that the one-piece design and permanently lubricated motor allow for quiet and efficient operation.

Unico Inc. (St. Louis, MO) highlighted two products at this year’s AHR Expo.

The Unichiller, introduced last summer, is part of a new line of residential chiller products designed to zone-cool defined spaces or single rooms, as well as deliver greater dehumidification and energy savings, the company said.

The company said it hopes this outdoor chilled-water unit will replace the need for condensing units that are noisy and tend to lessen the aesthetic appeal of a home’s exterior. Unico sees the chiller as a natural for the high-end custom home markets, as well as for in-room additions or where zoning is required.

Scott Intagliata, marketing director for Unico, said, “Con-tractors will find the Unichiller quick and easy to install. Since it is a sealed system and factory-charged, maintenance and repair are simple.”

Three-, four-, and five-ton models are available. The chiller will be sold through Unico’s existing distribution.

The Unico System is a mini-duct central heating and air conditioning system with flexible ducts that can wind through existing construction, including tight spaces. Little or no remodeling is required for installation, the company said, reducing renovation hassles for homeowners and contractors. The system works on the principle of aspiration.

Heatcraft Refrigeration Products (Stone Mountain, GA) displayed a redesigned line of 3- to 15-hp condensing units available with Scroll or Discus™ compressors.

The new units provide up to 40% more free-air area than before, and their vertical receivers need less refrigerant to ensure that a solid column of liquid reaches the expansion valve, the company said. The units’ efficient operating characteristics help provide maximum energy savings. The layout of the components, including service valves that extend outside the cabinet, provide faster, easier service and installation, the company said. The system includes an industrial-grade grille for increased airflow, and improved performance at high ambient temperatures (a non-restrictive louver is available for the snow-belt regions).

Efficient A/C for Commercial Use

Commercial manufacturerMarley Cooling Tower(Charlotte, NC) showcased its new generation of NC cooling towers, designed to meet the goal of offering cooling towers which produce less sound without affecting performance.

In addition, the new towers offer higher horsepower and capacity compared to previous models in the NC line. Other new features include:

  • A mechanical support system that offers improved vibration characteristics;
  • Eased inlet design that streamlines air movement into the fan cylinder;
  • A new fan that is designed to offer improved efficiency and sound characteristics; and
  • A velocity recovery design in the fan cylinders that will improve airflow.
  • RSI Co.(Cleveland, OH) promoted its Typhoon air conditioning units. These range in capacity of 5 through 100 tons, and come in vertical package, self-contained, or split-system designs.

    In addition, the unit features a DX refrigerant coil and is certified to UL 1995, CSA C22.2, ARI 210, 240, 360, NYC/MEA, CE.

    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Rancho Dominguez, CA), sported its KX2 Model commercial a/c unit. With its inverter drive, multi-indoor unit climate control system, the KX2 donned several new features, including:

  • 24 capacity steps;
  • Minimum amount of cycling operation;
  • Electronic expansion valve (digitally controlled);
  • Micro-computer controlled operation;
  • Self diagnostics; and
  • Indoor unit combination in numerous capacities and types.
  • In addition, the unit can replace chiller units and variable air volume units, and has constant airflow volume for temperature distribution. The outdoor unit comes in 8- and 10-hp models.

    Hospitality Industry

    PowerCold Corp.(Cibola, TX) showed off a new product designed for the hotel/motel industry. The company said its Ultimate Comfort System can help with electricity reliability and impending summer peak problems that may occur in the upper Midwest, Texas, and New England.

    Steven Clark, president and ceo of PowerCold, said, “The Ultimate Comfort System concept is really quite simple — so simple it was overlooked.

    “Every hospitality property must have a domestic hot water and a fire sprinkler system. These systems bring hot and cold water to all guest rooms and most other rooms within a property, and offer hotel/motel operators a pre-engineered, affordable, low-electric demand heating, hot water, and air conditioning system.”

    By using existing pipe as the delivery system to provide hot and chilled water to individual fancoil units, Clark said cost-effective, high-quality, and compressor-free systems can be provided to the hospitality industry.

    “The hospitality industry has been seeking a way to accurately and quietly condition hotel/motel room air in a way it can afford. Mid-range hotel/motel chains target the professional business traveler, but have generally fallen victim to the need for very low construction costs. In the past, this meant settling for packaged terminal air conditioning (ptac) units; however, this is no longer the case.”

    GE Appliances (Louisville, KY) debuted its Dry Air 25 Series, part of its Zoneline ptac’s, which it says are ideal for hotels, motels, office buildings, schools, and apartments.

    The Dry Air Series centers on GE’s use of the Dinh® dehumidifier heat pipe from Heat Pipe Technology, Inc. (Gainesville, FL). A NASA spin-off technology, the heat pipe enables the unit to remove 25% more moisture than other units while remaining “whisper quiet,” the company says.

    Publication date: 02/19/2001