Sporlan featured a range of products, including electric expansion valves designed to work with all refrigerants. At the booth, Patrick Holdmeyer, sales manager, original equipment manufacturers, holds one of its complete assemblies, consisting of valve and distributor with tubing. (Photo by Jim Johnson.)
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Innovation is a good word to describe the refrigeration-related technology shown at the 2004 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo). Exhibitors were certainly out to build a better mousetrap. A recurring theme from vendors was that their product supplied added value.

Analytical Index Technologies Inc. (www.aituniversal.com) showed the AIT-SmarTec® liquid refrigerant identifier. Company spokesperson Remy Singh said the product "identifies refrigerants in their liquid state rather than vapor state, and, as such, eliminates errors caused by other non-dispersive infrared hand-held methods."

Advanced Test Products-SPX (www.spx.com) showed a UV leak detector and dye kit said to handle a wide range of situations. The system can be used to pinpoint what the company called "elusive, intermittent, and multiple simultaneous leaks."

Champ-Air Refrigeration Hardware Co. Ltd. (shineyear@see.net.tw) showed a range of refrigeration tools made in Taiwan, including tube expanders, benders, flaring tools, cutters, latches, hinges, gauge sets, hand valves, and sight glasses.

Cliplight Manufacturing Co. (www.cliplight.com) focused on refrigeration sealants. Super Seal HVACRâ„¢ is for single-phase residential units and Super Seal 3 Phaseâ„¢ is for use in three-phase commercial and industrial equipment. The sealants come in three-ounce cans, which are disposable and are used on the low-pressure side of a system.

Colmac Coil Manufacturing Inc. (www.colmaccoil.com) introduced what it called a new internally wicked copper tube/aluminum fin heat pipe coil to its line that already included non-wicked copper tube/aluminum fin and aluminum extruded fin heat pipe coils.

Emerson Climate Technologies (www.gotoemerson.com) announced that its EK filter-drier has been added to its UltraTechâ„¢ Home Series. The product is designed for higher-pressure refrigerants such as R-410A. It uses specially formulated, compacted bead desiccant blend to protect POE oils, it noted.

At the Advanced Test Products booth, Heliel Morales (left), director of sales, Latin America Division, and Dan Prusia, western regional manager, HVACR, show off an Amprobe test instrument. The company featured a UV leak detector and dye kit. (Photo by Jim Johnson.)
Emerson also announced a strategic partnership between its Design Services Network and Global Engineering Associates Consulting (GEA) to further extend engineering, testing, and design aspects in such areas as refrigeration. The partnership combines testing, design, and system outsourcing for customers. Included in the equation is the ability to evaluate refrigerants, lubricants, and their interactions.

Electrica s.r.l. (www.electrica.it) has designed a PC5 motor control to fit on several OEM compressors sold in the United States. The PC5 has an overload protector and a PTC starter in a single device "to facilitate assembly, reduce inventory, and improve compressor efficiency."

The only ice machine company at the expo was Geneglace (www.geneglace.com), a French company that is represented in the United States by Fes Systems Inc. (www.fessystems.com). The large ice machines make flaked ice using an insulated cylinder and a helical reamer.

Heatcraft (www.heatcraftrpd.com) introduced ServiceMate, a diagnostic module device designed to reduce diagnostic time and wiring tracing. It has a single connection point for all control circuit wiring. LED indicators show the status of each control circuit component, compressor, and solenoid, as well as the input control voltage, said the company.

The company also noted that it received honorable mention for its Beacon II Smart Defrost in the Innovation Awards competition.

Highside Chemicals (www.highsidechem.com) had a wide range of products including Ice Max, a powder ice machine cleaner. The company said that, as a powder, the product "avoids dangerous and messy spills" and has an indefinite shelf life. It was also noted at the expo that Highside products are being distributed through Sealed United Parts Co. (Supco, www.supco.com).

As Supco noted, "Supco's family of chemical products combine the strength of our branded products with the uniquely engineered products from Highside. A broad product offering fills the needs of service professionals."

Aaron Cranston (left), director of export sales, and Paul Appler, technical director, R&D HVACR Division, show off Cliplight Manufacturing Co.’s Super Seal 3 Phase, Super Seal HVACR, and Super Seal ACR. (Photo by Jim Johnson.)
A hand-held refrigerant leak detector, D-Tek, fromInficon(www.inficon.com), came with what the company called "extended sensor life and high sensitivity to new refrigerant blends." The company noted the product employs "infrared-absorption sensor technology."

Nu-Calgon (www.nucalgon.com) focused on its instant leak sealer called pan-sprayâ„¢. The product could be used, according to the company, for condensate pans, cooling towers, and evaporative coolers.

Parker (www.parker.com) introduced the "R" Series solenoid valve product line with manual override design and higher pressure ratings. The series incorporates the company's "core competence" industrial valve designs.

The company also used the expo to announce a collaboration with Sensistor Technologies (www.sensistor.com), in which Parker will represent the Sensistor line of industrial leak detection systems, including the H2000, which uses hydrogen as a tracer gas to detect leaks.

Recold (www.recold.com) highlighted 10 models of HW Series fluid coolers in capacities ranging from 10 to 200 nominal tons. The closed-circuit units are said to provide longer life and better heat transfer characteristics, as well as being up to 40 percent lighter than comparable steel coil units of the same capacity, according to the company.

Refrigeration Technologies (www.refrig.com) took a familiar product - Big Blu - and noted it has taken the bubble-based leak detection method "to a higher level." Newer products included Super Blu, with a temperature rating of -30 degrees F to 200 degrees F, and Brush On Blu, with a telescopic stem dauber.

Inficon introduced the D-Tek hand-held refrigerant detector.

Leak detection from Spectronics (www.spectroline.com) featured Optimax, a cordless, rechargeable, flashlight-like unit said to work with all types of dyes and capable of operation for six hours between charges.

Noted at the booth of Sporlan (www.sporlan.com) were electric expansion valves that work with CFC, HCFC, and HFC refrigerants, have stainless steel motor housings, and are available from 1-1/2 to 20 tons.

A refrigerant leak monitor from Toxalert Inc. (www.toxalert.com) consisted of a remote refrigerant sensor and a controller/annunciator panel. The system is designed to continuously monitor mechanical refrigeration equipment rooms for refrigerant leaks. Upon detecting a leak, the unit starts ventilation equipment and announces alarm conditions.

A refrigerant leak detector, the PredatIR PTR1 from Uniweld Products Inc. (www.uniweld.com), is an infrared sensor that the company said never needs to be replaced. The instrument includes an optical filter to detect refrigerant gases and minimize false alarms. The company also said the internal infrared detectors will not be damaged if the probe encounters moisture.

Sidebar: Let's Talk Wine, With Refrigeration

ANAHEIM, Calif. - A trade show in California is not a real California trade show unless there is some reference to the wine industry. After all, if a Disney theme park right across the street from the Anaheim Convention Center can have a section dedicated to a winery, certainly the 2004 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) can do the same.


The AHR Expo actually had a couple of companies promoting refrigeration for wine cellars.

The aptly named CellarMate (www.cellarmate.com) offered a self-contained ducted climate control system consisting of an evaporator chamber, cool air supply chamber, and condensing chamber. The unit is installed outside the actual wine cellar with all refrigeration and electrical components located in the condensing chamber.

Meanwhile, Wine Environments (www.wineenvironments.com) "started in the wine cellar business the way all refrigeration and air conditioning contractors do," said representative Larry Kendall. "At the outset, we used commercial equipment and found there were significant problems in the installation. The requirements for low noise combined with limited installation and service access led to numerous compromises. The end users of the equipment tend to be very demanding people, in some cases requesting that the laws of physics be repealed.

"So we decided to bite the bullet and build the equipment that was needed for this application."

In turn, the company now sells its consulting, equipment, and control systems to contractors and wine cellar builders.

- Peter Powell

Publication date: 02/16/2004