The Innovation Awards are designed to promote and encourage product innovation by recognizing the most innovative products among the thousands on display at the AHR Expo.
The awards are jointly sponsored by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI); and International Exposition Company (IEC), producers and organizers of the AHR Expo.
A panel of judges, made up of ASHRAE members selected for their exceptional knowledge of the industry and its products, reviewed and evaluated all submissions. Product entries were judged for innovation, application, value to the user, and market impact in the following areas: heating, cooling, refrigeration, ventilation, in-door air quality, energy management, tools and instruments, and software. The winners in each category are highlighted below.
HeatingTrs Systems Inc.
Trs Systems Inc.'s RC2100 wireless hydronic controller is a brand new product that becomes available this month, noted company president Alex Kwai Wong. "The RC2100 is the first true wireless control system in the market," stated Wong.
"The system combines wireless space and outdoor temperature sensors, a wireless energy management interface, and an intelligent sensor reading control algorithm into one product."
The wireless sensors allow the system to be easily retrofitted into hydronic heating systems in commercial or multitenant buildings. Contractors should like the product, noted Wong, be-cause there is no sensor wiring required, which saves installation time and cost. Building owners will also benefit because the intelligent algorithm saves unnecessary energy usage.
In addition, the low-limit systems capability alerts the building owner, which can prevent complaints and costly problems.
Wong added that the RC2100 is extremely easy to install because the wireless outside air sensor can be installed without the traditional labor-intensive method of penetrating the building and mounting the outside air sensor with conduit and wire.
The space sensors can be installed by simply mounting the sensor on the wall, without running wires and conduit to different parts of the building.
"Our test site data indicated that a four zone system retrofit can be installed in approximately an hour versus the traditional two to four days of installation with a wired system," said Wong.
CoolingCopeland Corp., a Division of Emerson Climate Technologies
The next generation of Copeland Scroll compressors will be introduced at the 2005 AHR Expo.
"With 20 major design enhancements and nine patents pending, this product is the next generation of Copeland Scroll technology," noted John Schneider, marketing director, Copeland Residential Air Conditioning.
"It is optimized for 13 SEER, and it builds upon Copeland's reputation for delivering innovative, best-in-class compressor technology."
The next generation of Copeland Scroll compressors features optimized scroll and seal design to increase the efficiency of the compressor by up to 7 percent.
Improved temperature protection, larger bearings, and standardized parts increase the quality and reliability of the compressor, while a redesigned shell makes it up to 50 percent quieter.
Schneider stated that the next generation Copeland Scroll is an example of how Emerson continues to invest in new innovations to help contractors grow their businesses, enhance reputation with customers, and meet environmental goals and homeowner indoor comfort and efficiency needs.
With advancements in reliability, sound, and efficiency, Copeland Scroll helps contractors offer homeowners improved benefits and value for 13-SEER equipment.
The company stated that 74 percent of contractors prefer Scroll compressors for their proven reliability, reduced callbacks, and improved customer satisfaction.
Pending 13 SEER requirements and contractors' need for reliable, dependable equipment means the next generation Copeland Scroll is reshaping the design and performance of next generation systems, said Schneider.
The next generation Scroll is a full product line available for residential new construction, residential replacement, and commercial applications.
The Danfoss ICV (Intelligent Control Valve) was introduced in October 2004 and is available worldwide. This new valve platform for industrial applications features a weld-in mild steel body with no internal wear surfaces, as well as a replaceable single-piece function module.
"The ICV is half the weight of iron valves with one-quarter the leak potential, and designed for 754-psig working pressure," said Brian Davis, vice president, Industrial Refrigeration.
This new control valve is a benefit to contractors since the weld-in design eliminates the need for flanges and flange gaskets that can leak refrigerant.
In addition, the single-piece function module replaces many individual parts that can wear, so troubleshooting and servicing are faster and easier.
"The valve is smaller, lighter, less likely to leak, and much easier and faster to service," said Davis.
"It is easy to upgrade the function module from servo to motorized control without changing the housing."
The ICV is designed for industrial refrigeration applications, primarily in new construction.
Indoor Air QualityMunters
Humid environments are notorious for not having good-quality water. The solution, according to Munters, is H2O LiquidAire, which captures the moisture from outside air and turns it into pure potable water. H2O LiquidAire was introduced in February 2004 and can be applied in any humid environment. The company sees its new product as being an ideal solution to the world's water crisis.
"Making pure drinking water from cooling coils is unique and untried in the industry," said Larry Klekar, national accounts sales manager. "This dual-purpose dehumidification and water making system will benefit customers by qualifying their projects as green and will also help in meeting their LEED requirements."
H2O LiquidAire systems range in size and can produce from 75 to 3,500 gallons of pure drinking water per day. These systems are designed for the commercial market and can either be applied to new construction projects or retrofitted onto existing commercial buildings.
This product is particularly suited for hotels, resorts, hospitals, and other commercial applications in humid environments. According to the company, for the same operational cost of conditioning makeup air for commercial buildings, ample amounts of drinking water are generated from the air for free.
According to Klekar, H2O LiquidAire is easy to install and maintain. "Contractors familiar with installing conventional A/C equipment will have no issues installing and maintaining this equipment as it operates like a conventional A/C system," he stated. "Instead of dumping the condensate, it is collected and processed for drinking."
Flex-Grip 550, originally introduced to the HVAC market in 1992, has been used by contractors to seal air ducts throughout North America, said Jay Erickson, national sales manager, Hardcast Products Group.
In 2003, due to contractor demand, the original Flex-Grip 550 brush-on and caulk-grade product was modified, tested, and listed to the UL 181 Standard. This new spray-grade duct sealant was then introduced for the first time in January 2004.
According to the company, Flex-Grip 550 provides fast sealant application with consistently uniform coverage. It also offers a significant cost savings and increased efficiency over traditional brush-on application techniques, which saves the user time and money.
The new spray-applied product makes application of duct sealant much easier since a constant supply of product can be sprayed on duct joints without cumbersome buckets and brushes. Delivery systems are easily incorporated into any operation and are even supported via a Hardcast-supervised installation.
"Flex-Grip 550 is the only spray-grade duct sealant that currently meets the SMACNA seal classes and pressure classifications. The spray-grade characteristics of this product enable metal duct and duct fixture fabrication shops to dramatically improve the efficiency of their work processes," stated Erickson.
Flex-Grip 550 and the sealant delivery system are designed for professional use in both commercial and residential new construction and retrofit applications. It is universally appropriate to any HVAC sealant application need, according to the company.
Building AutomationInvisible Service Technicians
The IST Monitor is a remote monitoring and diagnostic device that can be used for residential and light commercial heating and cooling systems. The monitor is mounted on the customer's equipment and continuously monitors several operating parameters of the equipment.
Should the monitor detect a problem with a customer's system, it immediately notifies the IST data center. The data center, in turn, alerts the servicing contractor and provides him with enough operating data to diagnose the problem before visiting the customer's site. This enables a contractor to guarantee that his customers will never lose heating, cooling, or refrigeration.
The IST Monitor combines advanced microprocessor, sensor, and Internet technology. The cost of the monitor and service are kept low enough to make it affordable for small businesses and homeowners. "The IST leads a new wave of technology-enabled services that will completely transform how contractors service residential and light commercial customers," said Duane Neidert, chief operating officer.
Neidert stated that contractors adopting the IST will see dramatic benefits, including:
For customers, the IST Monitor can result in improved satisfaction, lower utility bills, and reduced repair costs. "The system can also prevent property damage and prevent loss of perishable inventory," said Neidert.
ToolsGoodway Technologies Corp.
The Model CTV-1500 cooling tower vacuum was introduced in January 2004 and is available worldwide through Goodway's direct sales and distributor network. The main feature of the CTV-1500 is that it makes it possible to clean cooling tower basins without taking the cooling tower offline. This results in the ability to clean cooling tower basins in a fraction of the time required to clean manually. In addition, cleaning does not have to be scheduled during overtime shifts.
Cooling towers supply chilled water to the chillers used in the air conditioning system.
"The cleaner the cooling tower is kept, the cleaner the chilled water supplied to the chillers. Cleaner chillers are more efficient and use less energy," said Steve Spielmann, customer service manager.
"In addition, dirty cooling towers are a breeding ground for microorganisms such as Legionella and can be a health concern to workers and the public in general."
The CTV-1500 also saves on water and water treatment chemicals. During conventional cleaning, the cooling tower basin is drained entirely of water and chemicals. There's no need to do that with the CTV-1500, and cleaning takes one-quarter the time of manual cleaning and requires only one operator.
The product is easy to operate with only minimal training of the operator, noted Spielmann, and it requires very little maintenance. The machine is portable so there are no installation concerns, and the unit is easily transported from one cooling tower to another or from one building to another.
Right-Radiant Plus is an easy-to-use and radiant design program with snow-melt design capabilities. According to Wrightsoft Corp., contractors can automatically design and lay out radiant loops using industry standard conventions for spacing, manifold connections, and bills of material.
Right-Radiant Plus is a major redesign, noted Lisa Skoczylas, marketing communications manager. New features include enhanced CAD-quality loop design, HVAC "Shapes" that are easily used for drag-and-drop design layout, snow-melt capabilities, additional calculations, the ability to adjust for cabinets and islands in kitchens and other areas of a house, and a "quick quote" feature, giving the contractor the ability to estimate costs without drawing a floor plan.
Right-Radiant Plus produces automatic loop drawings coupled with calculations. Acting as a "live model," updates made within the program are simultaneously and instantly reflected in the drawing and the calculations. CAD-quality drawings are tied to automatic calculations of all parameters, providing immediate updates to drawings based on any changes made within the connected calculations and preferences.
"Right-Radiant Plus saves hours of design time and eliminates the need to use additional drawing programs, such as AutoCAD," said Skoczylas. "Contractors can quickly and precisely produce a complete radiant design drawing along with a proposal that includes an accurate bill of materials and associated costs." The software can be used for residential and commercial applications.
Sidebar: Products Earning Honorable MentionThe following products earned honorable mention honors in their categories in the third annual Innovation Awards contest:
AERCO International Inc. - AERCO BMS (Boiler Management System)
Maxi-Therm - Vertical Flooded Heat Exchanger
Rheem Manufacturing Co. - Super Quiet 80 Gas Furnace
Bora A/C Inc. - 12 PRA Portable Air Conditioner 11600 BTU
Bristol Compressors - H21J Benchmark Reciprocating Compressor
ClimateMaster Inc. - Tranquility 27
Cooper B-Line - Arnafix Clamp
Henry Technologies Inc. - Optronic MK II
Tyler Refrigeration - N6DHP
Bentax USA - Bentax 5D-14
StrionAir Inc. - StrionAir QC System
Ultra-Sun Technologies - Sun Pure SP-200
White-Rodgers - 1F95CA Thermostat with Active Protection and Dehumidification
Broan-NuTone LLC - Recessed Fan/Light
Dais Analytic Corp. - ConsERV
The Dryerbox - The Dryer Box
Titus - TFS Fantom IQ
Reliable Controls Corp. - Smart-Sensor LCD
Trans-Coil Inc. (TCI) - H5 Active Line Conditioner
The Watt Stopper Inc. - Lighting Integrator
Carrier Corp. - Infinity Control
Controlotron Corp. - Enhanced 1010 E Thermal Energy Meter
Extech Instruments Corp. - 1000A True RMS AC/DC Clamp+IR Thermo, Model EX
Fluke Corp. - Fluke 87V DMM
Design Services Network - System Design Simulator
EdgeView Software - Facility Maintainer
HVAC Solution - HVAC Solution Version 3.1
Publication date: 01/24/2005