USA: Parker Hannifin was a major winner at this year’s AHR Expo Innovation Awards, winning both the cooling and the tools & instruments categories.
The award in the important refrigeration category went to Italian manufacturer Carel for its HEOS water loop system.
The annual AHR Expo Innovation Awards competition honours the most inventive and original products, systems and technologies showcased at each year’s AHR Expo Show.
This year’s winners were selected by a panel of independent ASHRAE member judges who evaluated all award entries based on innovative design, creativity, application, value and market impact. This year’s categories were building automation, cooling, green building, heating, indoor air quality, plumbing, refrigeration, software, tools & instruments, and ventilation. A 2016 AHR Expo Product of the Year award winner, selected from the 10 category winners, will be announced at the 2016 AHR Expo, which this year takes place in Orlando from January 25-27.
The cooling category was won by Parker Hannifin’s ZoomLine flexible tubing, a six-layer, flexible tubing solution designed to replace copper in refrigeration and air-conditioning applications. Its ZoomLock braze-free pipe connectors picked up the tools & instruments award.
This six-layer flexible rubber tubing includes a flexible aluminium barrier and can accommodate pressures up to 700psi (48bar). It eliminates the need for couplings, elbows, adaptors and brazed joints.
ZoomLock offers mechanical, braze-free pipe connections for copper tubing in a variety of HVACR applications. Requiring no nitrogen purging and doing away with the requirement for hot work permits, ZoomLock, like ZoomLine, is suitable for pressures up to 700psi (48bar).
Winner of the refrigeration category, Carel’s HEOS water loop system is designed for cooling self-contained commercial food refrigeration equipment in retail applications. Reducing total refrigerant charge by up to 80%, the system features small, self-contained refrigeration circuits with hermetically sealed piping that also minimise the chance for refrigerant leaks.
HEOS includes DC compressors specifically designed to maximise energy efficiency at partial loads, while providing a wide range of speed modulation that facilitates better temperature control with less fluctuation. An electronic expansion valve further elevates energy savings by efficiently modulating refrigerant flow in the evaporator coils. A control board dynamically manages the system’s various components – compressor, expansion valve, fans – via implementation of advanced algorithms, with diagnostics that streamline both system startup and maintenance.
Said to achieve 25% energy savings when compared to standard DX refrigeration systems, and 20% greater savings than on-off water loop systems, HEOS systems are also easily installed as independent plug-in units.
Indoor air quality
Columbia-based Semco LLC, a subsidiary of the Fläkt Woods Group, won the indoor air quality category with its Ascendant active desiccant hybrid system. This provides conventional cooling and dehumidification for commercial applications requiring 100% outdoor air, and low dew point temperatures/supply air humidity levels.
Ideal for applications including hospital operating rooms, archival and dry storage, hotels and multi-family buildings, Ascendant is said to operate without the need for exhaust heat recovery, and can perform as a partial or dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS), or as a true variable air volume (VAV) unit.
Compared to conventional mechanical DX or chiller systems, Ascendant provides up to three times more dehumidification, achieves dew point temperatures as low as 20°F and uses up to 60% less cooling capacity.
The award for best software product went to Plasma Air International for a web-based software package that calculates and compares indoor air contaminant levels.
PlasmaSoft 2.0 IAQ Procedure Software uses both ASHRAE’s Ventilation Rate Method (VRM) and the Indoor Air Quality Procedure (IAQP), which facilitates reduction of outside air intake. As a result, commercial, institutional and industrial building owners can reduce first cost by downsizing AC equipment, and lower energy use by reducing outside air intake.
California-based Aeroseal picked up the best ventilation award for its aerosol-based duct sealing solution.
Developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with funding from the US Department of Energy, EPA and others, this duct sealing technology works from the inside of the ventilation shaft to “seek” and bond-seal targeted leaks.