LAS VEGAS — This year’s AHR Expo started strong and finished strong, showing a variety of interesting plumbing, mechanical and HVACR products.
Uponor’s booth at the show focused on its commercial plumbing products, including a sample of a wall of back-to-back fixture carriers with large diameter PEX and copper stub-outs. The Apple Valley, Minnesota-based firm showed its PEX in a radiant ceiling application and showcased one of its newest fittings, a PEX-to-grooved brass model. Uponor also told attendees about its Building Information Modeling data.
Power-Flo Pumps, Mansfield, Ohio, placed its emphasis on its variable-speed, cast iron, wet-rotor circulators. The pumps boast fixed three-speed ECM mode, either pressure or temperature differential or automatic programming as the pump learns the system. Power-Flo Pumps Vice President of Sales Mark D’Agostino pointed out that the pump also comes with temperature sensors that can be placed on the supply and return lines. The contractor can program in the ∆T he desires and the pump will operate at that parameter. D’Agostino also said that the circulators cost less than competitive models.
Aerco boilers, a Watts company, centered its display around its Benchmark Platinum high-efficiency boiler. Company representatives emphasized the AERtrim feature, advanced O2 Trim technology that ensures that the boiler is firing efficiently. Dual Returns enable maximum efficiency and application flexibility. Dual returns enhance condensing efficiency, according to the firm.
The company also talked about its onAER Remote Monitoring function for pro-active performance and health-of-system monitoring. onAer is an app-based monitoring system that provides contractors or facilities managers with an overview of all sites; plant efficiency status; a list of which units require immediate action, demand attention or need maintenance; a breakout of individual unit performance including efficiency; O2 levels; cycles per hour; a list of fault events with possible causes and suggested actions, and technical data including heartbeat records with ability to graph data so you can view trends.
SharkBite announced that it has a complete system of push-connect fittings for PEX pipe. It’s also selling coils of PEX, along with the fittings. The SharkBite EvoPEX system includes washing machine outlet boxes and ice-maker outlet boxes, available with or without a water hammer arrestor, corrugated water heater flex connect hoses and a Cash-Acme Tank Booster PRO, which is a water heater mixing valve that mixes hot and cold water to deliver hot water at 120°F. SharkBite also showed lead-free brass slip-tees that work with copper, CPVC and PEX.
The major announcement from Greenlee Textron Inc. was the launch of a new line of Gorilla Pressing Tools. The Gorilla Pressing Tool line features two separate tool platforms: the inline battery pressing tool and the pistol grip battery powered pressing tool. Both tools quickly press watertight connections in three to four seconds. The tools can be used while a system is still wet, unlike with soldering. The inline pressing tool has a fitting capacity of 1½-inches on PEX and 1¼-inches on copper and stainless steel, and the pistol grip pressing tool has a fitting capacity of 2-inches on PEX and 4-inches on copper and stainless steel. The tools have a patented twist and release pin, making jaw exchange easy. The kits come with four jaws for the inline and six for the pistol grip.
Kingspan Insulation had its KoolDuct HVAC ductwork system on display. The KoolDuct system is a pre-insulated HVAC ductwork system, which offers reduced installation time, low weight, space savings through flush-to-ceiling installation, increased performance and energy efficiency. The ductwork can be installed indoors, outdoors, and concealed above false ceilings and below raised floors. The product is UL 181 listed as a Class 1 Air Duct and can easily attain a SMACNA Class 3 air leakage rating.
The panels are manufactured with a blowing agent that has zero ozone depletion potential and low global warming potential. The fiber-free, rigid insulation core minimizes the risk of loose fibers entering the airstream through the ductwork, since distributed air does not come into contact with insulation material that produces loose fibers.
The system comprises the panels, fabrication methods, coupling systems and a line of accessories to produce pre-insulated rectangular ductwork in sections up to 13 feet long. The duct weighs up to 72 percent less than ductwork constructed from galvanized sheet metal and insulated with mineral fiber insulation.
Danfoss is deeply involved in research and testing of alternative refrigerants. In line with that focus, the firm recently conducted an online survey to gauge industry acceptance of CO2 refrigeration systems in North America. Intended to serve as an industry indicator, the survey collected input from commercial and industrial refrigeration OEMs, consultants, contractors, and end users.
According to the survey, the commercial refrigeration industry continues to see CO2 as a viable mainstream technology for refrigeration (82 percent of OEMs; 91 percent of consultants and end users), and about half of OEMs responding see CO2 refrigeration as being at least 16 percent of their business within the next five years. In a similar study conducted in 2012, less than 20 percent of OEMs saw CO2 comprising at least 16 percent of their business.
The majority of commercial refrigeration consultants and end users are today engaged in CO2 projects, citing pending legislation/regulations and corporate sustainability goals are key drivers in the decision to use CO2. However, at the same time, they identified the high initial system cost as a primary barrier to deployment.
Schebler Chimney, Bettendorf, Iowa, announced that it has a better solution for condensing boiler venting. The firm’s eVent DualSeal with RapidLock Connection System for high efficiency boilers is now available in cost-effective 316L stainless steel as well as 24 gauge AL 29-4C.
The problem, Schebler says, is that chimneys for commercial condensing boiler applications can leak condensate at the joints. eVent DualSeal’s patent-pending flange-to-flange, factory-applied gasket-to-gasket design overcomes the engineering defects common in standard joint connections that cause venting systems to leak. The robust construction of the UL 1738-listed product reduces the number of supports and hangers required, cutting installation labor costs up to 30%.
Most manufacturers of special gas venting systems use a male-to-female gasket joint designed to accommodate the condensate drain-back flow. With this design, however, the exhaust gas flow, which contains large amounts of corrosive condensate, can easily be forced past the gasket if fit-up is even slightly imperfect. Schebler says its product allows the exhaust gas with condensate to flow over the gaskets, creating a leak free seal.