Sustainably Speaking

AHR Expo turn out is impressive

The turn out for the AHR Expo last week was impressive. Whether an attendee or exhibitor, you couldn’t help but notice how packed the show floor aisles were.

It turns out that the expo set a new attendance record — more than 34,000 attendees saw all the latest products and innovations on display from 1,938 exhibiting companies, making this year’s event the largest show ever held outside of Chicago or New York. Included in the record-breaking number of exhibitors were more than 200 first-time exhibitors and nearly 400 international companies from 31 different countries.

Some of the products and technologies on display that caught my eye were:

Titus’ EOS, a solar-powered energy-harvesting diffuser, designed to improve comfort and save energy at the same time. The EOS uses a logic system, which monitors air temperature and adjusts the air discharge position using harvested power to complete the diffuser’s auto-changeover function to ensure the proper discharge position for heating and cooling. Titus is an EnOcean Alliance member. The EnOcean Alliance develops and promotes self-powered wireless monitoring and control systems for sustainable buildings by formalizing the interoperable wireless standard.

The new Thermo Seeker Infrared Thermometer/Scanner from General Tools & Instruments is a precision point-and-shoot, non-contact, infrared thermometer which offers an easy and safe method for scanning and measuring surface temperatures of equipment or surfaces. It allows the user to designate a set point and determine whether subsequent temperature readings are within or outside of any of three selectable ranges from that set point. A star burst laser aiming and measuring system lets the user easily determine the “spot” area being measured. With the Thermo Seeker, a set-point reference temperature is first acquired and stored and then one of the three reference ranges is selected. As subsequent scanning measurements are taken, the user is provided with audible and visual indications to determine whether scanned temperatures are within or outside of the selected range: green for within, red for above and blue for below. Different audible alarms also sound for readings exceeding the upper and lower range limits.

The Trace300 by nuvoTrace is a new tester designed to use a safe, non-toxic tracer gas mix of 5% hydrogen with 95% nitrogen (or any gas mixture with hydrogen) to determine leak tightness. The product allows contractors to change the probe to conduct different testing, i.e. one probe dedicated to refrigerant and three probes for hydrogen leak detection or any combination they desire. The Trace300 also offers the ability to detect refrigerants such as R-22, R-134a and R-410a.

Uponor is now offering its Ecoflex pre-insulated pipe in 1", 1¼" and 1½" ASTM sizes. ASTM Ecoflex features Uponor’s hePEX plus barrier tubing surrounded by closed-cell, PEX-foam insulation and covered by a waterproof, corrugated HDPE jacket. It is available in continuous lengths up to 600 feet, and uses either Uponor’s durable ProPEX fittings or the new WIPEX dezincification-resistant (DZR) brass compression fittings for a watertight, leak-resistant system. Ecoflex is available in single and twin configurations which feature one or two hePEX plus service pipes, respectively.

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling and Heating Solutions (Mitsubishi Electric), announced at a press conference that it will incorporate Honeywell’s RedLINK wireless HVAC protocol into Mitsubishi Electric’s line of split-ductless and ducted heat pumps. The RedLINK-enabled split-ductless system is designed to maximize comfort and reduce energy costs. With this technology, a wall-mounted wireless remote controller communicates through radio frequency, meaning that the wireless controller(s) can be placed in a different room than the indoor units and that no wires need to be run through the walls. The wall-mounted controller(s) look almost identical to traditional wall-mounted thermostats to which customers in the U.S. market are accustomed, with easy-to-read backlit displays and intuitive operational functions. The Portable Central Controller (PCC) allows users the freedom of climate control of up to 16 zones from anywhere in the home such as the bedroom, den or wherever they happen to be. The control system will also operate all of the control functions traditionally available in Mitsubishi Electric cooling and heating systems, including complete zone control, adjustable fan speed, vane positioning and more.

Emerson Climate Technologies Inc. launched its new compressor electronics platform, CoreSense technology. This advances Emerson’s “smart compressor” strategy using the compressor as a sensor, which includes on-board modules for select new compressor lines. Found in Copeland compressors, this electronics platform enhances compressor and system performance by sensing and interpreting information found inside the compressor, providing new levels of diagnostics, protection and communication. In developing CoreSense compressor technology, Emerson sought to identify pain points throughout the distribution channel and drive technology that would extend system and compressor life, drive down maintenance costs, reduce system failures, and decrease warranty claims. This technology gives contractors access to information inside the compressor so they can identify performance issues quickly and accurately. When adverse operating conditions are detected, CoreSense shuts down the compressor to help avoid system damage, saving contractors, homeowners and businesses alike, valuable time and money.

These are just a handful of innovative products that were at the show. There are so many more products to tell you about, so stay tuned for our AHR Expo review, which will be featured in Contractor’s March issue.

If you were at the AHR Expo last week, let us know what products caught your eye. To let us know what products stood out to you, you can comment on my blog, or you can become a fan of Contractor’s Facebook fan page. Or, you can e-mail me at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you.