The 2005 AHR Expo, held Feb. 7-9 in Orlando, Fla., set a record for number of exhibiting companies with 1,871 exhibitors taking up 372,955 sq. ft. of exhibit space. The show continued its trend of attracting a growing number of international exhibitors and attendees. A total of 311 companies from 31 countries, including exhibitors in several country-specific pavilions, showcased their products at the event. Foreign exhibitors included 34 companies from Europe, 86 from Pacific Rim countries and 123 Canadian companies.
Despite the overall air-side HVAC focus of the show, plenty of products on display involve pipe somewhere along the line.
Victaulic introduced its Advanced Groove System mechanical coupling for large diameter pipe. The coupling, which is two pieces instead of the typical four, joins pipe from 14 in. to 24 in. and delivers pressure ratings to 350 psi. Victaulic said the two-piece, two-bolt joining system is easier to assemble.
Rival Anvil, maker of Gruvlock mechanical couplings, showed NPT-threaded circuit balancing valves. The valves come in a range from _ in. low flow up to 2 in. The five-turn valves handle 300°F and 300 psi.
Now that its five-year non-compete agreement with Anvil has expired, Tyco Fire & Security has resurrected the Grinnell name for a line of couplings, fittings, flange adapters, branch outlets and valves. The company is producing grooved fittings from 1 1/4-in. all the way up to 24 in.
Lochinvar Corp. introduced the Solution residential boiler, featuring a two-stage firing control system, built-in bypass piping and pump, and combustible-floor shield. The lightweight, low-mass boiler has a gasket-less copper finned-tube heat exchanger, which provides for fast heat transfer. The entire heat exchanger can slide out for servicing. It does not require gaskets and has cast-iron headers. The unit comes with a built-in draft hood and top-mounted water connections. The boiler has a rating of 84% AFUE.
State Industries showed its Titan and Titan LV powered burner commercial gas water heaters. The LV units are available in gas, oil-fired or dual fuel gas/oil models. The water heaters are available with storage capacities as high as 600 gal., inputs to a maximum of 2.5 million Btuh and first-hour recovery rates as high as 2,400 gal. The standard Titan offers inputs to 750,000 Btuh. Despite their large capacity, the units occupy a smaller footprint than most comparable water heaters, State said.
A.O. Smith showed its Equinox rooftop water heater for fast-food restaurants and other light- to medium-duty commercial applications. Its advantages, the company noted, are that it frees up floor space, meets California and Texas low-NOx standards, and its 80-gal. tank and 120,000 Btuh input provide a recovery rate of 116 gph at a 100° F rise.
Under the Rheem and Ruud brands, Rheem Water Heaters displayed the Ventmaster power direct vent commercial water heater. It’s available with 100 gal. tank, can vent through either 3-in. or 4-in. PVC pipe, and the gas control can be cranked up to as high as 180° F.
While much of the water heater industry can’t arrive at a consensus about how to make power-vented water heaters that are flammable vapor ignition resistant, American Water Heater introduced at the AHR Expo here its Powerflex FVIR model that relies on a simple solution — it’s sealed-combustion, direct-vent. The combustion air inlet is located at the top of the water heater, which vents via a top-mounted blower through a concentric vent system. American is making the Powerflex in three models up to 50 gal. and 60,000 Btuh input.
Bradford White showed its Everhot line of gas-fired, wall-mounted tankless water heaters. The units are available in two residential and two commercial models, both having indoor and outdoor versions with Btuh inputs ranging from 15,000-180,000 Btuh for indoor models and 15,000-199,000 Btuh for outdoor models. Outdoor models are shipped with a separate primary remote controller. Residential indoor and outdoor models can have two additional remote controllers hardwired at multiple use locations.
Bradford White also showed its eF Series commercial tank-type water heater, available in four models with 100-gal. tanks and three 60-gal. models. All of them feature efficiencies as high as 99.1%.
Aerco showed its KC-1000 gas-fired commercial water heater that modulates over a 14:1 ratio from 70,000 Btuh to 1 million Btuh. Its thermal efficiencies can range from 93% to 99%. The company noted that it produces 18 ppm of NOx, meeting California standards.
Takagi presented its Flash T-H1 tankless gas water heater, with modulating input ratings between 15,000 Btuh and 199,000 Btuh. Takagi said the water heater can also handle radiant heating applications. The water heater can heat 40°F incoming water to 120°F at a flow rate of about 4.1 gpm.
Laars showed its Endurance modulating sealed-combustion residential gas boiler, available in two sizes, the Model 110 modulating from 61,800 Btuh to 108,200 Btuh, or the Model 175 that runs from 102,900 Btuh to 175,300 Btuh. The boiler has an internal bypass, built-in pump and several venting options. It comes in three distinct models — the EBP has a 20-gal. internal tank for domestic hot water, the EDP is just for space heating and the EDN is a non-ferrous version of the EDP.
ECR International highlighted its Dunkirk Quantum 95-200M gas-fired direct-vent condensing boiler. The 95% AFUE boiler can modulate between 76,000 and 190,000 Btuh output and can be shipped with either a Taco or Grundfos circulator. The mono-block cast-aluminum heat exchanger does not require primary/secondary piping and can take return water temperatures down to 40°F.
Taco showed a mixture of both new and old, including an expansion of its “00” Series of wet-rotor circulators equipped with an integral flow check. Taco now has a 007 circulator with the integral flow check in its priority zoning circulator line. Also new is a boiler electric water feeder that works in conjunction with Taco’s low-water cutoff control. Taco showed its packaged radiant heat injection mixing system and domestic hot water recirculation pumping system.
Bell & Gossett exhibited its Circuit Sentry automatic flow-limiting valve that can be used to adjust hydronic systems for peak performance. The valve is designed to work with variable-speed pumping systems because it can compensate for changing pressures. B&G showed its Check-Trol isolation flow control flange that combines the features of a flow control valve, isolation valve and companion flange.
Honeywell displayed its 5000 Series Zone Valve, equipped with “soft close” technology that reduces water hammer potential, ultimately decreasing callbacks and complaints. The Quick Fit pushbutton actuator removal feature offers a metal-to-metal connection, allowing for rapid installation and easier service, the company said.
Honeywell unveiled its SuperVent air eliminator. The company pointed out the device’s rugged design, intended to reduce leaks and callbacks. Honeywell has taken out a patent on the method by which the air eliminator breaks up air bubbles. It features a no-clog vent assembly, a 360-degree adjustable collar ring, and it can be serviced in the field.
T-Drill, well known for its tools to pull soldered T-openings in the side of copper pipe, introduced its Pipe Branching System 8. The tool can cut tube and pipe up to 8 in. in less than a minute. The system (including the pipe roller stand) cuts steel, stainless steel, copper, soil pipe, and plastics cleanly and squarely. The cut is square enough to allow orbital welding without any further pipe preparation, T-Drill said. Wall thicknesses up to Schedule 40 can be handled as well as thinner wall pipe.
REHAU updated its InsulPEX energy-transfer pipe to include 16 new ASTM-compliant inch sizes that meet North American standards. In addition, the firm is producing more than 50 new Everloc fittings for the pipe. Insulated PEX is growing in popularity, especially for snow-melt applications, REHAU said.
InsulPEX consists of pre-insulated RauPEX pipe. The smooth interior wall of RauPEX carrier pipe provides good flow while eliminating the possibility of corrosion inherent in buried metal piping systems, REHAU said. The pipe, however, also can be used inside buildings. Available in one- and two-pipe configurations, the pipe is produced with a bonded layer of CFC-free polyurethane foam insulation. The outer casing is of seamless, co-extruded polyethylene is now black for increased UV resistance.
Danfoss introduced both hydronic and electric radiant heating products. Convec is a packaged hydronic heating and cooling system coupled with a high-efficiency axial fan. Unlike radiators that deliver heat via convection, the Convec system forces air over a heat transfer tube to warm or cool a room. The Convec hydronic panels are available in two configurations, InLine for wall and ceiling applications or FloorLine for floor applications, and can be adjusted to fit any length or angle.
Danfoss also introduced the LX electric radiant product, supplied as a mat, which can be rolled out quickly on the subfloor or, in a renovation, on top of an existing floor. The mat is made of a fiberglass material that can withstand the rigors of the jobsite, Danfoss said, but is easily cut to allow working it around obstacles such as toilets, sinks and cabinets. The mat is self-adhesive. The LX electronic thermostat has dual voltage capabilities (120v or 240v); four-event, seven-day programming; and built-in GFCI functionality.
Spirax Sarco showed its new Pivotrol Pressure Powered Condensate Pump for steam systems. The device replaces pins and linkages with pivots, reducing friction and wear. Spirax Sarco backs the product for 3 million cycles or three years, and the spring is warranted for life. A special damper uses the hydraulic inertia of the collected condensate to reduce mechanical shock as the valve actuators shift.
DaimlerChrysler Vans fought back against the problem of its Sprinter cargo van being pricier than its competitors with the “Ultimate Fuel Gauge.” Using a special Web link (www.fl-sprinter.com), owners of Ford E-Series, Chevy Express and GMC Savanna cargo vans can compare gas mileage and how much money they would save. The Sprinter is the most fuel-efficient van in its class, according to DaimlerChrysler, at 25 mpg.
LA-CO Industries showed its latest line of Markal industrial paint markers. The markers, designed for use on metal, use real paint that is weather-, water- and UV-resistant and dries in three minutes. The markers will write on surfaces from –50°F to 150°F.
NIBCO announced its new press-to-connect copper fitting and valve line, designed to be joined with Ridgid brand tools. The line features copper and dezincification-resistant brass alloy, an EPDM O-ring seal, and is suitable for use with K, L and M tube. Sizes range from 1/2-in. through 4-in. fittings, 1/2-in. through 2-in. ball and check valves and 2-1/2-in. through 4-in. butterfly valves.
Turbotec Products introduced its proprietary process for the manufacture of surface-enhanced Titanium tubing. As its first application, the firm produced coaxial coils for spa and swimming pool heating systems. Offering the strength of titanium, the tubing protects heating units from highly erosive and corrosive environments typical of pool and spa water.
Simultaneously, to offset the higher costs of titanium vs. other metal tubing, Turbotec has developed plastic shell casings for its helical coaxial coils. Turbotec’s plastic shell casing allows for maximum heat transfer, while protecting the unit from pool and spa water. The company said its PVC shells are nearly 50% more economical than copper tubing.
Metraflex showed off a product that it said had engineers saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?” While there should be 10 pipe diameters in between an elbow and a pump, that’s not often practical. Metraflex introduced the CRV Flex and Vane Flex elbows with stationary vanes that not only smooth the flow but also cause the fluid to gently rotate as it negotiates the turn. As a result, the fluid enters the pump with a flat velocity profile. Metraflex said that an 8-in. suction diffuser typically has pressure drop of 75 equivalent ft., while its 8-in. CRV Flex has a pressure drop of 12.1 equivalent ft.
Armstrong Pumps introduced a line of circulator isolation flanges for use in hydronic applications. The flanges are used in pairs to connect circulators and can isolate the circulator so a system doesn’t need to be drained for service. The flange incorporates a two-bolt flange connection and a full-port ball valve.