Read about the 18 finalists in the HVAC/R category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2013 Product of the Year competition.
AAON SB Series water-source/geothermal heat pump indoor self-contained units (3 to 18 tons) are designed with a double-wall rigid polyurethane foam injected cabinet construction of the SB Series, saving operating costs with reduced air leakage and a higher thermal resistance. Variable capacity scroll compressors and electronically commutated motor-driven variable speed direct drive backward curved plenum fans allow the unit to operate as a energy-saving Single Zone VAV system that modulates fan speed and airflow based on the space temperature and compressor capacity based on the supply air temperature, during both cooling and heating operation.
The Benchmark 6000 (BMK6000) by AERCO features 15:1 turndown for energy efficiency, and low NOx emissions. The BMK6000 also uses a stainless steel, fire-tube design and can fit in both retrofit and new construction that require one or multiple 6 million BTU/hr boilers. The BMK6000 has an operating efficiency of 92.5% to reduce operating expenses and yield the highest possible seasonal fuel savings. Another design advantage of the BMK6000 is a 439 stainless steel construction that helps the boiler achieve high efficiency, improves longevity, and creates greater heat exchanger cycling resistance.
The Innovation 1350 water heater by AERCO is designed for new construction and retrofit. The tankless Innovation 1350 delivers 30:1 turndown, giving the Innovation 1350 operating efficiency of 99%. The Innovation 1350 boasts a thermal shock-proof firetube heat exchanger that is highly resistant to scale buildup and impervious to thermal stress, resulting in an extended life. The all-stainless-steel construction further maximizes longevity, and the corrugated tubes increase effective heat transfer surface area for optimal thermal efficiencies. It can also be used with AERCO’s C-More Water Heater Management System for multi-unit systems.
Advantix Systems’ DuTreat Roof HVAC system utilizes liquid desiccant technology. The system is a single-piece unit that operates using electricity alone and requires minimal installation. It also cleans air and eliminates odors without disposable filters in each pass (80% removal of particulates/91% of airborne microorganisms). It controls temperature and humidity independently for any sensible heat ratio largest packaged unit of liquid desiccant technology. It is field convertible for vertical/horizontal airflow configurations. Other features include corrosion-resistant wetted components, a variable capacity digital scroll compressor, and direct drive, belt-free fans.
The Powerfoil X2.0 from Big Ass Fans uses an airfoil system that combines airfoils and winglets with AirFence technology to increase overall coverage by 28%. The winglet eliminates efficiency-robbing turbulence at the airfoil tip, while the AirFence captures air that would otherwise slip off the end of the airfoil. Certain tried-and-true features of the previous Powerfoil X remain, including the NitroSeal gearbox. Its onboard VFD provides easy integration into building automation systems and its fully sealed enclosure prevents corrosion and excessive heat buildup. The fan is UL 507/CSA certified and includes a power-on shutdown fire relay for seamless fire-control panel integration.
The Modulating Plus (MP) Series of modulation infrared heaters from Detroit Radiant Products allow users to select a desired operation for their specific needs through the incorporation of three performance curves, as well as a Blast Mode. The Blast Mode allows users to temporarily lock the heater into its highest input with an extra 5,000 Btu for extreme environmental demands. The models available in the MP Series range from 80,000 to 200,000 Btu. The MP Series features full gas modulation with corresponding airflow modulation to allow for optimal fuel utilization.
The H-Max Series variable frequency drive by Eaton is engineered to increase energy savings, lower utility costs, and reduce emissions in commercial buildings. With an energy control algorithm, the H-Max Series has improved efficiency and stability. Combining new technologies like advanced dc capacitors and new generation-insulated gate bipolar transistors with smarter functions like a real-time clock and calendar, the H-Max Series drives are engineered to provide ultra-efficient operations. These advancements help operate energy-efficient HVAC systems.
The TClip System by Engineered Assemblies meets all the prescriptive requirements for nonresidential steel stud walls in ASHRAE 90.1 for all climate zones. The TClip System is designed with fastened cladding thermally broken from the structure. The horizontal girt connects to and is thermally broken from TClip. Vertical and horizontal girts connect outside the insulation to support cladding. The TClip System’s design also works to unite the house of design to the field of construction. The TClip installation process compares to traditional installation practices, while using fewer materials. The TClip System performs with all types of cladding materials. The clips are fully adjustable, helping the installer while providing complete design freedom for architects and maintaining superior building performance.
The Housed Plenum Array Model HPA by Greenheck is designed for fan array installations in air handler applications. The Model HPA features a direct-drive galvanized plenum fan mounted inside a sound-attenuating housing. Integrated isolators between the fan and housing reduce vibration, eliminating the need for isolators and gaskets between modules. Available in 10 wheel sizes and three different housing options, the Model HPA is ideal for replacement or air handler applications as its small, lightweight design makes it easy to move, stack, and install. The Model HPA is licensed to bear the AMCA seal for sound and air performance.
The Multi F Max System by LG Electronics is able to deliver a nominal capacity of up to 54,000 Btu/hr. Adding branch distribution to LG’s Multi F product family also effectively doubles the number of potential temperature control zones available, offering up to eight individual zones for customized comfort. The LG Multi F Max also features engineering and design enhancements to deliver increased efficiency ratings, decreased noise levels, and improved piping capabilities, while maintaining existing Multi F Max system footprint and approximate weight. The LG Multi F Max offers a range of indoor unit options that can be customized based on structural design and application needs.
Metraflex’s Seismic Gator in-line expansion joint is designed to protect piping spanning the building’s seismic joint. Capable of 4 in. of movement in all directions, this rugged, streamlined joint’s small profile makes it ideal for applications requiring a minimal footprint. The Seismic Gator is a strong, compact seismic expansion joint capable of handling high temperatures and pressures. It requires guiding and significant anchoring, and is available with flange, groove and weld connections. It has a maximum working pressure of 150 psi, and a maximum working temperature of 700 F.
The R2-Series PURY-P72 variable refrigerant flow zoning cooling and heating system from Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating features complete zone control, flexibility, and ease of installation while also offering a smaller footprint and improved efficiencies. The units take advantage of Mitsubishi Electric’s Inverter-driven compressor technology and use intelligent controls for superior operation. The two-pipe system R2-Series units offer simultaneous cooling and heating to 14 F ambient conditions, feature a quiet operation from 58 to 64 dBA, and support an extended set point range. The R2-Series can be connected using the G-50A/GB50A controllers and monitored though the CITY MULTI Controls Network.
The S-Series PUMY-P60 model by Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating is a 5-ton, single-phase VRF zoning system that can operate at as low as 22% of total system capacity for maximum energy efficiency. Other enhancements include long line lengths, high efficiencies, and expanded indoor zone capacities. Key features include operational down to -4 F and an extended line length to 492 ft. It has efficiency at 16.7 SEER and is able to connect to up to 12 indoor units. It is also compatible with all Mitsubishi Electric indoor unit styles.
Schneider Electric’s Condenser Fan Pak solution incorporates floating high-pressure control and VSD fan operation for multi-fan, air-cooled chillers and condensers. This solution can benefit both new machines for the OEM, and existing machines for the end user. In addition, the energy consumption of air-cooled chillers and condensers can be reduced by up to 20%. As a retrofit for existing machines, these energy savings can be achieved for a fraction of the cost of complete replacement. The unit is shipped pre-programmed, wired, fully tested, and ready to optimize the operation of an air-cooled chiller or condenser.
The DBS III with the integrated Altistart 22/48 soft start/stop unit by Schneider Electric improves performance and provides stable operation for refrigeration equipment. Features include an HMI, graphic display with a quick setup menu, advanced dual profile setup, fault history menu, and data-monitoring menu. Altistart 22/48 soft start/stop unit incorporates true 3-phase control with other protection functions, which monitor and protect the machine to sustain uptime. It has 3-phase current monitoring, fault history, multiple data points and parameter access, and an isolated low-voltage section compliant with NFPA 70E.
Tate’s EcoCore Phase Change Panel incorporates the latest advances in micro-encapsulated phase change materials to reduce indoor air temperature fluctuations and save energy. During the peak solar load of the day, the phase change material embedded within the welded steel panel is designed to melt and absorb energy. This stored energy can be held within the panel until cold air during the off hours at night allows the phase change material to resolidify and release the absorbed heat back into the space. Storing energy in this way produces a more stable and comfortable environment during the day while decreasing demands on HVAC systems and reducing energy costs.
The expanded Titus Plexicon line of displacement ventilation systems from Titus HVAC includes solar capabilities. The Titus Solar Plexicon uses a wireless, energy harvesting process to power the unit. The Titus Plexicon line is able to heat and cool using one displacement ventilation unit. With both heating and cooling from the same diffuser assembly, the Plexicon line reduces cost and eases design and installation challenges. The solar Plexicon uses a wireless, energy harvesting platform to power the auto-changeover action when changing to the cooling or heating mode.
The Envision2 Compact Series by WaterFurnace International is available in 3/4- to 6-ton capacities. It incorporates a number of features including a factory-installed 24 V motorized on-off water valve for VFD pumping with automatic internal water flow control; hot gas bypass and reheat; and high efficiency PSC, five-speed ECM, or variable speed ECMs. Single-speed models operate with a Copeland 5-K Scroll or LG rotary compressor, while dual-capacity units use a Copeland UltraTech compressor. All Envision heat pumps feature coaxial heat exchangers with a copper inner tube and steel outer tube for maximum heat transfer at normal and low water flow rates, minimizing pressure drop.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.