The annual AHR Expo (Jan 14-16, 2019) in Atlanta, Georgia, is a front row seat to the latest, the greatest and the future of HVACR in the areas of building management systems, time-saving tools and high-tech components. And let’s not forget its more than 120 sessions in educational seminars. “With thousands of attendees joining from all over the world,” says AHR Expo manager Clay Stevens, “the show provides a unique forum for the whole industry to share ideas, cultivate relationships and experience, firsthand, all of the exciting advances being made in HVACR.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, so we are using the next few pages to show you.
If you’re at the AHR Expo, come see us at booth B1439. If you missed it, watch our AHR coverage at snipsmag.com
The 2019 AHR Expo Innovation Award winners are recognized as the HVACR industry’s most innovative products, systems and technologies. Winners were selected by a panel of third-party ASHRAE member judges who evaluated each award entry based on its innovative design, creativity, application, value and market impact:
Regal for the Genteq Ensite motor, an electronically commutated motor specifically designed for furnace application, enables customers to comply with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fan Energy Rating (FER) regulatory requirements taking effect in July of 2019.
Johnson Controls, Inc. for the YORK YZ Magnetic Bearing Centrifugal Chiller, a fully-optimized chiller, is built with next-generation low-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant to increase energy efficiency.
INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CPS Products, Inc. for the IAQ SmartAir.
Taco Comfort Solutions for Taco Tags featuring eLink, a cloud-based support program that provides users with a web-based, factory-maintained knowledge base on their mobile device via NFC technology.
enVerid Systems for the HVAC Load Reduction (HLR) module 1000E-M, an indoor air scrubber module designed to lower energy wastage from HVAC systems, reduces the amount of outside air needed for ventilation by 60 to 80 percent. Read our interview with them on page 22.
View the complete list of innovators and product descriptions at ahrexpo.com.
AHR BOOTH B817: Tenacious Tools
The small but mighty hilmor Compact Bender Kit with Reverse Bending Attachment has some heavy-duty advantages that will help contractors work smarter and easier. One-handed operation is possible thanks to a spring-loaded, ratcheting mechanism that can bend 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8”, 3/4” and 7/8” copper, steel, aluminum and brass tubing up to 90-degrees, and an innovative quick-release button frees the tubes without damaging them. A universal crossbar with quick-twist, size-adjustable shoes and mandrels makes setup simple, and its compact design gives it much-needed mobility when working in tight spaces. hilmor.com.
AHR BOOTH B3553: Catching Air
Identify, diagnose and solve indoor air quality issues with CPS Products, Inc’s new IAQ SmartAir. This tool is designed to diagnose more accurate true read indoor air quality issues, improve sales and enhance overall IAQ professional expertise. Its design walks professionals through the measuring process and provides a compiled list of IAQ issues and potential solutions based on collected and analyzed data. The IAQ SmartAir connects to the internet via WiFi for remote monitoring and evaluation, and allows professionals to create on-site customer reports and job quotations.
RESEARCH: High IAQ
A recent Clear Seas Research survey found that 52 percent of SNIPS readers anticipate an increase in indoor air quality projects in 2019. Read more at SNIPSmag.com.
WORKFORCE: Greenheck gets employer of the month
Greenheck Fan Corporation recently received an award from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development in recognition of the company’s commitment to recruit and hire people with disabilities.
The company, based in Schofield, Wisconsin, has been in business for more than seven decades. And with its continued success in building its workforce, it will be in business for at least seven more. Congratulations.
Learn more about Greenheck products at greenheck.com.
STEEL: Core Report
Each week the Cleveland, Ohio-based Majestic Steel releases its weekly Core Report, featuring market indicators and analysis on the latest trends impacting the steel industry. As we kick off 2019, here are a few important insights from Majestic’s market research manager Chris Billman:
- While slowing slightly from 2018, domestic steel consumption growth is projected to continue to grow in 2019, climbing another 3-4 percent
- Raising interest rates could spark fears throughout the market, which could temper demand
- Climbing inflation could also slow demand as some people believe climbing prices for finished goods will cancel out any benefit the consumer received from recent tax cuts
- Fear of a potential trade war, with some initial retaliatory measures could pressure some sectors of the economy in the short-to-medium term
- Transportation continues to be an issue for the industry as the lack of drivers and new government regulations have but an additional stress on the trucking industry.
Read more insights on the steel market from Chris Billman at SNIPSmag.com.
AHR BOOTH B1017: Must-haves from Malco
The pedigree of products from Malco Products, SBC, have a long trusted history among HVAC installers. So it comes as no surprise that they are sticking to some fan favorites on display at AHR.
- C-Rhex Dual Sided Magnetic Hex Drivers
- TurboCrimper IMPACT
Five HVAC contractors and technicians were awarded Trade-Pro of the Year by Malco Products, SBC, for their experience and achievements in on-the-job safety and community involvement.
Award recipients are as follows:
- Greg Chidester, union sheet metal worker #20, Schuster Sheet Metal, Elkhart, Indiana
- Bob Hennen, self-employed HVAC technician, Eden Valley, Minnesota
- Matt Schoner, HVAC/R service technician, Advanced Thermal Solutions, Casper, Wyoming
- Emmanuel Williams, master HVAC contractor, EMX Heating & Air Conditioning, Baltimore, Maryland
- Todd Yarrington, service technician/installer, Allied General Mechanical, Detroit, Michigan
Malco received nearly 400 nominations for the program, an increase of over 30 percent from 2017, with all qualifying trade professionals who submitted a nomination receiving a Malco cap and gloves. For more information about the program, visit malcoproducts.com.
ARCHITECTURAL SHEET METAL
A colorful renovation breathes new life into a community rec center
A complementary combination of three Petersen Aluminum Architectural Metal Roofing exposed fastener profiles were used to complete the expansion of the Rosa Jackson Recreation Center in the historic Fort Hill area of Macon, Georgia. Approximately 8,000 square feet of Petersen’s 7/8-in. corrugated, 7.2 panels and M-36 panels finished in bone white, cardinal red and cityscape respectively were installed. Installation of the wall panels was completed by Southeast Roofing Solutions in Macon.
Wall panel combo creates colorful exterior for Georgia rec center
“We’re seeing corrugated and other exposed fastener systems as important design elements for wall cladding. The PAC-CLAD profiles were superb for this application,” explains Charles Green, who served as architect of record on the project. “We developed a community wish list and followed it faithfully. Better yet, the project came in under budget and was completed ahead of schedule. It was a win/win for everybody.” Read more about Petersen metal products at pac-lad.com.
AHR BOOTH B2923: Portable Power
The TruTool C 200 Li-ion 18 V rechargeable battery by TRUMPF Inc. features an open cutting head allowing users to retract the machine easily out of a sheet. Extraordinary power can be achieved when cutting spiral ducts with the powerful steel cutting head. Three different cutting blades combined with the right cutter ensure greater precision with the capability of separating mild steel sheet thicknesses up to 2 mm, and fold thicknesses up to 3.6 mm. trumpf.com.
AHR BOOTH B1061: Going Green
Udi Meirav, founder and CEO of enVerid Systems, talks the future of green building
enVerid Systems’ HVAC Load Reduction technology has just received an AHR Expo Innovation Award. As the popularity of zero energy buildings continue to rise, how do you foresee the need for technology like the HVAC Load Reduction evolving?
The most inefficient aspect of buildings today is ventilation. Zero energy buildings cannot afford to use massive volumes of outside air for ventilation — the cooling of this air during the summer, and heating of the air during the winter can be 50 percent of the overall HVAC load. Air cleaning is far more effective and economical. In fact, we see many engineers now specifying HLR technology instead of relying on ventilation only. Furthermore, this has enabled building owners to decrease the cost of their buildings because they no longer need energy recovery ventilators (ERV) or demand control ventilation (DCV) systems.
Udi Meirav, founder and CEO of enVerid Systems
How has enVerid Systems noticed the demand for indoor air quality (IAQ) change over the years?
More and more research from major institutions like Harvard University are showing that IAQ has a significant impact on cognitive performance. Consequently, we have Fortune 100 financial institutions and tech companies using our HLR technology to improve IAQ, and as they lead the way, others are likely to follow.
In addition to removing contaminates, does HLR technology have the ability to enhance air? For example, bringing more moisture into the air? Yes, to some extent. The HLR does not directly enhance humidity levels in the air, but it can have a significant impact because it reduces the need for outside airflow entering the building. Winter air is very dry in northern climates, so by reducing this dry (and cold) outside airflow coming into the building makes it easier to maintain indoor humidity levels. Likewise, in the summer it is the opposite problem and HLR technology can reduce the amount of humid air coming into the building to prevent mold or other humidity issues.
What is next for enVerid Systems? Our engineers have a variety of projects they are working on — ranging from improved sorbents to better sensors and new applications of HLR technology.
For more information about enVerid technology, visit enverid.com.
AHR BOOTH B4529: Shop Software
ShopData Systems’ latest release of its nesting software, Version 4.2, as well as its new Roof Curb Adapter fabrication module is for cutting a few fittings, parts or running multiple tables two shifts. ShopData’s latest release is designed to be intuitive to use without sacrificing the power you need from a comprehensive duct fabrication/nesting software package.
Green is Growing
A commercial building with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification increases its sale price 10 percent to 13 percent and increases office building rental rates 2 percent to 17 percent, according to the Institute for Building Efficiency.
AHR BOOTH B4555: Duct Design
Right-CAD is a powerful 2D/3D HVAC CAD solution fully integrated for both residential and commercial applications. Powered by our unique geometry engine and smart objects, Right-CAD automatically calculates to streamline the HVAC design process from load calculations to duct designs and parts take off, plus much more.
SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT: Virtual Reality
Derek Olsen of the National Environmental Balancing Bureau gives a live demonstration at AHR (in room B309) of its new virtual reality air and water balancing training simulator.
In what areas specifically do you see VR changing the heating and cooling industry?
It will be exciting to see the general level of expertise improve as industry participants (in particular those in remote locations) will now have access to leading training programs right in their living rooms. In some versions of the simulator, industry leaders will be able to instruct the trainee in real time while being in separate geographic locations. Training organization will also be able to reach students and apprentices outside their traditional regions, including in some of the remotest locations on Earth.
We are expecting VR to exponentially reduce the time it takes a new student to go from the classroom to the job site. Furthermore, re-training experienced HVAC technicians will also be faster, while equipment manufacturers will be able to demonstrate new products and techniques much more effectively, increasing uptake in the use of these products and techniques.
How do you foresee VR saving contractors money?
Setting up training scenarios either on a site or at your office is often impractical and costly. Many organizations utilize third party training centers or build physical test labs to simulate HVAC systems. Building real ductwork, installing mechanical equipment, powering the rig and hiring a trainer will always be more expensive than a virtual version.
Can technicians be realistically trained solely on VR? Why or why not?
Research is now showing that as far as our brains are concerned, there is very little difference in the way it learns when experiencing a task in VR or the real world. We have already proven with our simulators that someone with literally no knowledge of a particular HVAC process can take their VR training and immediately apply it to the real world.
At the moment, however, the technology isn’t at a point where it can adequately replicate some physical tasks such as using a drill or climbing a ladder. New VR peripheral equipment technologies however are being released literally every week and it won’t be long before we see big improvement in sensory input such as haptic feedback to solve these problems.
In doing this talk at AHR, what ideas do you hope contractors walk away with?
We expect many of the attendees will be seeing VR in action for the first time. It’s a technology that people are starting to hear a lot about, however many haven’t actually experienced it for themselves. So we hope to provide information in a fun way that makes them feel comfortable with this new training concept, so they keep an open mind about how it can benefit them, their staff and the industry generally.
AHR BOOTH B4027: Weld Right
Trimble Weld enables MEP estimators and BIM detailers to integrate their workflows aiding in collaboration and efficiency on construction projects. Weld leverages data and information created during the lifecycle of the construction project and allows the sharing information further downstream. By providing project managers with aggregated data analysis, they can identify if the detailed model compared to the estimate will be profitable based on the web analytics. This solution enables detailers to start a design with existing route lines, fittings and branch connections where they then can compare information to verify that nothing detrimental to the project scope was missed. Estimators can also see how well they estimated to the actual design. The synergies generated by deeply integrating construction processes that today are disconnected and isolated will allow MEP contractors to finish construction projects faster, minimize risk to the bottom line and increase efficiency and profitability. Demonstrations of Trimble Weld will be available in AHR Booth B4027. mep.trimble.com.