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AHRI urges support for Water Heater Definition Bill

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 21 June 2022: On the eve of a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, leaders of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) today issued a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate energy committees seeking support for legislation (H.R. 7962/S. 4061) that would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) to clarify the definitions of residential and commercial water heaters, the Institute said through a Press release.

According to AHRI, the legislation corrects an error in a final test procedure rule for commercial water heaters, issued in November 2016 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that required manufacturers to rate some of those units using residential water heater efficiency standards. This created turmoil within the industry and resulted in property owners and small business owners spending resources to find alternative solutions, because the commercial water heating equipment that fit their needs was no longer available, AHRI added.

To permanently correct this error, a narrowly tailored technical amendment to the statutory EPCA definitions of water heaters is necessary, and these bills accomplish that task, AHRI said.

“America’s HVACR and water heating manufacturers, who make the most innovative, energy-efficient products available in the world today, are grateful to Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Marsha Blackburn R-TN), and Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) for their leadership in introducing this much-needed technical amendment,” said Stephen Yurek, President & CEO, AHRI. “This bipartisan bill will realign the legal definitions of commercial and residential water heating equipment enable more appropriate product choices for small businesses and provide business certainty for water heater manufacturers.”

AHRI, Alliance Seek Senate Support for Kigali Amendment

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 16 June 2022: Leaders of member companies of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy today issued a letter to the leadership of the United States Senate urging expeditious action to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The Amendment, approved in May by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is currently awaiting floor action, AHRI pointed out. The Kigali Amendment provides for a global phasedown of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants, an action AHRI and its 320 HVACR and water heating manufacturers have sought for more than a decade, the Institute said.

According to AHRI, the letter informed Senate Leaders Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that ratification “will secure a position of strength for American companies in a highly competitive global market for next-generation refrigerant technologies by creating new U.S. manufacturing jobs and stimulating further investment in the U.S. economy”. It noted that “failure to ratify would close these markets to U.S. manufacturers after 2023, because the Montreal Protocol prohibits trade with countries not party to [it] or its amendments.”

According to AHRI, if the Amendment is ratified by the Senate, the United States will join some 129 other nations as full parties to the treaty, approved in October 2016, with the United States as a signatory.

 

‘One for the books’: Organisers of HVACR mega show, AHR Expo, say

WESTPORT, Connecticut, 10 February 2022: The AHR Expo returned last week to Vegas after a forced hiatus in 2021, International Exposition Company (IEC), the organisers of the show, said through a news release.

After two years of uncertainty and a longing to reunite the industry, the event represented an eagerness to return to business, drawing 30,678 attendees, IEC said. What’s more, the success of the show signals a reignited energy for all things HVACR and the community’s readiness to take on the challenges and opportunities ahead with renewed optimism, IEC said. “It was impossible to miss the energy in the halls this year,” said Mark Stevens, Show Manager.

“There have been some heavy ups and downs across the industry in recent years, and we, as a community, needed to feel the inspiration that happens when we gather together under one roof. The 2022 AHR Expo surpassed any expectation – our exhibitors, attendees, associations, speakers and everyone involved made this event one of the most special we’ve ever hosted. If you were there, the camaraderie was hard to miss. This industry is strong, and we are back on track to tackle the challenges before us.”

According to IEC, attendees were eager to be back in the booths experiencing new products and methods that support their work in the field. It was evident from every corner of the show floor that this industry is bursting with prospects, IEC added. “My main reason for attending the AHR Expo is the whole experience,” said Arizona tradesman and first-time attendee, Brendan Bowie.

“You get to meet all the people who make the things that we buy and look up to and use every day. It is a lot of the vendors that we spend money with, because they make superior products. I talked to presidents and CEOs of companies that I buy products from every day, every week, every month. Instagram stories are not going to tell what AHR is, it’s the whole experience. Going to AHR matters, because you have to see what’s going on out there. I had the opportunity to see so much new. We’re trapped in vans every day on the job, you need to see what’s out there.”

According to IEC, a total of 1,573 exhibitors spread out over 443,769 square feet in the Central and North halls, packing the floor with an explosion of innovation and new products. Given the time apart, there was plenty to take in, as exhibitors launched new technology, products and ideas that came to life since we last gathered in Orlando, IEC said. “We and our [manufacturer] member companies that exhibited were very pleased with the quality of the Las Vegas Expo,” said Stephen Yurek, President & CEO, AHRI.

“We heard comment after comment about the quality and number of attendees and how grateful everyone was to get back together with their industry colleagues and customers. We are grateful to our [manufacturer] members for moving ahead with what turned out to be a really good show, and we look forward to seeing some of them in Guadalajara in September and more of them next year in Atlanta.”

According to IEC, inside the exhibitor booths, this year, company reps and attendees were busy catching up on lost time. The challenges in the supply chain and other COVID-related delays have opened the door for new ways of thinking about partnerships, IEC said. Emerson, one of the exhibitors, endorsed the organizer’s statement.

“Emerson has always valued the customer engagement opportunities provided by the AHR Expo and the forum to showcase our sustainable solutions that are helping to reduce global impact while improving comfort, efficiency, performance and food safety in the HVACR industry,” said John Schneider, President, HVACR Technologies Americas, Emerson.

“After last year’s pause, the Expo provided a much-needed, in-person touchpoint, and we were thrilled to have our valued customers join us in celebrating our Copeland brand’s 100-year milestone during our pre-show customer event. This year, we also sponsored the Podcast Pavilion, which was a great opportunity for us to align with industry influencers as their role in this industry continues to expand.

Ultimately, all our businesses and brands experienced a great turnout, and we are looking forward to even more attendance in 2023.” Added Sarah Beyerlein, Everwell Parts: “It does not matter where you come from or where in the industry you’re involved in, the AHR Expo is the most remarkable yearly event where we all share our passion and expertise in the HVAC industry. It cannot be missed out.”

Innovation sets the course

On Monday, January 31, the show celebrated the 2022 Innovation Award Winners with a private reception. Members from each winning company were invited to share food and drink and be among industry cohorts also being recognized as leaders in shaping the future of HVACR, IEC said. The 2022 AHR Expo Innovation Award Product of the Year Award, IEC said, went to Danfoss, for their Danfoss Turbocor VTCA400 Compressor, a winner in the Cooling category. Lisa Tryson, Market Communications Director, Danfoss, said: “Danfoss is honored to be recognized with the product of the year award for our VTCA400 oil-free compressor. Our industry is at the forefront of many critical trends, and innovation is vital to meet the challenges ahead. The AHR Expo is a great way to showcase these latest technologies.”

Stevens, speaking on behalf of the organizer, said: “We were honored to celebrate our 2022 winners with a more intimate celebration. The pace they each are setting for the future of HVACR is astounding, and collectively in each of the sectors they are raising the bar on how we are shaping the industry. Congratulations to all our 2022 winners, and to Danfoss for their leadership in innovation. As the industry looks ahead to changes on the horizon for HVACR, innovation from our exhibiting companies continues to push to new levels.”

Partnerships born through crucial in-person networking help to propel new ideas into the marketplace, IEC said. Jacques Beaudry-Losique, CEO, Enginuity Power Systems, said: “The AHR Expo is an environment uniquely suited to making high-level connections and business partnerships, as well as finding the latest state-of-the-art appliance product technology as well as supply chain and distribution channels. We were honored to be awarded the 2022 Sustainable Solutions Innovation Award, further validating our products to help homes and businesses save energy and achieve their sustainability goals.”

Education Program… something for everyone

In the Education Program, attendees were invited to sit in on more than 80 free sessions, covering topics from a wide range of industry experts, IEC said. Added to the roster this year was an industry panel discussion led by leaders representing all sectors of the industry, including Mick Schwedler, 2021-2022 President, ASHRAE; Yurek; Talbot Gee, CEO, Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration Distributors (HARDI); Roberta MacGillivray, President, National Air Filtration Association (NAFA); and Dominick Guarino, CEO, National Comfort Institute (NCI). Bryan Orr, of HVAC School for Tech by Techs, and industry podcaster and well-known training advocate, moderated the panel, which included a discussion on the current state of HVACR as well as threats and opportunities as the industry recalibrates to a new normal post-pandemic.

Speaking during the discussion, Yurek said: “Our focus used to be on the box, on the equipment and the installation of it. Now, we need to address the entire HVAC system to provide efficiency and comfort. The change we will see over the next few years will be nothing we’ve seen before.” Schwedler said: “Our industry has never been more essential. The public became aware of what our industry does. We are fully connected as a world, with more people involved in problem-solving.” And MacGillivray said: “Before COVID-19, there was a tradeoff between energy efficiency and human health. As we solve the pandemic issue, we must continue our focus on how IAQ affects human health and productivity.”

Additional education program highlights included an overview of intellectual property in HVACR, by Wil Rao, an IP and Patent attorney in the greater Chicago area; a breakdown of warranty and callbacks from Bryan Orr; lessons learned from the supply chain, a panel discussion hosted by HARDI and moderated by the HVAC Jerks; and many more targeted discussions highlighting current opportunities, threats and methods across the industry. “It is absolutely fantastic to see the AHR Expo make such a strong comeback in Las Vegas,” said Jeff Littleton, ASHRAE Executive Vice President. “Bringing professionals from around the world back together to learn and share new technologies, with health and safety as a top priority, affords us the opportunity to continue moving the critical work of our industry forward.”

Strength in community

Perhaps one of the most inspiring sentiments shared throughout the floor this year was the sense of community that HVACR embraces, IEC said. Many of the industry’s workforce remained on the frontlines throughout the pandemic and relied on the daily connection with professionals through social media and other points of communication, it said adding there was an overwhelming sense of relief and contentment to be gathering again face to face at the industry’s largest event. “My first AHR was amazing, I really enjoyed meeting my social media community in person,” said Ashley Lynds, Texas tradeswoman Ashley Lynds. “Everyone was so welcoming, and I was able to network and make additional connections for future business. I can’t wait for Atlanta!”

The Podcast Pavilion returned for its second year as a show feature, IEC said, adding it was a clear fan favorite, as attendees packed the pavilions each day for live recordings from their favorite industry talents. Eric Aune, with Mechanical Hub, said: “We’ve been attending this show for over a decade. This year was different, there was a new connection with social media and a great podcast lineup. I like the direction they are taking things.”

Until we meet again

AHR Expo will head back to Atlanta for the 2023 show, bringing with it the positive energy established in Vegas, IEC said. Eager exhibitors have already reserved booths and discussions of travel plans among attendees are underway, IEC revealed, adding that it’s safe to say we are back to business! “Vegas is one for the books,” Stevens said. “We’ve been hosting this show for many years, and while it is always a great showing of our industry, this year felt like a new chapter for HVACR. We are a strong community, and we now have the attention this industry deserves to thrive on the global stage.

“We look forward to hosting many of our international attendees who couldn’t make it this year because of travel restrictions and supply chain issues. We have big problems to solve and hefty aspirations to meet, as our industry touches literally every part of society and our everyday lives.

The success of the 2022 AHR Expo is proof that we are poised to take on anything together. We are all excited to be a part of such a vibrant community, and we look forward to planning a stellar show for you in Atlanta. We’ll see you soon!”

According to IEC, the 2023 AHR Expo will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Registration will open in summer 2022.

World Refrigeration Day: Industry must break silos to reach public

Las Vegas, Nevada, 19 January 2022: Refrigeration and air conditioning are essential to modern life, yet most people are unaware of the technology behind cooling, partially from the RAC industry not reaching out to the public with coordinated messaging.

A free educational session, organized by World Refrigeration Day (WRD), ASHRAE and UNEP OzonAction at the 2022 AHR Expo in Las Vegas is aimed at encouraging the RAC industry to share messaging resources and to better engage with consumers, policy makers and young people. “Breaking Down RAC Industry Silos” will take place on Tuesday, February 1, from 11am to Noon, PST, Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N238/240, WRD said through a Press release.

Despite the increased number of policies, standards and codes related to RAC industry, there is still significant lack of attention and understanding of the importance of the RAC sectors by governments, end-users, and public, WRD said. Issues like refrigerant transition, emissions reduction and maximizing energy efficiency have been addressed over the last couple of decades by most governments mainly due to relevant global policies and binding frameworks, WRD said. However, the sector’s contribution to human welfare and our modern lifestyle goes beyond those topics and needs to be acknowledged and adequately considered by different groups from outside RAC community, WRD added.

World Refrigeration Day is a platform that all in the RAC industry can use to raise the industry’s profile, WRD said. Examples of how that platform is breaking down industry silos in outreach efforts will be presented by past WRD global campaign partners – ASHRAE, UNEP, IIR, EPEE, GFCCC, FAIAR, ISHRAE, and U-3ARC.

AHRI announces Rees Scholarship Foundation Awards winners

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 13 January 2022: The Clifford H. “Ted” Rees, Jr. Scholarship Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) announced scholarship awards totaling USD 45,000 to 24 students, including two military veterans and eight SkillsUSA awardees studying to become technicians in the HVACR and water heating industry, AHRI said through a Press release.

“Each year, the Foundation provides aid to these aspiring technicians, helping to promote careers in the industry and fill good-paying jobs that cannot be outsourced,” said Stephen Yurek, President and CEO, AHRI. “We are pleased to award scholarships to these qualified and dedicated students, and we look forward to welcoming them into the industry.”

Added Barton James, President and CEO, ACCA: “Workforce development is a major priority for ACCA, and we’re pleased to work with the Rees Scholarship Foundation and AHRI to help recruit financial support for deserving individuals. It is our responsibility as an industry to continue to support and encourage careers in the skilled trades, and it starts with training and education.”

According to AHRI, HVACR and Water Heating Technician Program recipients include:

Lindola Gilbert, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Elijah Hernandez, Institute of Technology Modesto, Modesto, CA

Mohammad Farhead Jalali, Institute of Technology Modesto, Modesto, CA

Zhifang Liu, Brownson Technical School, Anaheim, CA

Jose Moscosa, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Palmague Namboure, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Arthur Ramos, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Eduardo Rodriguez, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Andres Siguenza, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Likhit Sutchairak, Brownson Technical School, Anaheim, CA

Carlos Viquez, HVAC Technical Institute, Chicago, IL

Mustafa Zafari, Brownson Technical School, Anaheim, CA

Rutchanon Vongasavarit, Brownson Technical School, Anaheim, CA

Duane Hall, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, MI

Elijah LaRue, Career and Technology Education Centers, Newark, OH

Jacob McArthur, Tulsa Tech Lemley Campus, Broken Arrow, OK

Juan Rodriguez, Brownson Technical School, Anaheim, CA

Alsharif Bogar, Lincoln Technical School, New Britain, CT

William Key, Bevill State Community College, Sumiton, AL

Carter Hanvey, Bevill State Community College, Sumiton, AL

Kurt Wester, Bevill State Community College, Sumiton, AL

Stephen Morrison, Bevill State Community College, Sumiton, AL

 

According to AHRI, the Veterans Program recipients are:

Joshua Parson, Bevill State Community College, Hamilton, AL

Robert Landerfin, San Joaquin Valley College – Temecula, Temecula, CA

Since its founding in 2003, AHRI said, the Rees Scholarship Foundation has awarded more than USD 1 million in scholarships to 643 deserving students and instructors.

AHRI to host its State Summit in California

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 5 January 2022: AHRI said it will be hosting its 2022 State Summit on June 7 and 8 in Sacramento, California. Participants will hear directly from key policymakers and stakeholders on priority issues impacting the HVACR and water heating industry in California and across the country, it added. The Summit, it further added, was an opportunity to let lawmakers know the HVACR industry’s position on the critical policy decisions affecting its business, employees and customers.

According to AHRI, the highlights of the Summit will include meetings with California legislators and regulators; presentations from key regulatory agencies, legislative offices, and environmental NGOs; two-way conversations with policymakers on high-priority issues; updates on AHRI’s state legislative and regulatory activities; and opportunities to network with colleagues and conference participants.

AHR Expo 2022 Innovation Awards winners announced

WESTPORT, Connecticut, 20 October 2021: The AHR Expo (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) announced the winners of the 2022 AHR Expo Innovation Awards, through a Press release.

Each year, winners are chosen in 10 industry categories to represent the most innovative products and technologies hitting the market in the coming year. “This past year was a challenge for everyone, and in unique ways, the HVACR industry,” said Mark Stevens, Show Manager. “Our industry was called to the front lines to put our very best products and technologies to the test. The Innovation Awards purpose is to honor those that are pushing the bar to create innovative solutions to difficult problems. We are thrilled to celebrate this year’s winners and what they bring to the industry, as well as to continue to champion innovation among our professionals.”

The Innovation Awards encourage exhibitors to submit new products and technologies for recognition via review and selection by a panel of third-party judges, comprising distinguished ASHRAE members, AHR Expo said. Entrants are evaluated based on overall innovative design, the creativity of the product or service offered, application, as well as potential market impact. “This industry is tremendously exciting for its role in our everyday lives,” Stevens said. “Now, more than ever, we have the chance to show the world just how important HVACR is. Manufacturers on the AHR Expo Show floor are in tune with their stakeholders and the greater needs of the world and are responding by developing new tools, products and services that offer safety, efficiency, and sustainable smart solutions.” According to AHR Expo, the Innovation Awards program serves as a metric to see the year-to-year growth in the industry. While the Awards officially recognize only a select few, the Show floor is a robust example of how manufacturers are growing the industry in exciting ways. “AHR Show Management would like to formally congratulate each of our 2022 AHR Expo Innovation Award winners, as well as finalists and all our entrants, for their continued leadership and contribution to HVACR,” Stevens said. “We look forward to seeing these innovators in the marketplace in the coming year, and in-person on the Show floor in 2022.”

The 2022 AHR Expo Innovation Award Winners and finalists were selected in 10 industry categories, including building automation, cooling, heating, indoor air quality, plumbing, refrigeration, software, sustainable solutions (formerly green building), tools and instruments, and ventilation.

The winners, with their products described in the words of AHR Expo, are:

BUILDING AUTOMATION

Winner: iSMA CONTROLLI S.p.A., iSMA-B-MAC36NL Hybrid IoT Controller, powered by Niagara Framework, Booth C969 Innovation: The iSMA-B-MAC36NL master application controller family provides an all-in-one solution for mini-BMS. Created visualization can be displayed and controlled via HDMI output and two USB ports that enable connection of a mouse/keyboard or dedicated touch for the HMI panel. No PC, additional licenses, or additional costs are required. As MAC controllers are based on the Niagara Framework, it enables the integration of almost any existing protocol on the building network. The onboard M-Bus port, 2 ethernet ports, and the RS485 port can be integrated with just one device. Finally, the controller has an onboard dip and rotary switches that can be used as a part of the application. All of the features of the controller are managed by dedicated modules in Niagara Framework to accelerate the installation process and thus reduce labor costs.

Finalists in this category include: BrainBox AI, BrainBox AI; CUBE USA, CUBE Edge IoT.

COOLING

Winner: Danfoss, Danfoss Turbocor® VTCA400 Compressor, Booth C3906 Innovation: The new VTCA400 from Danfoss offers improvements on traditional centrifugal compressor designs that are large in physical size and footprint, which ultimately lead to higher cost and space constraints for the end user. The VTCA400 solves this problem by using a patent-pending hybrid compression design that uses a combination of mixed flow and radial impellers, enabling high-performance and a compact footprint. In this design, the first-stage impeller uses a mixed flow impeller with both axial and radial components while the second-stage impeller uses a radial design. The hybrid compression design allows for a compressor footprint that is half the physical size and weight of a conventional radial-only design. It also maintains high efficiency levels — a 10% improvement in full load efficiency and 30% improvement in IPLV above ASHRAE 90.1-2019 minimums, when considering a three (3) compressor, 1200-Ton system.

Finalists in this category include: Copeland Compressors and Condensing Units / Emerson, Copeland™ oil-free centrifugal compressor; Teqtoniq GmbH, Teqtoniq TRC150 Oil-Free Centrifugal Compressor.

HEATING

Winner: Carrier, Infinity® 24 Heat Pump with Greenspeed® Intelligence, Booth C1310 Innovation: The Infinity® 24 Heat Pump with Greenspeed® Intelligence is Carrier’s highest-efficiency and most advanced heat pump with up to 24 SEER and 13 HSPF for premium energy savings, extremely quiet performance and premium comfort features. The unique, variable-speed compressor of this unit allows it to adapt its output to the needs of the home with infinite adjustments between 25% and 100% capacity. The heat pump offers excellent humidity control and is capable of removing up to 400% more moisture than standard systems. Based on Carrier testing, all data was run with the systems cycling once they met the assumed home load. The assumed load at AHAM conditions (80/70, 80) is the capacity of the variable-speed running continuously in dehumidification mode. The difficult conditions load was determined by a Wrightsoft® load calculation for a home in Florida at 69 OD 72/63 ID. This condition was provided by a customer in Florida as “worst case.”

Finalists in this category include: HVAC Manufacturing and Technology Inc., SpaceGain Air Handling Units; Addison, FrostShield Defrost-Free Heat Pumps.

INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Winner: Antrum, AntrumX™ IAQ Facilities Monitoring System, Booth C1071 Innovation: AntrumX is a patented centralized sensing technology. AntrumX monitors IAQ for 32 spaces from a single location, using one sensor for every 16 rooms. Consolidating one centralized sensor for multiple spaces increases sensor accessibility while ensuring better overall control. Centralized sensing ensures better overall control because the data from 16 spaces comes from a single source, allowing building managers to optimize their ventilation strategy, and save energy without sacrificing IAQ. Additionally, the AntrumX has the ability to transport air without moving parts. Leveraging the building’s pressure differential between supply and exhaust, AntrumX is able to move air samples from each space to the Sensor Pack without adding energy to the system. The Sensor Pack also monitors multiple data points across multiple rooms. Using over-the-air software updates and a state-of-the-art hardware design, the Sensor Pack can be customized to sense what’s required today and be easily exchanged or updated as requirements change over the life of the building.

Finalists in this category include: LG Electronics USA, Inc., LG Split Rooftop DOAS (Dedicated Outdoor Air System) with Energy Recovery Wheel; TZOA, HAVEN IAQ.

PLUMBING

Winner: Franklin Electric / Little Giant, Inline SpecPAK, Multi-Pump Pressure Boosting System, Booth C4334 Innovation: With only 14.5 inches in depth, its unique smaller footprint makes the Franklin Electric Inline 1100 SpecPAK Pressure Boosting System small enough to be hung in a small utility closet, or wall-hung to preserve critical floor space. The system’s Inline 1100 constant pressure pumps are quiet, compact, self-contained, and versatile. Powered by water-cooled motors, it delivers quieter operation versus traditional air-cooled motors. The self-contained design delivers a “plug and play” solution that is part of a complete package revolving around easy installation, operation, and durability. The ability to expand is a foundational and distinctive benefit. Both the suction and discharge headers are sized to accommodate the flow rate from the maximum speed of four pumps. Quick and easy disconnects to the main panel allow customers to disconnect each pump individually with minimal system disruption.

Finalists in this category include: Lochinvar, LLC, Lochinvar Commercial Heat Pump Water Heaters; Towle Whitney LLC, GEN-5 Platform.

REFRIGERATION

Winner: ebm-papst Inc., AxiEco 630-910 Axial Fan, Booth C3324 Innovation: The AxiEco 630-910 incorporates new impeller geometry with a rotating diffuser and optimized blade design in order to reach a low noise level and high-efficiency. The steep air performance curve provides a pressure increase of more than 700 Pa, which is extraordinary for axial fans. With a maximum air flow of up to 30,000 m³/h, the AxiEco 630-910 covers a wide range of different applications, especially those where high-efficiency and high back pressure are key. The integrated commutation electronics, with an active PFC (power factor correction) as an option, enables the fan to be used in applications with low harmonics requirements, without any external filtering measures.

Finalists in this category include: Copeland Compressors and Condensing Units / Emerson, Copeland™ horizontal variable speed scroll compressor for refrigeration (1 to 4 HP); and Johnson Controls, Inc., ZS series horizontal scroll compressors with R290 and variable speed compatibility.

SOFTWARE

Winner: Bluon, Inc., Bluon Support Platform, Booth C6617 Innovation: The Bluon Support Platform is a mobile application that becomes a centralized hub for HVAC technicians. Bluon was built for technicians, by technicians, and provides detailed system information, just-in-time training, best practices and 24/7 live tech support. The app’s most important function is its ability to make the lives of technicians easier by providing a single, trustworthy source of detailed HVAC system information, along with live tech support when needed in the field. The main features of the free app include: a comprehensive unit database of 40,000 HVAC model numbers, spanning 75+ brands, with 75,000+ original manuals, troubleshooting guides, wiring diagrams, and technical specifications; best practices known as “pro-hacks” for a wide-range of situations; easy-to-use calculators for SH/SC, airflow, pressure setpoints, TXV sizing, etc.; HVAC training videos and tools that techs can use on the job; a revolutionary HVAC forum that gets techs the info they need when they need it; 24/7 live tech support; and a replacement parts identification tool cross-referenced by model numbers and compatible part numbers.

Finalists in this category include: CoolAutomation, Service Provision App; Interplay Learning, SkillMill™.

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS (formerly Green Building)

Winner: Enginuity Power Systems Inc, E/ONE Home Power System, Booth N7435 Innovation: Enginuity’s E/ONE Home Power System is a modern rethinking of a classic combined heat and power system. Using clean and plentiful natural gas, the E/ONE produces both electricity and heat for homes or businesses. Since the E/ONE is capable of making more power than the home or business requires, the additional power can be sold back to the grid, generating income for the E/ONE’s owner. In addition, the E/ONE leverages the reliability of the natural gas distribution network to replace conventional backup generators. E/ONE easily produces all the electricity needed to operate homes or businesses; therefore, the periodic blackouts, such as those recently seen in Texas and California, will not affect the product’s ability to function.

Finalists in this category include: Caleffi Hydronic Solutions, Commercial domestic hot water (DHW) recirculation systems combine energy efficiency and water conservation; Danfoss, Danfoss Turbocor® TGS380 Compressor.

TOOLS & INSTRUMENTS

Winner: Fluke Corporation, Fluke 378 FC Non-Contact Voltage True-rms AC/DC Clamp Meter with iFlex, Booth C2737 Innovation: The Fluke 378 FC true-rms clamp meter uses FieldSense technology to make testing faster and safer, all without contacting a live conductor. The meter measures accurate voltage and current measurements through the clamp jaw. It works by clipping the black test lead to any electrical ground and putting the clamp jaw around the conductor, which results in reliable, accurate voltage and current values on the display. The 378 FC clamp meter includes a unique PQ function that senses power quality issues automatically. When making FieldSense measurements, the 378 FC will detect and display power quality issues, relating to current, voltage, power factor or any combination of the three. This allows for quick determination if an upstream supply problem exists, or if there is a downstream equipment problem.

Finalists in this category include: Climatech International S.A., F-100 Cordless Stud Welder Machine; RIDGID / Emerson, RIDGID® PCS-500 Pipe Saw.

VENTILATION

Winner: Aldes, InspirAIR® Fresh, Booth C2734 Innovation: The InspirAIR® Fresh contains new innovative design features. A newly developed counterflow enthalpic core and unique fan scrolls ensure 75% sensible recovery efficiency at 32 degrees F, as tested to the new CSA 439 standard, required as of October 2020. Occupants can also expect to get ample fresh filtered air due to variable-speed EC motors that adjust speed to changes in pressure due to stack effect and filter loading. The InspirAIR® Fresh is designed to provide optimal fresh air, regardless of filter type. Currently, ERVs are rated for use with a basic filter, and when using a MERV13 or HEPA filter, the airflow is reduced significantly.

Finalists in this category include: Carrier, Carrier Aero® 39M with ECM Direct Drive Plenum Fans; LG Electronics USA, Inc., LG Split Compact DOAS (Dedicated Outdoor Air System).

“It’s always exciting to follow along as these products and services come to life in the marketplace,” Stevens said. “What’s more, is to see others work to keep pace with innovation and develop new solutions. We are thrilled to be back in-person and headed to Las Vegas for a return to business. We hope you’ll join us and these winners in action on the Show floor before they hit the market.”

Funds raised from the entry fees of the Innovation Awards competition will be donated to a Vegas-area charitable cause, AHR Expo said. Registration for the 2022 AHR Expo is free until January 30, 2021, and can be completed on ahrexpo.com.

AHRI to participate in The Big 5 Dubai

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 17 August 2021: AHRI announced its participation in The Big 5 International Building and Construction Show, online from August 22 to November 17, and in-person from September 12 to 15 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The show features nine specialised events, three high-level summits, 70 free industry talks, and more, AHRI highlighted.

AHRI said it will be available at Stand 4A191 in Hall 4, which will be open from 10am to 6pm, GST. It added that it was open to discussing its turnkey solutions for the regulatory and environmental issues most relevant to HVACR businesses and the wider industry. It added that it was keen on learning about the challenges HVACR industry players face in these areas, and on discussing solutions.

AHRI added that it would provide its AHRI MENA USB Toolkit, a comprehensive guide to the AHRI standards, certification, and other programs relevant to the region, to visitors.

Recuperator receives AHRI certification for its plate and rotary heat exchangers

RESCALDINA, MILAN, Italy, 4 June 2021: Recuperator S.p.A., a member of Carel Group, announced receiving AHRI certification for its plate and rotary heat exchangers, following what it described as a rigorous review process.

The Recuperator production plant, in Rescaldina, Milan

Making the announcement through a Press release, Recuperator said the certification is the result of its dedication to continuous improvement, including innovation in R&D. The whole range of plate and rotary heat exchanger products is now listed in the AHRI directory of certified products, it said. The AHRI certification, it further said, is added to all the certifications it has already obtained during its long and profitable activity.

“The commitment to obtain this recognition will allow Recuperator to expand its overseas market horizons and to increase the service to its customers in the Middle East,” said Stefano Baldo, Sales & Marketing Director, Recuperator. “The experiences we will gather in new markets will be a stimulus to continue innovating our products and services. Furthermore, the high quality standard required by AHRI helps to raise the quality level of the entire Recuperator production.”

AHRI certification program expands test conditions

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 28 May 2021: The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) on May 18 announced that it is implementing a wide range of test conditions in certain of its certification programs, to help promote global energy efficiency; to suit varying global environmental conditions and regional needs; to align itself with local, regional and international regulations; and to address requirements of its members and certification program participants.

AHRI said that in addition to the standard T1 test conditions (35 degrees C outdoor dry-bulb), it has been introducing the T3 test conditions (46 degrees C outdoor dry-bulb) and T4-Kuwait (48 degrees C outdoor dry-bulb), with operability tests at 52 degrees C for a large range of “tropical” air conditioning products in the high-ambient temperature (HAT) countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

AHRI said that with T3 ratings already available for applied products, such as air-cooled and water-cooled chillers, and for direct-expansion products, such as ducted-split systems, packaged rooftop units in both residential and commercial segments, and inverter-type residential units, it continues to expand the T3 ratings to other products, such as VRFs. These actions and many others, it added, are why a growing number of entities around the world are relying on AHRI-certified products and equipment, which have provided performance assurance for more than 60 years across 40 programs and with more than 1,100 certified licensees across the globe.

The initiative’s first part, it said, is to help its GCC region, Asian, European and American members and program participants certify their tropical high-ambient products to T3 test conditions through simplified mechanisms and processes. The second part, it said, involves its outreach to regional regulators and authorities, informing them of their ability to ensure compliance to T3 conditions, if they wish to do so.

“We are confident that this dual approach directly supports the important value proposition of achieving governmental energy efficiency goals and regulatory/policy initiatives, while providing a wider range of quality equipment to the residential and commercial sectors in HAT regions,” said Khalil Issa, Managing Director, AHRI MENA. “Governments, consumers, and other entities have always had the assurance that AHRI Certified products have been tested by third-party laboratories to perform as promised, helping to ensure expected energy and cost savings for the benefit of institutional clients, end-users, consumers, and the environment. The expanded test conditions solidify that assurance and allow customers in these regions access to a wider array of quality product choices.”

AHRI said its publicly available, free Directory of Certified Product Performance not only allows consumers, contractors, and others to quickly assess whether a product is AHRI Certified or not but also enables local regulators to immediately enforce compliance by easily identifying non-compliant products.

AHRI Board approves decarbonization general position statement

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 18 May 2021: The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) on May 14 released a General Position Statement on Decarbonization, advancing the association as a resource for states and localities grappling with how to successfully, sustainably and affordably reduce emissions related to the built-environment.

AHRI revealed the paper as noting, “The air conditioning, heating, ventilation, refrigeration, and water heating industry has a long history of providing innovative, high-quality, energy-saving, affordable products that enhance the comfort, safety, health, and productivity of businesses and people around the world”. It expresses AHRI’s support for “the ongoing, science-based transition to a lower carbon society, in which consumer choices for heating, cooling, water heating, and commercial refrigeration are the most energy efficient, environmentally beneficial available anywhere in the world, while maintaining appropriate and adequate levels of safety, health, comfort, and affordability”.

Stephen Yurek, President & CEO, AHRI, said: “Our member companies – which have more than 100 years of experience and expertise in product solutions, technology, and innovation – can serve as a valuable resource in helping the nation achieve a lower carbon society.”

The statement, AHRI said, comes on the heels of the success of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, passed by Congress in 2020, which provides authority to the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the production of high-global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons and establishes a national phase down structure for the refrigerants that are widely used in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. That effort, AHRI said, more than 10 years in the making for the industry, is forecast to ultimately result in a 0.5 degree reduction in global temperatures over the next 30 years, even as it creates jobs and helps the industry’s global trade posture.

AHRI, others petition EPA on HFC phase-down rule

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 13 April 2021: The Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration institute (AHRI) today joined more than 35 other industry and environmental organizations in petitioning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking uniform national standards for stationary air conditioning and commercial refrigeration equipment in the transition to climate-friendly refrigerants under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act. If promulgated, these standards will result in an additional half billion tons of CO2 reduction, over and above what already is projected to be achieved by implementation of the AIM Act, AHRI said through a Press release.

The federal standards sought by the AHRI petition align with similar standards already in place in nine states. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) submitted similar petitions under the AIM Act, AHRI pointed out.

For new residential and light-commercial central air conditioning equipment, the petition, AHRI said, seeks a regulation requiring that equipment manufacturers use refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) of 750 or less in equipment made after January 1, 2025, with the exception of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) equipment, whose deadline would be January 1, 2026. These transition dates would align the country with the dates adopted in December 2020 by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and nine additional Climate Alliance states, AHRI said.

For commercial refrigeration and chiller equipment, the petition seeks the GWP limits and transition dates according to the table below:

Through these petitions, AHRI said, a broad variety of stakeholders, including itself, hope to demonstrate that sufficient consensus already exists and that a regular notice and comment rulemaking would adequately represent all material interests, thereby allowing the agency to forego the negotiated rulemaking process it must consider – but is not required to undertake – for such petitions, pursuant to the AIM Act.

AHRI said its petition emphasizes that as a general matter, “the U.S. HVACR industry already is proceeding with the requested transition date as its goal; granting this petition provides order and structure to the market and streamlines industry preparation”.

The transition dates contained in its petition, AHRI said, allow “sufficient time for careful planning and preparation, both to avoid excessive costs that can unduly burden consumers, and to ensure all safety and other associated standards can be met”, according to the petition. “For example, contractors and technicians must receive appropriate training, state and local building codes must be updated and changed, and supply chains and distribution networks must be modified,” AHRI said.

“While AHRI has long believed that an earlier transition would not allow enough time for manufacturers to prepare, we have been equally clear that a later transition date would put long-term compliance with the AIM Act at risk,” said Stephen Yurek, AHRI President & CEO. “Aligning these dates also reduces costs for consumers and ensures long-term availability of energy-, environment-, and life-saving refrigerants for climate control and for the cold chain for food, vaccines, and other medicines.”

AHRI, the U.S. Department of Energy, CARB and other stakeholders have invested more than USD 7 million in research into alternative refrigerants in preparation for this transition, AHRI said, These more climate-friendly alternatives, it added, are in use today in Europe, Australia, Japan, Thailand and in more than 90% of new passenger vehicles currently sold in the United States.

AHRI applauds inclusion of HFC reduction language in Omnibus Bill

ARLINGTON, Virginia, 27 December 2020: The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) on December 22 expressed its gratitude to House and Senate negotiators who included language in the just-passed Omnibus bill to bring about a national phasedown of HFC refrigerants. Particular appreciation also is due to Senators John Kennedy (R-La.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) as well as to Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Pete Olson (R-Tex.), and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) for their tireless efforts to see this bipartisan initiative through to completion, AHRI said.

The language included in the bill would bring about a national phase down of HFCs and allow for a market- and consumer-friendly transition to new and better performing refrigerants and related products and equipment, AHRI said.

“We are gratified that negotiators included this bipartisan, jobs-promoting language in the Omnibus bill, and we are grateful to the Senate and House champions who worked so hard to see it accomplished, and to the House and Senate for passing the bill,” said Stephen Yurek, AHRI President & CEO. “Our industry has been working toward this goal for more than 10 years, and it is very exciting to see our vision of an HFC phasedown reach the home stretch. We are hopeful that President Trump will quickly sign the bill, so we can pivot toward implementation.”

Quoting a 2018 study by Interindustry Forecasting at the University of Maryland (INFORUM), AHRI said an HFC phasedown will create 33,000 new manufacturing jobs, increase direct manufacturing output by USD 12.5 billion, and increase the US share of the global HVACR export market by 25%.

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