Berner releases Architectural Contour Air Curtain Series
NEW CASTLE, Pennsylvania, 15 June 2022: Air curtain manufacturer, Berner International said it has added the Architectural Contour Air Curtain Series to its Architectural Collection, giving specifiers a technologically advanced design for protecting commercial building main entrances when the door is open.
Making the announcement through a Press release, Berner claimed the Architectural Contour 8 and 10 models feature the HVAC industry’s quietest operation from a high-performance air curtain. The design targets healthcare, hotels, retail, restaurants and other applications, where thermal comfort, front entrance doorway aesthetics and energy savings are critical, the company said.
Berner said the Series’ patented, unprecedented aesthetic is the company’s second departure from the industry’s decades-old rectangular box shapes after recently introducing the Architectural Elite.
Featuring a sleek, discreetly contoured cabinet constructed of anodized aluminum, the Architectural Contour complements 21st Century anodized aluminum doorways and metal architecture, the company said.
The Architectural Contour 8 and 10 feature low profiles of 8-1/4 H x 20-inch D (20.9 x 50.8-cm) and 12-3/4 H x 25-3/4 D (30.3 x 60.4-cm) without sacrificing performance for protecting up to eight- and 10-foot-high (2.4- and 3.0-meter) doorway heights, respectively, the company said. Both models – including heating options – are certified under AMCA-220, which qualifies them for the new construction cost-saving vestibule exception, now included in building and energy codes, ASHRAE 90.1-2019; the IECC -2015; and the IgCC, the company added.
According to the company, the Architectural Contour equals the aesthetics of the Architectural Collection’s full-featured, Golden Ratio-inspired Architectural Elite air curtain, but offers an economical alternative. Specifiers can add the Elite’s standard features as à la carte options to the Contour, such as electronically commutated (EC) motors or the Berner AIR smart controller and app, the company said. When combined with the Collection’s entry level Architectural Low Profile 8 and High Performance 10 models, the Contour and Elite offer building owners a diverse “good, better, best” selection, respectively, the company claimed.
According to Berner, all air curtains in the Architectural Collection use the company’s factory-installed Intelliswitch digital controller platform, which features pre-set programs, a time clock, time delay, built-in thermostat, 10-speed fan control, and other integrated, end-user-customizable features. The optional Berner AIR smart controller and app, the company said, can be added to the platform, allowing operation and monitoring from a smartphone. The Berner AIR, it added, includes true BACnet integration and a proactive adaptive setting based on the weather.
According to the company, the Contour and Elite models are the industry’s quietest high-performance air curtains. These patented designs combine out-of-sight top intake panels; Berner’s patented high-efficiency, low-noise, articulating Pro-V Nozzle; and quiet-running 1/5th-HP AC or EC motor choices, the company said. Depending on the selected motor and speed, the company added, typical operating noise is 49 to 55-dB, which is similar to a coffee percolator or quieter than normal conversation.
Ziehl-Abegg reports record sales of 716 million euros
KÜNZELSAU, Germany, 31 March 2022: Ziehl-Abegg reported record sales of 716 million euros in 2021, compared to 639 million euros in 2020. Making the announcement through a Press release, the manufacturer of electric motors and fans said the figure posted in 2021 represented a growth of 11.9%.
Peter Fenkl, CEO, Ziehl-Abegg, describing 2021, said, “In view of the problems with global supply chains, we took a cautious approach at times and, ultimately, managed to do pretty well in terms of sales.”
The company said it was equally heartening that the number of employees worldwide rose to 4,700, compared to 4,300 in 2020.
Fenkl described the earnings situation as “more than difficult”, as the supply chain problems not only had an impact on delivery times but on pricing, as well. “Some suppliers had already increased prices so quickly towards the end of 2020 and then repeatedly in 2021 that we were unable to pass these on to the market on a 1:1 basis,” he said.
Based on the experience in the first quarter, the manager knows that this situation will become more acute in the current year. “I’ve never experienced anything like this before,” Fenkl said. It is relevant to highlight that Fenkl has been at the helm of the family-owned business for more than 20 years.
Ziehl-Abegg said it is regarded as a company with a high level of vertical integration. “We now want to expand this even further,” Fenkl said. However, growth at the headquarters in Hohenlohe is problematical, as there is a serious shortage in the availability of the necessary additional workers there, the company said.
The intention, therefore, is to expand existing production facilities and establish new production sites, it added. Fenkl said: “Additional production sites will bring us closer to our customers.”
The company said the 11.9% growth in sales last year provides a good base for further growth. Ventilation systems were the sales driver in the year just past, contributing EUR 637 million to the overall result, the company said.
Fenkl said he held no illusions about the challenges that lie ahead. “Work shifts are currently being repeatedly cancelled because of a lack of components – how can you realistically plan and how are you supposed to satisfy your customers?” he said.
Ziehl-Abegg employs 2,600 people in Germany, 200 more than a year ago. The number of employees worldwide rose from 4,300 to 4,700. Since employees of the baby boom era in Germany are now increasingly reaching retirement age, this is having a direct impact on the available workforce potential. “Companies must, therefore, openly target Generation Z, the post-millennials,” Fenkl said. “We mustn’t persist with old ways of thinking but instead take the wishes and needs of young people seriously.”
Airius launches new BACnet MS/TP fan controller
LAS VEGAS, Nevada, 31 January 2022: Colorado-based Airius, focused on air movement and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), announced the release of its new BACnet MS/TP destratification fan controller during the 2022 AHR Expo. The company made the announcement through a Press release.
“With our BACnet fan control integrated into your network, you can take better control of your building’s stratification issues, save money and improve building comfort by achieving the operational excellence you desire,” said Christian Avedon, Director of Sales & Marketing, Airius. “By providing improved control and monitoring, our new fan controller empowers you to command your facilities and provide a more consistent and comfortable environment.”
According to Airius, the destratification fan controller provides individual Airius fan control and status integration over the BACnet MS/TP network. Up to 63 fans can be connected per MS/TP network, and multiple networks can be created for integration of hundreds of fans, the company said. The new controller is easy to configure and install, with no software needed, enabling building owners and facility managers to monitor their Airius fan system, reduce their energy consumption and improve the comfort of their buildings, the company added.
According to Airius, additional features of the new controller include:
On/off, fan speed control and revolutions-per-minute (RPM) monitoring
Compatibility with electronically commutated (EC) motors
UL-accepted for use in plenum, NEMA 1-enclosed housing
Easy system addressing and baud rate changes through dual inline package (DIP) switch settings
Craft makes first complete R-290 commercial system
SAN DIEGO, California, 13 April 2021: US-based contract manufacturer, Craft said it has designed its first complete propane (R-290) refrigeration system that includes a condenser, compressor and evaporator for a US-based display case OEM, Hydrocarbons21.com reported on its Web site.
It is the latest move by Craft in the R-290 commercial refrigeration space, where it has stepped up its investment in the past year, Hydrocarbons21.com said.
The OEM, which had approached Craft about making the R-290 system, will begin marketing the cabinet “in the next few months,” said Dean Rafiee, Partner and Managing Director, Craft. “We will go into mass production by July.” He declined to name the OEM without their permission, Hydrocarbons21.com said. Craft, which focuses primarily on the North American market, will also manufacture its own version of the R-290 refrigeration system over the next few months, Hydrocarbons21.com quoted Rafiee as saying.
According to Hydrocarbons21.com, since 2016, Craft has manufactured Thermocraft R-290 condensing units for retail cabinets and other applications, first under the SF line and, then, the more efficient EH line. R-290 condensing units comprise about 10% of the condensing units manufactured by Craft, which also makes units for HFO blends R-448A, R-449A and R-513, and for R-404A, Hydrocarbons21.com said.
However, Rafiee sees a “big trend” to R-290 refrigeration among Craft’s OEM customers, Hydrocarbons21.com said. “The number of clients contacting us for R290 is amazing,” Rafiee said. “They see that’s where the future is headed, and they want to be there with the right products.”
Over the past year, Craft has been preparing for that future by making a “significant investment” in its manufacturing capability for R-290 products, along with testing chambers and charging functionality, Hydrocarbons21.com said.
“We see [HFO blends] as a transitional fluid, which is why we have invested so much in R-290 over the past year,” he said. “We are always directing our clients to R-290, to make an early investment, so later on they can compete in the marketplace.”
Hydrocarbons21.com quoted Rafiee as saying that R-290 compressor manufacturers, especially Embraco, “have taken the efficiency of R-290 compressors to the next level”. Craft employs Embraco and Cubigel (Huayi) compressors in its EH line of R290 condensing units, Hydrocarbons21.com said.
Craft’s EH Series R290 single-speed, air-cooled condensing units range from 1/5 to 3/4HP and are available for medium/high and low temperatures, Hydrocarbons21.com said, adding that they feature EC motors and condensers with 7mm tubes that “optimize the charge of refrigerant gas required,”