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The AHR Expo attracts the entire HVACR industry, and honors those who bring innovation to the industry. 

The AHR Expo (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) is the world’s largest HVACR event and the industry’s annual chance to highlight its biggest and brightest advances. The 2018 event takes place at Chicago’s McCormick Place on Jan. 22 to 24, and is expected to draw in more than 2,000 exhibitors and 65,000 attendees. The show considers itself a unique forum for the entire HVACR industry, including OEMs, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, distributors, facility operators and educators.

ASHRAE has already selected the winners of the 2018 AHR Expo Innovation Awards, which recognizes some of the most inventive HVACR products, systems and technologies that will be featured at the expo. The entries were evaluated based on innovative design, creativity, application, value and market impact. The Product of the Year Award will be announced during the AHR Expo’s formal ceremony.

The winners were selected in the following categories:

  • Building automation – Setra Systems Inc. – Setra FLEX™ is a complete room monitoring and control solution, and is used to ensure safe and energy-efficient indoor environmental and ventilation control conditions for operating rooms, isolation rooms, bio-safety laboratories, clean rooms and all pressurized critical spaces. Visual and audible alarms are configurable and fully comply with ASHRAE Standard 170, as well as US Pharmacopeia 797 and 800.
  • Cooling – Emerson – Copeland Scroll™ is a two-stage compressor. The latest generation of Copeland Scroll two-stage compressors from 1 to 10 tons has been redesigned for improved performance and reliability in residential and commercial air-conditioning systems. The third-generation technology is optimized for mid-tier comfort and efficiency rebates with improved full-load and part-load performance up to five percent.
  • Green building – Danfoss – Engineered for high-lift applications, including air-cooled chillers and heat recovery, Danfoss Turbocor® TTH/TGH models feature oil-free, variable speed, magnetic bearing operation for outstanding full- and part-load efficiency, low vibration and sound, a small footprint, and reduced maintenance, while providing an expanded operating map suitable for air-cooled chiller and heat-recovery applications.
  • Heating – Calefactio – The ONE, a three-in-one expansion tank, air separator and dirt separator, innovates by eliminating an important number of joints, thus limiting the leaking possibilities; using less space and taking less time to install compared to installing the three devices separately; and reducing costs – it is much less costly to buy The ONE than to buy all the devices separately.
  • Indoor air quality – Spartan Bioscience – Spartan Legionella Detection System, the world’s first on-site Legionella DNA test to prevent outbreaks. Spartan’s Legionella Detection System fully integrates DNA collection, extraction and analysis in a compact format. Spartan’s technology enables unprecedented portability with no sample shipment to an outside laboratory and no technical expertise requirements. In addition, the system provides results in 45 minutes.
  • Plumbing – AquaMotion Inc. – AquaMotion Aqua-Flash™, an under-sink hot water recirculation system. The Aqua-Flash by-pass valve provides: an improved bypass design that prevents the hot water from entering the cold line when the hot water faucet is opened; A bi-metal coil element that closes the internal shuttle by-pass port in the valve when hot water reaches the valve; a bi-metal element that is calibrated to deliver the hot water temperature desired; and more than double the pipe diameter to prevent calcium buildup.
  • Refrigeration – Chemours – Opteon™ XP44 Refrigerant (R-452A), a non-ozone depleting, low GWP, HFO-based refrigerant replacement for R-404A/507. It offers an approximately 50 percent reduction in global warming potential compared to R-404A/R-507, while providing the closest match to the compressor discharge temperature of any other low GWP solution on the market. With the regulations addressing high GWP refrigerants such as R-404A/R-507 in commercial refrigeration applications, Opteon™ XP44 uniquely provides equipment manufacturers and end-users an option to cost effectively cut the environmental impact of their refrigerant choice in half, without sacrificing performance or equipment reliability.
  • Software – Regal – Browning® Toolbox Technician® Motor Efficiency Calculator, for Apple and Android platforms. This mobile app calculator module allows a user to identify efficiency differences between different generations of integral horsepower electric motors. This app not only identifies the potential efficiency gain, but it allows the user to tailor the motor usage parameters to mirror their application or overall facility usage so a projected return on investment (ROI) can be displayed.
  • Tools and instruments – Fluke Corporation – Fluke T6 Electrical Tester, an electrical tester that takes simultaneous voltage and current measurements without test leads. The T6 testers now make it possible to take reliable true-rms measurements in crowded junction boxes or along conductors with inaccessible endpoints, saving time, minimizing potential errors and greatly reducing the possibility of arc flash.
  • Ventilation – Triatek – Stable Vortex® II Fume Hood, a dynamic, low-flow, high-performance fume hood that protects chemists from harmful dusts and vapors during experiments. It delivers a safer environment for the user than the average fume hood, while also providing substantial energy savings. The Stable Vortex II passes the ASHRAE 110 test as manufactured, as installed and as used because the superior design accounts for how people actually use fume hoods, in order to truly keep them safe.

“Each year, our winners set the bar higher for innovation in HVACR, and this year is no exception,” says Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company, the producers of AHR Expo. “We congratulate each of these leaders from across the industry and look forward to seeing their inventive solutions in action at the 2018 AHR Expo.”

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