Exhibitors at this year’s AHR Expo in Orlando presented their share of metal boxes, pumps and piping of various materials to meet building owners’ heating-and-cooling needs. Trends that I observed in the trade show booths, however, were devices that will help the “chunky” products work smarter, or programs that will aid you in your system designs.
The emphasis, in other words, frequently favored electronic technology over hardware. Here are just a half-dozen examples of what I saw at the show:
Tacowww.taco-hvac.com:During a press conference, President John Hazen White Jr. called the rollout of his company’s electronic product line “the most exciting introductions of 2010.” From its Electronic Solutions unit, iWorx is a Web-based building management, monitoring and control system for light commercial buildings up to 50,000 square feet and high-end homes. It can integrate forced-air and hydronic systems, including geothermal and solar components.
Bradford Whitewww.bradfordwhite.com:The ICON System water heating control technology, developed with Honeywell, is standard equipment on the company’s light-duty commercial and residential products. Bruce Carnevale, vice president of sales and marketing, told me in the company’s booth that ICON will improve water-heating performance dramatically, adding, “You can control your water temperature now just like you would your HVAC system.”
Uponorwww.uponor-usa.com:Introduced a couple years ago, the company’s Climate Control Network System was emphasized at this year’s AHR Expo to raise awareness among HVAC system designers (and perhaps due to the show’s Florida venue). The Internet-accessible Climate Control connects all of a building’s HVAC components, including cooling, to a single system to improve energy efficiency, control and monitoring.
Lochinvarwww.lochinvar.com:Available later this year, the Crest line of commercial, stainless steel, condensing boilers will be equipped with the company’s Smart Touch operating control platform enhanced with an 8-inch touch-screen display. The control will include the Modbus protocol for integration into building management systems.
Grundfoswww.thinkingbuildings.com:From its Building Services unit, the company introduced its Thinking Buildings Universe, a new Web site that offers engineers and mechanical contractors information on pumps for their commercial building projects.
Fulton Cos.www.fulton.com:The new ModSync LX sequencing system features a 12.1-inch color touch screen and interface that provides details of a building’s comfort system status and operating parameters. Wireless boiler interfacing and text messaging options are available for multiple condensing boilers to improve system efficiencies and provide energy savings.
The objective of all the equipment mentioned – and a great number of other products at the show – is to make building systems operate by using energy more wisely. By doing so, they merit your consideration in your green building designs.
You can read more about AHR Expo product introductions here.