For the second time in three years a major snowstorm on the eastern seaboard proved to be an unworthy adversary for the AHR Expo.

Despite many cancelled flights due to Winter Storm Jonas, the 2016 AHR Expo held Jan. 25-27 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., drew record-breaking crowds. The event saw 60,926 registered attendees walk the nearly 470,000-sq.-ft. of exhibit space, according to the International Exposition Co., AHR’s producers.

“A lot goes into making this show such a valued platform for today’s professionals,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Expositions. “Based on early feedback we’re already working on several aspects of next year’s show to accommodate more attendees and to make the experience even more worthwhile.”

In total, 2,063 exhibitors – including 334 first-time exhibitors – made the trip to Orlando to showcase the latest products and technologies for the HVAC and plumbing markets. Navien displayed its new HotButton for on-demand hot water recirculation. The HotButton provides end-users immediate hot water and is an add-on accessory for all Navien’s NPE-A units. It also is California Title 24 compliant.

The show-going public got to see and touch Legend Valve’s new HyperPure PE-RT (polyethylene raised temperature) tubing for potable water systems. Legend Valve notes HyperPure is the first flexible plastic hot and cold potable-water tube that is 100% recyclable. It comes in 1/4” to 2” coils and 20-ft. lengths.

Bradford White launched its ElectrFLEX HD field-convertible commercial water heater during the show. The unit provides options of voltage, pulse and kW and is available in 50-, 80- and 119-gal. capacities. Also, the ElectrFLEX HD comes with the company’s Hydrojet sediment reduction system to provide its best performance.

Bell & Gossett unveiled TechnoForce e-HV, a pre-engineered pressure booster package. The TechnoForce e-HV is the latest addition to the company’s Power of e product line and features direct motor-mounted Hydrovar Multi-Master variable-speed drive/controllers that ensure continued operation should the drive fail.

The Whalen Co. displayed its upgraded Whisperline vertical stack heat-pump line. The units range from 0.5- to 3-ton capacities and can be installed as part of a boiler/cooling tower or geothermal application.

Franklin Electric showcased its new Little Giant EC-1-DV series mini-condensate removal pump. The unit delivers multi-voltage operations – 115V, 208V and 230V – for residential and commercial applications.

Taco held a press breakfast on Monday, one hour before the exhibitor hall opened and shared a litany of accomplishments and goals for the future. Taco President John Hazen White Jr. said the company would be focusing on research and development and getting into new markets. “We are ready for the future,” he said.

Also during AHR, pme and BNP Media Plumbing Group columnist Dan Holohan gave his final public speech for the industry on Jan. 26 during PM Live. To show its gratitude for everything Holohan – who will continue to write monthly columns for BNP Media’s Plumbing Group – has given to the industry, Taco presented him with a framed baseball jersey.

On Monday, Caleffi hosted a book signing of the latest work of pme and BNP Media Plumbing Group columnist John Siegenthaler. Five lucky drawing winners were on hand to receive a signed copy of Siegenthaler’s latest publication “Heating with Renewable Energy.”

The 2017 AHR Expo is set for Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Other 2016 AHR Expo highlights include:

  • Trimble showcased its TX8, a laser scanner that collects precise data from a 3D scan. It is ideal for contractors, as well as engineers who visit a site and may need to figure out a design change on the fly. The TX8 can give users a 360° x 317° field of view and collects data at 1 million points per second. A typical scan time is three minutes.
  • Schebler Chimney Systems displayed its FyreGuard/SlimVent unit, which is a complete grease duct system. It is factory fabricated and UL 2221 classified – with zero-clearance to combustibles and a two-hour fire rating.
  • AERCO International touted The OriGen, an energy recovery system that converts waste heat into clean, renewable power. The OriGen could be used in many applications, including biomass, geothermal/solar and heat recovery for manufacturing facilities, offices and power plants. The OriGren can generate 20kW to 1MW of power with its Organic Rankine Cycle technology and traditional HVAC components in a continuous cycle.


This article was originally titled “Braving the elements” in the March 2016 print edition of PM Engineer.