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AHR Expo announces 2018 Innovation Award winners

Recognises some of the most inventive HVACR products, systems and technologies, to be featured at the January 2018 AHR Expo in Chicago

| | Dec 4, 2017 | 11:23 am
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WESTPORT, Connecticut, USA: AHR Expo has announced the winners of the 2018 AHR Expo Innovation Awards, the annual competition recognising some of the most inventive HVACR products, systems and technologies that will be featured at the 2018 AHR Expo, the producers of the show said.

The winners were selected by a panel of third-party ASHRAE member judges, who evaluated all award entries based on innovative design, creativity, application, value and market impact. The winners will be recognised in a formal ceremony during the 2018 AHR Expo, which will take place from January 22 to 24, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. The AHR Expo will also announce the winner of the highly-anticipated ‘Product of the Year Award’ at this ceremony.

“Each year, our winners set the bar higher for innovation in HVACR, and this year is no exception,” said Clay Stevens, President, 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.”

The winners and finalists in the categories of building automation, cooling, green building, heating, indoor air quality, plumbing, refrigeration, software, tools and instruments, and ventilation are:

Building Automation

Winner: Setra Systems, Inc. (2018 AHR Expo Booth 4,021)

Innovation: Setra FLEX, a complete room monitoring and control solution. Setra FLEX 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 pressurised critical spaces. Visual and audible alarms are configurable and fully comply with ASHRAE Standard 170, as well as US Pharmacopeia 797 and 800.

Finalists in this category were: BELIMO Americas (Six-way Electronic Pressure Independent Valve); Cielo WiGle Inc. (Breez: Smart Controller for Ductless Air-conditioning Systems); and Emerson (Site Supervisor facility control platform).


Winner: Emerson (2018 AHR Expo Booth 5,300)

Innovation: Copeland Scroll, a two-stage compressor. The latest generation of Copeland Scroll two-stage compressors from 1 to 10 tonnes of refrigeration (TR) has been redesigned for improved performance and reliability in residential and commercial air conditioning systems. The third-generation technology is optimised for mid-tier comfort and efficiency rebates, with improved full-load and part-load performance up to five per cent.

Finalists in this category were: Delta Cooling Towers, Inc. (Delta Anti-Microbial Cooling Tower); Johnson Controls, Inc. (YORK Affinity YXV 20 SEER Variable Capacity Air Conditioner); and ZIEHL-ABEGG, Inc. (ZAvblue centrifugal fan).

Green Building

Winner: Danfoss (2018 AHR Expo Booth 2,510)

Innovation: Danfoss Turbocor TTH/TGH High Lift Compressor, a compressor optimised for air-cooled chiller and heat-recovery applications. 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.

Finalists in this category were: International Wastewater Systems Inc. (PIRANHA HC thermal energy-recovery hot-water production system); Nexus Valve, Inc. (Pressure Step Deaerator); Regal (NovaMAX™ Motor – 600 RPM); and Smardt Chiller Group Inc. (Smardt Solar Integrated Chiller (SSiC)).


Winner: Calefactio (2018 AHR Expo Booth 7,577)

Innovation: The ONE, a three-in-one expansion tank, air separator and dirt separator. The ONE 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 by reducing costs – it is much less costly to buy The ONE than to buy all the devices separately.

Finalists in this category were: Cleaver-Brooks, Inc. (Cleaver-Brooks ClearFire-CE hydronic boiler); Johnson Controls, Inc. (YORK Affinity YZV 20 SEER Variable Capacity Heat Pump); and WaterFurnace International, Inc. (Versatec Variable Speed water source/geothermal heat pump).

Indoor Air Quality

Winner: Spartan Bioscience (2018 AHR Expo Booth 8,175)

Innovation: 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.

Finalists in this category were: AAF Flanders (Sensor360 filtration monitor); Addison (Linear Capacity, Dedicated Outdoor Air System); and Johnson Controls, Inc. (GLAS smart thermostat).


Winner: AquaMotion Inc. (2018 AHR Expo Booth 6,816)

Innovation: 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.

Finalists in this category were: Caleffi Hydronic Solutions (LEGIOMIX electronic mixing valve with disinfection); and John Guest USA, Inc. (JG ProLock twist-to-lock fitting system).


Winner: Chemours (2018 AHR Expo Booth 4,544)

Innovation: Opteon XP44 Refrigerant (R-452A), a non-ozone depleting, low-GWP, HFO-based refrigerant replacement for R-404A/507. It offers an approximately 50% 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.

Finalists in this category were: CAREL INDUSTRIES SpA (HEEZ control and management solution); and Emerson (Fractional horsepower low-temperature Copeland Scroll compressor).


Winner: Regal (2018 AHR Expo Booth 4,945)

Innovation: Browning Toolbox Technician Motor Efficiency Calculator, for Apple and Android platforms. The mobile app calculator module allows a user to identify efficiency differences between different generations of integral horsepower electric motors. The 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.

Finalists in this category were: Coolfront Technologies (Coolfront Mobile flat rate pricing app); LG Electronics USA, Inc. (LG Air Conditioning Technical Solution (LATS) Revit drawing plug-in); and SuperCool Slide Rule (SuperCool HVAC app).

Tools and Instruments

Winner: Fluke Corporation (2018 AHR Expo Booth 6,549)

Innovation: 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, minimising potential errors and greatly reducing the possibility of arc flash.

Finalists in this category were: GrayWolf Sensing Solutions (GrayWolf’s DirectSense II Smart Probes / Sensor); Milwaukee Tool (102 x 77 Spot Infrared Imager); and SuperCool Slide Rule (Line-set Saver cleaning device).

Winner: Triatek (2018 AHR Expo Booth 4,344)

Innovation: Stable Vortex II Fume Hood, a dynamic, low-flow, high-performance fume hood that protects chemists from harmful dusts and vapours 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.

Finalists in this category were: Regal (UlteMAX Axial PM Motor); Titus (TJD, OMNI diffuser) and ZIEHL-ABEGG, Inc. (ZAbluefin bionic, high-efficiency impeller).

With 2,000+ exhibitors, 100+ seminars and product presentations and more than 65,000 attendees, the producers said, the AHR Expo in 2018 is expected to provide a unique forum for the entire HVACR industry, from product designers and engineers to installers and end users, to come together and share ideas, discover new products and find solutions to technical problems.

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