The exhibit floor for the 2009 AHR EXPO in Chicago, Jan. 26-30, 2009, covered enough space for eight football fields. More than 54,000 HVACR professionals flooded McCormick Place and covered every square foot. Attendees viewed products by more than 1,900 exhibiting companies. ContractingBusiness.com editors were there, to gather news, meet exhibitors, and speak with the many guests who stopped by the ContractingBusiness.com booth. Here's a sampling of what we found.

Airgas

Airgas acquired refrigerant wholesaler Refron in July 2008. Airgas is a major distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases in the U.S., and a leading supplier of refrigerant supply, reclamation, and related services. With the combined experience of Refron, CFC Refimax, and Gartech, Airgas Refrigerants, Inc. offers more than 60 years of expertise in refrigerant gases, reclamation, laboratory analysis, technical support, and more. Five regional offices provide the services. airgas.com

Airwell Fedders

The Airwell Group purchased Fedders HVAC in March 2008. Since that time, Airwell Fedders North America, Inc., has updated its product offerings, with brands that are suitable for residential and commercial HVAC applications. Among those is a complete line of air conditioning fan coils (ACIA series) and air handling units. Fedders heat pump systems are available from 1.5 to 5 tons, and are rated at 13 SEER. fedders.com

Daikin AC (Americas)

Daikin AC (Americas) Quaternity is described as North America's first inverter split system heat pump capable of dehumidifying room air to a user defined relative humidity set point, and air cleaning functions. Quaternity is available in three sizes, with nominal cooling capacities of 9,000, 12,000 and 15,000 BTU/hr, with SEER levels of 22, 22, and 21 respectively; and EER levels of 15.8, 14, and 12.9 respectively. daikinac.com

Danfoss

Danfoss, Inc. received the AHR EXPO® Product of the Year Award for its Apexx VSH series variable speed scroll compressors for commercial air conditioning. Sources say the Apexx VSH compressor and drive package is the first high-capacity variable speed scroll solution for commercial R-410A air conditioning and heat pump systems. danfoss.com

Dow

Dowfrost heat transfer fluid contains specially formulated packages of food grade industrial inhibitors that help prevent corrosion. Dowfrost heat transfer fluid is a formulation of propylene glycol and a specially designed package of industrial corrosion inhibitors. dow.com

DuPont Refrigerants

DuPont Refrigerants issued a call for increased attention to a potential shortfall of R-22 refrigerant in 2010, based on a report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). DuPont has expanded its Refrigerant Reclaim Program, and offers retrofit solutions to replace R-22 in existing systems. DuPont's ISCEON® refrigerant is one such replacement. refrigerants.dupont.com

Honeywell

Honeywell introduced two products for the buildings marketplace: the Spyder Sylk Enhanced, a fully programmable unitary controller; and Zio, a wall module that works with Spyder's flexibility to provide customized access to controller and network points. The new controller and wall module give contractors flexibility, convenience, and easy access to HVAC system information. The Spyder Sylk Enhanced Controller and Zio LCD wall module can be used in small commercial buildings to office complexes and campus settings. honeywell.com

Invensys Controls

Invensys Controls product lines on display included Robertshaw pressure switches, thermostats, and controls; the popular Paragon defrost timer; Eliwell wireless refrigeration controls; and EcoCool controllers from Ranco (shown). The Customer Toolbox — toolbox.InvensysControls.com — provides customers with easy access to information about Invensys Controls products and services. NATE-recognied HVAC and commercial refrigeration courses are now available. invensyscontrols.com

Johnson Controls / York

Johnson Controls, Inc.'s York® Affinity 33-in., variable-speed modulating gas furnace with an electronically commutated motor (ECM) was recognized as a 2008 Consumers Digest Best Buy, and a 2009 AHR Expo Innovation Award winner. Sources say the York Affinity modulating gas furnace achieves up to 98% Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) — the highest AFUE rating in the HVAC industry. yorkupg.com. Johnson Controls has expanded its line of commercial comfort systems to include variable air volume (VAV) boxes. Johnson Controls commercial comfort systems feature factory-installed controls and factory-configured components that offer Design/Build contractors simple installation, a compact footprint, design flexibility, energy efficiency, and other environmental benefits. johnsoncontrols.com.

LG

LG's Multi-V system offers commercial buildings and lodging and hospitality environments cost-effective, high energy efficiency with easy temperature controls. Built around LG's inverter compressors, the Multi-V series delivers one of the highest EER ratings available in the VRF equipment category, and low sound operation. LGusa.com

MovinCool

MovinCool® announced an enhanced controller for all models of its OfficePro® and Classic Plus lines of spot air conditioners. MovinCool designs its controllers specifically for use with its proprietary air conditioners. movincool.com

Other products of interest included:

  • Arkema — HFC-based alternative refrigerant products, including R-427A, for retrofits. arkema-inc.com
  • Cleaver-Brooks — Optimized Boiler Package cleaver-brooks.com
  • Emerson Climate Technologies — the Copeland PerformanceAlert Diagnostics and System Design Simulator Software won Innovation Award Honorable Mentions. emersonclimate.com
  • ICM Controls — CC750 comfort control center.icmcontrols.com
  • Lochinvar — Shield commercial water jeater, SYNC condensing boiler. lochinvar.com
  • Luvata — Custom-made coils for OEMs include fluid coils, desaturation coils, booster coils, and direct expansion (DX) coils. luvata.com/heatcraft
  • Mitsubishi Electric HVAC — Hyper-heating Inverter (H2i) technology, a Mitsubishi Electric HVAC exclusive, for CITY MULTI® Y-series variable refrigerant flow zoning (VRFZ) systems. mehvac.com
  • Nordyne — ecoLogic line of air conditioners; variable-speed furnaces; fully-modulating furnaces; heat pumps; iHybrid dual fuel units; gas/electric packs; and packaged heat pumps. Available in Maytag, Frigidaire, NuTone, Tappan, and Westinghouse brands. ecoLogicHVAC.com
  • Quietside/Samsung — S Line on-demand water heater. quietside.com
  • Sanyo — HIT solar panels, Flexi-Multi wall-mounted air conditioners and heat pumps. sanyohvac.com
  • Siemens — VAV fume hood; zone globe valve actuators for fan coil units, radiators, baseboard heating, floor heating, and unit ventilators. siemens.com
  • SPX — TIF9035 charging scale and manifold storage combo; Promax RG6000 refrigerant recovery machine. SPX.com
  • Solaronics — True Dual modulating heaters. solaronicsusa.com
  • Viega — ProPress® fittings with Smart Connect,® a quick and easy way for installers to identify connections that need pressing. viega.com

AHR EXPO Innovation Award Winners

  • Building Automation: AEC Design Group, for the ArTrA Building Information Modeling software.
  • Cooling: Danfoss, Inc., for the Apexx VSH Series variable speed scroll compressors for commercial air conditioning.
  • Green Building: Ice Energy, for the Ice Bear 30 hybrid air conditioner.
  • Heating: Unitary Products division of Johnson Controls, for theYork Affinity 98% modulating gas furnace.
  • Indoor Air Quality: Rotronic, for the HygroClip2 humidity and temperature probe.
  • Refrigeration: Danfoss, Inc., for the AKD 102 ADAP-KOOL Drive (see p. 46).
  • Software: Mc4 Software, for Mc4 Suite building systems software.
  • Tools & Instruments: UEi, for the Smart Bell Combustion Meter.
  • Ventilation: Twin City Fan Companies, Ltd., for the Aero Acoustic Diffuser for Plenum/Plug Fans.

Visit ContractingBusiness.com for a more comprehensive report on AHR EXPO® 2009.