It’s not every day that an entire industry gets to eat crow, but that’s certainly the case when you look at the triumphant return of the Air-conditioning, Heating, and Refrigerating (AHR) Exposition to the Jacob Javits Center in New York City this past January. And no, the crow isn’t the latest aperitif at some trendy hotspot in Manhattan — it’s just what naysayers have to eat after all their negativity about bringing the show back to the Big Apple.

For those who keep track, the last time the show was in NYC was 17 years ago, and the reports from that event were dim, at best. It was from this time that manufacturers, distributors, and contractors said, “Never again.” But as James Bond once said, “Never say never again.”

According to preliminary figures, provided courtesy of Clay Stevens, president of the International Exposition Company, a total of 39,298 visitors attended the expo, breaking the previous all-time attendance record of 38,224 set in 2003 in Chicago. Stevens says that total attendance, including visitors and exhibitor personnel, was 59,122. And that rocks!

Why such a great success?

“Many exhibitors were saying this is the best market, or one of the best markets, for the HVACR industry in the U.S. The majority of exhibitors said the Northeast region was the strongest market,” Stevens explains.

Other factors positively impacted the show, he says. The show drew visitors from the huge population center in and around New York, dry weather with temperatures in the 30s was conducive for local visitors, and the fact the show had not been in New York for so long also helped drive the record attendance.

What did this record crowd have to see? Lots of cool stuff. In fact, there was way too much to highlight everything in this issue. So, per our custom, the editors of Contracting Business walked the aisles in search of what we thought were the coolest of cool — the latest technologies and services available to help you, our contractor readers, be more successful in your businesses. The following are our editors’ picks from AHR Expo 2008.


Lennox
Lennox introduced its most innovative light commercial product line to date: the Strategos rooftop units. These units are designed to cut energy usage, cost less to operate than other systems, and help reduce businesses’ environmental impact.

Strategos units boast efficiency ratings up to 14.3 EER, 16.1 SEER, and 16.4 integrated part-load value (IPLV), providing immediate and long-term savings, the company says. Strategos units also help customers meet green building design objectives and can even help buildings qualify for LEED credits.

The Strategos’ MSAV (multi-stage air volume) supply fan option allows the units to conserve energy during partial cooling operation while still meeting comfort requirements.

Visit www.lennox.com for additional information.


Zonefirst
Zonefirst introduced FlowZone, an environmentally-friendly, micro-zoning climate control system. Available for commercial application, FlowZone delivers customized comfort for any space, meaning an office designated to maintain 70F can be next to an office set to 76F and both can maintain those temperatures, the company says.

FlowZone consists of a state-of-the-art programmable controller (thermostat), and self-powered registers (wall vents) with jewel-like infrared temperature sensors. The two-part, simple to use wireless system continuously monitors up to 35 custom user-selected zones, ensuring each zone remains at the desired comfort level.

One of the keys to FlowZone’s energy efficiency is the self-powered registers, which use turbine generators to convert the existing air, flowing through the HVAC ducts, into energy that is capable of powering the entire FlowZone system.

Additionally, FlowZone’s web-enabled system can be controlled directly using a wireless network card or remotely through an office’s wireless network, making the system accessible from virtually anywhere.

Visit www.zonefirst.com for additional information.


Carrier
Carrier Corp. has improved chiller plant efficiency by more than 10% compared with high efficiency variable speed centrifugal alternatives. The Evergreen 23XRV, with Foxfire compression technology and HFC 134A refrigerant, provides the highest efficiency as measured by Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) test standards, the company says.

Showcased at AHR, Carrier previously demonstrated the efficiency breakthrough in Charlotte, N.C., at a customer event focused on chiller fundamentals and chilled water system design. The theories presented were modeled with Carrier’s Hourly Analysis Program (HAP) energy simulation tool and put to the test in Carrier’s ARI-certified test laboratory.

Visit www.carrier.com for additional information.


Cliplight
Cliplight Manufacturing introduced the VCR-301, a non-slipping valve core remover (VCR) tool for Schrader valves commonly used in residential and commercial air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

The VCR-301 uses a flexible 5/16-in. long non-slipping Viton molded sleeve with an accepting concave opening that directs the core pinhead to the center of the molded sleeve. The ability to remove valve cores is an invaluable service advantage that expedites refrigerant recovery and refrigeration system evacuation times by 50%, the company says.

In addition to easily removing stubborn valve cores, system oil injection is expedited once the valve core is removed. Most oil injector brands easily screw onto the threaded end of the VCR- 301’s angle-side port.

Visit www.cliplight.com for additional information.


Daikin
Daikin AC (Americas) premiered the VRV III, which features a 460V three phase power supply, larger capacity up to 20-tons, connection up to 41 indoor units from one piping network, and excellent part load efficiency performance.

The VRV III system — the seventh generation of the original Daikin VRV launched in 1982 — offers advanced zoning capability with up to 200% diversity, a refrigerant auto-charge function, the longest piping length in the VRF segment, and features Daikin inverter compressor technology

The VRV III system is designed to answer larger scale building applications and directly compete with traditional central plant technology, solving many issues along the way, the company says.

Visit www.daikinac.com/Revolution for additional information.


Uponor
Half the size of previous units, the redesigned Uponor proPANEL mixing panels feature a host of innovations that speed installation, improve control, and simplify setup for radiant heating and cooling systems, the company says.

Fully assembled and wired with Cat5 or RJ45 connectors, the four new pro PANE L units are modular, allowing them to meet the needs of any radiant application, regardless of size or complexity. Connecting multiple panels to a single hydronic controller is a simple plug-andplay operation.

Because they do not feature mixing, the 90 and 90Z models can be used in stand-alone applications with a low-temperature water source.

Visit www.uponor-usa.com for additional information.


Danfoss
Danfoss introduced the Apexx VSH series compressors: the first R-410A variable speed scroll compressors for commercial air conditioning and heat pumps.

Capacity of the new VSH compressor series varies continuously to match the system load, with an operation range from 30 Hz to 90 Hz.

Compared to conventional systems, energy savings with a Danfoss VSH compressor can exceed 20%, the company says.

Traditional systems address part-load conditions with multiple compressors or with unloading techniques such as hot gas bypass or digital compressor technologies. These unloading techniques are inefficient either because high compressor efficiency cannot be maintained at part load or because load-matching capability is limited.

According to Danfoss, VSH compressors offer greater comfort as a result of tighter temperature control and the ability to cool or heat rapidly on demand by instantly increasing speed.

Visit www.danfoss.com/north_america for additional information.


Desert Aire
Desert Aire displayed its ExpertAire series dehumidifiers, a unit that replaces several of the company’s product lines including its IH, WC, PD and PDW products. Available in 1 to 15 tons, ExpertAire is designed to dehumidify industrial, commercial, and residential applications such as pool rooms and libraries, manufacturing plants, water and wastewater treatment plants, among others.

One major improvement is the standard offering of R-410A refrigerant on all sizes of ExpertAire dehumidifiers. Another significant enhancement with the ExpertAire series is the use of coils with a rifled tube, lanced fin design. These coils yield moisture removal capacity with a low pressure drop for the blower, providing an optimized moisture removal efficiency value between four and six.

Visit www.desert-aire.com for additional information.


Honeywell
With a built-in, menu-driven, easy-to-use display, and internal transformer, the Honeywell T775 electronic standalone controller with self-contained features can provide control for a variety of applications without requiring contractors to stock and piece together separate modules. An internal time clock scheduler provides setback or disable control while eliminating the need to purchase a separate time clock.

The Honeywell T775 uses intuitive programming and an easy-to-use graphical interface to help contractors save setup time, the company says.

The T775 also offers protection against freezing coils or overheating equipment through built-in modulating high- and low-limit control. If needed, a configurable minimum off time also protects equipment and reduces the need for a separate time-delay device.

Visit www.honeywell.com for additional information.


Lochinvar
Lochinvar introduced the Knight XL commercial boiler, a modulating/condensing unit with an array of innovative features that make it one of the most advanced boilers in its class. With 94.6% thermal efficiency, low NOx emissions, and a fully modulating burner with 5:1 turndown, this new boiler is the ideal green choice for today’s environmentally focused market, the company says.

Available in five models, the Knight XL, with its compact design and ASME stainless steel heat exchanger, is lightweight and easy to handle on the jobsite. The units also feature a small footprint for space-saving versatility and zero clearance to combustible materials.

Visit www.lochinvar.com for additional information.


ICM Controls
ICM Controls Corp. showcased its new line of SimpleComfort vertical thermostats. These vertical thermostats are designed to simplify installations while making it easy for end-users to achieve a level of comfort that matches their everyday lifestyles and needs, spokespeople for the company say.

The initial launch of the V-Line family includes four non-programmable models that compliment ICM Controls’ expanding line of SimpleComfort thermostats.

The SC1001V is a low-cost, single set point, analog heat/ cool thermostat, with a convenient slide-bar for temperature control. The SC2000VL (battery) and SC2001VL (hardwired) are single-stage heat/cool thermostats which include a large, backlit LCD display with soft touch controls. The SC2201VL also features a large backlit LCD display, soft touch controls, and is specifically designed for heat-pump systems.

Visit www.icmcontrols.com for additional information.


Emerson Climate Technologies
Emerson Climate Technologies announced that its R-410A Copeland Scroll Digital is now available in a compete line of 3- to 12-horsepower models for commercial air conditioning applications. Offering the ability to modulate compressor capacity from 10 to 100%, Copeland Scroll Digital is an important part of Emerson Climate Technologies’ commitment to providing contractors a broad line of R-410A compressors.

Copeland Scroll Digital technology provides infinitely variable capacity modulation and is ideally suited for commercial applications with widely varying loads or a need to maintain precise temperature and humidity control, the company says.

In addition, Emerson introduced its new Affinity HVAC building automation drive. This rugged, energy-efficient, and cost-saving drive was engineered to address the needs of building automation consultants, HVAC manufacturers, electrical and mechanical HVAC contractors, and building owners/operators.

The new Affinity drive offers a power range to 200 hp as well as a voltage range from 208VAC to 690VAC. It also includes a fireman’s mode for building occupant safety and secure drive monitoring and control with 24VDC backup connections.

Visit www.EmersonClimate.com for additional information.


Johnson Controls
The new York Tempo air-cooled scroll chillers from Johnson Controls offer low energy consumption, no ozone depletion, and qualify for a LEED point.

With an integrated part-load value (IPLV) as high as 16.0 EER, Tempo chillers are the most energy-efficient in their class, by a wide margin. In addition, they use HFC-410A, a refrigerant with zero ozone-depletion potential and no phaseout schedule.

Along with an environmentally responsible refrigerant, Tempo chillers offer a standard low-sound design and additional soundattenuation options.

Visit www.york.com for additional information.


REHAU
REHAU launched a new professional contractor development program, structured to encourage all aspects of contractor growth through training, design services, company branding, and local, regional, and national events.

The REHAU Edge program emphasizes team philosophy and the importance of relationship-building between channel partners.

Visit www.rehau.com for additional information.