A record number of entries were submitted for the fourth annual AHR Expo Innovation Awards Competition sponsored by ASHRAE, ARI, and International Exposition Company. The nine winning companies will be recognized at a special ceremony during the 2006 AHR Expo in Chicago. The awards presentation will take place on Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 11:30 a.m. in the New Product Technology Theater "B" on the show floor.

The most innovative product submissions from among the thousands on display at the AHR Expo have been selected as winners in nine specific categories: Building Automation, Cooling, Heating, Indoor Air Quality, Refrigeration, Software, Tools & Instruments, Ventilation, and the newest category Green Building (Greenovation). The Greenovation category was added this year to recognize the increasing number of products and technologies that make buildings "green" favoring the environment, conservation of natural resources, and the reduction of energy consumption and pollution.

The 2006 winners are:

  • Building Automation

    Company: Kiyon, Inc.

    Product: KAN 254B Wireless BACnet® Router

    Description: This product provides wireless connectivity for all types of building control systems, enables wireless mobility for building personnel, and bridges several networks for interoperability enabling these devices to communicate over the same network.

  • Cooling

    Company: Modine Manufacturing Company

    Product: PF2 heat exchangers

    Description: PF2 solves the water drainage problem with microchannel heat exchangers by allowing the tubes to be run vertically or horizontally. Advantages over copper tube aluminum fin coils include lower system operating and material costs and lower noise levels.

  • Heating

    Company: Gasmaster Industries, Inc.

    Product: GMI 8M

    Description: The GMI 8M tankless boiler/water heater allows high-capacity users to save money with environment friendly ultra-clean exhaust, compact size, low maintenance and mounting flexibility with exhaust cool enough for direct venting. It comes in capacities up to 8 million btu/h in a single unit.

  • IAQ

    Company: ProMark Associates, Inc.

    Product: Total Spectrum™ filter system

    Description: This filter system unites ultraviolet light, photo catalysis, gas phase filters and media in a patented process. It can eliminate the full range of chemical pollutants with minimal use of outdoor air and no harmful emissions or waste while reducing energy.

  • Refrigeration

    Company: Danfoss, Inc.

    Product: Danfoss Interchangeable Cooling Engine

    Description: This cooling engine packages an entire refrigeration system-evaporator, compressor and condenser-in a compact, easily handled package for beverage vending machines, glass door merchandisers and display cases.

  • SOFTWARE

    Company: Emerson Climate Technologies

    Product: Intelligent Store's Condition-Based Maintenance Software

    Description: This product indicates when service should be provided based on the health of the system instead of providing schedule-based preventative maintenance. This allows retailers to perform the right amount of maintenance to keep equipment operating at peak efficiency levels.

  • Tools & Instruments

    Company: Ludeca, Inc.

    Product: SheaveMaster

    Description: This product uses a highly accurate fan-line laser and high-strength magnets that self-attach to pulleys and sprockets, replacing imprecise string and straight-edge methods. The benefits include labor savings, speed and better accuracy of alignments reducing wear and repair expenses.

  • Ventilation

    Company: Dais Analytic Corp.

    Product: ConsERV C500

    Description: This energy recovery ventilation system uses a nanotechnology exchange membrane material to provide highly efficient recovery of both sensible and latent heat. It was created to recover energy (some 70% total effectiveness) during fresh air ventilation using a fixed-plate ERV component.

  • Green Building (Greenovation)v Company: VRTX Technologies, LLC

    Product: VRTX Systems

    Description: VRTX Systems rely on kinetic energy, hydrodynamic cavitation and chemical equilibrium to control scale, corrosion, and biofouling without hazardous chemicals. Installation reduces water usage, operating costs, environmental impact and improves worker safety. It treats industrial cooling water from condensers and cooling towers.

"The product submissions for this awards program continue to represent the high quality that is expected in the HVAC&R industry," said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company (IEC), producers and managers of the AHR Expo. "We are pleased to honor and showcase these companies and products by recognizing their innovation and creativity."

Products submitted by the following companies received Honorable Mention:

  • Building Automation

    Danfoss Graham, Division of Danfoss, Inc.

    VLT® HVAC drive

    Description: VLT® HVAC Drive adjustable frequency drive has built-in Smart Logic Controller and four PID controllers that can eliminate the need for a unit controller. The drive can control fan speed, coils, dampers and valves.

    Distech Controls

    VAV Controllers with Wireless Communication

    Description: VAV Controllers with Wireless Communication offer unique application features. These include a dual-duct option, wireless communication with RF/battery-less temperature sensors, a RF/battery-less light switch and a specially developed LCD sensor with balancing tool.

    EBTRON, Inc.

    SCN202-T BACnet® VAV Terminal Controller

    Description: The model SCN202-T BACnet® VAV terminal controller regulates outdoor air intake rates to a zone using both airflow sensors and zone occupancy metering. Users can define zone air supply set points for greater thermal and pressure control and for increased energy efficiency.

    Johnson Controls, Inc.

    Metasys BACnet® Field Equipment Controller

    Description: The Metasys BACnet® Field Equipment Controller provides control using state-based techniques, continuous tuning of PID loops and pulse-modulated adaptive control of staged devices. Network sensors and input/output extension modules are included.

  • Cooling

    Copeland Corporation

    Copeland Scroll Digital™

    Description: Copeland Scroll Digital™ for commercial air conditioning uses axial-scroll-compliance capability to unload the compressor without shutting down. This feature provides variable modulation between 10% and 100% capacity, without compressing refrigerant that is not needed for room cooling.

    Lennox International

    S-Class 35-50 ton packaged rooftop units

    Description: S-Class 35-50 ton (123-176 kW) packaged rooftop units provide a complete HVAC and indoor air quality solution for commercial buildings featuring bypass zoning and zoning applications.

    Rheem Manufacturing Company, Air Conditioning Division

    Rheem Prestige Series Comfort Control System

    Description: The Rheem Prestige Series Comfort Control System applies advanced microprocessor technology to perform function monitoring, self-diagnosis and active protection on the company's 13 through 18 SEER air conditioners.

    York Unitary Products Group

    York® Mini Cube with microchannel technology

    Description: The York® Mini Cube with microchannel technology is the smallest air-conditioning system on the market. Microchannel technology allows for a 50% reduction in refrigerant and a 50% reduction in size, compared to traditional 13 SEER products.

  • Heating

    Bell & Gossett

    Check-Trol®

    Description: Check-Trol® combines a flow control valve, an isolation valve and a companion flange into one valve, which greatly simplifies installation. The free-floating companion flange allows installers to orientate the valve handle in a convenient position for ease of use.

    Cleaver-Brooks

    UCB Boiler

    Description: The UCB Boiler offers lower energy consumption (fuel and electricity), lower emissions and extremely quiet operation while saving considerable floor space.

    Robur Corp.

    GAHP-AR

    Description: GAHP-AR offers a heating efficiency maximum of 140% (HHV), an operational range of ambient -4°F to 113°, minimal heating capacity variation with air temperature, and 71% nominal capacity at -4°.

    York Unitary Products Group

    York® Affinity™ Modulating Gas Furnace

    Description: Because the York® Affinity™ Modulating Gas Furnace maintains a constant temperature with fewer starts and stops, it is quieter and results in less wear and tear on heat exchangers.

  • IAQ

    Sceptor Industries, Inc.

    OMNI 3000

    Description: The innovative features in the OMNI 3000 portable air sampler include a high volume sampling rate (300 lpm) for a more representative sample in less time. The product saves the user time in sample collection, saves money typically spent on multiple sample media, improves detection sensitivity and provides analytical flexibility.

    Testo, Inc.

    Testo 435 IAQ meter with wireless probes

    Description: The testo 435: IAQ meter with wireless probes is one of 13 new Testo products that include wireless temperature and/or humidity probes. Simultaneous temperature and/or humidity measurements may be taken by one person from distances up to 65 ft (20 m).

    Trs Systems, Inc.

    RC2110 Wireless Humidity/Dehumidification Controller

    Description: Trs Systems, Inc.'s RC2110 Wireless Humidity/Dehumidification Controller combines spread spectrum wireless humidity sensing technology, an intelligent sensing/control algorithm and remote communication over the Internet.

  • Refrigeration

    Copeland Corp.

    Intelligent Store™ Discus® Compressor

    Description: The Intelligent Store™ Discus® Compressor provides a new level of control by integrating system electronics, gathering compressor information, transmitting operating data, performing self-diagnostics and enabling remote diagnostics.

    Emerson Flow Controls

    Electronic Stepper Regulator (ESR) Valve and Control board

    Description: The Electronic Stepper Regulator (ESR) Valve and Control Board offers advanced diagnostics to indicate a broken motor wire. In addition, a regulator-position algorithm indicates when the valve is clogged and triggers an alarm to "unclog" it.

  • Software

    Autodesk, Inc.

    Autodesk Building Systems

    Description: Autodesk Building Systems is a unique object-based model that enables engineers to ensure coordination with architectural and structural designs prior to construction with instant feedback from the model. The result is efficient design development and construction documentation.

    Data-Basics, Inc.

    TechAnywhere 2.0

    Description: Data-Basics Inc.'s TechAnywhere 2.0 for tablet PCs combines the look of paperwork orders with enhanced functionality: drop-down boxes for accurate data entry, automatic conversion of handwriting to text, and online access to equipment history, notes and specifications.

    HVAC Solution

    HVAC Solution

    Description: After systems are created and calculations competed, HVAC Solution from HVAC Solution will automatically select equipment from the industry and prepare schedules for contract documents.

    IMST Group, UPV

    IMST-ART

    Description: IMST-ART from IMST Group, UPV is system simulation software, which offers an accurate evaluation of the whole refrigeration unit, including a detailed and accurate modeling all components.

  • Tools & Instruments

    Controlotron Corp.

    System 1010E

    Description: System 1010E is noninvasive, since shutdown and draining for installation or maintenance is not required. New features include steam energy measurement, chiller efficiency analysis, extended temperature range and integration with clamp-on airflow handling systems.

    Digi-Cool Industries, Ltd.

    DRSA-1100

    Description: The large patented graphing display of Digi-Cool Industries, Ltd.'s Digital Refrigeration System Analyzer (DRSA-1100) shows early symptoms of faults hidden by traditional and non-bar graph gages and displays. The volume of onboard refrigerants in memory eliminates the need for error-prone calculations with its automatic superheat/subcooling.

    NEWPORT Electronics, Inc.

    iServer Virtual Chart Recorder

    Description: The iServer Virtual Chart Recorder features an embedded Web server. It serves active Web pages that display readings and charts on the browser, requiring no other software or drivers.

    Setra Systems, Inc.

    Model 869 Micro-Cal™ Ultra-Low Pressure and Generating Calibrator

    Description: The Model 869 Micro-Cal™ Ultra-Low Pressure and Generating

    Calibrator uses patented NASA low-pressure technology to give pressure reading accuracy close to 0.0001 in. w.c. and repeated pressure generation better than 0.0003 in. w.c.

  • Ventilation

    Big Ass Fans

    The Powerfoil™

    Description: The design of the Powerfoil™ allows a 24 ft (7.3 m) fan to move over 337,000 cfm (159 000 L/s)of air per minute, 33% more than the company's Wickerbill airfoil. The winglet prevents vortexes, increasing energy efficiency by 71% from past designs.

    Jackson Systems, LLC

    Comfort Systems™ VAV Diffuser

    Description: The Comfort System™ VAV Diffuser is designed to maintain draft-free discharge air along the ceiling, providing a sustained discharge velocity throughout the volume range. The diffuser includes a room thermostat for specific temperature setting.

    Seiho International, Inc.

    Seiho Spot Diffuser Mode: PK-K

    Description: Seiho International Inc.'s Spot Diffuser Model: PK-K features a uniquely designed air guide that creates an air curtain that covers the cold surface of the diffuser to prevent warm/moist air from touching the cold surface. This minimizes condensation build-up on the diffuser.

  • Green Building (Greenovation)

    Ashland Specialty Chemical, Drew Industrial

    SONOXIDE® Ultrasonic Water Treatment

    Description: The SONOXIDE® Ultrasonic Water Treatment combines low-power, high-frequency ultrasound and a microbubble aeration to kill microorganisms without hazardous chemicals.

    Robur Corp.

    GAHP-W

    Description: The GAHP-W from Robur Corp. simultaneously produces hot and cold water for hydronic HVAC systems and geothermal applications using natural gas as the primary heating source. Its nominal heating efficiency is 139% (on HHV) and nominal cooling efficiency is 66% (on HHV).

According to show management, the Innovation Awards program will also provide vocational school scholarships for HVACR students. Proceeds from the entry fee will go to an HVACR scholarship fund in the Chicago area. "We believe in supporting the future of our industry by providing resources for students," said Stevens. "It is our goal to impart leadership and share new cutting edge aspects of the industry with upcoming generations of HVAC&R professionals."