WaterFurnace International Inc. introduced a waterside economizer option to its commercial product line. Available on 2-6 ton horizontal and vertical Versatec Base, Versatec Ultra Envision2 Compact, and 7-25 ton horizontal and vertical Envision XL products, this new option allows the use of a building’s interior loop water to provide “free” cooling.

The waterside economizer works by passing air through an internal coil cooled by loop water rather than by mechanical refrigeration. The unit contains a water-to-air heat exchanger, a three-way valve and controls that manage the flow of water through the heat exchanger. When cooling is required and the building loop water temperature is below the economizer setpoint, which is typically 45°F, water passes through the economizer. Air is drawn through the cool economizer and the heat pump’s compressor is turned off. Cooling is then provided by the economizer, reducing energy use. Compressor life is extended as a result of reduced run hours and less cycling.