Crowning innovative products of the year

The winners of the 2018 AHR Expo Innovation Awards, the annual competition recognising some of the most inventive HVACR products, systems and technologies, was featured at the 2018 AHR Expo in January this year.

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 were recognised in a formal ceremony during the 2018 AHR Expo, that took place from 22 to 24 January in Chicago where the winner of the highly-anticipated Product of the Year Award was announced.

“Each year, our winners set the bar higher for innovation in HVACR, and this year is no exception,” says Clay Stevens, president of 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 were…


Winner: Setra Systems

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.

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


Winner: Emerson

Innovation: Copeland Scroll, a two-stage compressor. The latest generation of Copeland Scroll two-stage compressors from 1 to 10 tons 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 5%.

Finalists in this category are: Delta Cooling Towers (Delta anti-microbial cooling tower); Johnson Controls (York Affinity YXV 20 SEER variable capacity air conditioner); and Ziehl-Abegg (ZAvblue centrifugal fan).


Winner: Danfoss

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 are: International Wastewater Systems Inc. (Piranha HC thermal energy recovery hot water production system); Nexus Valve (pressure step deaerator); Regal (NovaMAX Motor – 600 RPM); and Smardt Chiller Group (Smardt Solar Integrated Chiller).


Winner: Spartan Bioscience

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 are: AAF Flanders (Sensor360 filtration monitor); Addison (Linear Capacity, dedicated outdoor air system); and Johnson Controls (GLAS smart thermostat).


Winner: Chemours

Innovation: Opteon XP44 Refrigerant (R452A), a non-ozone depleting, low GWP, HFO-based refrigerant replacement for R404A/507. It offers an approximately 50% reduction in global warming potential compared to R404A/R507, 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 R404A/R507 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 are: Carel Industries S.p.A. (HEEZ control and management solution); and Emerson (Fractional horsepower low-temperature Copeland Scroll compressor).


Winner: Fluke Corporation

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, minimizing potential errors and greatly reducing the possibility of arc flash.

Finalists in this category are: 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

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 are: Regal (UlteMAX Axial PM Motor); Titus (TJD, OMNI diffuser) and Ziehl-Abegg (ZAbluefin bionic, high-efficiency impeller).


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