Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2014 Product of the Year finalists: HVAC/R

Read about the 17 finalists in the HVAC/R category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2014 Product of the Year program.

By Chris Vavra April 15, 2014

Condensing units

The AAON CN Series is designed to be an energy efficient condensing unit with variable frequency drive (VFD) controlled scroll compressors. Standard features include double-wall rigid polyurethane foam injected panel construction, air-cooled micro-channel condensers, an isolated compressor and controls compartment, and service access doors with full-length stainless steel hinges. Optional features include flooded condenser low ambient controls for unit operation down to 0 F, corrosion resistant e-coated condenser coils, and modulating hot gas reheat for energy-efficient dehumidification without the temperature swings of on/off reheat.


Chillers, outdoor mechanical rooms

The AAON LN Series chillers and outdoor mechanical rooms are designed for high performance with VFD-controlled scroll compressors and air-cooled micro-channel condensers. Features include service compartments with double-wall rigid polyurethane foam injected panel construction for the evaporator, compressors, and controls. This allows maximum accessibility during installation and maintenance of the equipment. The LN Series can be provided with factory engineered and installed pumping packages, eliminating the need for an indoor mechanical room.


High-efficiency boilers

The AERCO Benchmark (BMK) Thousand Series of high-efficiency boilers now includes the BMK1500, BMK2000, and BMK2500 for hot water heating systems requiring 1.5 million, 2.0 million, and 2.5 million BTU/h, respectively. Designed for condensing applications in closed-loop hydronic systems, each BMK water boiler is designed with a forced draft, modulating burner, and heat exchanger made from 439 stainless steel, which offers a higher heat transfer coefficient and lower thermal stress coefficient than 300 grade stainless steel. The result is a turndown of 20:1 for the BMK1500 and BMK2000, and 15:1 for the BMK2500, along with greater heat exchanger cycling resistance for high reliability.


PP-R to copper stub-out transition

Aquatherm’s polypropylene-random (PP-R) piping systems, which are increasingly being used in a variety of HVAC applications, feature a thread-less transition from PP-R pipe to fixture units and flush valves. This transition allows for installations to be fitted out entirely in PP-R and is designed for commercial and residential plumbing applications. The transition allows installers to easily transition through a wall to a fixture unit or flush valve with PP-R. The PP-R portion of the stub-out is mold-injected PP-R and is connected via heat fusion.


Commercial indoor/outdoor fan

Big Ass Fans’ Essence commercial fan is designed for indoor and outdoor commercial spaces. It features an efficient, sensor-less direct-drive motor for powerful air movement in any space. Essence is available in 8-, 10-, 12-, and 14-ft diameters. The gearless direct drive motor provides silent operation (less than 35 dBA) and is lightweight and easy to install. Other features include permanent magnets that reduce power consumption and onboard electronic microprocessors that offer design flexibility and control options that best fit the user. Essence is suitable for ceilings as low as 12 ft and has a wired or wireless wall control system.

Big Ass Fans

Heat pump units

ClimateMaster’s Tranquility Vertical Stack (TSM) Series heat pump units are engineered to provide energy-efficient heating and cooling as part of boiler/cooling tower or geothermal heating and cooling systems. The TSM Series is designed for a variety of office and home buildings. The TSM Series features optional iGate controls and four-wire connections with an ATC thermostat. iGate controls facilitate configuration, diagnostics, and monitoring on an ATC thermostat or ACD diagnostic tool. The chassis is composed of high-strength galvanized steel cabinetry and features an electrical access panel, compressor enclosure, male NPSH water connection fittings, high- and low-voltage wire harnesses, and a 1-inch filter.


Commercial rooftop systems

Daikin Applied’s 15-ton Rebel commercial rooftop systems are designed to give new or existing building owners energy savings of 70% to 80% above ASHRAE’s 90.1 efficiency standard and efficiencies of up to 20.6 IEER. Rebel combines manufactured equipment with technologies like variable air volume (VAV) operation from 3 to 15 tons, variable speed heat pump with hybrid (gas, electric, hot water) heat options, energy recovery wheel, variable speed electronically communicated motors (ECMs) on all fans, variable speed inverter scroll compressor, electronic expansion valves, optional modulating hot gas reheat, and ultra-quiet composite condenser fans. Rebel is also AHRI certified.

Daikin Applied

BACnet, LONWORKS controllers

Distech Controls’ ECB and ECL 50 Series BACnet and LONWORKS controllers with live graphics color display give users the ability to quickly view, edit, and configure a HVAC system’s operating parameters. Color-coded icons and highlights provide users with an at-a-glance indication of alarms and override conditions. The ECB and ECL 50 Series controllers are designed for control technicians, building managers, building technicians, and service technicians. The local human-machine interface (HMI) facilitates system troubleshooting and diagnostics without the need for a laptop, offering maximum convenience and efficiency.

Distech Controls

Laboratory exhaust fan

Greenheck’s Vektor-MS inline mixed flow laboratory exhaust fan is designed to reduce fan energy in demand-based laboratory exhaust applications. Featuring Sure-Aire Variable Volume Exhaust (SAVVE) technology, the Vektor-MS responds to changes in airflow and static pressure in an occupied space, causing the fan’s operation to adjust throughout the day based on demand while the variable geometry discharge nozzle modulates to maintain constant discharge velocity at the fan exit. Available in belt or direct drive configurations, the Vektor-MS uses mixed flow impeller technology and a bifurcated fan housing design. Its vacuum shaft seal prevents hazardous or noxious fumes from escaping the shaft opening.


Commercial rooftop units

Johnson Controls’ line of York commercial rooftop units is designed to reduce installation complexities and eliminates the need for a curb adapter. The 3- to 12.5-ton York Prestige rooftop units are designed to include several features, such as an advanced microprocessor control technology with an LCD display. They also have a programmable USB interface and digital diagnostic readouts, making it even easier for contractors to install, set up, and operate the units. The control delivers information on unit status, start-up and commissioning features, unit setup, supply, return, outdoor air temperatures, and plug-and-play accessories. A powder paint exterior finish with 1,000-h salt spray rating offers corrosion protection.

Johnson Controls

Rooftop unit control system

Lennox’s SmartAirflow system is designed to measure, control, and verify supply and ventilation airflow. The SmartAirflow system increases supply fan power savings and is available on 3- to 5-ton Energence rooftop units. SmartAirflow works with an economizer and the Prodigy Control System on the Energence rooftop unit to accurately manage fresh air ventilation throughout the day. This continuous control of airflow helps prevent over- and under-ventilation to provide cost savings as well as optimal indoor air quality. SmartAirflow also features five independent adjustable supply airflow settings. It is also compatible with BACnet and LonTalk modules.

Lennox Industries Inc.

Commercial water heater

Lochinvar’s re-engineered SHIELD commercial water heater includes three additional models that have received several upgrades. The 125,000 Btu/hr unit offers storage of 65 gal while the 150,000 Btu/hr and the 200,000 Btu/hr models are available in ASME construction. In addition, Lochinvar has implemented numerous updates, including placing the water, gas, air, and vent connections at the top of the unit for simplified installation. In addition, the number of connection points has been reduced from 23 to 11, and the integrated control board has been moved to the front of the appliance for easier access.

Lochinvar LLC

VRF zoning systems

The Hyper-Heating Inverter (H2i) R2-Series of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) zoning systems can operate at up to 100% of their rated heating capacity at temperatures down to 0 F. The flash injection technology allows the H2i R2-Series to simultaneously heat and cool down to -4 F. The unique two-pipe configuration allows for more efficient design and installation, while the compact system components allow for convenient application to both historic retrofit and new building construction. One outdoor unit can connect to up to 48 indoor units, and the heat pump is compatible with all CITY MULTI indoor unit styles.

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling and Heating

Vertical DX, heat pump system

Modine’s Airedale ClassMate single packaged vertical DX and heat pump system offers efficiency, noise reduction, and a smaller footprint for school installations. The ClassMate is offered in four capacities, from 24 to 60 MBH, in two cabinet sizes. Other standard features include modulating, electronically commutated fan motors; and availability of combination energy recovery and economizer modules, permitting either heat recovery for outside air or fully modulating 100% economizer maximized capability with the Modine Controls System. It also offers front access to all components, decreased sound and power output, use of R410a refrigerant, and modulating economizer damper for 100% free-cooling and fresh-air requirements.

Modine Manufacturing Co. 

Variable frequency drives

Siemens’ BT300 variable frequency drives are designed specifically for HVAC systems with an increased focus on energy efficiency of variable flow systems. The BT300 features include a motor switch ride-through. During maintenance the motor maintenance switch can be opened and closed without stopping or tripping the drive. The BT300 also has thin film capacitors, which eliminate the need to condition or reform the capacitors before applying power. The user can also view and monitor nine parameters at one time. Other features include integrated harmonic filters that reduce noise and interference, and two built-in PID controllers for fast and accurate process control.

Siemens Industry Inc.

Displacement ventilation unit

Titus HVAC’s Temperature and Ambience Optimizer (TAO) is a chilled beam displacement ventilation unit designed for buildings where air quality is a concern. Designed for use in educational facilities and theaters, TAO will address and minimize high ventilation loads and correct inefficient and “sick” buildings to improve the interior environment. It allows the supply of 100% outside air, operates at a near-minimum ventilation rate for classrooms, and reduces energy consumption by using cooling and heating coils. TAO also helps reduce energy consumption by taking advantage of the low-temperature, high-efficiency boilers and maximizes the economizer operation of the HVAC system.

Titus HVAC

Suction centrifugal pumps

Xylem’s Bell and Gossett Series e-1510 single-stage end-suction centrifugal pumps are designed for the end-suction market for HVAC and plumbing applications. Its efficiency island helps the e-1510 reduce electricity consumption, improve overall system performance, and lower lifecycle costs.
The Series e-1510 is available in 26 sizes and a variety of configuration options that enable customization and flexibility to fit many operating conditions. Stainless steel impellers reduce corrosion or degradation potential from varying water quality, and provide improved sustainable hydraulic performance. These optimized hydraulics contribute to further efficiency for both fixed and variable speed operation.


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Author Bio: Chris Vavra is web content manager for CFE Media and Technology.