Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Product of the Year finalists: HVAC

Read about the 12 finalists in the HVAC category for the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Product of the Year program.

By Amanda Pelliccione April 6, 2015

Geothermal, water-source heat pumps

AAON M2 Series geothermal and water-source heat pumps are available from 3 to 70 tons for new and replacement applications with modular construction and premier factory-installed features. M2 Series geothermal heat pumps include standard energy-saving, double-wall rigid polyurethane foam-injected panel construction, high-efficiency backward curved plenum supply fans, and corrosion-resistant double-sloped stainless steel drain pans. Selectable features include 10% to 100% variable capacity scroll compressors, modulating hot gas reheat humidity control, high efficiency filtration, energy-saving variable frequency drive-controlled variable speed fans, fixed plate heat exchanger energy recovery, and modulating gas, electric, steam, or hot water dual-fuel heating.


High-efficiency vertical units

V-Series high-efficiency single-packaged vertical units feature thermal efficiencies of up to 95% and cooling up to 11 EER. Available in gas/electric and electric/electric configurations, the V-Series’ all-in-one design eliminates the need to specify additional parts, saving time and cost. The units offer “plug-and-play” installation and service, with pre-wired and pre-charged components. For added durability, stainless steel construction is standard on high-efficiency models. Gas/electric units offer an input heat capacity of 22,000 to 55,000 Btuh and a 12,000 to 30,000 Btuh net cooling capacity. Electric/electric units offer a 12,000 to 30,000 Btuh net cooling range.

Allied Air Enterprises, Magic-Pak

Two-stage operation water-source heat pump

The Tranquility 30 Digital Series water source heat pump with high-efficiency two-stage operation delivers efficiency, comfort, reliability, and serviceability—intelligently driven by the iGate, a two-way communicating control, two-stage compressor, variable speed fan, and vFlow internal variable water flow components. The Tranquility 30 also delivers reliable operation, lower operating cost, and compact installation. The heat pump features an extended range refrigerant circuit, capable of ground and water loop applications. Additional standard features include the Copeland UltraTech two-stage scroll compressor, electronically commutated motor variable fan motor, digital communicating controls, powder-coated galvanized steel cabinet, stainless steel drain pan, and foil-backed air handler insulation.

ClimateMaster Inc.

Direct expansion CRAC unit

gForce Ultra is a direct expansion computer room air conditioning (CRAC) unit that incorporates variable capacity technology for energy savings, precise cooling, and increased capacity. The units achieve increased system efficiency by running compressors at exact duty point, limiting power usage and eliminating in-rush and greater turndown to save energy. gForce Ultra units also are equipped with variable frequency drives to precisely match temperature setpoints, electronic expansion valves to regulate refrigerant flow to coils, rifle tubing coils for maximum thermal performance, Venturi-Flo refrigerant distributors, and backward curved plenum fans with electronically communicated motors.

Data Aire

Commercial use flashing, sealant

LIQUIDARMOR-CM liquid flashing and sealant provide commercial buildings with advanced moisture and air sealing protection. An innovative alternative to flashing tape, the elastomeric spray forms a tight, seamless barrier along the rough openings of windows and doors while helping to significantly reduce labor time. The product offers an alternative sealant solution to conventional flashing and sealing products for installation of THERMAX or the Ultra Air Barrier Wall Systems. LIQUIDARMOR-CM covers and seals hard-to-reach gaps up to ¼ in. wide and offers a reliable replacement to peel-and-stick flashing tapes commonly used on board joints of commercial buildings.

The Dow Chemical Co.

Cooling, expansion microvalve

The silQflo Silicon Servo Valve functions as an ultra-fast electronic expansion device with cooling capacity up to 500 W. The compact size and lightweight design makes it ideal for any application, particularly those with space constraints. The microvalve can be packaged into any form factor per application requirements because of its small footprint. The low-capacity applications are in need of an electronic expansion valve because of the constant demands in higher energy efficiency ratings. Due to silQflo Silicon Servo Valve’s ultra-fast response feature, it can achieve precise superheat control by quickly adjusting to varying load conditions.

DunAn Microstaq Inc.

Ultra-high-efficiency rooftop units

Energence ultra-high-efficiency rooftop units feature efficiencies of up to 21.5 IEER and 13.9 EER, resulting in overall low operating costs and service. The units are designed to help buildings qualify for LEED points, as well as local utility rebates. Other features include the Advanced Cooling System and the DirectPlus blower system. In addition to sustained savings, the Energence ultra-high-efficiency lineup exceeds ASHRAE 90.1 minimum standards by 92%, exceeds CEE Tier 1 and 2 efficiency minimum requirements, and qualifies for many potential utility rebates and incentives, while also providing additional options to meet California Title 24.


Modulating, condensing boiler

MagnaTherm is a 95% thermal efficiency modulating-condensing boiler or volume water heater available in 1.6, 2, 2½, 3, 3½, and 4 million Btuh sizes. MagnaTherm offers a 5:1 turndown, small footprint, slim vertical design with removable top section, a stainless steel heat exchanger, and multiple voltage options to easily match building service. Designed and made in the U.S. by Laars, the MagnaTherm meets all ASME requirements and is AHRI certified. The boiler features an advanced VARI-PRIME pump control that seamlessly matches boiler firing rate to pump flow, reducing boiler pumping costs by up to 70%.

Laars Heating Systems

Self-contained, portable heat pump

The Climate Pro 18 portable heat pump combines cooling and heating capabilities in a single, self-contained unit. The Climate Pro 18 features a cooling capacity of 14,600 Btuh, heating capacity of 13,700 Btuh, and minimum operating temperature with plenum of 24 F. A controller features a large LCD screen that displays diagnostics and step-by-step instructions to start, set up, or restore operation. The system is fully compatible with most standard, off-the-shelf wireless thermostats. High-quality manufacturing details include hermetically sealed refrigeration units and fan motors, to ensure long-term reliability, and warranty to cover parts and labor for 3 years.

MovinCool, DENSO Products and Services Americas Inc.

Commercial tankless rack system

The Tankless Rack System (TRS-2) is a modular commercial water heating solution providing options from 4.9 to 15.2 MBtu in configurations of two to six condensing tankless units per rack. The TRS-2 features a sturdy, pre-assembled aluminum rack with condensing tankless water heaters mounted and connected to each other. Together, the units have enough capacity to suit a range of light to heavy commercial water heating requirements. The heart of every TRS-2 is the 199 MBtu condensing unit and features modulation technology with turn-down ratios of up to 327:1 to ensure efficient hot water delivery.

Rinnai America Corp.

Integrated ceiling system

The Atlas Operating Room Ceiling System (AORCS) custom-engineered, integrated ceiling system for operating rooms allows facilities to simplify design and installation while easily adapting to future ceiling layouts. Components include air curtain diffusers that isolate contaminants from sterile areas. These diffusers are integrated with LEDs, providing light directly over operating tables rather than farther out like standard grids and systems. AORCS can be used with any diffusers and lights, giving facilities full control over what pieces they’d like to implement in the system. AORCS is equipped with a unique antimicrobial finish and gasket that prevents and stops bacteria growth.

Titus HVAC

Large wet rotor circulator pump

The Bell & Gossett ecocirc XL large wet rotor circulator leverages enhanced hydraulic performance, advanced motor design, and smart communications capabilities to enhance commercial hydronic systems. Features include an easy-to-use digital interface that provides users with real-time pump performance information. The ecocirc XL uses proactive self-monitoring, reducing system downtime for maximum operational efficiency. The human machine interface keeps users informed of key pump settings—such as operating or fault modes, flow control, and setpoint—further decreasing setup and installation time. Additional settings and access to in-depth historical pump data can be obtained through wireless-enabled devices.

Xylem Inc.

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Author Bio: Amanda is the Research Director and Project Manager of Awards Programs for CFE Media and its publications.