By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff June 28, 2005

Sierra Waterless Urinal by Waterless No-flush waterless urinals are being given serious consideration by specifiers these days, especially with the continuing growth and popularity of the sustainable design movement. What distinguishes this new model is a full ceramic-glazed interior 2-in. drain line. Neither O-rings nor housings are needed to accept trap cartridges. This newest model takes a standard vertical trap, and the 2-in. waste outlet installs to a 2-in. drain line via standard flanged connection. The units require neither mechanical parts nor water for flushing, with a possible savings of 45,000 gals. of water per year.The manufacturer suggests that not only does the absence of water make them more hygienic than conventional units, but also, waterless urinals are cheaper to operate. They claim that the waterless units offer a payback period of only three years.

Equinox Rooftop Water Heater by A.O. Smith Rooftop tank-type water heater for commercial facilities is claimed by the manufacturer to be an industry first. Designed for installation on a rooftop or other outdoor location, the model was conceived to fulfill the needs of restaurants or similar commercial facilities where interior space is at a premium. The water heater features an 80-gal. storage tank and 120,000 BTU input. Its weight—1,300 lbs.—is said to be comparable to packaged rooftop HVAC units.A strong plus for this product is that it draws combustion make-up air from the outdoors, eliminating the performance problems for indoor units that are caused by negative air pressure inside buildings. Other key features include: a heavily insulated metal cabinet to house the storage unit; an optional freeze-protection kit that drains the tank in the event of power outages in sub-freezing weather; and full electronic controls for set-point adjustment and system status indications.

CRV Flex Pump Connectors by Metraflex Pump connectors incorporate a technology developed under a grant from NASA to study and improve turbulence caused by 90-degree elbows in rocket engine test tunnels. Pumps require conditioned non-turbulent flow to operate according to their performance curves. Turbulent flow also results in cavitation and a shorter pump life. The technology from the NASA study was applied by the manufacturer to the HVAC market by incorporating it into its pump connectors. The unit consists of a specially designed set of stationary vanes placed upstream from an elbow as an integral part of the pump connector. The vane imparts a gyroscopic motion to fluid moving through the system, causing it to pass through the elbow uniformly and exit with a flat velocity profile.The remedies to fluid turbulence used to be a suction diffuser or a long section of straight pipe. The manufacturer of this new product claims that installing vanes in the pump connector reduces installation costs and maintenance when compared to suction diffusers.