The 2022 AHR Expo co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI was held Jan. 31 – Feb. 2, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. A total of 1,573 exhibitors (281 international) spread out over 440,000 square-feet, and 80 free sessions in the Education Program drew more than 30,000 attendees to the event. Common trends discussed amongst exhibitors focused on energy efficiency, operational reliability, connectivity and new chiller refrigerant transitions spurred by approaching regulatory transition dates in the AIM Act enacted by US Congress in late 2020. This report focuses on select chiller, heat pump, cooling tower, refrigeration compressor, motor, hydronic pump and instrumentation technology on display at the 2022 AHR Expo for process cooling and commercial HVAC systems.
Compressors and Refrigerants
Honeywell manufacturers modern refrigerants for centrifugal, screw and scroll compressors installed in chillers. Sunita Rai Singh, Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies General Manager, Fluorine Products was present discussing Honeywell’s hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) and HFO blend refrigerants offering for new equipment. For centrifugal chillers, Honeywell offers its Soltice zd (R-1233zd, HFO), a nonflammable replacement for R-123 with a global warming potential (GWP) of 1. For screw chillers, Honeywell offers three Solstice refrigerants – 513A (R-513A, HFO), N15 (R-515B, HFO blend) and ze (R-1234ze, HFO blend). Lastly, for scroll chillers, Honeywell again offers three Solstice refrigerants – 454B (R-454B, HFO blend), N15 and ze.
Informational session on Solstice N71 (R-471A, HFO blend) occurring at the Honeywell booth.
The new Danfoss Turbocor VTCA400 Compressor won the 2022 AHR Expo Innovation Award for product of the year – Cooling category. The Danfoss Turbocor VTCA400 is an oil-free, two-stage, variable speed, magnetic bearing centrifugal compressor, utilizing a hybrid compression design for use with low-GWP refrigerant R-1233zd. The patented hybrid compressor design uses a mixed flow impeller with both axial and radial components in the first stage, while the second stage impeller uses a radial design. This hybrid design allows for a compressor footprint that is half the physical size and weight of a conventional radial-only design, while reducing costs and allowing chiller OEMs to integrate multiple compressors for redundancy. The VTCA400 has a nominal capacity of 400 TR/1,400 kW and is designed for water-cooled chiller applications.
Frank D. Ford, P.E., and Eddie Rodriguez, Danfoss Turbocor Compressors (left to right).
Chillers & Heat Pumps
Carrier brought three large chiller models to the show. First, a 600-ton model (capacity range: 300-700 tons) of its all-new AquaEdge 19MV Centrifugal Chiller available with R-513A or R-134a. The 19MV achieves <0.52 kW/ton and <0.31 kW/Ton integrated part load value (IPLV) at AHRI conditions. Carrier’s EquiDrive two-stage, back-to-back, magnetic bearing centrifugal compressor provides “More Operating Range” (MORe), allowing the 19MV to take advantage of cold condenser water, chiller water reset and other energy-saving practices. Also displayed was a similar unit with a lower pressure refrigerant, R-1233zd(E), the AquaEdge with Greenspeed 19DV Water-Cooled Centrifugal Chiller with VFD and free cooling capability. Lastly, Carrier’s 30XV Variable Speed Air-Cooled Screw Chiller on display is available with R-134a, and has a capacity range of 140-500 nominal tons. Typically, Carrier’s waterside economizer for free cooling is installed as a separate module, versus a stacked coil arrangement.
Tom Franaszek with the Carrier AquaEdge 19MV Centrifugal Chiller.
Mikropor was present at AHR displaying its atmospheric air filtration products, its Mia Air indoor air purifier and its MCHILL-US Series Water Process Chillers. The MCHILL’s cooling capacity ranges from 2–73 tons, is available in air- and water-cooled designs, comes standard with a 45 psi water pump (75 psi optional) and operates with R-410A. It’s equipped with a hermetic scroll compressor, aluminum microchannel refrigerant condenser, brazed plate stainless steel evaporator, variable speed EC fan motor, cold water storage tank and several customizable features. Designed for the global market, this chiller can operate efficiently in the highest ambient temperatures, while maintain noise levels below 80 dBA across the product range. The MCHILL is designed for long list of mission-critical process cooling applications across many industries.
Ken Schiefer, Ryan Loeffler, Nitin Shanbhag and Jeff Thibodeau at the Mikropor booth (left to right).
This year, Daikin Applied is introducing a WMT magnetic bearing centrifugal chiller with low-pressure and low-GWP HFO refrigerant R-1233zd (E). The compressor’s motor is installed between the first- and second-stage impellers to mitigate thrust loads. “Once we launch it, this will be the most efficient chiller in the market with the smallest footprint,” said Arthur Rizoli, Director of Centrifugal Products, Daikin Applied Americas. One unique reliability feature in this product called RideThrough, was designed to maintain cooling capacity in the event of a facility power outage. Since most generators take 15 seconds to kick in, Daikin designed the WMT to maintain cooling capacity for 17 seconds while the generator is turning on, so mission critical facilities maintain uninterrupted cooling.
Arthur Rizoli with Daikin Applied’s virtual reality chiller display.
On display at the Multistack booth was an assortment of its combination chiller and heat pump units. First, an MSF_H Water-Cooled Dedicated Heat Recovery Chiller (DHRC) MagLev flooded with R-515B refrigerant (pictured below), equipped with oil-free, magnetic bearing, high-lift centrifugal compressors deliver peak energy efficiency at heat recovery conditions. Next, an ARZ Air-to-Water Modular Scroll Heat Recovery with Multi-Mode Source/Sink unit available in R-410A (in transition to R-454B) was displayed. To produce hot water, the ARZ has the capability to source heat from ambient air or geothermal bore fields. This multi-mode source/sink technology allows the users to source heat based on highest efficiency. Lastly, a 60-ton MSH_V,Y DHRC Scroll Modular with R-454B refrigerant was on display equipped with fixed speed and True-Variable speed scroll compressors. “Something we do very well, is we are great listeners. A lot of our product development centered around electrification is a result of interacting with customers. Customer Driven Innovation is something we take very seriously,” said Scott Degier, Vice President of Sales, Multistack.
Scott Degier, Vice President of Sales, alongside the MSF_H Water-Cooled DHRC.
On display at the Johnson Controls (JCI) booth was the YORK YVAA Variable Speed Air-Cooled Screw Chiller. Available with R-134a or R-513A, a capacity range of 150-500 TR, the YVAA is driven by screw compressors designed and manufactured by JCI. It’s apparent JCI is evolving with the trends in today’s HVAC industry. “We are trending towards HVAC systems that require less power in more compact physical footprints, systems operating on low-GWP refrigerants, and more connected, cyber secure HVAC systems,” said Rob Tanner, Marketing Director, Applied Equipment at JCI. Members of JCI’s Connected Chiller Support Team were on-site displaying the OpenBlue dashboard where users can monitor any KPI in the machine. YORK brand chiller products are compatible with other control systems as well as OpenBlue.
Rob Tanner, Marketing Director, Applied Equipment, JCI alongside the YORK YVAA Variable Speed Air-Cooled Screw Chiller.
SWEP displayed its D650 True Dual brazed plate heat exchanger (BPHE) range for chiller and heat pump applications. This range includes the DFX650 evaporator and DB650 condenser, designed for efficient operation at part and full loads, covering applications from 250-700 kW.
Nathan Thomas, Business Engineer Team Manager, alongside SWEP’s D650 True Dual BPHE.
Cooling Towers and Components
Baltimore Aircoil Company (BAC) understands how critical cooling tower reliability is. At AHR, the BAC team highlighted two of its cooling tower features designed to provide operators with peace of mind – the ENDURADRIVE Fan System, and TriArmor Corrosion Protection System. First, the ENDURADRIVE is a direct-drive fan system, engineered for maximum reliability. Its simpler direct-drive design is free of failure-prone gears and transmission parts, reducing maintenance hours and costs. Next, its permanent magnet motor can withstand severe operating temperatures, while operating efficiently and keeping critical components dry with its double O-ring seal and condensate management system. Lastly, the ENDURADRIVE is CTI certified for thermal performance and shake table vibration tested for IBC (International Building Code) compliance. Next, the TriArmor Corrosion Protection System protects the cold-water basin from corrosion and leaks. The system is formed with a base layer of galvanized steel, followed by a thermosetting hybrid polymer permitting the final polyurethane barrier (similar to truck bed liner) to adhere properly to the basin and provide cold water basin protection in the harshest environments.
Neal Walsh and Kevin Deliman at the BAC booth (left to right).
American Cooling Tower (ACT) has provided cooling tower engineering, design and construction services since the 1920s. ACT offers CTI-certified packaged and field erected counterflow and crossflow designs in stainless, galvanized or fiberglass materials constructed in single or multiple cells. “What sets us apart is our ability to custom build and repair towers in place. For repairs in older installations inaccessible by crane or helicopter, we have the capability to disassemble a tower, manufacturer new parts, and complete an entire rebuild,” said Jay Poggi, Area Sales Manager. In addition, ACT offers customers complete access to any after-market part regardless of manufacturer. “Everyone is experiencing supply-chain issues. Thanks to our great relationships with local suppliers, we’re currently building towers in ten weeks lead time,” shared Poggi. ACT also offers proprietary coatings to prevent leaks and corrosion.
Gary Hennis, Adrielle Einto and Jay Poggi and the American Cooling Tower booth (left to right).
Tower Tech displayed its TTXR Series Factory Assembled Modular Cooling Tower. “We have turned the cooling tower industry upside down with our bottom mounted fans and patented water collection system,” said Mathu Solo, President, Tower Tech. The TTXR’s bottom mounted fans are easily accessible for maintenance, receive a cool, dry intake air stream from below, plus provide redundancy with its modular, multi-fan design. First, warm return water is dispensed through variable-flow 2” spray nozzles. Then water flows through the fill media down into the water collection system (chevron veins). In between each chevron vein, that collects the water, is an opening where cool air passes through into the fill where the heat transfer occurs. Cooled water then runs through its Fully Enclosed Flow-through Basin. A benefit of the Flow-through Basin is water doesn’t accumulate at the bottom, where biological growth can occur. The modular design is equipped with a pre-engineered substructure system allowing each tower to be safely installed in less than 30 minutes. It’s built with non-corrosive Fiber Reinforced Composite rated for 200 mph wind loads and is OHSPD approved for all seismic zones.
Jay Harris and Mathu Solo at the Tower Tech booth (left to right).
REYMSA Cooling Towers has been providing cooling solutions for the HVAC and industrial market for over 50 years. They exhibited one of its thousands of CTI-certified models, a non-corrosive structural fiberglass cooling tower, manufactured with high grade, fiberglass reinforced polyester (FRP). REYMSA Cooling Towers offer a 15-year warranty on casing and structure with no basin leakage problems, capable of operating in the most severe environments, such as desert with high UV concentrations, coastal and sub-freezing climates. Certain models are offered with IBC-compliant, seismic certification. Towers are available in single or multi-fan, direct-drive Models with sound sensitive options. Additionally, the standard design parameters specify permanently bonded UV protection which provides minimum maintenance and a life expectancy of 30+ years. It is clear REYMSA Cooling Towers understands the efficiency, reliability and sustainability needs of its customers.
Carl Barday, Michael Mulligan, Lucia Treviño, Ricardo Cavazos and Mike Poland at the REYMSA Cooling Towers booth (left to right).
Delta Cooling Towers, a leader in non-corroding technology, showcased its Delta Engineered Plastic Cooling Tower models known for their 20-year warranty, high-efficiency, lightweight and heavy-duty designs, and more. One of many product ranges, Delta’s Pioneer Series (forced draft, counter flow design), available in 10-to-100-ton single modules, features an air moving system – a totally enclosed premium efficiency cooling tower motor powering a centrifugal blower. Additional features for the Pioneer Series include high efficiency spiral wound PVC fill material, PVC drift eliminator, leak-proof sump, a water distribution system with non-clog large orifice removable nozzles and more, all protected by a non-corroding HOPE plastic shell backed by a 20-year warranty.
David Blodgett alongside the Anti-Microbial Cooling Tower display at the Delta Cooling Towers booth.
Brentwood Industries, a leading provider of cooling tower fill and drift eliminator products, displayed its all-new Separator System. This product can be installed directly into a cooling tower basin or cooling loop to remove troublesome solids, dirt and debris using an efficient centrifugal separator. Accumulation of organics and sediment causes early fill replacement, poor tower performance, and downstream equipment efficiency losses. Additional features include 80 TDH radial pump & enclosed fan-cooled motor, no filters or cartridges to replace, crossflow or counterflow compatibility, control panel and more. “Clean water is cold water,” Brentwood Industries reminds us.
Dylan Ziegler hosting an informational session on the Brentwood Industries Separator System.
Cooling Tower Duty Motors from US Motors, a Nidec brand, are engineered for cooling tower, evaporative condenser and other commercial applications requiring protection from harsh and humid operating conditions. Enclosure options include totally enclosed air over (TEAO) and totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) with double-sealed bearings. Optional space heaters (115V) are available to reduce condensation and extend life of the motor.
Tim Albers alongside a World Motor display at the Nidec booth.
Infinitum Electric displayeyed is IEs Series Integrated Motor & Drive. The IEs is built with copper-etched PCB stator instead of a traditional iron core and copper windings, increasing efficiency by eliminating high-loss eddy currents, while giving the IEs Series a 50% smaller, lighter footprint. Available from 5-15 hp, the IEs Series reaches speeds from 1,800-4,200 RPM.
Anthony Lou and Bhavnesh Patel at the Infinitum Electric booth (left to right).
Pumps, Hydronic Systems and Instrumentation
Armstrong Fluid Technology displayed its new 50 hp Design Envelope Permanent Magnet pump with integrated VFD designed for efficient and reliable fluid distribution in large commercial HVAC and process cooling systems. After receiving demand from its customers for larger horsepower, Armstrong introduced this new medium range line (15 – 50 hp) to operate at NEMA Ultra-Preminum Efficiency levels. These pumps feature a compact footprint and are less expensive to purchase and install because permanent magnet motors offer a substantial reduction in both size and weight. To make the units even more compact, Armstrong integrated its variable VFD into the pump, saving space by avoiding wall mounted VFD cabinets. Additional features include Armstrong’s patented Parallel Sensorless Control and advanced connectivity via Armstrong’s Pump Manager.
Armstrong Fluid Technology’s 50hp Design Envelope Permanent Magnet Pump.
Grundfos showcased its Distributed Pumping System, designed to replace control valves and balancing valves throughout the plant/building with smaller pumps. This allows for reduction in size of primary pumps and energy savings by reducing overall horsepower, and provides chillers and air handling units with targeted flow to meet exact demands of the application. By generating flow and pressure only when and where it’s needed, users can reduce commissioning time, improve Delta T and create a balanced distribution of chilled water into the various terminal units located at each loop. The system consists of five key components working together to deliver chilled water efficiently throughout the facility: distributed pumps, primary pumps, primary pump controls, check valves and sensors.
Danny Staerk and Dennis Sindholdt displaying the Grundfos Distributed Pumping System (left to right).
On display at the Fluke booth was an assortment of its test, measurement and monitoring products and software for HVACR technicians and engineers. The Fluke Ti480 PRO Infrared Camera’s LaserSharp Auto Focus technology uses a built-in laser so users can easily point, shoot and receive accurate temperature readings in real time with no calibration required. The Ti480 has a temperature measurement range from -4°F to 1,832°F. Next, the Fluke 378 FC Non-Contact Voltage True-rms AC/DC Clamp Meter with iFlex measures voltage and current with a clamp jaw. It provides fast, safe testing – all without touching a live wire. The power quality indicator shows whether equipment is acting faulty, and completes 3-phase voltage and current tests in three quick steps.
Sean Silvey with the Fluke 378 FC Non-Contact Voltage True-rms AC/DC Clamp Meter with iFlex.
For more information on the AHR Expo, visit www.ahrexpo.com.
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