The AHR Expo has become by far the largest HVAC/R trade show in North America. And when it’s held in Chicago, it’s typically bigger than ever.
The 70th anniversary show held at McCormick Place Jan. 22-24 drew 49,995 registered visitors. Add personnel from the 2,155 exhibiting companies and that’s a total attendance of 72,075. Both figures are records.
There is always a strong Canadian contingent at the show and this year was no exception, with 2,709 Canadian visitors and many more Canadians working the exhibit booths.
“The excitement generated by this year’s record crowds of attendees and exhibitors was palpable from the show floor to the training sessions,” said show manager Clay Stevens. “Whether you are designing a building’s HVAC/R system from the ground up, or want to make your existing spaces warmer, cooler, quieter, smarter, safer or more comfortable and efficient, the AHR Expo is the only place where you can see and experience it all, learn from the industry’s top experts and stay at the forefront of innovation.”
The amazing thing for most visitors to the AHR Expo is the mind-boggling number of innovative products on display. Every year, the show presents awards to the most innovative in 10 different categories.
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.
“Each year, our winners set the bar higher for innovation in HVAC/R, and this year was no exception,” said Stevens.
Danfoss took the top award – the 2018 Product of the Year – and also placed first in the Green Building category with its Turbocor TTH/TGH High Lift Compressor, which offers outstanding full- and part-load efficiency, low vibration and sound, a small footprint, and reduced maintenance — while providing an expanded operating map suitable for high-lift applications like air-cooled chillers and heat recovery.
Other winners were:
Building Automation: Setra Systems, Inc. for its Setra FLEX complete room monitoring and control solution 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 pressurized critical spaces.
Cooling: Emerson for its Copeland Scroll two-stage compressor. The latest generation 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 optimized for mid-tier comfort and efficiency rebates with improved full-load and part-load performance up to five percent.
Heating: Quebec-based Calefactio beat out some industry heavyweights in the Heating category with the ONE, a three-in-one expansion tank, air separator and dirt separator.
Indoor Air Quality: Spartan Bioscience for its Spartan Legionella Detection System, an on-site Legionella DNA test kit. It fully integrates DNA collection, extraction and analysis in a compact format, with no sample shipment to an outside laboratory and no technical expertise requirements.
Plumbing: AquaMotion Inc. won for its Aqua-Flash under-sink hot water recirculation system. An improved bypass design prevents the hot water from entering the cold line when the hot water faucet is opened.
Refrigeration: Chemours for its Opteon XP44 Refrigerant (R-452A), a non-ozone depleting, low GWP, HFO-based refrigerant replacement for R-404A/507. It offers an approximately 50 percent reduction in global warming potential compared to R-404A/R-507, while providing a close match to the compressor discharge temperature.
Software: Regal for its Browning Toolbox Technician Motor Efficiency Calculator, for Apple and Android platforms. This mobile app calculator module allows a user to identify efficiency differences between different generations of integral horsepower electric motors. It allows the user to tailor the motor usage parameters to mirror their application or overall facility usage so a projected return on investment (ROI) can be displayed.
Tools and Instruments: Fluke Corporation for its T6 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.
Ventilation: Triatek for its Stable Vortex II Fume Hood, a dynamic, low flow, high performance fume hood that protects chemists from harmful dusts and vapors during experiments.
The AHR Expo was co-sponsored by ASHRAE and the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).
Next year’s show will be held in Atlanta, Georgia Jan. 14-16, 2019. For more information, please visit www.ahrexpo.com.