2017 AHR Expo Exhibitors Reflect Latest Trends in HVACR Industry

With approximately 80 percent of exhibitors indicating they will be displaying new or enhanced products, systems and technologies at the Show in Vegas next January, the AHR Expo floor is slated to address a myriad of interests from every facet of the industry.

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“It’s exciting to see such enthusiasm around the rebounding North American building and construction industry, and subsequent growth in demand for the latest evolution of products, technologies and services the HVACR industry has to offer,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company.  “With this resurgence, a spirit of ingenuity and creativity has flourished among HVACR manufacturers, and we’re pleased to present the venue at which the results of this will be displayed for 2017.” At-large, innovations to be unveiled at the 2017 AHR Expo echo several major trends driven by the growing construction market, both in North America and the world over.  These themes include:
  • Green Building as a standard of design, reflected in new ultra-efficient equipment, monitoring and sensing tools, and building information modeling methods that help achieve notable energy savings and ensure reliable, efficient long-term mechanical system operation
  • A rapidly returning residential construction market, answered via introduction of numerous heating, cooling and ventilation products specifically designed for residential applications and user-friendly homeowner operation
  • Strong focus on remodeling and renovation, as seen across new product and system solutions designed specifically for installation in smaller and/or logistically challenging existing spaces
  • Increasing pre-fab/offsite construction methods, reflected in modular equipment with multiple installation configurations and more compact footprints
  • Skilled labor shortages, as addressed by several new tools and other resources that streamline mechanical system installations and repairs
 

Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration

Demand for even greater energy efficiency from air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment is a consistent trend that carries forth into 2017, especially with continued growth in the commercial construction market.  Flexible, modular and ductless cooling solutions, including those with smaller footprints and ideal for retrofit and general residential applications, also remain in high demand. The response from manufacturers to these and other market demands can be seen across numerous innovations on display at the 2017 AHR Expo, including:
  • A premium fluid cooler that combines a compact, lightweight footprint with quiet, energy-efficient operation for heat exchange in either VRF, geothermal loop or economizer functions of an HVAC chiller system
  • A wall-mounted mini-split ductless heat pump providing high-efficiency heating and cooling for residential and light commercial applications, with integrated off-the-shelf WiFi capabilities
  • A multi-position series of AHRI-certified air handlers facilitating ease of installation and service, with a high-efficiency multi-speed ECM motor designed to provide optimally efficient operation with a range of compatible condensing units
  • A temperature-initiated adaptive defrost control solution that can reduce the daily defrost cycles of commercial walk-in coolers and freezers by 40 percent or more; designed to meet pending U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) conservation standards, the unit uses smart sensing technology to defrost evaporator coils on demand/only when required
  • A suite of air conditioning sizing and selection software modules designed for quick and simplified selection and sizing of outdoor air heat recovery and pre-conditioner systems for healthcare, hospitality, office, educational and other commercial facility HVAC applications
 

Instruments & Controls

Instrumentation and related controls remain key to the success of in-field mechanical systems personnel – from ensuring reliable long-term equipment operation, to monitoring and troubleshooting equipment functions. Whether integrated within a larger product or system, or used independently, HVACR instruments and controls are now relied upon in greater and more crucial ways, particularly as mechanical equipment becomes more technically sophisticated. A selection of new instruments and controls to be exhibited in 2017 includes:
  • A compact-footprint gas ignition control for next-generation gas-fired appliances that provides internal regulated DC power supplies, high energy spark and digital communications for operating mode and fault status
  • 128-channel input gas detector with flexible analog/digital/wireless transmitter combinations, data logging, touchscreen display, alarm, four SPDT relays, an extensive password-protected menu and enhanced logic control
  • The industry’s first data logger to record and transmit CO2 data wirelessly to mobile devices via Bluetooth technology, setting a new standard for CO2 monitoring by allowing easier access to hard-to-reach critical monitoring spaces
  • A calorimetric flow sensor to measure and monitor flow velocities of aqueous media, operating without any moving parts and featuring a color-changing LED display (to indicate thresholds), analog or switching output, nominal pressure up to 25 bar, and simple startup with a micro USB interface and optional setup program
 

Software

Software has become a part of nearly every facet of the HVACR landscape, enabling functions related to mechanical equipment and system design, setup, performance and troubleshooting. As construction activity remains on the rise, software’s role has become even more important in providing tools that optimize business management, and bridge the gap of sophistication between mechanical equipment and those that install and service it. The 2017 Show provides concrete examples of the demand for new and powerful software solutions across all areas of the HVACR industry, including:
  • Fleet management driver terminal software package, combining best-in-class navigation and fleet technology to deliver a fully customizable platform that accommodates job dispatching, inventory tracking, driver coaching, “arrive on time” alerts, and real-time data logging and transfer – all in-vehicle/from the road
  • Both a cloud-based and offline construction management solution replacing pen and paper in the field to record activities including daily logs, punch lists, safety observations, inspections, defect management and commissioning – all from a mobile device
  • Software bundle to facilitate thermal and energy analysis of buildings by integrating a 3D building model in the OPEN BIM workflow via the IFC4 standard; provides thermal load calculation of buildings according to the Radiant Time Series Method (RTSM), calculates the energy demand and consumption of air-conditioning and ventilation equipment, and enables creation of virtual mechanical system designs
  • A web portal and corresponding mobile app designed to function as a “virtual back office” for coordinating the responsibilities of National Maintenance Organizations (NMO) and their service subcontractors; the online tool organizes common critical data such as real-time status updates, NTE increase requests, and quote/invoice submissions while reducing paperwork, expediting contract management, and streamlining billing
  About AHR Expo Read more  Latest Trends in HVACR Industry

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