AHR Expo 2021 Innovation Awards Winners Announced

Date: 10 December 2020
AHR Expo 2021 Innovation Awards Winners Announced
AHR Expo 2021 Innovation Awards Winners Announced
AHR Expo 2021 Innovation Awards Winners Announced
AHR Expo 2021 Innovation Awards Winners Announced
The AHR Expo (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) today announced the winners of the 2021 AHR Expo Innovation Awards in ten industry categories. Show Management, co-sponsors ASHRAE and AHRI, and the Innovation Awards panel of judges wish to acknowledge and honor the 2021 award winners despite the recent cancellation of the live event. Typically, award winners are formally recognized at a ceremony hosted on day two of the annual Show.

With the 2021 Show cancelled, Show Management and cosponsors ASHRAE and AHRI have decided to announce the Product of the Year winner online. 

“The Innovation Awards are an exciting part of the AHR Expo and we are disappointed that we won’t be able to honor them in the same ways we would at a live Show,” said Show Manager, Mark Stevens. “Despite the challenges 2020 has presented, we are committed to recognizing the incredible innovators in our industry.”

Submissions were collected over the summer and then reviewed by a panel of third-party judges made up of distinguished ASHRAE members. Entrants are evaluated based on overall innovative design, creativity of the product or service offered, application, as well as potential market impact.

“HVACR as an industry is always changing in new and exciting ways at all professional levels,” continued Stevens. “Companies on the AHR Expo Show floor are listening to their stakeholders and developing new tools, products and services that make the industry more efficient, sustainable, smart, etc. Conversation is key and learning from each other at all levels within the industry is what drives innovation from year to year. We see it every year walking the exhibitor booths. It’s incredible.”

“We want to formally congratulate each of our 2021 AHR Expo Innovation Award winners, as well as finalists and all our entrants, for their continued leadership and contribution to HVACR,” said Stevens. “We look forward to seeing these innovators in the marketplace in the coming year, and in-person on the Show floor in 2022.”

The 2021 AHR Expo Innovation Award Winners and finalists were selected in ten industry categories, including building automation, cooling, green building, heating, indoor air quality, plumbing, refrigeration, software, tools and instruments, and ventilation.


Winner: Officine Mario Dorin Spa - CD600 Range

Innovation: Officine Mario Dorin Spa’s CD600 Range is the largest CO2 transcritical compressor platform available worldwide. The CD600 Range features UL and CSA approvals. Based on a 6 cylinders design, this platform includes models up to 100 hp and 2200 cfh with utmost efficiency levels and premium reliability standards.

This new range of compressor is unique in the market because it nearly doubles the refrigeration duty deliverable with a single compressor. This often leads to a lower number of refrigeration racks and allows for a smaller required footprint for machinery. What’s more, the limited footprint and height allow for a decrease in installation and building costs when compared to an ammonia solution.

Finalists in this category include: ebm-papst Inc. - AxiEco Protect Axial Fan; Emerson - Copeland Digital Outdoor Refrigeration Unit, X-Line Series


Winner: Emerson - Copeland ZPK7 Fixed Speed Scroll Compressor

Innovation: The Copeland ZPK7 scroll compressor developed by Emerson is the most efficient fixed speed compressor ever produced in the 100 year history of Copeland. The innovative next-gen Copeland compressor, now in its 7th generation, is available in 1.5-5 ton and can be applied in both residential and commercial applications. What’s more, it supports the HVAC industry with optimized efficiency by providing up to 5% efficiency improvement at the SEER2 B rating point condition and key HSPF2 part load operation conditions. With regulation-ready performance, the compressors are optimized for use with R410A refrigerant, but will also offer a lineup optimized for low GWP refrigerants, such as R32 and R454B.

This innovation provides improved efficiency and reduced variability, which will allow OEMs to effectively meet the 2023 efficiency standards while also delivering comfort and energy savings for homeowners and building owners.

Finalists in this category include: MRCOOL - MULTI-ZONE/DIY Series Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump; Smardt Chiller Group Inc. - Smardt V-Class Water-Cooled Chiller Range


Winner: Advanced Cooling Technologies - Pump-Assisted Split Loop Energy Recovery Heat Exchanger

Innovation: Advanced Cooling Technologies’ Pump Assisted AAHX recovers energy from either the exhaust or supply air stream during all seasons, allowing AHUs to consume less energy. It works by combining traditional air-to-air heat pipe technology with pumped two-phase systems that take advantage of both operational modes. In passive mode, which activates when the warmer air stream is physically below the cooler air stream, the heat exchanger operates as a heat pipe with no electrical input required. When the seasons change and the relative temperature of the two air streams is reversed, a small pump is utilized to maintain the transfer of energy. Since the method of heat transfer inside of the heat exchanger utilizes the latent heat of the working fluid, the amount of flow rate required to transfer larger amounts of energy is a fraction of an equivalent glycol loop. The combination of passive operation for at least half of the year and very minimal energy consumption during active operation for the other half of the year enables such high overall energy recovery from this product.

The heat exchanger is compatible with large systems or distance. Additionally, optional active control valves and pump controls allow the heat exchanger to provide relatively precise temperature control and defrost capabilities without the need for volume inefficient bypass. This innovation solves some of the HVAC’s industry’s issues such as: allowing for clean air with no cross-air contamination; it is highly-efficient and has high-performance ratings using two-phase heat transfer; and it has added reliability through redundancy and fluid selection. It also removes the restrictions on hardware placement that current system designers struggle with, therefore also removing the need to trade off system packaging and energy recovery. This innovation will free up designers to develop new system layouts for better building air distribution and return, as well as allow for the optimization of air flow in their application without having to sacrifice energy efficiency.

Finalists in this category include: ebm-papst Inc. - RESET Certified RadiPac Air-Mover; Enginuity Power Systems Inc. -Enginuity Quadra-Gen


Winner: Des Champs Technologies - Des Champs Technologies Series PLP Air-Trap 

Innovation: Des Champs Technologies Series PLP Air-Trapoffers a new concept in condensate trap design that permits condensate removal from AC or other condensing equipment while blocking airflow all year and requires only 2 7/8” height for positive 0-40” WC pressure. The trap can never “dry out” or freeze because it does not depend on water to seal, only fan pressure.

The innovative PLP trap is the first AC condensate trap to use air pressure developed by the AC fans to prevent conditioned air from entering or leaving the unit. For a hundred years the P-Trap, a carryover from use on toilets and sinks, has been used on AC equipment to prevent air loss. Unlike the P-Trap, the PLP was designed specifically for HVAC equipment and does not require standing water to prevent air leakage. AC equipment produces condensate mostly during summer. The remainder of the year little or no condensate is produced, and the P-traps are dry most of that time. When they do have water, the bottom of the trap is prone to develop sludge and growth. The PLP operates dry when no condensate is being produced and uses a levered, horizontal pancake designed float-valve with a mechanical advantage about a pivot point.

Finalists in this category include: EffectiV HVAC Inc. - PLAY-UV Adjustable UV Diffuser for High-Efficiency Filtration and Ventilation; TSI Inc. - Q-Trak XP Indoor Air Quality Monitor

Tools & Instruments

Winner: Inficon
Innovation: D-TEK® 3 Refrigerant Leak Detector

NFICON’s D-TEK 3 Refrigerant Leak Detector is the latest in a line of time-saving service tools for HVAC/R.  This leak detector provides industry-leading sensitivity to find the smallest leaks for all common refrigerants, maximum uptime from its long-life, quick charging lithium ion battery, and unmatched versatility from the ability to use multiple sensors.  D-TEK 3 is designed to use INFICON’s next generation infrared sensors, allowing it to search for leaks from classic refrigerants, CO2, and flammable refrigerants with just a quick sensor change.  

For even more versatility, D-TEK 3 is equipped with 4 sensitivity levels to help search for different leak sizes and two operating modes.  Pinpoint mode works like a traditional leak detector and automatically zeroes to the background refrigerant.  Manual Zero mode will not zero to the background until the user presses a button, allowing for more control in the leak checking process.   

D-TEK 3 will help technicians find even the smallest leaks quickly and reliably. 

Alert Labs – Sentree A/C Monitoring System
H2O Weld LLC – Oweld Water Gas Generator

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Find out more on our website about: Emerson, HVAC, refrigeration, Copeland, Dorin, ebm-papst, R32, R410A, ammonia, CO2, AHR Expo

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