The 2010 AHR Expo Part 2 - Other Interesting Products
As I pointed out in my column last month (Part 1), except for the lack of participation by the major domestic HVAC manufacturers, the 2010 AHR Expo in Orlando, FL, was well attended and quite a success. The only major (part) U.S. equipment manufacturer there in any size was the newly-formed Daikin/McQuay group, and I’ll give them the “Most Employees Per Booth Square Foot” Award - they had plenty of people present to discuss their product with the many interested attendees.
New and interesting: micro-channel coilsI’ve been following the progression of the micro-channel coils into our market with a lot of interest, because these zinc-coated aluminum coils are smaller, use less refrigerant, and they maintain their efficiencies longer than their traditional copper-tube aluminum-fin counterparts. They are being used on some Carrier and York (Johnson Controls) cooling products, as well as on a few other smaller brands. However, until now they have only been used as condenser (outdoor) coils. But this year the largest manufacturer of these types of coils, Delphi, had a new “A” style evaporator coil on display that they had developed for both straight cooling and heat pump applications.
What other advantages do such indoor coils offer? They are extremely thin, extremely light, and they cost less to produce. So contrary to the views of many of my friends, I predict these types of coils to be the inevitable future of our industry. And while I was there, the product engineer gave me a peek at the next generation - what I would call a spread-horseshoe design, which is even less expensive to manufacture. However, to date, no equipment manufacturers have bought into this product.
New developments in HVAC equipmentFujitsu was showing an add-on to their current line of inverter-driven mini-split systems, something they call Flex-Zone. With these refrigerant splitter boxes, you can very efficiently operate up to eight individual zones of indoor coils from a single outdoor unit. For example, you could take a two-story house with eight zones and a cooling-load design of 5.5 tons, and operate it quite efficiently from a four-ton outdoor unit, taking advantage of load diversity. For more information, see www.fujitsugeneral.com.
Here are some other new products that you might find of interest:
These are just a sampling of the thousands of new things that were on display at this year’s Expo, and I’m sure that many of the company reps that I talked to will be disappointed that I didn’t mention their product. However, these were the ones that most interested me, and it’s all that I have room to cover here.