AHR Expo Announces 2019 Innovation Award Winners

Innovation Awards recognize the industry’s most inventive products, systems and technologies

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The AHR Expo recently announced the winners of its 2019 Innovation Awards competition. Each year, products in various categories are recognized for being some of the HVACR industry’s most innovative.

Winners will be formally recognized at the 2019 AHR Expo, scheduled for Jan. 14-16 at the Georgia World Congress in Atlanta. The winner of the Product of the Year Award will also be announced at that time.

“Every year we look forward to award submissions that set the bar for innovation and professional practices in HVACR,” says Clay Stevens, manager of the AHR Expo. “Year after year  we continue to receive entries that exceed our expectations. We congratulate these winners as leaders from across all facets of the industry and look forward to seeing these inventive solutions at the 2019 AHR Expo and in real-world practice.”

Here are the winners and finalists in the categories related to plumbing and HVAC:


Winner: Anvil International

Innovation: AnvilPress Copper, Copper Press Fittings and Coupling Systems are designed with patented Visual Indicator technology that provides 200 percent more sealing surface than typical fittings for leak prevention. The system is built with a double-fold sealing characteristic and a replaceable O-ring seal design that supports superior pressure and tensile performance. Its Virtual Indicator and Burr-Stop membrane solve the top two causes of leaks: improperly pressed fittings and burrs on the tube that damage the O-ring during installation.

Finalists in this category include: Caleffi Hydronic Solutions (ThermoSetter thermal balancing valve); Emerson (RIDGID Press Booster and rings for MegaPress XL); and Noritz America (Noritz Residential Combination Boiler). 


Winner: Regal

Innovation: Genteq Ensite motor, an electronically commutated motor specifically designed for furnace application, enables customers to comply with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fan Energy Rating (FER) regulatory requirements taking effect in July of 2019. The Genteq Ensite motor is a cost-efficient solution to achieving compliance without compromising on premium features such as advanced Blak Box and Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities that support Internet of Things (IoT) and preventive maintenance.

Finalists in this category include: ArctiChill (SuperMod variable speed modular chiller platform); Des Champs Technologies (Model Air-Trap IPN); and Emerson (Universal single-stage furnace control for ECMx blower motor). 


Winner: Johnson Controls, Inc.

Innovation: YORK YZ Magnetic Bearing Centrifugal Chiller, a fully-optimized chiller, is built with next-generation low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant to increase energy efficiency. The YORK YZ provides centrifugal-chiller energy efficiencies as low as 0.1kW/ton, and less in off-design conditions where typical fixed-speed chillers experience performance issues. It has the potential to reduce annual electricity consumption by an average of 35 percent. The YORK YZ was designed with a holistic approach to system design, with engineering optimization for every component around R-1233zd — a next generation, low-pressure refrigerant — and is a unique combination of advanced technologies, including a variable-speed magnetic bearing compressor, high-speed hermetic induction motor, falling film evaporator, adaptive capacity control logic and cloud-based analytics.

Finalists in this category include: ArctiChill (ACA or ACW Magnetic Bearing Chillers with Arctic Boost Option); Chemours (Opteon XP30 refrigerant); and Samsung HVAC of America (Wind-Free 4-way cassette mini-split). 

Green Building

Winner: enVerid Systems

Innovation: HVAC Load Reduction (HLR) module 1000E-M, an indoor air scrubber module designed to lower energy wastage from HVAC systems, reduces the amount of outside air needed for ventilation by 60 to 80 percent. This results in increased energy efficiency and annual energy savings of 20 to 30 percent with peak capacity reductions of 10 to 20 tons per HLR 1000E-M module. The HLR 1000E-M is fully compliant with ASHRAE Standard 62.1 Indoor Air Quality Procedure (IAQP) and the international mechanical code (IMC). The innovative design is a first-of-its-kind solution that safely removes all molecular contaminants, including carbon dioxide, formaldehyde and a full range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air.

Finalists in this category include: Carrier (AquaEdge 19DV centrifugal chiller); Smardt Chiller Group Inc. (Smardt DC water cooled chiller); and Software Motor Company (SMC Smart Motor System). 


Winner: Taco Comfort Solutions

Innovation: Taco Tags featuring eLink is a cloud-based support program that provides users with a web-based, factory-maintained knowledge base on their mobile device via NFC technology. The Taco Tag is an IC chip and antenna wrapped in silicone designed to offer durability under the most extreme conditions of heat and weather. It works using power from a user’s devices, eliminating the need for wires or external batteries. Each tag provides direct access to customer support, along with all vital information specific to each product, and is connected to the eLink cloud-based service system where users can store and access order information, product specifications, instruction sheets, suggested replacement parts, CAD files, technical support, catalogs, local sales representative information and project management.

Finalists in this category include: BreezoMeter Ltd. (Air quality and pollen data API); and Emerson (Sensi Multiple Thermostat Manager). 

Tools & Instruments

Winner: Dwyer Instruments, Inc.

Innovation: The Wireless Hydronic Balancing Kit, Series 490W, is a manometer designed to provide accurate and easy operation for HVAC professionals. The kit measures the pressure drop across HVAC balancing valves by using wireless sensors, a versatile handheld and Bluetooth communication. Users can select valves for measurement from a predetermined list or through manual input of CV values. The handheld monitor allows for the flow of up to three valves at a time, with a single operator to monitor and balance a hydronic system in less time compared to traditional methods.

Finalists in this category include: Marketair, Inc. (Easybend); and Ritchie Engineering Co., Inc. (Yellow Jacket P51-870 Titan Digital Manifold).

For more information about the 2019 AHR Expo or the Innovation Awards competition, visit ahrexpo.com. Specific questions regarding 2020 Innovation Awards and entry processes can be emailed to kpires@iecshows.com.


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