HVAC Takes Center Stage in Chicago

An array of the latest heating and air conditioning products have been showcased at AHR Expo in Chicago this week.

Visitors to the 2017 AHR Expo learn about an exhibitor's product. This year's event is drawing tens of thousands of HVAC professionals to McCormick Place in Chicago.
Visitors to the 2017 AHR Expo learn about an exhibitor’s product. This year’s event is drawing tens of thousands of HVAC professionals to McCormick Place in Chicago.

The quest for high-efficiency cooling and heating systems has attracted tens of thousands of visitors to Chicago this week for the AHR Expo, billed as the world’s biggest event for heating, air conditioning and refrigeration professionals.

Manufacturers have been showcasing products ranging from sophisticated new controls and HVAC equipment to energy-saving devices. Here is a sampling of noteworthy new offerings introduced. 

Next-Generation Chiller

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The York YZ Magnetic Bearing Centrifugal Chiller (Photo: Johnson Controls)

Johnson Controls is debuting the YORK YZ Magnetic Bearing Centrifugal Chiller, featuring a readily available refrigerant that offers an ultra-low global warming potential of 1.

The chiller uses an integral variable-speed drive and an advanced magnetic bearing technology featuring a single moving assembly suspended in a magnetic field that requires no lubrication. To boost reliability, reduce maintenance and improve efficiency, this technology requires 80 percent fewer moving parts than traditional oil- or refrigerant-lubricated drivelines. Compared to traditional fixed-speed oil-bearing chillers, the YZ delivers as much as 35 percent annual energy savings.

The YZ chiller can also save energy and lower operating costs by taking advantage of off-design conditions where chillers operate 99 percent of the time. It operates with entering condenser water temperatures as low as 40°F (4.5°C), providing enhanced performance in every operating condition. In addition, it can operate with condenser temperatures below the evaporator temperatures, eliminating the need for a water-side economizer. That simplifies the system, requiring less mechanical room space and lower expenditures for components, piping, controls and maintenance. 

Data Center Solutions

Vertiv_DSE400_800x600-dse400-rooftop-openIn December, Vertiv (formerly Emerson Network Power) debuted three high-capacity cooling solutions for the growing colocation and cloud-hosting data center markets, The products are designed to be rapidly deployable and scalable, while using new heat exchanger or pumped refrigerant technologies that maximize operational efficiency and minimize or eliminate water usage. 

Each system uses integrated Liebert ICOM™ controls that feature advanced algorithms and automated routines for protection and efficiency, and make these systems easier to operate. The controls harmonize multiple cooling systems and enable quick adaptation to load changes and ambient temperatures. The controls fine-tune room cooling by optimizing temperature and airflow and selecting the most appropriate operating mode based on external environmental conditions and desired Service Level Agreements (SLAs) or management parameters. 

Vertiv_DSE250_800x600-dse-250-fansDesigned for diverse applications, the products include:

  • Liebert® EFC Indirect Evaporative Freecooling Solution (400kW capacity)
  • Liebert DSE Packaged Freecooling System (400kW capacity)
  • Liebert DSE Freecooling System (250kW capacity)

The Liebert DSE 250kW was co-developed by Digital Realty and Vertiv as an extension of the Liebert DSE pumped refrigerant technology that Digital Realty has used in data centers for more than four years.

Rooftop Unit

The new Modine Atherion® D cabinet is designed to double the cooling capacity and almost triple the gas heating capacity of the current Atherion product range and will be on display at booth No. 3152 at the 2018 AHR Expo, Jan. 22-24, in the North Hall of McCormick Place in Chicago. (PRNewsfoto/Modine Manufacturing Company)
The new Modine Atherion® D cabinet is designed to double the cooling capacity and almost triple the gas-heating capacity of the current Atherion product range. (PRNewsfoto/Modine Manufacturing Co.)

Modine Manufacturing Co. recently introduced the Atherion D cabinet, an HVAC commercial rooftop unit with as much as a 60-ton capacity.  It is designed to double the cooling capacity and almost triple the gas-heating capacity of the current product range.

Key specifications include an airflow range of 4,000 to 18,000 cubic feet per minute for cooling ratings of 30 to 60 nominal tons, as well as a heating rating of 400 to 1,600 (in MBH) and 40 to 200 (in kilowatts).

The unit is intended for large buildings requiring ventilation and/or makeup air, such as hotels, laboratories, restaurants, multifamily communities, retail malls and manufacturing facilities.  The Atherion D cabinet has the airflow capacity to handle a variety of applications. Its wide-ranging modulating capability enables the unit to match capacity to the load and promote efficiency.

The Atherion D cabinet is equipped with top mounted PF™ Aluminum Microchannel condenser coils with EC condenser fan motors and right and left side access doors for ease of blower, filter, damper and heat section maintenance.