AHR Expo Announces 2018 Innovation Award Winners

Show management has announced the winners of the 2018 AHR Expo Innovation Awards, the annual competition recognizing HVACR products, systems and technologies that will be featured at the 2018 AHR Expo.

The winners were selected by a panel of third-party ASHRAE member judges who evaluated all award entries based on design, creativity, application, value and market impact. The innovation award winners will be recognized in a ceremony during the 2018 AHR Expo, that takes place Jan. 22-24, at McCormick Place in Chicago. The AHR Expo will also announce the winner of the Product of the Year Award at this ceremony.

“Each year, our winners set the bar for innovation in HVACR, and this year is no exception,” says Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., the producers of AHR Expo. “We congratulate each of these leaders from across the industry and look forward to seeing their solutions in action at the 2018 AHR Expo.”

The winners and finalists in the categories of building automation, cooling, green building, heating, indoor air quality, plumbing, refrigeration, software, tools and instruments, and ventilation are:

Building Automation

Winner: Setra Systems Inc.
Innovation: Setra FLEX, a room monitoring and control solution. Setra FLEX is used to ensure energy-efficient indoor environmental and ventilation control conditions for operating rooms, isolation rooms, bio-safety laboratories, clean rooms and all pressurized critical spaces. Visual and audible alarms are configurable and comply with ASHRAE Standard 170, as well as U.S. Pharmacopeia 797 and 800.

Finalists in this category were: BELIMO Americas (6-way Electronic Pressure Independent Valve); Cielo WiGle Inc. (Breez: Smart Controller for Ductless Air-conditioning Systems); and Emerson (Site Supervisor facility control platform).


Winner: Emerson
Innovation: Copeland Scroll, a two-stage compressor. The latest generation of Copeland Scroll two-stage compressors from 1 to 10 tons has been redesigned for improved performance and reliability in residential and commercial air conditioning systems. The third-generation technology is optimized for mid-tier comfort and efficiency rebates with improved full-load and part-load performance up to five percent.

Finalists in this category were: Delta Cooling Towers Inc. (Delta Anti-Microbial Cooling Tower); Johnson Controls Inc. (YORK Affinity YXV 20 SEER Variable Capacity Air Conditioner); and ZIEHL-ABEGG Inc. (ZAvblue centrifugal fan).

Green Building

Winner: Danfoss
Innovation: Danfoss Turbocor TTH/TGH High Lift Compressor, a compressor optimized for air-cooled chiller and heat recovery applications. Engineered for high-lift applications, including air-cooled chillers and heat recovery, Danfoss Turbocor TTH/TGH models feature oil-free, variable speed, magnetic bearing operation for full- and part-load efficiency, low vibration and sound, a small footprint, and reduced maintenance—while providing an expanded operating map suitable for air-cooled chiller and heat recovery applications.

Finalists in this category were: International Wastewater Systems Inc. (PIRANHA HC thermal energy recovery hot water production system); Nexus Valve Inc. (Pressure Step Deaerator); Regal (NovaMAX Motor – 600 RPM); and Smardt Chiller Group Inc. (Smardt Solar Integrated Chiller (SSiC)).


Winner: Calefactio Innovation: The ONE, a three-in-one expansion tank, air separator and dirt separator. The ONE innovates by eliminating a number of joints, thus limiting the leaking possibilities; using less space and taking less time to install compared to installing the three devices separately; reducing costs, it is less costly to buy The ONE than to buy all the devices separately.

Finalists in this category were: Cleaver-Brooks Inc. (Cleaver-Brooks ClearFire-CE hydronic boiler); Johnson Controls Inc. (YORK Affinity YZV 20 SEER Variable Capacity Heat Pump); and WaterFurnace International Inc. (Versatec Variable Speed water source/geothermal heat pump).

Indoor Air Quality

Winner: Spartan Bioscience Innovation: Spartan Legionella Detection System, an on-site Legionella DNA test to prevent outbreaks. Spartan’s Legionella Detection System integrates DNA collection, extraction and analysis in a compact format. The Spartan technology enables portability with no sample shipment to an outside laboratory and no technical expertise requirements. In addition, the system provides results in 45 minutes.

Finalists in this category were: AAF Flanders (Sensor360 filtration monitor); Addison (Linear Capacity, Dedicated Outdoor Air System); and Johnson Controls Inc. (GLAS smart thermostat).


Winner: AquaMotion Inc.
Innovation: AquaMotion Aqua-Flash, an under-sink hot water recirculation system. The Aqua-Flash by-pass valve provides a bypass design that prevents the hot water from entering the cold line when the hot water faucet is opened; a bi-metal coil element that closes the internal shuttle by-pass port in the valve when hot water reaches the valve; a bi-metal element that is calibrated to deliver the hot water temperature desired; and more than double the pipe diameter to prevent calcium buildup.

Finalists in this category were: Caleffi Hydronic Solutions (LEGIOMIX electronic mixing valve with disinfection); and John Guest USA Inc. (JG ProLock twist-to-lock fitting system).


Winner: Chemours
Innovation: Opteon XP44 Refrigerant (R-452A), a non-ozone depleting, low GWP, HFO-based refrigerant replacement for R-404A/507. It offers an approximately 50 percent reduction in global warming potential compared to R-404A/R-507, while providing the closest match to the compressor discharge temperature of any other low GWP solution on the market. With the regulations addressing high GWP refrigerants such as R-404A/R-507 in commercial refrigeration applications, Opteon XP44 provides equipment manufacturers and end-users an option to cost effectively cut the environmental impact of their refrigerant choice in half, without sacrificing performance or equipment reliability.

Finalists in this category were: CAREL INDUSTRIES S.p.A. (HEEZ control and management solution); and Emerson (Fractional horsepower low-temperature Copeland Scroll compressor).


Winner: Regal
Innovation: Browning Toolbox Technician Motor Efficiency Calculator, for Apple and Android platforms. This mobile app calculator module allows a user to identify efficiency differences between different generations of integral horsepower electric motors. This app not only identifies the potential efficiency gain, but it allows the user to tailor the motor usage parameters to mirror their application or overall facility usage so a projected return on investment (ROI) can be displayed.

Finalists in this category were: Coolfront Technologies (Coolfront Mobile flat rate pricing app); LG Electronics USA Inc. (LG Air Conditioning Technical Solution (LATS) Revit drawing plug-in); and SuperCool Slide Rule (SuperCool HVAC app).

Tools and Instruments

Winner: Fluke Corp.
Innovation: Fluke T6 Electrical Tester, an electrical tester that takes simultaneous voltage and current measurements without test leads. The T6 testers now make it possible to take true-rms measurements in crowded junction boxes or along conductors with inaccessible endpoints, saving time, minimizing potential errors and reducing the possibility of arc flash.

Finalists in this category were: GrayWolf Sensing Solutions (GrayWolf’s DirectSense II Smart Probes/Sensor); Milwaukee Tool (102 x 77 Spot Infrared Imager); and SuperCool Slide Rule (Line-set Saver cleaning device).


Winner: Triatek
Innovation: Stable Vortex II Fume Hood, a fume hood that protects chemists from harmful dusts and vapors during experiments. It delivers a safer environment for the user than the average fume hood, while also providing energy savings. The Stable Vortex II passes the ASHRAE 110 test as manufactured, as installed and as used because the design accounts for how people actually use fume hoods, in order to keep them safe.

Finalists in this category were: Regal (UlteMAX Axial PM Motor); Titus (TJD, OMNI diffuser) and ZIEHL-ABEGG Inc. (ZAbluefin bionic, high-efficiency impeller).

For more information regarding the AHR Expo Innovation Awards, visit the website.

With 2,000+ exhibitors, 100+ seminars and product presentations, and more than 65,000 attendees, the AHR Expo provides a forum for the entire HVACR industry, from product designers and engineers to installers and end users, to come together and share ideas, discover new products and find solutions to technical problems. To register, visit the AHR Expo registration website.

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