The 2016 AHR Expo Innovation Awards saw a record number of exhibitors enter the competition. The winning products included a self-contained heat pump; a smart, plug-and-play proactive condensation control device; braze-free pipe connectors; and an aerosol-based duct sealing solution. The latter of these was given the accolade of Product of the Year. In the videos below, representatives from the winning companies discuss why their products are ground-breaking.


Company: Accutrol, LLC
Innovation: Accutrol AVC Fume Hood Control System

The Accutrol AVC Fume Hood Control System with Insight Graphical User Interface (GUI) combines the low pressure drop AccuValve® AVC5000 Airflow Control Valve with a “smart” display and a powerful, simple and intuitive user interface to deliver groundbreaking airflow control technology. Notably streamlining installation, start-up, operation and operational modification of Variable Air Volume (VAV) fume hoods, the AVC Fume Hood Control System integrates a smart electronics-driven ePI® airflow measurement and control system that provides pressure-independent performance without use of complex and exposed mechanical components. Vertical, horizontal or combination sash VAV fume hoods are easily configured with the intuitive Accutrol Insight, which also enables verification of sash calibration.

Honorable Mention

Continental Control Systems, LLC (WattNode Meter Module)
Danfoss (Danfoss NovoCon® S Digital Actuator)
Honeywell International Inc. (RedLINK Equipment Remote Module (ERM))
KMC Controls, Inc. (KMC Commander IoT Gateway and Cloud Service)


Company: Sporlan – Parker Hannifin
Innovation: ZoomLine™ Flexible Tubing

ZoomLine™ is a six-layer, highly flexible tubing solution ideal for refrigeration and air-conditioning (AC) applications, and approved for current and emerging refrigerant technologies supporting OEM and service customers. ZoomLine’s flexibility facilitates more streamlined installation when compared to traditional copper tubing, eliminating the need for couplings, elbows or adaptors, or braze joints that can potentially leak. Accommodating pressures up to 700 psi, ZoomLine is impervious to environmental, temperature and pressure extremes, and provides long-term performance in the guidance of refrigerant across mechanical system equipment.

Honorable Mention

Baltimore Aircoil Company (Series 3000 Cooling Tower with the ENDURADRIVE™ Fan System)
Danfoss (Danfoss DSH Scroll Compressors with Intermediate Discharge Valves)
Emerson Climate Technologies (Copeland Scroll™ UltraTech™ compressor)


Company: International Wastewater Systems Inc.
Innovation: Piranha Wastewater Heat Recovery Heat Pump

The Piranha is a self-contained heat pump that extracts thermal energy from wastewater for domestic hot water production in a wide scope of commercial applications. Using a specially engineered direct expansion heat exchanger, the Piranha has been optimized for 50- to 200-unit residential buildings and stand-alone commercial applications. The Piranha is easily installed in new and retrofit construction projects, is attributable to LEED credit criterion, and promotes the numerous environmental and energy-saving benefits of an expertly engineered wastewater heat recovery system.

Honorable Mention

Baltimore Aircoil Company (PFi Closed Circuit Cooling Tower)
Metraflex Co. (LPD Y Strainer)
NORTEC (DL Series – Hybrid Humidifier)


Company: Victaulic
Innovation: Victaulic Grooved System for Saturated Steam Piping 

The Victaulic System Solution for Saturated Steam is the first grooved mechanical piping system for commercial and industrial saturated steam applications. The system joins 2-8 in. pipes and incorporates Victaulic’s Style 870 rigid coupling, a full line of fittings, and pipe preparation tool roll sets as a comprehensive solution for steam applications including heating, sterilization, cooking and drying. Traditionally required welding, flanging or threading to join distribution, process and condensate return piping, steam piping system installation is now notably streamlined with the Victaulic System Solution for Saturated Steam. Designed in accordance with the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, as well as ASME B31.1, ASME B31.3 and ASME B31.9, the system is the first viable alternative to these traditional joining methods. With a spring-energized polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) composite seal capable of withstanding the temperature and pressure limits of ASME B31.3 Category D Fluid Service, the groundbreaking system performs at system temperatures up to 366°F (186°C), and pressures of up to 150 psi (1,034 kPa).

Honorable Mention

Danfoss (Danfoss AB-QM™ Pressure Independent Control Valve (PICV) 3rd Generation)
GeoStar (Sycamore variable capacity geothermal heat pump)
Heating & Cooling Products Mfg. Co. (TotalSeal sealed snap-lock pipe & fittings)
Lochinvar, LLC (CREST® Condensing Boiler)
Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. Cooling & Heating (Hyper-Heating INVERTER™ (H2i®) MSZ-FH06 Single-zone Heat Pump System)


Company: SEMCO LLC
Innovation: ASCENDANT™ conventional cooling, active desiccant hybrid system 

The ASCENDANT™ Series is an active desiccant hybrid system that provides conventional cooling and dehumidification for commercial applications requiring 100-percent outdoor air, and low dew point temperatures/supply air humidity levels. Ideal for applications including hospital operating rooms, archival and dry storage, hotels and multi-family buildings, ASCENDANT operates without the need for exhaust heat recovery, and can perform as a partial or dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS), or as a true variable air volume (VAV) unit. Compared to conventional mechanical DX or chiller systems, ASCENDANT provides up to three times more dehumidification, achieves dew point temperatures as low as 20°F and uses up to 60 percent less cooling capacity. ASCENDANT promotes efficient mechanical system operation via higher coil air discharge and central plant suction temperatures, which facilitates performance that surpasses ASHRAE 90.1 building energy, ASHRAE 170 ventilation and ASHRAE 62.1 indoor air quality (IAQ) standards. Latent loads are, in majority, addressed by economical hot water, steam, waste heat or direct gas-fired regeneration energy, facilitating 50- to 75-percent greater efficiency when compared to conventional DX dehumidifiers with electric compressors. Energy savings are further realized via integration of SEMCO’s on-board, integrated direct digital control (DDC), which optimizes system operation and space condition management to achieve notably flexible air temperatures and relative humidity (RH).

Honorable Mention

Distech Controls, Inc. (Allure™ EC-Smart-Comfort Room Sensor)
Nortec (GS Series Gas-Fired Humidifier)
Purealizer Industries, LLC (Purealizer, Airborne Disinfection Fixture)


Company: SEMCO LLC
Innovation: NEUTON controlled chilled beam pump module 

NEUTON is the industry’s first and only smart, plug-and-play proactive condensation control device for active chilled beams. Factory-built and pre-tested, the controlled chilled beam pump module package incorporates an independently powered integrated direct digital controller, chilled and hot water connections, valves, variable-speed electronically commutated (EC) motor pumps, smart sensors and other unique features. With cost, condensation, and controls concerns traditionally limiting the application of otherwise highly efficient active chilled beam technology, NEUTON can be installed at a cost similar to conventional systems, and eliminates need for ancillary chiller, boiler and secondary water distribution systems associated with conventional chilled beam HVAC designs. NEUTON blends and re-circulates return water within its zone to convert typical 42°F and 140°F primary loop water temperatures to optimal 58°F or 100°F chilled beam discharge temperatures. This prevents cooling mode condensation and heating season heat stratification. A single NEUTON unit is capable of controlling up to 10 chilled beams, depending on flow rate requirements.

Honorable Mention

Des Champs Technologies (N-Series Waterless Trap)
LG Electronics USA, Inc. (LG Hydro Kit (High Temp) – ARNH763K3B2 waste heat recovery system)
Rheem Manufacturing Company (The Rheem Prestige Series™ Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater)


Innovation: HEOS Sistema – high efficiency waterloop system for commercial refrigeration 

The HEOS water loop system is specifically engineered for cooling self-contained commercial food refrigeration equipment in grocery store applications. Designed to notably reduce total refrigerant charge by up to 80 percent, the system features small, self-contained refrigeration circuits with hermetically sealed piping that also minimize the chance for refrigerant leaks. HEOS includes DC compressors specifically designed to maximize energy efficiency at partial loads, while providing a wide range of speed modulation that facilitates better temperature control with less fluctuation. An electronic expansion valve further elevates energy savings by efficiently modulating refrigerant flow in the evaporator coils. A control board dynamically manages the system’s various components (i.e. compressor, expansion valve, fans) via implementation of advanced algorithms, with diagnostics that streamline both system startup and maintenance. Achieving 25 percent greater energy savings when compared to standard DX refrigeration systems, and 20 percent greater savings than ON-OFF water loop systems, HEOS systems are also easily installed as independent plug-in units.

Honorable Mention

Baltimore Aircoil Company (Transcritical CO2 TrilliumSeries™ Condenser)
Embraco North America, Inc. (EM3 Series Compressors)
Honeywell International Inc. (Solstice® N40 refrigerant)


Company: Plasma Air International
Innovation: PlasmaSoft 2.0 IAQ Procedure Software 

PlasmaSoft 2.0 is a web-based software package that calculates and compares indoor air contaminant levels using both ASHRAE’s Ventilation Rate Method (VRM) and the Indoor Air Quality Procedure (IAQP), which facilitates reduction of outside air intake. As a result, commercial, institutional and industrial building owners can reduce first cost by downsizing AC equipment, and lower energy use by reducing outside air intake. PlasmaSoft 2.0 is an enhanced version of the first and only web-based IAQ Procedure program, PlasmaSoft 1.0, and performs complex calculations critical to achieving decreased CapEx and OpEx. The program contains all ASHRAE Standard 62.1 mass-balance equations, default values for occupancy density, and outdoor air rates per person and per square foot for all space types – proving compliance without unnecessarily conditioning excessive amounts of outside air. Simplified and convenient, PlasmaSoft 2.0 provides consulting engineers and other key stakeholders with a reliable program that stores project and individual zone data in the cloud, making it easily accessible at any time.

Honorable Mention

DCNE – Cool Calc Manual J (Cool Calc Manual J Software)
KMC Controls, Inc. (KMC Connect Lite Mobile Application)
Sporlan – Parker Hannifin (Sporlan Refrigeration Troubleshooting App)


Company: Sporlan – Parker Hannifin
Innovation: ZoomLock™ Braze-Free Fittings 

ZoomLock™ braze-free pipe connectors quickly, easily and reliably join copper tubing in a variety of HVACR applications, with connections that are made via exclusive crimping technology and without need for brazing or its associated equipment, permitting and technical training. ZoomLock braze-free fittings are engineered for high-pressure copper refrigeration connections, and offer the first crimp technology approved for applications up to 700 psi. Requiring no nitrogen purging, fire spotters or hot work permits, and facilitating more flexible access to jobsites, ZoomLock’s game changing technology translates to significant time savings for the mechanical contractor.

Honorable Mention

AAB Smart Tools (ABM-200 Wireless Anemometer)
Axiom Industries Ltd. (Puropal H2O demineralizer)
Bacharach, Inc. (Bacharach Reporting App for Combustion Analyzers)
Eaton (B-Line Series 4Dimension™ Strut System)



Company: Aeroseal LLC 
Innovation: Aeroseal duct sealing technology 

Aeroseal provides the industry’s first alternative to traditional manual duct sealing, with an aerosol-based duct sealing solution that works from the inside of the ventilation shaft to “seek” and bond-seal targeted leaks. Developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, EPA and others, this duct sealing technology enables access to leaks in exhaust shafts of existing buildings without any deconstruction/demolition. A groundbreaking solution, Aeroseal duct sealing technology is ideal in a wide scope of applications, including multi-family, hospitality, healthcare and other buildings.

Honorable Mention

Danfoss Drives (Danfoss VLT® DriveMotor FCM 106/FCP 106)
Munters Corporation (DryCool™ ERV DOAS System)
PRIHODA Fabric Duct (SquAireTex Fabric Diffuser Tiles)