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The 65th International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition, better known as AHR Expo, set four new records for Southwest shows, say show organizers. The show greeted 33,891 visitors, and counting exhibitors, more than 51,000 people were in attendance for the three-day event, held on January 28-30 at the Dallas, TX Convention Center.

Filling multiple halls covering nearly 400,000 square feet, 1,951 companies exhibited their wares and services. In addition, there were some 100 plus educational sessions, three New Product and Technology Theaters, a Building Automation and Control showcase and a software center.
Awards are also presented at the show. The Eleventh Annual AHR Expo Product of the Year Award went to Rheem Manufacturing Company. Rheem received the award for its H2AC Rooftop Unit, a restaurant integrated AC and water heating system. The system features refrigerant-to-water heat recovery that can reduce the water heater’s energy consumption by an estimated 50%. Rheem also was an Innovation Award winner in the Cooling category.
Created by ASHRAE, AHRI and AHR Expo, the awards program was designed to recognize the most innovative and useful products on display at the AHR Expo. Entries submitted by exhibitors each year are judged on the basis of innovative design, application, market impact and value to the HVACR industry. The Awards are also meant to promote and encourage new product development in ten major categories: Building Automation; Cooling; Green Building; Heating; Indoor Air Quality (IAQ); Refrigeration; Software; Tools & Instruments; Ventilation; Plumbing.

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The entry fees from the AHR Expo Innovation Awards are donated to a local charity in the city where the expo is being held. This year’s total of $10,350 was donated to Family Gateway, a Dallas- based organization dedicated to helping homeless children and their families achieve independence. Family Gateway will use the donation to upgrade outdated and inefficient HVAC equipment in 28 of their family units.
Just about any product in the show has Indoor Comfort applicability, and as we walked the show floor, we noticed quite a few new products being exhibited for the first time. For example, indoor comfort relies heavily on hydronics these days, and pumps and circulators were there in abundance, as were other indoor comfort products.
AHR Expo comes to the East Coast next year: on January 21-23, 2014 it’ll be in New York City, and in 2015, it’s back to Chicago on January 26-28. Then it’s Orlando in 2016 and Las Vegas for 2017.
Below, we highlight some of the new products we saw at the show, items you’re likely to see making their way into homes and commercial buildings in the near future.
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Honeywell revamps its smart home thermostats

Honeywell’s two connected programmable thermostats, the Prestige IAQ and the VisionPRO 8000, are up to 60% smaller than previous models. The smart units can control temperature, humidity, ventilation and fan settings from any web-enabled device from any location. The company claims homeowners can cut annual heating and cooling costs by up to 33%.

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The thermostats connect to the Internet through Honeywell’s free Total Connect Comfort cloud-based application, available from the iTunes store or from Google Play. Beth Wozniak, president of Honeywell Environmental and Combustion Controls, said, “We’re packing more features into a lighter, thinner body to help them complement home décor while managing roughtly half of a home’s energy consumption-and half of a homeowner’s energy dollars….”
She mentioned home décor because the Prestige IAQ can be programmed with a background color to match the color of a home’s walls. The VisionPRO is the contractor’s version, and while it lacks the color controls, is just as programmable.
The Prestige IAQ can control temperature to ±1 degree accuracy, can be programmed with its touch screen (manually or via built in programs) or by the Total Connect app, all in less than a minute. It can even send alerts to the homeowner—it tests the heating and cooling system every time it turns on and if not at peak efficiency, alerts the homeowner. Honeywell says the thermostat integrates with sensors that factor in the temperature and indoor and outdoor humidity levels and the unit can be set to follow a utility’s timeof- use rate schedule for homeowners who live in regions with tiered energy pricing from utilities.
The unit comes in three frame colors-white, black and silver-and sports a 4.3″ high definition touch screen with customizable color matching palette. The new VisionPRO 8000 is compatible with virtually every thpe of heating and cooling system and is highly customizable. One example is the Portable Comfort Control accessory. It is a small remote control with a built-in temperature sensor which allows it to individually control the temperature of any room. “A parent with a newborn could place the device in the baby’s room to ensure it stays at a constant temperature.”  Both units will be available this month. While prices will vary a bit, the Prestige IAQ will be priced somewhere around $300 for homeowners. The VisionPRO 8000 will run about $150. More information: Honeywell.com.
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New germicidal UV light for mini-splits and ductless AC

Fresh-Aire UV unveiled its Mini UV System, which it claims is the first germicidal ultra-violet light system designed specifically for mini-split and other ductless airconditioning units in residential and commercial applications.

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The Mini UV employs miniaturized components, consisting of two pencil-thin 9 x 3/8 inch UV lamps and a 6 x 1.5 x 1 inch, 120 or 208-230 VAC power supply. The components fit inside all ductless A/C brands and even tight, compact mini-split spaces. The lamps inhibit mold and other biological growth on blower and evaporator coil surfaces and sterilizes germs, viruses, allergens and other pathogens that grow mainly as a result of condensation moisture.
The estimated 45-minute installation time for new and retrofit applications requires dropping the condensate pan to gain access to interior surface areas. The Mini UV includes industrial-grade adhesive clips for quickly mounting the two lamps inside any ductless unit. The power supply is small enough to fit inside most ductless system line set areas. For more information, www.freshaireuv.com.
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Field Controls introduces FlexMountUV

Field Controls has added a new product to their UV-AireTM line called the FlexMountUVTM, a dual lamp air sanitizer designed to take half the space of traditional UV units, but with twice the power. The unit is designed for fast, flexible installation inside package units and air handlers. It is equipped with a large magnet to allow quick installation inside virtually any metal cabinet, and no holes or fasteners are required.

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The FlexMountUV features a high output, dual lamp, available in 13″ and 17″ models and can be adjusted to any desired angle for optimum placement inside the cabinet or over the A-coil. It comes with an adjustable deflector shield and the ballast is separate from the lamp module for mounting out of the way. Connection between the lamp and ballast is via a moisture and UV resistant cable, included in the kit. For more information, www.fieldcontrols.com.
 
 
 
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Wilo USA shows high efficiency in-line circulator

Wilo USA, a provider of pumps and pump solutions
for water management, building services and groundwater, showed its latest technologies at AHR, including the Stratos GIGA, a high-efficiency inline circulator with ECM technology for use in hot water heating systems, air conditioning, closed cooling circuits and industrial circulation systems. Wilo says the unit features redesigned hydraulics and permanent magnet motor to achieve better than IE4 efficiencies.

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The company also showed its Wilo IL Inline Centrifugal Circulators, with an extended range for 2013, its WQB Multi-Stage Booster Pump which features extremely quiet operation (67db for an automatic self-priming multistage pump, its Helix Vertical Multistage Pumps with 33% ore head and 10% more flow per stage, and 64 models of its SCP Horizontal Split Case Pumps, which are offered in sizes up to 500HP.
For more information: Stratos GIGA www.wilo-usa.com
 
 
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Xylem’s Bell & Gossett introduces wireless circulator, commercial pump

Xylem, Inc. announced the addition of the Bell & Gossett ecocirc wireless circulator to its line of hot water circulators. The smart system, says B&G, can save thousands of gallons of water and uses as little as 14 watts of power.

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The ecocirc wireless is designed for plumbing systems without a recirculation line and uses an electronically commutated motor (ECM) to achieve energy savings while operating on as little as 14 watts of power. In continuous hot water systems like this, a valve is installed under the sink or other water outlet farthest away from the water heater, where hot water takes the longest to arrive. The valve is battery-operated and equipped with an onboard temperature sensor and wireless RF transceiver that communicates with the circulator pump, which is mounted to the water heater or hot water source.
The company also introduced its series e-90 commercial centrifugal pump. The pump features high hydraulic efficiency and closed-coupled design and can be mounted either vertically or horizontally for a wide range of applications. More information: xylemappliedwater.com.
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Grundfos unveils high efficiency commercial circulator

Grundfos introduced its MAGNA3 circulator, designed for commercial hydronic applications. The company says the new circulator will cut power consumption up to 85% using its AUTOADAPT function that automatically adjusts circulator performance and the new FLOWADAPT control mode that reduces the need for pump throttling valves.

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Grundfos says the MAGNA3 is an energy-optimized, variable- speed wet rotor circulator that features a permanent magnet motor. The design incorporates a variable- speed electronically commutated motor (ECM) that features an integrated logic algorithm to learn the varying energy-usage patterns of an application over time. This allows the software to automatically determine the lowest possible operating- efficiency point, and it does this on a continuing basis, without human intervention. The pump also features improved hydraulics and rotor system; a built-in differential pressure sensor; a carbon fiber reinforced composite rotor can, which seals fluid from the stator motor; constant temperature mode, useful in domestic hot water applications; on-pump TFT display screen; and a rotating power head. More informatiion: us.grundfos.com.
 

Atlantic Region Energy Expo 2012, Atlantic City, NJ
Organizers of the Atlantic Region Energy Expo 2012 (AREE 2012) report that they have concluded another successful trade show and convention. This year, the show partnered with the National Biodiesel Board to “explore the evolving world of home and building comfort, efficiency and environmental responsibility.” Traditionally held in New Jersey, the show is organized by one of its sponsors, the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey (FMA). Other association sponsors include the Independent Connecticut Petroleum Assn., the Delaware Valley Fuel Dealers Assn., the Empire State Petroleum Assn., the Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Distributors’ Assn. and the Virginia Petroleum Convenience & Grocery Association. As in past years, it was held at the Atlantic City Convention Center, this year on May 1-3.
Attendees visiting the show couldn’t help notice the Bioheat® theme; it was everywhere. Calling the availability of Bioheat a sign of changing times for oilheat dealers, FMA Executive Vice President Eric DeGesero said, “We’re proud that AREE was the first industry trade show and convention officially combining traditional fuels with the renewable biodiesel found in Bioheat.” He pointed out that Bioheat is the oilheat dealers’ best option to adapt their businesses in the 21st century.
There were several sessions on the topic specifically designed to provide additional information and to answer questions from attendees who may have been interested in transitioning to bioheat but may have felt that they didn’t have sufficient information to make an informed decision. Paul Nazzaro, the National Biodiesel Board’s liaison to the petroleum industry and a frequent contributor to ICM, hosted several sessions that explained the need for change in an industry increasing under attack by its competitors.
“Bioheat is the first real opportunity for marketers to make a progressive shift in decades. Bioheat is a more desirable product to their customers, offering enhanced energy security, benefits to health and the environment, and American jobs,” said Nazzaro.
In addition to the more formalized business sessions on Bioheat, a special “Townhall Meeting” was held to answer any questions dealers may have about the process and advisability of switching to bioheat. The Townhall Meeting approach provided an informal and more intimate setting, which facilitates interactive dialogue.
This year, overall attendance for the trade show and convention was 3,500, slightly below past years. Nevertheless, the trade show featured over 250 exhibits, including more than 40 new exhibitor companies, and showcased 28 vehicles, including a motorcycle and luxury sports car, both powered with biodiesel. In addition, more than two dozen business programs and workshops were held, including those mentioned above.
This year also marked the first year of participation by the Air Conditioning Contractors Association—New Jersey Chapter as AREE continues to expand its presence as the premier energy marketing convention and trade show in the Northeast.

The 2012 Visions Conference, hosted by the New England Fuel Institute (NEFI) and the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA), returns after a hiatus of a few years and is schedule for June 5-6 at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center, Framingham, MA. Last conference was in Boston, and prior to that, in Providence, RI.
Keynote speaker will be Tom Kloza, Publisher, Chief Oil Analyst, Oil Price Information Services. One of the founders of OPIS, Kloza is an oil industry analyst and observer of downstream oil markets and has been quoted in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Business- Week, Newsweek and other periodicals and has contributed to numerous publications. He is also a regular guest commentator for Bloomberg Financial and National Public Radio’s Marketplace.
In addition to an exhibit area which is open both days, the Visions conference includes a number of seminars, held in five concurrent tracks on Tuesday morning and afternoon. Morning sessions include seminars on oil products and issues; selling and growth; acquisitions; future considerations (next season) and customer relations. Wholesalers will also present their views on the current energy picture. A special update from the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) is also scheduled. Tuesday afternoon tracks include topics such as company and customers; oil, ULSD and home services; social media and leadership; future outlook and thinking forward. Because the sessions are concurrent, many of the seminars are repeated.
On Tuesday evening, the conference will hold its “Legends Award Dinner”, featuring entertainer Jimmy Tingle.
On Wednesday, the half day program includes special presentations running consecutively on U.S. energy policy; northeast oil supply and biofuels. A special side seminar on trading volatility is also scheduled.
To register for the conference and book online, visit: http:// www.nefi.com/visions.php.

OESP Logo

Monday 5/21

Classes are geared towards Managers and Owners at 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. You decide what you would like to do. Take a class, participate in the Care to Ride Event, walk, run, ride a bicycle or motorcycle, all for a good cause. Oil Heat Cares, playgold at Swansea County Club. Our annual gold tournament benefits out Scholarship Fund.
We will have a very interesting walk for charity on Monday. It is part of the Care to Ride event that raises money for Oil Heat Cares. We will walk on Benefit Street, a historic area where you will get to see fine examples of Colonial and Victorian Era homes. This stretch of homes is over 1 mile in length.
For Trainers – 1 day topic class, How to Teach the basics of Energy Controls by Carol Fey.
Keys to a Killer Presentation: Using PowerPoint so it won’t use you! by John Barba, Taco
That evening, attendees will be the guests of Taco and OESP at our Opening REception. In addition to food and beverages, you will get to experience one of the events that providence is famous for – WaterFire.

Tuesday 5/22 (Trade Show 11-5)

Mini SILVER Review – Bob Hedden
NATE Review – Oil Furnace & Hydronics OR the Option to take any NATE Core for Specialty Test
How to Make Money Saving Your Customers Energy – Rich Simons, Honeywell
Understanding and Designing a Profitable Service Department – Moderated by John Levey
ECM Diagnostics – Chris Mohalley
Air Conditioning-Evaluating & Testing to be sure you are Achieving rated Results – Bill Spohn
Energy… It’s a New Frontier. Learn from Generation X how to use the tools that make your job easier – Panel of Father/Sons
Moving from a Residential to a Commercial Technician – Matt Spink
Bioheat®, Tech Talk – Robert Cerio
Quick & Basic Electricity Troubleshooting – Special 4:00 p.m. class by Carol Fey
Student and Technician’s Competitions – Show Floor – Don’t forget our Outdoor Energy Fair
Awards Banquet – Join us in the Convention Center Rotunda at 6:15 p.m. for a cocktail party sponsored by Grunfos followed by dinner in the Ballroom of the Convention Center

Wednesday 5/22 (Trade Show 10-2)

The Basics of Energy Controls – Aquastats, Outdoor Resets, Digital Setback Thermostats – Carol Fey
Solar – Al Breda
Variable Speed Pumping – Kevin Anderson, Grundfos
How to Grow your Business by Selling High Efficiency Equipment – Ralph Adams
Old Fashioned Steam – the New Modern Heat – Angel Gonzalez
Darwin Award Candidates & Chimney Code – Rich Rua, representing the CSIA
Air Conditioning, Check-up & Troubleshooting – Eugene Silberstein
Understanding New Licensing Requirement in MA for Sheet Metal Installations – Panel Discussion
Grand Finale Dan Holohan & Jogn Barba team up – be prepared to “Ask these Old Guys” – 1:30 – after the show join these two
Introduction to the OESP’s new program – Home Comfort Specialist Academy – Ralph Adams