I have been to many trade shows over the years, local, state, national and international, but I have never before been to the AHR Expo. Working on Long Island, NY for the better part of 40 years, January was not the time to go to a show. Since it was in Orlando, Florida and it was cold in the Northeast, I decided that this was the year!
As I entered the convention center, I noticed that the aisles were about two football fields long. The display of new products, old familiar products, computer software, tools, fittings, trucks, vans, ductwork, insulation and more from all over the world was here, over 30 countries represented.
I stopped at the Taco booth and training center. There are training centers in many of the booths with sessions throughout the day, places to get answers to all of your questions. When I asked about literature, an old friend from Taco told me that they have all their literature on their Web site and you can access it 24 hours a day every day, from anywhere.
I stopped in at the Honeywell display and was just in time for Dr. Patrick Hogan and Ms. Maureen Butler’s presentation on “the intelligent building” and introducing the E3Point product. The concept of the intelligent building is to build a smart building from the design, for energy conservation as well as safety and comfort of the occupants. The sensors that can be used are between 10 and 100 times faster reacting than is currently in use, a big advantage when you consider a fire alarm system. The sensors will detect when people are in the controlled space and only heat or cool when presence is detected. A good cost savings to the property owner or manager. For more information on the E3Point analytics, go to www.honeywellanalytics.com. The presentation was very well done and when it was finished, I stuck around the booth to see what else they were working on. I spoke to Axel Reichert, an engineer at Honeywell and asked him about their new products. He introduced me to a new electronic gas valve that is now standard on all Bradford White water heaters. This was my cue to visit the Bradford White booth.
Over here I was intrigued by the ICON System. This system consists of a gas valve, a liquid leak detector, an inlet shutoff valve, a programmable LCD digital control and an accessory module that communicates to all the devices. It also has an integrated mixing valve. The idea here is to provide safety and security and provide more hot water than ever before. If the liquid sensor detects a leak, it tells the inlet shutoff valve to close thus stopping the flow of water, which prevents any additional damage to the home. The integrated mixing valve allows for the tank temperature to be very hot while delivering a controlled temperature to the faucets. A really neat little accessory package. I asked if this was available for their oil fired units (but not on display) and they said that may be coming in the future but would not give me a definite time frame so, look for this at upcoming shows. You can get more information on this at www.bradfordwhite.com.
Wilo Pumps was the next stop. The ECO residential circulator was interesting looking. It looks quite different from other circulators and, as I found out, operates differently also. A nice feature among others is the pumps’ ability to automatically adjust to system demands. Think of the jobs with three zone valves and only one circulator. Well, if only one zone is open, the circulator only supplies sufficient flow to that zone. If a second or third opens, the pump automatically adjusted to the increased demand. Nice, no more noisy zones. Check it out at www.WILO-USA.com or call 1-866-WILO-USA.
The rep at the N.Y.I. booth introduced me to a nice unit they have. Yes, it’s gas again, but it’s still nice. It’s called the “Matrix” and it is a unit that will provide hydronics heat, warm air, domestic hot water (thru a brazed plate heat exchanger), and air conditioning all in one unit. I had to find out more. After what seemed to be a few minutes with the representative, I felt as if this was the end to all problems. I can have hydronic heat in the living spaces and warm air to the Florida room and domestic hot water and air conditioning in one. They also have some neat wall hung boilers with domestic water heating capabilities. You can look at the “Matrix” and the rest of their line at www.nythermal.com or call 1-800-668-2575.
The next product that caught my eye was an oil substitute, BIOFUEL. I spoke to Phillip Wallis who was quite informative on this new product. It claims to be better performing than B-5 blend and in tests have shown very positive results. Its “Classic” product is said to have a pour point of -40° F. This may show some promise, but I still need to see some results, which he says is coming. Look for this product; it may just change our industry.
As I strolled down the many aisles I was glad to come upon some oil equipment. It seems that most of the show is devoted to air conditioning and gas heating and all that goes with it, but I felt at home with the oil guys! Companies like Wayne, RW Beckett, Bacharach, Power Flame, Iron Fireman and Webster made me feel at home. I also found a few companies from overseas that are importing oil burner parts and products like ignition transformers. This is truly an international show.
It took a full nine hours to go full circle and I ended up back at the Taco booth. I looked at the products with a tired eye, but something made my eye stop at the building management system. The iWorx Building Management, Monitoring and Control System controls the entire system in large high end residential and commercial applications. To check this out, as well as their many other products, go to www.taco-hvac.com.
The next AHR Expo will be in Las Vegas on January 31 – February 2, 2011. I will try again to be there, how about you?