Taking place in February instead of January, the 2020 AHR Expo heads to sunny Florida this year. The expo will take place February 3-5, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. One of the largest annual HVACR events, this year’s expo is expected to once again attract thousands of attendees from all over the world. Professionals will view, experience and learn about the latest innovations, products and technologies.
The expo floor will allow attendees to preview new products and interact directly with product managers and sales teams. More than 150 exhibitors have registered for the expo. Attendees can search the AHR Expo exhibitors’ directory online to plan out their experience, explore by product categories, and gain more in-depth information about exhibitors after the show.
A full schedule of sessions has also been slated for the AHR Education Program. The program includes more than 200 free seminars, new product and technology presentations, professional certifications and continuing education courses. Additionally, there are 76 free sessions led by industry experts working with leading organizations, with sessions ranging from one to two hours. Some of the big-picture industry trend sessions that will be featured include: “Pulling More Women into the Ranks of Smart Buildings Leadership,” by AutomatedBuildings.com;
“Marketing Trends in HVAC,” by AHR Expo Expert Council Member Pam Duffy; and “Applying Emotional Intelligence (E.Q.) to Strengthen Your Business Model and Customer Relationships,” by AHR Expo Expert Council Member Karine Leblanc.
The AHR Expo Innovation Awards competition is also a frequent indicator of trends to consider. Products in 10 industry categories are recognized for innovative contribution to the HVACR field. Winners are selected by a panel of third-party judges who are members of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), a co-sponsor of the expo. Judges evaluate award entries based on innovative design, creativity, application, value and potential market impact.
Many of the awardees and product categories forecast trends that attendees can anticipate for 2020.
Big data continues to spark industry conversation as HVACR professionals work to understand not only how to collect data, but also how to store and analyze data. On display at the expo will be a product that features data resources that provide an unbiased cross-reference and model number database. These data features are designed to help professionals more easily locate replacement HVACR parts. Another “smart” feature that will be on display at the expo is remote monitoring connectivity. This feature allows for real-time status monitoring, setting control, machine run times and error reporting. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology have been part of the “smart” conversations at recent AHR Expos and this will continue in 2020. Specifically, a “smart” thermostat will be featured for connectivity to Wi-Fi and a full range of on-device local controls.
One of the AHR Expo Innovation award-winning products showcased will feature energy saving opportunities. The winner in the Plumbing category was the LG Electronics USA, Inc. LG Hydro Kit. The kit is an indoor heat exchanger for LG Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems. It can transfer heat or cooling energy expelled from the air conditioning process to water, ultimately offering further efficiency of LG heat recovery and heat pump systems. Available in 42,000 and 96,000 Btu/h capacity, the kits utilize waste energy generated during the conditioning process and enhance the energy efficiencies of LG VRF systems. This allows the hot or chilled water generated to then be distributed out to a number of different applications with integrated controls that set the temperature of the leaving water, hot water tank temperature or the temperature of the conditioned space. Attendees can see the kit at Booth 6343.
Another energy saving product that will be featured at the expo is a cloud-based system for variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems. The system works by monitoring electricity consumption in real-time to provide analysis of collected data to create an operation sequence for energy and cost savings.
The AHR Expo Innovation Award winner in the Heating category meets the most stringent of standards for air quality. York For Your Home’s YORK LX Series TL9E Ultra-Low NOx Gas Furnace is an environmentally responsible gas furnace that reduces greenhouse and smog-producing gasses by up to 6 percent compared to standard low-NOx furnaces. The furnace is ENERGY STAR rated and reduces fuel costs by as much as 20 percent when connected to select YORK home comfort systems. The furnace can be seen at Booth 3801.
Another AHR Expo Innovation Award winner in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) category is noteworthy. The Fresh-Aire UV - Purity Low Profile LED 1-inch Polarized Filter and LED Disinfection System is a 3-stage polarized HVAC filtration system that incorporates Mini-LED technology. The PLP-LED offers high-efficiency filtration that captures 97 percent of particles down to 0.3 microns in size. The system also uses antimicrobial UV reactive media with an advanced photocatalytic coating for odor and VOC reduction. Fresh-Aire UV's filter mitigates many IAQ issues as well as many other challenges faced by occupants and contractors through delivery of a cleaner, safer filter to handle and service. Attendees can see the system at Booth 5853.
At the expo, attendees can also see blower coil solutions for improved IAQ that allow for fast installation in both horizontal and vertical installations while offering benefits such as energy efficiency and quieter operation. In addition, the solutions feature HEPA filtration technology and product integrations that satisfy IAQ requirements for hospital, medical and other sensitive environments.
The winner in the AHR Expo Innovation Award Building Automation category helps reduce false occupancy detections. The Delta Controls Inc. O3 Sensor Hub 2.0 combines seven different sensors to provide the most accurate view of an interior space available on the market. Internet of Things (IoT) is enabled to function as a standalone room controller. The O3 Sensor Hub 2.0 combines temperature sensing, occupancy detection, humidity and wireless integration into one. The offering uses Sensor Fusion to enhance the occupant experience with heightened room control. The O3 is ceiling-mounted to maximize functionality from the best vantage point of the room, enabling it to accurately detect occupancy with simple reads from body heat, keyboard noise or other motion. It also quickly detects when occupants leave the room, resulting in cost savings that are valuable to facilities management. At the expo, the O3 Sensor Hub 2.0 can be found at Booth 1161.
The winner of the AHR Expo Innovation Award Tools and Instruments Category completes a leak detection cycle every hour. The Matelex Détecteur de Niveau Intelligent (DNI), which translates as Smart Level Detector, measures pressure, temperature and refrigerant levels every 2-3 seconds. The system is designed to trigger an alarm using algorithmic learning in the event of a detected leak. The smart refrigerant leak detection system is also coupled with a remote surveillance web interface called Sentinelle that issues email alerts when a leak occurs. It is suitable for all refrigerants and tanks — vertical, horizontal, inclined horizontal — and connects to the internet via Wi-Fi, cable Ethernet or 3G-4G modules. When tested in the food retail sector, the system has saved 79 percent of refrigerant compared to traditional methods due to real-time data alerts and increased responsiveness to system maintenance requirements. Attendees can see the detector at Booth 2551.
Other detection technologies that attendees will see at the expo include a condition-based monitoring software platform that uses variable frequency drives as a smart sensor to monitor motor. It uses applications for early issue detection and solution recovery without the need for PLC hardware. A BACnet output designed gas detection instrument is used to communicate with a BAS and pre-calibrated, plug-and-play smart sensor.
The next AHR Expo is already in the works and will take place in Chicago from January 25-27, 2021.