HPAC Magazine

AHR 2021 Innovation Award Winners Announced

November 17, 2020 | By HPAC Magazine

Although the 2021 AHR Expo scheduled for January 25-27 in Chicago has been cancelled, recognizing HVAC/R technological advancements continues with the AHR Innovation Awards.

innovationThe AHR Expo show management, co-sponsors ASHRAE and AHRI, and the innovation awards judges have announced the 2021 innovation award winners.

Although the 2021 AHR Expo event that was scheduled to take place in Chicago, January 25-27, has been cancelled, the Awards will proceed.

Submissions were collected over the summer of 2020 and reviewed by a panel of ASHRAE member judges. Entrants were evaluated based on overall innovative design, creativity of the product or service offered, application, as well as potential market impact.

The 2021 AHR Expo Innovation Award Winners and finalists were selected in 10 industry categories, including building automation, cooling, green building, heating, indoor air quality, plumbing, refrigeration, software, tools & instruments, and ventilation. The winners and finalists are listed below:

Building Automation



Winner: Infinitum Electric – IEq, a high-efficiency silicon carbide VFD

An alternative solution to replace 30-year-old insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) based VFDs. The high-efficiency silicon carbide (SiC) VFD offers a smaller, smarter, cooler and more efficient motor controller with integrated IoT capabilities in one single unit.

Additional finalists in this category included: BrainBox AI – BrainBox AI Solution ; Emerson – Verdant ZX Series Energy Management Thermostat


Winner: Emerson – Copeland ZPK7 fixed speed scroll compressor

The Copeland ZPK7 scroll compressor is available in 1.5-5 ton and can be applied in both residential and commercial applications. It offers up to 5% efficiency improvement at the SEER2 B rating point condition and key HSPF2 part load operation conditions. With regulation-ready performance, the compressors are optimized for use with R410A refrigerant, but will also offer a lineup optimized for low GWP refrigerants.

Additional finalists in this category included: MRCOOL – MULTI-ZONE/DIY Series Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump ; Smardt Chiller Group Inc. – Smardt V-Class Water-Cooled Chiller Range

Green Building







Winner: Advanced Cooling Technologies – Pump-Assisted Split Loop Energy Recovery Heat Exchanger

The pump assisted AAHX recovers energy from either the exhaust or supply air stream during all seasons, allowing AHUs to consume less energy. It works by combining traditional air-to-air heat pipe technology with pumped two-phase systems that take advantage of both operational modes. The combination of passive operation for at least half of the year and very minimal energy consumption during active operation for the other half of the year enables high overall energy recovery.

Additional finalists in this category included: ebm-papst Inc. – RESET Certified RadiPac Air-Mover; Enginuity Power Systems Inc. – Enginuity Quadra-Gen





Winner: Viega – Radiant Auto-Balancing System (RABS)

The Radiant Auto-Balancing System (RABS) introduces the ability to monitor the temperature of every return circuit in a radiant system. Coupled with the monitoring of each zone’s air temperature via wireless thermostats, the control actuates flow of conditioned water to each loop using a learning algorithm to increase the efficiency of a radiant installation.

Additional finalists in this category included: Ecoer HVAC – Ecoer Home Comfort Systems with IoT Technology ; Burnham Boilers – U.S. Boiler Co. – Alta Combi

Indoor Air Quality


Winner: Des Champs Technologies – Series PLP Air-Trap

Des Champs Technologies Series PLP Air-Trap offers a new concept in condensate trap design that permits condensate removal from AC or other condensing equipment while blocking airflow all year and requires only 2-7/8-in. height for positive 0-40-in. WC pressure. The trap can never “dry out” or freeze because it does not depend on water to seal, only fan pressure.

Additional finalists in this category included: EffectiV HVAC Inc. – PLAY-UV Adjustable UV Diffuser for High-Efficiency Filtration and Ventilation; TSI Inc. – Q-Trak XP Indoor Air Quality Monitor



Winner: Caleffi Hydronic Solutions – AngleMix Angle-Style ThermoStatic Mixing Valve

The Caleffi AngleMix 520 series thermostatic mixing valve accurately controls mixed water temperature in residential and commercial domestic hot water systems. It is the industry’s only thermostatic mixing valve with an angle-styled body. This geometry minimizes the number of elbows required which reduces overall installation cost.

Additional finalists in this category included: GE Appliances, a Haier Company – Electronic Water Heater with Smart Integrated Mixing Valve ; Uponor – Uponor PP-RCT Pipe and Fittings




Winner: Officine Mario Dorin Spa – CD600 Range

The largest CO2 transcritical compressor platform available worldwide. The CD600 Range features UL and CSA approvals. Based on a 6 cylinders design, this platform includes models up to 100 hp and 2200 cfh with high efficiency levels and premium reliability.

Additional finalists in this category included: ebm-papst Inc. – AxiEco Protect Axial Fan ; Emerson – Copeland Digital Outdoor Refrigeration Unit, X-Line Series





Winner: Willdan – NEO Net Energy Optimizer Energy Modeling Software

The online platform that provides customized, real-time energy and financial ROI analyses in seconds. The energy modeling software streamlines whole building analyses of HVAC systems and energy conservation measures for commercial buildings with the versatility to support product comparisons, existing building energy audits and new construction from early design through construction.

Additional finalists in this category included: Distech Controls- Builder ; Lennox International Inc. – CORE Service App

Tools & Instruments


Winner: INFICON – D-TEK 3 Refrigerant Leak Detector

This leak detector provides industry-leading sensitivity to find the smallest leaks for all common refrigerants, maximum uptime from its long-life, quick charging lithium ion battery, and unmatched versatility from the ability to use multiple sensors.

Additional finalists in this category included: Alert Labs – Sentree A/C Monitoring System ; H2O Weld LLC – Oweld Water Gas Generator





Winner: Aldes – CAR3 – Next Generation in Precise Airflow

The patent pending airflow technology allows you to set or change the airflow quickly, in supply or exhaust applications, without removing the CAR3 from the duct. The technology is capable of maintaining constant airflow within +/-10% of the scheduled flow rates, within the operating range of 0.12 to 1.2 in. w.g. differential pressure for low-pressure models (CAR3-L), or 0.4 to 2.8 in. w.g. with high-pressure models (CAR3-H).

Additional finalists in this category included: ebm-papst Inc. – AxiEco Perform Axial Fan ; Kingspan Insulation LLC – KoolDuct



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