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Product Introductions Aim at Controls, Refrigerant Issues
ATLANTA-- The Winter Meeting and Exposition of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers will be held here Feb. 10 through 14. Co-sponsored by the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute, the exposition will, as usual, be the showcase for varied new energy-related products.
The dominant news trend in HVAC gear is refrigerant use in electric chillers. Because of the phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in the most commonly applied refrigerants, many users will be interested in gathering information on alternative refrigerants and systems that use the new chemicals (an EUN Technology Report on the CFC issue regarding chillers begins on page 22).
Among the companies introducing new chillers that utilize non-CFC refrigerants are Dunham--Bush, which will introduce a line of water-cooled screw compressors designed to run on R-22, a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant with comparatively low ozone depletion potential, and York International Corp., which will also introduce R-22 screw compressors.
Sources claim the R-22 refrigerant is around 20 times safer for the ozone layer than R-11 and R-12, CFC refrigerants used in centrifugal chillers.
Various controls products will also debut at Ashrae. Two firms will introduce adaptations that will make their systems compatible with Ethernet local area networks. Among the companies introducing new systems are American Auto-Matrix, AET Systems, Solidyne and Teletrol. Also, Johnson Controls has introduced an entire new line of building automation controls called Metasys, which eliminates use of a minicomputer front end, incorporates graphics programming, and operates on a 2.5-megabit local area network.
American Auto-Matrix Field Panel, Unitary Controls
American Auto-Matrix, Export, Pa., will introduce a field panel for networking unitary controllers that will eventually replace the field panel currently used in the company's AI2100 building automation system, according to a company spokeswoman. The new panel places all control and monitoring points on the unitary level, she said.
The firm will also introduce two new unitary controls, one for rooftop or floor-by-floor HVAC, and one that can be used to control various systems such as fan coils. It can also be used as a multiplexer.
The new Sage field panels, which cost about $6,000 uninstalled, simplify installations of AI2100 systems where all points of control are resident on the unitary level. The panel has no monitoring or control points of its own, but instead acts as a host controller for up to 256 unitary controls. The Sage, which has peer-to-peer communications capability, can be networked using any number of PC workstations or the AI2100 Spectra graphics workstation.
The company's current Star field controller, which also has peer-to-peer capability, can be used entirely as a host panel for unitary devices. However, it requires a communications card in place of its usual input/output cards, according to the spokeswoman. A Star panel with the communications module costs $8,400, about 40 percent more than the Sage, she said.
In expanding existing systems, existing Star panels can be linked to the Sage as one of the 256 devices supported by the new panel.
Besides eliminating the need for a communications card, the spokeswoman said the Sage can operate on an Ethernet network, making communication speed about 1,000 times as fast as with the Star. The Ethernet, which usually facilitates numerous office and building automation systems, also allows multitasking and multiple access to the AI2100 system.
The company's new Solo/MX controller is geared either toward general unitary control or multiplexing in conjunction with Star field panels, according to the spokeswoman. It has eight universal inputs, eight triac outputs and two optional analog outputs. Price ranges from $75 to $150 installed.
In a standalone configuration, it provides digital or analog control for equipment such as fan coils and can be programmed using American Auto-Matrix's hand-held SoloTool operator's terminal, according to the spokeswoman. As a multiplexer, the Solo/MX can reduce wiring costs by routing signals between a Star panel and various points in a zone.
The new Solo/RX is a rooftop or floor-to-floor HVAC unitary controller with eight universal inputs, three digital inputs, eight relay outputs and four analog outputs. It is added to Auto-Matirx's line of task-specific unitary devices, including the Solo/TX for terminal units and Solo/HX for heat pumps. The Solo/RX ranges in price from $135 to $300 installed.
Control Systems International Computer Card for EMS
Control Systems International (CSI), Carrollton, Texas, will introduce a computer card designed …