The annual ASHRAE/AHRI convention has just completed its run in Las Vegas. The show was surprisingly well attended for an "off year" show with the aisles consistently packed for the first two days. The unusual weather across most of the United States had an impact on attendance the last day of the show as those who could get of town did so.
The AHRI show has changed over the years with most of the major manufacturers dropping out or scaling back their participation. This year, McQuay had a strong presence as part of the Daikin display and Carrier had a display as well. Mestek was also represented as shown in these pictures with an emphasis on our distributor products group and our machinery group. In fact, Mestek had one of the larger displays and it was well attended.
The AHRI show has become the destination, though, for companies to introduce their new technology. Unfortunately, many of the people who actually need to see these innovations rarely attend. Building owners and their architects, consulting engineers, and leading design/build contractors are difficult to find in the audience. As a result, important new products such as the Mestek Hydrotherm KN condensing boiler take longer to reach the market than they should. As the United States continues to emphasize improvements to building operating efficiency products such as the KN need to be specified and installed much more quickly.
Finally, one of the other interesting products that was seen in the show was the natural gas engine packaged heat pump unit (the "Nextaire GHP") from Intellichoice Energy. This rooftop unit uses a natural gas engine to drive its compressors and produces approximately 11 tons of capacity with an equivalent EER of over 18. The electrical demand for this unit consists only of the supply fan motor and two condensing fan motors...so very little electrical demand and consumption. Although this technology might seem exotic to users in the United States it has actually been used in Asia for many years and is a well proven way to significantly reduce the consumption of source energy in the United States. The Nextaire GHP has been in field trial on US DOD sites for over 3 years with constant real-time monitoring and has proven to be both reliable and extremely energy efficient.