Last week, members of the Bacharach team traveled to Atlanta, GA, for the 2019 AHR Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center. It was an action-packed few days, and it was such a pleasure meeting with new and familiar faces.
Because we had such a great time at the 2019 AHR Expo, we wanted to share with you our 5 takeaways from the event that you don’t want to miss:
1. Low GWP refrigerant options and applications continue to increase.
While HFC regulations have gotten a little more complicated over the past year and a half in the United States, the majority of the industry, not to mention the world, continues to advance low GWP refrigerant options and applications.
And you can look to none other than the 2019 AHR Expo as an example.
First, Johnson Controls’ York YZ chiller was selected as the winner within the cooling category for the 2019 AHR Expo Innovation Awards. This chiller uses the HFO refrigerant R-1233zd, which has a very low global warming potential (GWP) of 1.
AHR Expo goes on to explain that this chiller “was designed with a holistic approach to system design, with engineering optimization for every component around R-1233zd … and is a unique combination of advanced technologies.”
This is an example of just how much front and center stage low GWP refrigerant technology has taken.
You can also look to the educational opportunities at the show, particularly the industry sessions, for further confirmation. For instance, the Institute of Refrigeration (IOR), @thecoolinghub, along with the REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE team, @REAL_Alts_EU, presented a free industry session titled “Low GWP Alternative Refrigerants for Cooling – Skills Needs and Solutions,” which addressed the challenges with servicing and using low GWP refrigerants. More on that here.
Let’s also not forget that in the weeks leading up to the 2019 AHR Expo, a major development also happened at the international level: The Kigali Amendment went into effect as of Jan. 1, 2019 (i.e., without United States’ adoption).
All this talk about the transition to low GWP refrigerants leads us to our next point: The ascent of natural refrigerants (e.g., ammonia and carbon dioxide).
2. The usage of natural refrigerants is also ascending.
Yes, with the push for low GWP innovation also comes the ascent of natural refrigerants.
At this year’s 2019 AHR Expo, shecco, @shecco, presented a free industry session entitled “Global Market and Policy Trends for CO2 and Ammonia in Refrigeration,” which looked at the global trends around CO2 and ammonia in refrigeration applications. For highlights of the presentation, check out this article here.
Undoubtedly, natural refrigerants are taking on a greater importance, and this year’s show certainly emphasized that. By the way, if you’re looking for an effective CO2 leak detector, check out our article here on tips for selecting one.
3. You’re not the only one worried about the skills shortage—it remains to be one of the most pressing concerns for the industry.
Of course, keep in mind that, with all these new innovations and regulatory changes, the shortage of skills remains to be one of the most pressing issues that the HVAC industry faces today.
And, people from all sides of the equation are seeking solutions. One possibility? Virtual reality (VR). Yes, VR has an increasing role in the industry, particularly as it regards training.
In fact, at the 2019 AHR Expo, the National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB), @NEBB_Bldg, presented a session “Virtual Reality Training for HVAC is Here,” which explored, and even gave a live demonstration of, how VR could help train new HVAC techs.
4. Your next HVACR instrument will be smarter and more intuitive.
Despite the challenges the industry faces with fast-changing regulations (see #1 and #2) and the skills shortage (see #3), there is great comfort in knowing that your next HVACR instrument will be smarter and more intuitive.
The fact of the matter is, there’s more and more intuitive devices on the market, and that’s what we saw at the 2019 AHR Expo. Importantly, many of these devices are now app-enabled to make your job safer, easier, and faster.
Just take our MGS-400 series gas detectors as an example. These detectors come equipped with the MGS-400 app, which allows you to intuitively use, commission and maintain these gas detectors without the need for special training or tools.
Or, look at our PCA 400, an industrial-grade, handheld combustion and emissions analyzer that comes with a companion app. This app allows you to remotely connect to the analyzer, so you can view your combustion measurements in real-time, and even control the analyzer from a safer, more convenient location. How about that for ease-of-use?
We’re so excited by just how much more intuitive and user-friendly the HVACR industry is becoming, and we’re glad to be at the forefront of this development.
5. VRF technology is on the rise in North America.
Did you know VRF technology is on the rise in North America?
Indeed, at the 2019 AHR Expo, the ASHRAE Learning Institute presented “Short Course: Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems: Design & Applications,” which provided “non-manufacturer-specific concepts of how to apply VRF systems to buildings.” The course description even states, “Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems are now being applied in many building types across North America.”
Not to mention, just around this time last year, The ACHR News ran a piece on how “HVACR Contractors Deem VRF Technology the Next Big Thing.”
If you manage or work at a facility that is a part of this rise and already uses VRF systems, make sure to check out our MVR-300, as it’s an ideal instrument to keep your occupants comfortable and safe.
That concludes our 5 takeaways from the 2019 AHR expo you don’t want to miss.
Ultimately, the AHR Expo is the world’s largest HVAC-R marketplace. The amount of innovations on display seem endless; the education sessions enrich you; and the connections you make go far beyond the show.
Regardless of whether you were able to attend this year, you need to make it a point to go next year for the 2020 AHR Expo in Orlando.
We’re so glad we got to be a part of the 2019 AHR Expo, and we want to extend a very special thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth! ∎
What were your biggest takeaways from the 2019 AHR Expo? Let us know by leaving a comment below.