APPLIANCE magazine was in Chicago for the 2009 AHR Expo, which wrapped up Jan. 28 at the McCormick Place expo center. Despite the recession, which hit HVAC hard in 2008, AHR 2009 managed to bring in more exhibitors than 2008. More than 1900 companies exhibited, versus 1757 at last year's AHR in New York City.
The emphasis - by the AHR expo and the industry itself - on green technology was apparent in every aisle of the expo halls and in this year's Innovation Award Winners. Innovation Award winners were honored yesterday afternoon with an event at Product Technology Theater A, in the McCormick Place South Hall. Winners included:
Sizing Up AHR Expos
- Cooling Category: Danfoss, Inc. was the winner for its Apexx VSH Series variable speed scroll compressors for commercial air-conditioning.
- Green Building Category: Ice Energy won for the Ice Bear 30 hybrid air-conditioner (pictured).
- Heating Category: The Unitary Products division of Johnson Controls won for the York Affinity 98% AFUE modulating gas furnace.
- Indoor Air Quality Category: Rotronic won for the HygroClip2 humidity and temperature probe.
- Refrigeration Category: Danfoss, Inc. won for the AKD 102 Adap-Kool drive.
- Software Category: Mc4 Software won for its Mc4 Suite multiuse software.
- Tools and Instruments Category: UEi won for the Smart Bell combustion meter.
- Ventilation Category: Twin City Fan Companies, Ltd. won for the Aero Acoustic Diffuser for plenum/plug fans.
- Building Automation category: AEC Design Group won for the ArtrA BIM asset management system.
While 2009 will almost certainly not break attendance records set at the huge 2006 AHR expo, show organizers were pleased that the recession didn't take a bigger bite out of exhibitor and attendance numbers. Being in Chicago helped, and the geographically centralized location has been the site for many of the biggest AHR events. The 2006 expo, also held at McCormick Place, set all-time AHR records with 1981 exhibitors, 411,175 sq ft of exhibit space, and 57,673 combined visitor and exhibitor personnel attendees.
The record for visitor attendance (not including exhibitor personnel) was 38,224, set last year in New York City.
“Chicago has always been a great location for the show because it is a tremendous population center itself and has thousands of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings located in major cities within a radius of a few hundred miles,” said Clay Stevens, president of AHR organizer International Exposition Co.
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