Several members of the Kele team took in the ASHRAE Winter Conference and AHR Expo last week in Atlanta. Once again, the event delivered on its promise to be a source of ideas and showcase the future of HVACR technology. The team was constantly on the lookout for products and innovations that will help us serve our customers even better and give you a competitive advantage.
Kele Chief Product Officer Richard Hackney offered the following takeaways:
The 2019 expo was another great show, and BIG as always!
The continuing evolution of sensor technology was evident nearly everywhere. Numerous sensor manufacturers presented their portfolios, and the differences in their offerings and available options were interesting. “Combo” measuring devices were a definite highlight—think one device with two or more points of measurement (gases, particulates, compounds, etc.) to provide air quality metrics and/or management.
In general, devices are quickly migrating to plastic enclosures with features that enhance mounting, display views, and human interface.
Although there was less buzz this year about the Internet of Things (IoT), more and more product options are becoming available with wireless technology, data collection, and small LCD displays.
Most exciting was the opportunity to meet with so many Kele suppliers and talk about how we can grow together and provide better solutions for Kele customers.
Product Manager Darrin Brady shared:
As Richard mentioned, data collection was a highlight. In fact, data in many forms was the major topic in the BAS section of the expo. Whether it be from water flow, air flow, or sensing devices, data can be measured for communication back to head end-controller devices. Then the data can be used to measure and bill customers, manage costs, and anticipate maintenance on the product or system.
Using I/O devices to do the same was also popular. In particular, I/O devices such as gateways—small building controllers that do not require proprietary configured parts and will communicate on open protocols—were a standard feature at suppliers’ booths. It seemed as though everyone had some type of small controller.
Other prominent sightings worth noting:
- Protocols such as BACnet, Modbus, Lonworks, and Enocean were present in many products. Devices that communicate are becoming the norm.
- Thermostat aesthetics with app friendly operation for both residential and commercial use. The look of these devices is a prominent feature.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks on new product rollouts from Kele partners!