AHR Expo announces the winners of the 2021 AHR Expo Innovation Awards. Every year, winners from 10 specified categories compete to be named AHR Expo Product of the Year. With 2021 Show cancelled, Show Management and co-sponsors ASHRAE and AHRI announced Product of the Year winner.

In the Building Autimation category, Infinitum Electric’s IEq, a high efficiency silicon carbide VFD, will reign as the 2021 AHR Expo Product of the Year. It is an alternative solution to replace 30-year old insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) based VFDs. The high-efficiency silicon carbide (SiC) VFD offers a smaller, smarter, cooler and more efficient motor controller with integrated IoT capabilities in one single unit. It delivers the latest step-change improvements to motor control efficiency, size and packaging enabling OEMs and End-Users to deploy the technology in more varied environments.

Introduction of VFDs allowed both commercial and industrial applications, the ability to vary the speeds of fan, pump, or compressor applications. This led to a step-change improvement in the industry’s overall energy consumption. However, one limiting factor remained — the VFDs efficiency stagnated at ~88–94%. Additionally, it includes tightly integrated IoT sensors, for vibration, temperature, power, etc., a microcontroller and a one-way “data diode” IoT cellular modem gateway, which enables OEMs and end-users overseeing multiple facilities to more easily aggregate this data across thousands of installations, enabling deeper insights into the performance and reliability of their application.

This innovation allows a wide range of OEMs to rethink, how they deploy VFDs in new ways not previously available.