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New Emerson Innovation Center to Be Proving Ground for HVACR Research

Dec. 15, 2015
The Helix will have modules focused on supermarket refrigeration, food-service operations, connected homes, data-center cooling, and light-commercial buildings.
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Construction of Emerson’s Helix Innovation Center, a nearly 40,000-sq-ft, $35 million facility dedicated to the research of new technologies addressing HVACR-industry challenges, is near completion on the campus of the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio.

The Helix will consist of modules focused on supermarket refrigeration, food-service operations, residential connected homes, data-center cooling, and light-commercial buildings, as well as three learning laboratories.

“There are a number of new regulations on the horizon that affect commercial HVAC systems,” Shane Angle, vice president and general manager, commercial, for the air-conditioning business of Emerson Climate Technologies, a business segment of Emerson, said. “This facility will give us a way to evaluate how modulating systems and controls can work to maximize efficiency and comfort while testing in a real-world environment.”

Initially, The Helix will feature a 50-ton rooftop unit, a separate 20-ton rooftop unit, a variable-refrigerant-flow system, and Emerson building controls. For easy testing and evaluation, the facility will have visible ductwork and a station where building metrics from electronic monitors and building controls can be accessed.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to collaborate with our industry partners to evaluate comfort and efficiency in a commercial building,” Rajan Rajendran, vice president, system innovation center and sustainability, Emerson Climate Technologies, said. “One of the exciting things about working in The Helix is that we can look at settings like an office, a supermarket, and a restaurant all in the same facility and share what we learn across those environments.”

Emerson plans to host industry meetings and hold forums for HVACR professionals at The Helix.