New product announcements: 02/04/2009
|| Cogeneration System for Residential Construction
Heat and Power Produced by Natural Gas or Propane
The “freewatt” home-heating system combines a Honda generator with a high-tech control module and highefficiency furnace or boiler to produce heat and power for homes. Thenatural-gas or propane-fi red generator produces 1.2 kWh of electric power, and almost all heat produced by the engine is captured, including that from the cooling system, exhaust and oil sump.
The system was developed by Climate Energy LLC, a joint venture of ECR International Inc., Utica, N.Y., and Yankee Scientifi c Inc., Mefi eld, Mass., with assistance from Honda. It can supply two-thirds of the heat and one-half of the power required by the home, the balance of electricity coming from the grid and heat from the furnace or boiler. “Unlike a traditional home-heating system, freewatt can produce nearly 5,000 kW of electricity each year, which reduces your carbon footprint by up to 6,000 lb,” says ECR President Michael Paparone. The company has installed 200 units in the Northeast as part of a pilot program and will be taking the system across the U.S. and part of Canada this year.
The Honda engine in the generator set has a lifespan 20 times greater than a standard engine, with an expected life of 60,000 operating hours before major service. Running an average of 4,000 hours a year, this translates into about 15 years, say company offi cials. Prefailure internet notifi cation also is available. The company also is working on a cogeneration cooling system for warmer climates.
ECR International Inc.; www.ecrinternational.com;
|| Drywall Cutter: Faster and Safer
The Blade Runner drywall cutter from Goldblatt Tool Co. Inc. is a revolutionary tool that simultaneously cuts the paper surface on both sides of wallboard, which enables the user to cut complex shapes in half the time than using a standard utility knife. The Blade Runner has long-lasting concealed blades in a cartridge on both halves of the tool for added safety. They will cut over 3,700 ft before requiring replacement. The cartridge is removed by pressing the blue button on the top of each half of the tool, and a new one is pressed in. Because the halves of the tool are held together by a strong magnetic fi eld, cutouts can be made in the board by separating the halves and placing one on each side of the board. The halves are self aligning .
Goldblatt Tool Co. Inc.; 913-631-2622 (fax);
|| New electric Heater: Economical
The wall-mounted ECO-heater has a slim profi le, no fan and a fi ber-cement facing that can be painted with a water-based latex coating to match room colors. The 23 ¼ by 23 ¼ in. convection heater is mounted ¾ in. away from the wall and six to 18 in. above the fl oor using a screw-hole template in the packaging. Installation takes only about 15 minutes.
Using only 400 Watts, the ECO-heater is safer than traditional electric heaters because it has no exposed wires or heating elements. The heater costs about 4¢ per hour to operate and is suitable for supplemental heat in apartments, homes, hospitals, offi ces and other diverse spaces.
“We offer consumers a heating solution that will not only ease the pinch in their pocket books but will also give them piece of mind,” says Chuck Henkel, president of ECO-heater Inc. ECO-heater Inc.; 248-649-7036
|| Ordinary Moment Frame: Resists Lateral Loads
Adding to its seismic and storm-resistant structural systems, Simpson Strong-Tie Co. Inc. adds a new line of steel ordinary moment frames. Designers can choose from 196 engineered frames ranging in size up to 16 ft wide and 19 ft tall. The bolted frames are designed to fit in a standard 6-in. wall and include pre-installed wood nailers. Simpson Strong-Tie Co. Inc.; 800-999-5099; www.strongtie.com
|| Crown-Molding Cutting System: No Mistakes
The Cut-N-Crown crown-moldingcutting system is designed to eliminate all of the error and expensive waste in this diffi cult task, as well as save time, says the inventor, Sheldon Smith, a carpenter and contractor. The patented plastic jigs he developed for cutting molding with 38, 45 and 52-degree spring angles allow both sides of the joint to be cut without moving the saw, which often introduces error. All cuts are made from the left side of the saw.
The cutting system includes an angle fi nder for non-square projects. The angle is divided in half for the miter cut. For example, a wall angle of 88 degrees would be a 44-degree cut. Jigs are reversed and molding fl opped for a perfect cut. This process eliminates coping cuts because the precise angles produce a stable, gluable joint.
Cut-NCrown Inc.; www.cutncrown.com; 303-646-2029
|| Ford Truck-and-Van Work Solutions: Smart Technology
The Ford Work Solutions package available in vans and pickup trucks this spring is designed to make contractors more productive. The package includes an in-dash computer with Internet access, productivity software and printing capability; Tool Link, which allows users to organize, scan and track tools and other items; Crew Chief, a telematics service to monitor and manage vehicle fl eets; and Cable Lock, a retractable cable in the pickup tuck bed to secure items. Ford Motor Co.; www.fordworksolutions.com; 800-392-3673
|| Spring-Bolt Fasteners: Hidden Connections
The new patent-pending Spring Bolt fastening system is designed for connecting handrails, balusters, newel posts goosenecks and other stair-andrailing components without using wooden plugs, fi llers or other coverings for visible connectors. The spring-and-screw connection allows components to be adjusted before the glue sets. As the Spring Bolt is twisted together, the joint is placed in constant clamping pressure action. Labor costs are greatly reduced, the maker says. The device has passed commercial and residential load testing.
Rock Lock Fastening Systems Inc.;
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