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What is the NAIC?

The NAIC – Norman Asbjornson Innovation Center – is a leader in the research and development laboratory world. It is used primarily for conducting performance testing on commercial HVAC equipment.

It consists of 12 psychrometric chambers that can provide a wide range of temperature and humidity conditions for performance testing. The NAIC is also notable for containing the largest reverberation sound chamber in the world. 

The NAIC is a hub for technology research and development located within the AAON main campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The NAIC – Norman Asbjornson Innovation Center – is a leader in the research and development laboratory world. A 65 foot tall, 134,000 square foot laboratory with 12 psychrometric chambers that is capable of measuring thermal performance as well as a sound chamber for measuring sound levels. Highlighted features of the NAIC lab include:  

  • Supply, return, and outside sound testing at actual load conditions.  

  • Testing of up to a 300 ton air cooled system 
  • Testing of up to a 540 ton chilled water system 
  • 80 million Btu of gas heating testing capacity 
  • Environmental chamber testing capabilities include -20F to 130F testing conditions, up to 8 inches per hour rain testing, up to 2 inches per hour snow testing, and up to 50 mph wind testing 

AAON holds the distinction for housing the world's largest psychrometric reverberation sound chamber within this facility. This chamber is able to simultaneously measure acoustical and thermal performance of a unit. 

The NAIC lab prioritizes two core areas of testing: product development and customer witness testing. This extends to manufacturers and non-HVAC entities seeking to simulate various weather conditions within the chambers. 

Types of testing offered: 

  • Chamber Testing: Simulated indoor and outdoor conditions for unit performance assessment. Most of these chambers can go up to 130°F and down to -20°F for outdoor unit performance. The chambers are set up in an over-under configuration, where the upper chamber represents the outside conditions and the lower chamber represents the space building temperatures.  
  • Floor Testing: Primarily for unit startup verification, performance checks, and inspection. 
  • Third-Party Testing: Open access for external vendors, spanning both HVAC and non-HVAC sectors.  
  • Mockup Room: Replica office and maintenance room settings of a high-rise building, facilitating unit installation trials and sound measurements. 

Elevating performance testing standards, the psychrometric chambers are calibrated about every quarter. This ensures all sensors are accurately measuring the performance of the unit under test. The lab in total contains about 200,00 sensors! These state-of-the-art chambers ensure unparalleled testing accuracy, aligning with industry standards set by AHRI and ASHRAE. These standards set the conditions required for rating a unit as AHRI certified. With a lab facility equipped with multiple chambers and a 12/7 work schedule, development testing can be conducted throughout the year, following a consistent schedule.  


For further exploration of the NAIC's capabilities, download our comprehensive brochure.