Trends of European HVAC/R market in 2020
Growing concerns about climate change are pushing the global market to switch to refrigerants with reduced global warming potential (GWP), including natural refrigerants. The leader in this direction is Europe. In accordance with the EU Regulation on Fluorinated Gases, the number of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) placed annually on the European Union market is limited. The phased withdrawal plan provides for a gradual reduction in the quota for HFCs. The critical phase of the process of phase-out of HFCs is in the period 2018–2021.
The fluorinated gas regulations require a 79% reduction in the use of HFCs from 2015 to 2030 to mitigate the effects of climate change. This has already led to an unprecedented increase in HFC refrigerant prices.
The main refrigerant used in most air conditioners in Europe remains R410A. However, the R32 is rapidly gaining popularity. In 2019, approximately 37% of all split systems used this refrigerant. Their share is expected to exceed 80% by 2023.
Although R22 is still present in existing plants, it is recognized as one of the most environmentally harmful refrigerants.
The ban on its use entered into force in the United States on January 1, 2020. The prohibition means that all systems on R22 are considered obsolete, and the import and production of refrigerant is stopped.
The goal of the new rules prohibiting the use of this and other hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) -based refrigerants is to facilitate the transition to greener solutions, such as R32 refrigerant.
A new generation of homeowners seeks sustainable solutions
Each subsequent generation in its own way determines the value of goods and services, including in the housing and climatic equipment market. Representatives of the new generation give greater importance to sustainable solutions, which are not only more effective, but also have less impact on the environment. This means that new homeowners are willing to pay more for sustainable solutions. New market requirements lead to the emergence of new technologies that are successfully implemented in HVAC equipment.
Green electricity pays off
As the number of electricity consumers in the world is growing steadily, the problem of reducing greenhouse emissions is becoming increasingly acute. One of the solutions is the transition to alternative energy sources. Market demand, government regulation and technological innovation will be the driving force behind this transformation.
HVAC industry solutions are becoming not only tailored to the needs of users, but also environmentally friendly. Intelligent air conditioning, economical heating or the use of renewable energy sources are already standard. Nevertheless, the process of automation and remote control is considered the most innovative direction.
Aromatic marketing is widely used in trade and services, for example, in hairdressing and beauty salons. Aromatic marketing can not only eliminate unwanted odors, but also highlight the brand - a properly selected aroma becomes its hallmark. Fragrances can be connected directly to ventilation or channel air conditioners. Thus, even a large volume of the object does not interfere evenly distribute the smell of vanilla, perfume or genuine leather throughout the building. The advanced technologies used in flavorings allow processing rooms up to 6000 cubic meters, and the cold diffusion function provides a hidden distribution of aroma.
Compact control systems
One of the fastest growing areas in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry is equipping the equipment with intelligent functions that increase the convenience and accuracy of controlling the indoor climate. Intelligent devices not only support the appropriate air parameters, but also automatically take care of its quality, adjust the power in accordance with current needs and provide information on energy consumption. In addition, modern units make it possible to connect to the integrated management system for all installations located in the building - BMS (Building Management System). Prospects for the use of such systems, which allow using one control panel to control lighting, ventilation and air conditioning, fire protection and burglar alarms, while away from the workplace, are very wide.
Precision conditioning continues to take care of company data
Data storage is becoming an essential element of any large enterprise. Safe storage of information is the foundation of an effectively functioning organisation. Therefore, more and more attention is paid to the design of specialized premises for hosting data centers (DPC). Some contracting companies are already registering an increase in demand for precision air conditioning. The electronic equipment used in the server and machine rooms of the data center requires the provision of appropriate working conditions, including the correct temperature conditions. Growing interest and technological awareness give grounds to assert that precision air conditioning is one of the hottest trends this year, however, meeting all the conditions for preparing a project often becomes a problem for designers and installers.
The combination of ecology and business - green commercial construction
Responding to market demands, air conditioning manufacturers are focusing on solutions that help improve the energy efficiency of buildings. The segment of green commercial construction is developing dynamically, more and more environmentally friendly office buildings and shopping centers are being built. In the short term, this trend will spread to public institutions such as schools and hospitals. In industry reports, it is predicted that over the next few years up to 60% of all projects will be equipped with environmentally friendly solutions not only for air conditioning, efficient ventilation and intelligent control, but also to ensure optimal working conditions - lighting and ergonomic office equipment. The so-called “green” modernization, that is, the introduction of modern technologies in old buildings, has great potential for sustainable development of cities and industrial centers.
Technologies related to reducing energy consumption and saving natural resources in 2020 will attract more attention of designers, installers and investors, determining future construction trends.
The increasingly widespread environmental certification systems for buildings, such as LEED and BREEAM, evaluate resource management, the quality of the internal environment, the rationality of land use, landscape design and other factors.
Cooling and heating with renewable energy
Rising electricity prices will force investors to seek more cost-effective solutions. Getting energy from renewable sources is becoming more common, especially in modern enterprises that are trying to optimize costs in every possible way. This is why more and more companies are choosing to install energy-efficient plants that use solar energy. Taking into account the needs of energy-intensive buildings, customers are increasingly choosing inexhaustible sources of renewable energy that can supply, for example, air conditioners.
The desire to get ahead of competitors forces manufacturers and service providers to offer comprehensive energy-saving solutions that provide comfort regardless of weather conditions.