As the HVAC industry grows rapidly, there are new technologies that commercial facilities are taking advantage of. Not only are these rates extending over the United States, but globally. Read below for some of the design integration changes!
The rooftops and backyards of America are changing. Both commercial facilities and residential domiciles are taking advantage of heating and cooling technology at accelerated rates, and these rates are extending to the global market as well. According to a study done by Markets and Markets Research Private Ltd., the HVAC system market size is expected to reach $251.6 billion by 2023. There is an increasing demand for HVAC systems that reduce energy consumption globally, and there is a growing awareness of the effective installation of HVAC systems that are driving growth in the Asia Pacific region, the abstract stated.
It is in this marketplace that VRF technology is carving out new paths for contractors, especially in the U.S., where increased awareness and training open up the HVAC market for both professional contractors and their customers.
DESIGN INTEGRATION CHANGES
As professional contractors, a primary source for correct information about equipment installations and improvements is the manufacturers. This rings true for VRF equipment, and much of its improvement information is disseminated through training.
“Training and staying up to date on current technology is imperative for today’s HVAC professional,” said Kevin McNamara, senior vice president and business leader, LG Air Conditioning Technologies. “Building design and construction is a more collaborative effort than ever before. Industry professionals must become experts on the full scope of building ecosystems along with how they relate to the selected HVAC systems. Training will only help to this end. Gaining hands-on training of the technology enables professionals to better meet and understand the needs of their customers.”
One aspect of this training focuses on contractors on advanced software and controls. According to Matt Wall, senior product marketing manager, Samsung HVAC, VRF integrated controls make service software a requirement for the proper installation and maintenance of VRF equipment.
“VRF now requires a commissioning agent or a service technician to use a laptop in order to start up a VRF system or efficiently service the system,” he explained. “VRF systems operate differently than other unitary products. HVAC technicians are having to take higher education classes from VRF manufacturers to learn how to properly diagnose and troubleshoot equipment.”
These enhanced controls and software systems, however, can be a double-edged sword for VRF. Although technicians will require further specialized training, the enhancements also provide increased flexibility in controls and options.
“Engineers are specifying a wide range of controls with device interlocking, and today’s contractor needs to be able to seamlessly integrate VRF systems into a wide range of control platforms and to easily interlock with other devices,” said Wall.
This skill will not only come in handy for the advanced technology being integrated with HVAC systems in general, but it will also help contractors that are finding success with integrating VRF systems with existing mechanical systems. This shift is helping move VRF from a standard design and installation to customization of building comfort that fits the needs of each type of application.
“The ability to tailor a solution to the specific needs of an application, along with energy efficiency, quiet operation, and design flexibility, have contributed to the growth in VRF adoption, as mechanical engineers in the U.S. have been increasingly involved in VRF installation in the past three years,” said McNamara. “This type of large-scale acceptance allows for broader application across residential, light commercial, and commercial projects of all types.”