Who will make HVACR systems efficient and reliable?
Recently I participated in a conference, where a group of researchers presented scenarios for the future of the HVACR market, that made me reflect over the future.
On a daily basis we see waste of energy due to inefficient operation of HVACR systems and the slow change in our conservative industry.
For obvious reasons the building/equipment owners are rarely experts on the details of all technology installed in their properties, making them dependent on the HVACR contractors and/or consultants for guidance. At the same time the industry claims that their customers only focus on low price, which means that Measuring and Verification services is left out to be able to offer a lower price.
When talking to equipment owners they on the other hand claim that of course their focus is efficient and reliable operation but there has to be a payback. This raises the question – what comes first – the chicken or the egg? If the service providers do not work with predictive maintenance and optimisation and instead make their income from hours and failed compressors – will they build the expertise and have cases proving the value of introducing performance monitoring that the equipment owners need to change “business as usual”?
The researchers predicted that market psychology and development within remote supervision would result in that intermediate customer-oriented “experts” would run many facilities. This would downgrade today’s HVACR contractors to deliver man hours.
The technology to measure and analyse is well proven but only used in a fraction of the market. The future is predictive maintenance with a combination of automated performance analyses, vibration and oil tests supervised by competent experts. The question is who will run the show and offer the expertise? Currently everybody seems to be waiting for the next step in development instead of using the technology already available to build competence and experience towards the goal of greener, more energy efficient and reliable systems.
ClimaCheck Sweden AB