EUROPE IS seeing a rapid growth in the market for Smart Connected HVAC.
HVAC refers to a heating, cooling or air conditioning system which is connected to a network – usually the internet – enabling its performance to be monitored and analysed. This allows any faults to be identified, the causes diagnosed and potentially the correct replacement parts to be delivered.
The wealth of data collected can potentially allow service teams to predict when a part is likely to fail, allowing them to fix the problem before anyone in the building even notices it.
BSRIA estimates that the total market for Smart Connected HVAC in Europe was worth almost 200 million Euros in 2018 and is set to double by 2023.
Senior BSRIA Analyst Henry Lawson commented: “Our research shows that the European market for Smart Connected Air Conditioning is mainly driven by commercial, non-residential buildings. For smart connected heating – most of the activity and demand is in the residential sector.
“For commercial buildings the biggest single driver is business continuity and maintaining optimal physical environment. If you are running a hotel, or selling chilled food, or if you are responsible for a home or hospital for people who are ill or elderly – then any outage of air conditioning and cooling systems can have serious consequences, ranging from financial losses to risks to people’s health.
“Malfunctioning air conditioning is also a chronic waster of energy, with even something as simple as a blocked filter increasing energy consumption by up to 30 per cent. Energy used by air conditioning also has environmental implications – especially with rising temperatures.”
The European Smart Air Conditioning market
“The European market is still relatively small, but is forecast to almost treble to 130 million Euros by 2023. The majority of this value is represented by service and maintenance. Chillers represent the largest sector of the market, though there are also solutions for VRF and Air Handling Units. Most of the largest air conditioning manufacturers either already offer a solution in Europe or are planning to introduce one. Major controls manufacturers also have offerings,” said Henry.
“Consumers across Europe are increasingly interested in ways in which they can monitor and control their energy consumption more effectively. Heating manufacturers, particularly boiler manufacturers see the service as a means of differentiating their products from the competition by providing a better service. The UK is currently the largest market for smart connected heating, though demand is growing rapidly in the other major European markets.”
Henry concluded that while the European market for smart HVAC is still in its infancy, it has enormous potential as part of the smart building’s revolution. However, he believes in order for the market to reach its potential, it must establish a robust commercial model.