BOULDER, Colo. — According to a report from Pike Research, HVAC innovation over the next five years will be driven by building owners’ desire to cut costs through more efficient energy use and pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, regulatory shifts, including more stringent codes and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) requirements, will enable emergent HVAC technologies, which in some cases have been available for many years, to finally achieve market traction.

The report, “Energy Efficient HVAC Systems,” states that advanced HVAC innovations can achieve energy cost savings of well over 50 percent by assembling commercially available components in unconventional arrangements.

“The next generation of energy efficiency will come through incremental improvements to existing HVAC technologies,” said research analyst Eric Bloom. “But there is a great deal of untapped potential for innovation and the adoption of new technologies, such as geothermal heat pumps, that will transform the way buildings function.”

While technologies such as building energy management systems, thermal energy storage, underfloor air distribution, geothermal heat pumps, and evaporative cooling for rooftop units occupy only a small portion of the present market today, Pike Research expects their growth to accelerate over the next few years. Revenue from ice-based thermal energy storage systems on rooftops, for example, is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 84 percent between 2010 and 2015, reaching almost $171 million. The spread of these innovative technologies will enable building owners to actively manage energy cost as an asset, rather than a fixed cost, says the report.

Publication date: 10/03/2011