CHICAGO — Danfoss Inc. senior leaders recently provided a 2012 market outlook on HVAC policy trends during their 17th annual press conference, held Jan. 24 at the AHR Expo in Chicago.

Danfoss North America president John Galyen commented on three specific climate and energy challenges facing the industry — energy efficiency, the smart grid, and refrigerants — and noted steps Danfoss is taking to prepare for the changes that lie ahead.

Specifically, Galyen said that the smart grid is becoming increasingly critical to the HVAC sector since buildings consume 40 percent of all energy in the U.S., and demand is estimated to increase by 21 percent by 2030.

“The way supply and demand is synced, the management of electrical power, and improving the efficiency of existing infrastructure will continue to be critical issues moving forward,” he said. “We’ll need to be aware of three main elements — demand response, energy efficiency, and load management. Technologies like variable speed enable end users and utilities better load control and demand response benefits.”

Robert Wilkins, vice president, public affairs, said there is little change in policy expected at the national level, but mentioned that two interesting House bills are emerging. Congressmen McKinley and Welch have drafted a bill that would provide incentives for whole-home energy retrofits.

Congressman Bass’s bill seeks to increase energy efficiency in government buildings and promote expansion of certain technologies such as combined heat and power plants. Meanwhile, manufacturers are moving ahead with developing equipment for hydrocarbons, using CO2 in supermarkets and industrial refrigeration, and considering HFC-32 for air conditioning.

“The HVACR world continues to change,” Wilkins said. “It’s becoming more and more complex, with more refrigerants, more system types, and new regional differences.”

With investments in variable speed solutions, low-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants, electronic controls, and smart devices, Galyen and Wilkins reinforced Danfoss’s commitment to advancing energy efficiency and refrigerant development in the HVAC industry, as well as helping to prepare for new standards, policies, and technologies.

Publication date: 03/05/2012