ATLANTA  — The AHR breakfast presentation kicked off with Kevin McNamara, senior vice president and general manager, Air Conditioning Technologies, LG Electronics USA, describing how consumers might see an entire wall of VRF units at an outlet in Europe, while there might be just a few units here in the U.S. However, he sees the U.S. as finally being past the tipping point now for broader acceptance, announcing that LG will be “investing very heavily here in the U.S. to make clear what we can do for our customers.”

The manufacturer’s Multi V5 was in the spotlight, designed to do away with the occasional perception that VRF is more suited for cooling than heating.

“We waited until we could perfect the application,” said McNamara. The team wanted to “make sure that a 12-ton unit at 22F is going to give you 12 tons, and not at the cost of 20 tons.”

Carl Barnard, director, control sales, noted that 90 percent of U.S. buildings are under 150,000 square feet, representing a large opportunity to reach owners looking to improve performance and offer them a single-source solution. Barnard declared that while so many people are still “flying blind” regarding their assets’ activity, there’s no need anymore, and that this paradigm shift is underway. In that regard, LG will use LG AI and ThinQ cloud resources to manage data, all while using open APIs.

Donald Decker, director, owner sales, expects big things from an expanded sales team that can use more industry-specific terms to talk about solutions with clients working in particular sectors. He sees the three key markets as health care, retail, and hospitality – all perfect, he said, not only for VRF but for other LG offerings in solar, TVs, appliances, and energy storage.

Decker said that “owners are getting savvier” regarding the design and construction processes. That tied into McNamara’s comment that 80 percent of what their team does originates from customers coming to them and saying, “Hey, can you guys do this? …” In fact, he said that market feedback drove the Multi V 5, with heat recovery a key and the 5-ton unit hitting the “sweet spot” for meeting many needs in the U.S. market.

McNamara concluded by predicting great growth in the schools sector, observing that these settings are perfect for VRF and the company is well positioned for success there.

Publication date: 1/15/2019

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