The recent BSRIA global HVAC trends presentations given at the 2018 Mostra Convegno Expo (MCE) in Milan have been hailed a “great success” by a wide range of delegates from all industry segments attending
Aline Breslauer, Senior Market Intelligence Analyst, kicked off with a presentation on the changes occurring in the heating markets. Although, still a high-value market, due to the progression of the condensing technology and growth in the heat pump market, Europe is no longer the biggest heating market region worldwide.
Growing by 20% in 2017 – Asia-Pacific is the “rising star” hosting the largest boiler and heat pump markets worldwide – specifically China. It also includes the high value Japanese heat pumps segment.
Aline said: “The main drivers of the global heating markets are energy efficiency legislation for buildings and products, energy transition and distributed energy generation, urbanisation and the increasing share of blocks of flats, as well as digitalisation.
“The policy push for heat pumps in new build is very clearly showing positive results: it is also clear that the problems related to the adoption of heat pumps in the wider context of existing homes are far from being resolved.
“Another key trend is the shift towards communal heating and district heating systems which support the increasing sales of heat interface units.”
Anette Meyer-Holley, Manager VAC&R & Private Client, highlighted that the size of the global air-conditioning sector is more significant than heating, renewables and building automation and controls systems (BACS) combined.
The global air-conditioning market is dominated by splits, which is a reflection of the large Asian markets, where splits also act as a heating product.
Anette added that China continues to dominate the air-conditioning markets, followed by the US and Japan. The Chinese market has been boosted by the latest five-year plan, as well as a hot summer which resulted in restocking at distributor level and in incentives to switch to more environmentally friendly equipment.
After the global overall drop in sales in 2016, primarily due to the impact of the slowdown in China, BSRIA has seen a recovery in 2017, with estimated total volume sales reaching 136 million air-conditioning units.
“Splits are the most significant market globally, with sales expected to reach around 113 million outdoor units exclusive of VRF in 2017. China and Asia Pacific account for 70% of global sales, with China holding dominant position on the market, hence what happens particularly on the Chinese market, has an impact on the global trends. VRF continues to do well with growth of over 20% expected in 2017 supported by the picking up of the overall construction markets that have seen a modest growth of two% in 2017.
“These trends occur in the greater context of the uncertainty surrounding phasing out HFC refrigerant gases. There was a continued surge in refrigerant prices in 2017, with the price for fluorite reaching a six-year high last year. In addition, tax implementations in Europe makes for a very uncertain 2018 with open questions on how will the introduction of new refrigerants impact on the availability of units (and more importantly on their costs) and how much will this impact the prices of the actual AC units. It is certain that on the medium/long term this is not just a European issue and that changes will happen at a global level.”
Henry Lawson, Senior Market Research Consultant, focused on the changes in the BACS market and the progression of the Internet of Things (IoT) in building services.
Henry said: “The global smart building market was worth around US$30bn and it includes BACS, Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS), Smart Connected HVAC and Smart Homes.”
Presenting the latest trends in BACS, highlighting that IP is becoming the norm and wireless solutions are becoming less of a niche, Henry said that a “significant share” of smart home products in fact is installed in non-residential applications. He concluded that the global smart buildings market is growing to reach almost USD 70bn by 2021 and that software and analytics will become increasingly important.
The evening of BSRIA presentations concluded with Krystyna Dawson, Business Manager, WMI, who stated that among all the important global trends four currently have a major impact on the HVAC markets: energy transition and urbanisation – due to their impact on markets’ product choice – and digitalisation and commoditisation – as they increasingly shape consumers’ expectations in all aspects of life.
“In this context, BSRIA sees advances in provision of smart services in buildings although their progress is hampered by the fact that advantages related to these technologies do not necessarily benefit those who have to pay for them in a direct way as buildings have many stakeholders. Sociological changes prompted by digitalisation also start having a profound impact on the way products and services are channelled to the market.”