Digital Architecture Enables Optimization and Savings
The global intelligent HVAC control systems market has been resilient in the face of an extended period of economic weakness and the market is currently in the middle of a paradigm shift. Most existing systems are basic analog based electrical systems and these still make up the majority of the installed base. However, the majority of projects that are being designed and commissioned today utilize digital architecture, IP based communications, and web accessibility to increase the breadth and capabilities of these systems. ARC’s report includes the intelligent control portion of HVAC systems, and excludes non intelligent equipment such as chillers, fans, and sensors.
The maturation of digital system architecture is the main driver that allows more comprehensive HVAC control systems to be designed and facilitates every major market trend. It paves the way for bi-directional communication between systems via TCP/IP, allowing integration between systems and also provides intelligent software with better information more quickly and reliably. It is also enabling the proliferation of IP based systems that utilize the Internet, increasing system flexibility and creating the opportunity for remotely hosted systems and remotely managed services.
Recognizing the emerging need for increasing business intelligence, more HVAC controls suppliers are focusing on providing these capabilities. The goal is to develop intelligent HVAC solutions capable of providing facilities managers the ability to base operational decisions on real-time performance data, uncover hidden costs, and find opportunities to reduce energy consumption and save money through comprehensive facilities management.
Uneven Adoption Rates
Adoption of intelligent HVAC systems is uneven across different regions, and growth in this market is strongly correlated with the health of new construction markets. In mature economies - such as the US and Europe - intelligent systems are seeing lower growth rates because new construction markets are weak. Conversely, new construction markets have been strong in Asia – despite softening recently - and blossoming in Latin America, particularly Brazil. The North American and European markets will enjoy stronger growth when their respective economies recover and new construction projects resume. Until then, suppliers in these regions will rely on retrofits, replacements, and incremental upgrades to existing facilities. This will extend the demand for basic systems in mature economies in the near term, and slow the adoption rate of intelligent digital systems.