Cielo smart controllers work with all air conditioners & heat pumps!
Air-Conditioning Is More Than Rampant!
All those, who can afford, live in a temperature regulated world. Turning our radiators even in mild winters and switching to air-con in not so hot summers have become a norm. The extremities of temperatures coupled with rising incomes are resulting in even more adoption of heating or cooling system. The phenomenon is global and growth is expected to accelerate in coming decades.
What’s The Harm?
We all know that heating or cooling a building contributes to greenhouse emissions. The contribution is both direct and indirect. The refrigerant emission directly affects the environment and fossil fuel combustion for power generation is the indirect contributor. Globally, stationary air-conditioning systems account for nearly 700 million metric tons of direct and indirect CO2-equivalent emissions annually. Indirect emissions from electricity generation account for approximately 74% of this total, with direct emissions accounting for remaining 26%.
How To Tackle?
The problem of direct refrigerant emissions was ably handled through Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (i.e., The Montreal Protocol). The protocol set the benchmarks on alternatives for phasing out ozone-depleting substances and it turned out to be the most successful examples of international cooperation to address environmental impacts of air-conditioning.
In addition to advancing low-GWP (Global Warming Potential) refrigerants, it is also essential that the energy efficiency of air-con systems is enhanced to maximize GHG (Green House Gasses) emissions reductions. The air-con industry is playing its part and has steadily improved the energy efficiency of air-conditioning systems through a combination of technological innovation and market transformation strategies. Manufacturers made efficiency improvements through the introduction of many individual technologies like variable-speed drives, novel compressor, efficient heat exchanger designs, electronic expansion valves and advanced smart controls.
Air-Con Systems Has Such A Huge Variety! Which One To Tackle First?
The global ductless heating & cooling systems market is projected to reach USD 78.62 billion by 2021 with annual sales volumes reaching in access of 150 million units.
The global construction industry is expected to grow with the increasing demand for residential buildings in major economies such as India, China, the U.S., Middle East, Germany, Brazil, and others. Ductless systems are rampant in most of these countries while gaining fast ground in EU as well as the US. Such a huge adoption makes ductless systems an ideal candidate for efficiency improvement efforts.
Ductless Air-Con Adoption In US
According to Navigant Research, ductless systems will account for nearly 30 percent of all North American energy-efficient HVAC system revenue by 2020. The annual revenue from ductless systems will grow to more than $9 billion by 2020.
US market is embracing the ductless system as they are easy to install and efficient in use. Both split air-con and heat pumps are gradually taking over the market. In an effort to transform the residential space heating market organizations like Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) has focused their efforts on promoting ductless heat pumps (DHPs) as a promising technology for displacing electric resistance heat.
The NW Ductless Heat Pump Project NEEA is focused towards mass scale adoption of ductless heating and cooling systems in the Northwest by partnering with more than hundred utilities, which are participating in the program by offering support and rebates ranging from $800 to $1200 on the purchase of a ductless system. These rebates are an effort to ensure mass scale adoption of these systems.
Efforts Are There, But Adoption Is Still Limited?
The innovative technologies brought forward by manufacturers and rebates by utility companies are having a limited impact on the overall market as the technologies introduced are brand specific and they do not cater for the installed base of millions of air-conditioning units. In essence, the fast-paced efficiency improvement can only be ensured through automation which is brand independent and gives powers of control from anywhere to the end users.
Smart Ductless Is The Way Forward
In addition to the performance of equipment, many manufacturers are investigating improvements in how consumers interact with the equipment. This includes providing Wi-Fi connectivity to ductless split system controllers, enabling users to view and change set points.
Better control over ductless split systems can lead more efficient operation by making it easier for users to reset their thermostat when asleep or away from home. Many manufacturers are working on providing better control integration with smartphones.
The way forward is the introduction of smart solutions for ductless systems which are brand independent and where customers can get the extra benefit of savings through smart functions of scheduling, geo-fencing, and control from anywhere.
The utility rebate programs can benefit from smart controls to achieve mass scale adoption and eventual integration of smart ductless systems into their existing demand response programs.
Smart Partnership Is The Name Of The Game
Ductless is already rampant, to say the least. Energy efficient ductless is the need. Smart controls are there to address the need. The partnership between smart solution providers, air-con manufacturers, and utility companies can do wonders to mass adoption of ductless systems and eventual realization of good enough energy efficiency to further reduce the greenhouse emissions.