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Future Trends in HVAC

Future Trends in HVAC

When developing new technologies, it's important to always be one step ahead of the competition. Manufacturers are constantly searching for ways to reduce operating costs for the end-user and at the same time increase the efficiency of the equipment. HVACR Distribution Business magazine interviewed Karl Zellmer, vice president of air conditioning sales at Emerson Climate Technologies, to find out what Emerson is doing to stay on the cutting edge of energy-efficiency trends in the HVAC industry.

Innovation and improvement are always top of mind at Emerson Climate Technologies, and the Copeland Scroll® variable speed compressor is proof of the research and hard work that goes into their technologies. “The Copeland Scroll variable speed compressor provides improvements in SEER as well as superior heat pump performance and year-round energy savings,” Zellmer says. “This technology is currently being applied to achieve an unprecedented 13 HSPF in heating. That's 29 percent better than the current best in class that does not use the Copeland® variable scroll.”

“In general, there was an extensive effort across multiple Emerson divisions and technology groups which developed the motor and technology drive designed to achieve OEM efficiency targets and provide the reliability and durability contractors expect from Copeland Scroll.”

Zellmer explains that there are new improvements on the horizon from the compressor division of Emerson. “We have a new variable speed compressor and drive now in production for residential systems. We will be expanding that product offering over the coming months with additional displacements and we're also working on the commercial side of variable speed. Also, we are working on variable speed dedicated water heating applications in Europe.”

“In addition to our variable speed and drive offering, there's new technology and improved mechanical modulating technology in the next generation Copeland Scroll Ultratech®,” Zellmer says.

Communication Advances

Emerson's products have communicating capabilities that help monitor and diagnose issues. According to Zellmer, the Emerson communicating system features system elements that communicate with each other and allow contractors to easily install and connect all the parts. “Using ClimateTalk open standard, systems equipped with Emerson's communicating technology also provide monitoring and diagnostic capabilities after it's installed,” Zellmer says.

Emerson is a member of ClimateTalk Alliance, which is an alliance of more than 20 companies who are committed to developing a common communication infrastructure to enable the interoperability of residential systems.

Emerson has also created apps for mobile communicating devices.

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“We have a Copeland X-Ref app tool that allows the user to identify the best replacement compressor available if the contractor is repairing a system,” Zellmer says. “We also have an Emerson e-Saver app that calculates year-round energy savings and gives comparisons of energy savings alternatives when a whole system is being replaced. Both apps are free and are available for a number of mobile devices.

“We are also working on a few other apps that should be available in the next few months,” Zellmer explains. “All these apps are designed primarily for HVAC contractors, but they can be used by various people in the industry including wholesalers, distributors and even end-users.”

“Ultimately, we hope to develop a suite of mobile applications designed to help our channel partners do their jobs more effectively. Whether this is finding the right replacement component or solving difficult diagnostic problems at the job site, Emerson wants to help contractors with instant access to information to help them in their jobs,” Zellmer says.

“In 30 seconds I can tell you whether the local auto-parts store carries the type of air or oil filter for my car, how many filters they have in stock and the price. We hope to be able to bring our industry up to the same level of connectivity to make the contractors better able to do their job in an efficient and timely manner.”

In addition to mobile applications, Emerson has been working on its CoreSense technology to enhance system performance. “Emerson Climate Technologies has developed its patented CoreSense technology, which uses the compressor as a sensor to diagnose various system problems before they cause failures for the end-user. Many CoreSense-enabled products are available today on systems that use Copeland Scroll compressors and will be coming out in the next few years,” Zellmer says.

According to Zellmer, CoreSense technology will ensure the reliability and performance of new installations and will also improve effectiveness and timeliness of the contractors who are resolving system problems that happen down the road. “These CoreSense diagnostics modules will be found on the compressor. In some instances, they might be found in our Emerson communicating system on a White-Rodgers control board. They may also be found in diagnostic modules like the Comfort Alert® module and some new devices that are coming out all under the CoreSense name,” Zellmer says.

Emerson Climate Technologies is committed to staying on top of current trends in the HVAC industry. “We continue to see a growing trend toward a higher percentage of heat pumps in the unitary market, and we're planning for improved heat pump performance,” Zellmer says.

He concludes, “Emerson is closely following the energy regulation trends that we expect to be defined and implemented in the next few years. As OEMs are designing systems to meet these new requirements, which we believe are going to feature regional standards across the country, we are working closely with our OEM partners to develop systems that are in compliance with these regulations and also meet the needs of our end-users and homeowners.”


Kate Kelly is an associate editor with Contracting Business magazine. Contact her at 216/931-9755 or[email protected].

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