Danfoss at AHR: Smart Grid Growtha Solution to Energy Woes

Feb. 13, 2012
Wilkins: HVACR filled with change, including refrigerants and system variety.

Danfoss again used its AHR Expo press conference as a time to address issues that are impacting the HVACR industry. During Danfoss’ 17th annual press conference held on January 24 at the AHR Expo in Chicago, senior leaders at Danfoss remarked on the 2012 market outlook and policy trends for the HVAC industry.

Danfoss North America President John Galyen commented on three specific climate and energy challenges facing the industry:

  • energy efficiency
  • the Smart Grid and refrigerants
  • steps Danfoss is taking to prepare for the changes that lie ahead.

Specifically, Galyen noted that the Smart Grid is becoming increasingly critical to the HVAC sector, since buildings consume 40% of all energy in the U.S. and demand is estimated to increase by 21% by 2030.

“The way supply and demand are synced, the management of electrical power, and improving the efficiency of existing infrastructure, will continue to be critical issues moving forward. We’ll need to be aware of three main elements — demand response, energy efficiency, and load management. Technologies like variable speed enable end users and utilities better load control and demand response benefits,” he said.

Robert Wilkins, vice president, public affairs at Danfoss, commented on the policy outlook for 2012. He said there's little change in policy expected at the national level, but two interesting House bills are emerging. Congressmen David McKinley (R-WVA) and Peter Welch (D-VT) have drafted a bill that would provide incentives for whole home energy retrofits. Congressman Charles Bass (R-NH) has offered a bill which seeks to increase energy efficiency in government buildings and promote expansion of certain technologies such as combined heat and power plants.

Meanwhile, Wilkins noted, manufacturers are moving ahead with developing equipment for hydrocarbons, using carbon dioxide (CO2) in supermarkets and industrial refrigeration, and considering HFC-32 for air conditioning.

“The HVACR world continues to change,” Wilkins said. “It’s becoming more and more complex, with more refrigerants, more system types and new regional differences.”

With investments in variable speed solutions, low- GWP refrigerants, electronic controls, and smart devices, Galyen and Wilkins reinforced Danfoss’ commitment to advancing energy efficiency and refrigerant development in the HVAC industry, as well as helping to prepare for new standards, policies and technologies.

Additional speakers at the press conference included:

  • Lisa Tryson, director, corporate communications and public relations for Danfoss, providing an update on the company’s EnVisioneering symposia series and new, innovative products introduced at the AHR Expo
  • Brian Davis, senior director, global industrial refrigeration for Danfoss, provided a business case on the company’s ICF control solution, a prior AHR Innovation Award winning product, which reduces project costs by over 20%, significantly reduces refrigerant leak potential and saves significant project time
  • Michael Albertson, senior vice president, sales and marketing for WaterFurnace, highlighting variable speed technology in high efficiency heat pump solutions.

The Danfoss press conference during AHR Expo is an annual event, bringing together members of the company’s senior leadership and trade media to hear Danfoss’ latest product announcements, unique applications and perspective on industry-related news and events.