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GEA's Global HVAC Technology Blog

GEA's Global HVAC Technology Blog covers a range of topics including:

  • Core HVAC Technologies
  • Technology & Patent Evaluation
  • Manufacturing Technologies
  • Product Quality Improvement
  • Materials/Failures/Corrosion
  • Product/Technology Commercialization
  • Business Strategy Development
  • New Factory Design & Equipment

We'll draw upon our range of experts to provide comments, insights, technical articles and a little humor from time to time

We encourage your participation and feedback!

US HVAC Equipment Market and Forecast

Posted May 20, 2015 1:00 AM by larhere

The Freedonia Group just released a 300+ page market study titled US HVAC

Equipment Market and Forecast

which presents historical demand data for 2004, 2009 and 2014 plus forecasts for 2019 and 2024 by fuel type, equipment type and market.

Among the analyses, observations and conclusions;

  • Shipments of HVAC equipment will grow 6.0 percent per year through 2019 to $16.5 billion
  • Demand for HVAC equipment is forecast to increase 6.8 percent annually through 2019 to $20.4 billion
  • Imports will account for a growing share of demand for all HVAC products, exceeding 25 percent of the total in 2019
  • Regulations regarding refrigerant usage and equipment efficiency will continue to have a positive effect on HVAC equipment demand
  • Unitary air conditioners will continue to comprise the largest share of total HVAC system demand, accounting for 44 percent of sales by 2019
  • Heat pumps and warm air furnaces will both post the fastest gains through 2019
  • The nonresidential market will continue to comprise the larger share of overall HVAC equipment demand in value terms, due to the larger size of these HVAC systems
  • Growth in the residential market will significantly outpace that in the nonresidential market through 2019
  • Electricity is by far the leading fuel source used to power HVAC equipment. Geothermal energy will post the strongest gains of any fuel source through 2019 from a low 2014 base
  • In both residential and nonresidential markets, replacement purchases will continue to account for the bulk of sales

The study (available at Fredonia Group) considers market environment factors, examines the industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 32 US industry competitors, including Daikin, Ingersoll- Rand, Lennox and United Technologies. A summary of the report can be viewed at Global Information Research.

View Recent Blog Posts

Top HVAC Trends for 2015

50%+ Increase in US Shipments of AC and ASHP in December

HVAC Industry Shows Strength

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank GEA Consulting's President, Larry Butz,, for contributing this blog entry, originally appearing at http://www.gea-consulting.com/hvac-blog.

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Corrosion Analysis:Implementing Change

Posted May 13, 2015 6:26 AM by larhere

In the first post in this series "A Real Corrosion Story" I discussed the wide range of corrosion types, causes, solutions etc.. I outlined a six-step process I've used in analyzing and resolving corrosion problems:

1. Identify the corrosion mechanism.

2. Understand the environment, both external and internal.

3. Understand the equipment - materials of construction, operating cycles, hours.....

4. Identify alternatives - materials, coatings, limiting operating envelope, changing the environment (water treatment, alternative lubricants/refrigerants, filter the air, etc.), redesign the machine (better drainage, eliminate contact of dissimilar metals, .....)

5.Implement change.

6. Monitor results.

This week we'll expand on the fifth step: Implementing Change.

Implementing change in engineering and manufacturing is rarely as simple or straightforward as we engineers would like to believe it should be. Overcoming organizational inertia and getting all of the components involved in change:

  • engineering documentation,
  • drawings,
  • purchasing documentation,
  • manufacturing process documentation,
  • logistics,
  • quality documentation,
  • etc., etc.

prepared and staged properly requires careful planning, training and attention to detail. Because oftentimes the 'organization' doesn't want to change, it is absolutely critical to manage all the required details as perfectly as possible.

Though nobody would ever say it, whenever we're implementing change, there are people out there looking for, hoping for, waiting for us to fail. No matter how carefully we tread, trying not to ruffle feathers, or blame anybody for a failure problem there are people who will feel threatened or uncertain and it is our responsibility to make sure change is implemented as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.

Don't assume others are going to manage the change for you; it is up to you as the change agent to dot all the I's and cross all the T's and make sure the change happens.

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank P J Sikorski, GEA Consulting Associate, for contributing this blog entry, originally appearing at http://www.gea-consulting.com/hvac-blog

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China's Impressive " Sky City" Gets Downsized-Still Impressive

Posted April 29, 2015 4:21 PM by larhere

We have been following the China Sky City project to build the world's tallest building, 220 stories, with prefabricated modules built in advance in factories and assembled on-site, in record time and at significant cost savings.

After battling quality issues, permit discrepancies and safety concerns the building design was downsized to 97 stories, then to 57 floors because of concerns it was too close to a nearby airport.

Although not the 220-story skyscraper builder Broad Sustainable Building started with, it is impressive nonetheless, most notably, the 19 days to construct this 57 story building.

The project, now called Mini Sky City, was built by 1,200 workers and includes 800 apartments and working space for 4,000 people. The unique design has 19 ten meter high atriums to facilitate vertical farming and a community gathering areas.

The efficiency of erecting the building was a remarkable 3 stories per day. The high efficiency theme is continued in the building design with 4-pane glass windows, 100 percent outside air, 99.9 % air filters, heat recovery and a combined heat, cooling and power generator unit efficiently built into custom HVAC modules.

Mini Sky City is touted for it's projected low energy use at 80 percent less than a conventional building with further environmental friendliness coming from a large reduction in dust due to the 15,000 trucks of concrete that would have been used for a building with conventional construction methods.

You might also be interested in our prior blog posts

World's Tallest Building (A Prefab) - Update From China

Prefab Skyscrapers Reach for the Heavens Reshaping HVAC

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank GEA Consulting's President, Larry Butz,, for contributing this blog entry, originally appearing at http://www.gea-consulting.com/hvac-blog.

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Top HVAC Trends for 2015

Posted April 08, 2015 9:11 AM by larhere

Attendees were surveyed at the recent AHR Expo in Chicago about Trends most impacting the HVAC Industry. Not too surprising the list was topped by Energy Efficiency as the key trend followed by Costs. The survey was conducted by the ASHRAE Journal and gathered more than 700 responses.

In the order of importance:

  1. Energy Efficiency - "I would expect energy efficiency to be a major driver for most markets with rising energy costs."
  2. Costs/the Economy - Costs/the Economy "Rising costs for mandated equipment."
  3. New Technologies - "DOAS units connected directly to terminal units, eliminating large AHUs and large insulated ductwork."
  4. Training/Staffing - "How do we hire, train, grow, develop, replace, the sales, operations and technical personnel who are retiring?"
  5. O&M - "Contractor's ability to effectively start up and maintain newly released high-efficiency products."
  6. Government - "Regional standards and how it will affect system sales."
  7. Refrigerants - "Concerns about the transition from R-404A to something else."
  8. Competition - "Every Tom, Dick and Harry trying to do HVAC."
  9. Environment - "Energy saving and environment-friendly products."
  10. Sustainability - "Minimized energy consumption using heat recovery, net zero. Carbon reduction"

You might also want to view these recent blog posts:

The Future of Green Collar HVAC Work

Manufacturers Optimistic - But Skilled Workers....?

Reshoring Gains Momentum

HVACR Industry Sees Global Warming as Business Opportunity

NAR HVAC Market Expecting Strong Growth

10 Predictions for US High Performance Building in 2014

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank GEA Consulting's President, Larry Butz,, for contributing this blog entry, originally appearing at http://www.gea-consulting.com/hvac-blog.

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3D Print Technology Intrigues and Amazes at HVAC Show

Posted April 01, 2015 10:04 AM by larhere
Pathfinder Tags: 3D announcements China china hvac

Many of us know 3D printing technology is an innovative and highly versatile technology with many useful and interesting applications already in practice. Perhaps one of the more interesting applications was the showing of the worlds first fully functional air conditioner produced with 3D printing technology. Complete with 3D printed LED display it was announced by Haier Group, a leading Chinese multinational company at the Shanghai Appliance & Electronics Show.

The elegantly styled air conditioner created considerable interest and attention. What direction this technology takes us will be very interesting to see.In the near future, everything about the model (even the PC boards) will be made with a 3D printer and therefore adjustable to your own wishes.

The Haier air conditioner is shaping up to be the perfect model for people who want their air conditioner to fully blend in with their d├ęcor and style. Even names, photos and logos can be added to the model, as its 3D printed nature simply provides a lot of different options for customization.

Read more about the units introduction at the Shanghai appliance show:

Haier Shows 3D Printed HVAC Unit

You may also be interested in these recent blog posts:

The Ten Principles of 3-D Printing

Are You Ready for 3-D Printing?

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank GEA Consulting's President, Larry Butz,, for contributing this blog entry, originally appearing at http://www.gea-consulting.com/hvac-blog

4 comments; last comment on 04/04/2015
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The Future of Green Collar HVAC Work

Posted March 18, 2015 9:46 AM by larhere

Greening" is occurring throughout every industry, and the HVAC industry is one that is particularly primed for growth. Green collar jobs are becoming standard in every industry, as the culture as a whole is moving towards becoming more environmentally conscious. As noted by WeldingSchool.com, the demand for energy is rising all the time, and Obama's investment in weatherization in 2009 has lead to an influx in jobs in this realm.

The Need for Green Living

A vast amount of resources have been allocated towards green living and energy reduction. Companies and individuals alike are being offered subsidies, tax breaks and other incentives to switch over to greener HVAC systems. Moreover, cost-conscious businesses and homeowners are more interested in green solutions simply because they now understand that it can save them money over time, as well as save the environment.

To compensate for this greener focus, HVAC companies have begun hiring technicians who are well versed in green technology. And, as a consequence, employees who are "green collar" technicians within HVAC are the most sought after. Green collar jobs will undoubtedly continue to increase as the demand increases-and, as Green Living mentions, a good deal of construction retrofitting will also bolster the industry.

The Mechanics of a Green Collar Job

Green collar HVAC companies simply focus on energy-efficient building, which is something that HVAC technicians already have training on. The core technology is no different; all that changes is that the emphasis is on reducing overall energy output. HVAC systems are not only common energy wasters, but they are among the systems that have been traditionally most wasteful of energy. Finding ways to reduce energy use is a matter of simply knowing the technology available.

Smart Technology and Sustainable Energy Sources

Smart technology is very likely to play a large role in the green collar industries. Today, smart thermostats are being used to regulate HVAC systems to provide both comfort and energy savings, but they usually need to be added as a modification to an existing HVAC system. In the future, smart technology may be even better integrated into the system, so that it can anticipate the user's needs and adjust in increasingly complex ways.

HVAC development companies are also looking towards alternative methods of heating and cooling, such as ice-powered air conditioners and solar heating solutions. In the future, ThomasNet.com notes, green collar HVAC workers will need to be knowledgeable about the installation and maintenance on extremely varied technology.

Breaking Into the Green Collar Industry

Blue collar workers may want to transition into the green collar industry as a way of "future-proofing" their hireability; those who have experience within the green collar industry will find themselves far more sought after in the job market. HVAC may be the easiest way to break into the green collar industry, if only because it requires very little by way of additional training. Those who are already skilled in HVAC systems will find that "greening" their knowledge simply requires that they become familiar with the latest technology. Many companies today that offer apprenticeships and training are green themselves, thus allowing an HVAC worker to learn more about this interesting and fascinating subset of HVAC technology.

You might also be interested in...

Beware the Shift - Energy Efficiency IS Important!

10 Predictions for US High Performance Building in 2014

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank GEA Consulting's guest blogger, Monica Gomez, for contributing this blog entry, originally appearing at http://www.gea-consulting.com/hvac-blog

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