The HVAC industry is working hard to keep our buildings cool, clean and green too. An insight into the industry in India by Shruti Jain & Varsha Trehan.

It's the talk of the town, the latest office buildings, malls or luxury residences – the structures rise faster than one can keep up with – and each one competes with the other in the amenities and comfort elements it offers. Very interesting times these, yet when you step away from the window fascination, with development recedes into the background as the ever pervading doubt rises again, "How are these manmade edifices affecting our environment? What about global warming and the energy these structures consume to keep up the buzzing activity with?" With commercial and industrial structures becoming major energy consumers and green house emission sources, the question is justified.


Indoor air pollution in any industrial building is a health hazard for humans and equipment alike. Concerns in this direction gave rise to innovations, now grouped together as HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning). These systems are now an inseparable part of architectural design and consequently, manufacturers are innovating products to keep up with green architectural sensibilities that prioritize environmental guardianship responsibilities.

Engineering Ventilation in India

Kanwal Jeet Jawa
Engineering Ventilation
The HVAC market in India is poised for rapid growth due to a number of changes that are taking place in the Indian economy like easy availability of A/C products, increase in construction activities due to rise in population, rapid urbanization, and higher disposable incomes. The industry experts are working to phase out hydrochlorofluoro carbon (HCFC) gas and offer cost-effective and eco-friendly solutions for commercial and industrial segments. Shedding lights on the growth of the HVAC industry in the country, Mr. Kanwal Jeet Jawa, Managing Director, Daikin India informs, "The growth has been on an upward spiral for some years now. HVAC industry claims a healthy growth average over the past couple of years with the industry currently being valued at Rs.53 billion. The HVAC industry of India has been growing at a phenomenal rate which in volume terms, is expected to reach approximately five million TR by 2015 with a total market capitalization reaching approximately Rs.70 billion plus by the financial year of 2015-16."

Cool Factor

Favorable Winds

Rakesh Saxena
The primary demand drivers triggering the expansion of the Indian HVAC industry are of course, real estate developments. The verticals supporting the boom range from industrial establishments to storage and residential complexes. Whether is the industrial and infrastructure projects, both private and public, or commercial and residential projects innovations are being fuelled by key governmental policies on refrigerant use, stricter eco-friendly norms and safety pre-requisites, efficient use of products, services and technical usage." Mr. Rakesh Saxena, HVAC consultant, Classic Consultancy and Services, who has recently designed EAC systems for NIIT University, Neemrana feels that many institutions are going for EAC systems apart from industries, factories, residences.

The processed plants, Food transport, chemical storage and medicinal development are all dependent on HVAC systems to achieve the necessary temperature for their products preservation and saving them from getting spoiled.

Saurabh Singh Rathore

"The demand drivers are mainly industrial and infrastructure projects. A lot of demand is driven by government infrastructure projects and of course, private industries. A surge in medical tourism has resulted into numerous big size hospitals. Tourism growth has in general resulted in a spurt of new hotel projects," supports Mr Saurabh Singh Rathore, AVP- Business Development Climaveneta Climate Technologies.

Systems Technologies

Besides the market numbers, an encouraging trend seen is that manufacturers are giving standard codes their rightful importance. Energy Conservation Building Codes (ECBC), India & American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards to achieve higher level of green building LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating. Many other regulating organizations like HARDI, SMACNA, ACCA, Uniform Mechanical code, International Mechanical Code, and AMCA have also been established to ensure the maintenance of high standards.

Air Freshners

Settling the Dust

Getting together climate control requirements into an integrated system, has its advantages that include savings on construction space, power consumption and installation cost. These savings more than make up for the additional initial installation costs when compared to individual equipments like window or split air conditioners. Mr Saxena says, "The quality of indoor air is poorer than outdoor air since indoor air circulation is congested which can lead to several kinds of allergies and other air-borne diseases. However, the installation of the EAC system enhances air quality through constantly cleansing indoor air. Furthermore, this system also filters outdoor air, to ensure that all the pollutants are removed before it is introduced into the space."

Simplifying the constitution of HVAC systems, Mr Rathore explains, "HVAC systems can be broadly divided into 2 types: air cooled and water cooled. Both the types then have various products based on different technologies like chillers, VRF, package air-conditioners which serve various applications depending upon the size of project."

Air Fresheners

Energy Efficient

With increasing motivation towards higher efficiency the HVAC industry has been working very hard to bring down the carbon foot print. The era of "Green Building" has brought with it a trend in HVAC design, wherein new technologies and strategies are adopted to achieve higher energy performance. Mr Jawa explains, "The HVAC industry has witnessed strategic trend shifts, the notable ones are: Construction of greener buildings that conform to sustainable design construction standards thus reducing the consumption of energy, water and natural resources, Increased demand for HVAC units with smaller capacities along with a cumulative interest in the hi-wall segment vis-à-vis window air conditioners, Greater number of consumers preferring energy-efficient Inverter products with non- ozone-depleting refrigerants, along with a greater awareness towards star labeling, faster growth of variable refrigerant volume (VRV) systems and inverter based air-conditioning solutions."

Sudarshan S Ananth
Trane Services
Mr. Sudarshan S. Ananth, Vice President and Business Head – Trane and Thermo King, at Ingersoll Rand India adds, "We believe that integrated systems and service solutions will best enhance building performance, improve quality of life for building occupants and help building owners meet their specific business operational objectives. Building owners today are facing increasingly stringent financial and regulatory demands that require them to maximize building performance. There are growing concerns with costs that, in aggregate, can account for as much as 80% of total lifecycle costs. These include cost of energy, maintenance, service and other factors. That's why Trane offers support for every stage of the HVAC systems' lifecycle."

The Product Catalogue

Temperature Regulatory Systems
Tracking customer requirement to stay comfortable with their energy bills, no matter the mercury readings, especially of the Indian summers, new energy-efficient chillers like centrifugal and scroll types are expected to surpass reciprocating and screw chillers which are comparatively less energy-efficient. Temperature regulatory systems have developed to maintain comfortable constant room temperatures, without the on/off variations of earlier products. This product class also adjusts to load variation in indoor spaces, thus optimizing power utility. Product capacities have been spread over an extensive range so the customer is able to get the best for his requirement, rather than being limited by the "fixed" readymade capacities. The needs of those looking for non-ozone depleting products are also given their due as the sustainable refrigerants are now a conscious part of product design.

Deepak Takkar
Talking about their products, Mr Deepak Takkar, Senior Vice president-Sales and General Manager, Cold Chain, Emerson Climate Technologies asserts, "Our new Copeland Scroll Compressor is the pioneering technology behind high energy-efficient residential air-conditioners. These compressors have been the leading choice globally and have contributed to energy savings tremendously. These compressors cause the least amount of noise pollution as they are half as noisy as the best of Rotary and Reciprocating compressors. They can work at 52oC outdoor ambient without any trips and have in-built safety devices. They have a longer tube length and lowest running and maintenance cost. These compressors also use Non R22 Refrigerant solutions." Emerson Climate Technologies is a $3 billion company headquartered in Sydney.

Copeland Scroll Residential
Speaking on the rating system of the air-conditioners, he explains, "Today's 5 star AC with a COP (Coefficient of performance=3.3) will be a 4 star AC in 2014 as the COP will rise to 3.5. Therefore, in order to get a 5 star rating, an AC should have a COP=3.5." He further adds, "The Scroll Compressors will facilitate meeting the next level of efficiency standards in 2014 comfortably."

Mr Jawa tells us, "At Daikin India, environmental stewardship is a commitment we strictly adhere to and stand by our commitment to the environment and energy sustenance. It is in this regard that Daikin India has launched a new range of air-conditioners, which while bringing in efficient cooling facilities to the consumers, is environmentally protective as well. For the Indian HVAC market, Daikin offers a new range of Inverter, Non – Inverter 5-star, 3-star & 2-star rated AC's which being in line with the new BEE energy efficiency standards offers improved energy efficiency. Daikin India has also launched a Super Multi Hot Water Air-conditioning solution for the first time in the country, which utilizes disposed energy to heat water, thus finding an innovative way to reuse the oft-neglected disposed energy. These Super Hot Multi Hot Water outdoor unit which can be connected with up to three indoor units & one storage water heater is one of the new-age solutions for energy efficiency."

Mr Rathore too affirms that running cost plays a major role in decision making for a buyer and this gives an added advantage to us as most of our products are energy efficient and saves a lot to the end customer in terms of life cycle cost. The technological advanced systems being offered by us include high efficiency screw chillers, magnetic levitation chillers, 4 pipe multifunction chiller, adiabatic cooling kit for air cooled chillers, inverter driven chillers/precision air conditioners etc." Satisfied with the response from the Indian market, Clima Veneta is all set to roll out their first chiller manufactured in India, from Bengaluru. The company is a leading global HVAC equipment manufacturer and offers a large range of products covering residential, hydronic chillers, reversible heat pumps, precision air conditioners, controls and supervision systems etc.

Explaining the demand supply equation for product types offered Mr Ananth states, "With its third generation Series R® RTWD water-cooled chiller, Trane meets customer demand for energy efficiency and couples it with increased reliability. Energy usage is a building's largest operating expense, making energy efficiency a top priority for building owners. The RTWD can operate with a dry cooler and in heat pump or heat recovery applications. This means reduced energy consumption and better overall building efficiency."

Innovation with Service

According to Mr Jawa, "The Indian HVAC industry is one of the most dynamic markets of the world, wherein competition is very aggressive and one has to be constantly up-to-date with latest technologies and pertinent innovations to remain a market leader. With more than six players vying for the top slot in the market, the competition is volatile wherein each and every competitor seeks to have a particular USP to rest the initiative in the highly competitive Indian HVAC market."

Indian HVAC

Investment into R&D and ensuring customer comfort with an organised after sales service, companies like Trane ensure the most reliable and cost-effective performance for HVAC systems from day one – and on through their complete lifecycle. "The reliability and efficiency of a chilled water system is directly related to how it is maintained and operated. In addition, proactive measures can prevent severe malfunctions and costly breakdowns. Trane Chiller Health Check Program can maximize the performance of existing chillers to reduce operating costs in the system's lifecycle, from initial start-up, through routine operation, monitoring and maintenance, to system upgrading and improvement," assures Mr Ananth.

Heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system performance plays a critical role in the operational efficiency of a building. A safe, reliable and efficient HVAC system is key to minimizing operational costs. Trane has recently launched the Thermography service to identify hidden problems in a chilled water system in order to improve overall HVAC system performance.

The new predictive service uses infrared thermal imaging to detect and diagnose the thermal emissions of different components in the chilled water system. An increase in heat could suggest electrical and mechanical issues that can lead to component failure, unplanned outages and safety issues. Typical problems that Thermography can detect include loose electrical connections, current overloading, worn contactors, misalignment of shafts and belts and overheating of bearings.

"Thermography is an easy and proven way to inspect electrical and mechanical components of a chilled water system in a non-invasive manner, without disruption to system operation. Early detection of potential issues prevents costly system failures and unscheduled downtime. It also helps lower repair costs," explains Mr. Ananth.

With the continuous technology innovations and after sales attention, the HVAC market is bound to usher in a boom period, especially with complete support from the government to promote energy-efficient standards, practices, and technologies.