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HVAC Trends. Larry Butz, P.E. November 28, 2006. Sustainability. maximizing the effectiveness of resource use while minimizing the impact of that use on the environment ASHRAE. Life Cycle Costing Improved tools for comparing environmental impact Design for recovery/recycle/reuse

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Hvac trends

HVAC Trends

Larry Butz, P.E.

November 28, 2006


maximizing the effectiveness of resource use while minimizing the impact of that use on the environment


  • Life Cycle Costing

  • Improved tools for comparing environmental impact

  • Design for recovery/recycle/reuse

  • Zero leak systems

  • Reduced refrigerant charge

  • Reduced waste

  • Less/no packaging materials


  • New and growing markets

  • New competitors

  • Increasingly diverse needs

    • Climatic, cultural, economic differences

    • product variations

Mass customization
Mass Customization

  • Diverse global markets (differing customer requirements)

  • More knowledgeable customers (Internet)

  • Improved flexible manufacturing technologies

Speed to market
Speed to Market

  • Reduced development cycles

  • Reduced manufacturing cycles

  • Customer expectations

Increasing importance of local production

Hcfc 22 phase out
HCFC-22 Phase out

  • Ban on import and production of HCFC-22 equipment in 2010

  • Many new HVAC applications are turning to HFC-410A

Different regulations in Europe and for developing countries

Indoor air quality
Indoor Air Quality

Conditioning of the air has evolved to include noise, safety, health and cleanliness of the air

Quality of the Air

Reduced sound levels
Reduced Sound Levels

The XC15 from Lennox is twice as quiet as the company’s previous product.

a molded composite material filled with a special sound damping material completely encloses the compressor and the base

Material costs
Material Costs

  • Rising costs of copper, aluminum and steel affects design and choice of technology

Ex: microchannel heat exchangers with no copper tubes

Energy costs
Energy Costs

  • Increasing costs

  • Relative cost of natural gas to electricity encourages use of electric heat pumps

  • Hybrid systems (multiple energy sources)

  • Use waste heat

Residential seer trends
Residential SEER Trends

13.0 SEER


10.0 SEER


Oil Embargo

SEER (Btu/wh)

Shipment-Weighted SEER Closer To Regulation Level

Energy standards and codes
Energy Standards and Codes

  • ASHRAE 90.1

  • Energy Star

  • LEED Buildings certification

  • Building Codes

    • 40 states have codes for energy efficiency

Energy Policy Act

2010 Commercial A/C EER Standards

CapacityASHRAE 90.12010


65 - 134K 10.3 11.2* +9%

135 - 239K 9.7 11.0* +13%

240 - 759K 9.5 10.0* +5%

* 0.2 Lower EER For A/C With Integrated Gas Heat

H/P EER Requirements Are Also 0.2-0.5 Lower

No IPLV Requirement

  • Impact Yet To Be Seen

  • States Will Be Pre-Empted After 2010 Std. Takes Effect

Energy variable pricing
Energy Variable Pricing

  • Different prices based on time of day or season

  • 6% of U.S. electricity meters can read for variable pricing

  • Wisconsin among leaders in implementation


  • Evolving Market Requirements Drive Technology Changes

Compressor efficiency trends fixed speed reaching top arena
Compressor Efficiency TrendsFixed-Speed Reaching Top Arena



Scroll Technology Has Contributed Continued Increasing Efficiency Trend

Two step scroll
Two-Step Scroll

  • Efficiency (Up To 21.0 SEER)

  • Better Comfort (67% Part Load Capacity)

  • Quieter Operation (Sound And Vibration)

  • Simpler Design

    • Inherent Scroll Design

    • No Shutdown To Change Capacity

    • Less Applied Components

  • Proven Scroll Reliability

100% Capacity

(Ports Open)

67% Capacity

(Ports Closed)

Application of variable speed
Application of Variable Speed

  • Compressors

  • Fans

  • Pumps

Air flow and refrigerant flow modulation
Air Flow And Refrigerant Flow Modulation

Inverter-DC Fan Motor

Standard PSC Fan Motor

Typical SEER Gains

1+ SEER (Fixed-Speed A/C)

2+ SEER (Modulated A/C)

Thermostatic Expansion Valve

- Better Superheat Control

- Less Cyclic Loss

Fixed Flow Orifice

0.25 SEER

TXVs In U.S. Residential

Shift Overnight From ~20% to ~85%

Heat Exchanger Trends

Reaching Diminishing Return –> Oversizing


Timing ?

Finned Tube

Re-Arrange Fins

7mm Tube

Lanced Fins

Enhanced Rifled

Overall Conductance UA (w / ° K)

Wavy Fins

Rifled Tube

Q = (UA)* T

Smooth Tube

+Flat Fins


  • Need Advances To Continue To Contribute To Reducing T

  • Driven By Size, Commodity Cost, R410A Refrigerant Cost

  • 7mm Tube And Microchannel

Intelligent and self diagnostic systems
Intelligent and Self Diagnostic Systems

  • Preventative

  • Improved operating efficiency

  • Interactive

  • Proactive

Use intelligent components

Comfort alert diagnostics gained market acceptance





Comfort Alert Diagnostics Gained Market Acceptance

  • Improves technician service accuracy and increases productivity

  • gathers and analyzes data on system performance

  • immediately identifies electrical problems and system-related faults.


Advancing sensor technology
Advancing Sensor Technology

  • More accurate

  • More reliable

  • Lower cost

  • More rugged (imbedded applications)

Typical integration trends
Typical Integration Trends

StandardOversize Smaller Tube


Standard Oversize Smaller Tube


Single Speed Variable Speed

OD Fan

ID Blwr.

Single Spd/ Blr Delay Variable Speed




Orifice TXV

Single Single-Speed

Recip Scroll




13 13/14 15 16 18 20+


Controls Will Play Key Role In Integrating Components

Typical energy loss improvement areas



Typical Energy Loss/Improvement Areas


  • Improve Component Efficiencies

    • Compressor Efficiency

    • Better Fan cfm/w

    • New Heat Exchanger

    • Improve Flow Control

  • Reduce Temperature Lift

    • Lower Tcond

    • Higher Tevap

    • Minimize Superheat

    • Efficient Subcooling

  • Reduce Transient Losses

    • Cyclic

    • Frost/Defrost

  • Systems Integration

    • Modulated Compressor

    • Variable-Speed Fans

    • Zoning

Residential communicating system
Residential Communicating System

Air Conditioner Or Heat Pump

User Interface

Controls &


Gas Furnace

Ignition System

Embedded Electronics


Charge Level

Air Flow Level





Air Handler Control

With Variable Speed Motor

  • Communication Will Continue To Evolve

  • Enriched With System Data Content For Assisting Contractors

  • Enable Verification Services And Performance Monitoring

Questions ?

  • Discussion

  • Comments