The City of Milan has not experienced such a heat wave for many decades. This provided a ‘hot atmosphere’ for hosting the MCE 2022, one of the biggest global shows for HVAC+R, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. While the outside air temperatures reached 36 degrees Celsius, inside the different pavilions it was cool and pleasant and allowed everyone to walk around, meet up, learn and socialize.

Our booth, showcasing our cloud-based solutions for HVAC system management, energy optimization, and service, was crowded most of the time. Visitors came to our booth to get live demos and to discuss our latest solutions which attracted a lot of interest and good discussions.

Here Are a Few Insights About the Trends Everyone Visiting Us Was Talking About:

  1. Tools for energy consumption optimization become a mandatory requirement: In Europe, every commercial site is required to have a solution that will assist in monitoring and managing HVAC energy usage. It is not a 'nice-to-have' capability anymore. In some countries it is already required by regulation, in others, there is an immediate need to save energy for avoiding the high electricity bills resulting from soaring energy prices.
  2. Integrative smart solutions are essential: Site managers and building owners are demanding a holistic view of their HVAC operations. There is a big need for integrating various sensors (CO2, capacity, humidity, and air quality, to name a few), to streamline HVAC operation with the air quality, and the comfort required by the building tenants. Automation mechanisms for such correlated operations must allow flexible dynamic changes and leverage machine-learning tools based on specific building usage patterns.
  3. Air to Water heat pumps are the next big thing- remote access is a critical component for large scale successful deployment: A lot was said about the advantages of Heat Pumps over fossil and gas-based heating. Market demand for such systems is increasing exponentially and manufacturers are struggling to satisfy the demand. In some places, energy companies started offering "heating-as-a-service" where tenants "lease" the comfort they like (e.g. 24 degrees Celsius) and no longer need to deal with all the maintenance related to it. In this model, all the hassle is taken care of by the service companies who must have remote access to the systems, making sure the systems are well calibrated and assure they work at top performance at all times.
  4. VRF/VRV technical experts are hard to find and HVAC service providers need a solution: with the continuous growth of deployed VRF/VRV systems globally, there is a growing need for highly trained technicians for providing proper service. Customers who invest in these systems, expect to benefit from the efficient operation and low energy consumption. Unless properly and timely serviced the benefits and the system lifespan is reduced significantly. Today’s temperature rise and high usage will mean a higher frequency of service calls. HVAC Service companies need to decide how to best use their VRF experts and where to dispatch them to make the most of their time. As it seems, the problem of expanding VRF experts’ teams is only growing. New models of remote service and moving to predictive maintenance are required.
  5. Integration of VRF/VRV with BMS and home automation: Many professionals who deliver end-to-end solutions to commercial and residential buildings still face a challenge. Existing and new VRF vendors bring more models and solutions, but all of them still rely on their proprietary control interfaces. Having a universal solution that would easily connect with all of them uniformly, is a game changer for many professionals, making their integration project much easier, saving them expansive time, and shortening time to market.
All in all, as HVAC systems are responsible for up to 70% of a building’s energy footprint, the HVAC industry has a critical role in reducing global energy consumption and optimizing usage to allow the move to renewable energy. In CoolAutomation we keep focusing on building solutions to allow these optimizations through smart control and monitoring. Looking forward to next year's show, hopefully, it will be as successful as this one and a bit ‘cooler’ outdoors.

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