‘Indian HVAC market is growing at fast pace’

Danfoss Turbocor

Danfoss Industries Private Limited, an industry leader focused on climate and energy efficient solutions, is a 100-percent owned subsidiary of Danfoss Group. Danfoss India serves a wide range of industries for needs such as refrigeration, air conditioning and controls, VLT® Drives and a range of heating valves, controls & solutions for HVAC, district cooling & under floor heating applications.
Kamal Singh, Director, Power and Electronics Division – Danfoss India told Sandeep Menezes that India can emerge as a major hub for manufacturing in the HVAC space provided there is a shift in focus to maintaining energy efficiency and providing incentives to the manufacturing industry.

Kamal Singh

Kamal Singh

Excerpts from the interview:

What are the emerging trends across the HVAC industry in India?

The key trends in the HVAC industry are energy savings and precision system control which has led to the use of adjustable frequency drives in HVAC systems today.

With the International Energy Agency touting that energy efficiency will supply more additional energy than oil through to 2030, there have been energy efficient innovations in this space. We are also focused on roping in all stakeholders including equipment manufacturers and regulatory bodies to help set standards. With our strong focus on innovation, we offer solutions that are space saving as well like the VLT drive which controls the speed of the motor based on the load.

We see opportunity to help improve automation levels that help in both energy efficiency and improvement in plant productivity – through our valves, drives, compressors and electronic controllers and support the industry on improved safety standards through products offerings that reduce leaks and training stakeholders on best practices.

Due to awareness about high energy usage, customers are now slowly shifting to frequency controllers as it is one of the best ways to bring in energy efficient

HVAC industry sustains on investment in infrastructure and industrial projects, new commercial space development and premium housing segment. Going forward, how do you foresee the growth scenario?

HVAC industry and infrastructure segment share a symbiotic relationship thereby any fluctuation is mutual. Currently, there is a sense of optimism in this space given the spate of investments that will take place in this financial year. The Indian HVAC market is growing at a fast pace, mainly owing to the huge rise in construction activity in the real estate market.

How can India emerge as a major manufacturing hub for HVAC industry?

India can emerge as a major hub for manufacturing in the HVAC space provided there is a shift in focus to maintaining energy efficiency and providing incentives to the manufacturing industry. Companies in this space should also look at localisation while sourcing products to boost the economy. With energy demands set to triple over the next 10 years, the need to shift to the right energy efficient technology has never been direr.

Companies are trying to reduce their energy requirements and even across the HVAC segment scouting for products that reduce energy consumption. Comment.
Energy efficiency can play a major role in the future if the stepping stones are laid now.
With growing energy demands, the best alternate fuel is energy efficiency. Steadily increasing energy prices and the increasing supply-demand gap are going to create big challenges for the Indian economy as well as for Danfoss’ customers. Danfoss energy efficient technologies will help address these challenges. We will be working closely with our customers to save energy through our technologies. Unless we embrace technologies which are energy efficient, it will also have an adverse impact on sustainability. Danfoss pursues energy efficiency aggressively and implements more environmental friendly solutions in the HVAC sector.

VLT® Automation Drive FC 360 has built in features help owners save space in installations, time in setup and effort in daily maintenance. Featuring a basic yet comprehensive feature set, the drive provides precise and energy efficient motor control.

Danfoss Turbocor, another innovation from Danfoss, is a high efficiency oil-free centrifugal compressor that can provide extremely high energy savings for HVAC systems. It can reduce up to 35-50% of energy consumption of a commercial HVAC system.

What are the main challenges facing the industrial HVAC segment in India? How can these challenges be eliminated?

HVAC-R takes a major share of electricity bills for residential, commercial and industrial applications, which will lead to tremendous pressure on energy sources, and ultimately impact the climate. This can be eliminated by deploying energy efficient measures that are energy saving as well as help in cost cutting.

There is a need for testing labs for customers and Danfoss provides 3 such labs for clients. Additionally, in an effort to reach out to stakeholders, Danfoss provides live testing labs in Centre of Excellences opened in colleges across India which will provide an opportunity for students and faculty to relate theoretical knowledge with practical functioning and better understand applications of equipment’s that find application in the HVAC space.

There is a huge need for refrigerated warehouses and storage infrastructure nationwide, going forward how do you foresee the scenario?
If there needs to be an increase in investment in refrigeration warehouses and storage infrastructure nationwide, public private partnership model is required in India. This collaboration between the government and private forces in this sector can help mitigate losses and increased investments will boost this sector towards growth trajectory.

Tell us about the impact of the recently announced budget on India’s HVAC industry?
The Union Budget 2014 is well -rounded and encourages food safety to some extent. If the farmer centric allocations come through, it will be a growth driver for HVAC industry. While increasing investment in scientific warehousing to Rs 5000 crore is a very positive step, one needs to look at how the infrastructure can be made sustainable by using energy efficient solutions. Independent research reports suggest India’s high energy costs as a deterrent for private players from investing in cold storage units given its power consumption.
A typical cold storage of 5000 ton capacity costs around 12 crores which uses dated technology, especially the systems which can be automated. An automated cold storage with best global technologies will cost 30 % more. It is important to note that 60% of the operating cost of a cold storage is due to electricity and this cost could be anywhere close to 1.5 crores per annum.

What is Danfoss India’s future business strategy in the HVAC segment?

Danfoss has an India 2015 growth strategy in place where we will focus on 3 key megatrends: Cold Chain, Urbanization and Energy Efficiency. This strategy looks at increasing the base business and penetration into tier-2 cities. Recently Danfoss opened reseller showrooms in Sangli and Kolhapur, spreading its reach to smaller markets. The Danfoss PED Division looks to better cater to sectors like HVAC-R, textile mining, water, marine applications, cranes, hoists, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, dairy and food processing.

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