The number of sensors used in HVAC applications is likely to keep increasing in the near future, driven primarily by the rapid growth of non-residential construction and increasing concerns about indoor air quality, according to market analysis by Frost & Sullivan, a research and consulting firm.
The total sensor market for HVAC applications generated $302.2 million revenues in 2004. Revenues are forecast to reach $692.8 million in 2011, according to the company’s report, “North American Sensor Opportunities in HVAC Applications.” Automobiles are the largest consumers of sensors for HVAC applications. Relatively few sensors are used in residential applications, the research found. “While there are approximately 1.7 million residential units in the United States, the number of houses supporting an automated HVAC system is negligible,” a company analyst notes.
However in non-residential buildings, engineers and building managers want to manage and optimize control systems with feedback from sensors. As a result, more conventional mechanical systems are being replaced by electronic controls that require smart sensors to provide the accurate information needed to improve system performance, the report finds.
This makes non-residential construction a primary market driver, says Dr.
Rajender Thusu, Frost & Sullivan industry analyst. “As the number of new constructions increases, so will the unit demand for electronic controls over the course of the forecast period.”
But a lack of knowledge among end users about the benefits of intelligent HVAC controls is a significant barrier to growth. HVAC controls manufacturers will have to develop large scale education programs to inform designers, installers, building owners and others about all aspects of their sensors, how they work and how to install them, the report adds.