The Eurovent Board Member David Jacobs, Vice President & Managing Director EMEIA at Baltimore Aircoil Company, has been involved in the HVAC sector since 2000. For our ‘The Board Perspective’ series, we obtained his view on the energy crisis’ impact on HVAC and other important issues to tackle in the industry.
David Jacobs started his career in wastewater treatment and joined the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) sector for the first time in 2000 at Baltimore Aircoil Company after completing a 3,5-year expat assignment in the USA. In 2008, he moved on to work in industrial gearbox manufacturing and later on in the wind power industry. In 2013, he returned to the HVAC sector and currently leads the EMEIA for Baltimore Aircoil Company as Vice President and Managing Director. The Eurovent Team had some intriguing questions on the current energy crisis’ impact on the HVAC sector and other issues to be dealt with.
What impact does the current European energy crisis have on the HVAC sector and which methods can manufacturers use to outsprint it?
It is well known that HVAC, albeit essential for health and safety, is a major consumer of energy. In today’s energy crisis, every manufacturer of HVAC equipment in Europe, has therefore a major responsibility in rapidly developing more energy efficient products and educating end users on how to operate their current equipment in the most energy efficient manner, while still guaranteeing safe and hygienic operation. Communication, awareness and education campaigns on how to maintain and operate equipment more efficiently can have significant impact on energy consumption and could be an increased focus of HVAC manufacturers during this crisis. It is also to be expected that this crisis will lead to excessive demand of certain equipment and components, and hence create major shortages. Manufacturers within the industry will need to continue to be collaborative, support each other and demonstrate great solidarity in order to limit the impact of these shortages on our industry and make sure that we contribute to solving this energy crisis in any way we can as an industry.
Besides the energy crisis, what other issue you think has a huge impact on the HVAC sector?
Besides the short-to-midterm impact of the energy crisis, longer term sustainability-related market trends will continue to have disruptive impact on the HVAC sector. Driven by population growth, social development, urbanisation, industrialisation, and finally climate change, energy consumption required for ventilation and cooling is expected to double by 2050, which some studies are indicating. The energy challenge for our sector is therefore much bigger on the longer term than just contributing to solving the short-term energy crisis, but the actions that we are now forced to take are hopefully accelerating some of the critical investments. This bigger longer-term challenge cannot be dealt with by us as the HVAC sector alone. This will require a more holistic approach and ‘thermal system thinking’, including closer interaction or integration between concepts and technologies such as renewable energy, thermal storage, smart grid, cold chain, block chain, mobility and building information modelling.