Here, Jonathan Skelding, Commercial Technical VRF Consultant at Bosch, discusses the manufacturer’s ambitions and predictions for 2016 and beyond.
Consultants, contractors, architects and specifiers within the building services industry are increasingly faced with the challenge of recommending and installing flexible heating and hot water systems with the ability to maximise efficiency. The commercial VRF market forms part of this, and in recent years has been going from strength to strength – delivering around 12% growth in 2015 alone.
With this in mind, introducing a VRF range which offers efficient heating and cooling comfort on a large scale builds perfectly on our established range of commercial and industrial boilers and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) modules.
What makes Bosch different?
Currently, consultants and specifiers have to do a lot of leg work in order to cost and organise a project. Within this there can often be certain aspects of a project some contractors cannot price for or accommodate. In an age of increased concern over streamlining efficiency, there is a need for manufacturers to offer a complete build solution with one point of contact throughout the installation making contracting simpler for everyone.
Bosch has a superb reputation for supporting customers from the beginning of a project right through to the commissioning stage. In an industry where aftersales is all too often an afterthought, we have a dedicated aftersales team able to support, guide and provide servicing options to the end user. We are also looking to extend Bosch’s 24-48 hour policy to the supply of VRF systems as having to wait 2-3 weeks for an engineer to attend a site does not correlate with the 24 hour expectation of the world we live in.
What is particularly exciting about our new VRF range itself, is its continuous heating capability – which comes as standard. This feature allows each module to provide constant source of heat while simultaneously performing a defrost cycle in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 48 °C and is vital for keeping room space at an optimum temperature.
We have invested heavily in our VRF offering and feel this, together with our underlying commitment to reliable manufacturing, will give customers the confidence they need to invest in what is often a sizeable purchase.
Taking control of the future of air conditioning
The importance of effectively monitoring more than one site is likely to increase and our system offers the next generation of air conditioning monitoring. The innovative control system allows users, such as facilities managers who may look after multiple sites, to remotely access our systems and receive text message alerts should the system encounter an error. This is helping to streamline the process of site visits, yet we are keen to see this concept develop further to benefit other roles within a project too.
“Monitoring technology is also set to benefit landlords by updating users with proportion usage charges and providing energy saving hints and tips. This helps tenants to receive a more representative energy bill without the need for additional monitoring visits and can even provide energy saving tips and hints. With the benefits of controls and remote monitoring so clear, it is likely the ability to report on usage will be a key theme in the future of air conditioning in the UK.
Looking to the future
As a result of this, it is vital for the market to invest in professional development. Bosch has recognised this need and is currently building a new facility at its Worcester headquarters. Planned to be opened in the summer, the training courses focus on installation, commissioning, fault finding and controls set up. This skills gap is something the industry not only needs to fill in the short-term but then completely overcome in readiness for years to follow.
As a newcomer to the market we are especially excited to see what the next five, ten and even twenty years will bring to the industry and feel that our aim of making an impact with a fresh approach to installations, which focusses on making the contracting and after-sales support much easier, will form a key part of this.
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