Future:Air secures massive industry support

  • Daikin named as Platinum sponsor of 2019 Future:Air seminar roadshow
  • Gold sponsorships taken up by Mitsubishi Electric, A-Gas, Trane (distributed by Veolia) and ARC
  • ARBS and Refrigerants Australia join industry associations AREMA and AMCA in support for Future:Air
  • Expert international and Australasian speakers confirmed: AHRI President-CEO Steve Yurek, EPEE Director General Andrea Voigt and Ingersoll Rand business leader for Australia & New Zealand Stuart Kirkwood 
  • Seminars aimed at businesses and people that own, manage or service chillers and large air conditioning equipment – industry must act now to prepare for coming changes

With less than three weeks to go until the first Future:Air breakfast seminar takes place, this educational roadshow for businesses and people that own, manage or service chillers and large air conditioning equipment has attracted massive industry support, with Daikin confirmed as Platinum Sponsor with naming rights.

Daikin is joined by Gold Sponsors Mitsubishi Electric, A-Gas, Trane (distributed by Veolia) and the Australian Refrigeration Council while Refrigerants Australia has secured a silver sponsorship.

Industry trade-show ARBS has also thrown its support behind Future:Air, an industry-run, not-for-profit partnership between industry associations AREMA and AMCAthat will run the five breakfast seminars across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne from May 20-24 this year.

Future:Air, in association with Daikin, will deliver vital cutting-edge information to help prepare businesses that own, manage or repair chillers and large air conditioning equipment for the arrival of new systems, equipment, technology and regulations.

Taking place in Brisbane, Sydney, Parramatta (NSW), Melbourne and Box Hill (VIC) from May 20-24, 2019, each event will take place between 7.30am and 9.30am with full plated breakfast provided.

Subsidised by contributions from industry associations and corporate sponsorship, tickets are priced at just $99 per delegate and available from FutureAir.acthrough a secure online booking system. Corporate tables of eight are also available at a discount and can be booked by emailing support@futureair.ac.

The seminars will be presented by the following expert speakers from major international and Australasian industry associations and companies:

  • Stephen R Yurek (United States)

CEO and President of AHRI, joined AHRI in 2002 as Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs and General Counsel

  • Andrea Voigt (Europe)

Director General of EPEE, guiding members towards strong common positions and representing them in front of European institutions, governments and business leaders

  • Stuart Kirkwood (Australasia)

Business Leader for Australia & New Zealand Region, Ingersoll Rand, with 35 years’ HVAC industry experience including nine in Asia. Responsible for Trane and Thermo King brands, he also represents AREMA on several Australian Standards Committees

  • Greg Picker (Australia)

ExecutiveDirector of the Air conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers Association of Australia (AREMA) and Refrigerants Australia since 2013 and has over 20 years’ experience dealing with climate change and energy policy, including with the UN Framework on Climate Change, the Australian Government and AECOM

Meet the speakers: Q&A with Stephen R. Yurek

Stephen R Yurek
Speaker: Steve Yurek
(Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute)
Stephen R. Yurek is CEO and President of AHRI. Mr. Yurek joined AHRI in 2002 as Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs and General Counsel.

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Q: The expectation among industry is that chillers and large air conditioners are set for dramatic technological changes. Do you think this sentiment is accurate and if so, what are the changes you expect to see?

A: The HVACR industry is in a period of significant change in refrigerants, technology, and product design. Changes are definitely underway in chiller technology with the use of variable frequency drives (VFD), oil-free compressors, sophisticated controls, variable volume ratio technology and the increased efficiency of condenser fans all contributing to this phenomenon. 

The ability of some of today’s chillers to use heat recovery for space- and water-heating adds to their attractiveness. The cost of variable frequency drives has fallen while their reliability has improved, making them a more viable option for the air-and water-cooled screw chiller market instead of them being primarily used only in centrifugal chillers.

These newer technologies improve efficiency by eliminating the mechanical slide valve for capacity control and provide for reduced sound levels at part-load operation. In addition, VFDs can improve part-load efficiency when added to the condenser fans in air-cooled chillers.

Because of increases in performance, there are places in the world where air-cooled chillers are actually cheaper to install and maintain than water-cooled, particularly in places where water is expensive. 

Q: What is driving these technological changes? How will these forces influence the design of products to come?

A: There are always two main factors driving change: One is energy efficiency and the other is cost. The technological changes we are seeing in the chiller market are driven by both those factors, especially as countries, states, provinces, and regions around the world put an increasing premium on energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact. 

A third factor that sometimes drive design changes are regulatory requirements. However, changes that occur because of regulatory requirements often miss the mark in their intended purposes. As an industry, we would prefer to see changes driven by market demand and innovation.

Finally, climate change is also a significant driver in technological changes. As stewards of the environment, the industry is always looking at innovations that could reduce the carbon footprint of its products.

Q: With change comes risk. What do building owners, facility managers and service companies need to consider when making investment decisions for the future?

A: The changes in the chiller market, in addition to increased energy efficiency, can also benefit facility managers with decreased installation and maintenance costs as well as higher energy efficiency.

They will need to stay abreast of changes in the refrigerant market because of the drive to phase down higher GWP refrigerants.

In addition, technological changes bring complexity to the decision-making matrix. Building owners and specifiers must make informed decisions on investments. AHRI, through its 40 plus performance certification programs, provides indispensable data that can be used to make informed decisions.

Q: Although the market for this equipment is global, are there any issues in Australia that will have an influence on what is sold here, or how it is used and maintained? 

A: All of the new technologies mentioned will benefit the Australian building stock and the nation as a whole, as climate-friendly refrigerants are phased in with higher-efficiency chillers.

What is important for Australia is that careful analysis is conducted of the different testing standards and certification schemes that are being considered for acceptance in Australia’s chiller MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standards) that is currently under review.

A blanket acceptance of all standards and certification schemes would effectively negate the gains from technological innovations and result in a market that is more price driven rather than innovation and efficiency driven.

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ARBS joins forces with Future:Air

The Air Conditioning, Refrigeration Building Services Exhibition (ARBS) has joined forces with the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturing Association (AREMA) and the Air Conditioning Mechanical Contractors Association (AMCA) to help organise and promote Future:Air.

Future:Air is a breakfast seminar series designed to help businesses and people that own, manage or repair chillers and large air conditioning equipment to prepare for upcoming changes.

Events will take place in Brisbane, Sydney, Parramatta (NSW), Melbourne and Box Hill (VIC) from May 20-24, 2019.

Australasian speaker confirmed

Stuart Kirkwood

Stuart Kirkwood has been working in the HVAC industry for 35 years, including nine years in Asia. Stuart currently holds the position of Business Leader, Australia & New Zealand Region, for Ingersoll Rand. Responsible for both Trane and Thermo King brands, Stuart is a degree qualified engineer, and a LEED Accredited Professional (AP). Stuart long-standing member of the AREMA executive, and represents AREMA on several Australian Standards Committees.

Seminar dates confirmed

The future:air 2019 seminar schedule has been confirmed:

event map

Brisbane QLD CBD

  • Monday, May 20 from 7.30-9.30am
  • Customs House, 399 Queen St, Brisbane

Sydney NSW CBD

  • Tuesday, May 21 from 7.30-9.30am
  • Rydges Sydney, 28 Albion Street, Surry Hills NSW

Paramatta NSW

  • Wednesday, May 22 from 7.30-9.30am
  • Novotel Parramatta, 350 Church Street, Parramatta NSW

Melbourne VIC CBD

  • Thursday, May 23 from 7.30-9.30am
  • CQ Melbourne, 113 Queen Street, Melbourne VIC

Box Hill VIC

  • Friday, May 24 from 7.30-9.30am
  • Box Hill Institute, 465 Elgar Road, Box Hill VIC

International speakers confirmed

Stephen YurekStephen R. Yurek has been Chief Executive Officer and President at The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) since January 1, 2010 and 2007 respectively.

Mr. Yurek joined AHRI in 2002 as Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs and General Counsel and was promoted in 2006 to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer.

He came to AHRI from the education community, having served as Vice President of Business Development and Public Affairs for CompassLearning, Inc. and prior to that, as General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer at the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Mr. Yurek also has been Director-at-large at American National Standards Institute since January 1, 2009. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in chemistry and a Juris Doctor.

Andrea VoigtAndrea Voigt was appointed Director General of EPEE, the voice of the refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump industry in Europe, in 2009. Headquartered in Brussels, EPEE currently represents 48 companies as well as national and international associations from Europe, Asia and North America.

Under Voigt’s leadership, EPEE has become one of the leading associations of the HVACR sector on a global level. EPEE is a member/supporter of major European and international initiatives such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), ICARHMA (International Council of Air-conditioning, Refrigeration, Heating Manufacturers Associations) and the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR). It is also partnering with UN Environment on several projects.

Voigt’s experience in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry spans over two decades. She is a member of ASHRAE, the German engineers’ society DKV and a Board member of the EU Coalition for Energy Savings, a leading cross-sectoral association advocating for a stronger focus on energy efficiency in the EU. A German national, she is fluent in English and French, holding degrees in public administration (MPA), applied linguistic science (MA) and marketing.

was appointed Director General of the EPEE, the voice of the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump industry in Europe, in 2009. She guides EPEE member companies towards strong common positions and represents the EPEE at meetings with decision makers at European institutions, member states’ governments and industry business leaders. She is also building up and further strengthening the EPEE’s network within the European and international association landscape. Prior to joining the EPEE, Andrea had been working in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry for more than 15 years, holding various functions in the fields of marketing, communication and public relations. A German national, Andrea is fluent in English and French, holding degrees in public administration (MPA), applied linguistic science (MA) and marketing.