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Size really does matter – in drives

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Danfoss has demonstrated that physical size, or lack of it to be precise, as opposed to rating, does matter when it comes to buying drives. Since launching their new range of more compact higher power ratings, sales of larger power drives have surged and in the UK, the Danfoss team has, in successive months, broken its all time high sales records. The HVAC market particularly has responded strongly. Space is always at a premium in new building designs and the reduction in the physical size of the new drives of up to 50%, plus their ‘zero side clearance’ characteristics enabling them to be mounted side by side, has been warmly welcomed by HVAC consultants and designers alike. Equally, the improvement in efficiency to 98% and the inclusion of features like real time clocks and ‘Fire’ mode, where the drives can be programmed to run to destruction in the event of a conflagration instead of shutting down to protect themselves, have all made the new Danfoss drives range especially suitable for HVAC applications.

Consequently, recent Danfoss successes include highly prestigious projects like The Swiss Re ‘Gherkin’, the GCHQ ‘Doughnut’, Portcullis House, Wembley Stadium, The Scottish Parliament, and the massive new Derby and Romford hospital projects. “The HVAC market is demanding a great deal of our time and it’s been necessary to recruit new people to serve the market” said Tony Pickering, Danfoss’ UK Sales Director, “Currently, we’re handling a greater number of live projects than ever before and targets are being shattered month after month. We’ve substantially strengthened our market lead with the new more compact ranges, not only in the UK but around the world. Of course the more compact design of the drives has led to cost and therefore price reductions and that’s always welcomed by our customers”

According to Pickering, the HVAC market sector, representing around £11m of the UK’s £50m drives market, is very buoyant and demonstrating growth of around 6 – 10% per annum, well beyond UK GDP growth. New building regulations calling for higher efficiency environmental control are partly responsible for this and virtually every major new building project specifies VSDs for the HVAC fans and pumps. “The UK market is a highly competitive market with every major drives player competing both directly and indirectly, yet ironically, the totality of the market is much less than many of the market research companies estimate” said Tony, “Estimates of up to £100m are common but are highly misleading since figures contributed by most of the major players and collated by GAMBICA, indicate that the figure is nearer £50m – £60m yet every multinational player is scrabbling for UK market share and claiming the high ground. It’s foolish really, when there are more substantial markets to be won around the world. With almost 40 years of AC drives experience, Danfoss is well established as market leaders in Europe and corporately we are now focusing our main efforts in the USA and China, both of which dwarf the UK market for drives”

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