SAN JOSE, Calif. - According to a new report by Global Industry Analysts Inc. (GIA), the global market for absorption chillers is forecasted to reach $924.2 million by the year 2017, prompted by rising environmental concerns, the requirement for low-cost, high-efficiency cooling systems, and the need to reduce electricity costs. The need for alternatives to CFC-based chillers is also expected to spur growth. Increasing usage in world markets such as Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the United States are projected to drive robust expansion in the long term.
“Absorption Chillers: A Global Strategic Business Report” states that one of the most prominent technologies gaining impetus globally is absorption cooling technology, which uses absorption chillers to provide cooling using natural solar and thermal sources of energy. Although usage of these chillers is a comparatively recent phenomenon, the technology in fact, has been in existence since the early 19th century. Since then the market for these chillers has expanded, as a greater number of end users opt for absorption chillers to reduce their dependency on electric power and save energy, thereby reducing overall costs.
In contrast to the European and U.S. markets where centrifugal and positive displacement chillers occupy a dominant position, absorption chillers drive demand in the Asian chiller markets, particularly in Japan, China, and Korea, which account for 75 percent of the global market. The high demand for absorption chillers in these regions is mainly attributed to the scarcity of fuel resources and poor electricity infrastructure that compelled various governments in Asia to promote usage of absorption chillers. Absorption chillers are primarily driven by waste heat and therefore their integration with heat recovery and power production units is now the mainstream option in many developed countries.
Despite being environmentally friendly and powered by rejected heat, which makes them appealing, the segment still encounters impediments in the form of higher cost, relatively low efficiency, and poor awareness. Nevertheless, government initiatives, rising awareness, the phasing out of ozone depleting refrigerants, and the widening footprint of companies in various regional markets, among other factors, are likely to augment demand for these chillers in the long run.