Japanese heat pump market situation
In the residential sector, most room air conditioners (RACs) sold in Japan have a “reversible“ function and the “heating“ function is becoming ever more popular as its efficiency is far superior to that of combustion based heaters. The market for these products is now mature and saturated, to the extent that annual sales volumes have been static since the mid 1990s.
Annual sales of RACs peaked in 2005 and since then the trend has been declining. However, in 2009 the Energy Conservation Law was amended and residential & commercial sectors were added as targets, which encouraged the renovation of facilities. Replacement of older noninverter units by newer inverter products contributed to market recovery. As a result the annual shipment of RACs has been growing since 2011 sales rose to 9.42 million units in 2013. In the building stock millions of older non-inverter units are considered still in operation and are expected to be upgraded to newer inverter ones.
In the industrial sector, particularly in the food, beverage, and agriculture sectors, operating temperatures are often relatively low, thus lending themselves to the use of heat pumps. Moreover, recent technological advances in capacity and output temperature are extending the potential application of heat pumps in the industrial sector. Currently, heat pumps producing hot air up to 120°C and steam up to 165°C are being commercialised in Japan.
For large scale centrifugal chillers the annual sales volume declined in 2009 due to the Global Financial Crisis, and sales were approximately at 300 units in 2013.
Air/air room air-conditioners (unducted mini-split) are the most popular solutions for space heating and cooling in the residential sector in Japan. On average, each household utilizes 3.0 room air-conditioners (2012). Systems of this type installed today are almost all reversible types.
The number of ground source heat pumps have been increasing, particularly in cold regions, such as the northern part of Japan. Average installation costs of a complete system is approximately Euro 21 000 including radiators.
Brand names :
Ground source heat pumps: Sunpot, Zeneral Heatpump.
Water/water chillers: Daikin, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Hitachi, Mitsubishi heavy industries, Kobelco, Ebara, Zeneral heatpump, Trane.
Air/water heat pumps: Daikin, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Hitachi, Mitsubishi heavy industries, KOBELCO, Mayekawa, Zeneral heatpump, Toyo.
“EcoCute” sanitary hot water heat pumps: Daikin, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Hitachi, Mitsubishi heavy industries, Mayekawa, Corona, Toto, Panasonic, Chofu, Itomic, Takara.
Air/air heat pumps: Daikin, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Hitachi, Mitsubishi heavy industries, Trane, Toyo, Sharp, Fujitsu, Panasonic, Zeneral heatpump, PMAC, Toyo.