World AC and compressor trends

In its recent report, JARN estimates that the HVAC&R market in 2006 was about 66 billion USD and about half of sales were air conditioners and related products. - Regarding the AC market, China, the US, Japan and major European countries make up about ¾ of the 2006 world market. About 19.3 million AC units, mostly of the ductless split type, were sold in China in 2006, showing a stabilization, but the total number of ACs produced in China and exported was about 27 million units, an increase of 2 million units over the previous year. The volume of AC shipments is increasing in the US at 17.7 million units (only 200 000 ductless type units) and stabilizing in Japan at 8.2 million units. The 7 major European countries' AC markets have grown to 5.3 million units (almost all of the ductless type); Italy and Spain represent 52% of the whole European market with about 1.4-1.7 million units each, followed by France, Greece and UK with 300 000 - 500 000 units each. 2006 saw a sharp increase in the price of the raw materials used, such as copper, resulting in an increase in the product cost. Another important issue: the consequences of numerous measures taken to protect the environment and promote energy efficiency. EU released WEEE* and RoHS** Directives which led the AC European market to gradually switch to R-410A (HFC blend). The Japanese government has regulated the average COP of cooling equipment and also released a Japanese version of RoHS (JIS standard). R-410A is now the refrigerant used in almost all Japanese ACs. In the US, the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) of residential ACs should at least be 13 since January 2006. The Chinese government has implemented a regulation on the EER (energy efficiency ratio) of constant-speed ACs and a Chinese version of RoSH is likely to be put into use in 2008. Use of HFCs is encouraged by the government. - The forecast ofa recent JARN-BSRIA study estimates the world 2006 compressor market at 14.9 billion USD. The distribution is shown above. Blue: Reciprocating (48.8%); Orange: Rotary (27.1%); Red: Scroll (18.1%); Yellow: Screw (5.0%); Green: Centrifugal (1.0%). Reciprocating compressors account for almost half of the whole market but face competition from scroll compressors - with production levels nearly doubling from 1999 to 2006 - at the small-capacity end and screw compressors - which showed big growth in demand in 2006 - at the large-capacity end. One of the most important hot spots is the development of CO2 compressors in automotive ACs, for heat pump water heaters - where COPs can reach 4.9 - and for light commercial applications where for instance two-stage Sanyo CO2 rotary compressors for automatic vending machines can consume 17% less energy than HFC-134a systems and where the first semi-hermetic reciprocating CO2 compressor in the world was developed by Dorin. Other progress to be emphasized: highly energy-efficient linear compressors for refrigerators. They were first developed by SunPower in the late 1990s, then commercialized by LG and now developed by many other companies. * WEEE: Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment ** RoHS: Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment