The refrigeration sector is a key market for compressors in EMEA, as there are several very important suppliers of refrigeration units operating in the region. It accounts for a significant share of compressors, in particular for reciprocating types. In the long run, scroll compressors are not expected to take market share from semi-hermetic reciprocating, as they are not able to handle the same breadth of applications and refrigerant types.
The refrigeration sector is going toward a general reduction of energy required for food conservation. Energy saving has been pushed by legislation in several countries, in particular the European Union, where directives such as Ecodesign and Ecolabel, which are under revision, have driven the uptake of electronic speed variation in compressor motors.
In EMEA, refrigerants are following the general trend of a shift toward alternatives with lower global warming potential, and the European Union is at the forefront of this move. While the AC industry is operating the move toward R32, which is a stopgap rather than a long-term solution, other refrigerants for large compressors operating at lower pressure include pure HFO such as R1234ze. CO2 or hydrocarbons such as propane (R290) remain limited to specific products and climates.
While the majority of the domestic HP market are still using R410A, there are more initiatives toward using propane in outdoor units for HP than in AC. In addition, the use of R1234ze in large screw units, with its large temperature range, allows for a growth in the market for commercial heat pumps.
Finally, while the domestic refrigeration market is dominated by isobutane (R600a), in commercial applications the use of R404A has faltered when HFO/HFC blends became available. While CO2 has become widespread in compressor racks for supermarkets, and propane in plug-in refrigerated display cases, it is expected that HFO blends with low GWP will benefit from the phase out of R404A.