Refrigeration leak detectors, or refrigerant detectors, are devices utilized to check and contain the oozing of chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).
Commercial & industrial refrigeration and HVAC systems unexpectedly break down and lead to serious losses and unexpected emergencies. Leakage of the aforementioned chemicals can lead to the malfunctioning of the refrigeration unit. To prevent this, refrigeration leak detection becomes extremely critical.
Refrigerant leak detectors are being extensively applied in both commercial and household grade refrigerators. Restaurants, hotels, catering facilities, bakeries, supermarkets, cold storage facilities and medical facilities all use refrigeration systems where leak detectors are imperative to ensure safety and avoid equipment downtime.
Stringent Environmental Protocols to Catalyze Adoption
Global warming has become a primary concern for countries across the world. To measure the level of individual contribution, the global warming potential (GWP) indicator was developed. Higher the GWP, greater is the degree of damage inflicted upon the environment. CFCs and HCFCs are included in this ambit.
The aforementioned gases trap immense amounts of heat when leaked into the atmosphere. Hence, it becomes important to install leak checking devices within appliances running on HCFCs and CFCs. As per the Montreal Protocol, annual per capital consumption and production of ozone depleting substances must be less than 0.3 kg.
All these developments are expected to heighten demand for refrigerant leak detectors throughout the forecast period. A value CAGR of 3.1% is predicted for the forecast period under consideration, which is 2020-2030.
High Refrigerant Prices to Further Stimulate Market Growth
Over the years, the cost of CFC and HFC based refrigerants has increased phenomenally. The cost of HFC refrigerants has registered a stellar upsurge in Europe, ranging from 275-700%. This is the end-product of stringent fluorine gas regulations imposed due to its high GWP index.
Thus, the high cost of replacing the refrigerant itself outweighs the expenditure incurred on locating and repairing potential leaks. Consequently, the demand for refrigeration leak detectors from commercial and residential grade appliance users is likely to experience an upward sloping curve.
Technological Advancements to Provide Opportunities
As is the case with other industries, technological advancements are imperative to the growth and proliferation of the refrigeration leak detector market. The advent of information technology has generated green spaces for developing smart solutions to curb gas leakages.
The push towards smart and environmental-friendly technologies is pushing manufacturers to develop advanced leak detection systems. Tek Tronics is amongst a host of vendors specializing in this area. Its system is equipped with wireless sensors which provide centralized monitoring for up to 150 points.
Besides checking for leakages, the smart sensor also provides additional facilities such as temperature, pressure and fault status monitoring. These wireless devices have proven instrumental in curbing installation costs of hotels and large multi-zone installations.
As a result, tremendous growth in the HVAC industry is anticipated, which will ultimately lead to the mushrooming of the global refrigeration lead detector market across the forecast period.
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Incongruent Regulatory Standards to Hinder Adoption
Refrigeration systems and air-conditioners have tighter leak specifications for which testing methods must offer high sensitivity and production procedures. These approaches vary according to appliance type, applications and cost implications. This would likely impede growth prospects in the upcoming forecast.
Moreover, lack of standardization with regard to output levels is restricting uptake of several leak devices. Unavailability of detectors due to complicated regulatory procedures is proving to be a major hindrance, limiting expansion prospects. However, the global community is working towards homogenizing regulatory requirements, which is good news for the market.
North America Refrigeration Leak Detector Market
North America is anticipated to register substantial growth in the next decade. The region is expected to create an incremental $ opportunity worth US$ 5.5 Mn by 2030, with the U.S contributing the maximum revenue share.
Extensive legal sanctions curbing adoption of CFCs and HFCs are attributed to be key drivers behind the region’s accelerating share. In the U.S, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established upper limits regarding the emission levels from different verticals.
According to the EPA, the following trigger leak rates shall apply annually to different domains: industrial refrigeration (30%), commercial refrigeration (20%), comfort cooling (10%) and other appliances (10%). Also, in case of leakages, owners must repair the same within 30 days and devise a plan to retire the faulty device.
In 2005, the EPA collaborated with the Chemical Manufacturer’s Association (CMA) developed a guidance framework to ensure proper compliance with refrigerant leak prevention and repair measures. The provisions are detailed in Part III of the EPA’s Protection of Stratospheric Ozone Final Rule, 40 CFR Part 82.
According to the guidelines, EPA advises end-users to routinely inspect HVAC appliances for leaks, conduct verification tests and report chronically leaking appliances to it. Based on these trends, manufacturers are finding fertile ground for marketing their products, uplifting market prospects.
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South Asia & Pacific Refrigeration Leak Detector Market
In recent years, incidences of indoor air pollution (IAP) across South Asian nations has registered a massive upsurge. Presently, 40% of the world’s population resides in tropical areas, exposing people to extremely high temperatures. Nearly 12,000 people succumb to heat waves annually, necessitating the need to install air-conditioning systems.
Undoubtedly, access to comfort cooling is imperative for many communities in the region. Unfortunately, large-scale deployment of air-conditioning and cooling systems has also increased the region’s carbon footprint in the form of increasing CFC emissions. Both direct and indirect AC emission lead to an increase in global temperatures by 0.5 degrees Celsius.
Amongst all countries, India represents the most lucrative opportunity for the proliferation of refrigeration leak detectors market. Surging disposable income levels have enabled residents to purchase air-conditioning systems. More than 80% of Indian households are equipped with an air conditioner.
On the back of these trends, the South Asia & Pacific market will reach a value of US$ 29.5 Mn by 2030-end, expanding steadily at a CAGR of 4.2%.
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East Asia Refrigeration Leak Detector Market
Rapid industrialization and growth of trade and commerce has increased adoption of refrigerating and cooling systems across key verticals in the East Asian countries. China is at the forefront of the East Asian development, contributing the maximum revenue share.
Scientists have estimated that at least 40-60% of the increase in industrial grade ozone-depleting chemicals have been traced to China. Observations confirm suspicions about the emission of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) in the East Asian giant. Realizing these, the government has accelerated efforts to curb these emissions.
The Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment has devised a plan to phase out usage of HFCs and CFCs, in compliance with the regulations established in the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. These efforts include promoting R&D in detection technologies, quotas to regulate CFC-equipped devices and strict penalties for violations.
Category Wise Insights
Product Type Insights
The electronic detectors segment is likely to tower over the global refrigeration leak detector market. The upsurge is due to high precision and efficiency rates in leak detection procedures. Leak technologies in this category include corona-suppression (negative corona), infrared, ultrasonic and heated diode detection.
Amongst these aforementioned technologies, the ultrasonic detection method will acquire maximum traction. Ultrasonic detectors are inert in nature, meaning that they do not react with the emitting gases. This renders them useful for pressure measurements.
Additionally, ultrasonic detectors have helped industries achieve cost optimization and enhanced business efficiency. These devices have proven extremely useful in plugging compressed air leaks in factories, laying fertile ground for their sales.
EXAIR is a pioneer on this front, manufacturing its own version of ultrasonic air detectors. The company has partnered up with Energy Star as a part of their commitment to reduce air leakages, thereby leading to immense energy savings.
Based on these trends, the electronics detector segment is anticipated to register an impressive market share of nearly 90% throughout the forecast period.
Industrial-grade leak detectors are slated to experience the maximum sales between 2020 and 2030, capturing nearly 3/5th of the overall market share. Maximum usage is anticipated to be witnessed in the food & beverage segment, attributed to the need to avoid wastage.
Increase in food and beverages production along with expansion of cold storage capacities to ensure efficient storage and minimize wastage. The Global Cold Chain Alliance estimates that refrigerated warehouse capacities in developing countries have recorded impressive growth rates in the last decade.
Such rapid mushrooming of cold storage and warehousing capacities is poised to augment the demand for various refrigeration systems. This, in turn, is likely to provide impetus to refrigeration leak detectors.
In the present time, the demand for easy-to-use appliances and machines is accelerating on a daily basis. Therefore, an uptick has been witnessed in the adoption of handheld leak detectors. The segment will generate an incremental opportunity worth US$ 32 Mn by 2030.
However, the popularity of benchtop devices is not expected to fade away, capturing nearly a tenth of the global market share. The segment is likely to exhibit a steady growth trajectory in the first-half of the forecast period. A US$ 3 Mn incremental opportunity has been predicted for benchtop leak detectors.
COVID-19 Impact Analysis
The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has led to sluggishness, with the global economy showing acute signs of depression. This is akin, or probably in higher intensity, than the 2008 global financial meltdown. As a result, the refrigeration leak detector market shall register a substantial decline.
Drastic containment measures to prevent further spread of infections have ushered in major troughs in industrial production, prompting industries to revise their growth forecasts, from as high as 8% to as low as 2%. These curbs have significantly hampered the supply of refrigeration systems in several countries.
These supplies are limited to only essential companies across the food and medical supply chains. Consequently, manufacturers are highly likely to experience major revenue shortfalls in industrial-grade refrigeration leak detector sales in the short-run.
Going by an optimistic approach, FMI anticipates the global economy to rebound between the next 5 to 8 quarters, primarily supported by surging healthcare spending and infrastructure investments. As a result, the refrigerator leak detector market will probably experience moderate recovery over subsequent years.
Refrigeration Leak Detector Companies and Competitive Intelligence
The global refrigeration leak detector market is moderately competitive, characterized by the presence of a limited number of players holding the majority of the market share.
Prominent vendors in the landscape are concentrating on developing multi-functional leak detectors, incorporation of IoT and leveraging e-commerce platforms to penetrate potential markets. Additionally, collaborations and partnerships are assisting them in expanding their distribution networks around the world.
In August 2020, Inficon Inc. introduced the D-Tek 3 Refrigerant Leak Detector capable of providing accurate leak detection which minimizes environmental impact of escaping refrigerants and costs. The device is a hand-held unit, equipped with a CO2 sensor, thus enhancing its effectiveness.
Elitech Technology Inc. is another prominent player offering remote cold chain technologies, auto-repair solutions, ambient air monitoring and air conditioning solutions. Its leak detectors are equipped with halogen, Freon and infrared technologies respectively.
The company has businesses across 8 segments, with two overseas R&D institutes. It owns 80 authorized patents with 30 software patents. Its business segments include digital pressure gauges, temperature controllers, air quality monitors, charging scales, HVAC tools, temperature data loggers, leak detectors and digital thermometers.
In an effort to augment its existing research capabilities, Bacharach Inc. inaugurated a brand new office in Dublin, Ireland in July 2019. The new facility was established in order to expand customer support and product supply and service capabilities to European customers and channel partners.
Bacharach is an active provider of cleantech solutions for gas and refrigerant leak detection and identification, and the establishment of this new facility will assist the company in capturing a larger customer base across Northern Europe.
In addition to this, other players profiled in the report are as follows:
- MSA Safety
- ACME Engineering
- Ritchie Engineering
- Fieldpiece Instruments Inc.
- CPS Products Inc.
- Emerson Electric Co.
The list is only indicative – full list of refrigeration leak detector key players is available upon request.
Refrigeration Leak Detector Market: Report Scope
Historical Data Available for
USD Million for Value and Units for Volume
Key Regions Covered
North America, Latin America, Europe, East Asia, South Asia & Pacific and Middle East & Africa
Key Countries Covered
U.S, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Italy, France, U.K, Spain, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, India, ASEAN, Australia & New Zealand, Turkey and South Africa
Key Segments Covered
Product Type, Operation & End-Use
Key Companies Profiled
Elitech Technology Inc., Fieldpiece Instruments Inc., CPS Products Inc., AGPTEK, MSA Safety, ACME Engineering Products Ltd., KANE INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, Bacharach Inc., Emerson Electric Co., Robinair, Ritchie Engineering Inc., Testo SE & Co. KGaA and INFICON.
Market Overview, Key Trends, Success Factors, Demand Analysis, Pricing Analysis, Market Background, DROT Analysis, Segmental Overview, Regional Profiling, COVID-19 Impact Analysis and Competition Analysis
Customization & Pricing
Key Questions Answered in the Report
- What is the refrigeration leak detector market size?
The refrigeration leak detector market is set to reach US$ 98.3 million in 2020. The growth rate for the market will be 3.1% CAGR during 2020-2030
- Which is the largest market for refrigeration leak detectors?
South Asia & Pacific is the largest market for refrigeration leak detectors globally. Heightening pollution levels due to incessant CFC, HCFC and HFC emissions from HVAC appliances is expected to steer the region’s growth forward
- Which are the top companies in the landscape?
INFICON, MSA Safety and Emerson Electric Co. are considered to be leading players in the market, operating with medium to high level global presence
- To what extent will the COVID-19 pandemic impact the market’s growth trajectory?
The pandemic crisis has ushered in a significant downturn in the uptake of refrigerant leak detectors, attributed to falling industrial grade operations across key verticals. A moderate recovery path is projected in the future.
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Refrigeration Leak Detector Market Segmentation
- Halide Detector
- Electronic Detector
- Research & Academia
- Maintenance Service Providers
- North America (U.S & Canada)
- Latin America (Mexico, Brazil & Rest of Latin America)
- Europe (Germany, Italy, France, U.K, Spain, Russia & Rest of Europe)
- South Asia & Pacific (India, ASEAN, Oceania & Rest of South Asia & Pacific)
- East Asia (China, Japan & South Korea)
- Middle East & Africa (Turkey, Northern Africa, South Africa & Rest of MEA)