Industrial heat pumps are expected to expand in the use of heat in the mid-temperature range
On November 21, 2023, the Japan Electro-Heat Center (JEC) released the results of a survey on the amount of industrial heat pumps installed in FY2022. The survey showed that the number of industrial heat pumps installed increased only slightly to 724 units, up 2.5% from the previous year, and that the lack of aggressive capital investment by the manufacturing industry was a factor in this increase.
The number of industrial heat pumps installed is basically growing steadily, and although the number of pumps installed decreased temporarily in FY19, “the average of FY20 and FY19 was the same level as that of FY18, indicating that the timing of demand has shifted.
The reason for only a slight increase in the number of units installed in FY2010 is that “business performance in the manufacturing sector remained flat. The sluggish business performance made it difficult for manufacturers to invest in industrial heat pumps, a type of capital investment.
On the other hand, the outlook for the market is positive, as companies are becoming more aware of the need to recover waste heat. Looking at the number of water-source heat pumps and hot-air/steam-generating heat pumps that recover heat from wastewater and other substances generated in manufacturing processes to produce hot water, hot air, and steam, the number of water-source heat pumps and hot-air/steam-generating heat pumps installed in FY2010 increased by 34.2% to 161 units and by about 2.3 times to 35 units, respectively. These devices are not fossil-fueled heat pumps. The report points out that these devices are more effective in saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions than equipment that uses fossil fuels, and that studies for conversion to heat pumps are becoming more active, especially in manufacturing processes that use a medium temperature range of around 80 degrees Celsius.