Stirling Cryocooler Market Size is forecast to reach $7.4 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 10.5% during 2021-2026. Stirling Cryocoolers are standalone devices utilized for providing cooling temperatures at different cryogenic levels. There are different types of Stirling Cryocoolers available based upon the operating thermodynamic cycles. These cycles assist Stirling Cryocoolers to attain different levels of cryogenic temperatures that are applicable to specific set of applications in plethora of industry verticals. Stirling Cryocooler is a mechanical refrigerator designed to cool an application down to cryogenics temperatures. Stirling Cryocoolers are significantly used for applications in the transportation/storage of gases at extremely low temperatures as well as cooling of products, particularly infrared products in various applications. Cryocooling solutions have been witnessing a wide popularity across the major end-use verticals including medical, mining, power plants and are subjected to repeated as well as continuous usage, the need for regular maintenance or repair, fixing customer queries in times of malfunctioning, replacing spare parts with new ones and so on becomes highly essential. These services help the end-use customers to continue production activities without causing time delays, operation failures and hampering business productivity.
Stirling Cryocooler Market Segment Analysis – By Temperature Range
50K-100K temperature range type hold the highest market share accounting for $149.3 M in 2020 and is growing with a CAGR of 8.3%. Stirling Cryocoolers which can provide cooling with in range of 50K-100K are used for applications including liquefaction of nitrogen & mixed gases and cooling the gas temperature ranges from 60-80 K. Stirling Cryocoolers that can supply cooling up to the range of 100K have used in Cooling of satellite typically in the milliwatt range at 60-80K. In January 2020, NASA developed a 20 Watt 20 Kelvin Stirling Cryocooler is a critical step in enabling zero boil-off of liquid hydrogen. Active thermal control of cryogenic propellants is made possible by integrating a Stirling Cryocooler to intercept and collect heat from the cryogenic tank support structure and/or a broad area cooled shield. 10K-50K temperature range Stirling Cryocooler type is witnessing fast growth rate with a CAGR of 9.6% during the forecast period 2021 – 2026 owing to the wide range of applications employed in liquefaction of Solid Hydrogen in the temperature range of 10-14K and liquefaction of hydrogen in the temperature range of 18-30 K.
Stirling Cryocooler Market Segment Analysis – By Vertical
In Power and Energy vertical, applications of Stirling Cryocooler includes LNG for peak shaving, Infrared sensors for thermal loss measurements, SC magnetic energy storage for peak shaving and power conditioning, SC power applications (motors, transformers etc.). The superconductor industry is closely linked to the cryogenic industry due to operating temperatures required for superconductivity being below 130K. Such cooling comes from Stirling Cryocoolers. The use of a superconductor and the fact that superconductors currently need a cryogenic temperature to operate means SMES is part of the superconductivity and cryogenics industry. Thus, Stirling Cryocooler play an important role in creating cryogenic temperatures required for superconductivity. In SMES energy is stored in a magnetic field created by the flow of direct current (DC) in a superconducting coil, which has been cryogenically cooled below its critical temperature. Energy storage is a rapidly growing market with a number of trends. The increase in decentralized renewable energy, the advent of smart grids, smart micro-grids and smart houses, the electrification of transport, the increasing demand on the ageing electricity infrastructure and climate change targets are all helping to drive the energy storage market. Thus, with the increase in energy storage devices such as SMES the market growth for cyrocoolers will increase as it used for direct cooling of superconducting magnets.
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Stirling Cryocooler Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Geographically, Asia-Pacific held a major share 35.2% of Stirling Cryocooler Market share in 2020 in terms of revenue owing to increasing applications in Defense sector, Healthcare and Space sector. For instance, in May 2019, China unveiled the prototype for its sleek new magnetic levitation (maglev) train. Developed by the state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC), the world’s largest supplier of rail transit equipment announced that the new train is capable of travelling at a speed of 600km/h. Moreover, India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) announced that their Anti-Tank Guided Missile (NAG) is set to be exported to global market and India further look to expand its production units. This will propel the application of Stirling Cryocooler in large scale further enhancing its market growth. South America region is anticipated to witness significant market growth during the forecast period 2021-2026 with a CAGR of 9.7%. The market growth in this region is mainly due to rising applications of Stirling Cryocooler such as to offer high speed imaging and sensing infrared detectors across a variety of different sectors, including space, defense and commercial. With Brazil ramping up domestic space satellite, rocket programs the Stirling Cryocooler market will grow significantly.
Stirling Cryocooler Market Drivers
Growing Applications in Military and Defense
The extensive deployment of Stirling Cryocoolers for defense and military applications such as cooling of infrared focal planes and infrared sensors are likely to be the major driving factor for the growth of global Stirling Cryocoolers market. Stirling Cryocooler are often used for tactical military applications such as airborne, ground mounted and shipboard IR sensors that are associated with Stirling Cryocoolers for cooling needs. Indium antimonide (InSb), Mercury-cadmium-telluride (HgTeCd) and other prominent detector materials used in these applications are required to be cooled to cryogenic temperatures to ensure proper operation of sensor device by reducing the random transition of electrons between energy bands. Moreover, improving power, size and weight constraints of space qualified Stirling Cryocoolers boosted the utilization of these devices in large military satellite electro optical infrared missions.
Growing Adoption of Night Vision Cameras
Most of the advanced security cameras are featured with night vision to provide footages of the location even in dark and night conditions. These cameras rely on infrared light and capture footages by lighting the field of view with infrared light source. Night vision cameras installed in military applications such as video surveillance for enemy detection uses Stirling Cryocoolers. These devices use high efficiency compact pulse tube Stirling Cryocoolers as cooling element for IR sensing materials to enhance the picture clarity and colour discrimination. The growing demand or night vision cameras in typical commercial applications owing to theft and other anti-social activities is propelling the Stirling Cryocoolers market.
Stirling Cryocooler Market Challenges
Low efficiency in closed cycle mode and high internal losses
The internal losses associated with most of the regenerative and recuperative Stirling Cryocoolers pose a very significant effect on the overall efficiency of the system and this is the major factor hindering the growth of Stirling Cryocoolers market. The irreversible gas compression mechanism in Stirling Cryocoolers results in regenerator inefficiency of the system. Other internal losses such as pressure drop loss and clearance seal loss also impact the performance of the system negatively. The losses experienced by Pulse tube type Stirling Cryocoolers within pulse tube itself include heat transfer between tube wall and gas, circulation of gas within the pulse tube due to oscillating pressures and mixing of warm and cold gas segments.
Stirling Cryocooler Market Landscape
Product launches, acquisitions, Partnerships and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the Stirling Cryocooler market. Stirling Cryocooler top 10 companies include Sumitomo, Chart Industries, Sunpower, Air Liquide, Janis Research, Ricor, Cryomech and Brooks Automation.
In September 2020, Air Liquide S.A. acquired Cryoconcept which enabled Air Liquide to strengthen its expertise in the field of extreme, or close to absolute zero, cryogenics.
In July 2019, Atlas Copco acquired Brooks Semiconductor Cryogenics through which it will develop a worldwide sales and service network of cryo pumps operations.
Technical Support services help the users or customers to select best cryocooling components or spare parts according to their industrial requirements, offering details about on-service contracts, or discounted service packages, diagnosis or repairing faults, troubleshooting technical issues along with a proper guidance on servicing intervals. With the help of technical support services, various end-use customers have been able to maximize their productivity with a cost-efficient approach.
Scheduled maintenance had been gaining a wide popularity within the Stirling Cryocooler market owing to various service providers offering maintenance contracts, emergency support, warranty offers and so on. These services have proved to be a beneficial factor as the cryogenic components including compressors, cold heads and so on helps in early detection of defects or damages, which can ultimately benefit the end-use customers to schedule or pre-book repair or refurbishment services, within lesser costs and efforts.
Applications including cooling in MRI systems, superconducting magnets, low temperature sensors, storage of biological cells or specimens, cyropumps for semiconductor fabrication, cryosurgery and so on are considered as some of the major factors impacting the growth of various cryogenic hardware over the years.
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B. Cryogenic Valves Market
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