A History of U.S. Market Share in Commercial Chillers

In the late 1960s, U.S. manufacturers had 100% of the worldwide market for LiBr/H2O absorption chillers using the standard single-effect absorption cycle (see the chart). Trane introduced the first mass-produced steam-fired double-effect LiBr/H2O absorption chiller in 1970. Several factors have influenced absorption chiller sales since then.
Worldwide sales of U.S. and Japanese large commercial chillers.

The first factor was the entry of Japanese manufacturers into the marketplace in the late 1960s. Japanese manufacturers were the first to introduce direct-fired double-effect chillers, which now account for most absorption chiller sales throughout the world. Japanese manufacturers have continuously updated and improved the single- and double-effect technologies, further increasing their share of the market.

The second factor influencing sales was the 1970s "energy crisis." Natural gas prices and fuel availability concerns caused absorption chiller sales to decline in the mid-1970s. Since then, absorption chiller sales have increased and have continued strong growth, in part because of relatively stable fuel prices throughout the world in the 1980s and 1990s.

U.S. sales jumped in 1992, principally because U.S. manufacturers began offering Japanese- licensed direct-fired double-effect chillers. Currently, Japanese manufacturers continue to dominate worldwide sales of absorption chillers using single-effect and double-effect cycles.

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