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The global cooling towers market has been forecast to hit a market value of US$2.6 billion by 2018, primarily driven by the stringent environmental norms mandating use of cooling systems in key end-use markets such as HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning), heavy industrial & utility and chemical industries.
Cooling towers are heat removal devices used to transfer process waste heat to the atmosphere. Cooling towers may either use the evaporation of water to remove process heat and cool the working fluid to near the wet-bulb air temperature or, in the case of closed circuit dry cooling towers, rely solely on air to cool the working fluid to near the dry-bulb air temperature.
Cooling towers vary in size from small roof-top units to very large hyperboloid structures that can be up to 200 metres tall and 100 metres in diameter, or rectangular structures that can be over 40 metres tall and 80 metres long. The hyperboloid cooling towers are often associated with nuclear power plants, although they are also used to some extent in some large chemical and other industrial plants.
Major cooling tower manufacturers include Baltimore Aircoil Company (BAC), and Evapco, both based in Maryland, USA. It has been estimated that the commercial and industrial cooling tower market in North America represents approximately $5 billion in annual capital expenditure, parts and service, and about $4 billion in the rest of the world.
Cooling towers are also major users of potable water and energy, and increasingly, building operators are turning to aftermarket systems that can be retrofitted to make buildings greener and more environmentally friendly. Although industry participants estimate that the market for such systems is currently less than 1% of the total cooling tower market (i.e. less than $90 million per year), it is growing at a faster rate, as new-build orders are supplemented by retrofit requests.
The cooling tower market is growing at approximately 2-5% (the same rate as new buildings). After-market efficiency systems are growing at much faster rates, with some providers experiencing 100% annual rates of expansion, with increasing regulation and a greater awareness of full-cost water pricing is expected to increase market penetration over the next decade.
For more information on the cooling tower market, see the latest research: Cooling Tower Market
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