The global cryocooler market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.3% to reach $2,365.8 million by 2023. A cryocooler exemplifies a mechanical device, which generates cryogenic temperature due to compression and expansion of gas. Cryogenic temperatures are utilized in various ways including densification, superfluidity and superconductivity, low thermal noise and tissue ablation. Cryocooler follows various thermodynamics techniques including JT (Joule-Thomson), GM (Gifford-McMahon), and PT (Pulse-Tube) to generate the cooling. It follows closed cycle thermodynamic mechanisms, thereby keeps the mass of working gas constant.
The cryocoolers find applications in many industries, including military, medical, commercial, environmental, energy, transportation and space. Cryocoolers are being used in large number for military and space application in the aerospace and defense industry. This makes aerospace and defense industry the largest contributor to the global cryocooler market. For instance, in military application, cryocoolers offers cryogenic temperature for IR sensors in satellite monitoring and missile guidance, whereas in space application, cryocoolers are used in space astronomy and planetary science.
The major factors driving the growth of global cryocooler market include accelerating medical and healthcare services, especially in developing economies and the abrupt scarcity of helium gas. Additionally, factors such as increasing production of liquefied natural gas and surging applications of cryocoolers in many industries, such as semiconductor and aerospace, are also backing the growth of the global cryocooler market.
However, the high-power consumption of cryocoolers is hindering the growth of the global cryocooler market. The main reason behind high-power consumption of cryocoolers is that input power of these systems is largely dependent on the operating temperature and heating load.
Applications of cryocooler have been increasing in healthcare industry, especially in proton therapy, cryosurgery, MRI systems and liquefaction of oxygen in hospitals. Advancement in cryogenic cooling technologies has highly impacted the development of MRI systems. Open cycle cryostats have been the standard approach used in MRI systems, while evolution of cryocoolers has eliminated the need for refilling helium for longer time, which is likely to increase the acceptance of cryocoolers in healthcare sector.
Traditionally, cryogenic liquids such as liquid helium and liquid nitrogen are being used as cooling materials in cryostats. Cryostats follows open cycle thermodynamic mechanisms and tend to be passive devices rather than providing active cooling. Helium being used as a key element in cryostats, its depletion as a natural resource has been accelerating the adoption of cryocoolers, which is a direct substitute of cryostats and works in closed loop cycle, thereby keeps the mass of working gas constant. Thus, scarcity of helium is likely to spur the growth of the global cryocoolers market. Global cryocooler market is application driven, where some of the key application areas of cryocoolers are industries such as aerospace and defense, healthcare, semiconductor & electronics, environmental monitoring and transportation.
Growing demand from aerospace & defense sector is likely to propel the growth of the global cryocooler market. In military application, cryocoolers are being used to maintain cryogenic temperatures for IR sensors installed in satellite based surveillance system, weapon sight and night-vision based systems and missile guidance. Increasing adoption of IR sensors for military application is expected to enhance the popularity of cryocoolers among the consumers. While integration of IR technology in space applications has generated higher demand of cryocoolers to lower the temperature of IR detectors and optical devices. Applications pertaining to cryocoolers are widely being adopted in space astronomy and planetary science. Uninterrupted demand for cryogenic cooling from aerospace & defense sector is likely to support the growth of global cryocooler market.
Due to the scarcity of helium, most of the consumers are tending to shift towards cryocoolers from open cycle cryostats, which is generating opportunities for the cryocooler market. A significant number of advancements to cryocoolers have already been done in past years, which allowed various applications of cryogenics to embellish and find their way into the market. Despite being number of advancements in cryocoolers market, there still exists some factors that are preventing the usage of cryocoolers. For instance, the power consumption by cryocoolers is high, which when minimized may further increase its adoption. Major opportunities in this market include soaring demand for cryogenic temperatures in various space applications, technological advancement and increasing product launches in the cryocooler market across the globe.
The ecosystem of global cryocooler market comprises hardware manufacturers, prototype designers, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The hardware component manufacturers offer diverse hardware units including compressors, cold heads, heat dissipation pipes, pressure vessels, feedthrough pipes, service tubes, and vibration absorbers, which are used to construct the final product. The prototype designers design cryocooler appliances related to the industry requirements. The manufacturing stage of the cryocooler value chain subsists original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and technology solution providers that offer services with or without customization, based on the application of the products.
Some of the major players in the global cryocooler market include Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Janis Research Company, RICOR Cryogenic & Vacuum Systems, Advanced Research Systems, DH Industries, Air Liquide, L-3 Communications Holdings, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Superconductor Technologies, Chart Industries, Brooks Automation, Sunpower and Cryomech.
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