Solar cooling is also known as air-conditioning that utilizes solar power. This can be done through solar thermal energy conversion, photovoltaic conversion, and passive solar building design. Solar cooling provides zero-energy and energy-plus design of buildings. Lighting and air-conditioning accounts for more than 50% of the overall electricity consumption in the industrial sector.
Thus, industry needs new solutions to reduce the electricity demand of conventional A/C systems. This would drive the solar cooling market during the forecast period. Increasing demand for refrigeration and air-conditioning has led to increase in electricity demand across the globe. This would also drive the solar cooling market in the near future, as solar thermal cooling can reduce the conventional electric A/C loads. Key challenge before the market is to reduce system costs.
Based on end-use, the solar cooling market has been segmented into commercial, residential, and industrial. Air-conditioning is a constantly growing industry and is likely to expand during the forecast period. Renewable energy is now a lucrative industry and it is projected to expand tremendously across the globe in the near future. Renewable energy includes solar cooling application and solar thermal energy application which are growing tremendously. The increasing demand for renewable energy is estimated to boost the solar cooling market during the forecast period.
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Based on solar cooling system, the solar cooling market has been divided into desiccant systems and absorption systems. In a desiccant system, air passes through a drying material such as silica gel, which absorbs moisture from the air and makes the air more comfortable. The desiccant is regenerated by using solar heat. Absorption chiller systems, the most common solar cooling systems, use solar water heating collectors and a thermal–chemical absorption process to attain air-conditioning without using the electricity.
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Geographically, the global solar cooling market has been segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is one of the key consumers of solar cooling systems. Developing economies such as China witness significant growth in the industrialization. Moreover, changing lifestyles also play a role in propelling the solar air-conditioning market. Asia Pacific is estimated to be a rapidly expanding market for solar cooling in the next few years, due to growing economy of the region and presence of developing countries such as China and India in Asia Pacific.
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Stringent government regulations and incentives have been fueling the solar cooling market in Italy for the last few years. The high budget available for a national incentive scheme called Conto Termico 2.0 has made several manufacturers and service providers positive about the solar cooling market in Italy. The market in the country is likely to expand during the forecast period. China holds a major share of the solar cooling market across the globe. In 2016, two large solar thermal cooling systems were installed in China. One of them was a 23-kW Yazaki absorption system and the other one was a newly developed, 50-kW, variable-effect absorption chiller driven by a Fresnel collector. Jordan (MEA) is witnessing rapid increase in demand for solar cooling, as the German Agency for International Cooperation is expected to initiate a solar cooling project in industrial and commercial sectors in Jordan.
The solar cooling includes both solar PV solutions and solar thermal market in near future across globe. However, PV cooling technologies are more economical than grid-driven electric chillers at cooling loads of 100 KWc. On the other hand, solar thermal cooling should be used for 1 MWc cooling. Europe is the second-largest market for solar cooling across the globe, as Germany is one of the key markets for solar cooling or solar air conditioning.
Key players operating in the global solar cooling market include SolXenergy, LLC, Honeywell International Inc., SorTech AG, SM Solar Pvt. Ltd., and Arka Technologies.