Expansion of the inverter air conditioner market

Inverter air conditioners had the function of changing the image of conventional air conditioners. In particular, since the cooling and heating capacity at the start of operation has improved, the time required to reach the target room the temperature has been greatly shortened, and when the temperature approaches the preset room temperature, the operation will be limited to the capacity according to the load. It has become possible to perform cooling and heating with low power consumption, high efficiency, and little fluctuation in the room temperature. In addition, even in winter when the outside temperature is the low, high-speed operation has achieved unprecedented high heating capacity, greatly expanding the areas and periods in which air-conditioning air conditioners can be used.


This was immediately reflected in the air conditioner market. The demand for air-conditioning (air conditioners), which had been the mainstream of air conditioners until then, was sluggish, and the demand for air-conditioning dual-use air conditioners equipped with both heating and cooling functions increased sharply. Furthermore, these functions succeeded in inducing demand for potential air conditioner users who were expecting the appearance of highly convenient air conditioners, and contributed to the spread of inverter air conditioners. Air-conditioning (air conditioners), which had been leading the air conditioner market were reversed to heat pump type air conditioners, and their share has been declining since.


The market expansion of air-conditioning type air conditioners has accelerated the spread of home air conditioners. The room air conditioner penetration rate of 39% in all households approached 90%.


Increasing the efficiency of home air conditioners has not been achieved only by introducing inverter devices. The high efficiency of the cooling fan, the improvement of the performance of the heat exchanger, and the improvement of the compressor achieved at the same time also contributed greatly. It is also believed that the consumer's need for improved performance has become a development incentive for manufacturers, resulting in rapid improvement in efficiency.


Dissemination of inverter air conditioner technology overseas

Inverter air conditioners, which were rapidly becoming popular in Japan, were not immediately popular in other countries including India. As a result, the COP (Coefficient of Performance), which indicates the energy consumption efficiency of heat pumps, was as low as 3.8-2.2 in North America and Europe, even though Japan achieved 6.2-4.5. According to the Japan Patent Office's report on patent trends relating to air conditioners filed in Japan, the United States, Europe, China, and South Korea, 43.5% of applications filed in this region come from Japanese nationals. , Overwhelmingly surpassing Korean nationality, Chinese nationality, and European nationality, which are the following. This shows that Japan has a huge technological advantage in this field.

With the start of the 21st century, expectations for heat pump technology are rapidly increasing, especially in Europe and emerging Asian countries. In Europe, in the “Renewable Energy Utilization Promotion Directive” adopted by the European Parliament in 2008, the heat pump using air heat was positioned as an important renewable energy utilization technology, and the efforts for the conversion to inverter was rapidly advanced. In China, which is said to have a demand of more than 50% of the world market, major manufacturers are shifting to inverter air conditioner production one after another due to the review of air conditioner regulations, and the inverter conversion rate of air conditioners expanded.  Air conditioner markets in India and Southeast Asia is also expanding rapidly. Among them, inverter air conditioners, which have strong technological competitiveness in Japan, are attracting attention. Until then, the evaluation method for inverter air conditioners, which had not been established internationally to evaluate its performance correctly became an international standard (ISO) with the cooperation of Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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