According to the latest market research report “Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Market by Type (AC, DC, and Servo), End-Users (Industrial, Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, and Power Generation), Application (Pumps, Fans, Compressors, and Conveyors), Power Range, Voltage, and Region – Global Forecast to 2025” The global variable frequency drive market is projected to reach USD 24.3 billion by 2025 from an estimated USD 19.2 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period. This growth can be attributed to factors such as growing regulations towards energy efficiency, upgradation & modernization of aging infrastructure for safe & secure electrical distribution systems, and increasing rate of industrialization and urbanization. Variable frequency drives are finding increasing applications in the industrial, power, and infrastructure sectors. High demand from range of industries such as cement, chemical, and petrochemical, mining, oil & gas, pulp & paper, water & wastewater is also driving the growth of the market. Their major application areas include conveyors, fans, utility pumps, process pumps, fans, blowers, air compressors, process compressors, coolers, cooling tower fans, grinders, crushers, and chippers. Germany, Russia, the UK, France, Italy, and Spain are offering lucrative opportunities for the variable frequency drives market in the cement & manufacturing industries. However, stagnant growth of the oil & gas industry and decrease in the exploration & production activity is hindering the growth of the variable frequency drive market. Declining oil prices due to an oversupplied market have resulted in a decrease in exploration & production activities.
The industrial sector uses electric motors for powering electrical equipment such as pumps, compressors, conveyors and every type of machine that depends on the rotational force for its functioning. Variable frequency drives help run these motors on the basis of required current demand, rather than running them at full speed and reducing output using mechanical controls such as throttles, dampers, or gears, thereby optimizing energy efficiency and providing higher reliability.
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The low voltage segment is expected to hold the largest share of the variable frequency drive market, by voltage type, during the forecast period
The low voltage segment segment, by voltage, is estimated to account for the largest share during the forecast period. Low voltage variable frequency drives are used in a wide range of applications such as pumps, fan, belt conveyor, centrifugal pumps, and centrifugal compressors. According to the US Department of Energy, more than 90% of the electrical energy is consumed by motors in electro-intensive industries such as mining, where motors are installed for various applications such as gas compressors, conveyors, and crushers. In these applications, around 80% of the total number of motors constitute low voltage with power ranging up to 400 kW (when used at constant speed) and up to 1,250 kW (when used at variable speed). Low voltage variable frequency drives are designed for industrial applications, especially in process industries such as pulp & paper, power, water & wastewater, and oil & gas. Thus, the growing use of low voltage drives in a wide range of applications is expected to boost the growth for this segment
The low power drive segment, by power rating, is expected account for the largest share during the forecast period
The low power drive segment is expected to hold the largest market share and grow at a CAGR of 4.0% during the forecast period. Low power drives offer a quick payback period due to higher energy savings at low capital costs and better process control with increased motor control. The variable frequency drive market for lower power drives is highly fragmented, and suppliers use various strategies such as aggressive marketing and partnerships to differentiate themselves from each other and to offer better value to the users and OEMs. Variable frequency drives with a 6–40 kW power range are used in different industries such as building, automation, oil & gas, food & beverage, and pulp & paper. Thus, the growing need for energy efficiency in these industries is expected to drive the growth of the segment.
The AC drive segment, by type, is expected account for the largest share during the forecast period
The variable frequency drive market, based on type, has been segmented into AC drive, servo drive, and DC drive. The low power drive segment is expected to hold the largest market share and grow at a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period. “AC” stands for alternating current. AC drives are also known as adjustable frequency drives, adjustable speed drives, and variable speed drives. They are electronic devices that convert a fixed frequency and voltage to an adjustable frequency and AC voltage source. AC drives are used to drive the AC motors, especially the three-phase induction motors, as these are predominant over other motors in a majority of the industries. AC drives are mainly used to control the motor’s speed in industries such as oil & gas, water & wastewater, and mining.
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Asia Pacific: The leading variable frequency drive market
The Asia Pacific region is projected to be the largest variable frequency drive market by 2025. Countries such as China, India, Japan, and South Korea are among the major countries considered as the main manufacturing hubs for variable frequency drives. Countries in Asia Pacific are focused towards energy efficiency and variable frequency drives are expected to play an important role in helping these countries to meet their energy efficiency targets, as the primary function of these drivers is to save energy. Thus, massive investments in the manufacturing industry are driving the growth of the variable frequency drive market in the Asia Pacific region. The Chinese government’s active support has increased the number of value-addition industries, translating into the country’s overall industrial growth in sectors such as telecommunications, wind & solar power, petrochemical processing, and steel. These sectors are among the top contributors to the country’s economic growth and are expected to drive the demand for variable frequency drives in the country.
The growth in industrialization is driving a continuous need for electric motors, which consume one-third of the total electricity produced globally. Limited conventional power generation, coupled with a continuous rise in electricity prices, has encouraged companies to invest in energy-efficient equipment to increase energy efficiency. Energy-intensive industries such as oil & gas, metals & mining, pulp & paper, cement, and water & wastewater are using variable frequency drives to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Therefore, the increasing need for energy efficiency is expected to drive the growth of the variable frequency drives market.
To enable an in-depth understanding of the competitive landscape, the report includes the profiles of some of the top players in the variable frequency drive market. Some of the key players are ABB (Switzerland), Siemens (Germany), Schneider Electric (France), Danfoss (Denmark), Rockwell Automation (US). The leading players are adopting various strategies to increase their share in the variable frequency drive market.