Experts believe the commercial and industrial boiler industry is looking at a bright future, especially within the coming months. A recent article by MarketWatch states "the global Commercial Boiler Market is predicted to reach over USD 15 Billion by 2024." Market trends suggest that the boiler industry will continue to see growth due to a few key factors.
The combustion process that takes place inside a boiler is a chemical reaction in which oxygen is combined with the hydrogen and carbon in the fuel, resulting in the production of heat, carbon dioxide and water vapor. In most cases, oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide are also produced. That NOx, CO, PM and VOCs are the primary emissions on a list of compounds that face stringent regulations from the government.
The regulatory requirements imposed on the federal, state and local levels often overlap and vary, but the end goal is the same. And as the government continues to crack down on the emissions produced by commercial and industrial boilers, it becomes important for companies and organizations to make sure their systems are compliant.
American Boiler Manufacturers Association Technical Consultant Gene Tompkins points out that while many establishments have already updated their systems to remain compliant, this sustained push toward more controlled emissions still means that more companies will continue to follow suit. In response, the commercial and industrial boiler market will continue to see growth.
A desire for energy efficiency in industrial and commercial sectors will also positively influence the market. Companies care about systems that will save them money in the long run while still meeting a diverse range of needs. Efficiency gains are being made in controls, combustion and thermal efficiency. A recent example is the change to condensing boilers and economizers in the hot water market. Tompkins explains that a recent trend is to not just look at the “Steady State Efficiency”, but at the “Dynamic Efficiency”. That's because large boilers take quite a bit of energy to warm up, but that energy is lost when the boiler is powered off again. A smaller boiler might have a lower steady state efficiency, but takes less energy to warm up, offering a higher overall or dynamic efficiency.
In another example, an expansive elementary school needs technology that can heat the building even on the coldest day of the year. However, a boiler of that size might be far too much capacity for the other 364 days of the year. In response to needs like these, boiler manufacturers and engineering firms are coming up with combination solutions that accomplish both. Tompkins explains that in many cases, advances in technology have made it possible for upgrading a current boiler system to be more efficient than installing an entirely new boiler. He notes that half of the burners sold today are to upgrade older units. However, he cautions that an upgrade may not be the smartest long term solution, especially as new boiler technology continues to advance to meet a variety of needs from the start.
In fact, the need for custom solutions that offer maximum efficiency means the boiler industry is constantly working to meet a growing demand.
The commercial and industrial boiler industry also continues to trend toward the expansion of boiler product offerings into larger markets. In particular, the healthcare industry is responsible for a lot of this push. Experts forecast that the commercial boiler market will experience marked growth in response to a rapidly increasing demand for hot water for use in these buildings, for cleaning and linens.
Expansion is also happening geographically. In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in demand for boilers in polar climate regions worldwide, and companies are moving to meet these needs.
Making an Impact
Combustion products, often involving boilers are responsible for about a third of the energy used in the United States, a primary reason their emissions are so highly controlled and their need for efficiency is so prominent. This means the boiler industry is ultimately a big player in the larger economy, and it's just one of the reasons these positive market trends point to a positive outlook.