High competitive advantages of thermoelectric modules over conventional products and increasing applications of thermoelectric modules in varied industries is driving the global thermoelectric modules market, which is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 9.5% during the forecast period from 2015 to 2023. The overall thermoelectric modules market was valued at US $364.1 Mn in 2014. The key drivers for the market include wide applications of thermoelectric modules across automotive, medical, semiconductor, laboratory, aerospace, defense, consumer electronics, and telecommunications industries.
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The demand for thermoelectric modules globally, is driven by their superior advantages such as more precise temperature control, compact geometric size, reliable solid state operations, rapid temperature cycling, low power consumption, fully reversible switch in polarity, integrated design, and rapid response time. Moreover, thermoelectric modules do not have moving parts and operate noise-free, with highly reliable operation. They have high life time of up to 100,000 hours. Thermoelectric modules do not emit chlorofluorocarbons and are environmentally safe. The ability of thermoelectric modules to cool and heat by simple reversal of current flow is convenient for applications, even where precise temperature control of +/-0.1 degree Celsius is required. Due to high temperature stability of thermoelectric modules, they are mostly preferred in such applications. In addition, thermoelectric modules are more efficient than resistive heaters. Resistive devices create heat only by virtue of the power dissipated within them while thermoelectric modules not only pump heat into thermal load but also provide I2R heating. Thermoelectric modules can be used for applications that require heat removal ranging from milli-watts to several thousand watts. Due to these advantages, the demand for thermoelectric modules is expected to remain strong during the forecast period. However, high cost of thermoelectric systems as compared to conventional cooling and refrigeration systems is posing challenge to the market growth.
On the basis of technology, the global thermoelectric modules market is segmented into single-stage and multi-stage thermoelectric modules segments. In 2014, single-stage thermoelectric modules were the most preferred thermoelectric modules in the market. However, multi-stage thermoelectric modules are expected to expand at a substantial CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is due to the increasing use of multi-stage thermoelectric modules to provide significantly high temperature differentials. These thermoelectric modules are suitable for low-temperature applications where low or medium cooling capacity is required.
On the basis of type, the global thermoelectric modules market is segmented into bulk thermoelectric modules, micro thermoelectric modules and thin film thermoelectric modules. Bulk thermoelectric modules are the most commonly used types of thermoelectric modules for telecommunications, medical, aerospace, and industrial applications. Bulk thermoelectric modules, being the most common type of thermoelectric modules, dominated the global thermoelectric modules market in 2014. However, with the growing adoption of thin film thermoelectric modules across different applications, this segment is expected to witness highest growth during the forecast period.
The global thermoelectric modules market is segmented on the basis of applications of bulk, micro and thin film thermoelectric modules. Key applications of bulk thermoelectric modules include consumer electronics, telecommunication, medicine and laboratories, automotive, defense and space, energy harvesting and industrial applications. In 2014, the consumer electronics segment accounted for largest revenue share among the applications of bulk thermoelectric modules. Micro thermoelectric modules are widely used in lasers and LEDs, detectors and sensors, automotive, medicine and laboratories and automotive applications. Moreover, key applications of thin film thermoelectric modules include laser diodes, laboratory instruments, CCD cameras and others. The detector and sensor application of thin film thermoelectric modules is predicted to hold its dominant position in the thin film application market throughout the forecast period.
Asia Pacific is the largest market for thermoelectric modules, globally. Growth of the thermoelectric modules market in Asia Pacific is mainly supported by the low manufacturing costs due to low labor and overhead costs and high demand for these modules across various applications.
The global thermoelectric modules market is consolidated, with a few major global companies dominating the market. The important strategy adopted by key players in the global thermoelectric modules market is the development of new products in order to address varying requirements of the customers. For instance, Ferrotec Corporation offers more than 1,700 different thermoelectric module types for varied applications. Kryotherm (Russia) makes more than 250 types of standard thermoelectric modules available to their customers. Moreover, manufacturers of thermoelectric modules are also focusing on inorganic growth through mergers and acquisitions. For instance in February 2013, Laird Technologies Inc. acquired the U.S. based thin film thermoelectric module manufacturer Nextreme Thermal Solutions, Inc. In 2005, Ferrotec Corporation acquired the majority shares of SCTB NORD Company, a supplier of thermoelectric modules based in Russia.
The global Thermoelectric modules market, in current situation shows the presence of key players including Ferrotec Corporation, Tellurex Corporation, Laird Technologies, Inc., RMT Ltd., Marlow Industries, TE Technology, Inc., KELK Ltd., Thermion Company, EVERREDtronics Ltd., Micropelt GmbH, Green TEG AG, Hi-Z Technology, Inc., Kryotherm and Ferrotec Nord Corporation.