Increasing preference towards more efficient and low-cost heat transfer solutions have fueled demand for the thermic fluids market, owing to the product’s broad range of applications in the chemical, oil & gas, pharmaceutical and energy sectors. A range of fluids developed with specialized technologies help businesses to optimize stability, economy and efficiency of processes, at with a reduced cost as compared to conventional steam-based alternatives. Steam boiler systems usually require high operating pressures and need constant maintenance, besides presenting safety concerns, issues that are addressed by the thermic fluids market. Growing use of these fluids in concentrated solar power (CSP) projects has brought about a remarkable transformation in the energy sector worldwide, representing a critical target market for the thermic fluids industry.
U.S. Thermic Fluids Market Size, By Application, 2014 – 2025 (USD Million)
With rising urgency of combating climate change and shifting to renewable sources, the global thermic fluids market, which was valued at more than USD 2.4 billion in 2017, will experience rapid expansion over the coming years. Thermic fluids assist in enhancing the efficiency of CSP plants by storing heat energy, which is released as and when required, like at times of peak demand or during cloudy weather. Advances in heat transfer and storage will help to amplify the adoption CSP as a major renewable resource, boosting the thermic fluids industry penetration into the global energy segment. Reports indicate that CSP as a source of energy is gaining momentum and in the next few years would constitute a large portion of the energy infrastructure.
It is estimated that by 2040, around 40% share of the world’s power generation would be held by renewables and it can indeed be assumed that a large part would be sourced from solar energy projects. With companies realizing the advantages of CSP over photovoltaic (PV) plants, the thermic fluids market will witness an accelerated growth rate from the construction of CSP plants worldwide. To put things into context, the KaXu Solar One CSP plant in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa provides clean energy to nearly 80,000 African households, offsetting almost 315,000t of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Covering a 310 hectare solar field, the facility supposedly has 1,200 parabolic trough solar collector assemblies installed and uses fluids for heat transfer application.
To elaborate, using fluids which store the heat collected from the solar energy, steam is created to drive a 100MW turbine for generating power, demonstrating the vast potential for the thermic fluids industry in aiding world economies reach their renewable targets. In October 2018 China commenced operations at its first commercial-scale parabolic trough CSP plant, spanning an area of 2.46 square kilometers in the Qinghai province. The 50-MW plant has the capacity to produce over 200,000 MW annually, replacing more than 60,000 metric tons of standard coal every year and cutting down on 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The project is only one out of sixteen CSP projects proposed by China, with feasibility studies conducted already for two 100MW projects each in Yumen and Hami and one in Dunhuang.
As CSP projects of similar scales are being build worldwide, the thermic fluids market is bound to gain a substantial share from the renewables segment. Ambitious projects aimed at building large CSP plants will further boost the industry expansion, for instance one of the world’s largest CSP projects is being constructed in Dubai. Begun in March 2018, the 700MW plant would be built on an area of about 43 square kilometers and is being developed to provide renewable energy to more than 270,000 residential customers. It is predicted to generate around 5,000MW by 2030 and will reduce 1.4 million tons of carbon emissions every year, emphasizing the importance of such massive CSP projects and vital role of the thermic fluids industry.
All in all, with the global CSP installation reaching 4.95GW by the end of 2017, developed countries are witnessing a rapid adoption of CSP plants and 80% of the global capacity was contributed by the U.S. and Spain. The worldwide CSP capacity is anticipated to grow significantly over the coming years and would result into immense propagation of the thermic fluids industry. Comprising of key participants like Dow Chemical Company, Exxon Mobil, Hindustan Petroleum, BASF AG, Multitherm LLC, Thermic Fluids Pvt. Ltd. and British Petroleum, the thermic fluids market is estimated to earn revenues in excess of USD 4 billion by 2025.