Electronic expansion valve: surprise start of inverter air conditioner market

Predicted data show that in 2010, China's inverter air conditioner sales will achieve more than 100% growth. The comprehensive start-up of the inverter air conditioner market has enabled the upstream parts supply chain to adjust accordingly to the needs of the entire plant, and the electronic expansion valve is one of the important components for assembling the inverter air conditioner.

As a major manufacturer of electronic expansion valves in China, the person in charge of Zhejiang Sanhua Co., Ltd. told the “Electrical” reporter: “The electronic expansion valve business of Sanhua has developed rapidly. From January to June of 2010, the electronic expansion valve was about 170 Ten thousand sets, almost more than the annual sales in 2009, sales in 2010 will likely exceed 3 million sets."

The electronic expansion valve is a throttle valve in a refrigeration system and plays a role in controlling the flow of refrigerant. It is mainly used in the control of inverter air-conditioning systems in the production of home air conditioners. In fixed-speed air conditioners, capillary and thermal expansion valves are used to control and regulate refrigerant flow in refrigeration systems.

The electronic expansion valve is driven by the controller calculating the parameters acquired by the sensor and issuing a regulation instruction to the driver board. The driver board outputs an electrical signal to the electronic expansion valve to actuate the electronic expansion valve. This process takes a few seconds. carry out. From the perspective of the supporting requirements of the air conditioner, the electronic expansion valve adapts to the development requirements of the refrigeration and electromechanical integration, and provides the conditions for the intelligent control of the refrigeration system. It is an energy-saving component with self-control that is promising.

At present, in the field of home air conditioner production, the frequency conversion system composed of electronic expansion valves and variable frequency compressors has superior performance. Through the combination of the large-scale flow regulation characteristics of the electronic expansion valve and the frequency conversion compressor's variable frequency characteristics, it realizes the true frequency control of the air-conditioning operation. “The electronic expansion valve can adjust the air conditioning into a better working state. After the frequency changes, the cooling capacity flowing through the pipeline also changes and must be adjusted through the electronic expansion valve to adapt to the changing operating state of the compressor."

"Strictly speaking, a large part of the market is not selling variable frequency air conditioners can be regarded as a real inverter air conditioner." A head of the empty adjustment machine manufacturing company, told reporters, "The inverter air conditioners produced by some companies still use capillary or heat Expansion valve. It is understood that the use of capillary control refrigerant flow of air-conditioning, when the actual operating frequency is higher than the design frequency, the system cooling capacity than the electronic expansion valve equipped with the air conditioning system is about 20% lower. In the design process of air-conditioning systems, thermal expansion valves are used, and system matching is to a certain extent limited by the function and performance of the thermal expansion valve.

In fact, for the inverter air conditioner system, the superior controllability and energy saving effect of the electronic expansion valve has long been recognized in the industry. "Capillary purchase price is only a few cents, while the electronic expansion valve requires tens of dollars." A valve manufacturer said. "Electrical" reporter learned that the control of production costs is the root cause of the current machine factory for the choice of capillary frequency conversion system. Regardless of whether it is an air conditioner company or an electronic expansion valve manufacturer, it was stated in an interview that the application of electronic expansion valves to inverter air conditioners is an inevitable trend. With the standardization and orderly development of the inverter air conditioner industry, the inverter air conditioner market will expand, which will more effectively stimulate the growth of the production and sales of electronic expansion valves.

In the field of electronic expansion valve production, there are not many companies with a certain scale and competitive strength. Japan started earlier in the production of variable frequency air conditioners, and the popularity of inverter air conditioners in the Japanese market is very high. Simultaneously with the development of the market, companies such as the Japanese Hercules and Fujioji have more patent rights in the production technology of electronic expansion valves. Sanhua is currently the largest electronic expansion valve manufacturer in China. In 2000, it began to develop an electronic expansion valve for air conditioning. In 2002, it began mass production and put it on the market. It has its own intellectual property on the electronic expansion valve for inverter air conditioner and has formed Q. O, R, S four series. Electronic expansion valve market competition is highly concentrated. In this regard, Wei Xianrang believes: "The principle and structure of the electronic expansion valve is relatively simple, but the production process requirements are very strict. Many small factories can not reach the high standard of electronic expansion valve production and assembly accuracy, can not participate in market competition, access to the market Share."

In 2010, the purchase of electronic expansion valves by air-conditioning companies continued to increase. According to industry sources, the gross profit margin of the electronic expansion valve is about 30%, which is quite attractive. In order to meet the supplier's requirements, electronic expansion valve manufacturers began to increase productivity and increase production capacity. Wei Xianrang said: "At present, Sanhua is increasing production capacity through the increase of production lines." On August 13, 2010, Sanhua spent 6 million sets of inverter air-conditioner electronic expansion valve energy-saving project completion acceptance, this project is the 2010 central budget investment plan The project has received 4.5 million yuan of special national subsidy funds. Sanhua achieved industrialization through the use of an electronic expansion valve for inverter air conditioners developed by R407C and R410A refrigerants independently developed by the company, and achieved an annual production capacity of 6 million sets of electronic expansion valves.

It is also known that the main raw material of electronic expansion valves is copper, and the procurement costs account for more than 60% of the production costs. Unstable copper prices can easily cause the company's profit margins to decline. To this end, Sanhua acquired the 80% stake in Sanli Copper Co., Ltd. of Shangyu City, Zhejiang Province in March 2010. In addition, Sanhua will also conduct technical research and development on products through the improvement of upstream and downstream supply chains to further reduce production costs.