China’s “smog economy” is emerging and booming after Chinese government’s smog-related policies kicked in. In home appliance industry, air source heat pumps, gas wall hung boilers, air filter ventilation systems, and air purifiers are sectors that boom thanks to policy stimulations.

At China International Trade Fair 2017 for Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning, Sanitation and Home Comfort Systems held in Beijing from May 18-20, we could clearly see this rising trend.

Air source heat pump sector

After the long-anticipated coal-to-electricity policy came into force in 2016, air source heat pump sector started to rise, with central air conditioning and heat pump enterprises flushing into the North China market, a heavily-smog-hit region that traditionally uses coal for room heating in winter. In 2017, this policy expanded its application to include more regions of China, and as a result, enterprises start to put more weight on the R&D of air source heat pumps designed for the cold regions.

This change can be seen at the Trade Fair. Central air conditioning enterprises and heat pump enterprises such as Haier, Midea, Gree, Aux, TCL, Changhong, TICA, OUTES, PHNIX, and McQuay showcases their air source heat pumps specially developed for North China under China’s coal-to-electricity policy. Besides, solar-powered water heater enterprises such as Tsinghua Solar, Micoe and Linuo Paradigma, and parts makers such as Highly, Donper, Panasonic Wanbao, GMO and Danfoss also have their products on show.

The steady running of air source heat pumps at ultra-low temperature is what enterprises pursue. Haier displays its Jingang series at the fair. This series is able to work at -25℃ thanks to its unique power system that consists of a Copeland EVI compressor, a noiseless fan and a wear-proof water pump. Aux’s air source pump uses an EVI variable speed scroll compressor and its adaptive defrosting technology to guarantee the consistent, steady, efficient operation. Midea, TCL and Gree also updated their technologies to ensure the normal use of products at super low temperatures.

Different from last year, this year’s fair saw enterprises’ focus transferred to heating solutions. With products from various enterprises including Vanward, Linuo Paradigma, Tsinghua Solar and Hailin displayed, air source coupling solar-powered heating solution stands out at the show. An interviewee from Linuo Paradigma introduces that, solar collector and air source heat pump acts as a complement to each other, which, coupled with a low temperature difference heat exchanging technology, secures a running cost 60% lower than average cost of other solutions. Wang Yanjun, Vice Sales Manager of Tsinghua Solar Energy Co., Ltd, points out that a multi-energy cascade system, though developed with high expense, runs at a low cost. Apart from multi-energy cascade systems, some enterprises showcase their multi-connected units and cooling & heating units.

Smartness, a rising trend in home appliance industry, is also affecting air source heat pump sector. TICA developed an online monitor platform to monitor the inlet and outlet water temperature and indoor and outdoor temperature. According to Liu Dongming, Senior Brand Marketing Manager of TICA, this system will be placed on market soon. TCL showcases a long distance monitor system at this fair, through which TCL’s cloud server can monitor and examine connected equipment. OUTES displays a microcomputer-controlled heat pump. Micoe’s full-line thermostat products are all loaded with its smart control system. PHNIX’s products feature smart controller and its smart defrosting technology. Aux’s products are Wi-Fi-enabled to allow for long distance control.

Gas wall hung boiler sector

In the end of 2016, coal-to-gas policy was carried out in Hebei province of China, following the kicking-in of coal-to-electricity policy. This provided a boost for gas wall hung boiler sector. According to an industry insider, about 2 million units of gas wall hung boilers were sold under this new policy, and this figure is expected to further rise in 2017. Li Jiaxin, Marketing and Servicing Manager of POWTEK, believes that the actual number went beyond 2 million in 2016. “Quite a large number of gas wall hung boilers were installed through construction channels in 2016, which were not easy to count and were not fully covered in statistics. The sudden implementation of coal-to-gas policy led to a surge in sales of gas boilers. Most enterprises, with a capacity falling short of the booming demand, were out of stock soon. ” Thanks to years of marketing efforts and the new boost brought by policy, this sector is expanding.

Rinnai, a leading gas wall hung boiler maker, offers a wide array of energy efficient heating solutions, including traditional wall hung boiler, condensing wall hung boiler, ECO ONE (air source condensing boiler) heating solutions, solar-powered heating solutions, etc. According to Rinnai, after being applied in Japan, Europe and the US for years, these solutions have become mature in technology with proven experience.

The promising prospect of gas wall hung boiler sector attracts the eyes of POWTEK, an export-oriented gas wall hung boiler maker. At this fair, POWTEK showcases a number of products. Li Jiaxin from POWTEK tells China Appliance that, “We have a great track record in exports. Statistics from the General Administration Customs suggest that POWTEK claimed the No 1 position in export of gas wall hung boilers of China in 2016. We didn’t set our feet in domestic market before. But now, with the coal-to-gas policy kicking in, the market potential is unleashed. And for this reason, we’re adjusting our strategy in 2017 to fill this void we left in domestic market.”

At this fair, China Appliance reporter has seen a number of innovative gas wall hung boilers. Ariston releases its ONE series products at the fair. Using fully premixed condensing technology, ONE series improve heat exchange efficiency significantly. Besides, loaded with a heating program and a cloud platform, users can manage the heating operation easily anywhere anytime.

Vanward brings its new smart, energy-efficient heating products at this fair, while showcases its joint brand Schuster. China Appliance learns from an unnamed industry insider that, what comes along with the market surge is a large number of new entrants. Many of these brands, with no core technology, are not even heard of. This is not good for the emerging gas wall hung boiler industry.

Fresh air ventilation & filter sector

In Jan 2017, Haidian District of Beijing launched a policy called “fresh air ventilation & filter system going into the campus” amid the heavy smog. This pilot project is expected to expand to cover more provinces of China in the future. Currently, enterprises have already started to cooperate with schools in regions that are not even covered by the policy yet. For fresh air ventilation & filter sector, this policy is an exciting opportunity.

At this fair, Broad Group, Three Papas, TICA, Daran, Donper, FilTECH, Hurge, Navien and Blauberg Ventilatoren all have their products on display. TICA showcases its fresh air ventilation & filter systems and air purifiers at the fair. According to TICA, it offers customer-specific solutions. By now, it has offered solutions for places including hospitals and schools.

At Ziefir’s booth, China Appliance reporter saw a ceiling-mounted fresh air ventilation & filter system specially designed for schools, which has an air flow capacity of 1000 m³/h. Ziefir also showcases its freestanding air cleaner and air purifiers. Broad Group displays its static dust-removing air cleaning system developed for schools and clean rooms. According to Broad Group, this product has a long maintenance cycle. And with its heat reclaiming design, it is able to reclaim 80% of heat. Three Papas also put its weight on air filter & ventilation system. With its double recycling mode, its product could fully vent dirty air out.

What’s worth noticing is that Donper, a leading compressor maker, also enters fresh air ventilation & filter sector and has its products displayed at the fair. At the most conspicuous place of its booth, Donper showcases its fresh air filter & ventilation product. According to Donper, this product, applied with Sharper’s highly sensitive 1010 series PM 2.5-sensor, uses a brand new pollution level calculating method. And through its built-in heat exchanger, it is able to reclaim 78% of heat to allow for the maximum energy efficiency.

Though PHNIX has no fresh air ventilation & filter product on show this time, it has long been following the government’s related policies, and updating its technologies to prepare itself for future moves.