The Solar Collector Tube Market size is expected to reach US$ 8.07 billion by 2030, from US$ 4.56 billion in 2023, at a CAGR of 8.5% during the forecast period.
Solar collector tubes are vacuum tubes that absorb and retain heat from the sun. They are used in solar thermal collectors to convert sunlight into heat energy, which can be used for water heating, space heating, process heat, solar cooling, and power generation. The evacuated tube design provides superior insulation, allowing the tubes to reach high temperatures even in cold weather. Key advantages of solar collector tubes include high efficiency, low heat loss, and the ability to work in diffuse light conditions. Major drivers for the market include government incentives, growing environmental awareness, advancements leading to cost reductions, and the rising demand for energy-efficient heating solutions.
The Solar Collector Tube Market is segmented by type, end-user, system type, application, and region. By type, the market is segmented into U-shaped tubes, heat pipes, evacuated tubes, flat plates, and others. Evacuated tubes are the largest segment, accounting for over 40% of the market share in 2022. This is due to their higher efficiency compared to flat plate collectors.
Solar Collector Tube Market Regional Insights
- North America is expected to be the largest market for Solar Collector Tube Market during the forecast period, accounting for over 53% of the market share in 2023. The growth of the market in North America is attributed to favorable government policies, growing adoption of solar thermal technology, and increasing investments in renewable energy.
- The Europe market is expected to be the second-largest market for Solar Collector Tube Market, accounting for over 21% of the market share in 2023. The growth of the market in Europe is attributed to strict emission control policies and targets to increase the share of renewable energy.
- The Asia Pacific market is expected to be the fastest-growing market for Solar Collector Tube Market, with a CAGR of over 11% during the forecast period. The growth of the market in Asia Pacific is attributed to rapid urbanization, growing infrastructure development, and decreasing costs of solar collector tubes.
Figure 1. Global Solar Collector Tube Market Share (%), by Region, 2023
Solar Collector Tube Market Drivers
- Supportive government policies and incentives promoting renewable energy: Governments across the globe are implementing policies, regulations, and incentives to drive the adoption of renewable energy sources including solar thermal technology. Initiatives like renewable heat incentives, zero/low interest loans, tax rebates, and renewable energy targets are encouraging the installation of solar water heating and space heating systems which utilize collector tubes. For instance, the EU Renewable Energy Directive sets a binding target of 20% final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. The U.S. offers a 30% federal tax credit for solar water heaters. Such measures are expected to boost the solar collector market.
- Technology advancements leading to higher efficiency and lower costs: Ongoing advancements in materials, coatings, heat transfer mechanisms, and manufacturing processes are enhancing the efficiency of solar collector tubes while reducing costs. For example, the development of selective surface coatings with high solar absorptivity and low thermal emissivity has improved collector efficiency. Manufacturers are focusing on vacuum optimization in evacuated tubes to minimize convection and conduction heat losses. These technology enhancements are increasing the cost-competitiveness and performance of solar collector tubes, propelling market growth.
- Growing adoption of solar heating for residential, commercial and industrial applications: The growing awareness regarding renewable energy and need for energy-efficient, eco-friendly heating solutions is driving the adoption of solar collector tubes across the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Residential installations of solar water heaters utilize collector tubes for domestic hot water needs and pool heating. The commercial segment includes collector tube applications in hotels, hospitals, and educational institutions. Industries are using large collector arrays for process heat and preheating boiler feedwater. The broad usage across sectors is fueling the growth of the collector tubes market.
- Supportive regulatory norms mandating renewable energy use in buildings: The implementation of building codes and standards making the integration of solar water heating systems mandatory or preferential in new and existing buildings is providing an impetus to the collector tube market. For instance, all new buildings constructed in Israel now require solar water heating. Spain mandates solar coverage of 30-70% of hot water needs in new buildings. Such regulations are creating strong demand growth scenarios for solar collector tubes globally.
Solar Collector Tube Market Opportunities
- Integration with thermal energy storage systems: Collector tubes combined with thermal energy storage systems provide a promising opportunity to address intermittency, a key drawback of solar thermal technologies. Thermal energy storage enables available solar heat to be stored for later use. For instance, solar collector tubes can be coupled with pit or borehole thermal storage for seasonal storage and continuous utilization of solar heat. Such integrated systems allow extension of collector tube applications beyond basic water heating into process heat and air conditioning.
- Emergence of Solar District Heating (SDH) plants: The growing development of centralized solar district heating networks for residential and commercial heating applications presents an attractive opportunity for the solar collector market. These systems utilize large-scale collector arrays to provide hot water and space heating on community scale. Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Austria have been frontrunners in establishing SDH plants. China aims to reach 800 million m2 installed solar collector area for SDH by 2030, signaling massive potential. Collector tubes are essential components in such plants.
- Integration in Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems: Solar collectors can be integrated in combined heat and power plants that produce both electricity and usable heat from the same fuel source, improving overall efficiency. Collector tubes find application in solar-boosted CHP plants to preheat water before entering the CHP system. China, Denmark and Germany have pioneered solar CHP demonstration plants. With growing interest in solar-assisted CHP, the collector tube market is slated for high growth.
- Potential use in solar cooling technologies: An emerging application for collector tubes lies in solar thermal cooling systems which produce chilled water for air-conditioning using solar energy. Collector tubes provide heat to drive thermally-driven chillers in these systems. Though current adoption is limited, R&D focused on improving collector efficiency, integration and cost-reduction is expected to create attractive avenues in solar thermal cooling. This will provide new growth prospects to collector tube suppliers.
Solar Collector Tube Market Report Coverage
||Market Size in 2023:
||US$ 4.56 Bn
|Historical Data for:
||2018 to 2021
||2023 - 2030
|Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR:
||2030 Value Projection:
||US$ 8.07 Bn
- North America: U.S. and Canada
- Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
- Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
- Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
- By Type: U-shaped, Heat Pipe, Evacuated Tubes, Flat Plate, Air Collectors, Others
- By End-User: Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Others
- By System Type: Thermosiphon, Pumped, Passive, Tracking, ICS, Evacuated Tube Collectors
Schott AG, Yulong Dingtajian, Apex Solar, Sinosun Energy, Neo Solar Power Corporation, Solimpeks Solar Energy, Sunrain, Hubei Fullhonor Solar Energy, and others.
- Government incentives promoting renewable energy
- Advancements enhancing collector efficiency and reducing costs
- Growing adoption across residential, commercial and industrial sectors
- Supportive regulations mandating renewable energy use in buildings
|Restraints & Challenges:
- High initial and installation costs
- Underdeveloped infrastructure in developing countries
- Limitations in high temperature industrial process heat applications
Solar Collector Tube Market Trends
- Growing adoption of evacuated tubes over flat plate collectors: Evacuated tube solar collectors are displacing flat plate collectors and gaining increasing market share. In 2020, evacuated tubes accounted for over 80% of the global solar thermal market. Their higher efficiency, ability to work in cold climates, diffuse light acceptance and longer life make them suitable for domestic and industrial process heat generation. Manufacturing innovations enabling lower production costs also favor uptake.
- Emergence of next-generation heat pipe evacuated tube designs: Cutting-edge heat pipe and vacuum tube designs are enabling new high-temperature and high-efficiency collector models targeted at industrial process heat applications. For instance,Apricus has developed solar collectors with flexible advanced heat pipes that can operate at 400°C. TVP Solar’s new generation evacuated tubes attain 95% efficiency in converting solar radiation into heat, promising more cost-effective and clean process heat.
- Growing demand for building-integrated collectors: Architectural integration of solar thermal systems is gaining prominence, driven by aesthetics and space constraints. Building-integrated collectors such as solar glass facades are thus rising in popularity. Europe is at the forefront where over 75% of newly installed collectors feature building integration. Top manufacturers now provide dedicated solar glass facades, windows, cladding and roofing integrated with collector tubes.
- Emergence of solar thermal for medium-temperature industrial applications: Historically solar collectors have been limited to low temperature applications below 100°C like water heating. However, ongoing innovations in evacuated tube technology are enabling cost-effective generation of mid-range process heat up to 400°C. Textile processing, chemical production, food/beverage pasteurization, automobile paint curing represent growing industrial applications for medium-temperature solar process heat using collector tubes.
Solar Collector Tube Market Restraints
- High initial and installation costs: Despite advancements, the upfront system and installation costs of solar collector tube systems remain high, deterring many potential customers. Components like tubes, headers, heat exchangers, and the storage add to costs. Complex designs also make the installation expensive. The market needs accelerated efforts towards designing simplified plug-and-play type systems and lowering production/logistics costs through technology improvements and economies of scale.
- Infrastructure challenges in developing countries: Underdeveloped infrastructure poses challenges to solar collector adoption in many developing countries. Lack of technicians for O&M services, absence of specialized companies providing collector system design/installation, and inadequate distribution channels for spare parts hamper market growth. Improving the solar infrastructure ecosystem in terms of skilled labor, authorized system integrators, and supply chains will aid the adoption of collector tube systems in emerging economies.
- Limitations in high-temperature, industrial process heat applications: While solar collector tubes can technically work at temperatures beyond 100°C, their widespread adoption for mid to high range industrial process heat above 250°C is impeded by challenges like heat losses and lower thermal output in certain ambient conditions. Enhancing collector efficiency through advances like spectrally-selective absorber coatings and optimized vacuum insulations will enable cost-competitive solar process heat. There is also a need for better system design, integration, controls, and storage for continuous high-temperature heat supply.
New product launches
- In September 2022, Apricus Solar Co. launched a new evacuated tube solar collector called Etros with advanced coatings for improved efficiency. The new collector is aimed at residential and commercial heating applications.
- In January 2021, Linuo Paradigma launched the RTT solar tube, a high-efficiency all-glass evacuated tube solar collector designed for hot water and heating applications. The new model features improved heat transfer and lower thermal losses.
- In November 2020, Solimpeks introduced its Solytech solar tube collector for industrial process heat generation. The system can reach temperatures up to 400°C and is suited for food processing, chemical production, and other manufacturing applications.
Acquisition and partnerships
- In October 2022, Kingspan Group acquired a majority stake in Solmogeneracion, a Spanish solar thermal company specializing in large systems for industrial process heat. The move expands Kingspan's solar thermal abilities.
- In December 2020, Viessmann Group acquired a stake in Arcon-Sunmark, a leading Danish solar thermal collector manufacturer. The partnership aims to accelerate Viessmann's solar heating business and product development.
- In September 2019, Absolicon partnered with Norwegian solar company Solartrim to jointly develop more efficient solar collectors targeting the commercial heating market. The collaboration combines expertise in collector design and manufacturing.
Figure 2. Global Solar Collector Tube Market Share (%), by System Type, 2023
Top companies in Solar Collector Tube Market
- Schott AG
- Yulong Dingtajian New Energy
- Apex Solar
- Sinosun Energy Technology
- Neo Solar Power Corporation
- Solimpeks Solar Energy
- Hubei Fullhonor Solar Energy Technology
- Solar Wind Technologies
Definition: The solar collector tube market refers to the industry and market associated with manufacturing vacuum tubes and related components that are used in solar thermal collectors. Solar collector tubes, mainly evacuated tubes, absorb sunlight and convert it into usable heat energy for applications like water heating, space heating, process heat, and solar cooling. The market comprises key manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and end-users of solar collector tubes across residential, commercial and industrial sectors. With growing adoption of solar thermal energy, the solar collector tube market is expected to expand significantly in the coming years owing to high efficiency, low cost, and environmental benefits offered by these systems.
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