Global Cryocooler Market Size and Share Analysis 2023-2028
A cryocooler is a device specifically designed to provide active cooling at cryogenic temperatures. According to the Cryogenic Society of America, Inc., a cryocooler enables active cooling at temperatures around -150 degrees Celsius. These devices utilize the flow of gas within enclosed tubes to absorb temperature and dissipate it externally. Typically, cryocoolers employ helium or a mixture of gases for operation.
The Cryocooler Market is estimated to be valued at USD 3,064 million in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 4,179 million by 2028, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.40% during the forecast period from 2023 to 2028.
USD 2869.6 million in 2021
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The global COVID-19 outbreak has had three major impacts on the economy. Firstly, it has directly affected production and demand. Secondly, it has created disruptions in supply chains and markets. Lastly, it has had financial repercussions on firms, financial markets, and the healthcare industry, subsequently influencing the demand for cryocoolers.
Furthermore, cryocoolers find extensive application in defense-related uses, particularly for cooling infrared focal planes. Specifically, cryocoolers are commonly employed to cool intrinsic semiconductor-type focal planes used in mid-wave infrared (3-5-micron wavelength) and longwave infrared (9-12 micron) sensors.
Significant advancements have been made in cryocooler technology over the past two decades. These advancements have expanded the range of cryogenics applications and facilitated their integration into the market.
While the popularity of un-cooled infrared cameras has increased in recent years, there is still a demand for high-performance infrared imagers cooled by small Stirling cycle cryocoolers. Cooling infrared and visible cameras continues to present opportunities for small cryocoolers.
Designing thermal management systems for spacecraft that rely on predictable cryocooler performance remains one of the most challenging aspects of space thermal system design. Developers often face limitations due to the scarcity of cryocooler performance data when making system-level trade-offs.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including end user and region.
Segmentation by End User
Other End-user Verticals
Segmentation by Region
Rest of the World
In 2022, the healthcare segment held the largest market share of 23.2%, and it is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9% during the forecast period. Cryocoolers are in high demand in the healthcare industry due to their wide range of applications in MRI systems, cryosurgery, and proton therapy. These cryocoolers are utilized to maintain the superconducting magnets in these medical devices at cool temperatures. The continuous research and development of cryocoolers have increased their acceptance in various healthcare applications.
Although cryocoolers have a drawback of high power consumption, their benefits outweigh the limitations when used in healthcare. The use of cryocoolers in MRI and NMR equipment is on the rise in the medical field, and there have been notable technological advancements.
The increasing number of medical machines presents an opportunity for the cryocooler market to grow. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there were over 37.99 MRI units per million population in the United States in 2021, and New Zealand had 16.62 MRI units per million population.
Furthermore, in November 2021, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) collaborated to establish Centers of Excellence (CoE) for Make-in-India product development and commercialization in the medical devices sector. Foreign direct investments (FDI) into the medical and surgical appliances sector in India reached USD 2.71 billion from April 2000 to June 2022, as reported by IBEF.
Cryocoolers also play a role in cryopreservation, a process that preserves biological constructs by cooling them to very low temperatures. The understanding and technology of cell and tissue cryopreservation have rapidly advanced, with cryobiology finding applications in reproductive medicine, hematopoietic stem cell treatments for cancer, targeted immune cell therapies, and gene banks for animals and plants.
According to the IARC’s World Cancer Report, despite ongoing progress in cancer prevention and treatment, the global cancer burden continues to rise. The number of new cancer cases is expected to increase by 50% between 2018 and 2040, with an estimated 27 million new cases annually by 2040. This projected growth in cancer cases is expected to drive the demand for cryocoolers.
The space sector also contributes to the demand for cryocoolers. Cryocoolers are advantageous in this field as they can operate at various temperatures with corresponding heat lifts. They are commonly used in space applications such as telescopes, satellites, and astronomy. The first application of cryocoolers was in the Apollo mission in 1965, and since then, their potential has expanded significantly. The space segment of the cryocooler market is anticipated to experience substantial growth during the forecast period due to the development of space science programs that require lightweight materials, densification, and low thermal noise. Government space organizations in the United States have made significant investments in research and development of innovative cryogenic cooling technology, which will contribute to the growth of the space sector in the coming years.
The North American region dominated the cryocooler market in 2022, capturing a market share of 34.7%. It is projected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3% over the forecast period. The growth in North America can be attributed to the significant investments made in the military and healthcare sectors. According to SIPRI, the United States ranked first in military spending in 2021, allocating USD 801 billion, which accounted for 38% of global military expenditure totaling USD 2.1 trillion that year.
The government space organizations in the United States have also invested substantial funds in research and development to introduce innovative cryogenic cooling technology. This will contribute to the growth of the space sector in the country in the coming years. As per the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, between 2013 and 2022, the United States spent USD 392 billion on nuclear weapons, USD 97 billion on missile defenses, and USD 100 billion on environmental and health costs.
In the healthcare sector, the increasing demand for cryocoolers in North America is driven by their extensive use in proton therapy, cryosurgery, MRI systems, and oxygen liquefaction in hospitals. The region is at the forefront of developing new cancer drugs and rapidly evolving technologies, including cryocooler devices, with a particular focus on treating solid tumors, lung cancer, and leukemia.
Proton therapy has shown promising results in the treatment of localized lung and brain cancer. Brain tumors are a leading cause of cancer-related deaths among children aged 0-14. The rising incidence of these types of cancer in the region is expected to drive the growth of proton therapy, hence fueling the cryocooler market. According to the National Association of Proton Therapy, there are currently 42 proton therapy centers treating patients in the United States.
Furthermore, the growing demand for cryocoolers in North America’s military and surveillance sectors is attributed to their use in maintaining cryogenic temperatures for infrared sensors in night vision systems, satellite-based surveillance, and missile guidance.
In the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, the cryocooler market is projected to experience significant growth during the forecast period. This can be attributed to the increasing adoption of various cryocoolers such as PT, GM, JT, Stirling, and Brayton, which are used to provide very low temperatures required in multiple applications across sectors like medical, space, environmental, transport, commercial, and energy. Japan is the world’s largest LNG importer, while countries like China and India have witnessed substantial growth in LNG imports over the past decade. APAC is a major importer and exporter of LNG globally, and its increasing usage involves a wide range of equipment, from gas-to-LNG conversion to transportation, distribution, and storage.
In the cryocooler market, there are several players competing for market share, including Sumitomo and Barry Automation Inc., among others. The market space is moderately fragmented, with these companies striving to attract attention and maintain relevance. To gain a competitive edge, these companies are implementing robust strategies such as product developments, investments, acquisitions, and partnerships. Throughout the study period, the level of competitive rivalry in the market is moderately high.
Key Companies Profiled in this report include Sumitomo Heavy Industries Limited, Sunpower Inc., Ricor Systems, Eaton Corporation plc, Cryomech Inc., Chart Industries Inc., Advanced Research Systems Inc., Air Liquide SA, Stirling Cryogenics BV, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Thales Group.
Recent Industry Developments
In March 2023, Chart Industries and Nikola Corporation, a globally recognized leader in zero-emission transportation, energy supply, and infrastructure solutions through the HYLA brand, entered into a strategic collaboration agreement. The agreement entails the provision of liquid hydrogen storage tanks, transport trailers, and the development of innovative mobile and modular hydrogen refueling stations for rapid deployment. Additionally, this collaboration includes joint efforts to advance hydrogen technology for infrastructure and onboard fuel systems in trucks. These investments contribute to the utilization of fuel to generate power in cryocooler products.
In October 2022, Air Liquide entered into a contract with Avio, a prominent player in space propulsion, to design a new cryogenic tank for the upper stage of the forthcoming Vega-E launcher. This new generation of tanks is designed to accommodate oxygen-methane propellant, which is expected to be utilized in future launchers. The cryogenic tank will effectively store oxygen at temperatures as low as -182°C and methane at temperatures as low as -161°C. The Vega-E launchers are scheduled to commence operations in 2026, facilitating the launch of medium-class satellites into low-Earth orbit (LEO) from the Kourou base in French Guiana.
Key Questions Answered
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