Development and Trend of my country's Frequency Converter Industry

With the rapid development of power electronics technology, computer technology and automatic control technology, electric drive technology is facing a historic revolution. AC drives have gradually become the mainstream of electric drives. Among asynchronous motor speed control systems, the frequency conversion speed control system has the highest efficiency and the best performance. Benefiting from energy conservation, emission reduction, and the Green New Deal, as an important device for energy conservation, the inverter industry has huge potential and is one of the future strategic industries.

New trends in inverter technology

  Inverter is a high-tech product with high technical content, high added value, and high return. Like the IT industry, this industry includes all industries related to inverter technology, namely the production of power electronic devices, the production of drive protection integrated circuits, electrical drive and system control technology, and industrial applications. Power electronic technology, motor control method and automation control level determine the development level of inverter.

   The development of information technology has also led to the development of frequency conversion technology. The introduction of DSP computing technology into the frequency converter enables complex real-time calculations to be realized with the means to form a complete system and become easy. Frequency conversion speed regulation is considered to be the ideal speed regulation solution because of its high speed regulation accuracy, low starting energy consumption, small footprint, advanced technology, rich functions, simple operation, strong versatility, and easy formation of closed-loop control. Represents the development direction of electric drive.

   The rapid development and successful application of AC speed regulation has broken the dominance of DC drives in the field of speed regulation in the past, and AC speed regulation drives have entered the era of AC frequency conversion. The birth of Direct Speed ​​Control Theory (DSC) marks that China has not only surpassed itself but also foreign counterparts in motor control technology.

   High-voltage and high-power inverters have great technical difficulties in terms of electromagnetic compatibility, electromagnetic radiation, and series technology, and have become a hot spot for competition among major electrical companies in the world. At present, many domestic inverter manufacturers have invested a lot of manpower and material resources in the field of high-voltage inverters, striving to occupy the commanding heights in the current inverter technology. Nevertheless, IGBT devices, the core of frequency converters, are always dependent on imports, which has become a bottleneck restricting the development of domestic frequency converters.

  In order to meet the challenges from different application fields, inverters are constantly being updated, with improved functions and more diversified products. In general, the inverter in the new era has the following characteristics: First, it is fully digital, fully functional, capable of compensating for load changes, especially distributed high-end inverters with communication, networking functions and integrated PLC. The second is simple or industry-specific inverters and mechatronics and miniaturization. The third is networking and systemization, reducing production costs through network connection, and configuring different types of inverters with the same programming language and communication protocol through fieldbus modules. In addition, with the advent of new high-voltage power electronic devices, high-voltage and medium-voltage inverters have also made considerable progress. In the future, new types of inverters such as matrix inverters and green inverters will be available.

  The status quo of domestic inverter companies

   Since the 21st century, my country's inverter industry has been highly fissioned. Many foreign brands have established factories in China and implemented localized operations. The personnel and funds of the original domestic brands have been continuously separated, and many enterprises have been established, mainly in coastal areas such as Guangdong, Zhejiang, Shandong, and Shanghai.

   At present, there are more than 300 inverter manufacturers in the domestic market, and the main brands are maintained at around 20-30. Foreign brands still dominate the medium and low voltage inverter market in China. Most domestic companies have a short history of establishment, and many new products have entered the market for a short period of time. In terms of product maturity and brand awareness, it is still difficult to compete with well-known international brands with a long history.

   The domestic frequency converter market started with the entry of foreign brands, and foreign brands are predominant. The strength of my country's inverter supporting industries is relatively weak. Domestic brands have a certain gap with foreign brands in terms of technology, manufacturing, industrial design, etc., or in terms of financial strength. At present, foreign brands account for about 70% of the domestic inverter market. Local inverter companies mainly produce V/F control products. For products such as vector inverters with superior performance and high technical content, most domestic companies have not yet developed mature products.

   It is understood that foreign brands still dominate the domestic medium and low voltage inverter market. There are mainly brands such as ABB, Siemens, Fuji Electric, Mitsubishi Electric, Yaskawa Electric, Delta, Schneider, Emerson, Danfoss, etc., occupying the top 12 of my country's medium and low voltage inverter market. INVT, which has the largest domestic scale z*, is already ranked behind 13, and other companies are even smaller.

   Therefore, the frequency converter market in China is still price-oriented, which may lead to differences between the frequency converter models promoted by many international brands in China and the international ones, and it also provides a certain opportunity for the development of local frequency converter brands. With the rise of local brands, the market share of domestic-funded inverter companies is gradually expanding, especially in recent years there has been a trend of accelerating the replacement of foreign brands. Although it has not yet possessed the strength to fully compete with international d* brands such as Siemens and ABB, it has shown certain competitive advantages in some segmented products and markets, and its market share has gradually expanded. It is expected that the market share of domestic brands will exceed that of European and American brands in the next few years.

  The inverter market has unlimited prospects

With the development and comprehensive utilization of inverter high-speed technology, the inverter industry has achieved unprecedented development and application in the modernization of cement, elevators, printing, electric power, and medical, communications, transportation, transportation, power, electronics, environmental protection and other fields. All industries in the economy are inseparable from frequency converters.

   From the overall point of view, the competition in my country's inverter industry is becoming increasingly fierce. Because the market is extremely attractive, not only the market has formed a certain scale, but the potential capacity is also very considerable, and it continues to attract new players in the industry. With the technological advancement of domestic manufacturers and the improvement of quality stability, coupled with the advantages of service and price, it is expected that the market situation of high-end products monopolized by foreign manufacturers will change in the next few years.

   China's frequency converter market has a broad space for development, currently reaching about 10 billion yuan. With the expansion of the market and the diversification of user-side needs, the functions of domestic inverter products are constantly improving and increasing, and the integration and systemization are getting higher and higher, and some special inverter products have appeared.

   It is understood that in recent years, China's frequency converter market has maintained a growth rate of 12-15%, and it is expected to maintain a growth rate of more than 10% for at least the next 5 years. At present, the growth rate of inverter installation capacity (power) in the Chinese market is actually about 20%. It is expected that the inverter market will become saturated and mature gradually after at least 10 years.

The total potential market for inverters in my country should be 120-180 billion yuan, of which atmospheric inverters account for about 60% of the market share. The demand for medium and high-voltage inverters is relatively small. However, due to the large power and sales of single inverters The price is high and should account for about 40% of the market. At present, domestic motors with variable loads and energy-saving potential have at least 180 million kilowatts, which provides a huge market for the application of frequency converters.