Air compressors must be controlled if they are to operate efficiently, and the global market for air compressor controllers is growing substantially as more customers around the world install the equipment needed to achieve this.

Transparency Market Research report that the market – pegged at a global value of an estimated $3.4 billion (£2.3 billion) in 2012 – will reach $5.4 billion by 2022, equivalent to a compound annual growth rate of 5.8% from 2015 onwards.

“Air compressor controller systems are extremely vital for efficient system operation and improved performance, since they determine the overall energy efficiency of any air compressor system,” the report states.

“These devices aid in protecting compressors from surge events, reducing energy consumption, and providing maximum efficiency.”

Controllers can be retrofitted to existing air compressors, and this is helping to boost the market at present, along with sales of complete systems with pre-installed controllers.

Mechanical methods such as motors, valves and actuators, along with electronic controls like programmable logic controllers and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), contribute towards the overall market, which has broad reach across different industrial disciplines.

“Air compressor controllers are used across several industrial segments, given their rising potential in sectors such as oil and gas, energy and mining, and petrochemicals,” Transparency Market Research added.

Other smaller markets for the technology include materials processing and the minerals segment, in particular cement, as well as applications for air compressor controllers in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

While the North American market is a key producer of the technology, the greatest consumption is currently in the Middle East and Africa, where oil production is one of the main businesses with a need for close control over air compressors.

Elsewhere, commercial properties are a further major market, thanks to the requirement for such premises to have controlled environments in terms of both temperature and the general freshness of the air.

“The demand for HVAC systems in commercial spaces is a key factor driving the demand for air compressor controllers from the HVAC segment,” the report asserts.