Trends in the heating boiler market

Nov 02, 2021

Today's Russian market of heating equipment largely repeats the path that Europe has taken in recent decades. This is, first of all, an increase in quality and comfort requirements.ย 

The current situation in sales of wall-mounted boilers in Europe is significantly different from the Russian one. Today, the European turnover for wall-mounted boilers is estimated at about 2.4 billion euros per year.

The trend of sales growth of wall-mounted boilers has persisted in Europe in recent years, even in the conditions of a downturn in the heating equipment market. Naturally, the growth of their sales is due to the displacement of more expensive floor models in production, which are still indispensable for heating large buildings.

As for the competition of heating equipment for different types of fuel, there is a noticeable decrease in the popularity of liquid fuel boilers on the European market. This may be due to certain inconveniences of delivery and the cost of fuel. In Russia, the increased demand for gas equipment is due to a well-developed infrastructure for gas delivery to the consumer and the cheapness of this type of fuel.

Today, imported heating boilers have already occupied a significant part of the Russian heating equipment market, and sales of wall-mounted boilers have already outstripped sales of floor-mounted boilers and this growth continues.

There is practically no demand for condensing boilers in Russia, although more than 50% of the total number is sold in Europe, and in Switzerland, Holland, Austria and Germany there has been a significant increase in their sales in recent years.

The main reasons for this:

  • High price.
  • Low gas tariffs in Russia.

The average price of a double-circuit condensing boiler with a capacity of 24 kW in Germany is about 3,000 euros.

One of the features of Europe is that manufacturers keep high prices in the domestic market. For example, the cost of wall-mounted boilers in Russia is 2-3 times lower than in Germany or Holland. The cost of wall-mounted boilers, in comparison with floor-mounted ones, is 1.5โ€“2.5 times lower in our country, while in Germany this difference is practically absent. Of course, boilers sold on the European market differ from those supplied to Russia, primarily in terms of the environmental requirements imposed on them. The NOx emission index for wall-mounted boilers sold in the EU countries is in the range of 35-40 mg/kWh, and for condensing boilers 20-25 mg/kWh. For boilers exported to Russia, this indicator is usually more than 200 mg/kWh!

It cannot be said that the gas heating boilers supplied to the Russian market today are very different from their foreign counterparts in terms of comfort and functionality, which at first glance is expressed in price. No. The brand promotion policy adapts to real conditions and cannot run counter to them. This explains everything, so that the Russian consumer can be proud of buying a European product at a more friendly price.

In the absence of strict standards for pressure in gas networks, for Russian consumers, the most important characteristic of a wall-mounted boiler is its design nominal pressure. The value of 13 mbar has become a kind of standard for boilers supplied to Russia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine... Needless to say, even it is not always maintained, and the European standard of 20 mbar is practically absent in Russia. When the gas pressure is lowered, the boiler power drops and, in the worst case, it is turned off.

On January 1, 2002, a law came into force in the EU countries, according to which the minimum warranty for technically complex equipment is defined for a period of 2 years. In Russia, in accordance with our legislation, most suppliers and manufacturers provide only a one-year warranty. As a rule, the consumer receives a further guarantee of the boiler operation when concluding a service contract.

The quality guarantee and service life depends on the quality of the material and the quality of the assembly. Currently, with constantly changing conditions and the presentation of new standards for the efficiency and environmental friendliness of the equipment, there is no need to make boilers eternal by introducing perfect, expensive materials. As a rule, foreign manufacturers set the service life for devices of this type for 10-15 years, after which they are subject to replacement with a new one. This is correct, since during this time the equipment becomes obsolete in moral and technical terms, plus the introduction of increased taxes during the operation of old installations makes their use economically unprofitable.

Viessmann Gas Boiler Some of the most famous gas boiler manufacturers in Europe are:

  • Ariston.
  • Baxi.
  • Beretta.
  • Buderus.
  • Frisquet.
  • Roca.
  • Saunier Duval.
  • Junkers.
  • Vaillant.
  • Viessmann.

The leading German manufacturers of wall-mounted boilers Vaillant and Bosch Thermotechnik (including Junkers) hold more than 40% of the European market. Of these, 25% are accounted for by Vaillant.

Today, wall-mounted boilers from almost all leading European manufacturers are represented on the Russian market, and even Bosch Thermotechnik, which left after the 1998 crisis, has returned to Russia under the Junkers brand.

An important factor of any equipment is its weight and size. Wall-mounted equipment initially implies a lightweight design and compactness. Transportation and installation of bulky devices causes certain inconveniences and, ultimately, affects the increase in costs. Therefore, handling more compact and lightweight devices is more profitable for the supplier.

Modern wall-mounted boilers fit well into the interior and do not require boiler room equipment. It is this fact that allows the use of equipment of this type even for apartment-by-apartment heating, for which there is a special letter from the Gosstroy of Russia regulating the right to use individual wall-mounted natural gas heat generators in residential buildings regardless of the number of floors.

In recent years, experimental construction of multi-storey residential buildings with the use of apartment-by-apartment heat supply systems, in which individual natural gas heat generators were used as heat sources, has been carried out in a number of cities in coordination with Gosstroy of Russia. Due to the lack of sufficient experience in the use of such systems in multi-storey residential buildings in the conditions of the Russian Federation, the design and construction of such systems was carried out according to separate specifications. Experience has confirmed the sufficiently high efficiency of the use of these systems, their reliability and safety in operation.

Design features of gas wall-mounted boilers

  • Hot water preparation

A secondary heat exchanger is used to prepare hot water in double-circuit boilers. Some double-circuit boilers have a special function of getting hot water quickly. Sometimes, for a more comfortable DHW, a small built-in boiler is installed in the boilers. For the most comfortable DHW, single-circuit boilers are used complete with an indirect heating boiler. This is the most expensive option, besides it requires additional space for a hot water boiler.

  • Burner

The most important indicator for a modulating burner is the modulation range. For the best wall-mounted devices, the parameter lies in the range of 20-100%. Usually 30-100%.

  • Circulation pump and diaphragm tank

In the simplest wall-mounted boilers, as a rule, single-stage circulation pumps are installed. In more expensive models, 2-3 speed or stepless speed control, depending on the load. The volume of the membrane tank varies depending on the boiler capacity.

  • Removal of combustion products

There are two types of boilers: with forced and natural removal of combustion products. Boilers with forced removal of combustion products do not require the presence of a chimney in the building. The exhaust gases in such boilers are discharged through special pipes (pipe in pipe), through a hole in the wall or roof.

  • Heat exchanger material

There are two main materials of heat exchangers. These are copper and stainless steel. Each of them has its pros and cons. In almost all boilers manufactured for Europe, the heat exchanger is made of stainless steel

Source (in Russian)