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Danfoss A/S
IndustryFluid control equipment, pump, seal, valve manufacturing, climate & energy
FoundedNordborg, Denmark
Key people
Kim Fausing, CEO; Jørgen M. Clausen
ProductsRefrigeration, air conditioning, the control of electric motors, the heating of buildings, solutions for renewable energy such as solar power and heat pumps
Number of employees
41,928 (2023)

Danfoss is a Danish multinational company, based in Denmark, with more than 41,928 employees globally. Danfoss was founded in 1933 by engineer Mads Clausen.[1]

Danfoss headquarters in Nordborg, Denmark
Cutaway model of Danfoss's first automatic valve


Beginning (1933–1966)[edit]

In 1933 Mads Clausen (1905–1966) founded Dansk Køleautomatik- og Apparatfabrik, later in 1946 the company name was changed to Danfoss. The first product was an expansion valve for refrigeration units, it was developed after studying imported valves from the US.[1]

In 1941, activities expanded to products for heating.[1] The thermostatic radiator valve was invented by Mads Clausen in 1943, later patented, and in 1952 promoted as an energy saving device.[2]

In 1945 about 224 people were employed at the first factory built at and around the farm where he grew up. There was no more room for expansion and a new larger factory was planned.[3]

In 1962 the company started production of power electronics, the first product was custom-built rectifiers, later in 1968 production of the VLT Frequency converter began, the first of its kind in the world.[4]
The company also expanded its activities into hydraulics, the first hydraulic component was produced in the factory in Nordborg in 1964.[5]

Mads Clausen died in 1966, at 60. Because his sons were too young to run the company, his widow Bitten Clausen took on the role as head of the board. The company had yearly sales of 500 million Danish kroner, and the factory had grown to 10,000 m².[6]

The office of Mads Clausen as he left it in 1962

Since 1966[edit]

Expansion into other countries started in 1956, when the company started to build a factory in Flensburg, Germany, which was completed in 1958.[7]

Danfoss Compressors GmbH, Danfoss' former domestic compressor division, was sold in 2010 and renamed Secop.[8]

China is also an important market for Danfoss. In 2013, two new factories were opened on the same day, bringing the number to seven. The Chinese market was the third largest for the company.[9]

In 2014, Danfoss purchased Vacon, a VFD manufacturer.[10]


The Danfoss Group manufactures products and provides services used in: [11]

Danfoss employs approximately 41,928 people worldwide with its headquarters in Nordborg, Denmark.[12]
In 2002 Danfoss joined the United Nations Global Compact, consisting of nine principles with social and environmental responsibility.

Bitten og Mads Clausens Fond was established as a self-governing institution in 1971 by Bitten Clausen.[13] Today, the foundation is the biggest shareholder in the company.


World War II[edit]

In 2010, some Danish newspapers reported that Danfoss sold its products to Nazi Germany during World War II. [14] [15] They quoted the book Krigens købmænd ("Merchants of War") by Christian Jensen, Tomas Kristiansen and Karl Erik Nielsen, who stated that Danfoss sold goods to the occupying forces for 408,850 Danish kroner. According to Ole Daugbjerg from Danfoss, they did not trade directly with the Germans.

Later in 2001, it was cleared in the book Danfoss under besættelsen ("Danfoss during the Occupation") by Ditlev Tamm although other critics have claimed the book might not be neutral because Tamm was paid by Danfoss to perform the investigations. [16] [17]


On 7 December 2011 Danfoss was fined 90 million euro for exercising a cartel with Embraco / Whirlpool Corporation, Panasonic, ACC and Tecumseh Products. The cooperation was entered with compressors from April 2004 to October 2007. The basis of the fine is the violation of free competition to the detriment of consumers. [18] [19]

Danfoss was fined 16.5 million Danish kroner in the United States. From October 2004 to 2007, the German subsidiary also entered illegal price agreements with competitors. The case in both the European Commission and the US is related.


  1. ^ a b c "Danfoss". denstoredanske.dk (in Danish). Gyldendal. Archived from the original on 13 September 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  2. ^ Claus Møller Jensen. "Ikonisk Danfoss-opfindelse fyldte 75 år". jv.dk (in Danish). JydskeVestkysten. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  3. ^ Hans G. Rossing (23 Nov 1945). "Tidsskrift for Ingneniør og Bygnings-væsen" (in Danish). ing.dk. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  4. ^ Niels Chr. Larsen (12 Sep 2014). "Sådan gjorde Danfoss frekvensomformere til et guldæg". ing.dk (in Danish). Ingeniøren. Archived from the original on 4 October 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  5. ^ Kristensen, Peer Hull; Lilja, Kari (27 January 2011). Nordic Capitalisms and Globalization. ISBN 9780199594535. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Tidsskrift for Ingeniør- og Bygningsvæsen" (in Danish). ing.dk. 2 Sep 1966. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  7. ^ Jepsen, Gertraudt (2008). Bitten Clausen - historier fra et liv. ISBN 9788702065138. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Joint Press Release Danfoss A/S and AURELIUS AG". Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  9. ^ Bent Højgaard Sørensen (6 Nov 2013). "Danfoss buldrer frem i Kina". berlingske.dk (in Danish). Berlingske. Archived from the original on 21 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Vacon to become part of Danfoss Group".
  11. ^ Major Companies of Europe 1990/91: Volume 1 Major Companies of the Continental Europe Economic Community. Springer Science & Business Media. 6 Dec 2012. p. 69. ISBN 9789400907973. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  12. ^ "Danfoss A/s - Nordborg 6430 (Nordborg), Nordborgvej 81 , CVR 20165715". gb.kompass.com. Retrieved 2023-07-26.
  13. ^ "Bitten Clausen fylder 100 år". berlingske.dk (in Danish). Berlingske. 20 October 2012. Archived from the original on 17 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Danfoss handlede med nazisterne". borsen.dk (in Danish). Dagbladet Børsen. 20 June 2010. Archived from the original on 10 June 2020. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Danfoss handlede med nazisterne". www.bt.dk (in Danish). BT. 21 November 2000. Archived from the original on 10 June 2020. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  16. ^ Marcus Rubin (23 Feb 2002). "Slaget om historien". politiken.dk (in Danish). Politiken. Archived from the original on 29 May 2020. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Erhvervshistorisk Årbog 2013, 1". tidsskrift.dk (in Danish). 2013. p. 53. Retrieved 10 June 2020. Tamm, Ditlev: Danfoss under besættelsen, 2001. Ditlev Tamms undersøgelse af Danfoss var finansieret af virksomheden selv, der ville forfægte en artikelserie i Berlingske Tidende, hvor Danfoss blev anklaget for at have leveret armaturer til Tyskland. Af denne og flere kildekritiske årsager mødte juristen Ditlev Tamm siden kritik fra blandt andet historikeren Steen Andersen for sin fremstilling af virksomheden, som Tamm i det store hele frikendte.
  18. ^ Rory Harrington. "Danfoss hit with huge fine over price fixing cartel". www.beveragedaily.com. Archived from the original on 7 June 2020. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Danfoss hit by huge €90m fine". www.acr-news.com. 8 Dec 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • Per Boje and Hans Chr. Johansen, En Iværksætter - Historien om Mads Clausen og Danfoss, University Press of Southern Denmark, 1994. In Danish. ISBN 87-7492-983-6
  • Hanne Steen Hansen, Danfoss - arven fra Mads, Schultz, 1994. ISBN 8756978642
  • Ditlev Tamm, Danfoss under besættelsen, Museet på Sønderbog Slot, 2001. ISBN 8787375044
  • Lene Shannon, Danfoss - Fra hønsehus til hele verden, Pressto, 2012. ISBN 9788790333416
  • Niels Lunde, DET NY DANFOSS - sådan forvandlede Niels B. Christiansen landets største industrivirksomhed, Gyldendal, 2016. ISBN 9788702168402
  • Niels Lunde, THE NEW DANFOSS - an exclusive insight into an industrial transformation, Gyldendal, 2016. ISBN 9788702192025

External links[edit]