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Sustainability > Environment > Response to Climate Change > Increasing Air Conditioner Efficiency

Response to Climate Change

Increasing Air Conditioner Efficiency

Developing and Spreading the Use of Environmentally Conscious Products

In order to mitigate the global warming impact of its air conditioners, the Daikin Group defines its environmentally conscious products as Super Green Products and Green Products, developing and spreading the use of these products.

In fiscal 2016,  environmentally conscious products accounted for 74% of residential air conditioner sales .  

Name Definition
Super Green Products

Air conditioners that meet all of the following conditions.

  • Consume at least 30% less electricity than conventional products
    Example: Air conditioners equipped with inverters
  • Use refrigerants with at least two-thirds less global warming potential than conventional refrigerants
    Example: Air conditioners using HFC-32, a refrigerant with lower global warming potential
Products Air conditioners that meet at least one of the above conditions.
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Life Cycle Assessment

Focusing on Increasing Energy Efficiency and Reducing Refrigerant Impact during Product Use

We assess global warming impact of air conditioners using the life cycle assessment (LCA) method, which allows us to determine the environmental impact at each stage of a product's life cycle.

Greenhouse gas emissions from air conditioners have their greatest environmental effect during product use. This is followed by the effect caused by refrigerants. By using HFC-32, a refrigerant with low global warming impact, we have been able to make air conditioners more energy efficient, reducing the amount of CO2 emissions by 21% for residential air conditioners and 34% for commercial air conditioners.

Sample of LCA: Comparison*1 of Life Cycle CO2 Emissions (Energy-Induced CO2)

Sample of LCA: Comparison of Life Cycle CO2 Emissions (Energy-Induced CO2)

*1 Based on Daikin standards for 2.8-kW class residential air conditioners and 14-kW class commercial air conditioners.

*2 The seasonal power consumption is calculated in accordance with the standard of the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) for residential air conditioners and the Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industries Association for commercial air conditioners.

*3 Refrigerant impact is calculated by obtaining the .global warming potential per unit of weight, while factoring in the average leakage rate during the product use, disposal, and recycling stages.

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Improving Energy Efficiency of Air Conditioners

Improving Annual Performance Factor (APF)*1
and Integrated Part Load Value (IPLV)*2

In the life cycle of an air conditioner, from design and manufacture to use and disposal, the majority of the CO2 that is emitted occurs during product use.

That is why when we revised our voluntary environmental standards, we tightened our criteria for energy efficiency in the product use stage in order to improve the energy efficiency of products.

In February 2016, we released commercial air conditioner series in the 1.5 to 6-HP classes using the HFC-32 refrigerant and achieving an annual performance factor (APF) increase of between 0.1 and 0.4.. We are also using HFC-32 refrigerant in residential air conditioners, floor heaters, and water heaters. For example, in November 2015 we released the New Urusara 7 as part of efforts to increase APF.

In December 2015, we released a versatile air conditioning heat source chiller, the JIZAI, for buildings and factories. This product employs a new scroll compressor that is used on Daikin’s VRV multi-split type air conditioners for commercial buildings, which dramatically minimizes compression leakage during low-speed operation and improves integrated part load value (IPLV) by approximately 16%.

*1 Annual performance factor (APF): The APF represents heating and cooling capacity per kWh over one year of use of an air conditioner under specific conditions. The higher the APF, the greater an air conditioner’s energy efficiency.

*2 Integrated part load value (IPLV): The IPLV is an energy efficiency indicator obtained by calculating the weighted average of cooling COPs at four different capacities of machine operation. It corresponds to the APF of a packaged air conditioner. In reality, air conditioners often operate at partial capacity. The higher the IPLV, the greater the actual energy efficiency of a product.

Electricity Consumption and Energy Consumption Efficiency (residential air conditioners)*1

Electricity Consumption and Energy Consumption Efficiency (residential air conditioners)

*1 Calculated for Daikin 2.8-kW class air conditioners. Under JIS conditions.

*2 For products with prescribed measurements

*3 Measures were based on the JIS C 9612:2005 standard up to fiscal 2012; from fiscal 2013 they are based on JIS C 9612: 2013.

Electricity Consumption and Energy Consumption Efficiency (commercial air conditioners)*

Electricity Consumption and Energy Consumption Efficiency (commercial air conditioners)

* Calculated for Daikin 14.0-kW class air conditioners. Under conditions of the Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association, and the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS).

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VRV Series of Multi-split Type Air Conditioners for Commercial Buildings Honored in Fiscal 2015 Energy Conservation Center, Japan Awards

Throughout the course of a year, building air conditioners operate under varying conditions. They only operate at full capacity during the mid-summer and mid-winter, and for the rest of the approximately 90% of the time operate at low capacity when there is little difference between their set temperature and outdoor air temperatures. This means that in order to reduce electricity use, it is crucial to achieve highly efficient operation during these low capacity times.

The VRV series of multi-split type air conditioners for commercial buildings maintains a comfortable room environment while reducing energy waste in order to lower electricity consumption by approximately 21% compared to our previous products. It achieves this through, for example, a new scroll compressor that dramatically reduces compression leakage and loss, and new control technology that automatically controls refrigerant temperature according to load during heating and cooling. Daikin Industries, Ltd. was awarded the Chairman Prize of Energy Conservation Center, Japan (ECCJ) for the VRV series in Japan in the Energy Conservation Grand Prize for excellent energy conservation equipment (Product and Business Model Category) for fiscal 2015 by ECCJ.

FIVE STAR ZEAS for Stores and Offices
New Airflow Method Gives 15% Greater Energy Efficiency

Released in February 2016, the FIVE STAR ZEAS for stores and offices employs active circulation airstream. To develop this new method of airstream, we completely rethought the heating method of the conventional ceiling-mounted cassette air conditioner, which discharges air in a downward direction, instead having the FIVE STAR ZEAS discharge air in a horizontal direction. This horizontal direction airstream quickly spreads to the entire floor, prevents cold air from coming in through walls and windows, and gives warm from your feet up. In addition, it reduces inconsistent temperatures throughout a room, helping give the FIVE STAR ZEAS 15% higher energy efficiency than our previous products.

Active circulation airstream

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Developing Energy-Efficient Products

Products for Detached Homes Added to DESICA Series

Requiring no water drainage or supply pipes, DESICA instead uses outside air to control humidity, either humidifying or dehumidifying. Equipped with the Hybrid DESICA Element, which contains both highly efficient water absorption material and a heat exchanger, it consumes just one-sixth the energy of conventional humidity controlling devices (according to Daikin tests).

In autumn 2012, Daikin Industries, Ltd. released the DESICA HOME AIR for detached homes, which controls humidity and ventilation throughout the entire house. Just one unit offers round-the-clock, year-round comfort control for all rooms in homes with floor space of between 120 m2 and 200 m2. Like the commercial DESICA, this product gives humidifying and dehumidifying without the need for water drainage or supply pipes. Because it is floor standing, maintenance such as replacement and cleaning of the high-performance filter is easy. With its ability to provide high-quality air and energy efficiency, the DESICA HOME AIR has already proved a hit in many homes.

DESICA HOME AIR

Customers achieve the best balance of temperature and humidity by choosing a product and combination of parts from the extensive lineup.

Suggestion for Combining All-Room Air Conditioning with DESICA

Can be combined with individual air conditioning units

Suggestion for Combining Individual Air Conditioners with DESICA

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Industry and Academia Team Up to Spread Use of Net Zero Energy Buildings

Daikin receives the Deutsche KältepreisDaikin receives the Deutsche Kältepreis

Like the name suggests, a net zero energy building is one that utilizes energy efficiency in its structure and facilities while also creating its own energy through renewable sources so that its net energy use becomes zero. There are more and more of these buildings appearing in Japan and other developed countries. The Daikin Group is striving to achieve net zero energy buildings by boosting the energy efficiency of VRV (multi-split type air conditioners for commercial buildings) and other types of air conditioners, and by providing optimal energy management that meets customer needs in all world regions.

For example, Daikin Europe N.V. has been carrying out the European Net Zero Energy Project, an experimental cooperative project between Daikin and universities including Technical University Dortmund of Germany. As a first step, in July 2010, Daikin Europe, in cooperation with Zeller Group, a wholesaler of Daikin Airconditioning Germany, constructed a Net Zero Energy Office in northwest Germany (Herten) that features photovoltaic solar power generation and Daikin floor heating, cooling, and dehumidification products using heat-pump technology. The project received the Deutsche Kältepreis, an annual award for energy-efficient, future-oriented refrigeration and air-conditioning technology given by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservancy and Nuclear Reactor Safety (BMU). This project’s net-energy balance in 2012 showed surplus energy of 977 kWh, thus proving the high energy efficiency of the building.

Using the knowledge gained from the Net Zero Energy Project, Daikin will embark on new projects in Spain and the U.K. in which Daikin products achieve optimal operation in real-life building situations.

Daikin plans to introduce an energy control system to the project so that it can offer heat-pump technology to its major customers.

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Providing Energy-Efficient Solutions

Energy Efficiency throughout Entire Buildings and Cities

The Daikin Group uses environmental technologies in areas such as inverters and refrigerants to provide solutions for not just reducing the environmental impact of individual air conditioners but also for reducing the impact throughout an entire building or city.

Energy management systems (EMS) are an effective way to save energy while keeping a building comfortable. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is conducting a project to hasten the spread of EMS, and in April 2012 Daikin Industries, Ltd. was selected as a BEMS aggregator under this project: a company charged with managing a BEMS. Under this project, we are picking up the pace at which we are providing a system that can achieve precise demand control and thus give both a comfortable building temperature and energy-saving operation; and that can use weather forecast data to automatically set equipment so that it operates in the most energy-efficient and energy-saving manner possible.

This project was incorporated as a scheme under the category of using energy management companies of Japan’s Subsidy for Companies Rationalizing the Use of Energy, Etc., which began in fiscal 2014. In fiscal 2015, we installed 20 systems under this scheme.

Since fiscal 2013, Daikin Industries, Ltd. has been selected as a diagnosis organization for projects such as the Ministry of the Environment’s Model Project for Effective Renovation Toward Promoting Green Buildings. For customers who use our Air Conditioning Network Service System for remote monitoring of air conditioners, we use operational data as a basis for improving their air conditioning operation and providing energy-efficient services. In fiscal 2015, we provided energy-efficiency diagnostic services for a cumulative total of 71 projects, resulting in savings for customers of approximately 5,000,000 kWh per year, and a cumulative total of 18,000,000 kWh so far. Since fiscal 2014, along with Hitachi, Ltd. and Mizuho Bank, Ltd., we have been participating in the Smart Communities Project in Greater Manchester, UK, which is being implemented by Japan’s New Energy Development Organization (NEDO). Under this project, heating systems in 600 homes are being converted from combustion-type boilers and electric heaters to heat-pump models. One aim is to reduce energy consumption. Another aim is to conduct a demonstration project for a business model in which the electricity usage at multiple residences is aggregated, operation is automatically carried out based on the demand situation, and excess electricity is sold.

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