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

Response to Climate Change

Increasing Air Conditioner Efficiency

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As a manufacturer of air conditioners doing business globally, the Daikin Group makes it its mission to reduce energy consumption in order to improve people’s comfort and contribute to reducing global warming. To this end, we conduct quantitative environmental assessments for each product life cycle in order to develop products and services that use minimal electricity and to combine these in order to optimize the overall energy consumption of buildings.

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.

In the life cycle of an air conditioner, the majority of the greenhouse gas that is emitted occurs during product use stage, and refrigerants also represent a large impact. That is why we focus on reducing the impact of these two. In addition to incorporating inverter technology to reduce power consumption, we employ the HFC-32 low-global-warming refrigerant to achieve greater energy efficiency. In fiscal 2016, we reduced CO2 emissions from residential air conditioners by 21% and from commercial air conditioners by 32%.

This use of the latest technology in products has increased energy efficiency over previous products. But we thought that if we could also raise the energy efficiency of existing equipment, we could help reduce energy consumption dramatically in society as a whole. That is why we now market our Retrofit System as a way to replace compressors and control systems—keys to energy efficiency—on site with the latest types.

The latest compressors are low load and minimize compression leakage and loss. By combining with the latest control methods to control refrigerant temperature based on load, we can improve the efficiency of during low-load operation, the most common type of operation in air conditioning. We estimate this can reduce annual electricity consumption by approximately 15%. With the Retrofit System, there are few replacement parts, which is a cost benefit, and the work to replace the parts on site is short. These benefits earned the Retrofit System the Minister’s Prize of Economy, Trade and Industry in the fiscal 2016 Energy Conservation Grand Prize.

Sample of LCA: Comparison of CO2 Emissions over Product Lifecycle*1

Sample of LCA: Comparison of CO2 Emissions over Product Lifecycle

*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.

Daikin’s VRV H series of multi-split type air conditioners with specification for cold weather, released in February 2016, meet the 2015 annual performance factor (APF) standards for all models. With this, all products comply with the Top Runner Standard for three-phase induction motors for fans used in indoor products for commercial equipment.

*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).

For this, In June 2011 Daikin received the Invention Award from the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry at the National Commendation for Invention, sponsored by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation.

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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