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Sustainability > Key Activities 2012 > Environment: Practical Application of Next-Generation Refrigerant

Environment: Practical Application of Next-Generation Refrigerant World's First Adoption of R32, a Refrigerant With Low Global Warming Potential

Commercialize R32 Products and Demonstrate Daikin's Direction

After the numerous aforementioned activities in which we considered and evaluated refrigerants from all possible angles, Daikin determined R32 to be the most suitable refrigerant for air conditioners. One reason is that its GWP is just one-third that of R410A (an HFC mixture), the most common refrigerant in use in industrialized countries at present. In addition, R32's superb energy efficiency means that air conditioners using it emit fewer greenhouse gases and require less refrigerant volume to operate. And since it is not a mixture of different types of refrigerants like R410A, R32 will be ideal in the near future when the international community plans to have refrigerant recycling systems in place.

Although a number of industrialized countries have been proposing next-generation refrigerants with consideration for factors like their own competitiveness and economic performance, it has proven hard to come up with new technologies and actually release products. Daikin believes that its job as the leading air conditioner company is to first commercialize products and show developing countries the direction it is taking.

Characteristics of Possible Next-Generation Refrigerants (for Residential and Light Commercial Air Conditioners)

Manufacturing R32 air conditioners in IndiaManufacturing R32 air conditioners in India

World's First R32 Air Conditioner Released in Japan and India

R32 has a slight degree of flammability, and until November 2012, it had not been commercialized as a refrigerant. However, countries around the world have begun to accept refrigerants that are mildly flammable with the goal of reducing global warming. Even the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is currently revising safety standards for refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

In November 2012, for the first time ever Daikin began using R32 for residential air conditioners for the Japanese market. In October 2012, prior to market release, we held seminars for our installation contractors all over Japan to explain the characteristics of mildly flammable R32 and to talk about the procedures for handling it. Our goal was to ensure that our contractors were qualified to install R32 air conditioners and that all installation work would be of the highest quality.

In March 2013, India began the sale of residential air conditioners using R32. Our next step is to release R32 air conditioners in other countries and have R32 employed in commercial air conditioners.

Urusara 7 Residential Air Conditioner

* For residential wall-mounted room air conditioners (40-kW, 5.6-kW class) as of date of release (June 26, 2013). Seasonal power consumption: AN40PRP model: 1,145 kWh; AN56PRP model: 1,840 kWh

Flammability of Possible Next-Generation Refrigerants
R32 briefing for trainees from 7 Asian countriesR32 briefing for trainees from 7 Asian countries

Open Licensing of Basic Patent to Promote Refrigerant Shift in Developing Countries

Daikin does everything it can to contribute to the shift to refrigerants with minimal environmental impact. Specifically, to promote adoption of R32 in developing countries nearing conversion to next-generation refrigerants, in September 2011 Daikin began inviting to use many of its patents for the manufacture and sale of air conditioners using R32 single component refrigerant. Daikin also participated in a developing country support program sponsored by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in which Daikin hosted trainees from seven Asian countries to provide them with detailed information on next-generation air conditioners.

Daikin continues to work towards the practical application of next-generation refrigerants. We continue to carry out research. And like our successful launch of water heaters using the natural refrigerant CO2, we are on the lookout for other suitable uses of next-generation refrigerants beyond air conditioners.

We will continue to provide support upon request from various countries as we contribute to the switch to refrigerants with lower environmental impact in the process of helping to protect the ozone layer and mitigate the effects of global warming.

What Stakeholders Are Saying

Outstanding Example of Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and Climate System

With their high global warming potential, HFC refrigerants have proven to be a double-edged sword. In products such as refrigerators and air conditioners, they are much needed substitutes in the movement to phase out CFCs and HCFCs, which are ozone-depleting gases. At the same time, however, HFC refrigerants are extremely powerful global warming gases. Their widespread and continued use would jeopardize the success of the Montreal Protocol.

Good news comes from Daikin: the company has successfully brought to market air conditioners using R32, a refrigerant with a relatively low global warming potential and shorter atmospheric life. It is also focusing on enhancing the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems that use R32. This is an outstanding example of safeguarding the ozone layer and the climate system.

Rajendra Shende
Chairman, TERRE Policy Centre Former Director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Rajendra Shende Chairman, TERRE Policy Centre Former Director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)


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