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Sustainability > Key Activities 2013 > Dissemination of Next-Generation Refrigerants
Fiscal 2013 Key Activities

Environment: Dissemination of Next-Generation Refrigerants. Taking the Next-Generation Refrigerant R-32 around the World

Next-Generation Refrigerants Protecting the Ozone Layer and Reducing Global Warming

Refrigerants are crucial to air conditioning, circulating inside the air conditioner and transporting heat. However, the Montreal Protocol and the Kyoto Protocol restricted the use of conventional refrigerants that deplete the ozone layer and contribute to global warming, and the world needs refrigerants that mitigate these harmful effects. Industrialized countries have already converted to HFCs like R-410A that don’t deplete the ozone layer, but these refrigerants still have the problem of having a high global warming impact.

In 2013, developing countries began phasing down the use of conventional HCFC refrigerants. Air conditioner demand is growing in developing countries, and if these countries follow industrialized countries in adopting R-410A, global warming will accelerate. It is therefore crucial that the world convert to a next-generation refrigerant. Industrialized countries are also aiming to reduce HFC emissions and concerned parties are actively seeking to find next-generation refrigerants.

As the world’s only company making both air conditioners and their refrigerants, Daikin has been searching for and developing next-generation refrigerants. Our efforts have led us to choose R-32, which has a low global warming impact.

Air Conditioner Refrigerants: Environmental Impact and Transition

Air Conditioner Refrigerants: Environmental Impact and Transition

*1 GWP is quoted from the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC and the Japan Fluorocarbon Manufacturers Association.

Effect of Dissemination of R-32 (Projection)

Effect of Dissemination of R-32 (Projection)

Note: This projection was created based on Supporting Information from “The large contribution of projected HFC emissions to future climate forcing” Guus J. M. Velders et al. The graph shows the ef fect of converting 100% of R-410A usage and 50% of R-404A usage to R-32.

Daikin First to Adopt R-32, with One-Third the Global Warming Potential of Conventional Refrigerants

Choosing a next-generation refrigerant must take into consideration not just environmental performance, but also other overall factors such as safety and economic performance. Moreover, converting to a new refrigerant must take into account a range of international standards including those of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), as well as domestic regulations and standards of each country.

As a result of our participation in international discussions and our own assessments and studies, Daikin has determined that as of the present time, R-32 is the most suitable refrigerant. We made this decision because R-32 has just one-third the global warming potential of R-410A and it can be easily recovered and reused. It is also offers high energy efficiency and so less of it is needed per air conditioner than other refrigerants.

In fiscal 2012, Daikin released the world’s first residential air conditioner using R-32. Our goal is to have R-32 used around the world.

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

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

*2 LCCP: Life cycle cost performance. Global warming impact over the entire lifecycle of the air conditioner (impact of air conditioner use and refrigerant emission).

R-32 Air Conditioners Launched in Europe and Australia, Too

Daikin launched residential air conditioners using the R-32 refrigerant in Japan and India in fiscal 2012. Since 2013, an increasing number of other air conditioner manufacturers have been releasing R-32 air conditioners, mainly in Japan, as R-32 gains growing recognition as a next-generation refrigerant.

In Europe, work is underway for a 2015 enactment of a revised version of the F-Gas Regulation which supports the phase-down of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases). Daikin provided technical information on R-32 to industry groups and other relevant organs so that regulations would have sufficient content to go into effect. In November 2013, Daikin Europe N.V. launched a residential air conditioner using R-32, and in January 2014 sales of the product began in Australia. We plan to launch R-32 air conditioners in a growing number of regions around the world.

Production line in Thailand making R-32-refrigerant air conditioners, which went on sale in March 2014Production line in Thailand making R-32-refrigerant air conditioners, which went on sale in March 2014
At trade fairs and showrooms around the world, Daikin is promoting the R-32 refrigerant.

At trade fairs and showrooms around the world, Daikin is promoting the R-32 refrigerant.

At trade fairs and showrooms around the world, Daikin is promoting the R-32 refrigerant.

Worldwide Trend of Legislation on Refrigerants and Daikin’s Approaches

Worldwide Trend of Legislation on Refrigerants and Daikin’s Approaches

Working with Governments and Local Companies to Disseminate R-32 in Developing Countries

The conversion to next-generation refrigerants is not far off for developing countries, and to increase accessibility to R-32 in developing counties, Daikin invites to use many of its patents for the manufacture and sale of air conditioners using R-32 single component refrigerant. Daikin also participated in a developing country support program sponsored by organs such as Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), under which we hosted trainees from developing countries and provided manufacturers and sales companies in these countries with technical support.

R-32 is highly energy efficient: using it to replace the conventional R-22 (HCFC) refrigerant would save up to 10% in electricity consumed. And combining R-32 with inverter technology would further reduce electricity consumption.

In fiscal 2012, Daikin was chosen for inclusion in METI’s Global Warming Mitigation Technology Promotion Project, under which the company conducted tests in India showing how R-32 inverter air conditioners can effectively reduce CO2 emissions. In December 2013, with the cooperation of METI and the Energy Conservation Center, Japan, we held a seminar as part of efforts to disseminate highly efficient air conditioners. The event was successful in promoting understanding of R-32 as we presented the results of the tests and explained the benefits of R-32 to the audience, which included the Indian government officials and some members of the Refrigeration And Air Conditioning Manufacturers Association (RAMA).

Daikin also took part in a project to convert to R-32 in Thailand, where METI is offering financial aid as part of support for developing countries under the Montreal Protocol. R-22 use will be banned in Thailand starting in 2017, and the Thai government’s policy is to convert from R-22 to R-32 as a next-generation refrigerant. On request from METI, Daikin is working with other air conditioner manufacturers to help Thai manufacturers convert to R-32 and is offering technical training to Thai service engineers. In April 2014, we launched an R-32 air conditioner in Thailand.

Daikin is also taking part in a United Nations-led project to convert refrigerants in the Gulf nations. Middle Eastern countries are looking at R-32 as a potential next-generation refrigerants, and Daikin is providing relevant government officials and local air conditioner manufacturers with the information needed to choose a next-generation refrigerant.

We are also continuing to use international conferences and visits by foreign government officials to Japan as opportunities to provide technical information on R-32 and thus help disseminate this refrigerant.

And to build a refrigerant distribution network needed to disseminate R-32, we are maximizing our strength as a refrigerant manufacturer.

International conference (UNEP Montreal Protocol Meeting)International conference (UNEP Montreal Protocol Meeting)
Daikin is building an R-32 distribution network in India.Daikin is building an R-32 distribution network in India.
At Daikin plants, we provide visiting government officials with technical information on R-32.At Daikin plants, we provide visiting government officials with technical information on R-32.

R-32 Adopted in Commercial Air Conditioners

Daikin is working to take R-32 adoption beyond just residential air conditioners. In November 2013, we launched the FIVE STAR ZEAS, the first light commercial air conditioner using R-32.

In Japan, Daikin conducted risk assessment as part of a team of experts that included the Japan Society of Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (JSRAE), government research institutes, universities, and air conditioner companies. The parties assessed the safety of mildly flammable refrigerants through numerous tests.

Although R-32 is being disseminated in countries worldwide, Daikin’s refrigerant research is far from over. We continue our quest for the ideal refrigerant, one best suited to each application, as we strive to contribute to protecting the ozone layer and mitigating global warming.

Increasing Variety of Air Conditioners Using R-32 (Japan)

Increasing Variety of Air Conditioners Using R-32 (Japan)

Stakeholder's Voice

R-32 an Important Refrigerant for India, Where Air Conditioners are Being Disseminated

The dissemination of R-32, which is a low-GWP and energy efficient refrigerant, is being promoted by Daikin, which is providing technical information and service training. We consider R-32 as one of the most important refrigerants for air conditioners as it contributes to the mitigation of global warming.

In India, there is a big rise in the income levels and aspirations of the middle class, which is leading to a great increase in air conditioner sales. Due to this, there are growing concerns about the exponential increase in electric power consumption.

We firmly believe that the promotion and propagation of air conditioners with R-32 in India will lead to reduction in the electric power consumption and also an increase in the customers’ consciousness about environment conservation and energy savings, at the same time meeting their cooling needs.

P.K. Mahindra

P.K. MahindraSenior Officer, Refrigeration And Air Conditioning Manufacturers Association (RAMA)

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