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Daikin's Policy and Comprehensive Actions on the Environmental Impact of Refrigerants

When selecting new refrigerants, comprehensive assessment from various perspectives is necessary. Any substance must be carefully evaluated for the overall impact on the global environment. It must also be assessed for energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, safety and other factors. As recent studies have confirmed, there is no one perfect refrigerant adaptable to all applications. For the above reasons, it is necessary to focus on selecting the right refrigerants for particular applications based on an overall assessment.

Diversity of Refrigerant Choices
Optimum Refrigerants for Various Air Conditioning Applications

Diversity of Refrigerant Choices

Daikin believes in “diversity of refrigerant choice.” To reduce the environmental impact of a refrigerant throughout its lifecycle, we evaluate various aspects comprehensively to select the appropriate refrigerant for each application.

Daikin’s Refrigerant Direction

The following summary shows our direction of refrigerant choice for various products in the Daikin product portfolio.

Note: Other refrigerants not listed above are also applied in products outside of Daikin’s portfolio, some examples include hydrocarbons (R-600a, R-290) for refrigerators and window air conditioners or HFO refrigerants for mobile air conditioners.

Daikin’s Expertise in Reducing Environmental Impact of Cooling, Heating and Refrigerating Equipment

Daikin has a long history of global innovation leadership to reduce the environmental impact of cooling, heating and refrigeration, as well as a unique position and expertise that comes from both manufacturing equipment and refrigerants.

Refrigerant Changes – a History of Continuous Innovations

Key Considerations for Refrigerant Choice

At Daikin we assess four basic factors when making the best balanced refrigerant choice for each application: safety, environmental impact, energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Daikin's View: Action on Refrigerant and Goals Evaluation Index of Refrigerant Selection (common for all application)

Energy Efficiency Safety Environmental Impact Cost-Effectiveness

Safety

A refrigerant must be safe to use through the entire lifecycle of the equipment. This includes transport, storage, installation, use, servicing, recovery and recycling. This means that possible hazards such as toxicity or flammability characteristics, as well as the risk of human error, must be evaluated for each type of application. While non-flammable and low-toxicity refrigerants may have safety benefits, they may not be ideal from an environmental point of view. In addition, some refrigerants may be acceptably safe for one type of equipment but not sufficiently safe for others. Thorough risk assessments are therefore needed for each application.

Environmental Impact

A core consideration in refrigerant choice is its environmental impact. This impact includes a refrigerant’s ozone depleting potential (ODP*1) and its potential global warming impact: this is expressed as its CO2 equivalent, which is the refrigerant quantity multiplied with its global warming potential (GWP*2). Heat transfer capacity and heat exchange efficiency of refrigerants are also important characteristics that result in reductions in refrigerant quantity and allow more compact equipment design. Environmental considerations also include the impact of the refrigerant production process and a refrigerant’s potential to be recycled and reused.

*1 ODP: “Ozone-depleting potential”– A value indicating the intensity of ozone layer destruction by various substances based on the ODP of CFC-11 as a standard.

*2 GWP: “Global warming potential”– A value indicating the degree of contribution to global warming of various GHGs based on CO2 as a standard. (Example: R-410A: 2,090, R-32: 675)

Energy Efficiency

Daikin carefully considers a refrigerant’s potential to improve the energy efficiency of its equipment in both cooling and heating function across an extreme range of climate conditions including very hot and very cold environments. This is an important consideration as energy consumption for cooling, heating and refrigeration has a substantial impact on the total energy consumption of buildings and countries. Depending on how electricity is generated in each country, its efficient use also has a large indirect impact on climate change by reducing CO2 emissions. Therefore, energy efficiency is critical in choosing the right refrigerant for a given application.

Cost-Effectiveness

It is important to provide consumers access to affordable solutions for their homes and businesses. In addition, in order to reduce the environmental impact, cost effectiveness should be considered in terms of dissemination. For instance, is the refrigerant easy and inexpensive to install and maintain? Does the refrigerant allow for compact cost-efficient designs to minimize investment costs? Does a refrigerant contribute to reducing overall system operation and maintenance costs? Is recycling of the refrigerant feasible and cost-effective? Would possible risk mitigation measures be cost-effective? These are factors to consider when selecting cost effective refrigerants.

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