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Daikin Receives Minister and Chairman Prizes in Energy Conservation Grand Prizes:

VRV Series for Japanese Market and Worldwide Expansion of HFC-32 Air Conditioners Are Praised

19 January 2016

Daikin Industries, Ltd. was awarded Minister's Prize, The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for "promotion of energy conservation through worldwide expansion of high efficiency HFC-32 air conditioners*1" and the Chairman Prize of Energy Conservation Center, Japan (ECCJ) for its VRV Series*2 of multi-split type air conditioners for commercial buildings in Japan in the Chairman Energy Conservation Grand Prize for excellent energy conservation equipment (Product and Business Model Category) for fiscal year 2015 by ECCJ.

The Energy Conservation Grand Prize for excellent energy conservation equipment aims to raise energy conservation awareness and promote use of energy-efficiency products by recognizing activities of business entities that promote energy conservation and develop products demonstrating excellent energy efficiency in Japan.

In 2012, Daikin led the world by being the first company to commercialize air conditioners using refrigerant HFC-32, a refrigerant having low impact on global warming, and it has subsequently received acclaim for its work to promote adoption of the refrigerant in many countries in the world, beginning with Japan. In promoting energy conservation through worldwide expansion of high efficiency HFC-32 air conditioners*1, Daikin was awarded the Minister Prize for its global contribution to mitigating the impact of global warming. Not only has Daikin expanded distribution channels and sales activities for the products, it has also laid the groundwork for HFC-32 adoption by lending technical assistance in the formulation of rules for international standards and providing training to technicians. These efforts resulted in the use of more than 5.5 million units of HFC-32 air conditioners in 47 countries worldwide by the end of 2015. Currently, all manufacturers in Japan sell HFC-32 air conditioners, and the use of these air conditioners is projected to have a significant impact in reducing worldwide greenhouse gases in the future.

The VRV Series*2 for Japanese market of multi-split type air conditioners for commercial buildings that received the Chairman Prize of ECCJ significantly reduce annual electricity consumption as a result of a new scroll compressor that raises operation efficiency at the time of low load and new control technology that controls refrigerant temperature automatically by adjusting to the load during heating and cooling. An investigation of annual use of air conditioners in actual buildings reveals that air conditioners operate at an extremely high load only for short periods (i.e., middle of summer and winter), whereas operation below 50%*3 of rated capacity occurs for approximately 90% of operation time. Consequently, the key point for realization of a net zero energy building (ZEB) is how much efficiency improves when load is low. In the VRV Series, a significant increase in efficiency was achieved at the time of low load, and compared to conventional models, standby power consumption was reduced by 15%*4*5. As a result, the amount of total annual electricity consumption was reduced approximately by 21%.

The commendation ceremony was held on January 27th at ENEX / Smart Energy Japan 2016 (Energy and Environment Exhibition) which took place at Tokyo Big Sight from January 27th to 29th, and the products receiving awards were exhibited. The products will also be exhibited at the Daikin booth at HVAC&R JAPAN 2016, which will be held from February 23th to 26th at the same venue of Tokyo Big Sight.

In addition to providing energy-saving products, Daikin is committed to developing cutting-edge technology and services globally in the future as the company continues to pursue product development that realizes both comfort and preservation of the environment.

  • *1 Air conditioners using HFC-32 refrigerant, which has a lower impact on global warming compared to the conventional refrigerant R-410A, and are equipped with inverter control
  • *2 In all 237 models of VRV X Series, VRV A Series, VRV QX Series, and VRV Q Series
  • *3 A Daikin study performed in office buildings
  • *4 This product is utilized as part of the results for "Research and Development on Next-Generation Heat Pump System," a commissioned project of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)
  • *5 Use: Daikin calculation at office buildings. Comparison of equivalent models of VRV X Series 28.0kW (equivalent to10HP) and conventional models of Ve-upIV Series

(Reference) Features of Main Products and Efforts

The Minister Prize of Economic, Trade and Industry:
Promoting energy conservation through worldwide expansion of high efficiency HFC-32 air conditioners

Three measures and tangible activities (From actual results in India)

Daikin coordinated efforts with the Japanese government, UN organizations, and international organizations and appealed to the governments of emerging markets, beginning with India, with the following three viewpoints.

Measure 1 Policy proposals to countries ⇒ Promote conversion to refrigerant with high environmental performance

The effectiveness of high efficiency HFC-32 air conditioners in curtailing global warming was confirmed by local verification tests, and Daikin promoted the effectiveness of HFC-32 air conditioners to the energy and climate change policies of India by individual visits to local seminars and governmental agencies.

Measure 2 Technical support to the local industry ⇒ Understand the ease of conversion

Air conditioner installers and service technicians are essential for air conditioners to operate properly. To give them a firm understanding of the benefits of high efficiency HFC-32 air conditioners and ease of handling, Daikin performed 76 training sessions in 12 cities in India with the support from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). Approximately 3,600 technicians were trained.

Measure 3 Support for preparation of standards for safety and efficiency ⇒ Improve safety and efficiency

To make the spread of high efficiency HFC-32 air conditioners sustainable, Daikin provided support in India to help convert international standards which maintain the safety and efficiency to national ones in India.
Daikin's sustained contribution from a technical perspective, such as active participation in the tasks of the government-led technical committee, resulted in adoption of the international standard for efficiency evaluation as the national standard used for inverter air conditioners in India and a new energy efficiency labeling system for inverter air conditioners was established.

Making a Business Model

In addition to the efforts in India, Daikin received and responded to a request from the Thai government for support in refrigerant conversion. It provided a comprehensive support package in Thailand, including creation of textbooks, based on the results in India. Using this package, Daikin established a business model involving various stakeholders that transcended the framework of national boundaries.

Benefits of High Efficiency HFC-32 Air Conditioners

With its global warm potential (GWP) that is one-third that of the conventional refrigerant, HFC-32 is an effective refrigerant as a countermeasure for global warming. Furthermore, utilizing the special characteristics of this refrigerant can significantly improve energy efficiency of air conditioners. Currently, more than 550 million units have been sold worldwide in 47 countries.

Awarding of the Chairman Prize of ECCJ for VRV Series for Japanese Market of Multi-Split Air Conditioners for Commercial Buildings

Features key technology aiming for ZEB achievement and significantly improves annual operation efficiency

In low load regions having a load factor below 50%, general building air conditioners experience a decline in coefficient of performance (COP) due to intermittent operation and other factors. However, although VRV multi-split air conditioners installed to buildings are selected based on peak load, the frequency of peak load is actually quite low and operation in low load regions having a load factor below 50% accounts for approximately 90% of operation time. This product was especially recognized for its high efficiency in low load operation.

Relationship of load factor and operation time for rated capacity (Office building: Daikin study)

Reduction of 21% for annual electricity consumption by advanced technology that significantly improves low load factor
1) New type of scroll compressor that minimizes compressor leaks and loss

Compressor leaks are likely to occur at time of low loads, and a new structure was built in to eliminate this weakness of scroll compressors. High efficiency has been achieved by decreasing loss.

2) Control refrigerant temperature automatically by adjusting to load

The necessary load is determined in real time from each indoor unit, and the new refrigerant control that changes to the optimum refrigerant temperature in the system. In addition to maintaining comfort by preventing overcooling and overheating, the new refrigerant helps conserve energy.

3) Reduce the amount of electrical power in crankcase that accounts for the greater part of standby power consumption

A heater has been installed internally to prevent the phenomenon that refrigerant melts into the refrigerant oil in the compressor. Standby power consumption was also reduced approximately 15% compared to models by optimizing control of this heater.

The combination of the technology described above realizes a substantial improvement in energy conservation with a 21% reduction over conventional models in annual electricity consumption.

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