Response to Climate Change
The refrigerant conveys the heat between the indoor unit and the outdoor unit of air conditioners. Although HFC, currently the most widely used refrigerant in developed countries, has zero ozone depletion potential, it contributes to global warming if released into the atmosphere.
The Daikin Group aims to achieve practical use of next-generation refrigerants that contribute less to global warming than conventional refrigerants. In conducting research aimed at eventually launching products using such refrigerants, we focus not only on their direct effect on global warming but also on their effects throughout the lifecycle, including energy efficiency during air conditioner use. We make decisions based on all contributing factors: besides the environmental impact of the refrigerant itself, we look at safety factors such as flammability and toxicity, the cost and availability of the refrigerant, and the cost of producing air conditioners that use the refrigerant.
Different characteristics are required of refrigerants, depending on whether they are used in, for example, residential or commercial air conditioners, water and space heaters, or refrigeration equipment. That is why we have spent years conducting research that will enable the selection of refrigerant that is ideal for each application. We have so far conducted research on next-generation refrigerants such as natural refrigerants and HFC refrigerants, and have considered their application in products.
Using the knowledge we have built up, we are providing information worldwide at events such as international conferences, academic conferences, and exhibitions, as well as through research paper presentations, on the global warming impact of refrigerants and measures against it.
Note: Other refrigerants not listed above are also applied in products outside of Daikin's portfolio, some examples include hydrocarbons (R-600a, R-290, etc.) for home-use refrigerators and window air conditioners or HFO refrigerants for mobile air conditioners.
HCFCs used to be the most commonly used refrigerant, but in the 1980s experts suspected it was depleting the ozone layer, so under the Montreal Protocol developed nations agreed to phase out its production in developed countries by 2020. Daikin's chemicals business has for years worked to mitigate ozone layer destruction by developing alternative refrigerants that do not deplete the ozone layer. In 1991 we began the first mass-production in Japan of HFC, a refrigerant with zero ozone depletion potential, and in 1995, under our air conditioner business we developed and began selling air conditioners that use HFC as the refrigerant.
In October 2016, at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, members voted to phase down the CO2 equivalent total of HFCs, which, despite not harming the ozone layer, have a high GWP. With this, HFCs, which were covered by the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) but were not part of the Montreal Protocol, thus became part of the Montreal Protocol, due to the success of efforts to completely eliminate HCFCs. This decision is called the Kigali Amendment, after the Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, where the conference was held. The Amendment had exceeded the threshold for ratification by at least 20 countries at the end of 2017, thus it will go into effect on January 1, 2019.
A major point of the Kigali Amendment is that it is not meant to phase out HFCs but rather phase down the production and consumption of HFCs based on their GWP value. The amount of HFC will not be restricted but rather phased down in terms of total GWP of HFC (weight of HFC in Kg x GWP value). By using lower GWP HFCs, it is possible to maintain or increase the use amount of HFC itself while reducing the overall global warming impact. In enacting the Kigali Amendment, the plan provides developed countries with a common phase-down schedule. The Amendment divides developing countries into two groups. Those groups are provided with different phase-down schedules.
Upon the introduction of new refrigerants, the Amendment requires an increase in efficiency of air conditioners in addition to a phasing down of HFCs in terms of total GWP.
Daikin is pursuing the following measures in response to the Kigali Amendment.
In November 2012, Daikin became the first company in the world to launch residential air conditioners using R-32 (HFC) for the Japanese market; R-32 has just one-third the global warming potential of conventional R-410A (HFC) refrigerant. In March 2013, we released a residential air conditioner using R-32 in India. We are in the process of releasing these R-32 air conditioners in other countries and using R-32 for commercial air conditioners and water heaters as well.
To disseminate R-32 air conditioning, cooling and heat pump equipment globally, in September 2011 Daikin began offering companies worldwide 93 patents for developing and commercializing such products using R-32 single component refrigerant.
In addition, Daikin provides technical support in emerging countries by cooperating with governments and international organizations throughout the world and provides information and technical support through international conferences, academic conferences, and papers on the impact and countermeasures in relation to refrigerants and global warming. For example, in India, Thailand, and Malaysia, seminars were held for government officials and air-conditioning industry groups to promote understanding of R-32, and we conducted training for local air-conditioning installation and service technicians on the appropriate handling of R-32. In Mexico, Daikin was commissioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to handle private-sector technology promotion projects in an expanded range of activities, including the distribution of air conditioners with R-32 refrigerant and initiatives to create energy-efficient markets.
Daikin has sold approximately 17 million R-32 air conditioners in over 60 countries. It is estimated that, including the products of other companies, the worldwide R-32 air conditioner market exceeds 68 million units. (As of December 2018)
|Residential Air Conditioner||Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, India, Singapore, New Zealand, 28 countries in Europe, the Ukraine, Russia, Norway, Montenegro, Albania, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sri Lanka, United States, Canada, Mexico, Burkina Faso and Seneɡal|
|Commercial Air Conditioner||Japan, India, some European countries|
|Water Heaters (certain models)||Japan|
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