Responding to Climate Change
Population and economic growth in emerging countries is spurring urbanization worldwide, and energy demand in cities is expected to continue increasing. These cities will require air conditioning to realize comfortable living spaces and deal with the effects of increasing temperatures.
Driven by proprietary inverter and refrigerant technologies, Daikin's air conditioners help control environmental impact, and not just through individual air conditioners but also via building-wide energy solutions. Through optimal management and demand response measures that combine air conditioning, peripheral equipment, buildings, and renewable energy, we are contributing to solving energy problems brought on by urbanization. In addition, through the creation of cyclical systems and new energy sources, we are also contributing to the creation of sustainable cities.
Daikin is providing building-wide energy solutions that use the company's technologies to solve energy problems. One way we are doing this is through net zero energy buildings (ZEBs).
A ZEB is a building that achieves dramatic energy savings (at least 50% greater than standards) while maintaining a comfortable air environment. There are three categories: ZEB, Nearly ZEB, and ZEB Ready depending on the energy efficiency rate.
In 2015, we completed construction on our Technology and Innovation Center (TIC), where we are carrying out ZEB demonstration testing in this newly-built large facility. In 2017 at the Daikin Industries, Ltd. building in Fukuoka (Fukuoka Building), we achieved ZEB Ready* status for a small- and medium-sized renovated building- by pooling our experience and knowledge. Normally, ZEB requires improving the performance of a building's outer layer, using passive energy, incorporating high-efficiency equipment such as air conditioners, ventilation, lighting, and elevators, and using advanced control. However, the Fukuoka Building achieved ZEB Ready status by incorporating high-efficiency air conditioning and ventilation, selecting appropriate air conditioning capacity by analyzing existing air conditioners, controlling LED lighting, and improving performance on a portion of the building's outer layer (with double-pane windows).
Since fiscal 2013, Daikin Industries, Ltd. has been selected as a diagnosis organization for projects such as the Ministry of the Environment's Model Project for Effective Renovation Toward Promoting Green Buildings. For customers who use our Air Conditioning Network Service System for remote monitoring of air conditioners, we use operational data as a basis for improving their air conditioning operation and providing energy-efficient services. As of fiscal 2017, we had provided energy-efficiency diagnostic services for a cumulative total of 403 projects, resulting in savings for customers of approximately 33,500,000 kWh per year, and a cumulative total of 67,800,000 kWh so far.
In addition, in October 2017 we registered as a ZEB planner in order to accelerate our ZEB planning business.
We will leverage the success we have had so far to provide solutions that increase the number of ZEB buildings—not just in the Daikin Group but throughout society as a whole.
Using Daikin's TIC as a ZEB verification model, we teamed up with an architectural firm to jointly design an environmentally conscious building and air conditioning facilities that reduced overall building energy consumption by 90%. The effort involved installing highly efficient lighting and air conditioning, natural energy sources such as solar and geothermal, and the use of natural ventilation and outside air cooling wherever possible.
The parties developed a system that predicts how much electricity air conditioning will consume and grasps the difference in the actual and desired figures for factors such as indoor environment and electricity consumption. The system uses this information to quickly adjust the indoor environment and electricity consumption to desired levels.
Our goal is to use multi-split type air conditioners and other products that are relatively easy to design in order to achieve versatility and thus more widespread use of ZEB in buildings.
Daikin has been busy working toward green building certification at its worldwide bases with facilities whose design, construction, and operation are in harmony with the environment and society.
In July 2016, the Technology and Innovation Center earned LEED® Platinum certification. It has also earned the highest certification (S class) in CASBEE (Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency), a highly recognized system in Japan for the comprehensive assessment of the environmental performance of buildings, districts, and cities. CASBEE was created by the Institute for Building Environment and Energy Conservation (IBEC). In October 2017, we were selected in the AHSRAE Honors and Awards (sponsored by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, ASHRAE) for developing a revolutionary, highly energy-efficient system and for reducing environmental impact and providing a comfortable indoor environment that matches Japan's climate needs.
In fiscal 2017, as in fiscal 2016, Daikin Australia Pty., Ltd.'s head office buildings received a rating of 5 stars in NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) ratings.
In addition, 19 buildings that have Daikin products such as VRV multi-split type air conditioners and systems installed earned LEED® Platinum certification, showing that we are contributing to the worldwide certification of green buildings.
Between fiscal 2014 and 2016, along with Hitachi, Ltd. and Mizuho Bank, Ltd., we participated in the Smart Communities Project in Greater Manchester, UK, implemented by Japan's New Energy Development Organization (NEDO). Under this project, heating systems in 500 homes were converted from combustion-type boilers and electric heaters to heat-pump models to reduce energy consumption. We also conducted a demonstration project for a potential business model using automated demand response technology*, in which the electricity usage at multiple residences is aggregated, operation is automatically adjusted based on the demand situation, and excess electricity is generated.
We are also participating in a verification project of automated demand response technology in Lisbon, Portugal that makes use of the advantages of inverters. In the project period from November 2016 to December 2019, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) is installing VRV multi-split air conditioners equipped with this technology in several buildings including the city hall. The aim is to use data such as energy usage and weather to build a system that will achieve optimal control of the balance between renewable energy and the amount of electricity purchased.
Daikin is making use of the energy-efficiency technologies, built up through products and services, for energy-creation technologies in order to spread the use of renewable energy.
Daikin Industries, Ltd. developed a compact, low-cost pipeline-type micro-hydroelectric power generation system on which it has been conducting demonstration testing. In 2013, this demonstration testing was adopted under a project, Low Carbon Technology, Research, Development and Demonstration Program, under Japan's Ministry of the Environment (MOE). Micro-hydroelectric power generation refers to small-scale hydropower generating 100 kW or less. Micro-hydroelectric power is characterized by the fact it can make efficient use of the potential energy from water flow, such as in cyclical water treatment facilities such as waterworks, factory water pipes, factories, and pools, or can even use water that maintains minimal flow in rivers during times of drought.
Hydroelectric power can be a stable power source because it generates high annual amounts of electricity, and has a higher utilization rate than sources such as solar and wind power. However, micro-hydroelectric power has not enjoyed widespread use: it has a high cost considering the amount of electricity it generates—100 kW or less—and the large amount of space it requires for installation limits the locations where it can be used.
Daikin has developed a compact micro-hydroelectric power generation system that packages a water wheel, generator, and controller by making use of the technologies it has built up in developing energy-efficient air conditioning and hydraulic machinery. This product gives micro-hydroelectric power generation that is highly efficient, low cost, and compact.
In fiscal 2014 and 2015, we conducted demonstration testing in Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture, and Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, which resulted in us achieving practical product application. In May 2016, we began a joint effort with Kobe City to evaluate long-term performance and operational costs, with the aim of using previously untapped sources of hydropower to reduce CO2 emissions.
Also under the above-mentioned MOE project, an ultra-compact, ultra-low-cost, small-capacity micro-hydroelectric power generation system developed by Daikin Industries, Ltd. was adopted and the target is to develop a 5.5-kW system during for a three-year period from fiscal 2016 to 2018. We believe that the development of a small-capacity product increases the number of possible installation locations for hydroelectric power systems, particularly among small-sized waterworks-related companies, and can contribute to reducing CO2 emissions.
Including installations set for fiscal 2017 in the cities of Kobe and Nagaoka, there are six Daikin micro-hydropower plants operating in Japan. Our goal is to be generating 84,000 MWh annually, enough to power 28,000 average homes*, from these plants by 2020.
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