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 R&D base, the 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, and controlling LED lighting.
In addition, in October 2017 we registered as a ZEB planner in order to accelerate our ZEB planning business.
We are leveraging 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. In particular, we are focusing on making proposals to local governments and commercial users who are interested in ZEB, as well as collaborate on projects with general contractors advanced in making ZEBs.
In March 2020, Daikin Industries, Ltd. Esaka Building achieved the ZEB Ready distinction. Similar to the Fukuoka Building which received an Energy Conservation Grand Prize in fiscal 2018, this building was selected for this distinction because of its high efficiency air conditioning and ventilation systems, selection of air conditioning volume based on analysis of data from existing air conditioner, and renovations that mainly including LED light controls. The building is not only energy efficient, but also conscious of the health of people working there. It received the A class rank under the CASBEE for Wellness Office, a domestic certification system that began in fiscal 2019.
We will now externally appeal this track record of certification under both ZEB and CASBEE, which are used frequently by renovated small- and medium-sized buildings in the market. We are also working with a university professor on the joint examination of ZEB trial buildings designed by Daikin Industries, Ltd. Daikin will utilize this know-how to contribute to the spread of ZEB inside and outside of Japan.
The Sakai Plant's Rinkai No. 1 Factory, which commenced operations in June 2018, is working to balance comfort and energy efficiency in order to resolve issues concerning air conditioning system for the factory's large space. The factory has been able to reduce electricity consumption during the first year after it began operating by 74.9% compared to the use of a factory-wide air conditioning system.
Conventionally, the air conditioning systems used for large spaces at plants were ambient (zone) air conditioning and task (spot at workers) air conditioning. However, these systems of air conditioning have advantages and disadvantages in terms of comfort and energy efficiency, making them the common trouble of people working at plants. Therefore, at Rinkai No. 1 Factory, we introduced a task and ambient system that incorporates the optimum air conditioning system for each line. This system also utilizes outdoor air treatment units. Analysis of data from air conditioning monitor system D-BIPS is used to speed up energy efficiency improvements and for the optimum controls. These initiatives earned the factory the Chairman Prize of Energy Conservation Center, Japan, at the fiscal 2019 Energy Conservation Grand Prize.
Using the knowledge gained from Rinkai No. 1 Factory, we will now roll out energy conservation improvements for large spaces at other plants and factories in the future.
With its Fukuoka Building, Daikin strove to realize the spread of ZEBs through the upgrading of medium-sized office buildings. For its success on this front, Daikin was recognized with the Director-General Prize of Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, fiscal 2018 Energy Conservation Grand Prize. The Daikin Fukuoka Building achieved an energy consumption reduction of 67% a year over the standard value.* Thanks to this success, we were able to show a wide audience that it is possible to upgrade existing medium-sized buildings, which have high potential to offer energy efficiency, to ZEBs by incorporating a Daikin proprietary system that is highly versatile and easy to disseminate.
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 Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE), 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 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.
In fiscal 2019, McQuay Air Conditioning & Refrigeration (Wuhan) Co., Ltd. received the Green Building and Energy Efficiency Product Certification from the China Association for Engineering Construction Standardization.
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 550 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*1, in which the electricity usage at multiple residences is aggregated, operation is automatically adjusted based on the demand situation, and excess electricity is generated.
In fiscal 2019, we participated as a member of a consortium formed by Manchester City in the decarbonization verification project for home heating administered by the U.K. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This project, which was adopted for funding, will involve connecting a Daikin Altherma heat-pump heater and hot water heater installed as part of a NEDO verification project to the latest cloud system to conduct coordinated controls by consortium members beginning in September 2020.
We are also participating in a verification project of automated demand response technology in Lisbon, Portugal that makes use of the control technology for multi-split type air conditioners for commercial buildings and the technology for cold energy/heat storage, as well as remote communication functions. The air conditioning automated demand response technology that we were working on since November 2016 together with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) was completed in July 2018 and trial operation has begun. VRV multi-split air conditioners equipped with these technologies and capable of controlling the upper limit of power consumption were installed in several buildings including the city hall. They achieve optimal control of the balance between renewable energy and the amount of electricity purchased by using data such as energy usage, weather, and communication with an aggregator.
In March 2019 in Brussels, Belgium, we held a workshop at which was discussed the European market environment, limiting conditions, and the potential for dissemination of virtual power plants (VPP*2), which include demand response. Taking part were the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) from the U.S., Belgian research institute EnergyVille, and related participating groups.
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 after the project was adopted in 2013 for demonstration testing under the Low Carbon Technology, Research, Development and Demonstration Program that is run by 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, there are limited locations where micro-hydroelectric power can be used because 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. Daikin has developed a compact and low cost micro-hydroelectric power generation system that packages a water wheel, generator, and controller.
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, which resulted in product commercialization.
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 we developed a 5.5-kW system 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.
Daikin Industries, Ltd. established DK-Power, Ltd. in June 2017. Since then, the company has engaged in the power generation business using small-capacity micro-hydroelectric power generation systems. As of March 31, 2020, the company has installed these systems at 16 locations across Japan with total annual power generation of 1,972 MWh (approx. 2,000 MWh) in fiscal 2019, which is enough to power 660 homes*.
The company aims to install these systems at a total of 30 locations nationwide for cumulative power generation of 7,487 MWh (CO2 emission reduction effect of 3,878 tons-CO2) during the approximately five-year period from 2017 when the company was established to March 2021.
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