Response to Climate Change
As a manufacturer of air conditioners doing business globally, Daikin makes it its mission to reduce energy consumption in order to provide people with safe and comfortable air and contribute to reducing global warming. To this end, we conduct quantitative environmental assessments for each product life cycle in order to develop products and services that use minimal electricity and to combine these in order to optimize the overall energy consumption of buildings.
We assess global warming impact of air conditioners using the life cycle assessment (LCA) method, which allows us to determine the environmental impact at each stage of a product's life cycle.
In the life cycle of an air conditioner, the majority of the greenhouse gas that is emitted occurs during product use stage, and refrigerants also represent a large impact. That is why we focus on reducing the impact of these two. In addition to incorporating inverter technology to reduce power consumption, we employ R-32, a refrigerant with low global warming potential, to achieve greater energy efficiency. In fiscal 2021, we reduced CO2 emissions from residential air conditioners by 19% and from commercial air conditioners by 28% compared to life cycle CO2 emissions 10 years earlier.
In the life cycle of an air conditioner, the majority of the CO2 that is emitted occurs during product use. When we revised our voluntary environmental standards, we tightened our criteria for energy efficiency in the product use stage in order to improve the energy efficiency of products.
The Urusara X (R Series) of energy efficient residential air conditioners released in October 2021 are residential air conditioners capable of heating and cooling while ventilating. In addition to the existing function of providing air supply, ventilation is added as a new feature that can be switched on according to need. For example, when the indoor temperature is higher than the outdoor temperature in summer, exhaust ventilation is performed, and after the hot air is exhausted, it automatically switches to air supply ventilation. Moreover, we have further enhanced energy saving and comfort with additional features such as the new high-efficiency dehumidifier that applies fine control of the dehumidification level, and Power Select limiting the maximum current.
These products have been awarded the Chairman Prize of Energy Conservation Center, Japan, in the products and business model category of the fiscal 2021 Energy Conservation Grand Prize.
The machi Multi commercial multi-split type air conditioner ideal for private or small rooms in offices or stores launched in October 2021 received the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award, the highest award in the products and business model category at the 2021 Energy Conservation Grand Prize organized by the Energy Conservation Center, Japan (ECCJ).
There is growing demand for private or small rooms in offices and stores amid the worldwide trends of remote work and social distancing. However, conventional commercial air conditioning systems face the issue of increased electricity consumption when operating in spaces 10 m2 or smaller. The machi Multi helps to resolve this issue. The machi Multi’s outdoor unit and 1.6 kW indoor unit with operating controls suited to small rooms reduce electricity consumption by around 50% compared to conventional models. System settings can also be set individually for each small room. At the same time, the machi Multi’s outdoor unit features a more compact design that makes installation easier.
The SkyAir series of air conditioners for shops and offices uses R-32 refrigerant with low global warming potential and reduces energy consumption during operation.
In the model change in October 2021, we added the refrigerant leak detection function using IoT. The capability of promptly detecting refrigerant leaks prevents release of refrigerants, which are greenhouse gases, into the atmosphere. In addition, the new model uses new joints which eliminate the need for special processing of the pipe connection, thereby reducing labor during installation.
The new VRV6, a multi-split type air conditioner for commercial buildings, uses a complete microchannel heat exchanger to achieve high energy efficiency performance. The GREEN Multi-Split released in August 2018, is the first air conditioner for commercial buildings in the industry to adopt R-32 refrigerant with a low global warming potential. This product's global warming potential (GWP) multiplied by refrigerant quantity makes it possible to meet the Kigali Amendment target for 2029. The new model of VRV X released in April 2020 has an improved heat exchange efficiency in the microchannel heat exchanger, making VRV X top of the industry in the field of multi-split type air conditioners for commercial buildings in terms of energy saving performance. (Daikin research as of December 2019.)
In October 2021, we launched a new model of VRV6 to enhance system control linking air conditioning and ventilation. Active Te Control, which uses variable refrigerant temperature while maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature and humidity, reduces annual energy consumption by 7% compared to the existing system. Moreover, the energy-saving operation function capable of reducing energy loss through cooling with outside air with ventilation has reduced annual power consumption of the entire system by 2%. In addition, the model is also equipped with the refrigerant leak detection function using IoT.
The Retrofit Maintenance Plan that Daikin has come up with is a service that reduces energy consumption from existing multi-split air conditioners for commercial buildings.
The Retrofit System entails replacing parts in the control panel, the air conditioner’s brain, and the compressor, the machine’s heart, and reducing power consumption by 13% a year. The replacement parts used with the system weigh less than one-third those normally used in upgrading VRV multi-split type air conditioners for commercial buildings, thereby it also contributes to saving resources.
Since the start of the service, we have been expanding the service application to include more models. We have added air conditioners featuring cooling-heating-free system, which enables simultaneous cooling and heating operation, on the list for expansion in fiscal 2021. As a result, we have expanded the number of existing units shipped which can utilize the service to 704,000.
Released in December 2020, Ene Focus α, is a remote online monitoring service for air conditioners that enables customers to continuously achieve energy conservation in their air conditioner use through automation of energy-saving operation schedule that suits each user and regular suggestions made to improve operations based on the remote monitoring data. The controller and software needed for energy-saving operation are provided as a subscription service, which eliminates the initial start-up cost and installation cost, while continuously achieving energy savings in air conditioner use.
This service received the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy Commissioner's Award in the products and business model category of the fiscal 2021 Energy Conservation Grand Prize.
Daikin revamped the full model of small-medium air-cooled chillers with 8–30 horsepower, and released new products that use R-32 refrigerant with a low global warming potential in February 2021. Daikin is the first company in the industry to launch products in the same horsepower class using R-32.
In addition to adopting R-32 that have a lower global warming potential (GWP) compared to the conventional R410A refrigerant, we also drastically reduced the amount of refrigerant charge with our all aluminum microchannel heat exchangers, making our products top class in the industry in terms of both environmental and energy performance.
As the first company in Japan to launch air-cooled small- to mid-sized chillers using R-32 which are in high demand in factories, we are contributing to reducing environmental impact and promoting energy conservation through industrial application. This product can be combined with a compact air handling unit to improve ventilation volume, which has a growing need in the central air conditioner market amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Air cooled heat pump chiller 10 horsepower (left), 30 horsepower (right)
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