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. 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. Daikin has accumulated knowledge and advanced technology on LED lighting control as well as air conditioners and ventilation systems and their controls. It is possible to achieve ZEB using our unique system that is versatile and popular for application in existing small- and medium-sized buildings with high energy-saving potential as well as new buildings.
In 2015, , we carried out ZEB demonstration testing at our R&D base, the Technology and Innovation Center (TIC), a newly-built large facility. In 2017 at the Daikin Industries, Ltd. building in Fukuoka (Fukuoka Building), we received ZEB Ready Distinction for a small- and medium-sized renovated building.
In addition, we registered as a ZEB planner in response to call for applications by the Sustainable open Innovation Initiative in order to accelerate our ZEB planning business while leveraging the success we have had so far to provide solutions that increase the number of ZEB buildings. Going forward, we are focusing on making proposals with ZEB, as well as collaborate on projects with general contractors advanced in making ZEBs in Japan and overseas.
A building owned by Anabuki Kosan Inc. received ZEB Ready Distinction in January 2019 and received the Chairman Prize of the Energy Conservation Center, Japan, in the Energy Conservation Case Category of the fiscal 2020 Energy Conservation Grand Prize. Daikin provided consultation on energy conservation and ZEB support, and reduced approximately 68% of energy consumption compared to the standard. This was the first tenant building of over 30 years of age in Japan to receive the ZEB Ready Distinction.
In this manner, Daikin is leveraging its expertise on turning existing, older buildings into ZEB to accelerate its delivery of solutions address energy conservation challenges.
|Time||Activity & results||Third-party evaluation and recognition|
|Achieved ZEB for new, large-scale building at our TIC||
|May 2017||Received ZEB Ready Distinction in the renovation of Daikin Industries, Co., Ltd. Fukuoka Building for small- and medium-sized buildings
Features: Transforming a 20-year old building (constructed in 1996) with high-efficiency air conditioner and ventilation system and control system for AC and LED lighting
|October 2017||Registered as a ZEB planner|
|January 2019||Received ZEB Ready Distinction for a building owned by Anabuki Kosan Inc.
Features: Daikin provided energy-saving consulting and ZEB support. First tenant building in Japan to achieve the distinction with over 30-years of age.
|March 2020||Esaka Building owned by Daikin Industries, Co., Ltd. received ZEB Ready Distinction
Features: A 67% reduction in annual energy consumption compared to the standard value*. Received both ZEB and CASBEE Wellness Office certification for energy conservation as well as taking workers helath into consideration in the refurbishing of the small- and medium-sized building.
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.
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 2020, Shenzhen McQuay Air Conditioning Co., Ltd. received the LEED® Gold certification, as well as the Three Star Green Building Design Label Certificate.
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 and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). Under this project, the heating systems were converted to the heat-pump space and water heater, Daikin Altherma, models to improve energy efficiency in 550 homes. We also conducted a demonstration project for a potential business model using automated demand response technology*1, in which the air conditioner operation is controlled at multiple residences, and excess electricity is generated.
In fiscal 2019, we continued to participate 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 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 plan to provide over 250 units of Daikin Altherma as part of this project.
Since fiscal 2016, we have also been participating in a verification project of automated demand response technology in Lisbon, Portugal. We worked together with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) on developing the air conditioning automated demand response technology, and began trial operation in July 2018. VRV multi-split air conditioners installed in several buildings including the city hall are optimally controlled with a balance between renewable energy and the amount of electricity purchased by using data such as energy usage, weather analysis, and communication with an aggregator.
In addition to the above, in fiscal 2018, we held a workshop in Brussels, Belgium at which we discussed the European market environment, limiting conditions, and the potential for dissemination of virtual power plants (VPP*2), etc., 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.
In fiscal 2020, Daikin's research and development base, Technology and Innovation Center (TIC), participated in the Innovation Ecosystem, which was formed as a redevelopment project for the former site of Expo Milano in Italy. Daikin Airconditioning Italy S.p.A. also supports the same program.
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, 2021, the company has installed these systems at 25 locations across Japan with total annual power generation of 3,200 MWh in fiscal 2020, which is enough to power 1,070 homes*.
The company has been aiming 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. While the number of installations did not reach the target as of the end of March 2021, the number of contracts signed with 39 projects that has exceeded the target of 30 locations. We were slightly short of our goals for cumulative power generation at 7,188 MWh and CO2 emission reduction effect at 3,723 tons-CO2.
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