UK: Daikin says the “mildly flammable” refrigerant R32 will be used in its VRV air conditioning systems in the future.
Speaking at yesterday’s Daikin UK D1 installer conference, new UK md Martin Krutz said that, under the phase-down demands of the F-gas regulations, manufacturers would need to make a choice between either reducing the GWP of refrigerants or limiting the number of units it could produce.
“No manufacturer has an interest to reduce the production amount,” he told the audience of 500 contractors. “Technically there is no reason not to use R32. In short, yes, we expect R32 to be developed for use in larger systems in the future.”
Under the phase-down requirements of the European F-gas regulations, industry will need to find replacements for the higher GWP refrigerants. While R404A, with its GWP of nearly 4,000 is an obvious early target, common refrigerants like R410A and R134a are also under scrutiny.
“It’s the higher GWP refrigerants that will feel the pinch first, such as R404A, but by the time we get to 2020 the supply of 410A and 134a will start to be affected,” said Daikin UK product specialist Richard Green.
He described the benefits of R32, with its higher efficiency, lower GWP and reduced charge size, as an environmental “no brainer”.
The confidence that R32, a “mildly flammable” refrigerant, will become the standard lower GWP replacement for R410A in air conditioners comes despite differing standards and national rules that currently limit the size of systems in which it can be used.
“All of our DX equipment will at some point be running on R32,” Richard Green told the audience. “And this is why we have already introduced a lot of our split range with R32 alternatives.
“We are also starting to introduce R32 SkyAir products and on our high efficiency Roundflow cassette. As well as this we are also introducing a range of R32 multi-split condensers for use with these products. And we expect to have a full range of R32 split and Sky products over the next year or so.”
He revealed that R32 was also being looked at for use in VRV. “However, it is at a very early and embryonic stage and there is a multitude of important considerations that need to be taken into account, which includes when our installers are ready to make that transition,” he said. “It will be happening at some point but it is going to be several years in the future.
“We are offering the choice for now [between R410A and R32] but, ultimately, R32 will be the accepted norm as legislation will drive us forward in that direction,” he added.