USA: Daikin is to start manufacturing air conditioners using low GWP refrigerant R32 in the USA.
Daikin says it will begin production and sale of high-efficiency package terminal air conditioning (PTAC) systems using the next-generation refrigerant R32 in the first quarter of next year.
PTAC units are self-contained thru the wall/window units providing heating and air conditioning. They are used extensively in hotels, motels, senior housing facilities, hospitals, condominiums and apartment buildings.
The units will initially be manufactured at the Daikin-owned Goodmans plant in Fayetteville, Tennessee, under the Amana brand name.
According to BSRIA figures, the PTAC market was 506,000 units in 2014 with a value of $278m. The USA accounts for over 85% of this market by volume, growing from 423,259 units in 2013 to 442,128 in 2014.
Daikin has been leading the Japanese manufacturers in the use of R32 in new low GWP air conditioners and has already sold over 3 million R32 units in 43 countries.
An A2L “mildly flammable” gas, R32 was accepted for use by the US EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) programme earlier this year for applications in new packaged air conditioners with a maximum charge size of 7.9kg.
A current review of A2L refrigerants in ASHRAE Standard 15 is expected to prompt changes to future US building codes which will allow larger charge sizes.
Daikin’s plans were revealed at the stakeholder meeting commitment to reducing the consumption of HFC refrigerants at the White House earlier today. After the event, Daikin executives explained the company’s plans to US secretary of energy Dr Ernest Moniz and EPA administrator Gina McCarthy at a special meeting at the US Department of Energy.