Daikin was the first manufacturer to launch residential and commercial air conditioners and heat pumps using R32 as an alternative to R410A and it appears this lower GWP refrigerant is also being considered for use across its VRV, chiller and refrigeration ranges.
Unique in being both an air conditioning and refrigeration product manufacturer and a refrigerant producer, Daikin has championed the use of R32, announcing free access to its R32 product patents in September.
While most national safety standards currently restrict usage of this “mildly flammable” refrigerant to smaller systems, national laws vary and may be relaxed in the future.
In addition to R32, Daikin says it has assessed various refrigerants – including blends, natural refrigerants, HFOs, etc – based on four criteria environmental impact, energy efficiency, safety and cost-effectiveness.
After examining its key properties, Daikin says it has concluded that R32 is an optimal refrigerant for DX cooling and heating equipment (including single package products). In addition, it has already conducted several R32 risk assessments and continues to do so with larger size systems, and is contributing to international standard making.
However, Daikin recognises that in heat pump applications the weather conditions, housing environment and lifestyle could dictate refrigerant use. For instance, it sees R32 as the most appropriate in systems that use less hot water but where a large amount of hot water is necessary, Daikin sees CO2, which can produce higher temperature water, as more suitable.
In its applied products – chillers and air-side equipment – Daikin says it is looking at a wide range of refrigerants depending on the capacity and application temperature zone. These include R32, HFOs and blends.
In the global commercial refrigeration industry, the high GWP refrigerant R404A has previously been promoted as the main alternative to R22. Daikin, with its background an air conditioning, has looked to R410A. With that refrigerant also now under threat, Daikin says it has been researching and conducting risk assessments of the use of R32, HFO refrigerants (including blends), CO2, etc as the next alternative refrigerant.
In its refrigerated marine containers (reefers) Daikin has previously focused on R134a but, again, is looking to R32, as well as HFO refrigerants (including blends) and other alternatives for the future.
For on-board air conditioning for ships’ crew living quarters and refrigeration units for food storage aboard ships, Daikin currently uses R404A. With the shift towards lower GWP refrigerants, Daikin has opted for R407C and is further researching other alternatives.
The information is available to read and download here.