UK: Daikin appears to be in no hurry to introduce air conditioning units using the new low GWP refrigerant R32 into the UK, despite their availability throughout mainland Europe.
While Daikin’s Ururu Sarara residential split system using R32 was introduced in Europe at the back end of last year, following successful launches in the Far East, India and Australia, the UK company has held back, suggesting 2015 as the likely launch date in the UK.
Responding to fresh questions from the Cooling Post, Daikin UK’s legislation specialist repeated earlier statements that it was keen to ensure that the tools necessary to work with this “mildly flammable” refrigerant were available and that proper training was in place prior to introduction.
“Secondly,” said Graham Wright, “there appeared to be some negative feelings from some areas so we want to ensure that we had resolved all the issues that were being raised before we started to sell the units in the UK.”
Issues of concern over the availability of the necessary tools to work with R32, at least, seem to have been resolved. Daikin UK’s recently published White Paper on the new refrigerant reveals that gauges, manifolds, leak detectors and recovery systems specifically designed for working with R32 are now available. Certainly, it is known that this equipment is already being sold by wholesalers in Europe.
Another concern regarding the availability of R32 recovery cylinders – R32 requires cylinders to a higher pressure rating – also appears to have been answered: “We have been told by the refrigerant suppliers that cylinders for supply and recovery of R32 will be available when they are needed,” said Graham Wright.
In Australia, where R32 air conditioning units have been available since last year, recovery cylinders have only recently become available – the Australian R32 cylinders featuring a left hand valve thread.
Graham Wright confirmed that it was still planning to introduce training courses late this year but this might be moved to the beginning of 2015.
“We should not forget that we do not have to start selling units with a GWP below 750 and a charge less than 3kg until 2025 so there is time for us to make the right choices along with the rest of the industry,” he said.
As the only manufacturer currently selling R32 air conditioning units in Europe, Daikin is reluctant to divulge the number of units sold so far.
“It’s worth noting though,” he said, “that all manufactures in Japan have moved to R32 and total sales exceed 2 million units.”
As to the future, the recent Daikin White Paper suggested that Daikin’s Sky Air small commercial splits would be next for the R32 treatment but no introduction date has been discussed for Europe as yet.
“There are no confirmed plans as yet. Changes to regulations need to be in place so that other EU countries will be able to sell the equipment as well as a customer demand.”
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Daikin plans R32 in Sky Air splits – July 27, 2014
UK: Daikin is planning to introduce the “mildly flammable” low GWP R32 in its commercial Sky Air air conditioning units as the next step in a roll-out of low GWP refrigerants.