Daikin Industries, Ltd. reports it will begin manufacturing air conditioners using refrigerant HFC32. Company sources claim HFC32 (difluoromethane) has one-third of the global warming potential (GWP) of refrigerant R410A for split air conditioners and heat pumps.
Starting with adoption to all successive models of residential air conditioners launched in Japan from fall 2012, Daikin aims to expand use to commercial air conditioning equipment in the future.
In addition to having a lower global warming impact than that of R410A, HFC32 can help curtail greenhouse gas emissions originating from energy sources when equipment is in use by its better energy efficiency compared to R410A. Furthermore, it is also a refrigerant* that reduces the amount of refrigerant needed per air conditioning unit, has the advantage of enabling components, such as heat exchangers, to be made compact by the subsequent refrigerant savings, and is suitable for refrigerant recycling, which is being targeted for achievement in the future.
According to a Daikin press release, as the only manufacturer involved in all phases from refrigerant development to development of air conditioning equipment, Daikin considers HFC32 to be the most suitable refrigerant for split air conditioners and heat pumps. This finding is based on an investigation that took a comprehensive look at next-generation refrigerant candidates, such as natural and HFC refrigerants.
Up to now, Daikin has been repeatedly initiating discussions and recognition activities toward widespread acceptance of HFC32, including sharing information essential for selecting refrigerants at international conferences, and providing forums for an exchange of opinions by leading experts. To gain recognition for HFC32, as a next-generation candidate that is effective in lessening the environmental impact, Daikin gave free access in September 2011 to its "Basic Patent Essential to Manufacture and Sale of Air Conditioners Using HFC32" for most developing countries in order to prepare an environment in which each country could begin to easily promote the widespread use of HFC32 air conditioners.
* In comparison with R410A, which is a mixture of HFC32 and HFC125, HFC32 can be charged, collected, and recycled without concern for refrigerant composition since HFC32 is a single refrigerant.