Making a positive impact by making products smarter
Daikin Applied products, Ecodesign and EPBD.
European regulations like Ecodesign and the EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive), have been among the most important drivers for spurring investments in new HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) technologies. In fact, new energy efficiency requirements, both for HVAC equipment and buildings, have been pushing HVAC manufacturers to constantly improve equipment performance, so customers can not only have very efficient equipment, but also future-proof products that will be relevant for a long time.
The importance of regulations
HVAC technology is vital to the lives of many around the world, but they consume large amounts of energy during operation, and fluorocarbons used as refrigerants can influence climate change.
Daikin has always focused on developing its technology with the aim to solve social and community problems while growing business. The company strives to meet expectations and maintain trust worldwide as a global leader in the HVAC sector, that supports human health and comfort while creating new value for air and the environment.
Daikin tangible commitment
Daikin commits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions promoting environment-conscious products featuring inverter and low impact refrigerants like R-1234ze and R-32, extensively used in a wide range of products – from residential Air Conditioning products to commercial and industrial AC products.
Daikin commitment to sustainability is tangible. The company sets goals every year in order to constantly measure and improve its contribute to making the HVAC business sector more sustainable. In the fiscal year 2018, for instance, Daikin contribution to greenhouse emission reductions was 67 million tons-CO2, reached through a 93% of sales volume of Environmentally conscious products, and a 75% reduction ratio of greenhouse gas emission from development and production (compared to fiscal year 2005) (*).
All this shows how Daikin is a sustainability-oriented company by nature, and for this reason is naturally prone to produce technology in line with the directives mentioned at the beginning of this article – sometimes even exceeding the requirements of those directives.
Ecodesign in a nutshell
The Ecodesign regulation integrates environmental protection criteria over a service or a product’s lifecycle, with the goal of anticipating and minimizing negative environmental impacts of manufacturing, use and disposing of a wide range of products – from household appliances to HVAC equipment. And for all of these products, the Ecodesign set efficiency targets to reach gradually, by 2030.
The Ecodesign set 3 main targets to reach by 2030:
- Increasing energy efficiency by 27%
- Decreasing greenhouse emissions by 40%
- Increasing the share of renewable energy by 27%
Ecodesign requirements for chillers and heat pumps
Among the three targets energy efficiency is the one that impacts the HVAC industry the most, since HVAC systems usually account for the vast majority of energy consumed in any kind of building – usually 37% of buildings energy consumptions.
To achieve the targets mentioned, the European Union (EU) has developed a regulation aiming at reducing energy consumption in buildings through a set of requirements for HVAC technologies, which apply to both chillers and heat pumps, both in comfort and industrial process cooling application.
The regulation set the energy efficiency requirements for chillers up to 2000 kW, both for comfort cooling and for industrial process cooling with a positive leaving water temperature, also introducing increased energy efficiency requirements for industrial process cooling chillers with negative leaving water temperatures, as per regulations 2015/1095 and 2016/228.
Air- and water-to-water heat pumps up to 400 kW must comply with higher energy efficiency requirements, and heat pumps up to 70 kW must also carry energy labelling in line with regulation 811/2013 from September 2015 onwards. The Ecodesign, then, requires manufacturers and companies in the supply chain to provide specific technical information in advertising, sales or technical informative material on the product’s energy efficiency class.New metrics based on seasonal efficiency
The Ecodesign, other than introducing efficiency requirements, has introduced a new set of metrics to measure those requirements, based on seasonal efficiency. Metrics such as EER (Energy efficiency ratio) & COP (Coefficient of performance), then, belong to the past, since the focus is on seasonal efficiency.
But what does seasonal efficiency mean? Seasonal efficiency is the ability of HVAC equipment such as chillers and heat pumps, to be efficient at different loads profiles, as they operate with different loads depending of the times of the year.
It is commonly knowledge that HVAC systems spend most of their operating hours at conditions other than design. In fact, looking at a typical cooling load profile, it is clear that chillers operate at part load for most of their time. This means that the different components of a HVAC system encounter many hours of off-design operation. They need, then, to perform efficiently at these conditions too.
Seasonal efficiency metrics
Compliance with the new Ecodesign regulations therefore involves the use of the following seasonal efficiency metrics:
SEPR (Seasonal Energy Performance Ratio) is the new metric for chillers in industrial process cooling applications.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is the new metric for chillers in comfort cooling applications
SCOP (Seasonal Coefficient Of Performance) is the new metric for space heating applications.
ETAs (ŋs): In order to compare the energy efficiency of products using different sources of energy, the Ecodesign regulation has introduced a new measurement expressed in primary energy: ŋs cool is the equivalent of SEER for cooling applications and ŋs heat is the equivalent of SCOP for space heating.
Regulations do not only affect products design but can also impact entire business sectors like the constructions sector. In fact, manufacturers are adopting more efficient technologies, like the inverter, for instance, or environmentally friendly and very efficient refrigerants like R-32 and R-1234ze. In this context, not only there is a great benefit for the environment because of the less energy consumed, but there is obviously an advantage for the end customer, who will have the same performance or comfort, but lower operating costs.
Industrial Process Cooling
Efficiency requirements for high temperature process chillers
Efficiency requirements for medium temperature process chillers
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
Regulations not only affect products development but can also affect entire business sectors like the construction sector. The Energy Performance of Buildings directive EPBD, aims to boost the energy performance of the European building sector, as it is the single largest energy consumer. In fact, buildings in Europe generate almost 40% of the energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions. This directive aims at helping Europe to achieve a highly energy efficient and decarbonized building stock by 2050, but to do so buildings clearly need highly efficient HVAC equipment, as HVAC amount to almost 50% of the consumptions in large buildings in the EU.
All Daikin products are developed and produced with the aim to provide customer with environmentally friendly and future-proof technologies. The Ecodesign new seasonal performance metrics are the key indicator used for all Daikin Applied Europe chiller and heat pump ranges, in all applications. All Daikin products are designed to comply with Ecodesign, often exceeding its requirements, to provide customers with technology that will keep being relevant for years in the HVAC market.
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