Daikin Applied Europe has recently extended the L∞P programme by Daikin to chillers, starting to use certified reclaimed R-134a refrigerant for chiller ranges using that gas.
The L∞P programme by Daikin aims at creating a circular economy of refrigerants, supporting Daikin Industries environmental policy for 2050, and avoiding, every year, production of virgin refrigerants including both R-134a and R-410A for 400,000 kg per year.
This initiative is one of the many steps Daikin is taking to make the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) sector promoted more environmentally sustainable.
Daikin Applied Europe, European headquarter for the development and manufacturing of HVAC technologies, made an effort to secure the supply of reclaimed R-134a refrigerant. That allowed Daikin Applied R-134a products to be part of the L∞P programme, just like VRVs using R-410A, which were among the first products to be part of this program.
Reclaimed refrigerant and reclamation process
Everything starts with the recovery of R-134a refrigerant from buildings by the installers network. The refrigerant is then reclaimed, meaning that it gets regenerated, restoring its original characteristics and quality as mentioned above.
Refrigerant reclamation is defined as the processing of used refrigerant gases so that they can meet specifications for re-use*. Reclamation services were designed with the goal of reducing the environmental impact of refrigerants, allowing the re-use of existing refrigerants, thereby avoiding the need to manufacture new virgin refrigerants*.
Reclaimed refrigerant is simply refrigerant gas recovered and reprocessed so it can provide and match the performance and quality of the virgin substance. This aspect is ensured by Daikin supplier’s procedures and appropriate testing of the supply, which meets AHRI700 requirements (purity>99.5%) and is then certified as equally good as the virgin refrigerant.
Daikin’s use of reclaimed R-134a on chiller products verification
Reclaimed refrigerant is used by Daikin Applied Europe with the power grid principle (i.e. allocation principle).
A clear example of that comes from the way energy suppliers feed the power grid, using electricity coming from different sources (green and non-green), and then using the allocation principle to declare the energy delivered within a specific contract to be green energy. This is possible only considering the overall balance of energy sources, of course.
Similarly, Daikin Applied Europe uses a mix of reclaimed and virgin refrigerant to charge new chillers. As a result of this approach, the following product ranges are included in the L∞P programme by Daikin:
- EWAD-TZ inverter screw air cooled cooling-only chillers
- EWAD-T- screw fixed speed air cooled cooling-only chillers
- Multipurpose inverter screw units EWYD-4Z B
- EWYD-BZ inverter screw air source heat pumps
- Water cooled inverter screw chillers EWWD-VZ, oil free centrifugal chillers EWWD-DZ and oil-based centrifugal units DWSC / DWDC
The benefits of using reclaimed R-134a refrigerant on chiller units
There are essentially two main benefits in using reclaimed R-134a refrigerant on chiller units – These a benefit for the environment and for chiller plants’ owners.
As R-134a is recovered and reclaimed, the environmental impact of end-of-life refrigerant’s destruction is avoided**. This is very positive, fully representing the L∞P by Daikin virtuous cycle. Indeed, as reclaimed R-134a meets AHRI700 standard (purity>99.5%), it can be recovered and reclaimed with no limits, making the L∞P programme a true example of circular economy of refrigerants, and environmental impact reduction.
The other important aspect is related to EU F-gas regulation. Under EU F-gas regulation, only virgin refrigerants are considered in the quota system, meaning that reclaimed refrigerants are not subject to any restriction. ** In the case of the L∞P programme
This can be very important for those plants operating on R-134a refrigerant, that will still have the possibility to use R-134a or be refurbished with units equipped with the same refrigerant.
Creating a circular economy of refrigerants
Daikin is recognized for being a company that has in the will to positively impact people, society and the environment, one of the core values.
The pursuit of this goal is possible thanks to the development of sustainable and efficiency-oriented technology, but also thanks to important initiatives like the L∞P program, which is another step taken towards making the HVAC sector more environmentally friendly.
Daikin is aware of the role the sector has in protecting the environment, and with the L∞p program the company aims at further committing to the creation of a sustainable future, ensuring that products and services are end-to-end aligned with Daikin’s green vision. That is why Daikin made an effort to introduce an environmentally conscious refrigerant lifecycle – Recovery, Reclamation and Recycling – which is also a sustainable method to reduce the generation of harmful gases from the production of new refrigerants.
* Enhancement of a R-410A Reclamation Process Using Various Heat-Pump-Assisted Distillation Configurations, Nguyen Van Duc Long et al., Energies (2019).
** Waste Management Strategies to Mitigate the Effects of Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases on Climate Change, Castro et al., Applied Sciences (2021).