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Conversion of an old R-22 system

A first in Germany for the Daikin VRV 5 S-series with R-32 refrigerant at Abele Optik.

Able Optik with a VRV 5 S-series module

The Abele Optik branch on Kaiserstraße in Lampertheim between Mannheim and Worms is one of the early adopters in Germany of Daikin’s new VRV 5 S-series system with the lower GWP refrigerant R-32. Daikin’s advanced VRV 5 system is distinguished not only by its discreet and space saving design, but also by the inclusion of factory-integrated technologies supporting a high level of flexibility to condition spaces of more than 10 m2.

One of the largest opticians in Germany, with 76 branches nationwide, Abele Optik has worked together with Daikin for many years. As part of its modernisation, where possible, it plans to equip all branches with the Daikin VRV 5 system.

The team from Abele Optik at the Lampertheim branch has been advising its customers on all aspects of “good vision” since 1997. Expert staff take time to advise customers, whether discussing glasses, sunglasses or contact lenses. Innovative heat pump technology provides a pleasant indoor climate, ensuring customers feel comfortable when visiting the branch. The shop is located in an old building dating back to the post-war period comprising a sales area of about 200 m2, as well as staff welfare rooms and a workshop.


Innovative heat pump technology after modernisation

Able optik interior

The old air conditioning system consisted of two 6 kW Daikin single-split systems with ceiling-mounted cassettes dating back to 1998. A fault in the old system presented the ideal opportunity to bring it up to date, explains Nicolas Abele-Schraut, the managing director and owner of the chain of opticians.

“As in the very near future we would like to refurbish and modernise our branches, it was important for us now to rely on sustainable and environmentally friendly air conditioning technology,” explains Klaus Treutlein, the person responsible for interior design at Abele Optik.

“Firstly, highly increased efficiency is critically important for us in this, secondly, that the technology deployed should seamlessly integrate with our new shop design concept.”

With sustainable air conditioning technology Abele Optik wants to move away from being dependent on fossil fuels. It is also important that the system can be extended in line with the forthcoming refurbishment programme. As the branch has an inner-city location, keeping noise down is key.

Finally, Abele Optik expects a high level of operational reliability, something to which the company has become accustomed over the many years of working together with Daikin and the company, Kälte- und Klimatechnik Groß GmbH from Rödelsee near Würzburg. The company, Groß, has been servicing all Abele Optik branches throughout Germany for over 20 years.


Replacing R-22 heat pumps

As in the case of Abele Optik, most existing systems more than 20 years old are still using R-22 refrigerant. Due to its harmful effect on the ozone layer, the use of R-22 refrigerant for new equipment is no longer allowed. Since 2015, repairs on the refrigerant circuit or refilling are also prohibited by EU law. To avoid unplanned system downtime, pro-actively replacing the system is the best way forward and will also lower your energy bills by over 50% at the same time!


A first in Germany for the Daikin VRV 5 with R-32 refrigerant

Another important factor supporting the choice of the VRV 5 was its compact design, because the outdoor unit had to be installed on the shop canopy for reasons of space. To avoid protrusion into the full-length window on the floor above, the maximum height of the unit was limited to one metre. It was decided to install the new compact Daikin Mini VRV R-32 outdoor unit (Hx W x D: 870 x 1,100 x 460 mm), combined with two Daikin Round flow suspended ceiling units to serve the sales area.

The VRV 5 is used as a single-source heating system and for air-conditioning to the sales areas. In November 2020, Abele Optik in Lampertheim was the first customer in Germany to welcome the installation of the new VRV 5. The new system currently has an output of just under 13 kW, but it is to be further upgraded during the refurbishment. Providing comparable system performance, the new VRV 5 S-Series offers a reduction in the sound pressure level and increased efficiency of up to 12 % compared to similar R-410A systems currently available – and 50% higher than the previous R-22 system.


Reliable thanks to Shîrudo technology

Thanks to Shîrudo technology, all the required measures to operate the R-32 A2L refrigerant are factory-integrated, giving the flexibility to deliver air-conditioning in smaller spaces without any additional actions needed in the field.

The measures include leak sensors installed into the indoor units which, in the unlikely event of a refrigerant leak, will detect the leak instantly. The Madoka remote control then immediately sets off a visual and audible alarm to warn any persons present in the area and initiates automatic refrigerant recovery to safely contain the refrigerant. Operation of the system can only be resumed after the leak has been rectified by specialist staff.

These safety precautions, compliant with IEC 60335-2-40 (ed. 6) support a high level of flexibility for premises providing air conditioning with R-32. For a typical installation with 6.4kg of refrigerant spaces as small as 10 m² can be air conditioned with a VRV 5 system. Without these factory-integrated measures, the minimum room size would be 26.5 m2! Daikin has therefore a unique offering for its customers with smaller commercial premises who want an all-round, care free package.


Lower GWP refrigerant and lower CO₂ emissions

Specifically developed for use with R-32 refrigerant, Daikin’s VRV 5 is all about reliable technology and ecological sustainability. The R-32 refrigerant has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 675 with a greenhouse potential, 68% lower than the commercially available R-410A refrigerant with its GWP of 2,088. Other environmentally friendly advantages of R-32 are that it supports a 10% reduction in the refrigerant charge and, as a pure refrigerant, can be handled and recycled without difficulty.

What is more, the system is 12% more efficient compared the previous generation, thereby reducing indirect CO2 emissions.

Daikin’s VRV 5 system fully meets Abele Optik's expectations of a sustainable, forward-looking and efficient air conditioning solution. With this series, Daikin also reaffirms its mission to create a sustainable future by reducing the environmental impact of system energy consumption and refrigerants.

Customers can choose a sustainable solution from Daikin’s whole range of commercial products, either by selecting products with the lower GWP refrigerant R-32 or by choosing ‘L∞P by Daikin’ products which support Daikin’s circular economy programme for refrigerants by using reclaimed refrigerant in new units.

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