Daikin Applied Europe has recently extended its L∞P programme to chillers, using certified reclaimed R-134a refrigerant for chiller ranges that are charged by the gas.
The L∞P programme by Daikin creates a circular economy of refrigerants, supporting Daikin Industries environmental policy by avoiding the production of virgin refrigerants, including both R-134a and R-410A for a significant 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 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, similar to VRVs using R-410A, which were among the first products included in L∞P.
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.
Refrigerant reclamation is defined as the processing of used refrigerant gases to 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 and 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. The quality is ensured by Daikin suppliers’ procedures and appropriate testing of the supply to meet AHRI700 requirements (purity>99.5%). This allows the reclaimed refrigerant to be certified as equally good as the virgin refrigerant.
Verification of Daikin’s use of reclaimed R-134a on chiller products
Reclaimed refrigerant is used by Daikin Applied Europe with the power grid principle (i.e. allocation principle).
A clear example 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 only possible 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 – they offer a benefit for the environment and for chiller plants’ owners.
As R-134a is recovered and reclaimed, the environmental impact of end-of-life refrigerants’ destruction is avoided**. This supports our ambitious environmental goals and represents the full L∞P by Daikin virtuous cycle. Because reclaimed R-134a meets the 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.
Another 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, that is key to the plants operating on R-134a refrigerant because they 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 has been recognised for being a company that has the will to positively impact society, people and the environment.
The pursuit of these values is possible thanks to the development of sustainable and efficiency-oriented technology, but also thanks to important initiatives like the L∞P programme, which is another step 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 programme, the company commits to creating 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).