INDIA: Daikin Airconditioning India has launched air conditioners using the 'mildly flammable' refrigerant R32.
This news from India follows a statement from Daikin's headquarters in Osaka last year that it planned to switch to R32 in Japan from the current R410A.
According to The Hindu
website, Daikin India is now poised to launch R32 units manufactured at its Neemrana plant in Rajasthan. This was confirmed by Kanwal Jeet Jawa, md of Daikin Airconditioning India, who said in the company's most recent newsletter: 'As the world's No. 1 Air-conditioning company, Daikin is poised to be a game changer in the HVAC space globally with the introduction of the revolutionary refrigerant HFC32 - the most balanced refrigerant on the planet. This patented refrigerant from Daikin offers the low carbon dioxide emission and ozone depletion potential, leading to reduced global warming. Starting 2013, HFC32- based products will be available nationwide.'
This latest announcement is seen as further evidence of a move towards low GWP flammable refrigerants in stationary air conditioning systems. Last year's announcement by Daikin in Japan said it planned to introduce the refrigerant to all models of residential air conditioners launched in Japan from autumn 2012 and expand its use to all commercial air conditioning equipment in the future.
Last month, Honeywell announced the availability of its own low GWP, but mildly flammable, R410A replacement in the shape of Solstice L-41. While promoted as an HFO blend based on 1234ze, L-41 also contains R32.
R32 is a single component, zero ODP gas with a GWP of around 650, significantly less than R410A's 1,980. It is classified as A2, or mildly flammable, under ASHRAE classifications. Ironically, R410A is a mixture of R32 and R125 - the R125 acting merely as a suppressant to R32's flammability.
While Daikin first exhibited an R32 air conditioning unit at the Chillventa exhibition in Germany in 2010, it is not clear when, or if, Daikin will introduce R32 units in Europe. In response to questions from ACR News
last year, Daikin Europe said: 'R32 certainly has a potential for the European market, however we have to make sure that all aspects of the product life-cycle, for example training for installers and availability of R32 cylinders are in place before R32 can be launched in Europe. All these aspects take time, so we are not able to tell you at this stage from when we will launch R32 models in Europe.'