Daikin is to widen the adoption of lower GWP refrigerant R32 by developing ducted and ductless residential, light-commercial, and applied air conditioning products for the North American market.
Daikin says the choice of R32 for the North American region is consistent with its wide global acceptance. The company, which pioneered the use of the “mildly flammable” A2L refrigerant, has itself sold more than 21 million R32 residential units worldwide since 2012. R32 has become the dominant refrigerant in Japan for residential HVAC equipment, and its popularity is growing in other Asian countries, including China. In Europe, the F-gas phase-down has generated a major shift towards R32 for smaller systems. In total, Daikin estimates that more than 84 million R32 residential units are now in use across 70 countries.
Daikin began manufacturing package terminal air conditioning (PTAC) systems using R32 in the USA in 2016 under its Amana brand.
In the United States, acceptance of the refrigerant has already begun in some HVAC applications, with reports that almost half of window air conditioning units sold in the US in 2018 used R32.
The class 2L flammability classification was added to the ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15-2013 last year and product approval to UL 60335-2-40 has been cleared and waiting final publication.
Although “mildly flammable”, R32 has a number of environmental and end-user advantages. R32 has a much lower GWP than R410A (675 compared to 2088) and could reduce refrigerant charge in certain equipment by up to 40%. Daikin also says that equipment using R32 can be more energy efficient and compact and, being a single component refrigerant, is easier to reuse, reclaim, and recycle.
“We know that the net effect of air conditioning on the environment is a combination of the refrigerant used and energy consumed,” said Daikin Applied Americas’ president and CEO Mike Schwartz. “R32 enables home and building owners to achieve reduced climate impact, superior performance, and operational savings. Our approach has always been to use our expertise to choose the right refrigerant for each application. R32 is the right low GWP refrigerant choice for many of our residential, light-commercial, and applied products in North America.”
Goodman Global’s president and CEO Satoru Akama said, “Daikin’s choice of R32 demonstrates our strong commitment as a US HVAC manufacturer to minimise environmental impacts of our equipment including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. R32 brings many benefits including energy efficiency, resource reduction, and overall environmental mitigation. Based on our global experience, we are confident R32 is the right choice for HVAC manufacturers, contractors, and consumers.”