The Green Deal is the European political strategy to decarbonize its economy by 2050. It is a framework for all research and development investment choices of companies.
Each sector must set itself the objective of decarbonization and for the cooling sector, there are basically two tasks: to reduce direct emissions (due to refrigerants) and indirect emissions (linked to the energy consumption of the machines) of refrigeration and air conditioning systems.
Industry’s efforts in this direction are considerable and this can be seen from the innovations coming to the market and the commitment of resources in R&D. Among the most recent research and development projects there is “Natural HVACR 4 LIFE” project, a research project led by Daikin Europe that is in line with the European decarbonization strategy and the company-wide initiative to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050, including emissions generated over the entire life cycle of Daikin products.
The system developed in Natural HVACR 4 LIFE is a real breakthrough and the first Daikin branded CO2 system launched in Europe.
In dialogue with Olivier Lagrabette, Manager Commercial Refrigeration, Daikin Europe.
Through the Life project Natural HVACR 4 LIFE, Daikin has researched the potential of Conveni Pack with R744. You have evaluated mitigation options to ensure the safety and energy performance, also in warm climates. Now you are almost at the end of this project. Which statements can you give on both these aspects: safety and energy performance with CO2? Which are the main insights of this project?
When Daikin launched the Natural HVAC-R 4 Life research project in 2020, safety and energy performance as well as a lower environmental footprint were key objectives. Furthermore, the move away from F gases requires the use of safe natural refrigerants that require an ever-increasing reduction in energy use and CO2 is an A1 safety classification, non-toxic and non-flammable refrigerant making it ideal refrigerant for food refrigeration. With energy efficiency in mind, the new CO2 Conveni-Pack system also recovered heat from the on-floor refrigeration display cabinets and evaporators, which is used for climate control in other areas of the store. This capability, combined with state-of-the-art compressor technology, is estimated to deliver significant energy cost savings, compared to a conventional system.
For which kind of building/end users is Conveni-Pack CO2 suitable?
The CO2 Conveni-Pack is specifically designed for use in food retail stores of all sizes – from the small stores in city centres and in fuel stations to large out of town food stores thanks to the system’s modular design.
The system has improved acoustics thanks to night operation mode, inverter control and inverter driven fans with optimised blades and grills. Further noise reductions are enabled by the sound insulation on both the panels and compressors, specifically designed fan blades and two low sound operation settings.
CO2 Conveni Pack integrated HVAC-R solution meets all store requirements for comfort cooling and heating, courtesy of being the slimmest unit its class with a built-in height of 300mm enabling installation in narrow ceiling voids. And to ensure the units blend seamlessly with stores existing architecture and branding, there is a wide choice of decoration panels available. We are very glad to complete our offerings with a brand new Round Flow CO2 cassette, that provides the utmost comfort for consumers visiting the stores, as well as a great look for a perfect integration. Our confidence in the system was reinforced by successful trials in the Berlin store of ‘Bio Company’, an organic food retailer with over 60 stores across Germany. The system received an enthusiastic welcome from the company’s project manager for construction, citing the CO2 Conveni-Pack system as ‘better for the environment and holding promise for the future.’
Can we say that Conveni-Pack introduces CO2 systems also for air conditioning? If it is in this way, Conveni-pack is a real breakthrough…
Absolutely. The CO2 Conveni-Pack is an integrated system providing high and low temperature refrigeration and air conditioning and heating by CO2 in a single system. By using heat recovery, optimised controls and state of the art compressor technology, CO2 Conveni-Pack can reduce annual energy consumption by up top 50% more than conventional systems
Conveni-Pack is a system just for new plants or also for existing plants? Is it for plants/units already working on CO2 or for general applications?
CO2 Conveni-Pack’s modular design allows it to be used for new and existing as well as smaller and larger buildings and stores, providing maximum installation flexibility. For example, the units can be grouped into blocks or rows or distributed around the building or on the roof to meet individual installation requirements. What’s more, because CO2 Conveni-Pack is the CO2 version of our standard Conveni-Pack systems, customers can upgrade from their existing Conveni-Pack systems to the CO2 version with minimal system changes compared to a complete new system.
Is the system already available for the market?
Yes, and this is the first Daikin branded CO2 system launched in Europe, the result of combining Daikin processes with our Tewis brand, experts in this market segment using natural refrigerants which we acquired in 2018. Upgrading to a CO2 system also eliminates the risks of rising costs associated with sourcing declining supplies for systems with HFC refrigerants and complying with stringent requirements for leak management and reporting – staying ahead of F gas regulatory change. It is climate-friendly thanks to its GWP (Global Warming Potential) of 1 and its introduction in our Conveni-Pack system is proof of our commitment to meeting the Daikin Environmental Vision 2050, with a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
About Natural HVACR 4 LIFE
Natural HVACR 4 LIFEis a research initiative rooted in Daikin’s Environmental Vision 2050 and co-funded by the European Union. The project is led by Daikin Europe N.V in partnership with Daikin Air conditioning Germany GmbH and AHT Cooling Systems GmbH.