Among the news from Chillventa, was the Daikin stand in Hall 7. A news not so much due to its size or particular aesthetic solutions, but precisely because of its positioning: close to other global leaders in commercial refrigeration.
If until now, in fact, the Daikin name was essentially linked to the residential and HVAC sector, we must now take note of the company’s committed presence also in the refrigeration solutions sector, particularly for retail. «Daikin entered the world of commercial refrigeration about five years ago, through a number of acquisitions made at that time» explains Olivier Lagrabette, Senior Manager Refrigeration Daikin Europe N.V. «Now the Company wants to establish itself in this sector with the intention to become a major global player». Daikin’s refrigeration segment is headquartered in Brussels, and from there it spreads around the world with a total value of around €700 million. «This trade fair is the first occasion for Daikin to present itself with a stand entirely related to refrigeration, and with this we want to send a very strong message to the sector: refrigeration is now also called Daikin. And not just in food retail, although this is one of the biggest areas, but also in HO.RE.CA, food processing, medical and pharmaceuticals, etc., and along the entire supply chain, including transport».
Focus on energy efficiency and natural refrigeration
The world of commercial refrigeration is full of established names and brands, a landscape in which it is difficult to differentiate. Daikin has its own strategy in this regard: «We want to emphasise energy efficiency. Our customers today are faced with very high bills and we want to help them reduce these costs». How? «By employing all those technologies in our solutions that can really help save energy: heat recovery, advanced components, electronic control, and above all natural refrigerants. Here at the stand we are presenting CO2and propane solutions. We are focusing on a GWP between 1 and 3» explains Lagrabette. And this is another surprise “Made in Daikin” at this Chillventa: a company whose name in the common imagination has always been linked to synthetic refrigerants, in particular R32 for which some paragraphs of the 2014 F-gas regulation even seemed ‘tailored made’, chooses natural refrigerants. Does that mean the Company sees a good business in that choice? «We see the future in it» says Lagrabette. «Today we are converting our HFC products to natural refrigerant options because these working fluids are very efficient for these applications. We are also adding capacity: heat recovery with CO2 works better than with any other refrigerant». Why not HFOs? «In our view, HFOs are not the best candidates for these commercial applications. Also, installers must meet certain safety requirements, comply with risk assessment, which is why there are limits to the use of HFOs. In addition, HFOs are synthetic, and naturals are naturally occurring, as the name also implies, and this creates a different perspective»
What is the future of this industry according to Daikin? «Integration of equipment into systems, this is the future. Which means, for example, offering complete solutions for heating and air conditioning, starting from refrigeration. This is what we already offer today with our CONVENI PACK system. In addition, we should not forget the complete service from installation to maintenance. Customers want peace of mind and this is given if they have a single partner offering a complete solution. Daikin has the technology, the know-how and the structure to be able to offer all this».
In this landscape and considering these choices, what is the future of R32? «The following statement represents only my personal opinion. I believe that R32 still has potential because among the ‘new’ refrigerants it is one of those that will not be affected by any ban that might affect PFAS. However, its GWP is high if compared to the F-gas targets, so while a great solution now, will be less so in the longer term, depending on the available quotas».
Novelties presented at Chillventa
Daikin Europe’s stand at Chillventa had a name that was also a vision: “future sustainable city“. Here, for the first time ever, the company presented its range of integrated solutions for the food processing, storage, food retail, HO.RE.CA and pharmaceutical sectors. In particular, two new products were presented, based on natural refrigerants and which meet Daikin’s stringent standards for energy efficiency, low noise and minimal total cost of ownership (TCO):
- The Daikin Monoblock of the Future – a commercial refrigeration solution ideal for limited spaces, based on R290 (propane), meeting industry demands for natural, energy-efficient refrigeration solutions. With an extremely low GWP, the natural refrigerant R290 (propane) has no ozone-depleting potential, while Daikin’s
innovative Inverter technology ensures that the Monoblock of the future is highly energy efficient, operates with low noise and has a low total cost of ownership thanks to the fact that it is easy to retrofit, easy to install and easy to service. Being compact, the units can also be ceiling mounted and feature an innovative remote monitoring system with a dedicated App and cloud services for ease of use.
- Daikin CO2 ZEAS units – a new range of compact, high-efficiency refrigeration condensing units based on the natural refrigerant CO2, combining low impact performance, low energy running costs and low noise. Available from 8 to 12HP and a 15HP model, they provide energy-efficient natural refrigerant cooling to showcases and evaporators from -40 to +5°C. The high energy efficiency is due to Daikin’s two-stage technology that ensures a lower compression ratio at each stage, lower energy consumption, lower discharge temperature, less stress on the compressor and longer life.