Brussels, 1 July 2022 – Today Daikin Europe N.V. released its ‘HFC-32 PATENT NON-ASSERTION PLEDGE’ which will provide free access for the entire market to Daikin Europe’s 30 patents related to VRF systems combined with HFC-32 (R32) refrigerant. Providing this free access will further promote the use of the non-blended, single-component HFC-32 refrigerant in VRF systems, which has a lower global warming impact than R410A, the refrigerant conventionally used in VRF systems.
The decision of Daikin to provide free access to its patents happens against the background of global attempts to reduce the impacts of HFCs on global warming, especially now that the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol*1 is being translated into actual country regulations. For the European Union, the European Commission is currently considering an update of the existing F-Gas Regulation, which might result in stricter requirements for the use of refrigerants. Also VRF systems will be subject to the new regulation, if it comes into effect. VRF systems heat and cool large buildings such as offices, schools, hospitals and so on. To do this, multiple indoor units are connected to a single outdoor unit, and a closed refrigerant circuit flexibly moves through the system, allowing individual temperature control throughout the rooms of a building. The HFC refrigerant conventionally used in VRF systems is R410A.
The F-Gas regulation will force air conditioning and heating manufacturers to choose a refrigerant with a lower GWP. HFC-32 can provide a VRF solution with such a lower GWP refrigerant. This is where free access to Daikin’s patents can accelerate the adoption of HFC-32.
‘Daikin comprehensively evaluates a wide variety of refrigerants and promotes the selection of the appropriate refrigerant for each application, and currently considers HFC-32 to be the most suitable refrigerant for VRF systems.’, says Martin Dieryckx, General Manager Environmental Research Center. ‘HFC-32 has many advantages that can help reduce the environmental impact of air-conditioning. HFC-32 is a non-ozone depleting refrigerant and its GWP is one-third*2 of conventional R410A refrigerant. It provides excellent system performance and is readily available. As a single-component refrigerant, it is easy to recover, recycle and reclaim, which reduces the need for additional production of virgin refrigerant.’
Kazuhide Mizutani, General manager of EMEA Research Center, says ‘The patents that Daikin Europe pledged not to assert include those relating to the control of compressor rotation speed and safety systems such as refrigerant leakage sensors. The Pledge will make it easier for other air conditioning and heating manufacturers to develop VRF systems using HFC-32. Furthermore, promoting the installation of safety systems in equipment reduces the burden on air-conditioning installers to inspect equipment.’
Daikin Industries, the mother company of Daikin Europe, has pledged the non-assertion of the patents in relation to applicable air conditioning equipment using HFC-32 from 2019 in order to contribute to the environment. Apart from Daikin Europe's patents, the company simultaneously pledged today the non-assertion of the new 90 patents. Daikin Group aims to make further environmental contributions worldwide. A listing of the pledged patents and the specific controlling terms and conditions regarding the Pledge is available on the Daikin Group website (https://www.daikin.com/patent/r32).
(1) - The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol was adopted in the 28th Meeting of the Parties (MOP 28) in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2016. It targets to phase-down HFCs, with an 85% reduction of the CO2 equivalent global warming impact for Group 1 countries from 2019 to 2036, an 80% reduction for Group 2 countries from 2024 to 2045, and an 85% reduction for some countries and regions from 2028 to 2047.
(2) - GWP values based on 100-year time horizon from IPCC Forth Assessment Report (AR4).
Air is essential to our existence. It has always been Daikin’s mission to make the air we breathe and live in the best possible. Our innovative products and solutions are designed to improve people’s health and well-being and reduce the environmental impact of heating and cooling. By 2050 Daikin aims to be carbon neutral throughout the full value chain and the full life cycle of its products and solutions.
Daikin Europe N.V.
Daikin Europe N.V. is a subsidiary of Daikin Industries Ltd. and the leading provider of heating, cooling, ventilation, air purification and refrigeration technology. The company designs, manufactures and brings to market a broad portfolio of equipment, as well as tailored-made solutions for residential, commercial and industrial purposes in Europe, Middle East and Africa. To date Daikin Europe N.V. has over 12 000 employees across more than 24 EMEA affiliates. It has 12 major manufacturing facilities based in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Austria and the UK. The headquarters of the Daikin Europe Group are in Belgium, Ostend. The company was established in 1972, production in Europe started in 1973.
Total Solution provider for heating, cooling, ventilation and refrigeration
Daikin Europe can rely on a strong network of installers and partners across its regions thanks to nearly 50 years of innovative and energy efficient air conditioning systems business development.
To date, Daikin Europe is also market leader for Heat Pumps in Europe and well known for the Daikin Altherma hydronic heat pumps for private heating applications, which it pioneered in 2006. With high demand for low carbon heating in Europe, these heat pumps are made in the Belgian, Czech and Germany factories in Europe.
In recent years, Daikin Europe has added total solutions for the cold chain to its lines of business. Next to own refrigeration innovations, the company expanded its portfolio and network through several acquisitions. In 2016 Daikin Europe N.V. acquired Zanotti, Italian manufacturer of industrial and transport refrigeration. In 2017, Hubbard (UK) was integrated into the group, shortly followed by Tewis Smart Systems (Spain). The most recent acquisition to reinforce the full line up for retail cold chain was the global refrigeration group AHT Cooling Systems GmbH, headquartered in Austria.
About Daikin Industries Ltd.
Daikin Industries Ltd. based in Osaka, Japan, employs around 89,000 people worldwide and achieved sales of € 23.7 billion in financial year 2021 (1 April 21 – 31 March 22). The company is the global market leader for heat pump and air conditioning systems, as well as air filtration. Daikin Industries Ltd. is the only air conditioning manufacturer in the world that develops and produces all important components such as refrigerants, compressors and electronics in-house.
Sofie Sap - Corporate Communications Daikin Europe (Dutch/French/English)
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Daisuke Kakinaga – Corporate Communications Daikin Europe (Japanese/English)
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