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issue: May 2004 APPLIANCE Magazine

Tokyo Report
Refrigerant Trends in Japan


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Wasaku Ishida, Japanese correspondent, APPLIANCE magazine and vice president, JARN (Japanese Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News)

Since the late 1990s, the use of room air-conditioner (RAC) refrigerants in Japan has been shifting to R410A (HFC), and those using R22 are no longer marketed.

Since the late 1990s, the use of room air-conditioner (RAC) refrigerants in Japan has been shifting to R410A (HFC), and those using R22 are no longer marketed. Even though the industry has seen a shift toward the use of R407C (HFC) in packaged air-conditioners (PAC), manufacturers such as Toshiba, Carrier, and Sanyo have adopted R410A. In 2003, the industry leader Daikin announced that the refrigerants used in all of its products would be changed to R410A. By adopting R410A in commercial VRF multi systems (also known as variant refrigerant volume or VRV systems), the company launched its VRV II system in the global arena. Other major Japanese manufacturers are beginning to follow Daikin’s lead.

Although R410A has a working pressure of about 1.6 times higher than ternary refrigerant R407C, it has almost no temperature glide, showing characteristics similar to those of azeotropic refrigerants and making it easy to handle in the field. Since the specific volume (m3/kg) is small (density is high), the capacity per unit volume is large, which gives it the advantage of decreasing the piping diameter or pressure vessel size. The recognition of these advantages has urged manufacturers to adopt R410A.

Except for large industrial packages and chillers, all new models of light-commercial PACs and VRF systems now use R410A. Sooner or later, all air-conditioning appliances are likely to adopt R410A.

 

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