HVAC&R Japan 2012: commercial Eco-Cute innovations & CO2 components

By Alexandra Maratou, Feb 21, 2012, 00:00 3 minute reading

In this second article about the HVAC&R Japan 2012 trade show, held on 14-17 February 2012 in Tokyo, we provide an overview of showcased innovations in the area of commercial CO2 heat pumps as well as CO2 components. + PHOTOS

Despite a difficult 2011 fiscal year for CO2 heat pumps in Japan, there was no lack of companies showcasing innovations at this year’s (37th) Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Refrigerating Expo (HVAC&R JAPAN 2012), including new and improved CO2 heat pump models, branded in Japan as “Eco-Cute”, for commercial use.

Showcased CO2 heat pumps for commercial applications
  • Itomic: Nihon Itomic Co., Ltd., the first company that successfully developed and commercialised Eco-Cute for commercial & industrial applications in Japan, presented their new Eco-Cute model called the “Y-Shaped” model (model name CHP-80Y). It is an 80kW Eco-Cute CO2 heat pump water heater for commercial applications. The innovative “Y-shaped” configuration allows for 30% reduction in the installation space needed for the unit, while retaining a large capacity of hot water. At the same time the Y-Shaped model achieves 70% reduction in power consumption for the fan, as the air flow between the air heat exchanger and the intake fan becomes smoother. The model is also among the lightest in its capacity class, weighting a total of 680kg, reducing therefore the stress on rooftops, where multiple units are often installed.
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI): The company showcased Q-ton, their commercial Eco-Cute featuring a coefficient of performance (COP) of 4.3 and no power loss even at -7°C. The units incorporate a 2-stage CO2 “scrotary” compressor that is able to achieve high efficiency under every operating condition by means of a 2-stage compression structure with a rotary compressor placed on the low stage and a scroll compressor on the high stage side. In recognition of the innovative nature of Q-ton, the company has been awarded a prize by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
  • Panasonic: In one of the show’s largest booths, Panasonic showcased its line up of Eco-Cute models for commercial application. Moreover, in a modular approach, the company is proposing the combination of up to 4 of its residential units to cater also for light-commercial applications.
  • Mitsubishi Electric: A market leader in commercial Eco-Cute technology, Mitsubishi Electric displayed their commercial Eco-Cute (model QAHV-N560B) that achieves a COP rating of 4.1 thanks to a newly developed inverter-type scroll CO2 compressor.
  • Mayekawa: Mayekawa presented their EcoSirocco CO2 heat pump that is able to generate hot air at 120°C required in industrial drying or heating purposes, as well as their UNIMO air-to-water CO2 heat pump with COP of 4.2 for middle and large size facilities such as hotels, hospitals and food processing plants.
  • Hitachi: The company showcased one of Japan’s most popular light commercial (15kW) Eco-Cute models. Targeting a niche market, Hitachi’s model is adapted to hard water conditions from wells.

CO2 components on display

Several companies displayed their CO2 components for use in CO2 heat pumps, including:

  • Saginomiya / Danfoss: Saginomiya, a distributor in Japan of CO2 controls by Europe-based Danfoss, displayed a wide range of electronic valves and controllers for use with CO2 developed by Danfoss, including CO2 pressure controls, pressure sensors, solenoid valves and electronic expansion valves. Saginomiya also showcased their own range of R744 products for heat pumps and refrigeration.
  • SWEP: SWEP presented their B9 heat exchanger technology for transcritical CO2, scalable up to 11kW as a gas cooler. Targeting the Eco-Cute market, this heat exchanger is smaller, lighter and offers a lower price at higher COP.
  • KAORI: KAORI displayed its CO2 series of brazed plate heat exchangers for heat pumps and supermarket refrigeration systems. 


By Alexandra Maratou

Feb 21, 2012, 00:00

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