One of China’s largest precision-equipment manufacturers, DunAn, today unveiled a new CO2-based hot water heat pump.

DunAn is one of the largest manufacturers of HVAC systems, equipment and components in China. It also serves overseas markets.

The air-source CO2 heat pump water heater is “mainly designed for domestic high-temperature hot water production up to 90°C,” the company said in a statement provided to this website.

The company said it had decided to develop the technology because it sees a growing natural refrigerant trend in China, especially in heat pump applications. “Right now, several companies in China are introducing new products that use CO2 as a refrigerant,” the company stated.

“CO2 is a natural refrigerant and we see it as the only alternative refrigerant for commercial heat pump water heaters in the future. That’s why we believed it was necessary to develop a CO2-based heat pump water heater,” DunAn added. 

System specifications and test results

With an inlet temperature of 15°C and an outlet temperature of 55°C, test result data provided by DunAn demonstrated a heating capacity of 78.6 kW with a power consumption of 15.5 kW – translating to a coefficient of performance (COP) of 5.07.

Volume flow rate of water supplied was 1.69 cubic meters per hour. Dry-bulb and wet-bulb temperature conditions were measured at 20°C and 15°C, respectively.

“CO2 is a natural refrigerant and we see it as the only alternative refrigerant for commercial heat pump water heaters in the future.


Increasing CO2 heat pump competition in China

By developing this product, DunAn joins a growing number of local Chinese manufacturers supplying CO2-based heat pump technology.

“There are already some manufacturers in China who have introduced CO2 heat pump water heaters,” the company stated. “Some of them have already been installing systems for several years, with many model projects already in the market.”

Indeed, Kunming-based Dongqi Technology, which began developing CO2 heat pumps in 2009, is now one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of CO2 heat pumps in China, boasting more than 700 units installed in the market as of the end of 2017.

“As the main supplier of centralised air-conditioning systems,” DunAn said, “we saw a need to introduce new products for hot water heating, especially in high temperatures”.

“That is why we decided to develop this product,” the firm explained. 

At this time, the company does not have any planned installations.

However, the company said that it would be targeting end users in the commercial sector, such as “high-end hotels, schools, hospitals and domestic residences” as well as end users in the industrial sector such as “textile factories and slaughterhouses”.

CO2 heat pump interest growing throughout APAC and Oceania

Discussion and interest around CO2-based heat pump technology is also continuing to grow throughout several other regions in the Asia-Pacific as well as Oceania.

Several OEMs discussed the energy saving potential of CO2 heat pumps in Southeast Asia’s hospitality sector at ATMOsphere Asia 2018 conference held in Singapore on 4 September.

The event also saw Singapore-based company MClean Technologies discuss its installation and testing of one of the country’s first CO2 heat pumps.

In addition, rising gas prices were driving interest in CO2 heat pump technology at the 2018 Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Building Services (ARBS) exhibition held earlier this year in Sydney, Australia.

Opportunities for CO2-based heat pump technology in China will be discussed extensively at the upcoming ATMOsphere China 2019 conference held on 11-12 April in Shanghai.

Representatives from the Intercontinental Shanghai Pudong are scheduled to speak at the event about the hotel’s use of CO2 heat pumps at ATMO China. 

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