Global sales figures of Mayekawa’s flagship NewTon ammonia/CO2 cascade system for industrial applications indicate that 880 systems have been installed worldwide, of which 850 are in Japan.
Now, a shift towards ammonia packages using scroll compressors is on the agenda for Mayekawa in 2016. The company has typically used larger screw compressor systems, so the development of a smaller scroll compressor-based version of its NewTon ammonia/CO2 system will expand its reach to convenience stores (CVS) and supermarkets.
In late 2015 Mayekawa’s president, Tadashi Maekawa, spoke of the company’s plans to branch out from the industrial to the commercial sector, and to expand globally. “We have an ambition to embark into new markets such as commercial refrigeration and industrial air-conditioning […] and bring them into markets we haven’t addressed before,” Maekawa said. “We are planning to develop NH3/CO2 showcases for supermarkets and convenience stores [in 2016].”
Speaking at ATMO Asia 2016, Mayekawa Executive Director Kuniaki Kawamura hailed support from the Japanese government, which he said had been particularly influential in the development and distribution of the NewTon series.
The NH3/CO2 NewTon cascade system:
- Utilises the latent heat of secondary refrigerant CO2 and is highly efficient;
- Achieves 30% annual energy savings compared to R22 systems;
- In cold storage, has 20-40% lower power consumption compared to R22 systems, and;
- Has now been installed in Pacific regions like Thailand, Indonesia and Australia.
Mayekawa will display its new NewTon scroll compressor, ammonia-packaged system and its air cycle refrigeration system – the Pascal Air – at HVAC&R Japan in Tokyo in late February. The Pascal Air is a lubricant-free system and delivers a 50% power reduction compared to R22 units. It has been installed in three locations in South Korea.
Sanden ‘paving the way towards a natural world’
Junya Ichikawa, president of Sanden Environmental Products Corporation, drew attention to increased global demand for the company’s CO2 reciprocating compressors and renewed growth expectations for convenience store installations up until 2020.
Sanden sold a total of 1.5 million CO2 compressors globally between 2011-2015, with Japan accounting for 300,000 of those. That includes a total of 500 installations in the growing CVS market as of the end of 2015. The company expects that figure to over 50,000 by 2020.
Sanden, which operates in 23 countries, has two plants in Europe producing CO2 heat pumps; two plants in Shanghai (reciprocating compressors, coolers); one facility in Thailand (coolers); two plants in the USA (vending machines and the other planned for HP); and another facility in Japan.
A key focus of Ichikawa’s presentation was the need to develop ongoing partnerships with partners. He estimates that around 10,000 companies worldwide are actively promoting natural refrigerant solutions.
Our vision is to create corporate value from the environment,” he said. “In order to achieve that vision we [would] always [like] to have more friends in order to promote natural refrigerants. Without [increased] CO2 technology on the market we cannot grow.”
Sneak preview of GUIDE Japan 2016: Trends for Asia and the world
Nina Masson, shecco’s deputy managing director, gave a brief preview of what to expect from our GUIDE Japan 2016, including the rise and rise of natural refrigerants in beverage vending machines (VMs) and the major drivers of naturals uptake in Japan.
The market gap between f-gases and natural refrigerants in Japan is constantly shrinking, which can be attributed to a number of factors: the most dominant of which are environmental impact, efficiency and performance.
There are over 1.35 million VMs in Japan using either hydrocarbons or CO2, an increase from 0.1% to 52% in just 10 years. Globally, there are 4.5 million HFC-free units in light commercial applications.
“We are talking about the highest rate of beverage vending machines per capita, so we know that the use of natural refrigerants in this application will have a huge impact on overall natural refrigerant use in Japan,” Masson said.
Despite industry expectations that the use of naturals will increase rapidly by 2020, outside of VMs, Japan is yet to see the same progress in other light commercial applications like small hydrocarbon plug-in units, which have already been widely adopted in other parts of the world.
There are over 1,500 CO2 transcritical stores in Japan. But the country’s High Pressure Gas Safety Act is seen as a major barrier to wider uptake of CO2 solutions for larger systems. Panasonic chief Tetsuro Homma said industry was taking every possible action to address the policy situation. “We are always communicating this question with government, having successfully launched bigger CO2 products in other parts of the world,” he said.