Proactive compliance with the next steps in the EU F-Gas regulation and ENER LOT21 Tier 2 showcases how VRV heat pumps curb climate change

Brussels, 16 February 2021 – In  2021, the EU F-Gas regulation and ENER LOT21 legislative measures are accelerating. The EU is further phasing down its F-Gas quota, among other initiatives, to drive the industry towards lower GWP alternatives and reducing direct CO2eq emissions. In addition, ENER LOT21 Tier 2 imposes more stringent energy efficiency thresholds to increase the efficiency of HVAC systems and reduce indirect CO2eq emissions. Daikin has acted on multiple levels to create a sustainable future for the HVAC industry: the new VRV 5 series that uses lower GWP R-32 refrigerant, the creation of a circular economy for refrigerant through LOOP by Daikin, and world-renowned VRV energy efficiency thanks to continuous innovation.

EU F-Gas regulation and Ecodesign LOT21 directive speed up

The EU’s F-Gas regulation and its Ecodesign directive mandate reductions in direct and indirect CO2eq emissions to help curb climate change.

Reducing direct emissions
Europe’s rules on F-Gas aim to reduce direct CO2 emissions by phasing down the consumption of virgin F-Gases used in new equipment and for servicing. The reduction in F-Gas use is expressed in CO2 equivalents, which is calculated by multiplying kilograms of refrigerant times the GWP of the gas.

In January 2021, the yearly F-Gas quota was reduced to 45% compared to baseline. The baseline is the average HFC consumption between 2009 and 2012. By 2030, the yearly F-Gas quota is set to decrease by two-thirds compared to the baseline.

The goal is to drive the market towards lower GWP solutions, while still benefitting from the high energy efficiency, safe use, and cost-effectiveness that F-Gases can provide. Daikin, for example, is using R-32 on new VRV 5 systems to meet the 2030 targets head-on. Doing so reduces GWP by 2/3 compared to R-410A.

Another initiative to meet the 2030 goal for F-Gas reduction is the re-use of refrigerants through LOOP by Daikin, a circular economy program to reclaim and re-use refrigerant. As such, owners of Daikin VRV systems can be assured that their refrigerant of choice will remain available throughout the equipment’s operating life, while they make a clear sustainable choice to re-use, rather than to further deplete the earth’s natural resources.

Reducing indirect emissions
Europe’s ecodesign LOT21 regulation, on the other hand, is set to lower indirect CO2 emissions from HVAC-R. The strategy is to drive the market towards more energy efficient products, as expressed by minimum seasonal energy efficiency requirements.

For VRV systems, LOT21’s Tier 2 requirements increase the minimum efficiency from 181% to 189% in cooling, and from 133% to 137% in heating. Daikin VRV heat pumps exceed these minimum efficiency thresholds, offering efficiencies up to 302% in cooling and 170% in heating. Result: a sustainable choice for customer cooling and heating systems.

“We publish credible and representative data on our website to report on the efficiencies of our products,” says George Dimou, VRV product manager at Daikin Europe“Our data is not boosted to the highest possible value, but represents as closely as possible the real efficiency the system can reach. We do this by using our best selling sold units in our efficiency tests. This gives customers the best base to make a conscious and sustainable choice.

Introducing lower GWP refrigerant and re-use on VRV systems

Product innovations and refrigerant choices by Daikin anticipate every reduction step of the F-Gas regulationand  lower the environmental impact. In addition, these refrigerants significantly increase the energy performance of Daikin products and are easy and safe to use.

For future VRV systems two sustainable options are available. The first of which is VRV 5 using R-32 refrigerant with a GWP of only 1/3 compared to the the GWP of the commonly used R-410A. Also, R-32 is a single component refrigerant, so it can be easily re-used in future.

The other option is the LOOP by Daikin programme, a supporting circular economy for refrigerants. A LOOP by Daikin VRV unit has reclaimed refrigerant allocated to the factory-charge, reducing virgin refrigerant use by over 250,000 kgs per year. Reclaimed R-410A refrigerant is excluded from the EU F-gas quota and fully supports the EU Green Deal to create a circular economy and respect our natural resources.

As Daikin we embrace the spirit of Europe’s climate ambitions,” says George Dimou, VRV product manager at Daikin Europe. “For us, meeting Europe’s new requirements is not enough. If we truly want to become CO2 neutral by 2050, this requires a strong commitment today to invest in sustainable systems and the circular economy right now. With our VRV 5 systems and LOOP by Daikin reclamation program, we are paving the way and invite all of our partners in the HVAC ecosystem to join forces with us to make a climate-neutral heating and cooling industry in Europe a reality.”