Brussels, 1 July 2022 – Today Daikin Europe N.V. released its ‘HFC-32 PATENT NON-ASSERTION PLEDGE’ which will provide free access for the entire market to Daikin Europe’s 30 patents related to VRF systems combined with HFC-32 (R32) refrigerant. Providing this free access will further promote the use of the non-blended, single-component HFC-32 refrigerant in VRF systems, which has a lower global warming impact than R410A, the refrigerant conventionally used in VRF systems.
The decision of Daikin to provide free access to its patents happens against the background of global attempts to reduce the impacts of HFCs on global warming, especially now that the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol*1 is being translated into actual country regulations. For the European Union, the European Commission is currently considering an update of the existing F-Gas Regulation, which might result in stricter requirements for the use of refrigerants. Also VRF systems will be subject to the new regulation, if it comes into effect. VRF systems heat and cool large buildings such as offices, schools, hospitals and so on. To do this, multiple indoor units are connected to a single outdoor unit, and a closed refrigerant circuit flexibly moves through the system, allowing individual temperature control throughout the rooms of a building. The HFC refrigerant conventionally used in VRF systems is R410A.
The F-Gas regulation will force air conditioning and heating manufacturers to choose a refrigerant with a lower GWP. HFC-32 can provide a VRF solution with such a lower GWP refrigerant. This is where free access to Daikin’s patents can accelerate the adoption of HFC-32.
‘Daikin comprehensively evaluates a wide variety of refrigerants and promotes the selection of the appropriate refrigerant for each application, and currently considers HFC-32 to be the most suitable refrigerant for VRF systems.’, says Martin Dieryckx, General Manager Environmental Research Center. ‘HFC-32 has many advantages that can help reduce the environmental impact of air-conditioning. HFC-32 is a non-ozone depleting refrigerant and its GWP is one-third*2 of conventional R410A refrigerant. It provides excellent system performance and is readily available. As a single-component refrigerant, it is easy to recover, recycle and reclaim, which reduces the need for additional production of virgin refrigerant.’
Kazuhide Mizutani, General manager of EMEA Research Center, says ‘The patents that Daikin Europe pledged not to assert include those relating to the control of compressor rotation speed and safety systems such as refrigerant leakage sensors. The Pledge will make it easier for other air conditioning and heating manufacturers to develop VRF systems using HFC-32. Furthermore, promoting the installation of safety systems in equipment reduces the burden on air-conditioning installers to inspect equipment.’
Daikin Industries, the mother company of Daikin Europe, has pledged the non-assertion of the patents in relation to applicable air conditioning equipment using HFC-32 from 2019 in order to contribute to the environment. Apart from Daikin Europe's patents, the company simultaneously pledged today the non-assertion of the new 90 patents. Daikin Group aims to make further environmental contributions worldwide. A listing of the pledged patents and the specific controlling terms and conditions regarding the Pledge is available on the Daikin Group website (https://www.daikin.com/patent/r32).
(1) - The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol was adopted in the 28th Meeting of the Parties (MOP 28) in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2016. It targets to phase-down HFCs, with an 85% reduction of the CO2 equivalent global warming impact for Group 1 countries from 2019 to 2036, an 80% reduction for Group 2 countries from 2024 to 2045, and an 85% reduction for some countries and regions from 2028 to 2047.
(2) - GWP values based on 100-year time horizon from IPCC Forth Assessment Report (AR4).