With the environmental pressure on R410A refrigerant increasing, Mitsubishi Electric’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of air conditioning has seen the introduction of New Zealand’s first VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) solution that has utilised R32 Refrigerant.
Mitsubishi Electric has long been a pioneer in the world of air conditioning and the world’s first R32 Hybrid VRF product range puts the company at the forefront of the industry.
The system utilises the low GWP refrigerant R32, providing a real solution that delivers high operational efficiency whilst minimising the global warming potential of the refrigerants used within these systems.
The Mitsubishi Electric R32 VRF solution is an evolution of Mitsubishi Electric’s Hybrid VRF system. First introduced in 2014, this unique 2-pipe Hybrid VRF system combines VRF and chiller technologies using water throughout the majority of the pipework to efficiently transfer simultaneous heating and cooling to different spaces.
By using water as the heat transfer fluid for the majority of the air conditioning system, Hybrid VRF minimises the overall amount of refrigerant charge in the system.
Furthermore, with only water circuits connecting to the indoor units, Hybrid VRF minimises the need for leak detection leading to significant reductions in on-going maintenance and installation costs in the controlled space that would be needed to comply with AS/NZS 5149. (1-4) 2016.
The 2-pipe Hybrid VRF system offer the same comfort levels normally associated with 4-pipe fan coil systems. In addition, the system also features the same design flexibility, operational efficiency and advanced control that Mitsubishi Electric traditional VRF is renowned for.
Because Hybrid VRF now also incorporates R32 refrigerant, it delivers a VRF system with a significantly lower global warming potential (GWP) than existing solutions.
In fact, the shift from R410A to R32 Refrigerant realises a massive 66% reduction in global warming potential.
Over the last 4 years Hybrid VRF applications have already enjoyed significant growth in New Zealand, successfully incorporated in a variety of designs ranging from offices, hotels, retirement villages, education facilities, medical centres and much more.
The introduction of the new R32 Hybrid VRF Range now provides the obvious answer for those customers looking for a future-proof heating and cooling solution that delivers advanced efficiency with improved corporate social responsibility and minimise environmental impact.
The global community is in a race to lower its carbon footprint and decrease the rate of global warming before it is too late.
As part of this drive, the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol – ratified on the 3rd of October 2019 – dictates the rate of phase down of HFC refrigerants for New Zealand as part of this strategy – and will commence on the 1st of January 2020.
It is estimated that this directive has the potential to avoid aggregate emissions of more than 90 Giga tonnes CO2e by 2050 – equivalent to two years of total global greenhouse gas emissions (US EPA 2016)!
The key to achieving this goal is the shift away from traditional refrigerants such as R410A.
Replacing traditional refrigerants to those with a much lower GWP, will be a big step towards significantly reducing the future potential rate of rise in the earth’s temperature and the catastrophic effects that would have on our planet.
GWP is a measure of the warming potential as compared to CO2 which has a unitary GWP of 1.
R32 Refrigerant is zero ozone depleting and has a GWP 66% less than R410A. For example R410A will hold 2,088 times more heat when released in the upper atmosphere than the equivalent amount of CO2 would.
R32 refrigerant is being adopted by Mitsubishi Electric as an important step in the process towards the ultimate goal of a zero ODP, zero GWP, efficient, safe, and non-toxic refrigerant.
In New Zealand specifically, the ETS has put a price on greenhouse gas emissions and provides an incentive to reduce emissions and promote strategies to absorb carbon dioxide. This is known as the SGG (Synthetic Greenhouse Gas) Levy.
Due to the increasing cost of refrigerant associated with the ETS Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Levy (NZ), building capital and maintenance costs will continue to climb using traditonal heating and cooling systems that utilise higher GWP refrigerants such as R410A.