Daikin Propane Heat Pump
Logo of Daikin. Credits: Daikin.

Daikin To Introduce First Residential Propane Heat Pump

Daikin Europe is set to launch the new Altherma 4 air-to-water heat pump series at ISH 2023, including models running on natural refrigerant propane.

Daikin Europe has announced the planned released in 2024 of its Altherma 4 series air-to-water residential heat pumps, which will include a propane (R290) model, the company’s first domestic heat pump using this refrigerant.

“[T]he complete refrigerant circuit is installed outside, and where feasible from safety aspects, certain product ranges will be provided with R290,” Daikin said in the announcement. The new products will be compatible with third party Home Automation Systems and Home Energy Management systems.

The series will be presented at the Stand E41, Hall 12.0 of the ISH 2023 trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany, March 13 to 17.

Other refrigerants that will be offered in the series are R32 and R454C, both flammable refrigerants, rated A2L. The former reports a medium GWP of 771 according to the latest IPCC report, making it subject to the revision of the EU F-gas Regulation HFC phase down. The latter, with a low GWP of 146, may be subject to restriction due to its consisting of HFO-1234yf 78.5% by mass when the PFAS Universal Restriction Intention unveils its measures on f-gases that are PFAS.

Daikin said it will also introduce a new European-wide support and guidance program for installers, aimed at continuing to provide adequate and qualitative training so that installed units run smoothly throughout the lifespan of the product.

“With the new series we are once again changing the market standard significantly, especially by fully focusing on decarbonizing heat,” said Patrick Crombez, General Manager Heating and Renewables at Daikin Europe. “These new developments ensure that both installers and end users enjoy peace of mind and feel good in their work and in their homes. Our heat pumps provide real ‘Feel Good Technology,’ which is our theme at ISH 2023.”

Last year, the company announced it would build an entirely new heat pump factory in Poland, which is expected to be operational by mid-2024.

Joining other manufacturers

Daikin is the latest company to announce R290-based heat pumps. In recent months other companies such as Viessmann, Panasonic and Vaillant have announced these systems, developed to fully decarbonize European heating without using high-GWP fluorinated greenhouse gases or PFAS. These companies come in addition to others already offering propane-based heat pumps, such as NibeEcoforest and HSK Lazar.

ATMOsphere, publisher of Hydrocarbons21.com, released a report last year finding that the European heat pump industry is investing substantially in heat pumps charged with natural refrigerants to meet the decarbonization goals agreed under the REPower EU. The European Commission noted in a recent study that natural refrigerant-based heat pumps can be a way for European companies to gain a competitive advantage against non-European companies.

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