Panasonic’s modular ECOi-W AQUA-G BLUE heat pumps can cover heating and cooling demands of up to 640kW and 592kW, respectively. (Source: Panasonic)
Panasonic’s modular ECOi-W AQUA-G BLUE heat pumps can cover heating and cooling demands of up to 640kW and 592kW, respectively. (Source: Panasonic)

Panasonic Launches Reversible R290 Heat Pump Range for European Market

The modular heat pumps are designed to meet the heating and cooling needs of large commercial, residential and industrial applications.

Panasonic Heating and Cooling Solutions, the European division of Japanese manufacturer Panasonic, has announced the launch of a range of reversible propane (R290)-based heat pumps.

According to the manufacturer, the modular air-to-water units are designed to meet the heating and cooling requirements of large commercial, industrial and multi-dwelling residential applications.

The ECOi-W AQUA-G BLUE range of heat pumps consists of four models that offer heating capacities of 49.2–83.6kW (14–23.7TR) and cooling capacities of 48.2–74.1kW (13.7–21.1TR). Up to eight of the modular units can be combined to meet larger heating and cooling demands of up to 640kW (182TR) and 592kW (168TR), respectively.

High temperatures at high efficiencies

When in heating mode, the units can produce hot water at temperatures of up to 70°C (158°F) in ambient temperatures of 0°C (32°F), offering a “sustainable and energy-efficient solution for providing hot water in residential and commercial buildings,” according to Panasonic.

“The use of heat pumps for domestic hot water contributes to environmental sustainability as they typically produce lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional water heating methods, such as boilers,” it added.

In cooling mode, the reversible heat pump can produce water outlet temperatures of as low as −15°C (5°F) in ambient temperatures of up to 40°C (104°F) to ensure an “optimal operation” for process equipment in factories, it explained.

“The use of heat pumps for domestic hot water contributes to environmental sustainability as they typically produce lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional water heating methods, such as boilers.”

Panasonic

In addition to offering a wide operating range, the ECOi-W AQUA-G BLUE heat pumps, which include scroll compressor technology, have an A++ efficiency rating and a COP of up to 3.4, depending on the model.

“ECOi-W AQUA-G BLUE is designed to deliver exceptional performance that maximizes energy savings and minimizes environmental impact,” says Panasonic on its website. “[The units] can also be equipped with a variable-speed pump that automatically adjusts its speed according to the required capacity.”

According to the manufacturer, this addition can reduce the energy consumption of the pump when operating at partial load by up to 70% compared to a fixed-speed alternative.

Depending on the model, each unit contains 4.5–6.8kg (9.9–15lbs) of propane in a single refrigerant circuit. According to European Standard EN378, air-to-water units are not subject to charge limits if they are installed outside and not accessible to the public, such as if they’re placed behind a fence.

Expanding applications

In late 2022, Panasonic announced the launch of its Aquarea L Series propane residential air-to-water heat pumps, with  A+++ efficiencies with a Seasonal COP (SCOP) of up to 5.12. The product is designed to replace gas boilers in existing homes, with water outlet temperatures of up to 75°C (167°F).

In March 2023, Panasonic marked its entry into the commercial HVAC market with the launch of its R290-based heat pump chiller for light-commercial applications. This move followed the company’s acquisition of the commercial air-conditioning business of Swedish manufacturer Systemair in November 2022.

“We have a full R&D team working on these new solutions, and this team will be strengthened further this year,” said Andrea Cetrone, Managing Director of Panasonic Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning Italy, France and Tecnair, at the time. “Panasonic wants to cover the different needs of residential and light-commercial markets, and for that we need a full range of solutions.”

“Panasonic wants to cover the different needs of residential and light-commercial markets, and for that we need a full range of solutions.”

Andrea Cetrone, Panasonic

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