MHI Thermal Systems Receives ‘2021 Minister of the Environment Award for Climate Action’ for ‘Q-ton Circulation’ Air-to-Water Heat Pump

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TOKYO, Nov 25, 2021 – (JCN Newswire via SEAPRWire.com) – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems, Ltd. (MHI Thermal Systems), a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), has received 2021 Minister of the Environment for Climate Action Award sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment for its “Q-ton Circulation,” an air-to-water heat pump jointly developed with Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. The award was given in the Technological Development and Commercialization category in recognition of the development and promotion of an air-source type heat pump using a refrigerant with a low global warming potential (GWP)(1). The award ceremony will take place on December 8 at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition hall.

Q-ton Circulation

The Ministry of the Environment accolade marks the fourth award bestowed on the Q-ton Circulation. In 2019, the new heat pump received the 47th Technology Award from the Japan Society of Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (JSRAE). In 2021, it received the Excellence Award in the Refurbishment Equipment category of the 38th Excellent Energy Saving Equipment Awards (recipient: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Corporation) of the Japan Association of Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Contractors (JARAC), and also the Award for Excellence at the 24th Ozone Layer Protection and Global Warming Prevention Commendations sponsored by Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (The Daily Industrial News).

The Minister of the Environment for Climate Action Award program was introduced in 2020 to supersede the Environment Minister’s Awards for Global Warming Prevention Activity launched in 1998, the name change reflecting today’s societal focus on measures to counteract climate change. The award is given annually to individuals or groups having made noteworthy contributions to climate change mitigation (measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions) and accommodation to climate change (measures to avert or reduce impact from climate change).

The 2021 award is MHI Thermal Systems’ second to date: in 2019, the company received an Environment Minister’s Award for Global Warming Prevention Activity for its centrifugal chiller ETI-Z Series that adopt a low-GWP refrigerant.

The Q-ton Circulation is a heat pump used to produce sanitary hot water for use at hotels, spas and other bathing venues, and for circulation in production processes at machinery plants. Adoption of the R454C refrigerant featuring a GWP of 146, which is lower than the 150 clearance requirement now in force for refrigeration and other products used in Europe, contributes significantly to reducing environmental impact. The Q-ton Circulation also adopts a two-stage compression refrigeration cycle featured by its proprietary high-efficiency 3D scroll compressor; this ensures outstanding energy efficiency (COP(2) 3.3) and enables robust reductions in carbon emissions. Other advantages include 67% lower running costs and 52% lower energy consumption than use of a gas boiler(3). All told, replacement of existing boilers and electric heaters with the Q-ton Circulation can be expected to cut carbon emissions by wide margins.

With accelerating moves toward decarbonization in recent years, adoptions of high-efficiency heat pumps are gathering momentum to replace fossil-fueled steam boilers and electric heaters in factories that require circulating hot water for degreasing and parts cleaning. Conventional heat pumps, however, use chlorofluorocarbon and other refrigerants having a high GWP, so the market, in its quest to protect the global environment, has been calling for the development of heat pumps capable of heating water with high efficiency but using a low-GWP refrigerant. The Q-ton Circulation was developed in response to these needs, and the number of units installed to replace existing boilers or incorporated into new facilities has been steadily increasing since the product’s market launch in 2018.

Today, as the world moves toward realization of a carbon-neutral society by 2050, there is a growing call for products and services promoting decarbonization. Going forward, MHI Group is committed to harnessing its comprehensive technological strengths and synergies enabled by MHI Thermal Systems’ broad business scope, and applying them to the development of technologies and products that will further reduce environmental impact and help save energy, providing thermal solutions optimally responding to the diverse needs of the market. In addition, by reducing carbon emissions from the Company’s own production activities and throughout its value chain, MHI Group will strive toward achieving NetZero in 2040 and a carbon-neutral society soon thereafter.

(1) GWP is a measurement of global warming. The lower the GWP, the lighter is a product’s environmental impact.
(2) COP (coefficient of performance) is calculated based on Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS). The higher the value, the greater is a product’s energy efficiency.
(3) Calculated under the following conditions (subject to fluctuations depending on actual operating conditions):
– Water inlet temperature 60℃; outlet temperature 65℃, annual savings in running costs when a 40kW heat source is upgraded from a gas boiler to Q-ton Circulation
– 3,840 hours in operation per year (16 hr/d, weekdays only)
– Running costs for an outdoor installation in the Nagoya area
– Boiler system efficiency rating: 50%

About MHI Group

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world’s leading industrial groups, spanning energy, logistics & infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit www.mhi.com or follow our insights and stories on www.spectra.mhi.com.

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