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Daikin Europe increases use of green energy with solar panels at Ostend plant


Daikin Europe N.V. has added to its green energy bank by the installation of almost 2,000 solar panels at its Ostend, Belgium production plant. Designed to produce around 400,000 kW electricity per year (the equivalent consumption of 115 households), the system went on stream at the end of August and the energy generated will help power Daikin’s on-site operations.

Daikin Europe originally considered the use of solar panels some five years ago but since the efficiency of the then available technology was inadequate, purchased green electricity on the market, reducing its environmental footprint and resulting in a drastic reduction of CO2 emissions. However, solar panel efficiency has improved considerably and the decision to install panels was examined again and approved in 2010. Work began at the end of April and the system became operational at the end of August.

The deployment of solar panels is very much in line with the overall environmental policy of the company and its intention to decrease dependence on electricity suppliers and the choice of solar panels was taken after considering other solutions including wind turbines. The installation will result in a yearly savings of up to 160 tonnes of CO2. System capacity of 400,000 kW per year was dictated by limitations in the region’s electricity grid due to the high number of renewable systems already in place.

The solar panels are located on certain plant roofs at Ostend site and to highlight the effort and increase environmental awareness the performance of the installation will be visible via screens in the factory and reception area. Real time data will include daily energy production, CO2 saved and comparisons with previous periods. Minimum life of the installation is 20 years but actual life is expected to be 30-40 years.

Daikin Europe N.V. announces the expansion of its Daikin Altherma heat pump range to cover large-scale commercial applications in which space heating and hot water production are a priority. Due to the use of Daikin Altherma cascade technology, large volumes of hot water (with temperatures up to 80°C) can be produced efficiently, making the system ideal for applications with a high demand for space heating and/or hot water heating.

Large capacity hot water production for the commercial market

The optimised Daikin Altherma Flex Type series produces leaving water temperatures from 25° to 80°C, making it suitable for all types of radiators, under floor heating, fan coil units, heat pump convectors as well as hot water production. Typical applications include hotels, fitness centres, spa facilities, hospitals, libraries and schools. The high leaving water temperatures also make it ideal for upgrading existing heating systems, allowing retention of existing high temperature radiators.

The use of Daikin Altherma cascade technology: two refrigerants – R-410A and R-134a – in a cascade configuration, enables the system’s high leaving water temperatures to be produced without an electric heater. The outdoor unit elevates the temperature and pressure level of the first refrigerant cycle (R-410A) and the indoor units raise this to even higher levels with the second refrigerant cycle (R-134a), resulting in water temperatures up to 80°C using only heat pump technology.

Hot water temperatures up to 75°C result in highly efficient hot water production with rapid heat-up times and the system can be connected to Daikin hot water tanks as well as to (existing) 3rd party tanks. Daikin solar heating can also be integrated for even greater efficiency.

Low running costs
Daikin Altherma cascade technology, in combination with inverter controlled compressors and weather dependant temperature control, results in extremely efficient operation. Running costs can be up to 36% less than comparable oil or gas installations, with up to 35% less primary energy use and up to 71% less CO2 emissions.

Furthermore, optimal dimensioning further enhances efficiency, the system’s modular construction and several different capacity classes of indoor and outdoor units allowing precise configuration for specific needs. The indoor and outdoor units are compact and lightweight, for quick, flexible installation.

The Daikin Altherma Flex Type units extend the existing Daikin Altherma range of low temperature and high temperature systems intended for individual houses and apartment blocks.

Daikin Europe products are distributed in the UK by Daikin Airconditioning UK Ltd and Space Airconditioning plc.

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