Chinese manufacturer Midea Industrial Technology has redesigned its M Thermal Arctic Series air-to-water home heat pump to use propane (R290) refrigerant, with large-scale production slated to begin in July in Italy and China.
This development was shared by Nick Y., Heat Pump Manager Over Sales Company, Building Technologies Division, at Midea, in an interview at the ISH 2023 trade show, held in Frankfurt, Germany from March 13–17.
Midea began producing heat pumps in 2003, said Y. The new unit using R290 refrigerant is the fifth generation of the company’s Arctic Series with capacities ranging from 4 to 16 kW (1.1 to 4.5TR) and providing a maximum hot water temperature outlet of 75°C (167°F), employing under 1kg (2.2lb) of propane.
For markets with noise restrictions, Midea plans to develop and produce a quieter R290 heat pump later this year, Y. said, noting that both units will be launched to the market by the end of 2023.
Midea’s target for production is to “make sure the quality and design safety of the unit [are] completely good with sufficient product testing and training for installers,” said Y. Midea is ready for big capacity production, especially with the expansion of the factory in Italy.
Midea has moved to R290 heat pumps for comfort heating and domestic hot water for residential homes based on European Union directives, including the MAC Directive and proposed changes to the F-gas regulations.
In 2021, Midea made its All Easy R290 split air conditioners commercially available in Europe with its 2.6kW (0.7TR) and 3.5kW (1.0TR) cooling capacity-sized models qualifying for the Blue Angel ecolabel. For air-conditioning, air-to-air R290 heat pumps can save energy, said Y.
At Chillventa 2022, GMCC and Welling, brands of Midea, introduced R290-based variable-frequency heat pumps, heat pump compressors and air conditioners for residential applications. “The compact design of [our] compressors optimizes the clearances between valve plates, bearings and components and greatly reduces the amount of R290 refrigerant in compressors with low-oil technology,” the company said.
Midea Group started in 1968 in Beijiao, China, and employs over 166,000 people worldwide.
“[We want to] make sure the quality and design safety of the unit [are] completely good with sufficient product testing and training for installers.”Nick Y., Heat Pump Manager Over Sales Company, Building Technologies Division, at Midea