Mayekawa, a leading Japanese manufacturer of ammonia and CO2-based refrigeration systems, recently presented research and development it is conducting on a new heat pump prototype that uses R600 (butane) as its refrigerant.

The research was presented at the International Symposium on New Refrigerants and Environmental Technology 2018 which was held 6-7 December in Kobe, Japan.

The goal of the project is to “develop a heat pump system that is able to deliver heat at the maximum temperature of 200°C with a coefficient of performance (COP) above 3.5”.

The system targets the food processing and chemical industries, where large amounts of waste heat are generated.

In its symposium presentation, Mayekawa argued that, rather than using boilers to provide hot water, businesses can increase their energy efficiency “more than 1.75 times” by lifting the temperature of waste heat with a heat pump system and reusing it.

The company said it had conducted a simulation and the “results showed that the initial target of heating the medium from 80°C to 180°C with a system COP of more than 3.5 can be realised”.

Going forward, the company states that actual performance evaluations of the prototype will be carried out while components such as the compressors and heat exchangers will continue to be optimised.

In addition, Mayekawa notes that the “application of other non-flammable refrigerants will be considred since R600 used as the working fluid in this study is flammable.”

A release date of the system was not specified.

Mayekawa is also the manufacturer of the successul line of UNIMO CO2-based heat pumps, which provide hot water up to 90°C for hospitals, hotels, and food processing facilities.

Mayekawa is a Gold Sponsor of the upcoming ATMOsphere Japan 2019 conference, at which Executive Managing Director Ichiji Ishizu will join Panasonic’s Shigeru Dohno on-stage for an exclusive interview discussing natural refrigerant technology.

The event will be held on 12 February 2019. See the latest programme here.

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