Nidec Global Appliance, parent of Brazilian propane (R290) compressor manufacturer Embraco, is partnering with Accelerate Japan in anticipation of growing demand for R290-based systems in Japan’s commercial food retail sector.

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“Embraco is still strongly defending natural refrigerant [adoption] worldwide, including Japan,” said Guilherme Figueiredo, Sales Manager, responsible for Nidec Global Appliance’s Embraco portfolio in Japan.

“From Embraco‘s side, we do agree that [R290 adoption] is a global trend for the commercial refrigeration sector,” added Figueiredo. “For example, we already see this in Europe and the U.S.A., where these kinds of solutions are already being massively adopted.”

“From Embraco‘s side, we do agree that [R290 adoption] is a global trend for the commercial refrigeration sector,”

Guilherme Figueiredo, Sales Manager, Nidec Global Appliance’s Embraco portfolio in Japan

However, one of the main challenges in Japan, Figueiredo said, is the delayed completion of a risk assessment for A2L and A3 refrigerants currently being conducted by the Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association (JRAIA).

Originally expected to be completed in 2020, the completion of JRAIA’s risk assessment – and the associated publication of the new Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) covering R290 use in commercial refrigeration systems –  has been pushed to late 2021.

“This risk assessment has a strong influence on the local original equipment manufacturing (OEM) industry,” said Figueiredo. “The R290 option is still under discussion among local OEMs – though the food retail sector seems to be more advanced, running internal evaluations with R290 – but all opportunities are still under evaluation and scrutiny due to this delay on approval.”

Figueiredo said that the company is currently working on expanding its portfolio of products available in the Japanese market, adding smaller fixed- and variable- speed, three-phase-voltage compressors as well as condensing units, which will be launched “within this quarter”.

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