Best of CO2 heat pumps in 2011: new markets, innovative products, latest developments

By team, Dec 28, 2011, 08:30 8 minute reading

In 2011, CO2 heat pumps have entered new markets, in water heating applications they have achieved new COPs and have conquered colder climate zones. summarises the major trends and gives an overview of the most interesting news such as the world biggest CO2 heat pump in 2011.

Over the last 12 months, CO2 heat pumps have undergone several technological advances and entered a number of new markets. Find below a selection of news that have marked the year in the field of CO2 heat pumps. Should you have another article or news item that you think should be part of this listing, we would be happy if you let us know!

New markets & market trends

Korean CO2 HP water heaters by Samsung, new line up by Toshiba Carrier – Eco Cute Update: The South Korean companies Samsung and LG have received government funding to develop Korean CO2 heat pump water heaters. End of November 2011, Samsung Electronics presented their first prototype. The development of this Korean Eco Cute was carried out in the context of the South Korean’s government Project to Support Technological Development of domestic companies. When the budget was allocated in November 2010, Samsung had been chosen to develop medium to large size commercial CO2 heat pump water heaters and LG Electronics had been selected to develop smaller sized residential ones.

French McDonald’s invests in CO2 heat pump: McDonald\\\'s has long suffered criticism for its environmental practices and food. Recently however, the company has undergone an image change, proving itself as a company that values sustainability. A recently opened French McDonald’s is using latest environmental design, including a CO2 heat pump.

Eco Cute: an emerging technology in the US water heating market
: A study recently released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) examines emerging energy-efficient water heating technologies and practices as of 2011 that can save around $ 18 billion in energy consumption. The Japanese “Eco Cute” heat pump water heater is considered in the study as one of the potential applications.

CO2 heat pump water heaters tailored to Europe
: At ATMOsphere Europe 2011 last week in Brussels, Georges Khoury, Chief Engineer of ECO Activities at Sanden, presented their CO2 heat pump water heater for the European market. Based on the Japanese Eco Cute, the high efficiency CO2 heat pump has been optimised for European countries and field-tested in 12 family homes.

An almost €17 billion market by 2020
: In July 2011, the market research company Fuki Keizai has published a summary of their latest study. They estimate that the market for air-to-air and ground-to-air heat pumps will grow in the next 9 years 30.3% globally to reach 24.291 trillion (~ €218.732 billion) and 13.7% in Japan to reach 1.887 trillion (~ €16.983 billion). Heat pumps are furthermore very likely to grow strongly in the domestic water heater (Eco Cute) sector, as well as in commercial and industrial refrigeration.

Exclusive interview with Professor J. Chen about CO2 heat pumps in China: Dr. Jiangping Chen, Professor of the Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, talked to about the imminent launch of CO2 heat pump water heaters in China, the special conditions in the Chinese market, the main barriers to overcome and the prospect of success of the technology in the country.

Around the world with CO2 heat pumps: From Ireland to China, and Japan to Denmark, CO2 heat pump water heaters are making inroads into homes, commercial and industrial applications.

Heat pumps: market push in the EU - market pull in the UK
: Under its principal instrument for funding research, the European Union is calling for research proposals on ‘Next generation heat pump technologies’ and on ‘Large scale systems for urban heating and cooling’ that make use of low temperature waste heat. Meanwhile, the UK published more details on a scheme that will provide grants for the installation of heat pumps to households off the main gas grid.

Mayekawa CO2 heat pump makes US debut at California winery: The integration of a CO2 heating and cooling system in a California winery has been completed. Among other elements, the system features a Mayekawa electric-driven hot water heat pump that uses CO2 refrigerant for glycol cooling and hot water heating. With a proven record of effectiveness in Japan and Europe, the CO2 refrigerant heat pump makes its US debut at the winery.

Innovative products

enEx presents GEOPLUS, the new CO2 Heat Pump/Chiller: The Italian manufacturer specialized in design and production of innovative refrigeration and heating systems is adding a new CO2 heat pump to the product database. The heat pump GEOPLUS features high efficiency and reliability independent from ambient conditions.

Eco Cute Update: new line-up with 5.1 COP by Panasonic, upgrades by Hitachi and domestic statistics in Japan
: Panasonic claims to have achieved the highest COP for Eco Cute so far. In September, Panasonic has put a commercial Eco Cute on the market, which the company says is the first one to achieve a COP of 5.1. Compared to Panasonic’s heat pump ranges so far, this is an improvement of 25% in energy efficiency. The CO2 heat pump water heater was designed for commercial use such as in restaurants and welfare institutions. Furthermore, the heating performance from low temperature to boiling point as well as freeze protection have been improved. The new line-up works well in ambient temperatures down to -20°C, making it also suitable for use in cold climates.

thermeco2 high-temperature heat pump enables university campus to reduce CO2 emissions by 46%: In June 2011, thermea.Energiesysteme installed one of their first high-temperature heat pumps thermeco2 at the campus of the University of Applied Sciences South Westphalia in Soest. The technology facilitates significant energy cost savings and a reduction of CO2 emissions by 46%, summing up to around 29 tons of saved CO2 emissions per year.

Advansor launches world’s biggest CO2 heat pump
: As part of the Sunstore 4 district heating project in Denmark, the Danish pioneer for CO2 solutions is launching a 1500 kW heat pump which is supposed to be the largest CO2 heat pump worldwide.

Simulating brine-to-water CO2 heat pump prototypes in Norway and Austria
: The development and testing of brine-to-water CO2 heat pump prototypes for domestic hot water-only operation and for combined space heating and hot water production took place in Norway and Austria under the IEA Heat Pump Programme’s collaborative project on the “economical heating and cooling systems for low energy houses”. The project has now been completed and final reports have been published.

Mayekawa: New CO2 supercritical heat pump and high-pressure screw compressor: As one of the most advanced companies in industrial refrigeration, Mayekawa has developed a range of brand new products for CO2 applications: The new heatCO2m supercritical heat pump for R744 generates hot water by recovering heat energy from any waste heat source. The new GH series of high pressure screw compressors is designed for various natural refrigerants.

New CO2 heat pump gives CAT visitors a glimpse of the future: The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), an independent organisation based in Wales, will now showcase a SANYO air-source, carbon dioxide-based heat pump as part of practical courses for people visiting the centre from all over the UK and the world.

Policy developments

England abolishes planning permission for certain domestic air-source heat pump installations: As of 1 December 2011, planning permission is no longer required for the installation, alteration or replacement of certified air-source heat pumps by certified installers on domestic premises in England, provided that they meet certain specifications with regards to siting, the volume of the outdoor compressor unit and noise levels.

New Chinese CO2 heat pump standard: On 1 June 2011 a new Chinese CO2 heat pump standard was formally implemented. Standard GB/T26181-2010 is for hermetic motor-compressors for household and similar use heat pump water heaters using CO2 refrigerant, and is expected to accelerate the introduction of new products to the Chinese market.

Revised EHPA hot water heat pump quality label underway: The heat pump quality label administered by the European Heat Pump Association has become available for hot water heat pumps up to 100 kW.


R744 heat pump performance analysed in ICR research papers: On the fourth day of the International Congress of Refrigeration two technical sessions on “Heat Pumps and Natural Refrigerants” were organised highlighting results for CO2 heat pump performance for commercial and residential applications. presents a summary of three of the research papers, from Asia, Europe and the USA.

ICR – Korean study of solar hybrid CO2 heat pump systems: On Wednesday 24 August at the seminal International Congress of Refrigeration (ICR) research on a CO2 solar hybrid heat pump for residential applications was presented in a technical session on “Solar and waste heat cooling”. The research paper showed the importance of heat pump operating temperature and outdoor operating temperature on solar collector efficiency, solar collector heat, and heating COP.

Case studies

Eco Cute case study: Potentially saving €73,349 per year: A Spa in Japan installed in October 2010 a heat pump system with 11 commercial CO2 heat pump water heaters. According to simulations carried out beforehand, the accumulated cost savings could amount to €73,349 per year while at the same time saving 32% of carbon emissions compared to a gas boiler system.

Eco Cute case study: shifting hot water production to night time: A business hotel in Tottori, south-west Japan, has opted for a hot water system based on commercial Eco Cutes to achieve energy efficiency and low running costs. A common bathing area has helped shift hot water demand patterns, taking full advantage of the heat pump system characteristics.

Case study: Eco Cute hybrid system in cold climate: A common reproach of Eco Cute is their difficulty in performing in cold climates. A solution to this problem has been proposed in form of a hybrid system, giving the CO2 hot water heat pump support from electric heaters when temperatures drop. A school canteen in the northeast of Japan that was equipped with the system two years ago shares its experience.

Eco Cute case study in Asa Hospital: saving cost and energy: The installation of a hybrid system integrating commercial size Eco Cutes allowed the Asa Hospital in Hiroshima, Japan, to save money and considerably reduce carbon emissions. summarises the case study published in the newsletter of the Heat Pump & Thermal Storage Technology Centre of Japan.


By team (@r744)

Dec 28, 2011, 08:30

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