Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

October 14, 2010


Japanese Companies Develop Large Air-Conditioning Unit that Uses Untapped Thermal Energy

Keywords: Energy Conservation Manufacturing industry Non-manufacturing industry Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

JFS/Japanese Companies Develop Large Air-Conditioning Unit that Uses Untapped Thermal Energy
Copyright Tokyo Gas Co.

Tokyo Gas Co. and Hitachi Appliances Inc. announced on February 8, 2010, that they had jointly developed a large air-conditioning unit, called GENELINK, which is a steam-driven, highly efficient, double-functioning absorption heat pump. It is designed to utilize untapped low-temperature thermal energy for cooling and heating. In addition to steam, the new unit can use waste heat from a cogeneration system and solar power as its power source. This is the first commercialization of the new GENELINK heat pump in Japan (as of February 8, 2010).

Untapped thermal energy refers to the energy that has not yet been utilized, such as waste heat from factories and energy generated from river or sewage water, by using the difference in temperature -- cooler than the air in summer and warmer in winter. Amid a growing need to address global warming, reduction of carbon dioxide emissions is also expected with these air-conditioning devices. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Environmental Security Ordinance, which came into effect in April 2009, requires large businesses to explore the possibility of introducing eco-friendly devices and facilities that utilize such untapped energy sources.

The newly developed product uses untapped low-temperature thermal energy as heat source water for heating in winter and as coolant water for cooling in summer. Waste heat from cogeneration systems used to be available only for cooling; now it can also be utilized for heating with the new unit. Apart from waste heat, this new type of air-conditioning unit can utilize solar heat as well.

By utilizing untapped low-temperature thermal energy and waste heat from a cogeneration system effectively, it is estimated that the new air-conditioning unit can reduce steam use by 61 percent, which leads to energy savings of 42 percent and reduces annual CO2 emissions accordingly.

Tokyo Gas Co., official website

Posted: 2010/10/14 06:00:15 Am