The 'Mirai' R32-based air conditioning units are aimed at the 'luxury' domestic housing market. The units are wall-mounted and use the refrigerant which has a low global warming potential (GWP), namely 675, which is considerably less than R410A, whose GWP is 2088.
R32 also needs 30% less refrigerant charge than a comparative system using R410A, which means that CO2 emissions are over 76% less too.
Toshiba UK general manager, David Dunn said:
“As most people will be aware, R32 is classified as slightly flammable under certain, specific conditions. However, following thorough testing and evaluation, it is now widely accepted within the industry that as long as good practice is followed, any risks are exceptionally small and can be managed – and fully acceptable in the light of the significant environmental benefits.”
Low Flammability Risk
The Toshiba Mirai units have new features including 'dustless operation on the fan coils because of a special coating, greater heating capacity and lower noise because of a larger fan. To reduce the risks of sparks the units have brushless motors and a power relay replacing the contactor, as well as fireproof steel enclosures to reduce the risk of flames developing.
Toshiba is not planning to bring large R32 systems into the UK now, believing that the low GWP refrigerant is best-suited to smaller air conditioning systems.
Toshiba's Mirai R32 air conditioning units come in capacities ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 kW, and will be available from the end of May 2016.