SANYO Air Conditioners has developed a solution for retailers with premises equipped with air conditioning that runs on the common refrigerant R22, which is being phased out under EU legislation.

SANYO launches solution for retailers caught out with ‘obsolete’ air conditioning
The refrigerant, which depletes the ozone layer, is being phased out across Europe. From the end of this year, it will become illegal to top up air conditioning systems with new R22, effectively making systems dependent on R22 obsolete – leaving retailers with a major problem.

There are estimated to be between 60,000 to 100,000 air conditioning systems still running on R22 in the UK alone.

SANYO’s R22 Renewal system enables rapid conversion of existing R22-based air conditioning systems to new high efficiency R410A systems at dramatically reduced cost. It uses existing refrigerant pipework to speed up installation and cut replacement costs by around 30 per cent.

It also delivers significant on-going savings in running costs for retailers, due to the increased energy efficiency of R410A equipment. These can be up to twice as efficient as the aging R22 systems they replace.

SANYO Renewal can be used with both existing SANYO systems and virtually all types of R22 systems from other leading manufacturers.

On most installations, existing wiring can also be used. Pipework containing so-called “flare connections” is upgraded to accommodate the higher working pressures of R410A. Existing indoor and outdoor units are then replaced with current products from SANYO’s range.

“The arrival of R22 Renewal is great news for retailers,” says Bob Cowlard, SANYO’s sales and marketing general manager. “There is a huge amount of R22-based air conditioning equipment out there in shops, department stores and retail parks up and down the country. With the ban on use of new R22 for service top-up coming into force at the end of 2009, those with R22 systems are seriously exposed.

“R22 Renewal enables R22 plant to be quickly replaced with modern, high efficiency air conditioning, saving around a third or more on replacement costs and delivering significant ongoing savings in energy costs. It is a win-win for all concerned, including the environment.”

SANYO is launching R22 Renewal across Europe to coincide with the implementation of the EU-wide ban on the use of new R22 for top up. From the end of the year, only recycled R22 may be used – which is likely to be very expensive and in short supply.

Bob Cowlard says: “R22 is still a mainstay for much of the installed base of air conditioning. The ban has been a long time coming, but many end users have so far failed to grasp the nettle. The timing, coinciding with the economic situation, hasn’t helped.

“However, it is highly risky not to take action, in the hope of obtaining sufficient reclaimed R22 to keep systems running. The truth is that there simply won’t be sufficient to go round, and the cost – where it is available – is likely to rise dramatically.

He added: “Renewal offers a practical, cost-effective solution – that is quick and effectively future-proofs end users against uncertainty. With energy costs predicted to rise year-on-year for the foreseeable future, the costs of conversion should pay for themselves many times over.”