The Energy Conservation Center, Japan, announced on January 22, 2014, the winners of the 2013 Energy Conservation Awards. The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Prize was awarded to a peak-shift vending machine developed by Coca-Cola Japan Co. The Director-General Natural Resources and Energy Prize was awarded to an energy-saving air-conditioner called the Five Star Zeas Series, which was developed by Daikin Industries for office use. Both companies are corporate members of Japan for Sustainability.
By using vacuum insulation material and improving air-tightness, the peak-shift vending machine is capable of operating solely on standby electricity for up to 16 hours from 7am to 11pm, when electricity use peaks in Japan. The company’s efforts to make consumers aware of this feature for shifting electricity use to off-peak times when launching the 28,000 new machines nationwide was also rated highly.
Daikin’s office air-conditioner uses the new energy-saving refrigerant R32 for the first time in the world. To maximize the performance of the refrigerant, Daikin has incorporated a refrigerant circuit controlled by two motor-operated valves, and a heat exchanger consisting of tubes of different diameters optimal for refrigerant flow when cooling or heating, to improve energy conservation performance.
The number of entries for the 2013 Awards was 146. There were 25 winners in the Energy Conservation category, and another 25 in the Products and Business Models category. Among the JFS corporate members, Toyota Motor Corp’s efforts for running energy-efficient and sustainable plants, and LIXIL Corporation’s development of a next-generation standard window called SAMOS, a window sash with 33 percent higher insulation, were also chosen as winners.