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MHI Receives The Energy Conservation Center, Japan Chairman’s Award

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems, Ltd. (MHI Thermal Systems), a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, has won the “The Energy Conservation Center, Japan Chairman’s Award” in the “Best Practice Category” at the 2023 Energy Conservation Grand Prize sponsored by the Energy Conservation Center, Japan (ECCJ), with support from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The award was presented for measures taken by MHI Thermal Systems to eliminate boiler usage in a company plant through conversion to industrial heat pumps. This is the second time MHI Thermal Systems has received an award in the ECCJ’s Best Practices Category (first in 2021). An awards presentation ceremony will take place at TOC Ariake Convention Hall in Tokyo on January 31, 2024.

The award-winning measures taken by MHI Thermal Systems consisted of converting the heat sources used in the compressor plant at its Biwajima Works (Kiyosu, Aichi Prefecture) from steam boilers to industrial heat pumps. The conversion eliminated reliance on steam boilers and resulted in significant energy savings. In selecting MHI Thermal Systems for its award, ECCJ gave high marks to the energy conservation and environmental performance benefits reaped by replacing the existing boilers with industrial heat pumps as production process heat sources, and to the company’s achievement of technology to optimize its plant’s production process heating system, from the planning stage through to actual implementation.

MHI Thermal Systems has a diverse lineup of heat pumps developed to contribute to the achievement of carbon neutrality. Under its award-winning measures, heat pumps were used to optimize operating efficiency by measuring the old equipment’s heat usage volume. The temperature upper limit, which frequently constrains adoption of heat pumps, was expanded in range by changing the processing temperature conditions, enabling the adoption of heat pumps in all processes (Note). Conversion to heat pumps has reduced energy usage by the production plant’s heat sources by a 20% oil equivalent, and cut CO2 emissions by roughly 40%. These initiatives are also expected to be applied in other plants undertaking parts cleaning, surface treatment, etc.

The ECCJ Energy Conservation Grand Prize Awards were established to raise awareness of energy conservation throughout Japan and to contribute to global energy conservation through adoption of energy-saving products. The awards are presented to recognize outstanding energy conservation initiatives taken by businesses or workplaces, as well as superlative energy-saving products and business models that can serve as examples for others to follow.

MHI Group has declared intent to achieve net zero carbon neutrality by 2040 and is currently working to reduce CO2 emissions both from its own production plants and from customer sites where its products are used. MHI Thermal Systems, as part of MHI Group, encouraged by its newly received ECCJ award, will continue striving to develop technologies and products that will further reduce CO2 emissions and conserve energy going forward. It will also contribute toward realizing a carbon neutral world by providing its customers with thermal solutions applicable at similar production sites.

  • Equipment installations consisted of: MSV, air sourced heat pump chillers enabling water supply at a temperature of 60℃ in the parts cleaning process; the Q-ton Circulation, an air to water circular-heating heat pump that supplies water at a temperature of 75℃ in the surface treatment process; and Neppu-ton, a high temp wind generator using air to air heat pump capable of supplying air at 90℃ in the drying process. Q-ton Circulation and Neppu-ton are currently available only in the Japanese market.

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