Press Release

Press Release

Development and Marketing of Highly-efficient Heat Pump Hot Air Generator "Neppu-ton "Japan's First Commercialized Heat Pump System nabling to Supply 90-degree Hot Air from Air Sources

February 13, 2017
Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems, Ltd., Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc., and Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. jointly developed Neppu-ton, a hot air generator that employs a highly efficient air-source heat pump (ASHP) system. This is Japan's first-ever air-source-based product capable of supplying hot air up to 90°C. The product will be released from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Thermal Systems, Ltd. in June 2017.

Fossil fuel-based steam boilers and hot air generators are commonly used in the drying processes of factories, at which hot air is employed. This is leading to demands for saving energy by adopting heat pump systems. Most conventional high-temperature heat pumps use hot-water generating or water-source systems that recover heat from factories' hot wastewater. There thus was a need for installing air heat exchangers and pipes to circulate hot and chilled water, thereby posing challenges in costs and in ensuring space.

As with room air conditioners for households, the newly developed Neppu-ton comprises an outdoor unit, which takes in atmospheric heat, and an indoor unit capable of directly generating hot air. The device achieved high efficiency boasting a COP of 3.5 and can generate hot air up to 90°C ; the highest ever temperature in Japan offered by an ASHP. This has made it easier for adopting heat pump systems into processes where factories employ hot air.

In a verification test, Neppu-ton was applied to dry laminating machines; units employed to place together films. Results revealed a roughly 50% cutback in consumed energy compared with conventional systems. The new device also had been used in spray driers, which are equipment that continuously manufactures granular products from fluid material, and had been confirmed to have no issue in drying qualities.

[Key features of Neppu-ton]


1.Capable of supplying hot air ranging from 60 to 90°C
Neppu-ton supports the drying temperature range of dry laminating machines and food: 60 to 90°C. With a hybrid system pre-heating the air supply of existing driers, the new device can be applied to drying processes that require air measuring above 90°C.

2.Ensures flexibility in installation
Neppu-ton is an ASHP system that takes in atmospheric heat, in turn eliminating the need for constructing a pump to circulate hot/chilled water and allowing for great flexibility in outdoor unit installations. The refrigerant pipe connecting the new device's indoor and outdoor units is extendable up to 50 m (one way), meaning the outdoor unit can be set up away from the indoor unit.

3.Significantly cuts back on energy, costs, and CO2
With high energy efficiency (COP3.5) and lower pipe heat loss achieved by distributed arrangement within factories, it was confirmed through demonstration tests that Neppu-ton can cut back roughly half of running costs, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions compared with steam heating systems, the installation of which needs to be centralized.

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