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High-efficient EcoCute models launched

01 February 2008

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Leading Japanese brands showcased their latest CO2-based Heat Pump Water Heaters (EcoCute) at an industry show in Tokyo last week. Sanyo and Daikin received special awards for their new high-efficient and performing units.
After hitting the first 1 million sales in 2007, momentum is growing for EcoCute Water Heaters in Japan, with constant innovations entering the market every year. Leading manufacturers chose the ENEX (Energy and Environment Exhibition) in Tokyo this week to showcase their latest models featuring increased efficiency in different conditions, therefore contributing to reduce overall greenhouse gases emissions.

Awards to Sanyo & Daikin

Sanyo presented its innovative new Heat Pump able to operate efficiently under extremely low ambient temperature conditions (-20 degrees Celsius), being thus suitable for cold areas such as the Hokkaido region in north Japan. The unit, developed in co-operation with the Hokkaido Electric Power company, won the Chairman Prize of the Energy Conservation Centre of Japan (ECCJ), under the category of Low Ambient Multifunction EcoCute.

Sanyo’s new CO2 Heat Pump uses a ‘split cycle system’ allowing to increase by 50% the heating capacity and by 20% the Coefficient of Performance (COP) at -20° C ambient temperature, when compared to a ‘conventional cycle’ of a Sanyo model.

Daikin, on the other hand, also won the Chairman Prize of ECCJ for its CO2 Heat Pump. With a COP of 5.1, its latest EcoCute unit uses a special ‘water/CO2 Heat Exchanger’.

Trend towards increasing efficiency

The exhibition showed a trend towards high efficient Heat Pumps, with the majority of new models presenting a COP of over 5.0. This means a significant increase since the launch of EcoCute in 2001, where best models offered a maximum COP of 3.5. Sizes of EcoCute units have also decreased to fit smaller spaces, and new models have been developed to suit various needs (i.e. large integrated systems, industrial installations, extreme weather conditions, etc.).

Companies showcasing new models included:

  • Chofu: its new Ecocute Heat Pump reaches a COP of 5.1, combined with a silent operation, with maximum operating noise of only 38dB.
  • Corona: with similar efficiency, it offers an attractive slim design to fit in residential dwellings.
  • Panasonic (National): last year’s winner of the ECCJ award showcased a new model using a ‘vacuum insulation panel’, with overall improved efficiency.
  • Hitachi (see picture in image gallery)
Other exhibitors included TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company), offering information about its ‘switch’ campaign to promote the transition to all electric houses, or Yodobashi, the Japanese consumer electronics store. Its booth integrated an interactive game to raise awareness about CO2 emissions to the atmosphere related to the use of electronic equipment.


The ENergy & ENvironment Exhibition (ENEX) displayed from 30 January to 1 February in Tokyo technical innovations contributing to efficient and environmental solutions for the automotive and stationary sectors. The event is organized every year by The Energy Conservation Center of Japan (ECCJ), with the support of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). After the showcase in Tokyo, ENEX will also take place in Osaka from 21 to 23 February.

"Eco Cute" is the commercial name of heat pump water heaters in Japan, using the natural refrigerant CO2 (R744). Since its entry into the market in 2001, over 1 million EcoCute units have been sold in the country.


Godric Scott-Bader

Absolutely thrilled with your developments.. We fitted a Toshiba heat pump 5 years ago which is quite good.. but inadequate heating in our small home. actually a converted stable ..stone walls ..slate roof with " smart energy " solar panels.. which are OK Question>>> Can we upgrade the hot water from the panels to 1) supply the hot water without recourse to the 2.5 kw immersion heater & b) upgrade/re-use the existing water radiators , that were used by an oil boiler, with your Ecocute system ? ? ? !! this would give us better placed heating than the toshiba system..we are very keen to be efficient in energy.. & you appear to be the tops... congratulations
added 2008-11-30 21:14:27

Paul Pimentel

Is anybody in the US distributing and supporting Eco Cute water heaters?
added 2008-12-01 04:26:59


Is there a location in the US to purchase an Eco Cute water heater?
added 2009-04-06 06:32:42


try contacting Sanyo or itomic. they are on otherwise Daikin or Denso. even Panasonic.
added 2009-04-06 19:47:40

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