Briefs: Japanese programme for next generation heat pumps

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in Japan has set up the Next Generation Heat Pump Research Council within the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) in order to examine concrete research proposals. Its goals include doubling heat pump efficiency by 2050, developing renewable energy sources to power the heat pumps and halving installation costs. Some of the research axes include using solar and geothermal energy as well as waste heat and ventilation innovations. Over recent years various sources have mentioned such energy saving possibilities as energy use indexes, more widespread use of district heating and cooling, effective heat storage systems, application of IT and intelligent systems in energy management, variable speed, and even Northern exposure for air-air heat pumps. The IIR is co-sponsoring the NEDO's 2010 International Symposium on Next-generation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology to be held in Tokyo on February 17-19, 2010: