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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Transport & Construction | DENSO Driving towards sustainable automotive society

Driving towards
sustainable automotive society


Based in Hungary, the DENSO Corporation has 187 companies and 120,000 employees worldwide, and emitted 1,350,000 t-CO2 in 2009.

There are more than 950 million vehicles running worldwide today – this number increases exponentially each year. Clearly, the automotive industry, and transport more widely, continue to be major pollutants of the environment and notable contributors to global warming. Car-parts manufacturer, DENSO, explains how this does not have to be the case.

Introducing the environmental programme Ecovision

This mid- and long-term policy will establish DENSO as a corporate group which contributes to the creation of an advanced automotive society through the realisation of cars that are kind to people and the Earth. It includes:

Eco Management: strengthening environmental management from a global perspective;

Eco Products & Eco Factory: pursuing development, design and production activities that emphasise the environment from a holistic perspective at every stage of the product lifecycle, from manufacture to market use and disposal; and,

Eco Friendly: actively disseminating information and coordinating with outside entities in a way that transcends industry borders while working to communicate with all stakeholders.

As the sector continues to expand particularly in emerging economies, the proportion of hybrid, bio-fuel and electric cars is forecast to increase in tandem. The impetus for diverse forms of energy results from limitations of oil resources and measures to curb global warming.

DENSO is developing technologies to enhance fuel efficiency in gasoline and diesel engines, power devices that accommodate higher power capacitance in automobiles, starters for idling stop systems and air conditioning systems with outstanding energy saving properties.

This approach extends to related product areas, provided by Denso, including a highly functional engine management system, car air conditioners, safety equipment and control equipment

Tackling CO2

Ejector Cycle - click to enlarge

The ongoing reduction of CO2 emissions is one of the most important issues in preventing global warming. To this end, the company assesses the level of CO2 emissions in all corporate behaviour from a global perspective; covering not only product development, production and logistics, but also administrative departments and employee behaviour. This then informs the company’s targets for emission reduction.

The highest CO2 emissions occur at the stage of use by the consumer, meaning major fuel efficiency can be achieved by using lightweight designs and high combustion efficiency.

The company has established targets that call for a reduction corporation-wide in CO2 emissions by 10% for 2011, as well as reduction of 40% in the basic unit, against 1991 levels; and a reduction in global consolidated production emissions basic unit encompassing all domestic and overseas Group companies by 20% for 2011 against 2001 levels.

CO2 emissions associated with energy consumption account for 82% of greenhouse gas emissions. DENSO has an energy reduction plan for each business location and company aimed at achieving these goals based primarily on innovating production processes, introducing highly efficient equipment and utilising natural energy. The plan is revised yearly and initiatives are subsequently implemented.

One especial success was reached In 2009. The company reduced emissions by 20,000t-CO2 as a result of installing five scrubbers used in semiconductor manufacturing processes and switching to gas.

Overall in 2009, emissions at DENSO Corporation were 96% of 1991 levels. Their five-year plan also contains the target of reducing emissions of other greenhouse gases (HCF, PFC, SF6) by 70%, using 2004 levels compared
to 2011.

A product innovation leading to reduced CO2 emissions

In response to the new fuel-economy regulations, DENSO has developed the world’s first ejector cycle which raises the coefficient of refrigerator and air conditioner performance, resulting in significant energy savings.

The ejector is used in the refrigeration cycle instead of an expansion valve. It has two functions in the cycle: expansion of the liquid refrigerant, and pump-like circulation of the refrigerant, and the following advantages:

  • uses energy which is dissipated as swirl in the expansion valve; and
  • reduces the work of the compressor, since the ejector also works a pump.
In a conventional refrigeration cycle, only the compressor circulates the refrigerant. This ejector saves fuel or electricity for operating the compressor. It reduces compressor power consumption by 11% at 25°C (77°F), 18% at 35°C (95°F), and 24% at 40°C (104°F). Additionally, it increases the coefficient of performance by 65% at 0°C comparing to conventional methods.

DENSO logo

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