Edit Proposal: Milestone-Proposal:Inverter-driven residential air conditioner 1981 You do not have permission to edit this page, for the following reason: You are not currently logged in. The action you have requested is limited to users in the group: Users. Please log in or create an account. Docket ID: (admins only) Thank you for proposing a technical achievement for possible recognition as an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing. Your efforts help preserve the heritage of technology. Detailed information on the Milestone application process may be found at: Milestone Guidelines and How to Propose a Milestone. At least one of the proposer(s) must be an IEEE Member (including Student Member) in good standing. To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? If the answer is "yes", the proposal cannot proceed further. Yes No You must be able to answer "yes" to all of the following questions. If the answer to any of the following questions is "no", the proposal cannot proceed further. Contact us at email@example.com if you are unable to answer "yes" to all of the following and would still like to proceed. Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes No Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes No Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes No Was it of at least regional importance? Yes No Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes No Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes No Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes No Has the owner of the site given permission to place an IEEE plaque? Yes No Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred: Title of the proposed milestone. (Include date or date range in title. Example: “Alternating Current Electrification, 1886”) Please provide a plaque citation in English summarizing the achievement and its significance. Text absolutely limited by plaque dimensions to 70 words; 60 is preferable for aesthetic reasons. NOTE: The IEEE History Committee shall have final determination on the wording of the citation. Names of living persons are not normally used in citations. Exceptions to this are cases where the person's name is linked to the achievement itself (e.g. the Lempel-Ziv algorithm, Maxwell's Equations, etc.) or where the person's name is so widely recognizeable to the general public that it makes sense to use it. When used, the names should be the names of the engineers, scientists, or technologists who actually made the achievement, rather than managers or executives. For more information and suggestions about writing milestone citations, please visit Helpful Hints on Citations, Plaque Locations. Toshiba developed and mass-produced the world’s first split-type air conditioners with inverter-driven compressors for commercial and residential applications in 1980 and 1981, respectively. Compact and robust inverters using power electronics technologies allowed variable-speed control of the compressors for optimized air-conditioning operations, with significantly improved comfort and energy efficiency. These innovations led to widespread use of inverter air conditioners across the world. In what IEEE section(s) will the milestone plaque(s) reside? Please specify the IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone, and supply name and contact information for the senior officer from those OU(s). Sponsorship has three aspects: 1) Payment for the cost of the plaque(s), 2) Arranging the dedication ceremony, and 3) agreeing to monitor the plaque and to let IEEE History Center staff know in case the plaque needs to be moved, is no longer secure, etc. Number 3 must be done by the IEEE Section(s) in which the plaque(s) is located, but aspects 1 and 2 can be done by any IEEE Organizational Unit, and they need not be the same one. Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address. IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s) Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: Unit: Senior Officer Name: E-mail: IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque IEEE Section: IEEE Section Chair name: IEEE Section Chair e-mail: IEEE Section: IEEE Section Chair name: IEEE Section Chair e-mail: Milestone proposer(s) Proposer name: Proposer email: Proposer name: Proposer email: Proposer name: Proposer email: Proposer name: Proposer email: Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s). Please include coordinates in decimal format rather than degrees. What is the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s) relation to the achievement? The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque. Also, please Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). (e.g. Is it corporate buildings? Historic Site? Residential? Are there other historical markers already at the site?) Are the original buildings extant? Please provide the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. How is the intended plaque site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public? If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give details as well as the contact information visitors will need in order to arrange to visit the plaque. Who is the present owner of the site(s)? In the space below, please describe in detail: the historic significance of the achievement, its importance to the evolution of electrical and computer engineering and science, its importance to regional/national/international development, its benefits to humanity, the ways the achievement was a significant advance rather than an incremental improvement of existing technology. The material submitted here will constitute the main descriptive article on the ETHW website for readers to learn about the milestone. Space is unlimited, and detail is encouraged. Most milestones require 1000 to 1500 words of support, however there is no word limit. The article should be readable by a wide audience that includes practicing engineers, scholars of history, and the general public. Some examples of the text of good milestone articles are First Radio Astronomical Observations Using Very Long Baseline Interferometry] and G3_Facsimile International Standardization of G3 Facsimile (Do not worry about the formatting of the page, IEEE History Center Staff will do that afterwards.) What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? The achievement is about the world first inverter split air conditioners developed and commercialized by Tokyo Shibaura Electric Co., Ltd. or Toshiba, as known as Toshiba Carrier Corporation today . Toshiba manufactured 100 units and 10,997 units for commercial and residential use, respectively, during the first year after the product launch in Japan in 1980 and 1981, respectively  . Inverter split air conditioners have been widely used around the world since then to address global needs for air conditioning and have brought a breakthrough to the HVAC industry for triggering evolutions in later generations in terms of improved energy efficiency and comfort of the HVAC products. [9 ; p.40, p.72] The air conditioner has its origin in the United States as seen in an ice machine patented for the invention of Dr. John Gorrie in 1851 and the first modern air conditioning unit invented by Dr. Willis Carrier in 1902. Once considered a luxury, the air conditioner is essential and vital to maintain economy and daily lives around the world.  In the early 70s, which is before the emergence of the inverter air conditioner, cooling/heating (i.e. heat pump) type air conditioners had a limited heating capacity and most of them needed auxiliary electric heaters in their indoor units to complement their heating capacity. As energy-saving awareness rose in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, the emergence of new technology was long awaited for reducing energy loss by a continuous control of compressor capacity so that the conventional on-off control for temperature adjustment was to be replaced. Japanese HVAC manufacturers stood up to develop such new technology, as Japan, a nation scarce with key natural resources such as oil, was one of the countries hardest hit by the oil crisis and was desperate to address a nationwide call for energy conservation. [9 ; p.4] The HVAC industries inside and outside Japan in fact had already started earlier to study various options for such new technologies. Many had predicted that the use of an inverter, or frequency converter, would be an optimal choice to serve the purpose, but inverters in those days were too large and expensive to be built into air conditioners . Despite these challenges, Toshiba, with a state-of-the-art high-power transistor and microprocessor-controlled sinusoidal pulse width modulation, achieved a significant downsizing in its inverters. An inverter whose size and weight was only one-sixth that of a conventional inverter, was instrumental in Toshiba’s mass-production of 100 units and launch of the world’s first air conditioner for commercial use in October 1980 . Toshiba’s next quest was to apply this inverter technology to residential air conditioners in the hope that the technology would also allow flexible capacity changes for residential air conditioners. The development started in December 1980. The biggest challenge was the price and size of the inverter. Given the size of residential air conditioning units, which are far smaller than commercial units, considerable effort for additional downsizing of inverter was necessary with a minimized cost. Through numerous trials and errors especially with developing the compressor and inverter for nearly two years, however, the residential split air conditioners were finally complete in September 1981 for mass-production and product launch in Japan. The size of the inverter was reduced to one-third that of a commercial inverter, which was small enough to be mounted above the compressor inside the outdoor unit, and the cost was reduced to 40% of the commercial air conditioners. Toshiba mass-produced 10,997 units of the residential air conditioners in Year 1 after the product launch. The energy efficiency of the inverter residential air conditioners saw approximately 40% improvement from that of the conventional fixed-speed models. [Photo1][Photo2]. The product received a rave review after a press release on December 12, 1981. Other HVAC players, who were reluctant to the challenging development of downsized inverters and lower costs and initially skeptical on Toshiba’s move, eventually followed suit of Toshiba after seeing Toshiba expanded its inverter lineup the following year. These circumstances have driven the ownership ratio of residential inverter air conditioners in Japan ahead of other countries by far and have also boosted Japanese HVAC manufacturers to a leading position in the world. In addition, the technologies used for the achievement, including drive control and downsizing, were also instrumental in promoting innovation of other various inverter-driven home appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines. The inverter air conditioner, whose origin is Japan, is nowadays widely used throughout the world and is considered to have become the global standard of air conditioners. In 2018, countries and regions such as Japan, China, Europe, and Oceania saw a high inverter air conditioner ratio at 100%, 74%, 82%, and 100%, respectively. The inverter ratio in North America was notably low at 13%, because the inverter split air conditioning technology is relatively new in a long air conditioning history of North America; however, the inverter split air conditioner segment including residential ductless split air conditioners and variable refrigerant flow systems (VRF) has been recently growing faster than the entire heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) market in North America, and almost all U.S. based major HVAC manufacturers have added residential ductless split air conditioners and VRF to their product portfolio. The inverter ratio in regions such as the Middle East and Asia except for Japan and China are relatively low at 20% and 40%, respectively. However, as a part of efforts to tackle global environment issues and mitigating climate changes, many countries in the world including emerging countries are tightening their regulations on energy label and are shifting from conventional non-inverter fixed-speed air conditioners to inverter variable-speed air conditioners . In addition, the inverter air conditioner is generally considered to bring better comfort to the humanity compared to the fix-speed air conditioner and as a result is contributing to improved human health, economy, and daily lives. [9 ; p.40] As for historical significance in electrical engineering and science, the advent of the inverter split air conditioner has also made a significant contribution in the evolution of heat pump air conditioners. Heat pumps as a mechanism to pump up heat for both cooling and heating operations of air conditioners have existed for many years, however, in its early days the mechanism was mainly used not for both cooling and heating but for cooling only because of the low heating efficiency of heat pumps and the low fuel prices, which gave the edge to combustible heating systems using oil or gas. In order for heat pumps to be comparable to combustible heating systems in terms of energy efficiency, it was essential for heat pumps to attain 3 in Coefficient of Performance (COP, defined by the ratio of the output thermal energy to the input power).[9 ; p.72] The advent of the inverter heat pump air conditioner drastically changed such landscape in Japan. In the early 1990’s, the evolution of inverter drive and power semiconductor device technologies played a major role to raise the energy efficiency of residential air conditioners above 3 in COP. In 1999, as Japan introduced the “Top Runner Program”, under which energy efficiency targets are set to be achieved within a given number of years on the basis of the most efficient model on the market, it propelled the competition among the HVAC manufacturers in Japan for improving its heat pump systems with the key inverter technology as well as other technologies such as inverter field oriented control, the use of rare earth permanent magnets and concentrated stator windings for compressors, and improved cooling fans and heat exchangers. As a result, the heat pump air conditioners witnessed a dramatic improvement in energy efficiency as the COP value in 2006 reached well above 6 for residential use and was able to run at the half the cost of combustible heating systems in a similar capacity [9 ; p.17, 39, 72]. Engineering efforts with inverter air conditioning technology have also raised the position of heat pumps to another level. In Japan, triggered by electric power shortage resulting from the nuclear power plant shutdown in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, the national government has been promoting the J-Credit Scheme, under which the government certifies the amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduced or removed by carbon dioxide sinks through efforts to introduce energy-saving devices as credit, and high efficiency heat pumps and high efficiency air conditioning facilities are included in this program . In EU, heat pumps have been recognized as a renewable energy technology since 2006 and the aerothermal energy captured by heat pump is counted in its energy-related statistics. [9 ; p.54] In Japan, heat pumps have been positioned as a renewable energy technology by the Act for Enhancement for Energy Supply Structure of Japan since 2010. [14 ; p.3, p.9] In such respects, the technology of inverter air conditioners, after almost 40 years since the first product was brought to the world, remains to be one of the key technologies. For its revolutionary innovation in the history of air conditioning technologies, the achievement has been bestowed with some of the highest honors in Japan: the Ichimura Prize in Industry for Distinguished Achievement in 1984 from the New Technology Development Foundation and the First “One-Step on Electro-Technology” in 2008 by the Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan . What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome? There are three major technical obstacles that needed to be overcome during the development: (i) Breaks and wears caused in compressors and refrigerant cycle parts such as valves due to the change in compressor operation from a fixed speed to variable speeds (ii) Decrease in the lubricant oil level in the compressor as a part of the refrigeration cycle and vibration of the pipes resulting from variable speed operation (iii) Development of the drive circuit for inverter’s power transistor and the microprocessor-controlled sinusoidal pulse width modulation Japan is known as a nation scarce with key natural resources such as oil. In the wake of the second oil crisis in 1979, the Japanese government was pressed to tighten the 1976 Act of the Rational Use of Energy or so-called Energy Conservation Law of Japan and call on industry to introduce products complying with newly established high energy efficiency standards. Under this difficult circumstance from a political viewpoint, Toshiba accelerated its development and saw its launch of the inverter split air conditioners in the market within a short time frame ahead of other HVAC players. As to a geographical obstacle, Japan is one of a few countries in the world where two different power supply frequencies exist in the same country: 50Hz in Eastern Japan and 60Hz in Western Japan. This unique geographical challenge led to extra effort and costs for appliances and adapters as well as testing procedures to ensure the quality of the new developments. Through the efforts of engineers at Toshiba to overcome these obstacles with their technical expertise, assure reliability through technology development, and also attain downsizing and lower costs, the achievement was accomplished in a timely and successful manner  . What features set this work apart from similar achievements? Some attempts were made in around 1980 to adopt inverter technologies in the social infrastructure field such as train systems for variable speed drive motor control and chiller systems, in which chilled water is created, as seen in the case developed in 1977 by York, which retrofitted an external inverter unit for chiller units already in operation . The achievement by Toshiba (i.e. inverter air conditioner split type) is a totally different system from the chiller system in terms of the product categories in the following points: (i) The split inverter air conditioning system consists of an indoor unit and an outdoor unit; heat transfer between the indoor unit and outdoor unit is made through refrigerant for cooling and heating operations. (ii) Toshiba’s inverter unit mounted inside the air conditioner is significantly smaller than York’s inverter unit installed on the floor separately from the chiller unit. Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. The full reference, in English, must be uploaded, not just the citation. See below section for details on uploading material to the website. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.  The First “One Step on Electro-Technology” Prize, by the Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan (IEEJ): Inverter Air Conditioner, IEEJ 2009 (original text in Japanese with an English translation) //File: 1 The Journal of the IEEJ, Vol 129-2.pdf  Kenji Iida; Capacity Control with Frequency Modulation System, REFRIGERATION journal, Japanese Association of Refrigeration, 1981 (original test in Japanese with an English Translation) //File: 2 REFRIGERATION", June 1981 Vol. 56, No. 644.pdf  Ushimaru, Wilfert; Japanese Power Electronics Inverter Technology and Its Impact on the American Air Conditioning Industry, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for U.S. Department of Energy, 1990 //File: 3 US Department of Energy.pdf  Muir, Griffith; Capacity Modulation for Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems, Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News 1979 //File: 4 Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News.pdf  Kuroda, Kitagaki; Energy Saving by Compressor Capacity Control of Air Conditioners, Toshiba Review Vol. 36, No.9, p.p. 849-852 1981 //File: 5 Toshiba Review Vol. 36, No. 9.pdf  Ide, Shimma, Sugiyama; Air Conditioners Incorporating Variable-Capacity Control Inverter, Toshiba Review Vol. 37, No. 7, p.p. 635- 638 1982 //File: 6 Toshiba Review Vol. 37, No. 7.pdf  World AC Market & Inverter Ratio, Toshiba Carrier Corporation and The Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association //File: 7 World AC Market & Inverter Ratio.pdf  YORK Centrifugal Compressors, A Brief History, p.p. 7-8 1996 https://www.johnsoncontrols.com/-/media/jci/be/united-states/hvac-equipment/chillers/files/be_vsd_history.pdf //File: 8 York be_vsd_history.pdf  Heat Pump & Thermal Storage Technology Center of Japan; Heat Pumps – Long-awaited Way Out of the Global Warming, 2007 //File: 9 Heat Pumps – Long-awaited Way Out of the Global Warming.pdf  Department of Energy; History of Air Conditioning https://www.energy.gov/articles/history-air-conditioning //File: 10 History of Air Conditioning.pdf  World’s First Residential Inverter Air Conditioner, Toshiba Science Museum https://toshiba-mirai-kagakukan.jp/learn/history/ichigoki/1981aircon/index_j.htm //File: 11 Toshiba Science Museum Toshiba Firsts of Their Kind.pdf  Ministry of Economy; Trade and Industry (METI), J-Credit Scheme, 2020 https://japancredit.go.jp/english/ //File: 12 J credit.pdf  European Commission; Energy for heating/ cooling from renewable sources https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/energy-heating-cooling-renewable-sources-2019-mar-04_en //File: 13 energy-heating-cooling-renewable-sources.pdf  Act of Sophisticated Methods of Energy Supply Structures; Agency of Natural Resources and Energy of Japan, 2010 //File: 14 Act of Sophisticated Methods of Energy Supply Structures 2010 w translation.pdf Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC) which can be made publicly available on the IEEE History Center’s website (i.e. unencumbered by copyright, or with the copyright holder’s permission). All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. Images and photographs are especially appreciated, however, it is necessary that you list the copyright owner for these and obtain the copyright owner’s permission to reuse. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information. To add attachments, first upload the file and add by adding the text: [[Media:(filename)]] For example, if the file you uploaded was named "Milestone Reference.pdf", include the text: [[Media:Milestone Reference.pdf]] in the appropriate field. File name; Photo1 RAS-225PKHV.jpg Summery; Photo of World First Inverter Air conditioner Split type for Residential use File name; Photo2 RAS-225PKHV Inverter.jpg Summery; Photo of Inverter Unit Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to email@example.com with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s). Submit this proposal to the IEEE History Committee for review. Only check this when the proposal is finished Summary: This is a minor edit Watch this page Cancel Retrieved from "http://ieeemilestones.ethw.org/Milestone-Proposal:Inverter-driven_residential_air_conditioner_1981"