Hitachi as a Multinational Corporation
Hitachi, Ltd., one the air conditioner manufacturers ACboy will be looking at, is a multinational corporation. They are the parent company of the Hitachi Group and are located in Tokyo Japan. They have several divisions that cover a wide range of technologies and services. Hitachi began in 1910 producing induction motors. For the next 10 years, they developed and sold a transformer, ammeter and voltmeter. By 1916, they were making water turbines and fans. By the 1920′s and 1930′s they were building electric locomotives and refrigerators. Hitachi’s experience and breadth of products and technologies has long been established. Hitachi is part of Japan’s largest ‘keiretsu’ which is a group of firms that may not share ownership, but often work together closely on projects of mutual benefit.
Hitachi Air Conditioners: Selection
For those searching for room air conditioners, Hitachi has several types of units on offer. They have a standard split series and a premium range of split systems that allow heating as well as cooling. Hitachi’s more affordable range of split systems is called ‘Summit’. They also offer monoduct as well as monozone and multizone solutions and more. Hitachi’s main focus is on markets in the UK, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan(HQ), Malaysia, Middle East and North Africa, Oceania, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. You’ll notice that Hitachi doesn’t manufacture or directly market these systems for the U.S.
The S-Series Model
The wall mounted SX8 split system can boast an industry leading COP of 6.0. The COP, or coefficient of performance, is a rating that describes the efficiency of the system within the given conditions. Hitachi claims running costs of 18 GBP per year. This unit also has quite a stylish design employing a flat panel with a metallic finish. In addition to taking advantage of Hitachi’s own DC PAM Inverter Technology, this unit utilizes 6 different cleaning functions including a stainless steel screen to keep the inside clean. The ionized mist created by the unit is able to routinely kill 99.9% of all air born bacteria and viruses while it eliminates odors. This unit also uses jet blades for efficient distribution of heating and cooling.
The Shirokuma Line
The Shirokuma Line is the premium range on offer. The cut out wall mounted units have a range of 2.5kW to 6.3kW. They also contain a ‘Plasma Air Purifying System’ which is capable of removing impurities while it also can eliminate pollen, odors and dust. These units also have Hitachi’s own DC scroll compressor technology and can boast a COP of up to 4.3. The Shirokuma Line also has cut out floor mounted units. These units are designed to allow a free standing installation as well as a wall mount option. Like the other units in the Shirokuma collection, they have Hitachi’s DC scroll compressor technology and a COP of up to 4.3.
The Summit Series
The Summit units are classified as an affordable option in the Hitachi air conditioning line. They still offer great quality and performance and have most features of the more expensive models. They are reported to compromise neither quality nor performance. The noise levels are low and optional 7 day clocks can be installed. The lower range models with power ratings up to 5.0kW employ a ‘framed flat’ indoor component. This design is considered to look attractive in most settings. The A/A rated efficiency featured on the units is at or below 7.0kW capacity. Although low in price, they use Hitachi’s DC inverter compressors and fans. These units have COP’s up to 4.31.
The Monoduct Option
The Monoduct series features in the ceiling mounted units with a power rating from 5.0kW to 8.0kW. These are low noise units – as low as 28dB(A) – and have a COP of 3.77 and an EER of 3.57. The EER rating is the energy efficiency rating and the higher the number, the better. They use Hitachi’s own ‘DC’ Inverter PAM technology to drive the fans as well as the compressors for these ceiling units. The air intake direction can be horizontal or vertical and when the drain pan reaches a certain level, there is an automated drain pump which will remove the accumulated moisture. An automated sensor controls this function, so it is only on when necessary. A hard-wired 12 hour remote control is included, but there is an infra-red remote available as an option with a 7-day timer.
The Mono and Multizone category defines a range of split systems with cooling and heating ratings of 2.5kW to 6.0kW when employed as a single split. If employed as a multi split, the range is between 3.5kW to 14.4kW. A limit of 6 indoor units can be individually controlled using one outdoor unit. This configuration can be a mixed combination of floor mounted, wall mounted, or the special 600×600 ceiling-mounted cassette including the ceiling ducted units. The advanced and premium rated Shirokuma line can also be part of this Multizone configuration.
The Utopia Line
The Utopia Line has 3 main options. The ES units are right-priced, small single and multi split systems. These also boast high specification features as they offer cooling and heating capacities from 5.0kW to 28kW. The IVX units have higher specifications available in single and multi split systems. These include VRF control. The ratings range from 7.1kW to 33.5kW. Also as part of the Utopia line are the RASC centrifugal ducted systems. They are described as outdoor units designed to be installed internally. Their capacity for cooling and heating ranges from 7.1kW to 25kW.
The Samurai Chillers
These are a line of units for industrial use and feature air to water, water to water and condenserless units. To get more information on these units, visit the Hitachi web site at: http://www.hitachiaircon.com/argws/category.do?action=getCategories&rangeId=4.
Some Negative Feedback
Along with satisfied customers that will tell a few friends but are rarely public in their remarks, there are a few negative comments to be found with installations and service on some units installed in India. On the Consumeraffairs.com web site, some customers complain that there are no responses from customer service regarding complaints. Some other customers complained of a poor installation where a piece of wood was left inside to make noise, but technicians would not return to remove it. Also, claims of ‘no stock’ were made when service was required. Finally one, customer exclaimed in all caps that people should never deal with Hitachi. It may be worth investigating the level of service you may get from your local dealer – especially if you are located in India.
Hitachi Air Conditioning Units in Summary
Although some negative feedback exists, Hitachi has a good reputation as a major multinational and supplier of advanced technology in many sectors of the economy. The air conditioning units are advanced and benefit from unique and modern features which are exclusive to Hitachi. They provide a wide range of options for use with impressive benchmarks in high COD and EER ratings. Their units are quiet and have generally attractive designs. Of the many products and services offered by Hitachi, their air conditioning units are a respectable and reliable contribution. In addition, Hitachi will probably be expanding their line and market penetration in the near future.