BREAKING NEWS! Midea Wins the 2023 National Science and Technology Progress Award

BREAKING NEWS! Midea Wins the 2023 National Science and Technology Progress Award

On June 24, 2024, the National Science and Technology Progress Award ceremony was held in the Great Hall of the People. The project "Key Technologies and Applications for High-Efficiency Supply of Multi-Grade Thermal Energy by Air Source Heat Pumps," participated in by Midea Group, won the second prize of the 2023 National Science and Technology Progress Award. The National Science and Technology Progress Award is one of the highest honors in the Chinese scientific community. Winning this award not only represents the top level of current scientific and technological innovation and application but is also a national-level recognition of Midea's contributions to promoting industry innovation and serving society.

Innovation Leads: Midea Heat Pumps Showcase Leading Technological Strength



According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), thermal energy accounts for 50% of terminal energy consumption, with hot water, heating, and steam supply being the main forms of terminal thermal energy. Traditional coal and gas heating methods have high carbon emissions, direct electric heating is economically inefficient, and solar heating has the drawbacks of low energy density and intermittency. Under the "Carbon peaking and carbon neutrality" strategy, there is an urgent need for efficient, low-carbon, and economical heating modes.

Research has shown that using heat pumps to efficiently absorb heat from the air can effectively enhance thermal energy levels and provide efficient output, achieving low-carbon heating. To this end, supported by the National Key Research and Development Program, the 863 Program, and other initiatives, the project team, including Midea Group's residential air conditioning, building technology, and industrial technology sectors, spent nearly 20 years on collaborative technical breakthroughs between universities and enterprises. They developed a series of technologies for the high-efficiency supply of multi-grade thermal energy for hot water, heating, and industrial steam using air source heat pumps. The awarded project "Key Technologies and Applications for High-Efficiency Supply of Multi-Grade Thermal Energy by Air Source Heat Pumps" has achieved three major technological breakthroughs,

1. Developed a new method for absorbing heat from the air and efficiently producing domestic hot water, promoting the formation and development of the air source heat pump water heater industry;

2. Invented an ultra-low temperature air source heat pump heating method based on gas-liquid mixed jet compression, solving the problem of conventional air source heat pumps being unable to operate reliably in the severe cold of northern regions;

3. Proposed a large temperature rise air source heat pump technology based on water vapor compression with a temperature rise spanning 100 degrees, achieving efficient and low-carbon supply of industrial steam.


As of now, the project has been granted 5 international patents and 64 national invention patents, formulated 5 national standards and 7 industry standards and specifications, published 35 papers, delivered 19 keynote presentations on heat pumps at domestic and international academic conferences, and won multiple domestic and international awards. Whether in terms of the advanced and innovative nature of its technological achievements or the impact and social benefits of its project outcomes, it stands at the forefront of China's heat pump industry, fully demonstrating Midea's technological innovation capabilities in the heat pump field.


Industry and Innovation Upgrades: carbon peaking and carbon neutrality Concept Leading Industrial Transformation


As heat pumps are being widely applied in heating, hot water, industrial, and agricultural fields, market demand is continuously driving enterprises to innovate and accelerate the iteration of industrial technologies. The achievements of the "Key Technologies and Applications for High-Efficiency Supply of Multi-Grade Thermal Energy by Air Source Heat Pumps" project have led to the formation and development of new industry standards for air source heat pumps in hot water, heating, and industrial steam supply.


Midea Building Technologies has developed a series of heat pump water heaters and heating products using the project's technology. Since their market release, these products have been widely used in residential, office, and various civil buildings. They have also been promoted and applied in the industrial heating sector. The ultra-low temperature air source heat pump water heater developed through this project is a new product for efficient, energy-saving, and environmentally friendly heating, making a significant contribution to the "coal-to-electricity" transition in northern China. The pioneering combination of air source heat pumps with low-temperature difference heat exchange terminals for heating has been highly recognized by the industry. This approach achieves systemic energy savings by coupling the heat-consuming end with the heat-supplying end, opening up a new market for efficient, low-carbon, and comfortable heating.


The related heat pump products have been deployed across numerous provinces, cities, and autonomous regions in China, as well as overseas. They have been involved in several important infrastructure heating projects, such as the Beijing Daxing Airport heating project, the Heilongjiang Mohe Electronic Fifth Institute Test Station project, and the Nagqu County centralized heating project in Tibet. These products have also become major winners in U.S. government procurement projects, receiving extensive positive feedback from users for their stable and comfortable heating and significant energy-saving effects.


As early as 2003, Midea began researching air source heat pump water heater technology for supplying domestic hot water using air thermal energy and quickly achieved industrialization. The related products were initially promoted in the Yangtze River Basin, and their innovative technological concepts soon gained widespread social recognition, leading to extensive application in regions south of the Yangtze River. With the continuous development of new refrigerant technologies and the successive launch of ultra-high-efficiency products, the application scope of air source heat pump water heaters has been constantly expanding. Even in the frigid northern regions at -35°C, these systems can operate stably, providing energy-efficient hot water and heating services to a wide range of users. This technological breakthrough not only achieves compatibility across different climates but also makes significant contributions to energy conservation and emission reduction.


Midea will continue to actively implement the national "dual carbon" strategy, collaborating with industry partners and users to make every building more energy-efficient and comfortable and every home warmer and more harmonious. Midea is committed to contributing more of its strengths towards a green, low-carbon, intelligent, and efficient future for a better life.


Emphasizing R&D, Midea's "Technology Leadership" Continues to Achieve Breakthroughs


In recent years, under the guidance of the core strategy of "Technology Leadership," Midea's emphasis on scientific research and increased investment in R&D have been crucial to its continued breakthroughs. Midea's Central Research Institute and other group-level research platforms have been strengthening collaboration with the R&D units of various business segments, including Building Technology, Industrial Technology, and Residential Air Conditioning. This collaboration aims to advance major common projects such as next-generation refrigeration, next-generation deodorization, the world's highest energy efficiency, and energy storage, thereby building globally leading R&D capabilities.


Midea has continuously increased its R&D investment, totaling nearly 60 billion yuan over the past five years. In 2023 alone, R&D investment reached 14.583 billion yuan, setting a new historical record, with more than 23,000 global R&D personnel. Midea currently has 16 national-level innovation platforms, including national key laboratories, national artificial intelligence open innovation platforms, national cross-industry platforms, national industrial design centers, enterprise technology centers, and postdoctoral research workstations. Additionally, there are 70 provincial and ministerial-level innovation platforms, such as provincial and ministerial enterprise technology centers, engineering technology research centers, industrial design centers, or key laboratories.


To date, Midea has received a total of 4 National Science and Technology Awards, over 470 provincial and ministerial science and technology awards, and more than 340 international leading/advanced achievement appraisals. The company has maintained over 80,000 patent authorizations and has established strategic partnerships with numerous domestic and international universities. In the past three years, Midea has cooperated on over 500 projects with these institutions, with a total investment exceeding 300 million yuan.


In 2023, Midea received over 4,000 invention patent authorizations globally and participated in the formulation or revision of 235 technical standards, including 5 international standards, 70 national standards, 28 industry standards, and 132 local and group standards. Notably, Midea led the standard "Household and Similar Use Refrigerating Appliances—Purification and Health" to be adopted by ASEAN, contributing to the high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative.