F-Gas EC review

F-Gas EC review

The European F-gas Regulation creates controls on the use and emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases). A recent review of the F-Gas regulation carried out by the Commission has concluded that changes in the regulation related to multipack centralised refrigeration systems are not required. These are contained in point 13 of Annex III of the F-Gas Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 and state that from 1 January 2022 systems above 40 kW or more will be banned if they contain, or whose functioning relies upon, fluorinated greenhouse gases with global warming potentials (GWPs) of 150 or more. The only exception is the primary refrigerant circuit of cascade systems where fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP of less than 1,500 may be used.

The review concluded that multiple technical options are available and are already, or will be, cost effective by 2022. These options include ‘transcritical CO2 centralised systems, indirect centralised systems and stand-alone systems which all are feasible, reliable and energy-efficient alternatives.’

The impact of the phase down of HFC refrigerants is already apparent with increases in the costs of HFC refrigerants. Bans based on the GWP of the refrigerant will be applied for hermetically sealed systems, stationary refrigeration equipment and multi-pack centralised systems from 2020 (see table below). Manufacturers therefore need to move to environmentally friendly alternatives rapidly. Many end users are moving to intermediate options such as R488A with a GWP of 1387 (see: http://www.racplus.com/news/tesco-signs-up-with-honeywell-to-convert-1200-stores-away-from-r404a-refrigerant/10020171.article).

We can performance test commercial display cabinets on many of the ‘new’ refrigerants being applied by end users. If you would like help selecting, retrofitting or designing refrigeration systems with an alternative refrigerant please contact us at RD&T (alan.foster@rdandt.co.uk).

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