Set out in 2009 by the European Commission, there are strict rules on the usage of gases in air-conditioning, heat pumps and refrigeration systems. Are you aware of the regulations and the responsible person for their enforcement?
Below is an overview of the guidelines issued by the EPA. We are always happy to advise you on any matters relating to refrigeration as the go to experts. We can be contacted through the contact us page or from the details below.
Office buildings, public buildings, data centres, leisure centres and industrial buildings in particular can contain levels of F-Gases (fluorinated greenhouse gases) and ODS (ozone-depleting substances) from the systems mentioned above.
Regular leak checking and record keeping must be completed by a suitably certified company on systems or equipment that contain more than 3 kg. Typically a domestic fridge will contain less than 3 kg of refrigerant, where as a split air-conditioning unit will contain around 3 kg. Industrial chillers in a large supermarket, for example, will contain around 300 kg.
2. Fit automatic leak detection
For larger systems that contain 300 kg or more of F-Gas refrigerant, must be fitted with an automatic leak detection system. The detection system must be checked as per table 1 below, to ensure their proper functioning.Records may be kept centrally or with the equipment, the main requirement is that they are accessible so they can be made available on request to the competent authority – the EPA.
In addition, the operator should be prepared for inspections by the competent authority and ideally should nominate a person who is responsible for producing records during inspection.
Leak checking frequency F-Gas and ODS None Less than 3 kg Annual 3 – 30 kg Bi-annually 30 – 300 kg Quarterly More than 300 kg
3. Recovery and Waste Management
Ensure proper recovery of any refrigerant removed from your systems during maintenance or on decommissioning. A record of any decommissioning works must be kept for inspection and must be carried out by a certified body.
4. Only use engineers/technicians with suitable qualifications
Search the database of qualified companies/personnel.
Make sure equipment installed since April 2008 is labelled.
6. Placing on the market – refillable containers
The use of non-refillable containers for transporting or storing F-Gas refrigerants is banned.
7. HCFC (including R22) Phase Out
From 1st January 2015 it will be illegal to use recycled or reclaimed HCFCs to service RAC equipment.
A 10% decrease in operational efficiency may lead to a 10% increase in running costs. Therefore it is important to have well maintained systems.
- Load reduction (e.g. better time and temperature controls, for instance if refrigeration temperatures are set 1ºC too low, it can increase running costs by 2-4%)
- Plant operating conditions (e.g. clean condenser and evaporator fins regularly, keep refrigeration doors and lids closed, ensure door seals are not faulty; reduce head pressures)