have a special place in the F-GAS!
The introduction of the F-gas European directive came into force in January 2015 and aims to limit the use of HFCs, to help reduce global warming. Refrigerants with a GWP (Global Warming Potential) higher than 2500 have been banned from January 2020 in new installations and others will have their availability limited by falling production quotas.
In the quest for alternative solutions, the choice is not as obvious. CO2 is of course an option, but other alternatives such as A2L refrigerants are available. A2L refrigerants are very attractive as they provide a similar technology than HFCs ; while having a lower GWP.
What are A2L refrigerants?
A2L refrigerants such as R1234yf; R454C; R455A… are non-toxic, slightly flammable refrigerants.
Slightly flammable means that they are harder to ignite and less capable of flame propagation than an A2 or A3 refrigerant.
Regulations have emerged to help controlling the use of flammable refrigerants, such as the EN378. The EN378 is a European Standard dedicated to Refrigerating Systems and Heat Pumps. It thus applies to the entire system, and not only to some parts like the unit cooler or the condensing unit.
The design of a refrigeration system is mainly affected by the EN378 on 3 aspects: the allowed refrigerant charge, the installers’ expertise & material qualification, and the use of risk analysis.
Important note : In order to use A2L refrigerants, the equipment needs to be validated for A2L refrigerants first. Retrofitting an existing installation into an A2L installation is thus forbidden, unless a conformity assessment & risk analysis has been done.
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