The European Fluorinated Gases Regulations will see the phasing out of ‘greenhouse’ F-gas refrigerants, which have been widely used in refrigeration equipment and have contributed to the climate crisis.
As of 1 January 2020, UK and EU legislation prevents refrigerants with a global warming potential greater than 2500 being used to service or refill refrigeration or freezer systems.
Operators buying new refrigeration should be looking for models using green refrigerant gases, with low Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and Global Warming Potential (GWP), according to the FEA.
Many manufacturers now use hydrocarbon refrigerants, which are very ‘green’ but are also flammable, which is why the amount of hydrocarbon gas allowed in an individual model is strictly limited.
Recently the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) voted to increase the allowable charge of hydrocarbon in commercial refrigeration.
As a result of the vote, manufacturers can now offer refrigeration models using A3 refrigerant charges of up to 500g (previously it was 150g). For A2L refrigerants the charge was increased to 1.2kg.
The change will allow manufacturers to develop more energy efficient products, particularly in ice machines and display units such as grab and go merchandisers. The improved efficiencies will also impact on the running costs of the models.
F-Gas Regulations: your responsibilities
The main focus of the F-Gas Regulations is to minimise emissions of F-gases from products and equipment, through containment, leak reduction and repair and recovery. When it comes to catering refrigeration, the responsibility for complying with the regulation lies with the caterers, operators and users (as opposed to those selling or servicing it).
– Prevent leakage – have leaks repaired as soon as possible by certified personnel and keep service and maintenance records detailing quantity and type of F-gas used.
– Carry out a regular fixed schedule of inspections for leaks on equipment with a circuit charge of 3kg or more, following the standard leak-checking procedure laid down by the Commission. This includes an obligation that any repairs made must be checked within one month.
– Where systems have a charge of over 300kg they must in addition install fixed leakage detection systems.
– Ensure the proper recovery of F-gases by certified personnel, to ensure their recycling, reclamation or destruction.
For further information on F-gas regulations, click HERE.
Foster Refrigerator is the Platinum Partner sponsor of the Refrigeration category of FEJ Kitchen Excellence Week. For information about Foster and its sister company Gamko, call 01553 691122 or visit www.fosterrefrigerator.com