ACR Journal

CMYK / .ai CMYK / .ai CMYK / .ai 17 REFRIGERANTS Standards, safety and training will be more important than ever, whichever refrigerant you choose, says Neil Roberts, senior technical sales manager at Climalife. The future of refrigerants The F-gas regulation is continuously progressing, with two new bans having come into e ect from January 1, but most of the implications of the legislation are still hidden by the apparent abundant supply of higher GWP refrigerants. The purpose of the F-Gas regulation is to drive the industry to use lower GWP refrigerants, but as many of the low GWP options require di erent safety requirements, successful implementation will require changes in the way we work. Are you prepared for this? A reminder of the new bans from 2022 The bans both concern systems used for ‘commercial use’ which in the regulation is defined as being “used for the storage, display or dispensing of products, for sale to end users, in retail and food services”, essentially shops and restaurants. For these applications new equipment placed on the market after 1st January which are either hermetically sealed refrigerators or freezers, or multi-compressor centralised systems with a rated capacity of 40kW or more, must use a refrigerant with a GWP of less than 150. For all other refrigeration applications, including non-hermetic retail (<40kW) and food service, the less than 2500 GWP requirement still applies. In these times where clarity of rules and regulations is a much sought-after commodity, it would seem there is clarity within the refrigeration industry, but all is not what it seems. The application and GWP limit bans tend to hog the limelight but lurking in the shadows is the spectre of the CO 2 tonnes equivalent phasedown. Ultimately the phasedown will have the biggest impact as it will limit the quantities of higher GWP refrigerants irrelevant of the absence of any specific bans. The challenge that the industry must deal with is determining when the next quota crunch will occur and what refrigerants will be available to use. The second part of that question is the easier part to answer but it also potentially leads to more challenges, and not ones that can be dealt with overnight. So what refrigerants are likely to be sustainable deep into the F-Gas phasedown and beyond to the Kigali phasedown? The lower GWP refrigerant choices It has been estimated that to achieve the current F-Gas phasedown, the average GWP of refrigerants used needs to be Refrigerant ISO 817 Safety Class GWP* Typical Application R-744 A1 1 Potential R-404A alternative R-1233zd A1 5 Low Pressure Chiller R-1336mzz(Z) A1 9 Low Pressure Chiller R-515B A1 293 Potential R-134a alternatives R-513A A1 631 R-1234yf A2L 4 R-1234ze A2L 7 R-454C/R-455A A2L 148 Potential R-404A & R-407C alternatives R-454A A2L 239 Potential R-404A alternative R-454B A2L 466 Potential R-410A alternatives R-32 A2L 675 R-452B A2L 698 R-1270 A3 2 Potential R-404A alternative R-290 A3 3 Potential R-404A & R-407C alternative R-514A B1 2 Low Pressure Chiller R-717 B2L 0 Industrial Refrigeration Table 1. – Lower GWP Refrigerants (*IPCC 100-year ITH AR4 values) approximately 400, and to achieve the Kigali phasedown that average drops to approximately 300. Table 1 shows a list of commercially available refrigerants with GWPs less than 700. These are likely to be sustainable under the F-Gas and Kigali phasedowns provided the refrigerants with GWPs significantly above the average are not used in large volume applications.

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