Cooling without heating
On 14 April 2014 the Council of the European Union formally approved the new F-Gas Regulation. In this way Europe wants to cut emissions of F-gases (fluorohydrocarbons) and protect the environment. The regulation that came into force on 1 January 2015 not only concerns the construction of cooling installations. It also imposes conditions for leak-tightness, the registration of F-gases, recovery, destruction, training, certification, etc. The ultimate aim is a worldwide ban of the use of F-gases to help bring a halt to climate change. In Europe we must cut the use of F-gases by 79% by 2030.
What are the most important points of the new regulation?
Design & construction
There is a ban on the marketing of:
- Stationary cooling installations filled with refrigerants with a GWP ≥ 2500 (=R404A, R507)
From 1 January 2020 there is a replenishment ban for (virgin) F-gases with a GWP ≥ 2500 in large installations. Replenishing is then only allowed with recycled HFCs, and then only until 2030. For service and maintenance there a replenishment ban for installations with a coolant content from 40 tons CO2-equivalent or more.
- Large commercial cooling installations (for example supermarkets) with a capacity of 40 kW or more and filled with coolants with a GWP ≥ 150 (=R134a, R404A, R407A, R407C, R407F, R410A, R507)
- Single split-aircos of which the coolant content is lower than 3 kg and filled with coolants with a GWP ≥ 750 (=R134a, R404A, R407A, R407C, R407F, R410A, R507)
Service & Maintenance
All cooling installations must be controlled for leak-tightness.
- Coolant content: 5 tons < HFC < 50 tons CO2-equivalent control at least once a year (if there is a leak detection system at least once every 2 years)
- Coolant content: 50 tons < HFC < 500 tons CO2-equivalent control at least twice a year (if there is a leak detection system at least once a year )
- Coolant content of 500 tons CO2-equivalent or more control at least every three months (if there is a leak detection system at least every six months)
Companies with an installation with a coolant content of 500 tons CO2-equivalent or more must install a leak detection system. Moreover, the leak detection must be checked for proper operation at least once a year.