If you own or run a commercial building, then you will need to know all about the F Gas Regulations and the use of refrigerants designed to have a low global warming potential (GWP).
And this is where our latest, CPD-Accredited webinar can help, with clear explanations of the changing refrigerant landscape.
Commercial buildings are heated and cooled with a mixture of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) equipment and these will operate with refrigerant gas in them, which transfers heating and / or cooling from one part of the building to another.
In May 2006, the European Union introduced Regulation (EC) No 842/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council, now widely referred to as the F Gas Regulations.
This was the first step in a programme to reduce the use and release of man–made gases which impact on the environment.
If the changing refrigerant landscape seems confusing, come and talk to the manufacturers, we really can help
Global Warming Potential
Under the F Gas Regulations, HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) gases were allocated a Global Warming Potential (GWP) number, which are an indication of how much heat a gas traps in the atmosphere, leading to global warming.
These gases include those which are commonly used in air conditioning systems and chillers.
In addition to improving leak prevention of these gases through proper labelling, containment and recovery, the regulations seek to move the market away from high GWP refrigerants towards environmentally superior alternatives that are not as damaging to the environment.
Phase out and phase down
The F-Gas Phase down, is a roadmap to gradually reduce the environmental impact of refrigerants up to 2030, when the goal is to achieve a 79% cut in CO2 equivalent against 2009-12 levels.
HCFCs with the highest environmental impact have already been banned. R22 is one of these for example and it is no longer legal to use this refrigerant in new systems or for maintenance purposes.
HFCs with high GWPs, such as R410a, are being phased down over time and new refrigerants, such as R32 have been introduced.
Whether you need to maintain your CPD accreditation or not, taking 30 minutes to watch the webinar will help increase your understanding of where the refrigerant market is going in the next two decades.
In addition to explaining further details of the background to this change in refrigerants and the impact on pricing in the market, the webinar looks at the alternative refrigerants, including R32; R454B; R1234ze; and R513A and compares the attributes of high and low density refrigerants.
It also explains BS EN378 and leak detection and what the A2L mildly flammable categorisation means for designing and operating a HVAC system.
The world of HVAC and refrigerants continue to change rapidly and this present both a challenge and an opportunity for building operators.
The challenge is ensuring your equipment complies and is helping future-proof your building.
The opportunities arise from achieving much more energy efficient heating and cooling.
It is therefore essential that you get to know your equipment and check both the maintenance regimes and the specification of these systems, so that you can plan to safeguard your building long into the future.
And if the changing refrigerant landscape still seems confusing, then come and talk to the equipment manufacturers, we really can help.
We have been working with the new refrigerants for some time and can offer sound advice on what products can help meet your system challenges.
Richard Venga is Business Planning and Strategy Manager for Central Plant