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CO2 Refrigeration - the Way Forward for F-Gas Compliance
Increased use of alternative refrigerants, such as CO2, can help us meet the requirements of European F-Gas regulations according to industry experts. Speaking in July 2021, at the 19th European Conference of the Centro Studi Galileo at Politecnico Milano, representatives of Asercom (Association of European Refrigeration) told how supermarket operators can use CO2 and other low GWP (Global Warming Potential) refrigerants to ensure compliance with the F-Gas legislation, also signed into UK law.
Another suitable gas is natural propane R290, useful in split air-conditioning despite higher flammability. End users of refrigeration systems adopting CO2 refrigeration will comply with EN378 standards for design, manufacturing, and decommissioning of refrigeration systems. This will also supervise systems including higher flammability gases such as propane throughout their time in use. However, a role still exists for some synthetic gases in areas where there is no natural alternative at present.
The European Commission is reviewing the F-Gas regulation, and industry representatives at the Milan Conference agreed that all refrigerants should be included in its scope. They also agreed on the need for mandatory leak checks. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, cold chains for both food and medicines are now of paramount importance. These issues were later promoted at the UN Food Summit in September 2021.
The industry is already recruiting more engineers, and training existing technicians to work with the new CO2 refrigeration and heat pump systems. Minimum competence requirements will be introduced for all technical staff.
Most recently a range of schemes have been launched to coincide with the COP26 Climate Change conference in Glasgow in November 2021. Heat pumps are one of the main technologies being promoted by manufacturers and installers. The European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) has organised a tour to show how heat pumps and renewable energy can work together to reduce our carbon emissions. As EHPA Secretary General, Thomas Nowak, stated: "Heat pumps are a key enabler for the decarbonisation of buildings and industrial processes."
CO2 and other low GWP refrigerants, along with technologies such as heat pumps using renewable energy, can help us move away from fossil fuels for a cleaner, more secure, future. Contact us if you'd like to discuss the best option for you and your business.
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