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The demise of HCFC refrigerants – overcoming the challenges for sites with chillers – read our latest eGuide

Jan 13, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Chris Smith

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It’s common knowledge that European Union (EU) legislation surrounding the phase-out of HCFCs is having an impact on businesses that utilise refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) equipment.

With this in mind, Aggreko has published an eGuide that explains how the regulations affect organisations and how to achieve compliance.

The guide, which can be downloaded at the bottom of this post, also gives advice to businesses around contingency planning.  It provides a step by step guide to mitigate risk and minimise disruption should equipment using the banned gases require servicing or repair, or experience a breakdown.

From 1 January 2015 it became illegal to use HCFCs, including the popular R22 refrigerant, to service RAC equipment. While organisations can still use RAC equipment that uses R22, systems that need repair or a complete recharge of the gas need to be replaced or modified to use a different one. 

The ban is being felt widely across Europe, particularly in the industrial processing, food and drink, healthcare, retail and data management sectors. Any site failing to comply faces potential site shut downs, a fine of up to £5,000 and a damaged reputation.

While organisations can still use old equipment containing HCFC gases, if a fault occurs there is no legal way of fixing it with HCFCs in its system. Organisations face a trilemma:

  1. They can replace their system, which can be costly
  2. Modify or convert equipment to use an alternative gas, which isn't always possible and may mean reduced efficiency and cooling capacity
  3. Do nothing and sit on a ticking time bomb.

This eGuide details the factors managers should consider in managing a phase-out, including using temporary cooling equipment to smooth and de-risk the transition.

Chris Smith

Written by Chris Smith

Head of Temperature Control - Northern Europe