Industry warned on equipment imports

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Last month, the Cooling Post issued a press release reminder from the EU that the HFC phasedown has begun as of January 1st this year. All imported equipment pre-charged with HFC refrigerants now must be accounted for in the quota levels for placing on the market.

The EU originating report recommends hydrocarbon refrigerants as an alternative, REFCOM would remind members that there are restrictions on the charge size allowed for use with highly flammable refrigerants like hydrocarbons (HCs) for safety reasons, all as detailed in the newly published EN378.

A system designed for use with HCs must have intrinsically safe switching and motors, and there may be local bye laws preventing installation in certain situations. There are charge limitations set out in EN378 that limit the maximum charge of HCs such as R290, for example to 1.5kg. This is well short of the charge volumes required to carry out wholesale HC installations as suggested in the press release.

When importing a system that is not pre-charged, it is essential that the gas used when installing a system is the gas intended for use in that system. It may be dangerous using gases that a system has not been specifically designed for. 


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