In this blog we discuss the Fgas regulations and what it means for our customers
Weiss and Votsch chambers mainly use the following gases: R134a, R404A and until recently R23. R23 is still available but now we are using R469A (WT69) instead. R469A was developed by Weiss and has a lower GWP. See our blog on WT69/R469A here.
Until recently any machine with > 3 kgs of refrigerant gas had, by law, to be leak tested annually by a qualified Engineer and a log kept of those tests.
In January 2015 the law changed. Now the threshold is expressed in equivalent tonnes of CO₂. If the equivalent tonnage is between 5 and 50 tonnes you must leak test annually. Each gas has a conversion factor called its Global Warming Potential. The GWPs are:
R134a: 1,430 so the threshold for leak testing is 5000/1428 = 3.5kg
R404A: 3,922 so the threshold for leak testing is 5000/3922 = 1.27kg
R23: 14,800 so the threshold for leak testing is 5000/12240 = 0.34kg
R469A: 1,357 so the threshold for leak testing is 5000/1368 = 3.68kg
It is the responsibility of the end user/owner of the chamber to adhere to these regulations and to only employ a registered company, see http://www.fgasregistration.ie. You can be subject to an audit by the EPA at any time and if not compliant the owner/end user can suffer heavy fines.
On installation, during a PM visit or on request DACTEC Ltd perform a leak test and supply/add to a gas log.
In addition, after 2020 gases with a GWP > 2500 cannot be used in the manufacture of new chambers but R404A can be used in different forms until 2030. R23 is not covered by this regulation.
After 2030 gases with a GWP > 2500 (Excluding R23) cannot be used for service work and will be considered hazardous waste if removed from a chamber.
New chambers come as standard with R449A, which has a GWP of 1,397 so is well below the threshold.
In the case of an old chamber with R404A Weiss/Votsch recommend using R452A (GWP of 2,141) as a ‘drop in’ substitute if really necessary. Some minor adjustments are required of the refrigeration components.
Votsch/Weiss have performed thousands of hours of testing with R469A, R449A and R452A to check their performance successfully.
If you would like to discuss any of the items contained in this blog ‘Fgas regulations and what it means for our Customers’, please do get in touch, we are happy to share our knowledge. Contact us here.