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Fgas regulations and what it means for our Customers

Fgas regulations and what it means for our Customers

In this blog we discuss the Fgas regulations and what it means for our customers since the revised regulations were passed by the EU Parliament in February 2024.

How this effects Weiss Technik chambers and the situation before changes in 2024.

Also, let us reassure you that all the Weiss Technik devices in operation that DACTEC has sold are still permitted but many new types of devices will be manufactured with more environmentally friendly refrigerants by 2025.

Changes to EU legislation in 2024 and to Weiss chambers:

GWP 150 from 2025 – EU Regulation with new limit and new device classification

The EU Parliament has adopted the revision of the F-Gas Regulation by a large majority. The new EU Regulation 2024/573 is in force and contains the new equipment category of “self-contained refrigeration systems”, for which a GWP limit of 150 for the refrigerant will apply from 2025. Chillers and devices for which no safe substitute-refrigerant is available are excluded (“compliance with safety requirements”).

Synthetic refrigerants with a GWP below 150 are not available for environmental simulation systems. Only natural refrigerants can be considered now. For safety reasons, they must not be flammable.

Refrigeration technology for climate chambers and temperature test chambers

CO₂ down to -50°C, R23/R469A down to -70°C

Devices and systems for environmental simulation tests typically cool and heat in temperature ranges from -40°C or -70°C to over 100°C.

Only safe refrigerants and reliable components enable the precise control and conduct of various test specifications and standards. CO₂ can now be used as a refrigerant down to -50°C thanks to the increasing availability of pressure-resistant components.

Lower temperatures can only be safely achieved with cascade systems using R-449A/R-469A/R23

Advantages of the new refrigeration technology

The performance spectrum of CO₂ as a refrigerant

Single-stage refrigeration systems with R449A reach a minimum temperature of -40°C, but cooling slows down from approx. -25°C. Our CO₂-(R744)-systems can cool down to -50°C powerfully with the same or higher heat compensation.

This has many advantages:

  • The need for a -70°C cascade refrigeration system can often be avoided and there is no need for an additional refrigerant.
  • This also eliminates the need for mandatory leakage tests.
  • The cooling machine runs more quietly.
  • The unit consumes less energy.
  • Less GWP is not possible, ensuring a very future-proof machine.

The test procedures remain the same – No changes to the requirements at the installation site.

The new refrigeration technology is installed in Weiss Technik devices without the need for design changes.

  • Dimensions and connections remain exactly the same
  • Operating conditions such as cooling water temperature or room temperature do not change.
  • Weiss Technik devices continue to be CE-certified, including the Pressure Equipment Directive 2014/68/EU.
  • The rules of DIN EN 378 continue to apply to the installation conditions.
  • Test programs such as IEC 60068-2-38 or IEC 60068-2-14 Nb will run as usual
  • DACTEC service is appropriately trained and has the right tools and certifications on hand

Service rules in the EU regulation – Deferred leakage test required

  • The EU F-Gas Regulation already contained regulations on refrigerant use, documentation, quotas and recycling. The operation, maintenance and repair of all Weiss Technik devices remains permitted for an unlimited period of time.
  • New: After repairs of the refrigeration system, there must be a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 30 days between completion of the repair and a leak test. This applies to all devices that were previously subject to mandatory leak testing.
  • The existing ban on the use of new refrigerants with GWP >750 from January 2032 only applies to devices in the -40°C class. Here, reclaimed or recycled refrigerants must be used. All refrigerants remain legal for systems that can cool below -50°C.

Availability of refrigerants – Quota system tightened

  • The new quotas for the import of refrigerants into the EU set out in Regulation 2024/573 are lower than in the previous regulation. Weiss Technik already procured and stored refrigerants with its own quota in 2019. The annual quota is sufficient to continue filling all our systems with refrigerant.
  • The reductions in the refrigerant quota in 2027 and 2030 are likely to make high-GWP refrigerants such as R23 more expensive. Weiss Technik can convert refrigeration circuits with the drop-in refrigerant WT77. The performance of the devices and systems remains the same.

For more details please click here.

The situation before changes in April 2024

Weiss 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 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 recommend using R452A (GWP of 2,141) as a ‘drop in’ substitute if really necessary. Some minor adjustments are required of the refrigeration components.

Weiss have performed thousands of hours of testing with R469A, R449A and R452A to check their performance successfully.


For chambers supplied after 31 Dec 2024 that are required to be made with a single compressor, typically able to reach -40⁰C, the refrigerant will be CO₂ and will be capable of reaching -50⁰C.

For chambers that require two compressors, a ‘cascade system’, typically able to reach -70⁰C, the situation before the changes in April 2024 apply as regards the refrigerants used i.e. R449a and either R469a or R23.

More Information

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.

You might also find the following blogs of interest:

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  • Installations
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  • Maintaining Your Chamber

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