The deadline for the phase out of R22 refrigerant is fast approaching. From 1st January 2015 it will be illegal to use R22 refrigerant to service industrial refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.
R22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) but was commonly used in equipment until it was categorised as ozone-depleting. The phase out includes all R22, including recycled or reclaimed.
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) encourages companies to have a phase-out strategy in place in readiness for the deadline: http://archive.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/air/fgas/documents/fgassupport-rac8.pdf
If you currently have equipment which uses R22 then you can choose one of three options - replace, convert or leave as-if. To decide the most appropriate option you’ll need to consider a number of factors, including the type of system you operate, its age, condition and efficiency.
If you’re contemplating continuing to use your equipment, it’s important that you bear in mind that from next year it won’t be possible to carry out any service or maintenance work which involves breaking into the refrigerant circuit. DEFRA advises that companies cease using strategically important equipment before 2015. The harsh reality is that if the equipment is business critical, and the system leaks for any reason, the implications could be extremely costly.
It is possible to convert equipment using a “drop-in” refrigerant. Any conversions should be carried out by a trained engineer to protect against system leakage. Whilst this can be a cost effective option for well maintained equipment, converting can reduce cooling capacity and efficiency. It’s also not recommended if a system has already been converted in the past.
Replacing equipment is likely to be the best solution for older, poor condition systems. A lot of equipment using HCFC will be 10-20 years old. Replacing with equipment that uses a non-ODS refrigerant however may not be as expensive as it first appears. Advances in chiller technology means equipment is now much more energy efficient.
Aqua Cooling have a comprehensive range of chillers, all using non-ODS refrigerant, which are highly efficient. These include Class A efficient free cooling chillers, SMARDT Turbocors and inverter driven screw units.
For a completely free, no obligation site assessment by one of our specialist Engineers Contact Aqua - call 0845 0941 800. We can help guide you meet the R22 phase-out requirements and advise & help you decide the best course of action for your existing equipment.