LIFE FRONT, an EU-funded project that aims to remove implementation barriers posed by legacy charge-limit standards for flammable refrigerants in refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pump (RACHP) applications, has released a new report on how to achieve this goal.

With this new report, which includes results from laboratory testing, LIFE FRONT recommends measures to minimize concentrations of flammable refrigerants in the case of an equipment leak.

It includes advice on mitigation measures in performance testing and increasing charge size for flammable refrigerants, focusing on smaller equipment, such as display cabinets, ice cream freezers, small/packaged ACs, and small heat pumps, as described in the access categories “a” and “b” in the EN 378-1 (2016) Standard.

This European standard provides the basic safety and environmental requirements, definitions, classification and selection criteria for refrigerating systems and heat pumps.

“For refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) applications, hydrocarbons represent an energy efficient and low global warming alternative to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs),” the report said.

“Given the F-Gas Regulation (EU) No 517/2017 requires a reduction in HFCs of more than two thirds by 2030, the market for hydrocarbon-based equipment is expected to see a vibrant growth in coming years.

in term of mitigation measures, additional lab tests and experiments on various aspects - system tightness, systems with integral airflow, charge leaks, housing design, ignition sources - are expected to lead to crucial outcomes contributing to the development of hydrocarbon-based RACHP applications.

“The market research and the related findings will serve as a basis for ongoing and future project phases under LIFE FRONT, informing activities on project safety design, laboratory testing and engagement with standardisation development processes.”

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