The Association of European Refrigeration Component Manufacturers (Asercom) has published safe handling guidelines for the use of flammables in compression refrigeration circuits.
The association said the handling of components for flammable refrigerants “involves numerous risks” but their use is important to comply with the F-Gas Regulation.
“The purpose of this guide is to provide common interpretation of the demands to and application of components in vapour compression systems which use flammable refrigerants within the frames of the HVACR standards in the EU,” Asercom said.
“As flammable refrigerants play a big role in the phasedown of refrigerants related emissions this guide will facilitate the design of low GWP systems.
“Specifically, the guidelines are for the safe handling of components used in compression refrigeration circuits with flammable refrigerants.”
Asercom president Wolfgang Zaremski said although safety regulations document how systems must be built, installed and maintained, the component manufacturers in Asercom have noticed a high degree of uncertainty among refrigeration and air conditioning specialists when dealing with flammable refrigerants.
“Flammable refrigerants have been used in millions of household applications for decades. The filling quantity in household appliances is limited to 150 g per system. Industry and the associated service sectors are now faced with a new challenge: the increased use of flammable refrigerants means that larger fill quantities are required, which, if handled incorrectly, pose a significantly higher risk potential.”
The guidelines outline specific conditions under which flammable refrigerants can be used and points out that the installer must always undertake a comprehensive risk assessment of the installation.
This means that he/she must design the installation in accordance with the safety requirements described in the application-specific safety regulations. Asercom also provides instructions on specifying the requirements for handling components for flammable refrigerants.
“It is therefore advisable to prepare early for the changeover to flammable refrigerants. Appropriate training and the resulting skills are crucial for safe handling,” Asercom said.
The organisation has also issued a warning to stop using R-404A/R-507A in new equipment.