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Sunday, 25 February

Worries to Come in Chilling Out

On the 1 January 2015, the latest element of legislation in the phasing out of R22 for air conditioning and refrigeration systems came into effect and the legislation dictated that while a R22 refrigerant based AC unit can be run still, when it breaks down, the operator may no longer repair it.

“If any repairs undertaken on the unit involve the handling of the refrigerant, this includes not being permitted to reuse the refrigerant in the system,” stated Mike Smith, Director of Engineering, BSRIA.

“You can still use your old equipment, but your technician can’t do any work that involves breaking into the refrigerant circuits, according to the government website (https://www.gov.uk/hcfcs-in-refrigeration-and-air-conditioning-equipment).

Mr Smith asserts that the outcome of this legislation is that if an air conditioning system is currently operating using R22, it is on “borrowed time”.

To ensure that any disruption to the working environment has minimal impact, it is important that a strategy is developed to deal with a failure scenario. BSRIA believes that the impact of this change is potentially so great on a business that a strategy that fits the individual application needs to be developed.  But what are the options?

 

  • Replace Plant – this leads to a number of advantages, including having the most energy efficient option. Allowance can be made for any changes in building use or expected changes in building use, ensuring that the plant delivers the required cooling load.  New plant will have a longer life than modified equipment.  There are disadvantages, the biggest of which is the cost involved in replacing systems. The other associated considerations are the installation disruption and longer implementation time for the replacement project.
  • Modify Plant to use a New Refrigerant – the advantages of this option would be a quick implementation in comparison to replacement, in addition the capital cost would also be lower. The disadvantages of choosing this option would be the plant life would not be extended, therefore the major capital expense of replacement will, at some point, still need to be incurred, the cooling capacity of the system could reduce and the energy efficiency of the system may get worse.

For those who have yet to decide on their strategy, BSRIA has published a three-step guide. For further information, visit the website: www.bsria.co.uk/news/article/r22-phase-out-replace-or-modify

 

 

Picture: From January 2015 legislation stipulates that while a R22 refrigerant based AC unit can be run still, when it breaks down, the operator may no longer repair it. 

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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