The effects of F-gas regulation (EU 517/2014) are showing in the market already, although there is almost two years to the next time line, 1.1.2020. From this date onwards, all the HFC-refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP ) of 2500 or more, are not allowed to be used in new installations with few exceptions.
In practice, only limited use of, for example, R404A is allowed for service purposes till 1.1.2030.
From 1 January 2020, recycled fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP of 2 500 or more used for the maintenance or servicing of existing refrigeration equipment is allowed, provided they have been recovered from such equipment.
Since 2013, Porkka has placed HFC-free refrigeration equipment in to the market, such as counters, cabinets and modular cold rooms. Instead of HFC, these units use HC – natural refrigerants, such as R290.
R290 has GWP of only 3, and contain no fluorine or chlorine. Presently, there is a regulatory limit of less than 150 g fill limit per circuit. It is expected, however, that new regulations during next 12 months will increase the usage of these environmental friendly refrigerants.
Currently there are plenty of new refrigerants placed in to the market to replace R404A. They are often called as HFO’s. The benefit of these mixtures is to have lower GWP than 2500. Most used are R448A, R449A, R452A and R454A. The challenge with these new mixtures is that they are not pure HFO’s but a mixture of HFC’s and HFO’s-. HFO’s themselves, though not restricted, belongs to the group of other fluorinated greenhouse gases subject to reporting.
|R448A||1273 – 1387||(R32/R125/R1234yf/R134a/R1234ze)|
GWP’s of individual refrigerants used in these mixtures are quite high, excl. HFO’s.
|R 32||GWP 675|
|R 125||GWP 3500|
|R 134a||GWP 1430|
|R 404A||GWP 3922|
The revolution of the refrigerants is getting near and fast.
The purpose of the F-gas regulation is to diminish the placing of the HFC’s on the market by 79% from the volume of 2015 level by 2030. The real life effect in terms of availability and price are to be seen in coming days. This is a major feature to be taken in to consideration, when investing in the refrigeration equipment today.
With plug-in ready models the usage of HFO/HFC-blends will be quite a short term solution, due to approaching restrictions taking in to force 1.1.2022, after which the GWP must be less than 150.
With remote systems, there are already more environmental friendly solutions available, such as R 744 (CO2). The revolution of the refrigerants is getting near and fast.