Advice available on converting from R-22 refrigerant 01 November 2009
Use of R-22 refrigerant is banned from the end of this year, as it contains ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).
From January 2010 to January 2015, recycled HCFCs is permitted but supplies are likely to be limited, and operators are likely to face operational headaches.
Compressors supplier Airchannel, however, is advising that the legislation is an opportunity to help resolve two issues – the rising cost of energy and environmental compliance.
"Businesses have three choices. If it fits into the legislative timetable, they can run chilling equipment to the end of its life and then install new technology," says Airchannel sales manager, Andrew Barraclough.
"The alternatives are to remove the refrigerant and replace it with another compound suitable for their current systems, and which complies with the legislation – or buy new equipment," he says.
He is offering Airchannel's services, following experience with several plants in earlier gas removal programmes – noting that for some R-22 replacements, the greater pressures required could have major implications for existing components and designs.
"There are potentially several problems, such as can the system sustain the new pressure? All new control switches would be required and oil changes inside the refrigerant could be difficult. As a result this may not be a viable option on the grounds of cost," he warns.
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