From 1st January (2020) virgin refrigerants with a GWP of 2500 or greater can no longer be used in new installations.
Maintenance has also been affected as systems with a charge size of 40 tonnes CO2 equivalent or greater – more easily understood as around 10kgs of R404A – cannot be serviced using virgin material with this high GWP.
“If you are working on systems with less than 10kgs of R404A, virgin R404A is still available from A-Gas but supplies are limited and A-Gas is urging installers and end users to make the switch to reclaimed gases (or low GWP alternatives) as soon as they can,” the company said in a press release issued today (2nd January).
“The F-Gas Regulations allow reclaimed R404A to be used up until 2030 regardless of the charge size.
“As a refrigerant supplier we have been increasing our capacity to handle reclaimed R404A which we believe will be a stepping stone to the new generation of low GWP refrigerants.”
“A-Gas has invested heavily in expanding reclamation facilities in the UK and in Europe.”
“The news that major refrigerant suppliers are removing all stocks of virgin R404A and R507A from sale in the European market reinforces the importance that the switch to reclaimed gases must gain pace if the industry is to manage this change.”
“It is also key that installers and end users understand the difference between reclaimed and recycled refrigerants.”
“Recycled refrigerant is a handy quick-fix which is cleaned up and can only be used on site.”
“While reclaimed refrigerant is product that has been reprocessed by a licensed facility to the industry standard AHRI 700 to match that of virgin product. It is purified, certificated and guaranteed to be returned to the same standard as virgin material.”
“The demand for reclaimed R404A will grow and this will have an effect on supplies.”
“While low GWP alternatives are in the long run the preferable choice, reclaimed gases are part of the future as they make use of material that has already been produced, helping to prolong the life of equipment and reducing the burden on producing new, quota restricted, material.”