Leak detection – technological advancements in support of new low GWP refrigerants

F-Gas II, also known as EU Regulation 517/2014, continues to drive change across the cooling industry.  With a large reduction in the amount of refrigerant allowed to be placed on the market in 2018, refrigerant manufacturers have been developing and launching new lower GWP refrigerants that will help meet the market’s demand for refrigerants and achieve its regulatory obligations.  With this shift in new products being used and the regulatory demands on leak checking, it’s also important to ensure effective leak detection technology is in place.

F-Gas regulation & leak detection
As a reminder, here are the key F-Gas leak detection requirements placed upon operators of equipment containing F-Gases:

  • Regular leak checks; fully documented;
  • Measures should be taken, to minimise emissions and prevent leakage;
  • Leaks must be fixed without undue delay;
  • Equipment using higher GWP refrigerants need to be leak checked more frequently;
  • Equipment containing more than 500 CO2 Eq Tonnes of an F-Gas must have a leak detection system fitted.

New refrigerants
Refrigerant producers are bringing new low GWP products to market; for example the Opteon™ and Solstice® HFO and HFO blended products.  With more people making the switch from higher GWP products, like R-404A, it’s important to ensure that any leak detection equipment in place continues to detect new refrigerant types too.

Leak detection technologies
As an industry, we are all aware of the benefits of installing leak detection equipment.  From the safety aspect, the ability to reduce operating costs, to the environmental benefit of less wastage.  It’s very important to ensure the right equipment is selected for the job; equipment that can withstand heavy usage and equipment that can keep up to date with changes in refrigerant technologies.
Manufacturers of leak detection equipment are keeping a close eye on changes in the market and offer products that can detect both existing and commonly used refrigerants as well as the newer refrigerants coming to market.

Leak detection equipment may seem like an unwanted expense especially when budgets are tight, however any refrigerant leaks that are stopped sooner will have financial benefits that should more than offset the initial equipment outlay.  It’s also worth bearing in mind that with the price of higher GWP refrigerants likely to increase over the coming months, the cost of any leaks will probably increase too.

Time to review with help on hand
It’s a good idea to review some of the new equipment available, aligned with new refrigerants and with the ability to automate the process.

Companies, such as Climalife in the UK, working in partnership with Bacharach can advise on these leak detection solutions, together with a wider range of options that are compatible with different building needs, and can provide tailored guidance on the location of equipment, type and number of sensors to use.

Check our leak detection product range and contact us today to find out more on 0117 980 2520

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