To ensure continued good performance and reliability, it is vital that refrigerated systems are designed, installed and commissioned to a very high standard. A good designer will also take care to ensure that the system is built with easily replaceable and high quality parts to minimise faults, leakage and obsolescence later in the design life of the system, and will ideally design with environmentally-friendly refrigerants to reduce the environmental impact of the system.
Refrigerated systems should be subjected to regular maintenance by qualified and experienced technicians in order to prolong the working life of the equipment, and maximise reliability to avoid costly or inconvenient downtime.
All refrigerated systems within the European Union are covered by F-Gases Regulations governing who can work with refrigerants, strictly controlling emissions and usage reporting, and ensuring that F-Gas substances including refrigerants are controlled, recycled and disposed of in a compliant manner. Outside the EU, local regulations and best practice guidelines usually apply to control refrigerants and systems to a similar standard.
The F-Gases Regulation (EU) No. 517/2014
The F-Gas Regulations were developed from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which aimed to reduce the emission of ‘greenhouse gases’ which contribute to global warming. F-Gas regulations originally placed emphasis on regular leak checking and repair of leaking systems, however the most recent revision has introduced significant extra burden on system operators and maintainers to record and maintain their systems to a higher standard than previously required.
The majority of current refrigerants have a ‘Global Warming Potential’ (GWP), expressed as the equivalent kilograms of CO2 per kilogram of refrigerant. To improve awareness of the effect of refrigerant losses on the environment, the F-Gas regulations now require all system refrigerant charges and any usage or leakage to be expressed in kilograms of CO2, rather than kilograms of refrigerant. Leakage checking intervals are now ascribed to the CO2 equivalent of the system rather than simply the refrigerant quantity. Major leaks are now required to be reported to government within 48 hours of discovery, and all leaks now must be repaired, whereas previously they only had to be repaired where ‘technically feasible’. There are also additional requirements for reporting and logging of maintenance and repairs.
Tyco is trusted by a number of clients to run their F-Gas recording and reporting structure for a number of assets. We have updated procedures to fully comply with the latest revision of F-Gas Regulations and ensure clients are not exposed by the various extra new requirements of the new regulations.
The Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulation (UK) No. 168/2015 and (EU) No. 1005/2009
The ODP Regulations were developed from the 1987 Montreal Protocol, aiming to phase out CFC substances such as R12 which contributed heavily to global warming by depleting the Ozone layer of Earth’s atmosphere. Having achieved this in the late 1990s, subsequent revisions of the Protocol began to reduce the worldwide usage of HCFCs such as R22. The ODP regulations have enforced this across the EU including the UK, and the most recent milestone was to ban charging HCFCs into systems after maintenance or repairs, effective from 01 Jan 2015. The change means that existing HCFC systems can continue to operate after this date but it is now illegal put them back into operation if they leak.
Most clients with existing HCFC systems after this date have either taken the opportunity to upgrade to a new, legal and much more efficient and reliable HFC based system, or used a much less efficient ‘drop-in’ HFC conversion refrigerant to keep their HCFC-designed systems running in the short term. Tyco can provide both of these options dependant on the aims of the client.
Note: It is important to acknowledge that even if the client has still HCFC stock available on site, Tyco can no longer legally charge these into the refrigerated system. In line with ODP regulations, these stocks should be returned to an accredited disposal site at earliest opportunity. However Tyco can still legally recover HCFC from systems, only for return to an accredited disposal site.
Refrigerated System Servicing, Maintenance and Repairs
Refrigerated systems require regular maintenance in order to operate correctly and reliably, and must be checked for refrigerant leaks at intervals in accordance with F-Gas regulations. This work must be carried out by F-Gas qualified engineers and technicians, who should also be well experienced in the subject to ensure the work carried out is to a high standard.
Tyco only employs refrigeration technicians and engineers who are qualified and accredited to F-Gas standards.
F-Gas Qualified Engineers
All technicians and engineers working with refrigerants must be qualified and experienced to carry out such work, since the introduction of F-Gas regulations it has been mandatory for these personnel to hold a qualification recognised by the regulations.
Tyco has a large team of qualified and experienced refrigeration technicians and engineers, all accredited to modern F-Gas standards and with a great wealth of combined experience. Personnel are always available to travel at short notice anywhere in the world to attend client sites for maintenance, repairs, surveys, installation and commissioning.
Commissioning work is undertaken by our most experienced engineers, who are additionally accredited by the Commissioning Specialists Association.
F-Gas Usage and Emissions Recording and Reporting
The introduction of EU F-Gas Regulations and similar legislation around the world brought about requirements to record any usage or loss of refrigerant, along with recording routine maintenance such as checking for refrigerant leaks. The latest version of this regulation, particularly in the UK, requires even stricter control and reporting of certain leaks within 48 hours. Records must be submitted to government annually and all refrigerant usage, leaks and system charges must now be recorded in terms of their CO2 equivalent to identify the GWP equivalent of the refrigerant losses.
Given our strength and depth of knowledge in this field, several clients have already outsourced control of F-Gas reporting and recording to Tyco to ensure that it is being done correctly. Reports are delivered annually in a format ready to be submitted by the client to government, as set out in the regulations.
DOES YOUR BUSINESS UNDERSTAND AND COMPLY WITH F-GAS REGULATIONS?
F-Gas Compliant Reclaim, Recycling and Disposal
Part of the new EU legislation requires F-Gas products to be controlled and disposed of in a compliant manner, to stricter standards than have previously been required. Both the plant operator and the supplier have to be able to trace ownership of the refrigerant from delivery to destruction or recycling by an approved third party.
Tyco has extensive links with numerous reputable refrigerant suppliers and is able to provide this chain of ownership proof as part of its F-Gas management service.
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning System Design
Clients should take care when procuring a new refrigerated system to ensure that the company selected for the work has adequate design staff, as getting the system right at the design stage is crucial to the reliable operation of the system over its complete design life. A system that has been designed with incorrect components or poorly specified materials, or that is undersized to cope with the entire range of cooling loads that will be encountered, will cost far more than the initial price of the system installation when repeat visits for repairs and modifications are factored in.
Tyco has a long history of producing refrigerated systems that continue to deliver through reliable running and well specified design, and our qualified and experienced design engineers continue to ensure this excellent track record continues.
Refrigerated System Engineering, Procurement, Installation, Commissioning
Where a new refrigerated system is required, clients should always choose a company with experience of surveying, designing, procuring, building, installing and commissioning, in order to carry out the work safely and legally. The work should also be carried out to a high standard with good quality documentation in order to minimise the potential for problems developing in future. Commissioning should always be carried out by a suitably accredited Engineer to provide assurance that the system has been set up for success.
Tyco is able to carry out this turn-key provision of works to a very high standard, using experienced and strongly qualified design, installation and commissioning staff. The work is always carried out from concept to handover by a dedicated project manager. Commissioning engineers are accredited by the Commissioning Services Association.
Some of the older refrigeration systems still in use run on HCFC refrigerants now banned under emissions regulations, such as R22. Where replacement of the entire system is not desirable or cost-effective, in most cases it is possible to convert the existing system to run on a legal direct replacement in order to bring the system into compliance.
Tyco has extensive experience carrying out these retrofits and conversions in systems around the globe, and can quote for this work regardless of location worldwide.