Articles by Peter Powell

Keeping Track of Refrigerants

By Peter Powell
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With supplies of some refrigerants dwindling, costs rising, and recordkeeping and venting regulations in place, the need for careful refrigerant management is needed more than ever. That being the case, more and more manufacturers are coming out with products to address the need.


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There’s Reason to Fuss About Hydrocarbons’ Flammability

By Peter Powell
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A reader raised concerns over a refrigerant product on the shelf of a farm supply store. The product had as its sales pitch, “Why switch from the traditional R-22 refrigerants,” and it was noted on the label that the package contained the equivalent of 30 pounds of HCFC-22.


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Expo Attendees Discuss R-22 Limitations

By Peter Powell
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About a month before the AHR Expo, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicated it would permit the industry to produce and import 39 million pounds of virgin HCFC-22 in 2013, down from 55 million pounds in 2012.


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Beyond Familiar HFCs

By Peter Powell
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While much of the buzz at the AHR Expo was on dwindling supplies of new HCFC-22, reclamation of that refrigerant, and use of alternative HFCs in retrofits, a number of conversations centered on alternatives beyond familiar HFCs. 


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Climate Change Rejoins Agenda

By Peter Powell
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So just when we thought regulatory actions related to the environment were pretty mute, given not much traction in Washington mainly due to a sluggish economy, along comes, of all people, the president of the United States.


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Safe Servicing of HCs

By Peter Powell
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HC refrigerants have an A3 safety rating, meaning there are flammability issues. Even so, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially gave Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) approval to R-290 (propane), R-600a (isobutene), and R-441A (a blend marketed by ComStar International as HCR 188c).


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Taking Opposite Sides on the Same Refrigerant

By Peter Powell
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This past fall, the automobile manufacturer Daimler came out saying it was holding off using HFO-1234yf for auto air conditioning even though a directive from the European Union was calling for moving away from HFC-134a. Some saw that as a question about how much traction HFOs were getting as long-term alternatives to HFCs.


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Considering Cascade, Transcritical, Transport, and Heat Pumps

By Peter Powell
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CO2 as a refrigerant in cascade supermarket systems, transcritical applications, transport refrigeration, and heat pumps were among major developments in recent years. Here is a summary of those developments.


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EPA Further Tightens the R-22 Spigot

2013 Allocation Reduced to 39 Million Pounds
By Peter Powell
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It appears as if the spigot of new R-22 available to HVACR contractors has been tightened even more in 2013. Users of the world’s most popular HCFC could expect close to 30 percent less of new R-22 this year than last, according to some reports.


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RSES Matches Trainers with Training Needs

By Peter Powell
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There is no question that ongoing training is needed in the HVACR industry. The real question may be: How qualified are those doing the training? RSES has proposed an answer through the development of its RSES Certified Trainer (RCT) program.


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