Phase-down Targets Reliant on Supermarkets
Adoption of lower GWP refrigerants by supermarkets is vital if European HFC phase-down targets are to be met
Speaking at Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Magazine’s (RAC’s) Retail Question Time event, consultant Ray Gluckman, who worked closely with officials involved with the European Union (EU) F-gas regulation, said, “At the moment we don’t have enough end users, maintenance, or installation companies taking the necessary action to meet the targets set by the EU.”
Gluckman pointed out that the availability of HFCs was facing a double whammy of cuts.
Pre-charged equipment is set to become part of the quota system in 2017, while 2018 sees a dramatic cut of 44 percent. This is set to be followed in 2021 with a 60 percent reduction.
With the widespread use of R-404A in the supermarket sector, the industry is seen as key to meeting the forthcoming targets.
Gluckman said, “We need an early switch from R-404A, particularly in commercial refrigeration. In the UK this is happening; however, we are arguably ahead of other countries — this phase-down is European wide. The early signs are that not enough end-users, maintenance, and installation contractors are taking action
“The UK has no particular right to get gas if other countries are prepared to pay more for it. So we need these actions in every country and that is what worries me most.
“We need to be retrofitting on a significant scale, in both the supermarket and the industrial refrigeration sector, with a combined effort on leakage reduction.”
Gluckman is working with the European manufacturers’ association EPEE, which has identified three areas to tackle the subject.
This includes the adoption of new equipment and the further development of technology that allows a reduced refrigerant charge, together with a further focus on tightening leakage management, while the reclaim market should be further evolved to allow greater usage.
Content for the European Spotlight is provided courtesy of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Magazine, London. For more information, visit www.racplus.com.
Publication date: 12/21/2015