New gas regulation affects superyacht HVAC systems

In 2014 the EU published the new ‘F-gas Regulation’ in its official bulletin.  This new regulation as of 1st January 2015, applied to all synthetic refrigerants, which come under the heading “halogenated hydrocarbons” (HFCs), as these have high global warming potential.

These refrigerants can be found in a lot of superyacht air-conditioning equipment and cooling systems. Joep Hopman, CEO of HVAC experts Heinen & Hopman’s explained, “R22 is one of the ozone depleting HFCs that will not be applied anymore in new systems as of 2014, according to agreements in the Kyoto protocol. Starting this year, refrigeration operations like refilling with HFCs aren’t allowed anymore either. As long as the systems work, there is nothing to worry about. In case of defects, the consequences depend on the type of refrigerant, which is shown on the equipment’s identification label or service receipts.”

At the heart of the amendment to the F-gas Regulation is a gradual phasing down of marketing HFCs. Marketing HFCs will be reduced from 100% in 2015 to 21% in 2030. In order to achieve this reduction, topping up refrigeration equipment filled with an HFC with a GWP in excess of 2500 (such as R404A and R507A) will be banned.

Therefore, Heinen & Hopman advises you to check which refrigerant is used in your air conditioning system, as a defect in some cases might require replacement of the air conditioning instead of repair. Old systems with a high content in CO2 equivalents also require up to twice-yearly leakage checks. New air conditioning systems are a lot more energy efficient, and quieter than older systems though.

For further information, visit Heinen & Hopman.

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