Following increased pressure across industry brought about by the Dame Judith Hackitt’s building regulation reforms, temperature control solutions specialist Aggreko is reminding manufacturers of the importance of complying with the F-Gas ban a year on from its introduction.
Certification body Refcom recently highlighted cooling engineers will not be exempt from the competence and enforcement agenda being driven by Dame Judith Hackitt, which includes competence testing to ensure organisations adhere to F-gas regulations. This follows the introduction of EU Regulation 517/2014 requirements stipulating any hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with a global warming potential (GWP) of over 2500 were banned from the 1st January 2020, which remains in force post-Brexit.
As refrigeration equipment requires refilling or replacement, particularly after being left unused or at lower capacity during the pandemic, companies must use F-Gas ban-compliant refrigerants. As budgets experience pandemic-related constrictions and demand for cold storage for stockpiling increases, Matt Watson, Temperature Control Specialist at Aggreko, is warning companies to be aware of F-Gas compliance before they are caught out.
“If your refrigeration system previously operated using common refrigerants such as HFC R404A or R507, in the event that it needs to be refilled the system may need more extensive replacement work than before the F-Gas ban,” he says. “Given the longer lead and installation times associated with this process, there might be serious implications for companies reliant on their cold storage capacity, especially in sectors currently stockpiling goods. On top of this, organisations that may have felt the financial strain of Covid-19 may also struggle with the cost of system replacement or making adjustments to existing equipment if they don’t have the capital to invest.”
To avoid costs associated with stock waste and fines for non-compliance, companies may require hired solutions to alleviate issues that arise from equipment failure and replacement. Temporary chillers and cold storage solutions can be quickly implemented in the place of non-F-Gas-compliant equipment, immediately quashing risk of disrupted operations while not incurring large capital expenditure at a time when organisations are needing to do more with less.
Matt adds: “By using the services of a temporary solutions expert like Aggreko, any concerns around cost of replacement can be immediately mitigated. On top of this, issues that come with maintenance and compliance with cold chain regulations and standards are outsourced and dealt with accordingly. As supply chain disruptions are worsened by continuing trade negotiations and changes to tariffs, it is important for companies to consider long-term equipment hire while considerations for a longer-term solution are taken.”