A2L (flammable) HFC R32 Refrigerant
Refrigerants are chemicals with unique thermodynamic properties advantages, have very low boiling temperatures, and can carry 10 times more energy per weight than water and 50 times more than air.
There are THREE refrigerant Classifications (A1, A2/A2L, A3) for flammability and toxicity, in accordance with ISO 817:2014 (E) & ASHRAE Standard 34.
A1: Non- Flammable, A2/A2L: Flammable, A3: Highly Flammable
current examples : A1 R410A, R407C, R134a, A2L R32, A3 R600, R600a
What is A2L R32? Is it Safe? Is it Legal? Is it worth it?
What is A2L R32?
HFC R32 is a Single Component* A2L Classified flammable refrigerant introduced in 2012 in Japan/2015 in Europe by Daikin to be the 1st flammable, used in air conditioning equipment SINCE 1928. A commercial stunt?
* R32 is used as a multi component (mixture) in many other types of A1 class non-flammable refrigerants such as R407C (R32+R125+R134a) R410A (R32+R125) and many more. Reason for the mixture (mainly with R125 ) is to SUPRESS the flammability of R32 to be safe and optain A1 Classification
- HFC R32 is a short term refrigerant with a low GWP of 675 (if leaked), to replace the current A1 Classified non-flammable R410A in small AC Systems, which has a high GWP of 2088 (if leaked). R32 is an unstable Refrigerant according to Daikin Chemical GmbH
Is it Safe? and Legal?
R32 is an A2L class Flammable refrigerant and requires:
a) Extra Manufacturers obligations ,to meet H&S 2016 no.1107 Stautory Instruments, and BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Stratiegy) UK Statutory Guidance 2016 published August 2017. (both instrument & guidlines are in line with ATEX 34/2014/EU . Manufacturers MUST have options and not create a Cartel to take advantage of the weakness in regulations and act ehticaly. Life is more important.
b) Extra Engineer Safety qualifications in handling A2/A2L refrigerants
c) Extra Installation Safety components for A2L Flammable. (ventilation, alarms, pipe protection electrical installation and location of equipment). The following are manufacturers recomendation
d) Extra End Users awareness End users MUST be Informed of the risks & ristrictions by giving them User Manual (example of various major manufacturers)
Flammable Refrigerants Responsibilities and Obligations
UK Government Study of the impact of high GWP refrigerants in Heat Pumps concluded that the carbon benefit of displacing fossil fuels was around 17 times higher than the impact of refrigerant leaks.
a) Manufacturers, Authorised Representatives, Importers and Distributors are under Duty & Obligations to meet the following, including CE marking and Labeling.
b) Manufacturers & Economic Operatorsu must follow Code of Practice for consumer products safety related Recalls and Other corrective actions
c) Marketing materials ( Sales leaflets, advertising, websites etc) must follow Advertising Standards "The CAP Code".
a) Specifiers, designers of building services, needs to take into account the 2016 no.1107 Statutory Requirements when using A2L or A3 class refrigerants in Bublic / Residential Buildings in relation to fire zones. to be evaluated if equipment They must obtain confirmation from Manufacturers, Distributors & Economic Operators of compliance. Local authorities must be notifiedl.
b) Building Managers and Owners responsibilities to the occupiers fall under strict compliance with the new Building Safety Regulations and BSI Standards. Risk Assesments to take into account of the PROXIMITY of Equipment containg A2L in a fire zones.
c) End Users Need to be aware of the restrictions in the use and operation of equipment containing A2L class flammable refrigerants and given a choice.
d) Multiple Sytems within a Building needs to be of one type of refrigerant to insure compliance, life cycle security and reduce multiple dicipline maintenance.
e) AC equipment selection for any Building needs to take account the long term servicibility and availability of spares and refrigerant availability.. e.g. A1 class R410A non flammable willl be at least till 2040
Installers, Designers, Building Managers and Owners responsibility fall under
a) Written confirmation from Manufacturers, Distributors, importers that products containing flammable R32 meets H&S 2016 no.1107 & meets Code of Practice PAS 7100:2018
b) Installation & maintenance meets the following manufacturers recommendations
c) Installer should be qulified and certified to handle (A2/A2L) flammable refrigerants e.g. City & Guilds 6187-21 (in addition to City & Guilds 2079-11,12) & F-Gas certification
Important: F-Gas certification of engineers does not cover any competency on personal or project safety. It sets targets to reduce GWP of refrigerants.
Installers ( part of the economic operator chain) must insure the project meets H&S and F-Gas installation legal & safety requirements as thy will be liable for any damages for the loss of life or property.
End users and occupiers must be clearly be informed, trained and made aware of risks associated with flammable or explosive refrigerant before installation...
40 years experiance
- Clearly, A2L or A3 Flammable refrigerants have no place in Public or Residential Buildings..
- A1 class refrigerants have been available and used safely since 1928.
-The disaster of Grenfell Tower has highlighted the irresponsible behaiviour of manufacturers, suppliers and economic operators with total disrespect to LIFE (all types).-
- Having flammable refrigerants in home refrigerators (A3 Class, such as Butane R600 of Isobutane R600a) or A2L class R32 in air conditioning systems used in Public & Residential Buildings is more than stupid, ignorance, unethical and criminal.
- Starving the market of A1 class is nothing short of having a Business Cartel. Which is illigal and a scandle!
- Cartel manufacturers operating in the UK supply R410A everywhere in the world! ?
Space Air have asked the manufacturers to confirm that the product is compliant! so far no response ! Space Air have made a complaints to Trading Standards & Advertising Standards as part of H&S 2016 no.1107 obligations.
Insist on A1 class refrigerant in AC or refrigeration equipment. IT IS AVAILABLE !!.
Did you know?
Refrigerants are chemicals with unique thermodynamic properties advantages, have very low boiling temperatures, and can carry 10 times more energy per weight than water and 50 times more than air. There are over 300 types of refrigerants,
They are used in a DX cycle (Direct Expansion cycle) in Air Conditioning systems, Refrigerators or Freezers to move unwanted energy (heat) from inside to outside (cooling cycle) and/or from outside to inside (heating cycle - known as Heat Pump).
Refrierants when utilised in a DX cycle are circulated (not consumed)
The only release to the atmosphere is due to accidental leaks, where, F-Gas certification needs to be adhered to as it is primarily an Environmental qualifications for engineers ensuring Environmentally safe handling of refrigerant.
Did you know?
A system charged with an A2L class flammable refrigerant like R32 can explode?
Yes if :
a) Air or Moisture is in the system that might ignite the oil during compression cycle (discharge temp of R32 is 20°C higher than R410A . Or
b) The installation is in the PROXIMITY of a fire zone. Watch this video (Diesel Effect)
Space say: It is a shame that A2L R32 is being forced on the UK and some EU countries by a manufacturer, I promoted for 36 years as the true innovator and leader. Daikin Industries under their chairman Mr. Inoue introduced R32 in EU and monopolized the patents and deceptively force other Japanese, Korean and Chinese manufacturers to starve the UK and EU market by monopolising the Quota system to promote flammable R32 in Public and Residential buildings, for the first time in AC industry since 1928 Hence we acuse them of forming a Business Cartel. I do not belive that other manufacturers are aware of the intention. Neil Afram F.M.Inst.R.
Space Air since 1980 suppoerted the Industry by promoting good regulations and practices. We support and promote H&S Standards that protects LIFE.
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