On 1st January 2015, European Regulation No. 517/2014, known as F-Gas, introduced a new mechanism for gradually reducing the use of HFCs through to 2030 to ensure the reduction of emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases.
The progressive reduction of HFCs is achieved through several methods:
- The implementation of quotas. Quota is the overall quantity of HFC refrigerants that producers and importers can place on the market, expressed in CO2 equivalent Tonnes. At the end of 2014, the European Commission introduced an annual placing on the market quota that reduces in steps every 3 years through to 2030 with the biggest reductions in 2018 and 2021.
- The introduction of sales bans for new equipment containing certain HFCs depending on their GWP.
- The prohibition of the use of HFCs for the maintenance or servicing of existing refrigeration equipment depending on their GWP.
From 1st January 2020, it is prohibited to use HFCs with a GWP ≥ to 2500 for the service and maintenance of stationary refrigeration equipment with a charge size ≥ to 40 T. eq. CO2 (eg 10.2 kg of R-404A, 10.0 kg of R-507A, 14.6 kg of R-422D). There are also exemptions for military equipment and equipment operating below -50°C.
The use of reclaimed or recycled HFCs are also allowed. In the case of recycled product only the user can reuse it.
From 1st January 2020, there is a ban on the sale of all stationary refrigeration equipment containing HFCs with a GWP ≥ 2500, unless it is for military use or where the system operates below -50C.
For commercial applications there are further new equipment bans that will follow;
- Hermetically sealed equipment :
From 1st January 2022, ban on new commercial refrigerators and freezers with a GWP ≥ 150.
- Equipment not hermetically sealed with more than one compressor per circuit and 40kW or over.
From 1st January 2022, ban on the placing on the market of multi-user centralised refrigeration systems for commercial use containing HFCs, with GWP ≥ 150. With the exception of cascade systems with indirect primary circuit: where the primary refrigeration circuits are allowed to contain HFCs with GWP < 1500.
Further details of all equipment bans and available alternative refrigerants by application can be found on Climalife’s popular F-Gas Solutions App.