F-Gas II, also known as EU Regulation 517/2014, continues to drive change across the cooling industry. With a large reduction in the amount of refrigerant allowed to be placed on the market in 2018, refrigerant manufacturers have been developing and launching new lower GWP refrigerants that will help meet the market’s demand for refrigerants and achieve its regulatory obligations.
With this shift in new products being used and the regulatory demands on leak checking, it’s also important to ensure effective leak detection technology is in place.
By Mel Summers, Marketing Co-ordinator at Climalife
F-Gas regulation & leak detection
As a reminder, here are the key F-Gas leak detection requirements placed upon operators of equipment containing F-Gases:
Leak detection technologies
Manufacturers of leak detection equipment are keeping a close eye on changes in the market and offer products that can detect both existing and commonly used refrigerants as well as the newer refrigerants coming to market.
This month we are focussing on three products from Bacharach, a key player in the leak detection technology market.
The MGS-550 Gas Detector, can be used across a variety of challenging applications. It can continuously monitor toxic and combustible gases, oxygen and refrigerants such as HFCs and newer refrigerants; R449A, R452A, R513A and R448A in ambient air.
The MGS 550 is user configurable and can be connected to any central BMS control system (via a Modbus connection) and also has three on-board user-assignable relays.
It can function as a stand-alone unit.
The instrument can be upgraded at any time from a one-sensor unit to a two-sensor system by installing a second sensor.
Enclosure options include a rugged; explosion-proof aluminium housing or a dust/waterproof IP66 ABS for durable performance in any location.
The Bacharach HGM-MZ or Multi-Zone Gas Monitor offers performance, flexibility and functionality for low level continuous monitoring of refrigerants using an Infra-red sensor.
The minimum detection limit is as low as 1ppm, allowing for early identification of leaks and a true refrigerant management approach.
A built in library of over 50 gases and the scalability of up to 16 zones facilitate customisation of the system.
The large graphic LCD display and status LEDs provide a system wide overview at a glance. Multiple communications interfaces enable the monitor to be integrated into any BMS/BAS system.
The portable PGM-IR offers performance and functionality for low ppm level leak detection of refrigerants.
It has a library of 50 refrigerants enabling it to accurately detect the smallest leaks with sensitivity as low as 1ppm.
The unit is immune to sudden changes in temperature or humidity and to over-exposure. It has a data logging capacity of up to 200 readings.
With its high flow rate, real-time ppm concentrations are displayed instantly with corresponding audible tick-rate indicator to precisely pinpoint leaks.
The rechargeable Li-ion battery provides a minimum of 8 hours usage.
Saving time and money
Of the Bacharach PGM-IR, Steve Chapple, service engineer at Cooltherm Installation Services in Garforth, said:
“The Bacharach infrared leak detector is a fantastic piece of kit. I’m now able to distinguish which refrigerant is leaking from which system. It’s saved me countless hours of leak testing with a standard handheld semiconductor type leak detector because it’s only sensing refrigerant and is not affected by cleaning chemicals, steam and even temperature changes. I would recommend this machine to any service engineer.”
Time to review with help on hand
Companies, such as Climalife in the UK, working in partnership with Bacharach can advise on these leak detection solutions, together with a wider range of options that are compatible with different building needs, and can provide tailored guidance on the location of equipment, type and number of sensors to use.