A-Gas Managing Director John Ormerod on why this is good news for refrigeration contractors and the industry as a whole
The latest round of F-Gas Regulations provide a golden opportunity for contractors. Refrigerant recovery work will grow as customers migrate from high global warming (GWP) refrigerants to the next phase of carbon-friendly alternatives.
These are exciting times for the industry as work practices evolve and new, more efficient refrigerants emerge. There is also the opportunity for contractors to make a critical difference in helping the end-user to reduce their carbon footprint and save energy.
Choices will have to be made as the new replaces the old. High GWP refrigerants like R404A, widely used in low and medium temperature refrigeration operations, will become less available and slowly, shuffle off stage. With a choice of alternatives like - R407A, R407F, R448A and R449A – who knows what will emerge as top of the bill?
In some cases a total replacement of a refrigerant system will be the only answer but in the majority of incidences a retrofit will be the most cost-effective way of updating equipment, while keeping the existing equipment in place as long as it is capable of running for several years more.
For a large operation like a supermarket, downtime during a refrigeration upgrade can be a daunting prospect. When a big system is idle it can hit the end-user hard financially. Time is money and the quicker the job is completed the happier the customer will be.
In the past large system recovery could take days. Decanting up to two tonnes of refrigerant and replacing it with an alternative was not a quick fix.
Prior planning and preparation prevents…
Another important consideration is how to deal with the refrigerant once you have removed it. Have you enough cylinders to handle it? Are they big enough? How will you move it?
Whatever the job, even a 50-kilo recovery, time will be hanging over the contractor like a heavy sword. The quicker the recovery system, the more likely the job will be completed when it should be.
By using PERSY, in some instances a typical three-day recovery process can be reduced to a single day, depending on the size of the job.
PERSY benefits from larger lines and this means it is up to ten times faster than standard recovery equipment. In the right conditions the system can move up to 16 tonnes of refrigerant in four hours. Normally you would be lucky to move 50 kilos an hour.
Teamed with larger drum sizes, big quantities of refrigerant can be captured on-site and taken away. Making sure you have enough capacity to handle this should not be underestimated. The same applies to the positioning of equipment and suitable connections points.
Enough cylinders on hand
Once the liquid is out, you have to remove the residual vapour. On large systems this can be particularly time consuming. With a conventional recovery rig, a hand-held unit, you are limited by the size of the compressor on the unit.
By using equipment like PERSY with a much larger compressor on board and its own power supply – you are well placed to handle whatever comes your way.
With a typical scenario for recovery a turnaround in a day – sometimes less than that – that’s how our portable friend can make a real difference.