A-Gas Managing Director John Ormerod explains why he believes a new refrigerant recovery service could transform the way contractors operate.
Refrigerant recovery is growing in importance across refrigeration and air conditioning and the pace of change has increased significantly as the F-Gas Regulations have tightened their grip on the way the industry goes about its business.
But to recycle you first have to recover and that’s why A-Gas is unveiling a new service to help engineers and end-users to transform the way they handle this part of the job. A-Gas Rapid Recovery will be available to customers across the UK from this month (June) and will make recovery quicker and easier.
Rapid Recovery is a business which began life in the US to provide an outsourced refrigerant recovery service to contractors. A-Gas bought the company last year after it recognised that by offering a similar service in other areas of the world, it could make a big difference to the way engineers operate.
A-Gas Rapid Recovery is a bespoke recovery service with very high recovery rates – approximately ten times faster than traditional recovery units. The main benefit to contractors is that they are able to outsource this work to someone who is a specialist in the field of recovery.
Most engineers will tell you that the recovery process can take a great deal of time and anything that speeds it up is welcome. A lot of time is wasted moving recovery cylinders to and from refrigeration and air conditioning equipment – A-Gas Rapid Recovery brings cylinders to the job. The equipment is independent of services like power, is portable and with 200ft hoses can get to RAC units wherever they are.
As contractors will recognise, if you are working on a big system situated on the top of a multi-storey building the process is tough enough without the recovery side holding you up. Depending on how much refrigerant is in the system it can sometimes take days to complete such a task. Using a specialist will allow you to get on with other more productive, money making activities with the A-Gas Rapid Recovery service being a pass-through cost.
Increased productivity is something we all strive for and efficient refrigerant recovery can contribute to this. Recovery is a task that has to be carried out to meet our environmental laws, so there is no escaping it even if you want to. The real value in a job, as most contractors will tell you, is using specialist skills to repair equipment, carry out retrofits or install new equipment. That’s what the customer wants you to get on with when you are onsite. How the engineer removes the gas from the system is not important to the client as long as the job is completed on time and within budget.
A-Gas Rapid Recovery is launching with a network of recovery vehicles and engineers in place across the UK to give contractors national coverage from day one. This taskforce will be available to go onsite at short notice and handle recovery work of all sizes.
The contractor will not have to worry about providing recovery cylinders to store the refrigerant – the recovery team will take care of this and all aspects of the job from start to finish including hazardous waste documentation.
In cases where the contractor wants the refrigerant removed from a system to allow them to carry out a repair, and then return the gas to the system, the recovery team will be able to help here too. We are able to remove the gas quickly to allow the repair to be completed and the refrigerant returned to the system without delay. If the refrigerant is no longer required – and needs to be disposed of – we can take it away and clean it for future use.
If the challenge of the F-Gas phasedown is to be met, there is a great deal of recovery work to be undertaken in the UK and the bonus will be that fast recovery systems will allow engineers the opportunity to handle a greater number of jobs in a shorter period of time.
Rapid Recovery has been highly successful in the US where it is based at 40 locations. It has made a significant difference to the workload of contractors and has become an accepted service which they can depend on.
In the UK and Europe the F-Gas Regulations, and with them the phasedown of HFC refrigerants, are driving the industry to move from high GWP refrigerants to low GWP alternatives and we believe that fast recovery systems are a perfect fit for this programme.