13 June 2023
As the UK cooling industry awaits the outcome of ongoing F-Gas negotiations, Star Refrigeration has emphasised the importance of informed decision-making with regard to selecting natural refrigerant options.
The company says its guidance aims to strike a balance between compliance, competitiveness and long-term efficiency, encouraging customers to consider their operational and business needs in order to select the optimum solution.
Rob Lamb, Star's Sales and Marketing Director, said: “We’ve seen increased interest in natural refrigerant solutions following the EU’s draft F-Gas Regulation proposal which further restricts the production and consumption of synthetic fluids with high global warming potentials. This has predominantly resulted in an increased interest in the use of CO₂ and ammonia across a wide range of applications, temperature and capacities. There is no silver bullet that suits all these applications and while CO₂ is suitable for some applications, ammonia is better suited for others. In some cases, a combined approach may be the optimal solution.
“It is crucial for businesses to carefully assess the technical, safety and costs implications associated with each option and choose the most suitable refrigerant and technology accordingly.”
While the EU’s final decision to the proposed F-Gas Regulation is not yet known, it is expected that the life-expectancy of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and their blends will be shortened and that regulations to restrict their use through quotas and bans will be accelerated. Although the UK is not legally bound to adhere to the proposed update post-Brexit, the government is likely to follow much if not all of what the EU’s decides in order to ensure compliance with the Montreal Protocol and its own net zero emissions law.
Refrigeration plant owners are said to be looking for alternatives to HFCs to stay ahead of legislative requirements and avoid possible refrigerant price increases as the result of an accelerated phase-down. Star has released a guide highlighting factors to consider when considering the use of CO₂ and ammonia. This takes into account cooling capacity, budget constraints, safety protocols, and long-term operational efficiency. The guide offers impartial advice on the opportunities and challenges facing businesses seeking to switch to a more sustainable cooling solution.
To find out more about the characteristics of CO₂ and ammonia and their respective advantages for different applications, click here.