the installation of new R404A equipment to an en d. There’ll also be a ban on servicing existing equipment with virgin refrigerants that have a GWP of more than 2500 and where the charge is greater than 40 tonnes of CO² equivalent – that’s equal in amount to approximately 10kg of R404A.

Users of equipment still running on R404A could be forgiven for feeling confused with all these thresholds that mean you can service smaller equipment with virgin R404A but not larger equipmen t.

If the system contains a charge of gas that’s more than 10kg of R404A, the ban on servicing that equipment with virgin product will mean that an alternative low GWP refrigerant is needed. The good news is that this is not the only option as reclaimed R404A can be used up until 2030, regardless of the charge size. I believe that refrigerant suppliers will

simply remove all stocks of virgin R404A from sale and switch to reclaimed R404A. In truth, this will make it easier for the contractors who will at least know that they can use all they are buying without falling foul of the regulations. We’ve passed through two years where there has been a great deal of uncertainty about

refrigerant availability and whether there will be sufficient amounts of the new generation gases to support the phase-down. What 2018 has taught us is that it’s going to be a mixture of new and reclaimed refrigerants that will support the transition away from high GWP gases.

There’s less pressure on supplies and what has emerged is that the market has now stabilised and we can plan for the future with some degree of confidence. One thing you can be certain of is that this year, the major refrigerant suppliers will say goodbye to virgin R404A.

It is significant that the big supermarkets and many businesses in the food processing industry have adapted well to change. The last two years has seen this sector make considerable progress in converting to lower GWP gases. A-Gas Rapid Recovery can help ensure a smooth transition if you are making the switch.

The majority of the major supermarkets are well advanced on reducing their reliance on R404A. Most seem to be moving to interim replacements like R448A and R449A, which will give them some breathing space to the

mid to late 2020s.

I f you move forward into 2021 an d 2022, greater change is on the way. In 2021, there’s the next step-down in the F-Gas quota when virgin refrigerant availability will drop by

another 18% (in absolute terms) on a CO² equivalent basis, taking the industry down to

45% of the 2015 baseline level.

This is a significant drop and some market volatility is to be expected. In 2022, the bar for the use of virgin HFCs is raised even higher when the threshold drops from 2500 to 150 GWP for hermetically sealed equipment and multipack centralised refrigeration equipment above 40kW.

With major changes on the way in the years following 2019, it is clearly not a time to ignore what’s to come. If you do need, help do not be afraid to ask the experts – and your refrigerant suppliers are the best place to start. The A-Gas website can help you change to a low GW P refrigerant, switch to a reclaimed gas and give you options to assist in overcoming problems along the way. A-Gas is also happy to provide advice on the telephone. Help is at hand and I would urge you to make the most of it.

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Our AHUs are designed to be the most environmentally friendly and energy effi on the market, thus reducing their ecological impact, whilst keeping costs down through the minimisation of energy consumption. Combined with the small physical fofootprint of the system, these fe application.

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