Product bans on related to refrigeration and air conditioning
There are no bans in the F-Gas Regulation related to the "mainstream" use of HFCs in stationary refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump applications.
There are three bans related to refrigeration applications as follows:
- There will be a ban on HFC 134a used in mobile air-conditioning (i.e. air-conditioning in cars). This comes into force in 2011, and will apply to new models of car placed on the market after that date. By 2017 all new cars placed on the market will need to be using an alternative refrigerant. This ban is not part of the F-Gas Regulation but is contained in an EU Directive that was issued at the same time as the Regulation.
- There is a ban on the use of non-refillable containers for transporting HFC refrigerants. This ban came into force in July 2007. This might affect your maintenance processes but will have no direct impact on the usability of stationary systems. It is worth noting that non-refillable containers are usually only used for the maintenance of very small systems, in particular for car air-conditioning. It is unusual for companies maintaining larger refrigeration and air-conditioning systems to be using non-refillable containers.
- There is a ban on the use of HFCs and PFCs for "non-confined direct evaporation systems containing refrigerants". This ban came into force in July 2007. It applies to the very unusual situation where a product is directly cooled by an evaporating refrigerant that is then emitted to the atmosphere. For example, a food product is frozen by immersion in a bath of evaporating refrigerant liquid. Many years ago CFC refrigerants were used in this way for high-value food products. An example of a legal system of this type is the use of liquid nitrogen for direct cooling food products.
It should be noted that the comments above apply to the EU F-Gas Regulation and not to regulations in individual EU member states. Some Member States have their own Regulations that go beyond the requirements of the F-Gas Regulation. In Denmark, for example, there is a much stricter regime that bans the use of HFC refrigerants in many types of new refrigeration system, with the possibility of granting exemptions. In Austria a number of proposed HFC restrictions have been abolished due to a recent comprehensive technical review. Applications and uses of HFCs, PFCs and SF6 which are relevant and essential for the Austrian industry are now exempted.