Neil Afram's comments
It will be always difficult to convince engineers of alternatives especially when alternatives involve extra health and safety measures due to flammability and in the absence of clear regulations, recommendations, manufacturers clear guidelines of the dangers especially when advertising products without warnings and misleading reasons that do not put the responsibility on the installer or the End users!!
We can see the blame culture we are going through as a result of the Grenfell Tower inquiry? Nobody is pointing the finger to what started the fire? Is it a refrigerator? and what refrigerant it had? or am I touching on selfish commercial gains and marketing pressures?
We must 1st separate Refrigeration and Air Conditioning applications. Refrigeration engineers and companies understand and appreciate the refrigeration cycle and know must qualify before touching the system, while air conditioning engineers only go by what manufacturers say? and what they decide to sell e.g. assuming the ban regarding split ac equipment with a charge of less than 3 kG is not until 2025 NOT 2020 which relates to refrigerants used in the refrigeration industry!!! We need to be serious to avoid another disaster. Neil Afram
I would like to support this meeting and support the concerns. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend.
My opinion regarding F-Gas regulation is I supported it fully and was proud to contribute at its inception. We must protect our industry from manufacturers who misinterpret the regulations by making false commercial claims, especially regarding Flammable refrigerants as being in compliance with F-Gas regulations.in the absence of HSE guidelines There are 45000 plus A1 Class Refrigerant approved engineers who have been told that they can install A2L Class Refrigerant? This is unethical.
We must protect our engineers and end-users by having strick regulations in the use of Flammable like France, Spain, and Italy! what is so difficult about this?. Of course, A2L is LGWP but they are FLAMMABLE and we need to have strict building control. Manufacturers MUST CLEARLY and responsibly display the FLAMMABLE symbols on sales literature, leaflets, advertising, equipment, etc that is ethical conduct.
They should not hide behind the Environmental excuse at the expense of SAFETY.
The F-Gas (I wish all read it fully) ban in 2025 is for systems that have less than 3 kg charge. This is extendable by 4 years if health & safety cannot be satisfied!. So why are they stoping the supply of current safe, approved and acceptable refrigerant so early?. I think the UK is been taken for a ride.
There is no choice for the installers! and we blame them and make them responsible if something goes wrong?!. How on earth we are to control almost 8 million (Europe), say 400,000 (UK) or 65 million (world) RAC installation to follow any guidelines?
I wish Question time the best and hope government representatives hear our concerns. Neil Afram
We in the UK as an industry take manufacturers statements as balanced, responsible, supported and apply not only to the UK, Europe but the whole world. We trust! there is no political/commercial agenda that tells the AC owner that his equipment life span is x years. Look at the car industry with leaded petrol.
There is a good reason why 140 countries including UK & EUROPE etc aligning themselves to the Kigali Amendment. There ia good reason why the French, Italian & Spanish building Regs ensure that it is almost impossible to use Flammables!.
The F-Gas regulation DOES not promote Flammable refrigerants! it simply encourages the reduction of Hi GWP.
The upcoming ban for AC is 2025, not 2020 and only for split systems with less than 3kg charge. It has excellent exemptions +4 years, relating to safety and a better life cycle emission.
We should read it correctly!
Safety has a higher priority than environmental /commercial gains. The Environment gets affected if refrigerant accidentally leaked with R410A but at least it is not going to possibly burn the building!!
We must act responsibly. Neil Afram is not anti flammable but anti risks that affect safety.
Excellent document and well presented with illustrations. It can be easily followed by the majority of system contractors and specifiers.
Question is how to get it to a one-man-band system installer who is installing a 1-6 kW a day to help him follow the recommendations? how to control it? there are millions of small splits from being a danger to the installer or the end-user? especially when flammable is forced down their throat ;) Do we think that manufacturers ought to included as part of the installation manual? recommend it as part of their training?
One thing I didn't see in the document is loud danger labeling of equipment? perhaps the HSE or advertising standards can help? we all have to chip in to make it work and safe!!!. Neil Afram
Good news and trust there are more manufacturers opt for this safe alternative. As Global Fact states " There is more to consider than GWP" here I am talking about SAFETY in the AC split market where there are more than 65m sold worldwide, managed and installed by very small (one-man band, probably 80% of sales), yes qualified engineers, installed anywhere, any application, most refrigerant release is at installation (be it grames) but flammable ?. to expect engineers to take the blame when there is no choice (yes no choice! as some manufacturers decided in Europe and especially in the UK decided to stop R410A some 5 years ahead of F-Gas bans) ? no guidelines or safety regulations ?
This request is on the assumption that whatever refrigerant to replacing the Hi GWP needs to be in line with HSE guidelines as I believe there is considerable confusion regarding replacement with LGWP. There are two types of LGWP refrigerants, Flammable (or mild ...) which there is no government or HSE guidelines (as in France for example) and NON-Flammable which already has guidelines and has over 20 years experience and over 45000 engineers certified. Need also to be clear regarding the incorrect claims regarding Flammable LGWP as being environmentally friendly! This is true IF it LEAKS, but nobody talks about if flammable leaks and causes fire it can kill and the fire causes more environmental damage than non-flammable?. We need to force the government to create more understanding, clarity and safe products than just listening to manufacturers of both Chemical and equipment. The F-Gas regulation is quite clear on the timing and exemptions.https://www.spaceair.co.uk/uploads/files/VRF/R32/Extract%20Ban%20on%20F-gas%20gov_uk.pdf
The AC & Refrigeration industry are users of refrigerants not consumers i.e. we don't take leaks likely!
Hi I assume this refers to 404A used in Refrigeration Extract from F-Gas bans:
HFCs with global warming potentials of more than 2,500 will be banned in all refrigeration systems. This will mainly affect the use of HFC 404A in commercial and industrial refrigeration systems.
I said it before "What is the difference between Brexit and Flammables?" and the answer is still the same, confusion!! Brexit will not burn or kill, but Flammables might!
The reason for recounting is a joke "was subject to a recount owing to Malaysian representatives having their vote rejected for failing to provide a required justification statement to support their decision"
Are we serious?
This is Safety at its lowest performance folks.
Don't we think, that who ever is playing the environmental game, have the decency, care or the balls to display a clear warning signs on their flammable products! AND make sure end users and operators aware that what they have in their home, office, restaurant, school, hospital, computer rooms, etc equipment ( refrigerator etc or AC unit) that have FLAMMABLE substances ? and clear visible signs not HIDDEN ? why not? Why doesn't the IEC doesn't insist that clear warning signs should be displayed ? Surely they know that there are extra risks?. Don't treat engineers and endusers as sheep!. There are more ways to skin a cat ;). Neil Afram
Looking at the air conditioning industry and the roller-coasting of R32 in the absence of clear understanding of what we are dealing with, misusing F-Gas regulations guidelines, a clear worldwide vision regarding LGWP alternatives are the real reason why IEC have rejected the proposal.
Everybody at the top is playing politics with the safety duties towards engineers and consumers, As an example, all manufacturers are pushing R32 (in Europe) using the ban parameters set by F-Gas as an excuse? The ban for less than 3 kg SYSTEM Charge SPLITS (not Multi splits) is from 1st January 2025 NOT 2020, that is 4/5 years from now? FETA & HSE confirmed that A2L is viewed as highly Flammable product and a safety assessment is required every time it's used. 46,000 or so engineers (in the UK) would need to be aware of the risk to their safety. Products should appropriately display warning signs on literature and technical manuals. Environmental claims must not compromise safety. Neil Afram
Excellent guidelines. Hopefully will be taken seriously by all sectors to ensure that the installer (blamed if it goes wrong !) gets the confidence and the security to execute his duties.
Manufacturers have the biggest responsibility to ensure their products display the correct precautions for their R32 products.
F-Gas regulation is the most important tool to protect the environment and safety and should not be used as a commercial political threat tool. Well done FETA / HSE & Institute of Refrigeration. Neil Afram