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Reporting for duty

Refrigerant specialist A-Gas has developed a bespoke F-Gas reporting tool that offers contractors and end-users a range of tracking and documenting options. RAC reports

As the demands of the F-Gas Regulations begin to bite, the onerous task of refrigerant reporting and cylinder tracking has grown in importance. This means that from now on, leak testing and the time-consuming job of completing the paperwork relating to reporting and tracking will happen more often.

This is refrigerant specialist A-Gas’s contention, and it has launched Gas-Trak Online (GTO), an F-Gas reporting and cylinder-tracking tool, designed to make these jobs easier.

Free to download on smartphones and tablets, GTO comes complete with a number of functions to help users comply with the complexities of the legislation. The app has been shortlisted for several categories of this year’s Cooling Awards.

It has been well documented that the F-Gas Regulations will increase the demand for alternative refrigerants with a low GWP. So the first feature on GTO is a GWP calculator that enables users to compare the GWP performance of the relevant refrigerants.

Traditional methods of F-Gas reporting are time-consuming and require a large paper trail, so the next feature on GTO addresses this with the generation of accurate online reports. In turn, this removes the burden of filing and the risk of losing paper copies, A-Gas says.

GTO also allows users to track their cylinder use. This saves time and money, while improving reporting accuracy. A key element is the ability to track cylinders from all manufacturers, not just those supplied by A-Gas.

With a built-in barcode scanner, the cylinder and asset information can be gathered onto a smart device, providing the ability to create asset lists and analyse performance.

As well as investing some 20 years’ worth of refrigerant reporting, leak testing and cylinder tracking experience to build the app, the firm says a key part of the product development of GTO was to establish the real needs of those working in the industry – industry experts, distributors, engineers and end users.

How GTO works

The F-Gas Regulations state that the leak checking frequency is to be calculated in CO2 equivalent terms. To help ensure compliance, the GTO GWP calculator works out the CO2 equivalent of the volume of gas used and advises of the leak checking requirements.

To use the app, internet access is not required – users can simply enter their job data into the device and it will sync with the database when connectivity becomes available. All users of the app have access to a custom-built GTO web portal and their own F-Gas log-book.

A-Gas managing director John Ormerod says: “Managing F-Gas refrigerant use has never been easier. GTO is a fast and efficient reporting tool which can be used on the move. Under the F-Gas Regulations there is an increased focus on engineers to understand the CO2 equivalent of refrigerants.

“As well as calculating this, GTO will also store customer, site and asset information ready to create jobs – and provide information for leak checking.

“Whether it’s a new installation, a service call or decommissioning of equipment, you can track your refrigerant usage by the cylinder, equipment and customer in GTO. The app is suitable for Apple and Android mobile devices and will help engineers meet the latest F-Gas Regulations, which are changing the face of the cooling industry.”

Beyond the free features, customers wanting more detail can subscribe to an enhanced service for a small fee, providing access to a range of operator reports. These reports provide information detailing everything from work carried out on a make and model of equipment to the type and quantity of the refrigerant used at a specific site.

Enhanced users also have access to contractor reports. For example, an engineer refrigerant cylinder report pinpoints information on cylinder use by each engineer. There is also access to a user dashboard where you can analyse engineer ‘leak performance’ or monitor and the type of work completed within a given date range.

Property maintenance company Integral took part in the trials for the GTO system and said it was delighted with the outcome.

 “I think it is a great app. It will prove invaluable to a lot of people who are struggling to manage their cylinders and F-Gas usage, “ says Integral’s F-Gas manager Nick Rogers.

A-Gas is promising GTO users full support:  “Online video tutorials are available, and there is a dedicated website with information on how to make the most of the app, with
a dedicated team on-hand to deal with any questions that users may have. We are also running GTO training courses for the industry and presenting the app at various trade events.”

The free GTO app can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play and more information is available at www.gastrakonline.com.   

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