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The standard bearers

The update of European standard EN378is going to be of crucial importance to the cooling industry, so all eyes will be on the upcoming technical discussions, reports IOR’s Miriam Rodway

Updating EN378 will be the main topic of a special IOR Technical Committee meeting taking place in March this year.

The Committee has been sent a draft copy of the revised European Refrigeration Safety Standard for comment.

EN378 is a key safety standard for our industry and it is aligned with the Pressure Equipment Directive and Machinery Directive as well as the original F-Gas Regulation. It is also an important compliance document specified in many business contracts.

The current version of EN378 was published in 2008, although a few minor updates and corrections have been issued subsequently.

However, a major redraft is being carried out, in order to realign this European standard with the draft International Standard ISO5149, which was recently adopted by the international groups for publication, subject to editorial amendments and translation.

The revised EN378 will be a key reference document for the use of some of the new low-flammable refrigerants (such as the HFO group and others like R32), which are expected to come into more widespread use in the future as the phasedown of HFCs gets under way when the next F-Gas Regulation is introduced.

The Technical Committee, chaired by IOR past president Andy Pearson, will be reviewing comments from technical experts who have a wide range of refrigeration and air conditioning experience, including commercial, industrial, air conditioning and manufacturing.

The IOR will be sharing its feedback on this first draft with colleagues at the British Refrigeration Association so that the UK can propose a co-ordinated set of comments on the drafts.

After this, comments from all of the European national groups involved in the review will be discussed and finalised at a meeting of the European Committee.

The final EN378 standard is not expected to be published (and made available for purchase via the British Standards Institute) until 2015 at the earliest.  The IOR will issue a guidance note to members on the main changes introduced in the update at that time.

In other matters related to standards, the IOR and BRA are producing a joint guidance note on copper pipewall sizing.

This comes in response to confusion among different suppliers and manufacturers, a problem identified by the Institute’s Service Engineers’ Section.

So a new IOR Guidance Note 25, Selecting copper tube and fittings, will be available from the IOR website in March.

It will include a table showing  the maximum allowable pressure of copper tube for commonly available diameters and wall thickness at temperatures of  50 deg C, 100 deg C and 150 deg C, as well as minimum design pressures for commonly used refrigerants.

IOR events

6 March

Find out about the development process for the rotating spool compressor

at our free talk at the Birmingham Arden Hotel, starting at 5.15pm, with Greg Kemp and Craig Bradshaw of Torad Engineering, USA.

3 April

Interested in the latest in convenience store developments? Come to our talk in London on innovative integrated refrigeration and air conditioning using heat recovery for convenience stores, given by Niko Baekelandt of Daikin.      

21 May

A full day on innovation with a tour of Spirax-Sarco Limited in Cheltenham and a programme of talks on the theme of heat-powered cycles. The day is hosted by SIRACH, the innovation network for refrigeration, air conditioning and heating.

23-25 June

The 3rd IIR International Conference on Sustainability and the Cold Chain is hosted by IOR at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, London. The event features some 120 papers, four technical tours and three keynote speakers, and includes receptions, dinners and onsite accommodation.

More details can be found on the Institute of Refrigeration website: www.ior.org.uk

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