Natural refrigerants advocate Nick Cox dares to tackle the F-Gas Works Campaign
It seems to me that the “F-Gas Works” campaign is based on a number of assumptions that are open to challenge:
- That HFCs are the most energy efficient refrigerants – they’re not. The best rule of thumb is to compare critical temperatures - 132.4˚C for R717 and 135°C for R600a. Try making a list of all the 400 series refrigerants with a higher critical temperature and you end up with a very short list!
- That STEK worked – it didn’t. Under STEK, HFC users and suppliers in the Netherlands were licensed and had to report on use and emissions, including leaks. Leakage reported under STEK dropped to an impressive 4.5 per cent per annum, only 600 tonnes. However, there was a considerable discrepancy between the STEK figures and the national annual import less export figure of 2,000 tons. An IEEP report subjected the assumptions made to detailed examination and revealed leak rates of 12.7 per cent. The big flaw with STEK was that it relied on the leakers to report leakage. That was about as sensible as the police compiling their crime statistics by phoning known criminals and asking them how much crime they have committed each month.
- That the F-Gas regulation is comparable to the Dutch STEK system – it isn’t. Thanks to F-Gas, STEK is no longer valid in the Netherlands and as a result the Dutch refrigeration industry is complaining that emissions will rise due to the less onerous regime! Among many failings, the F-Gas regulation doesn’t cover pre-charged air conditioning units, so any DIYer can continue to buy and install them as before.
So, with the arguments so apparently flawed, I ask you readers, how can F-Gas Works work?
Do you agree or disagree with Nick? Comment on this blog by registering with the site, signing in and writing your comment in the box below the article.