British Refrigeration Association president John Austin Davies urges regulators to take a pragmatic approach to ensure supply chain has enough meet the demands of HFC phase-downs safely and without undue business risk
In an open letter, the BRA president has emphasised the importance of ensuring the supply chain is practically equipped to make the move to natural refrigerants.
Mr Austin Davies said: “We should applaud what has been achieved, and is being done today by our industry. It’s time for our industry to work together with the regulators to find a balance that meets the need to control refrigerants, with knowledge of what can practically and safely be achieved. But the recent announcement from Brussels does not help this process.”
He said that the industry has worked hard to come up with lower-GWP alternatives: “Significant investment, and some business risk, has been applied to accelerate the introduction of natural refrigerants. With excellent collaboration between end-users and suppliers, with support from British Refrigeration Association and others, systems have been trialled, and technology and working practices to install and maintain have been refined.
The momentum to provide a safe and energy efficient natural refrigerant solution is real. However, this does not mean that all types of application have solutions that all parties agree are safe and efficient.”
Mr Austin-Daviesadded that investment into the work needed to find these answers continues
He also stressed that the industry is still dealing with a proposal that has to be further debated, and which currently has an uncertain date of application. “An unrealistic timescale cannot be supported by an infrastructure where time is needed to adapt, and this will not be the same answer for different market sectors.”
He also questioned the potential cost involved for the industry in introducing the changes that the revised F-Gas regulations may require: “The installed base of systems must be maintained, but what knowledge is there in Brussels of industry capacity or user finance that would be necessary to scrap systems before the end of their natural life and install new?”
“The supply chain is complex, and if any element fails, then there is a massive impact in the distribution and retailing of chill and frozen food, and for the other applications of refrigerants that we depend on in our daily lives.”