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Freon standards and regulations

HydroFluoroCarbons (HFC) are fluorinated gases that contain carbon, fluorine and hydrogen atoms. They are part of the six major greenhouse gases pointed by the Kyoto Protocol and contribute to global warming. They are regulated under freons F-GAS regulation whose aim is to reduce them.

In term of freon regulation, many international standards related to some refrigerant gases and greenhouse fluorinated gases require HFC monitoring. They follow European 517/2014 F-GAS regulation.

KYOTO protocol and greenhouse gas

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted on 11 December 1997 by 38 industrialised countries including France and started on 16 February 2005 – date on which 55 countries (representing 55% of CO2 emissions) had signed it. In this protocol, signatory countries are committed to reduce emissions of 6 major greenhouse gases: CO2 (carbon dioxid), CH4 (methane), N2O (nitrogen protoxide), HFC (hydrofluorocarbon), PFC (perfluorocarbon) and SF6 (sulfur hexafluoride).

GWP : GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL

Every HFC fluid (hydrofluorocarbon refrigerant fluid) was classified with a GWP value (Global Warming Potential). This is an indicator on a gas harmfulness in relation to greenhouse effect on a determined period. The reference fluid is the carbon dioxide (CO2) whose GWP equals 1. Below is a table of major HFC with their GWP over 100 years:

HFC

R32

R134a

R404a

R407a

R407c

R407f

GWP

675

1430

9322

2107

1774

1850

HFC

R410a

R422d

R437a

R507a

R1234yf

R1234ze

GWP

2088

2729

2550

3985

4

7

tightness and atmosphere control

Current legislation on fluorinated gases tends to progressively reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) used in refrigerant systems like  hat pumps, air conditioners,  refrigerators and freezers, evaporators… The aim is to reduce them over 79% within 2030.

3 critical points are revealed:

Tightness control

Every structure that uses equipment containing more than 5 tons of refrigerant – CO2 equivalent – has to be controled every 12 or 24 months. For quantities between 50 and 500 tons, this control has to be made every 6 to 12 months.  Beyond 500 tons CO2 equivalent, this control has to be made every 3 to 6 months.

Refrigerant gas leak detection

Every refrigerant structure, air conditioning system, heat pump or fire protection that contain more than 500 tons CO2 equivalent must be equipped with a leak detection system with alarm. This refrigerant gas leak monitoring system has to be checked every 12 and is designed to simply meet safety requirements with a continuous monitoring of the refrigerant system.

Restrictions of use

Furthermore, structures using HFC must respect progressive restrictions of use. From 2015, only domestic refrigerators and freezers containing HFC with a GWP rate under 15 are authorized. This restriction tends to extend through years to professional installations with a GWP rate under 150.

⇒ Go to freon gas detection page (refrigerant gas leak)

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