Customers with an established service contract with QTP Environmental Ltd will already meet the F-gas regulations, so long as the first service has been carried out.
The European Union’s F-Gas Regulation No 842/2006 became law on the 4th July 2006. This imposed obligations on operators of equipment using refrigerants, which includes environmental chambers.
The regulation aims to minimise emissions of HFC’s, which effect global warming if they should escape into the atmosphere. Older refrigerant systems may include an HCFC that is not covered by the F-Gas regulation, but does fall under the EU Ozone Regulations.
Most chambers below 1000 litres in size are likely to have a refrigerant charge of less than 3kg and will therefore be excluded from the requirements, other than the overall obligation to prevent leakage and to repair leaks as soon as possible. Larger chambers, fast rate of temperature change and thermal shock chambers are likely to have systems with refrigerant charges over that limit.
Your responsibilities as an operator
Under the F-Gas and EU Ozone Regulations, operators are defined as people or organisations that have control over the technical functioning of the equipment. The legal responsibility for compliance with the F-Gas and EU Ozone Regulation lies with the operator.
For refrigeration systems with a charge over 3kg, or 6kg if it is a hermetically sealed system, operators MUST:
- Take steps to prevent leaks, and repair any leaks as soon as possible (within 14 days for HCFCs)
- Arrange proper refrigerant recovery by certified personnel during servicing, and arrange compliant disposal for “end of life” equipment and plant
- Carry out leak checks to the schedule as shown below
- Ensure that only certified competent personnel carry leakage checks
- Maintain records of refrigerants and servicing.
Schedule for leak checking.
Leak checking (methods are not expressly defined in detail by the EC) varies depending on the amount of refrigerant in the system:
- At least annually for systems with 3kg or more (unless it is hermetically sealed, in which case the threshold is 6kg or more)
- At least once every 6 months for systems with 30kg or more
- Systems must be rechecked within one month after a leak has been repaired to ensure that the repair has been effective
Maintenance and servicing records
Operators of all systems containing 3kg or more F-Gas must maintain records to include:
- Quantity and type of F-Gas installed, added or recovered
- Identification of the company or technician carrying out the servicing
- Dates and results of leakage checks
It is the operator’s responsibility to ensure that the relevant servicing personnel have obtained the necessary certification showing that they understand the regulations and are competent.
If you have any questions or doubts regarding these regulations and the refrigerant in your chamber please do not hesitate to contact us on 01223 269400 or email email@example.com, we will be happy to discuss your current position and requirements regarding these regulations.