The approaching F-Gas bans and quota reductions will require a change to lower GWP refrigerants and a change in system architecture, but there seems to be a delay in this message getting through to end users.
Suppliers and installer need to get customers to understand the coming problems they are likely to face in the future.
Industry specialists are saying more action is required from the industry, if we are to meet the phasedown quotas.
Most manufacturers, contractors and consultants considered themselves ready for the changes to low-GWP refrigerants, however are customers ready for the changes.
Some suppliers are concerned that one of the reasons why there seemed to be reluctance among customers was the increased price of the new HFO blends.
While supermarkets had led the industry in moving to lower GWP refrigerants for new equipment, it was slower in converting its existing estates. The retail sector and the larger household names normally start the process and tend to drive the change.
With refrigerant manufacturers Chemours and Honeywell both preparing to launch mildly flammable HFO blends later in the year, and AC supplier Daikin starting to roll out R32 in split systems, there was agreement that the long-awaited revision to the EN378 standard, expected in October, would boost customer confidence. The new EN378 sets out the charge limits for mildly flammable refrigerants, categorised as A2L, and sets out new risk management methods by which flammables can be used.
Industry specialist have warned again that the forthcoming drop in HFC quota in 2018 – a cut of 44 per cent on 2017 – would have an impact on the price of higher-GWP refrigerants such as R404A. This would only mean a massive jump in prices.
Going forward we can expect increases in prices for types of refrigerants based on the quota availability and restrictions imposed.