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REFRIGERANT CHARGE CALCULATOR

Guidance on Impact of the Fluorinated Gas Regulation


for Users of Stationary Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heat Pump
Prepared for DTI / Defra by Enviros Consulting Ltd
Version 1.1 January 2007

Excel Settings and Excel Versions


When you open the F-Gas Calculator, in the Macro pop up box, you must choose to ‘Enable’ the macros to be able to run the tool. The Macro security settings
within your version of Excel will need to be set to Medium. Please note that due to the nature of the programming in the F-Gas Calculator, this software is not
compatible with Excel '97, but it is compatible with all the more recent versions of Excel.

INTRODUCTORY HELP
This "Refrigerant Charge Calculator" spreadsheet has been prepared to help estimate the amount of refrigerant in a refrigeration or air-conditioning plant. This
information is required to confirm compliance with the new EU F-Gas Regulation. The spreadsheet accompanies Defra Guidance on the F-Gas Regulation. The
following documents provide detailed information about the Regulation:

a) Defra Guidance: “EC Regulation No 842/2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases” available from
http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/uk/fgas/index.htm
b) Supplementary Guidance for Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heat Pump Users available from www.website_address

The best way to establish the amount of refrigerant in the system is to use data supplied by the manufacturer:

• Many refrigeration systems, especially small ones, have a Name Plate showing the amount of refrigerant.
• Alternatively, you may have a record of the amount of refrigerant in the documentation supplied when the system was installed or commissioned.

If you cannot find information of this kind you could refer to 5 simple rules of thumb to estimate refrigerant charge. These are outlined in the Supplementary
Guidance referred to above.
This "Refrigerant Charge Calculator" spreadsheet has been prepared to help estimate the amount of refrigerant in a refrigeration or air-conditioning plant. This
information is required to confirm compliance with the new EU F-Gas Regulation. The spreadsheet accompanies Defra Guidance on the F-Gas Regulation. The
following documents provide detailed information about the Regulation:

a) Defra Guidance: “EC Regulation No 842/2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases” available from
http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/uk/fgas/index.htm
b) Supplementary Guidance for Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heat Pump Users available from www.website_address

The best way to establish the amount of refrigerant in the system is to use data supplied by the manufacturer:

• Many refrigeration systems, especially small ones, have a Name Plate showing the amount of refrigerant.
• Alternatively, you may have a record of the amount of refrigerant in the documentation supplied when the system was installed or commissioned.

If you cannot find information of this kind you could refer to 5 simple rules of thumb to estimate refrigerant charge. These are outlined in the Supplementary
Guidance referred to above.

This spreadsheet provides a way of obtaining a reasonable estimate of the amount of refrigerant in a plant. This can only be done if you provide certain essential
information about each plant. It is recommended that you collect the data before you start completing the spreadsheet (although you can save your data part way
through data entry and continue later if you prefer).

The spreadsheet has been set up to store data for up to 4 different refrigeration systems. If you need to investigate more than 4 systems you could simply save the
spreadsheet with a different name and start again. There is a “Clear All Data” button on the Data Entry Tab that allows you to start again with an empty spreadsheet.

To navigate through this spreadsheet you can either press the grey buttons to jump to the page you want, or click on the spreadsheet tabs at the bottom of the
screen e.g. "Data_entry", in order to move to a different page.

COMMENT ON ACCURACY
It should be noted that this spreadsheet only provides an approximate estimate of the amount of refrigerant in a system. To estimate the amount of refrigerant in the
evaporator and condenser the calculations use representative “average data” for each type of heat exchanger. However, the actual heat exchangers used in your
systems may contain a greater or smaller amount of refrigerant. Also, to keep the data entry simple we have assumed a fairly simple configuration of system. The
spreadsheet is intended as a screening tool to assess the size thresholds in the F-Gas Regulation. If you need an accurate assessment of refrigerant charge this
spreadsheet is not suitable – you will need to have the system appraised by a suitable expert.

CALCULATION METHOD
Press the button below for details on how this spreadsheet calculatres system charge.
SOME USEFUL RULES OF THUMB
In the absence of manufacturer’s data you will need to make an estimate of the refrigerant quantity. There are five simple rules of thumb that can help:

Rule 1: Small hermetic systems fitted with a “domestic” 240 Volt 13 Amp plug will be well below the 6 kg limit. This is a very important rule as it applies to
millions of small systems. All domestic refrigerators and freezers fall into this category. So do many systems used in small shops (e.g. ice cream display cabinets,
bottle coolers, small chilled or frozen food cabinets etc,) in pubs / restaurants (e.g. “in-line” drink coolers, ice makers etc.), in offices (e.g. vending machines) and in
other types of building.

Rule 2: Most “split systems” will be above the 3 kg limit. A split system is one with at least 2 major components located in different locations, connected by
refrigerant pipework that is fitted by an installation contractor. For example, an air-conditioning system with a cooling unit inside a room and a “condensing unit”
(consisting of various components including a compressor and a condenser) that is located remotely, usually outside the building. The components are
interconnected by 2 refrigerant pipes, often made of copper. One or both of the pipes will be covered in insulation. Split systems are used for many refrigeration
applications (e.g. cold stores, larger retail systems for supermarkets and large shops, industrial applications and air-conditioning in many types of building). The
majority of split systems will use at least 3 kg of refrigerant.
Exceptions to Rule 2: Very small split systems that are “close coupled” e.g. an air-conditioning system serving a small room where the indoor and outdoor units
are less than 5 metres apart could be below 3 kg. If a small split system is operated via a 240 Volt 13 Amp plug (see Rule 1), then it is more likely that the system
has less than 3 kg – but only if the units are close coupled.

Rule 3: Most air-conditioning water chillers will be above the 3 kg limit. Water chillers for air-conditioning are usually factory built units where the components
are located together in a fairly compact layout. They usually provide quite a large cooling duty and will be well over the 3 kg limit.
Exceptions to Rule 3: Very small water chillers, e.g. with a cooling duty below 15 kW might be below the 3 kg limit. Also, small units could be hermetically sealed,
in which case the 6 kg threshold applies – a hermetically sealed water chiller providing less than 30 kW cooling might be below the 6 kg limit.

Rule 4: A crude approximation is that the compressor motor kW equals the kg of refrigerant. For example, a system with a 5 kW compressor motor might
contain about 5 kg. This is only an approximation – the actual refrigerant charge depends on many different factors. However, it can be a useful screening test –
e.g. a system with a 1 kW compressor motor is less likely to be above the 3 kg limit.

Rule 5: Any system with a liquid storage vessel will contain more than 3 kg. Some systems are fitted with a “high pressure liquid receiver” which is located
under the condenser. They are usually quite large vessels containing well over 3 kg. Other types of storage vessel are also used in other locations e.g. an
evaporator surge drum or an intercooler for a 2-stage plant. Again these will contain well over 3 kg.
Rule 5: Any system with a liquid storage vessel will contain more than 3 kg. Some systems are fitted with a “high pressure liquid receiver” which is located
under the condenser. They are usually quite large vessels containing well over 3 kg. Other types of storage vessel are also used in other locations e.g. an
evaporator surge drum or an intercooler for a 2-stage plant. Again these will contain well over 3 kg.

LIST OF INPUT DATA


System name (user defined name)
You can enter any text to describe your system.

Refrigerant (choose from drop down list)


You can select one of 25 refrigerants from the drop down list. The 7 most common refrigerants are at the top of the list, followed by more unusual ones.

Temperature of main cooling load (enter a number in degrees celcius e.g. -20oC)
This should be the lowest temperature that you are cooling to. For example if you a cooling a liquid from 30oC to 5 oC then enter 5 in this field. If you cooling a
building using chilled water at 8oC, then enter 8.

Do you know the size of the system in terms of kW cooling duty?


Simply enter Yes or No. If you say Yes, a new question will appear asking for the cooling duty in kW. If you say No, a new question will appear asking for the
compressor power in kW.

Please state the kW cooling duty of the system


Enter the design cooling load of the system, in kW

If cooling duty is not available, you will be prompted enter compressor motor power in kW
Enter the total compressor motor power of the system, in kW. If there is more than one compressor please ensure you enter the value of all the motor powers
summed together. Please note that the results from this spreadsheet will be inaccurate for 2 stage systems.

Type of evaporator (choose from drop down list)


You must select 1 of 3 evaporator types:
(1) Finned air cooler – this type of evaporator is used for the majority of air cooling applications.
(2) Shell and Tube liquid cooler – this type of heat exchanger is common for water chillers and other types of liquid cooler. Please note, if you select this option
you will be asked an extra question about the type of shell and tube cooler.
(3) Plate Liquid Cooler – this is a modern type of heat exchanger sometimes used for water chilling or for cooling other liquids.

Type of shell and tube cooler (choose from list)


You must select 1 of 2 shell and tube cooler types:
(1) DX shell & tube – the refrigerant flows through the tubes of the heat exchanger and the liquid being cooled flows through the shell.
(2) Flooded shell & tube– the liquid being cooled flows through the tubes of the heat exchanger and the refrigerant evaporates in the shell.
If cooling duty is not available, you will be prompted enter compressor motor power in kW
Enter the total compressor motor power of the system, in kW. If there is more than one compressor please ensure you enter the value of all the motor powers
summed together. Please note that the results from this spreadsheet will be inaccurate for 2 stage systems.

Type of evaporator (choose from drop down list)


You must select 1 of 3 evaporator types:
(1) Finned air cooler – this type of evaporator is used for the majority of air cooling applications.
(2) Shell and Tube liquid cooler – this type of heat exchanger is common for water chillers and other types of liquid cooler. Please note, if you select this option
you will be asked an extra question about the type of shell and tube cooler.
(3) Plate Liquid Cooler – this is a modern type of heat exchanger sometimes used for water chilling or for cooling other liquids.

Type of shell and tube cooler (choose from list)


You must select 1 of 2 shell and tube cooler types:
(1) DX shell & tube – the refrigerant flows through the tubes of the heat exchanger and the liquid being cooled flows through the shell.
(2) Flooded shell & tube– the liquid being cooled flows through the tubes of the heat exchanger and the refrigerant evaporates in the shell.

Type of condenser (choose from drop down list)


You must select 1 of 4 condenser types:
(1) Air Cooled Condenser – this type of condenser is common for small and medium sized systems. Air is blown over a finned coil to reject heat from the
condensing refrigerant in the tubes of the condenser.
(2) Water Cooled Shell and Tube Condenser – this type of condenser is common for large systems. Refrigerant condenses in the shell of the heat exchanger,
being cooled by water flowing through the tubes.
(3) Water Cooled Plate Condenser – this is a modern type of condenser in which refrigerant condenses inside a plate heat exchanger cooled by water.
(4) Evaporative Condenser – this type of condenser is common for large systems. Refrigerant condenses in steel coil, being cooled by water sprayed the coil
which is being cooled by a blast of air.

Type of compressor (choose from drop down list)


Please select which type of compressors are used in this system.

Is this a hermetically sealed system


A hermetically sealed system is usually a small factory built unit with a hermetically sealed compressor and all welded or brazed connections. A common example
of a hermetically sealed system is a domestic refrigerator.

The exact definition used in the Regulation is: “a system in which all refrigerant containing parts are made tight by welding, brazing or a similar permanent
connection which may include capped valves and capped service ports that allow proper repair or disposal and which have a tested leakage rate of less than 3
grams per year under a pressure of at least a quarter of the maximum allowable pressure”.

Liquid line dimensions: diameter (mm / inches)


The liquid line is the pipe that transfers liquid refrigerant from the condenser to the expansion valve. You should measure the outside diameter of this pipe and
select the value from a drop down list that shows standard sizes in both mm and inches. On small plants the liquid line usually will be between 10mm and 20mm
in diameter. For larger plants the liquid line could be up to 50mm in diameter.

Liquid line dimensions: length (m)


You must also estimate the length of the liquid line from the condenser to the expansion valve. A good approximation will be sufficient. The length must be
entered in metres.

Do you have a high pressure liquid receiver?


A high pressure liquid receiver is a cylindrical vessel located beneath the condenser that is partially filled with liquid refrigerant.

HP liquid receiver (a cylindrical vessel): vessel diameter (mm)


Enter the approximate diameter of the liquid receiver in mm.

HP liquid receiver (a cylindrical vessel): length (mm)


Enter the approximate length of the liquid receiver in mm.

HP liquid receiver (a cylindrical vessel): orientation (horizontal or vertical)


All liquid receivers are cylindrical in shape. Most are oriented horizontally i.e. the cylinder’s long axis is horizontal. Some liquid receivers are oriented vertically.

Do you know the depth of liquid in the liquid receiver?


If you know the depth please state Yes and you will be prompted for a value. If you do not know the depth we will use a default value of 30%.

If known, enter the approximate depth of liquid refrigerant in mm


Please measure the depth of liquid from the bottom of the vessel. Enter the value in mm.

Do you have a low pressure receiver or surge drum?


A low pressure receiver or surge drum is a cylindrical vessel located after the expansion valve on certain types of flooded system (e.g. in large industrial plants
such as cold stores or blast freezers). It is partially filled with liquid refrigerant.
HP liquid receiver (a cylindrical vessel): length (mm)
Enter the approximate length of the liquid receiver in mm.

HP liquid receiver (a cylindrical vessel): orientation (horizontal or vertical)


All liquid receivers are cylindrical in shape. Most are oriented horizontally i.e. the cylinder’s long axis is horizontal. Some liquid receivers are oriented vertically.

Do you know the depth of liquid in the liquid receiver?


If you know the depth please state Yes and you will be prompted for a value. If you do not know the depth we will use a default value of 30%.

If known, enter the approximate depth of liquid refrigerant in mm


Please measure the depth of liquid from the bottom of the vessel. Enter the value in mm.

Do you have a low pressure receiver or surge drum?


A low pressure receiver or surge drum is a cylindrical vessel located after the expansion valve on certain types of flooded system (e.g. in large industrial plants
such as cold stores or blast freezers). It is partially filled with liquid refrigerant.

NB Questions listed above for the HP receiver on vessel dimensions and orientation are also repeated of the LP receiver.

CALCULATION METHODOLOGY
This spreadsheet tool splits a refrigeration system into a number of component parts and then calculates the quantity of refrigerant in each part. These parts are
as follows:

Liquid line. The user is prompted for actual data for the diameter and length of the liquid line. The density of the liquid refrigerant at a default condensing
temperature of 30oC is looked up in a data table. The liquid line volume is calculated from the input data and then the mass of liquid is estimated using the density
value.

High pressure liquid receiver. The user is prompted for actual data for the diameter and length of the liquid receiver and the orientation of the vessel (it is
assumed the vessel is a cylinder, either in a horizontal or vertical configuration). The density of the liquid refrigerant at a default condensing temperature of 30 oC
is looked up in a data table. The receiver vessel volume is calculated from the input data. The user has an option of entering a liquid depth. This is used to
calculate the volume of liquid in the vessel and then the mass of liquid is estimated using the density value. If the depth is not known we use a default depth of
30% of the height of the vessel.

Low pressure receiver. The calculations are similar to those for the high pressure receiver, except that the density is based on a user entered cooling
CALCULATION METHODOLOGY
This spreadsheet tool splits a refrigeration system into a number of component parts and then calculates the quantity of refrigerant in each part. These parts are
as follows:

Liquid line. The user is prompted for actual data for the diameter and length of the liquid line. The density of the liquid refrigerant at a default condensing
temperature of 30oC is looked up in a data table. The liquid line volume is calculated from the input data and then the mass of liquid is estimated using the density
value.

High pressure liquid receiver. The user is prompted for actual data for the diameter and length of the liquid receiver and the orientation of the vessel (it is
assumed the vessel is a cylinder, either in a horizontal or vertical configuration). The density of the liquid refrigerant at a default condensing temperature of 30 oC
is looked up in a data table. The receiver vessel volume is calculated from the input data. The user has an option of entering a liquid depth. This is used to
calculate the volume of liquid in the vessel and then the mass of liquid is estimated using the density value. If the depth is not known we use a default depth of
30% of the height of the vessel.

Low pressure receiver. The calculations are similar to those for the high pressure receiver, except that the density is based on a user entered cooling
temperature level.

Evaporator. The user selects which type of evaporator is used. For each type of evaporator we use a “refrigerant coefficient” expressed in kg of refrigerant per
kW of heat exchanger duty. High and low values of each coefficient have been estimated - these represent the typical design variations that exist for each heat
exchanger type. The values used are as follows (low / high values):
Finned Air cooler 0.2 to 0.35 kg/kW
DX shell and tube 0.15 to 0.25 kg/kW
Flooded shell and tube 0.4 to 0.7 kg/kW
Plate liquid cooler 0.3 to 0.5 kg/kW
The user is able to enter either a cooling duty or, alternatively, the compressor power. If the cooling duty is entered this is used directly in the calculation. If the
compressor power is entered then we estimate the COP of the system based upon the user entered cooling temperature. A Carnot COP based on a condensing
temperature of 35oC and evaporating temperature 10oC lower than the cooling temperature is calculated and then a “Carnot Ratio” of 60% is applied.

Condenser. The user selects which type of condenser is used. For each type of condenser we use a “refrigerant coefficient” expressed in kg of refrigerant per
kW of heat exchanger duty. High and low values of each coefficient have been estimated - these represent the typical design variations that exist for each heat
exchanger type. The values used are as follows (low / high values):
Air cooled 0.1 to 0.17 kg/kW
Water cooled shell and tube 0.15 to 0.25 kg/kW
Water cooled plate 0.15 to 0.25 kg/kW
Evaporative 0.2 to 0.35 kg/kW
The condenser duty is the evaporator duty plus the compressor power (calculated using the estimated COP as described above).

Compressor. The user selects which type of compressor is used. For each type of compressor we use a “refrigerant coefficient” expressed in kg of refrigerant
per kW of compressor power. The values used are as follows:
Scroll 0.02 kg/kW
Reciprocating 0.05 kg/kW
Screw 0.075 kg/kW
Centrifugal 0.01 kg/kW
The compressor power is the user entered value or is calculated using the estimated COP as described above.
REFRIGERANT CHARGE CALCULATOR
DATA ENTRY

Contact name (type name in box)


Site name (type site in box)
Please choose how many systems you wish to enter data for (select from 1 to 4) 0

Once you have entered data for each system, press this button to see the results…

SYSTEM 1 DETAILS
REFRIGERANT CHARGE CALCULATOR
RESULTS
Table 1: Charge Calculations Note - a high and a low refrigerant estimate is calculated for each system
Amount of refrigerant in system (kg) TOTAL (kg) Refrigerant split (kg)
System charge Hermetic
high & low HCFC
System number System Name Evaporator Condenser Compressor Liquid line Vessels estimate HFC charge charge Other
System 1 high estimate 0 #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #N/A 0.0 kg #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! Hermetically sealed?
System 1 low estimate 0 #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #N/A 0.0 kg #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! Hermetically sealed?
System 2 high estimate 0 #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #N/A 0.0 kg #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! Hermetically sealed?
System 2 low estimate 0 #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #N/A 0.0 kg #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! Hermetically sealed?
System 3 high estimate 0 #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #N/A 0.0 kg #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! Hermetically sealed?
System 3 low estimate 0 #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #N/A 0.0 kg #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! Hermetically sealed?
System 4 high estimate 0 #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #N/A 0.0 kg #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! Hermetically sealed?
System 4 low estimate 0 #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #N/A 0.0 kg #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! #VALUE! Hermetically sealed?

Table 2: Regulatory Status Note - status is given seperately for the high and low estimate for each system
Guidance statement on F-gas regulation

System number and System Refrigerant Refrigerant and on the


estimate name name type Ozone Regulation if relevant
System 1 high estimate 0 Select #N/A #VALUE!
refrigerant

#VALUE!

System 1 low estimate 0 Select #N/A #VALUE!


refrigerant

#VALUE!

System 2 high estimate 0 Select #N/A #VALUE!


refrigerant

#VALUE!

System 2 low estimate 0 Select #N/A #VALUE!


refrigerant

#VALUE!

System 3 high estimate 0 Select #N/A #VALUE!


refrigerant

#VALUE!

System 3 low estimate 0 Select #N/A #VALUE!


refrigerant

#VALUE!

System 4 high estimate 0 Select #N/A #VALUE!


refrigerant

#VALUE!

System 4 low estimate 0 Select #N/A #VALUE!


refrigerant

#VALUE!
REFRIGERANT CHARGE CALCULATOR
EU F-Gas Regulation - Summary Guidance for Refrigeration Systems
The Guidance below is a brief summary of key aspects of the F-Gas Regulation. For more detailed advice refer to:
a) Defra Guidance: “EC Regulation No 842/2006 on certain fluorinated greenhouse gases” available from
http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/uk/fgas/index.htm
b) Supplementary Guidance for Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heat Pump Users available from www.dti.gov.uk/files/file37001.pdf

DETAILS OF THE OBLIGATIONS IN THE NEW REGULATION


The obligations in the new Regulation for stationary refrigeration plants with more than 3 kg of HFC refrigerant come into force on July 4th
2007 and are as follows:

a) General obligation to prevent leakage. Using all measures which are technically feasible and do not entail disproportionate cost
operators must: (a) prevent leakage of HFC refrigerants and (b) as soon as possible repair any detected leakage.

b) Regular Leak Testing. Plants must be checked for leakage by certified personnel on a regular basis. “Checked for leakage” means
that the equipment or system is examined for leakage using direct or indirect measuring methods, focusing on those parts of the equipment
or system most likely to leak. The frequency of testing depends on refrigerant charge:
• Plants with 3 kg to 30 kg must be checked annually.
• Plants with 30 kg to 300 kg must be checked once every 6 months.
• Plants with more than 300 kg must be tested once every 3 months.
Plants must be rechecked within one month after a leak has been repaired to ensure that the repair has been effective.
Plants with more than 300 kg must be fitted with a leakage detection system, which is defined as: “a calibrated mechanical, electrical or
electronic device for detecting leakage of refrigerants which, on detection, alerts the operator”. The detection system must be checked at
least once a year to ensure proper functioning.
For any plant fitted with a leakage detection system, the frequency of leak checking can be halved, although an annual check remains the
minimum frequency.

c) Maintaining Records. Records must be kept about each system with more than 3 kg of HFC refrigerant. The records must include:
• The quantity and type of HFC refrigerants installed in each system
• Any quantities of refrigerant added
• The quantity of refrigerant recovered during servicing, maintenance and final disposal.
• Other relevant information including the identification of the company or technician who performed the servicing or maintenance, as well
as the dates and results of leakage checks and leakage detection system checks.
• These records shall be made available on request to the competent authority and to the Commission.

d) Gas Recovery. If refrigerant needs to be removed from a system (e.g. to gain access to part of a system for maintenance or during
system decommissioning at the end of life) it must be properly recovered by certified personnel. After recovery the refrigerant can be
reused or sent for reclamation or destruction.

e) Use of Adequately qualified staff. Personnel carrying out leak testing, gas recovery, installation and maintenance must have a suitable
refrigerant handling qualification.

f) Labelling. Any new system placed on the market must be fitted with a label clearly stating the type and quantity of HFC refrigerant used.

Stationary HFC refrigeration systems with less than 3 kg of refrigerant and mobile systems (e.g. car air-conditioning and transport
refrigeration) do not need to comply with (b) and (c) above. However, all the other items i.e. (a), (d), (e) and (f) apply to all types of HFC
refrigeration system.

HERMETICALLY SEALED SYSTEMS


Definition of a hermetically sealed system
"In a hermetically sealed system all refrigerant containing parts are made tight by welding, brazing or a similar permanent connection which
may include capped valves and capped service ports that allow proper repair or disposal and which have a tested leakage rate of less than
3 grams per year under a pressure of at least a quarter of the maximum allowable pressure".

Details of the Obligations in the New Regulation


The guidance for hermetically sealed systems is the same as above, except for the following points:

b) Regular Leak Testing. The frequency of testing a hermetically sealed system depends on refrigerant charge:
• Hermetically sealed systems with 3 kg to 6 kg of HFC refrigerant are exempt from the obligation to carry out regular leak tests.
• Systems with 6 kg to 30 kg must be checked annually.
• Systems with 30 kg to 300 kg must be checked once every 6 months.
• Systems with more than 300 kg must be tested once every 3 months.
Systems must be rechecked within one month after a leak has been repaired to ensure that the repair has been effective.
Systems with more than 300 kg must be fitted with a leakage detection system, which is defined as: “a calibrated mechanical, electrical or
electronic device for detecting leakage of refrigerants which, on detection, alerts the operator”. The detection system must be checked at
least once a year to ensure proper functioning.
For any plant fitted with a leakage detection system, the frequency of leak checking can be halved, although an annual check remains the
minimum frequency.

Rule of thumb
Small hermetic systems fitted with a “domestic” 240 Volt 13 Amp plug will be well below the 6 kg limit. This is a very important rule as it
applies to millions of small systems. All domestic refrigerators and freezers fall into this category. So do many systems used in small shops
(e.g. ice cream display cabinets, bottle coolers, small chilled or frozen food cabinets etc,) in pubs / restaurants (e.g. “in-line” drink coolers,
ice makers etc.), in offices (e.g. vending machines) and in other types of building.
REFRIGERANT CHARGE CALCULATOR
EU Ozone Regulation - Summary Guidance for Refrigeration Systems
The Guidance below is a brief summary of key aspects of the Ozone Regulation. For more detailed advice refer to:
a) Guidance on new EC Regulation No 2037/2000 on substances that deplete the ozone layer available from
http://www.dti.gov.uk/innovation/sustainability/ods/page29091.html
b) Refrigeration and air conditioning: CFC and HCFC phase out - advice on alternatives and guidelines - also
available from the same DTI website

RELEVANT ASPECTS OF THE OZONE REGULATION


For operators of refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, there are two key clauses that are already in effect. These are:
a) The use of CFCs for plant maintenance was banned in 2000. Effectively this meant that all industrial plant using CFCs had to be
replaced by the end of 2000
b) The use of HCFCs (including R22) in new refrigeration systems was banned between 2000 and 2004 (the exact date was
dependant on the type of application - most systems were affected by 2001). This means that most R22 refrigeration and air-
conditioning equipment currently in use is at least 5 years old.

Five further clauses in the Regulation affect the use of existing HCFC systems. These are:
c) Use of virgin HCFCs for maintenance will be banned from December 31st 2009.
d) The quantity of virgin HCFCs that can be sold in the EU is restricted. For example, in 2008 the amount available for sale will
only be 25% of that available in 2001.
e) Use of recycled HCFCs for maintenance will be banned from December 31st 2014. This date is subject to a review to be
completed in 2008. This means that recycled HCFCs may be phased out earlier than the end of 2014.
f) Operators of HCFC refrigeration systems must take “all precautionary measures practicable” to prevent leakages. Any system
containing more than 3 kg of HCFC refrigerant must be checked annually for leakage, by suitably qualified personnel. Any HCFC
refrigerant removed from a system during maintenance or at end of life must be properly recovered for re-use, recycling or
destruction.

Recommendations to users of R22 and Other HCFCs


1. Start planning for HCFC Phase Out now. This will ensure you have time to consider the most appropriate options and will
enable you to minimise the cost implications. It will also give you time to properly budget for any investments required.
2. Ensure you are complying with the leakage and recovery obligations (see (f) above).