The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced two new regulations that, while banning the use of some existing refrigerants, have tightened regulations on leakage rate limits, thereby reducing HFC emissions. From January 1, 2021, a batch of high-GWP refrigerants are prohibited from being used in certain new production products, including R404A, R134a, R407C and R410A.
R404A and R507A are currently widely used high-GWP refrigerants. From 2021, they will be banned from being used in newly produced food retail refrigeration equipment, and from January 1, 2023, they will be prohibited from being used in newly produced cold storage equipment. use. In addition, the ban also includes the so-called mixed refrigerants R407A and R407B for system modification.
R134a is also one of the most widely used refrigerants. From January 1, 2024, it will be banned from being used in newly produced centrifugal and piston chillers. Of course, it also includes R407C and R410A, as well as many transitional direct filling mixtures. At the same time, from January 1, 2021, R134a will also be prohibited from being used in household refrigerators and freezers.
The American Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Association (AHRI) raised questions about the ban on refrigerants for chillers. It has proposed to postpone the implementation date of the ban to January 1, 2025, in order to have more time for comprehensive testing of possible alternatives in terms of safety and energy efficiency. AHRI Secretary-General Setephen Yuerk pointed out: “We are very disappointed to see that the EPA has not considered the impact of refrigerant phase-out on the industry and users. While considering the environmental impact, it should not impose an economic burden on the industry. We will continue to pay attention to the regulations The impact on the industry and 1.2 million employees."
Other bans implemented this year will affect A3 refrigerants in the ANSI/ASHRAE standard. These refrigerants will be prohibited from being used in renovation projects of household, light commercial air-conditioning and heat pumps, unitary split air-conditioning systems and heat pumps. These products include hydrocarbon refrigerants and mixtures used as R22 alternatives in the United States, such as Coolant Express 22a, Duracool-22a, Envirosafe 22a and Red Tek 22a.
The hydrocarbon refrigerants propylene R1270 and R443A have been banned from being used in newly produced domestic and light commercial air conditioners and heat pumps, cold storage, centrifugal chillers and piston chillers.
Of course, the new regulations also accept the flammable refrigerant propane for use in household refrigerators and freezers, as well as newly produced commercial ice machines.
The low GWP HFO refrigerant R1234yf, which is used in place of R134a for automotive air conditioners, can also be used in newly produced medium-sized passenger cars and trucks.
The second new regulation announced by EPA reduces the leakage rate limit, which strengthens the maintenance responsibility of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment with a refrigerant charge greater than or equal to 50 lbs. For industrial processing refrigeration, the leakage rate was reduced from 35% to 30%, the leakage rate of commercial refrigeration equipment was reduced from 35% to 20%, and the leakage rate of comfort cooling equipment was reduced from 15% to 10%. At the same time, it is required to conduct quarterly/annual leakage monitoring or continuous monitoring of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment exceeding the leakage rate limit.
If the filling volume of the system equipment exceeds 50 lbs and the leakage rate exceeds 125% per year, the manufacturer must submit relevant reports to the EPA.
EPA Secretary Gina McCarthy said: "These two regulations enable the United States to continue to be a leader in protecting public health and the environment. We continue to reduce HFCs emissions that damage the environmental system, to show the world that we are responsible, and to cooperate with companies and environmental organizations. Work closely together.