Reliable F-gas regulation compliance with KAESER

The implementation of the EU F-gas Regulation 517/2014 poses significant challenges for manufacturers, service providers and equipment operators.
You as an operator need to be particularly aware of the changes to ensure timely planning of investments and optimal long-term decisions.

After a thorough examination of the issue, KAESER is offering operators supply security now and in the future with the switch to the climate-friendly refrigerant R-513A for all current and future models.

Reducing greenhouse gases – Phase-down

The phase-down is designed for an incremental reduction of partly-fluorinated greenhouse gases in the marketplace with the goal to significantly cut their consumption. To implement the phase-down, the EU allocates individual quotas to the annual portion of all refrigerant manufacturers and importers. This quota is expressed as CO2 equivalent (GWP x Mass). The baseline is 2015, being the mean value from 2009 to 2012, at 100%. The EU will incrementally lower the quota to 21% by 2030.

F-gas regulation compliance with KAESER

What are the consequences?

If manufacturers or importers intend to circulate in the EU the same or higher mass, they must:

  • Increasingly dispense with current refrigerants with high global warming potential (GWP).
  • Increasingly offer more climate-friendly refrigerants with lower GWP.
  • Offer refrigerants without quota which, however, are not suitable for current dryers.

Effect on refrigerants with high GWP:

  • Market supply and availability will drop. The outcome may be supply gaps for service and repair.
  • Prices will increase and service and repair costs will rise.

This is how you should proceed:

1. New purchases: Utilising R-513A dryers
KAESER Kompressoren uses R-513A in its refrigeration dryers.

Due to the global warming potential of current refrigerants, the F-gas regulation is intended to promote less availability and, hence, a drastic rise in cost. From now on, KAESER will use the new and more climate-friendly R-513A. The conversion will be realised for all separate and integrated refrigeration dryers in 2019.

With a global warming potential rating of just 613R-513A is ultra-friendly and will be available for the long term. This conversion will not relevantly affect the performance characteristics of the current R-134a models offered by KAESER. The famous resilience of the dryers under demanding operating conditions, such as high temperatures or condenser contamination, will be maintained.

R-513A is neither toxic nor flammable. Thus, operators and service providers won’t face additional demands. Converting to R-513A is possible now as this refrigerant and the corresponding approvals of the relevant components have only recently become generally available on the market.

2. Replacement of older R-404A dryers

The F-gas regulation strongly restricts the use of refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) of more than 2500. This includes the R-404A refrigerant used in refrigeration dryers. Beginning on 1 January 2020, fresh material is banned from use when servicing refrigeration dryers with filling volumes above 10.2 kg. From 1 January 2030, its use will be prohibited completely.

Major refrigerant manufacturers have responded and already stopped providing fresh material. Hence, the availability for repairing smaller refrigeration dryers is no longer assured. There are replacement refrigerants for R-404A, however, their individual GWPs are also quite high, hence, they don’t represent a feasible alternative. As well, their use could mean increased structural effort.

We recommend a timely replacement of older equipment instead of their conversion to replacement refrigerants. We discourage the purchase of new refrigeration dryers with R404A refrigerant. Please consult with KAESER and have a look at our solutions.

3. Prevention – through certified service

The F-gas regulation has no mention of restrictions for operation with factory-supplied refrigerant. KAESER refrigeration dryers do not leak refrigerant in standard operation. Hence, regular filling is not required. Regular inspections are necessary to maintain this condition as long as possible. Early leak detection and implementation of suitable actions have the added benefit for the operator to avoid costly failures or repairs. For example, a slow refrigerant loss will frequently cause damage to the compressor due to insufficient lubrication. Furthermore, obligatory leak tests must be completed for the affected systems.

Careful: No refrigeration servicing without certified personnel and comprehensive documentation. The F-gas regulation contains significant sanctions in the event of violations by service personnel, service organisations and operators. The available specialists are very busy due to the heightened demands in the regulation. Therefore, suppliers of refrigeration dryers should offer solutions for an efficient access to certified personnel – to ensure timely and legally-safe service. KAESER service is a reliable and certified partner.      

4. Keeping an eye on R-407C and R-410A dryers
Make a note of the refrigerant type that is used in your refrigeration dryer.

R-407C and R-410A are used in many refrigeration dryers. These inexpensively-manufactured refrigeration units have some disadvantages for their operators. For example, their through-put capacity is limited at higher temperatures. Furthermore, R-407C and R-410A have much higher GWPs than R-134a which will probably adversely affect their availability and pricing.

Replacement refrigerants with similar properties are available but, without exception, flammable at this point in time. Current refrigeration dryers are unsuited for the use of flammable refrigerants. As a rule, retrofitting is inefficient and repairing options will be lost over the medium term. At a minimum, leaks will cause tremendous repair costs for the operator. The machines may even need to be decommissioned. The same applies to the add-on dryers for compressors. We cannot recommend the purchase of new refrigeration dryers with R407C or R-410A refrigerant. KAESER offers alternatives.