Reducing the use of HFC refrigerant gases in commercial air conditioning systems is likely to be accelerated, according to a former President of the Institute of Refrigeration (IoR).
Andy Pearson told last month’s online meeting of the CIBSE ASHRAE Group that the signing of the Kigali Accord last year linked refrigerant phase down to the Montreal Protocol, meaning it will probably happen more quickly than currently foreseen. He cited the example of CFCs – also managed under the Montreal Protocol – which moved quickly from an original target of 50% reduction to total ban.
‘The dates can be changed quite easily,’ said Pearson, who is group managing director of Star Refrigeration. ‘This acceleration also happened with HCFCs and I expect the same will happen with HFCs – their removal will happen more quickly than the current timetable suggests.’
The F-Gas Regulation is on course to reduce HFCs to 21% of their baseline level, but Kigali is set to lower that to 15%. It requires developed economies to start removing HFCs from 2019. Developing countries will start to restrict use in 2024 and begin reductions in 2029.
Pearson told the CIBSE ASHRAE Group there was unlikely to be a phase down of any other refrigerant once HFCs are gone, but ‘there may be more changes… as a result of flammability and toxicity concerns about some of the replacements’ (see below). His full presentation can be viewed on the CIBSE ASHRAE Group website.