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Flammable Refrigerant Options for Natural Technologies (FRONT) – Improved standards & product design for their safe use (GEN – 949.00)

10 October 2018

2 min read
European Policy
General

Flammable Refrigerant Options for Natural Technologies (FRONT) – Improved standards & product design for their safe use (GEN – 949.00)

10 October 2018

2 min read

GEN – 949.00. FRONT is a demonstration funded under LIFE, the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects. It is often referred to as LIFE FRONT. The project runs until 2020 and aims to remove barriers posed by standards for flammable refrigerants and increase the availability of suitable alternatives. The first report has just been published.

Market Research Report

The 92-page report is divided into 4 chapters; introduction, standards, current market for HVACR equipment and market potential for hydrocarbon-based equipment.

It concludes that an international standards revision to increase the charge limits on using hydrocarbons in HVACR systems should expand the market for these refrigerants.

The report found that standards limiting the refrigerant charge size and a lack of trained technicians are slowing down the uptake of hydrocarbons in Europe. 

Based on an online survey of almost 500 HVACR experts, interviews and quantitative data collection from leading European HVACR manufacturers, the report analyses the market availability of non-fluorinated flammable refrigerant products and the impact of standards on the market. The 3rd chapter dealing with the current market provides for interesting reading.

The efforts to review the current charge size limits for flammable refrigerants are underway but tend to be lengthy. The development of requirements is in general much more advanced for A2L refrigerants than for A3 refrigerants (hydrocarbons).

The report considers three applications; heat pumps, commercial refrigeration and air conditioning. Of these, the number of hydrocarbon-based display cabinets in supermarkets is estimated at around 2,5 million globally. 

Recommended actions

Manufacturers and associations may find the report interesting in view of the prohibitions (and growing HFC prices) under the F-Gas Regulation. Depending on the evolution of the revision of standards, it may prove useful to consider future approaches.

Related documents and links

All related documents and articles can be found in the respective sections in the right sidebar.

  • Project website: http://lifefront.eu
  • GEN – 949.01 – Impacts of standards on hydrocarbons refrigerants in Europe – Market Research Report
  • GEN – 949.02 – Related UL presentation for the Eurovent Summit
  • GEN – 894.00 – Initial information on Life Front and survey
  • GEN – 923.00 – Update on Life Front

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