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HCFC(R22) Phase-out

HCFC(R22) Fact or Fiction?

It is a belief by many that systems containing HCFC?s such as R22 either have to be replaced or retrofitted to operate on a non ozone depleting refrigerant by end of 2014. This is a myth and any systems containing R22 as long as it is leak free can continue to operate after 1st January 2015. After this date should it need to be repaired due to leakage or component failure then there will not be any available recycled refrigerant and thus plant will be inoperable till retrofitted or replaced at this time and if critical plant may result in loss of production or failure of equipment and loss of revenue.

HCFC Replacement Plans

How equipment using HCFC?s are retrofitted or replaced will depend on size of equipment, cost and suitability of options, age and life expectancy. The following guidance is given to aid in an educated decision on planning for replacement or retrofitting of equipment.

Unitary or Multi VRV or packaged Air/water chiller Industrial/process
Life expectancy 10 years 12-15 years 15-25 years >15 years
Production Year Prior 2000 Prior 2000 Prior 2000 Prior 2000
Capacity Small Medium Medium-Large Large
Complexity simple Simple-complex Simple-complex complex
Cost< low Low-medium Medium-high High-very high
Retrofit Possible #1 Possible #3 Yes #5 Yes #7


Yes #2 Yes #4 Yes #6 Possible #8

Unitary or Multi Split Air Conditioning

1These systems can be retrofitted however would only recommend if any works have to be carried out on component change or leak rectification as likely to lose some refrigerant during reclaiming and as nearing life expectancy as long as leak free recommend to plan for replacement
2Although units containing R22 can still operate after phase out date, these units by design are inefficient and so it is recommended that a phased replacement of equipment be replaced with inverter driven technology which can be partially reclaimed under ECA scheme

VRV or packaged systems

3These systems can be rectified but in the case of VRV systems nuisance tripping may occur and would depend on manufacturer.
4As nearing end of expected life would recommend replacement with new technology which is energy efficient, can be claimed back under ECA scheme and can in some cases utilise existing pipe-work and cabling

Air or Water cooled chillers

5Due to the cost and life expectancy retrofitting may be the preferred option but feasibility needs to be looked at in conjunction with manufacturers recommendations.
6Replacement is likely to increase efficiency and due to high power consumption of this equipment payback period may prove worthwhile

Industrial or Process Chilling

7Drop in refrigerants and some modification is likely however due to extreme costs of the equipment this may be the only option
8More efficient plant may still be sourced which due to the longevity of this type of system and extreme power requirements payback period may prove worthwhile

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