F gas regulation

Implications of the F gas regulation in Service when handling refrigeration dryers.

During the daily work of service technicians, they will come into frequent contact with compressed air treatment equipment and in particular with refrigeration dryers and their refrigeration circuits. There have long been laws and regulations that must be observed when dealing with such equipment. These are largely EU directives.

The following is an attempt to clarify this complex subject based on frequently asked questions. A selection of the most frequently asked questions have been compiled and assigned to the respective answers.

What is the obligation for keeping records of maintenance and service, etc. of refrigeration dryers?

Since the CFC-Halon ordinance of 1991, the filling of refrigerant circuits with ozone-depleting refrigerant must be recorded with the quantity of refrigerant used.

Following the F-gas regulation (EC) No. 517/2014, operators are explicitly required to keep records. These records must be presented to the relevant authorities upon request. The keeping of records is a mandatory operator obligation! The legally required retention time for these documents is five years. The servicing and maintenance company is also required to keep records with the same retention period.

What exactly needs to be recorded?

  • Volume and type of the fluorinated greenhouse gas contained.
  • Quantity of the fluorinated greenhouse gas added during installation, repair, maintenance or subsequent to a leak.
  • Information as to whether the fluorinated greenhouse gases used have been recycled or treated.
  • Quantity of the recovered fluorinated greenhouse gases.
  • Information about the company that installed, maintained, repaired, or decommissioned the installation.
  • Time and results of the leakage checks.
  • Recovery and disposal measures if installations have been decommissioned.
  • And further points.

A system logbook suitable for refrigeration dryers can be obtained from the KAESER KOMPRESSOREN Customer Service department.

Why is it so important to check for leaks?

  • Moral obligation to reduce environmental impact, protect the ozone layer and reduce greenhouse effects
  • Economic aspects, operational reliability
  • Responsible use of natural resources
  • Compliance with legal regulations and directives concerning leakage checks of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.
  • Gradual loss of refrigerant that is not detected early can lead to massive damage to the refrigerant compressor as a result of hazardous oil loss (lack of lubrication)!

Definition of a refrigeration dryer in terms of the relevant regulations.

Refrigeration dryers are considered “stationary refrigeration systems”.
Stationary = “not in motion during normal operation”

How often must an affected refrigeration dryer be inspected?

In accordance with directive (EC) No. 517/2014, the intervals are broken down based on the respective CO2 equivalent, which is based on the ratio to the warming potential of CO2. This refers to climatic warming potential of a greenhouse gas in relation to carbon dioxide (CO2).

In terms of the refrigerant quantities normally used in a refrigeration dryer, this leads to the following intervals.

Over 5 and below 50 tonnes (CO2 equivalent): Leak test required once a year.

This corresponds to refrigerant circuits with the following charge volumes:

Refrigerant R404A. Charge volumes: 1.27 to 12.7 kg

Refrigerant R134a. Charge volume of 3.5 to 35 kg

From 50 and below 500 tonnes (CO2 equivalent): Leak test required twice a year.

This corresponds to refrigerant circuits with the following charge volumes:

Refrigerant R404A. Charge volumes of 12.7 kg to 127.4 kg

Refrigerant R134a. Charge volume of 35 to 349.6 kg

Who can carry out such a leakage check on a refrigeration dryer?

It is a mandatory operator obligation to perform leakage checks on refrigeration circuits. The operator must ensure that the leakage test is performed by a certified organisation or a certified specialist.

Note: KAESER KOMPRESSOREN field service technicians receive the appropriate training during their in-house training and receive a corresponding certificate upon passing their mandatory examination. The certificate number must be entered in the system logbook following the leakage test.