Heuch Refrigeration Leak Detection

Refrigeration Leak Detection

Refrigeration leak detection has come a long way since the days of rubbing soap to look for bubbles to appear. With an increased focus on environmental effects due to refrigerant loss and the stresses of efficiency from an industrial perspective, reliable and quick gas leak detection methods are more important than ever. Especially with the rising costs of refrigerants and the r22 phase our regulations.

With a multitude of tools and tricks on the market, it can be a mine field as to what the best solution is for your equipment and manufacturing facility. A refrigeration or HVAC system does not “just need a top up of gas”, it could be a symptom of another issue such as a leaking weld or damaged coupling. Not only is replacing lost gas an avoidable and unnecessary expense, but regulations require leaks to be repaired with urgency and companies ignoring leaks could be facing some large fines.

Recently in the HVAC-R industry we have seen some of the refrigerant leak detection applications move away from the traditional use of nitrogen to a non-flammable mixture of hydrogen and nitrogen.

This combination has proven to be a winner and has ultimately enhanced the environmental compliance from refrigerant leaks as well as reducing maintenance times and costs to the company if a system shutdown is required, all whilst increasing system energy efficiencies.

Did we also mention this is up to 100 times more accurate than the traditional bubble method?

Make sure your next programmed maintenance service covers a leak detection check of your refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

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Heuch r22 Phase Out Refrigerant Solutions Commercial Refrigeration Repair

Planning for R22 Refrigerant Phase Out

What is it R22?
R22 is a commonly used, manufactured fluorocarbon compound designed for use as the working fluid in refrigeration systems.
What’s happening with R22?
In accordance with Australia’s obligation to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer HCFCs, including the commonly used HCFC 22 better known as R22 are being phased out. R22 can be found operating across a range of HVAC equipment manufactured before 2005.
Why is it happening?
The main purpose of the Montreal Protocol is to further sharply restrict the use of substances that harm the earth’s protective ozone layer and contribute to climate change. Unfortunately, most gases historically used in HVAC and refrigeration have an extremely high Global Warming Potential (GWP). By cutting the production and import of these chemicals and limiting how they can be used, the ozone layer will heal faster.
They also provide significant climate benefits. Over the period from 2010 to 2014, the protocol will provide about the same climate benefit as eliminating the annual CO2 emissions from the electricity use of more than 102 million homes.
How does this effect me?
In 2016, imports of R22 are set to just 4% of pre-phase out levels and will remain so until 2030, when NO imports of R22 will be allowed. From 2013 to 2016 alone, the commercial price of R22 went from approximately $150 to $250 per kilo. The price of R22 will continue to rise as the market forces of supply and demand act on a commodity that is becoming more and
more scarce.
What’s to be done?
The phase out is in full swing and those affected must start planning now, if not already done. Experience in Europe has shown that when organisations address R22 phase-out early and proactively, they benefit in the long term. A plan should be developed to look at alternatives to R22 and assess the priorities in terms of costs, benefits and service continuity.
For existing air conditioning and refrigeration systems using refrigerant R22 there are four main options that can be considered:
  • Retain and maintain your ageing R22 system and hope that you won’t have a major breakdown or leakage;
  • Retrofit your system to use an alternative refrigerant
  • Replace your system with an exact match of new equipment; or
  • Review, redesign and upgrade your system for superior high energy efficiency, and low-cost, low-emissions outcomes.
When assessing refrigerant alternatives and replacement systems the focus should be on low-GWP and system life-cycle costing. High-GWP refrigerants are likely
to be the subject ofincreasing future controls. Switching to low-GWP refrigerants where possible may avoid the double-step of moving to a high-GWP HFC refrigerant and then having to switch again at a later date. Replacing old R22-based systems has the added benefit of the improved reliability and energy efficiency of next generation refrigerant systems.
As a leader in Industrial Refrigeration solutions, Heuch can work with your business to develop an R22 management strategy that considers not only the technical solutions, but also the business priorities and needs, such as the intended future usage, age of equipment, criticality of the site and other factors, in order to reduce risk and proactively future-proof critical equipment to keep you in business.
Contact Heuch here to discuss a R22 phase out strategy for your business.
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