FGAS Legislation – Leak Checks

What you need to consider…

As of 1st January 2017, FGas legislation states that mandatory documented leak checks are required on refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment.

The frequency of the leak checks is based on how much damage could be caused to the atmosphere if the whole charge were released.

  • Between 5 and 50 tonnes CO2e requires one inspection per year.
  • Between 50 and 500 tonnes CO2e requires inspections every six months.
  • Greater than 500 tonnes CO2e require quarterly inspections.

As the CO2e is GWP (Global Warming Potential) weighted, refrigerants with a higher GWP trigger the leak check frequencies on smaller amounts of refrigerant.

The table below shows the frequency of checks required based on the refrigerant and its charged weight.

The ban on the use of virgin refrigerants with a GWP greater than 2500 comes into force in just over three months’ time. Any system containing more than 40 tonnes Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e) of refrigerant cannot be legally topped up with virgin refrigerant after this date.This is based on the current and 5th assessment report made by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Reclaimed refrigerant can still be used provided it has been reclaimed within the same company or group of companies.  It will be against the law to use any reclaimed refrigerant bought from another company or third party.

DEFRA have warned that operators who do not comply with the service ban face civil penalties of up to £200,000 in England and Scotland. Enforcement notices and possible fines can also be applied by enforcing authorities in Northern Ireland and Wales.

What you need to do…

Calculate the CO2e of your refrigeration system by multiplying the amount of refrigerant in the system by the GWP of the refrigerant. For example, if your system contains 18kg of R507 then you multiply 18kg by 3985 (the GWP of R507) which equals 71,730kg or 71.73 tonnes CO2e.

The table below shows the 40 tonnes CO2e threshold in kilograms of some of the refrigerants with GWPs above 2500:

For guidance regarding compliance of this legislation or to discuss a refrigeration project, get in touch with our team on 029 2086 1627 or email sales@cbrefrigerationltd.co.uk.

 

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/calculate-the-carbon-dioxide-equivalent-quantity-of-an-f-gas 

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fluorinated-gas-f-gas-guidance-for-users-producers-and-traders

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/fluorinated-greenhouse-gases-f-gas-regulations/

https://www.refcom.org.uk/news/new-fines-proposed-for-f-gas-violations/

https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/syr/