Struggling to attract attendees to traditional evening sessions, the long-established Hampshire Refrigeration Society tried a new tack with a breakfast meeting to discuss the thorny topic of alternative refrigerants.
Despite early morning traffic chaos on the M27, around 30 managed to make it to the Concorde Club in Eastleigh to hear presentations from A-Gas, Bitzer UK, Mitsubishi Electric and Javac UK.
Roger Smith of A-Gas covered the basics of the F-gas regulations, in particular the HFC phase down and the effects it will have on the industry. He repeated calls to persuade end-users to move away from R404A and the other high GWP refrigerants as a matter of urgency. Roger’s colleague Vern Klein went on to describe A-Gas’ Gas Trak Online (GTO) and explained the benefits of its F-gas reporting and cylinder tracking capabilities.
Martin Crawford of Mitsubishi Electric announced his company’s future plans for the introduction of lower GWP refrigerant R32 to replace R410A across its product range.
Kevin Glass, md of Bitzer UK, described the problems that compressor manufacturers have, being at the sharp end of any new refrigerant development, in keeping up with all the new gases. Looking forward, he suggested that the industry will have to get used to flammability and glide and, in some cases, toxicity as well.
Finally, Dave Kingston of Javac UK , talked the group through the range of tools suitable for use with the new “mildly flammable” gases including ATEX-approved leak detectors, refrigerant recovery machines and vac pump. Also, with refrigerant becoming an increasingly valuable commodity, a new refrigerant scale running off an app that accurately weighs and records cylinder contents.