UK: The Institute of Refrigeration has published guidance to the new air conditioning and refrigeration safety standard EN378.

BS EN378 is a safety and environmental standard, published by the European Committee for Standards, CEN. It provides guidance for companies who design, construct, install, operate, maintain and use vapour compression systems for refrigeration, air‐conditioning, heat pumps, chillers and other similar systems.  

It is published in four parts, totalling around 180 pages, and covers definitions, design (including manufacturing), installation (including commissioning) and operation (including maintenance requirements). 

The IoR guidance notes highlight the most significant changes introduced since the last version was published in 2008.

According to the IoR, system design will not fundamentally change with this revision of BS EN378. It sees restrictions on the “mildly flammable” A2L refrigerants continuing to be quite stringent and several years of experience, risk assessment and further negotiation before these limits can be further relaxed.

In any event, other regulations outside of the scope of BS EN378 must still be applied if companies want to use the new “lower flammability” refrigerants – this does not make their use impossible, but it is an extra layer of complexity to be accommodated.

The guidance note can be viewed and downloaded here.

Copies of EN378 can be purchased here.