While flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants remain banned, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has announced it is prepared to allow the usage of the “mildly flammable” A2L refrigerant R32 in single-split air conditioning systems, subject to certain conditions.
The SCDF provides fire-fighting, rescue and emergency medical services and is also responsible for formulating, implementing and enforcing regulations on fire safety.
In a circular to industry announcing the move, Capt Matthew Goh of the SCDF’s hazmat department said the decision had been taken after seeking clarity on the fire risks, safety standards and the safety control measures on the operations, servicing and disposal of single-split air conditioning systems using R32 refrigerant.
The use of R32 is subject to a number of conditions including maximum charge sizes, education, training and labelling.
The low GWP refrigerant will only be allowed in equipment specifically designed for R32 and will not be allowed to carry a charge size of more than 1.8kg. Manufacturers or suppliers are also charged with taking reasonable measures to educate users on the inherent safety risks from the usage of R32 refrigerant in the equipment and to ensure the safe handling and usage of the equipment.
Advisory labels will also need to be affixed permanently at specific points on the system.
The full announcement can be found here.