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Singapore to ban R134a water-cooled chillers

SINGAPORE: The sale of water-cooled chillers that use refrigerants with a GWP of more than 15 are to be prohibited in Singapore under a new bill to reduce HFC emissions.

Singapore’s Environmental Protection and Management (Amendment) Bill, which aims to shift the market towards climate-friendly refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, also places restrictions on domestic air conditioners and refrigerators. It also introduces new laws governing the training and certification of technicians and mandatory recovery and recycling.

From 1 October 2022 onwards, water-cooled chillers with a cooling capacity equal to, or more than, 1,055kW and used for air conditioning purposes will be banned from sale if they use refrigerants with a GWP of more than 15. The move will effectively ban the sale of R134a chillers and push the industry towards HFO refrigerants like R1233zd.

On the same date, a ban will be applied to sales of domestic air conditioners using refrigerants with a GWP of more than 750 and domestic refrigerators with a GWP of more than 15. 

To minimise HFC emissions, servicing work that involves refrigerant handling and spent refrigerant recovery must be supervised or carried out by at least one certified technician. The requirement will initially apply to work carried out on water-cooled chillers where at least one certified technician must be present on site.

Energy efficiency

At the end of last year, Singapore introduced minimum energy efficiency requirements for industrial water-cooled chilled water systems. 

Chilled water systems for process and space cooling are said to account for approximately 16% of the electricity consumed at industrial facilities in Singapore – making them the second highest electricity-consuming system in the industry. More than 70% of these systems were also reported to be operating inefficiently. Water-cooled systems are the predominant type of chilled water systems in Singapore and account for more than 90% of the electricity consumed by chilled water systems.

Related stories:

Singapore imposes minimum cooling efficiency standards29 December 2019
SINGAPORE: Minimum energy efficiency requirements for industrial water-cooled chilled water systems are being introduced by Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) from 1 December 2020. Read more…

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