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Standard revision a “milestone” for propane AC

SWITZERLAND: A new standards revision will in future allow a larger charge of flammable A3 refrigerant, like propane (R290), in domestic air conditioners, heat pumps and dehumidifiers.

The landmark revision of the safety standard IEC 60335-2-40, which previously limited charge sizes to, typically, 334g for an A3 refrigerant in a standard-sized split system in a standard size room, was finally approved on Friday (April 29) after six and a half year revision process. 

“The new Edition of IEC 60335-2-40 will enable R290 to be used in many AC and heat pump systems, which were previously blocked from using this refrigerant by the outdated version,” commented Asbjørn Vonsild, the convenor of Working Group 21 of SC61D, who shepherded the safety standard through its revisions.

The revised safety standard allows for using a larger charge of flammable refrigerants (up to 988g of R290 in a standard split AC system) in new equipment designed according to certain additional safety requirements to ensure the same high level of safety as equipment using non-flammable refrigerants.

Clare Perry, climate campaign leader for the Environmental Investigation Agency, described the revision as “a critical milestone” on the pathway to net-zero.

“With this new standard, we expect the European Parliament and EU member states to recognise that HFCs are no longer needed for a large portion of the AC and heat pump market and to strengthen the recently proposed EU F-gas regulation accordingly,” she said.

The new standard is expected to be published on the 24 June. Countries will then need to swiftly adopt the revisions into their national legislation.

Related stories:

Safety update could unlock flammable refrigerant use19 August 2020
USA/UK: The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is calling for support for a revised safety standard to allow the greater use of flammable refrigerants in room air conditioners. Read more…

Thai tests confirm safety of R29010 June 2020
THAILAND: The Thai government has been asked to review its building code after air conditioning tests are said to have confirmed the safety of flammable refrigerant propane. Read more…

Standards slow uptake of hydrocarbons11 October 2018
BELGIUM: While the F-gas phase down seeks a reduction in HFCs of over two-thirds by 2030, current standards are still seen as a barrier to the take up of low GWP hydrocarbons. Read more…

JRAIA: flammables crucial to phase down13 April 2018
EUROPE: Japan’s association of air conditioning and refrigeration manufacturers has added its voice to calls for the EU to remove barriers to the use of low GWP flammable refrigerants. Read more…

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