Adoption of long-awaited standard for flammable refrigerants

International Electrotechnical Commission standard approves increased charge of flammable refrigerants in domestic installations.

On April 29, and after more than six years of revision, the IEC 60335-2-40 standard was approved: it is a standard prepared by the International Electrotechnical Commission*. 
This new standard authorizes higher charge limits for hydrocarbons and other flammable refrigerants including A3 “higher flammability” refrigerants such as R290 (propane) and A2L “lower flammability” refrigerants such as R32 in new domestic applications (air conditioning, heat pumps). This should contribute to reducing the use of HFCs, and meet the Kigali Amendment objectives. 
For example, according to this new standard, for an A3 refrigerant such as R290, the charge can be increased to 988 g in new standard split air conditioning systems with a more robust design of system, increased airflow, leak detectors and safety shut-off valves. Today, the limit is set at 334 g. 
The standard will be published on June 24, 2022 and it will be up to each country to pass laws to adapt national regulations. 


As a reminder, the EN378 standard and its international equivalent ISO 5149 are being revised as we indicated in this news. The fourth section concerning operation, maintenance, repair and recovery will be replaced by a part concerning safety classifications and information on refrigerants. 
*The work of the International Electrotechnical Commission concerns standardisation in the electrical and electrotechnical field. The other fields are supervised by ISO, with the exception of the field of telecommunications.