Refrigerant safety standards high on global agenda.

At the international level, many discussions are currently focusing on the necessity to revise safety standards in order to adapt them to refrigerants classified as mildly flammable or flammable. China and India invest themselves.
•    During the meetings under the Montreal Protocol which took place in Vienna (Austria), on July 15-24, 2016, many discussions focused on the necessity to revise safety standards in order to adapt them to low-GWP alternative refrigerants classified as A2L (mildly flammable) or A3 (flammable). Some experts stressed that current versions of certain international standards – according to which current refrigerant charge limits are established – are not based on scientifically sound measurements and fail to take account of mitigation measures and could limit the potential of flammable refrigerants such as hydrocarbons.

 In Vienna, China formally called on the Parties to establish regular consultations on safety standards with a view to accelerating the revision of relevant standards in a neutral manner. This should enable the safe use and market adoption of low-GWP alternatives required by the future HFC amendment. The proposal was finally modified and adopted during the Kigali MOP29 meeting in Kigali in October. Links will be organized with the international bodies in charge of standardization, particularly ISO and IEC. More informations here and here.

•    In India, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is considering amendments to safety standards recommended by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) which would enable wider use of hydrocarbons. Currently, India does not have any safety standards for refrigerating systems. To bridge this gap, the BIS committee had proposed the adoption of “ISO 5149: Refrigerating systems and heat pumps-Safety and environmental requirements” as the India standard in 2015. But, according to CSE, these standards restrict the use of refrigerants like hydrocarbons by limiting the permitted refrigerant charge. Amendments in the standards would allow Indian manufacturers to expand their production line to hydrocarbon air-conditioning systems with higher cooling capacity. More informations here.