Briefs: Japan: refrigerant leakage larger than expected

According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, leakage of fluorinated refrigerants used in air-conditioning equipment in the country is on the average 10 times greater than estimated. METI collected over one year results from 260@000 samples from maintenance contractors, equipment users and other parties and checked statistical reliability taking into account data on CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs in order to assess HFC emission coefficients. The annual leakage coefficient for household room air conditioners was revised upwards from 0.2% in 2007 to 2% in 2008; the coefficient for commercial packaged air conditioners was raised from 0.9% to 3%, that of chilling units from 2% to 6% and that of medium-sized refrigeration units from 1.1% to 17%. Possible causes of the erroneous estimates include underestimating the amount of refrigerant discharged from equipment during breakdown/repairs. The amount of fluorinated refrigerant emissions converted to CO2 emissions in 2007 has been revised upwards from 6.5 million tons to 13.2 million tons. However, according to JARN, this amount is only about 1/3rd that of the US and 2/3rds that of Europe.