États-Unis : L'EPA augmente la limite de charge d'hydrocarbures pour les réfrigérateurs domestiques

Les nouvelles règlementations américaines autorisant une augmentation de la charge en frigorigènes à base d'hydrocarbures dans les nouveaux réfrigérateurs et congélateurs domestiques, sont entrées en vigueur le 7 septembre 2018.

New US rules allowing greater charge sizes of hydrocarbon refrigerants in new domestic refrigerators and freezers and combination refrigerators and freezers, under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) programme, entered into force on September 7, 2018.

The new rules are based on UL 60335-2-24 standard, allowing charge sizes of up to 150g for the flammable refrigerants isobutane, propane and R441A - a blend of ethane, propane, butane and isobutane - in each separate refrigerant circuit, and bringing them in line with international standards.

Only 57g of refrigerant was allowed under the previous standard, a charge size considered too small to allow cost effective and energy efficient manufacturing.

While other countries have been using hydrocarbon fridges for over a decade, US consumers have continued to purchase around 12 million new fridges a year using R134a. It is estimated that if the US follows the rest of the world in eliminating R134a in domestic fridges, it could avoid emissions of up to 3.7 million metric tons of direct CO2 equivalent annually.

In addition to the increased charge size, UL Standard 60335-2-24 requires tests to ensure that any leaks will result in concentrations well below the Lower flammability limit (LFL), and that potential ignition sources will not be able to create temperatures high enough to start a fire. Passing the leakage test ensures that refrigerant concentrations in the event of a leak do not reach or exceed 75% of the LFL inside any internal or external electrical component compartments.

For further information, please follow the links below.