Sustainability and Refrigerants – Environmental Responsibility

At John Bossy Refrigeration and Air Conditioning we take our environmental responsibilities seriously.

Over the past 25 Years the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry has been subject to rapid change. Traditional “safe” CFC refrigerants such as R12 were found to be responsible for an increase in Ozone Depletion levels and were subject to a rapid Global phase out program. Fortunately we are now seeing signs of recovery in the Ozone layer. This issue led to a redesign of traditional equipment and the introduction of new synthetic refrigerants.

Unfortunately the replacement HFC refrigerants are now widely believed to be a major contributor towards Global Warning. R22 an HCFC was the most widely use refrigerant in Air Conditioning in Australia and has recently been subject to a rapid phase out. Its use is now banned in new Equipment

The Australian Labour Government introduced a Carbon Tax to discourage business from using these refrigerants. Some refrigerant pricing increased sixfold overnight as there were no valid non- flammable alternatives for many standard applications such as Commercial Freezer equipment.

The Australian Liberal Government has therefore initiated a Refrigerant Phase out programme further to the Kigali agreement where all 197 Countries in the UN are signatories.

Global Warming Potential (GWP) Ratings for Refrigerants

Refrigerants have all been classified in terms of their GWP Rating. (Global Warming Potential) Those with the highest GWP will be subject to a faster phase out and a reduced level of Product will be allowed in to Australia. As availability reduces prices will inevitably increase.

Most Commercial refrigeration systems in Australia will contain refrigerants that are subject to phase out and subsequent shortages and price increases.

While new Low GWP replacement gases are under development they are not yet at a stage where they can be directly retrofitted into existing equipment at a competitive price.

Some temporary “Drop in” Refrigerants are now being sold but these are unlikely to be viable alternatives in the long term.

Various Low GWP Natural refrigerants are being considered in some applications such as ammonia, CO2 and hydrocarbons such as Propane. These refrigerants present other challenges in regards to safety, toxicity and flammability and are usually only considered for new equipment.

Sustainability and Environmental Refrigeration

At John Bossy we are fully abreast of these upcoming changes. If you keep the refrigerant in your system there is no environmental risk. We can provide advice as to how you can minimise the risk of refrigerant leaks.

Our Industry is now subject to stringent Government controls and licensing requirements to ensure refrigerants in redundant plant are properly recovered and disposed of.

Whether you require recommendations for your existing plant, advice regarding future refrigerants or equipment we are happy to assist.

Contact John Bossy Refrigeration and Airconditioning for more information on Environmental Responsibilities and Sustainability.

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