What’s happening in refrigerant September 2019?

  • Refrigerant pricing has no change in September, with the NZU’s staying static at around the $24 price point. The market continues to wait for expected increases with the outcomes of the government’s review of the ETS.
  • A number of “new refrigerants” have come into the market as manufactures work to meet strict global HFC phase down milestones.
    In New Zealand R513A is now available on the market, which we see as a short term transitional refrigerant for existing systems on R134a.
    R513A has a low GWP of 631 and is an excellent capacity and energy efficiency match to R134a.

Do you have systems on high GWP refrigerant? 

A number of transitional refrigerants are on the market now in New Zealand; mainly in response to global HFC phase down impacts as Europe’s HVAC&R industry strive to meet additional HFC bans that come into force on 1 January 2020 under the European Union’s F-Gas Regulations.

As of 2020, the EU F-Gas Regulations:

  • Ban the sale of moveable room air conditioners that use HFCs with a GWP above 150.
  • Ban the sale of hermetically sealed commercial refrigeration equipment that uses refrigerants whose GWP is over 2,500.
  • Ban the use of HFCs whose GWP is over 2,500 in stationary refrigeration equipment (except that which cools to below -50o C).

Why does this matter to me?

New Zealand relies on overseas manufacturers of refrigerants.
Whats happening globally dictates what is available in the market, even before dealing with changes caused by the  start of the New Zealand HFC phase down January 1st 2020.

There has been a great deal of pressure on manufactures to come up with alternatives that meet new requirements meaning huge changes to the refrigerant landscape in New Zealand as new products become available, while some have been exited, with growing demands for refrigerants with lower environmental impact.

Under the HFC phase down supplies of traditionally used synthetic HFC refrigerants will considerably reduce, becoming increasingly cost prohibitive with importers restricted in accessing supply.  Choices for New Zealand will be impacted by European rules and to put this into context some of the common used refrigerants GWP are listed below:

GWP of refrigerants

“We recommend any company who have cooling systems that rely on R404A or R507 work towards a transition plan and undertake a risk management assessment immediately.”
Matthew Darby, MD EcoChill

Transitional refrigerant R513A

R513A is a zeotropic blend of 56% next generation synthetic F gas refrigerant hydrofluoro-olefine (HFO) and 44% R134A.

Many people are surprised to learn that what they think is a new refrigerant is actually a blend of an old one.
R513A is designed to replace R134a in domestic, commercial and industrial refrigeration applications as well as in air conditioning, liquid cooling and PAC.
To use in an existing system a system will require a retrofit and systems will need to be assessed for compatibility.
It can be used in direct expansion and flood systems.

It is currently more expensive at more than double the cost of  R134a as HFOs are priced at the higher end of the market, with demand for the refrigerant coming with decreasing availability of R134a globally.

It  has almost identical physical and thermodynamic properties to R134a:

  • Performance and efficiencies closely match that of R134a.
  • Non-flammable with a safety classification of A1.
  • For oil dependant systems R513a is fully compatible with polyolester oil.

For those that  have R134A systems and are looking for a short term transitional refrigerant before investing in a natural  refrigerant, R513A has seen to be a suitable choice providing good performance outcomes.

Customer Showcase

Planning for refrigerant transition.

 “Cool” investment by Eastland Port commissions New Zealand’s largest critically charged hydrocarbon refrigeration system.

Auckland, NZ (August 19, 2019) – Eastland Ports newest development is working to tackle climate change through investment in sustainable cooling systems. The Port is working with specialists EcoChill on a future proof cooling solution for an up and coming cold store conversion. This includes the design, build and installation of what will be New Zealand’s largest critically charged hydrocarbon refrigeration system delivering over 1 Megawatt of cooling power.

The system will provide cooling across two cool stores that are being created from the conversion of an existing cold store that is being retired at the Port’s Kaiti Beach Rd Site in Gisborne. The store will be set up to handle nearly 3.5 million kilograms of kiwifruit annually. Site preparation is currently underway and includes the installation of PIR panel to make good the old store and provide multiple rooms within the existing structure. Hand over is planned for the end of February 2020.

The system, thought to be the largest of its type in New Zealand, includes purpose built EcoChill engineered plant, designed with both a primary and secondary refrigerant, using critically charged hydrocarbon packaged chiller units. This approach has decreased the amount of refrigerant required to as little as ten percent of what would normally be used. The system will have a combined charge of 112kg across 8 circuits.

In choosing refrigerants the lower the Global Warming Potential (GWP), the lower the climate impact and Eastland Ports has made the choice to use hydrocarbon, a natural refrigerant with a GWP of just 2, versus synthetic Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) alternatives that can be as high as 3,922.

The use of a natural refrigerant will support the Port in its environmental impact goals and help future





Future Proof Your Refrigeration Investment

Looking to understand the cost of refrigerant? Do you have enough insurance cover on existing systems in case of an accident or failure?
Need to understand the risks future supply of synthetic refrigerants?

If you’d like to know more or are looking to understand how the changes occurring will affect you, please contact us.

2019-09-10T11:00:10+12:00September 4th, 2019|EcoChill, HFC Phasedown, News, Refrigerant, Resources|

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