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When is refrigerant leak detection required?

There are many things to consider in business, and one of the most important aspects in any industry whether it be a retail store, a hotel, a distribution warehouse, a food production factory or in one of the many more industries where refrigeration or air conditioning is used, you will find the need to have a gas monitoring solution. There are a great deal of refrigerants and natural gas refrigerants on the market today that are used in a vast range of applications, and these must all be regulated.

So, whhen is refrigerant leak detection required? Well firstly there is fact that any company who use refrigerants i.e. R410a and R32 found in most A/C systems, and others like R1234ze, R404a, and R448, or natural refrigerant gases such as Ammonia and CO2, will have to adhere to regulations such as F Gas, EN378 and also comply with current Health and safety regulations. These will dictate to your business exactly what you require in the way of leak detection to ensure the safety of your staff, your customers and anyone who may come into contact with your equipment and more importantly the gas contained inside, particularly important in the case of a leak.

There is also the environment to consider and, again the regulations that have been put in place to protect and reduce the effect that the gases that we use have on the environment. We also have environmental regulations which cover both Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP). To put things into perspective, a refrigerant leak of just 2Kg of R410a (refrigerant generally used in air conditioning) has the same impact on the environment as driving a van nearly halfway around the world. The environmental agency is responsible in the UK for enforcing laws that protect the environment including F Gas and ODS regulations.

There is then the efficiency of the plant to consider. A gas leak will result in the machinery having to work harder to maintain the output that is required from a fully functioning system, thus costing more money to keep this increased power capacity going. This will then lead onto the wasted man hours of problem solving in looking for and identifying the reason why the plant is running at reduced efficiency, and in all this time even more gas has escaped, affecting the environment and refrigerant costs to refill the system once the leak has been repaired and also the fact that it is contravening regulations. All of which could be avoided with the use of a gas leak detection system.

Of course, the biggest and most important purpose for using a gas leak detection system is to save lives. This is paramount when taking all the above reasons into account. We hear on a regular basis of gas leaks that have caused injuries or fatalities where staff have not had the correct protection in place and have succumbed to the effects of a gas leak. A leak detection system provides an early warning system which enables the business’s staff and customers the opportunity to escape before the leak can have any serious and long-lasting effect on their health and wellbeing.

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