An audit trail for refrigerants

The REFCOM refrigerant database for tracking refrigerant movement from supplier to cylinder to plant has been successfully trialled by MacWhirter Air Conditioning, the first company ever to join the REFCOM scheme. This database is based on standards already aligned with proposed Government F-Gas regulations and recognised by ACRIB. The automated monitoring system provides a very accurate audit trail to prove that the user’s company is fully compliant with regulations. The gases concerned are CFCs (chloro-fluoro-carbons) with a significant greenhouse effect. The refrigerant gas R134a (GWP 1300) is affected, which is a single refrigerant and a constituent of the mixtures R407C and R410A. CFC125 (GWP 3400) is also affected; it is a constituent of both R407C and R410A. CFC32 (GWP 550) is a component of R410A. CFC132, a constituent of R407C, is not affected. Graeme Fox of the HVCA’s RAC group executive committee explains, ‘A national mandatory refrigerant-handling scheme is closer than people think. Refrigerant tracking is undoubtedly something that firms must consider now. ‘Major contractors are already asking for detailed proof that refrigerants are being handled responsibly as a condition of appointment. Businesses across the sector are likely to lose out if standards are not raised.’ The reality of using the database is explained by MacWhirter engineer Gareth Christian. During a normal day’s work maintaining air-conditioning systems, he noted all refrigeration transaction data, producing logged written proof at every stage of the process. He recorded the type of F-Gas used, quantities used and recovered, as well as the identification codes of the cylinders used. The date from his notes was transferred to the REFCOM database and reports produced for a key client’s records. The result for MacWhirter is a complete audit trail, proving the company is compliant with all existing standards, as well as those likely to be components of forthcoming F-Gas legislation. hvcapublications@welplan.co.uk



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