Hydrocarbon Conversions

Hydrocarbon Conversions

As the costs of Chemical refrigerants in Australia continues to increase, companies and employers are continually looking for cheaper and more efficient alternatives.

The recently introduced Carbon Tax and also the Phase out of HCFC refrigerants like R22 are the 2 main factors for the increase in chemical refrigerant costs in Australia. Many may know, but this is actually by design from the Government’s Environmental direction and incentive for an uptake of low Global Warming refrigerants in Australia.

Why Remove a Systems Chemical Refrigerant and Replace with a Natural Refrigerant?

By removing old chemical refrigerants such as R22, R134a, R404a, R407c, R410a etc…. and replacing them with Natural Refrigerants like Hydrocarbons, R290, R600a etc… a system will receive a multitude on benefits, including:

  • Reduced power consumption, generally between 10% and 30%
  • Reduced environmental impacts
  • Reduces head pressures
  • Improved performance – Faster pull down times & improved reliability in high ambient temps.
  • Reduced on going refrigerant replacement costs (leaks, servicing)

How Do You Safely Convert to Hydrocarbons?

First it is important that you understand hydrocarbons, their properties and how to safely handle them. All of these aspects and much more are covered in our Hydrocarbon Training course.

Next, a safety assessment should be conducted, to ensure that the system can safely be retrofitted to hydrocarbon refrigerants. The system must comply with all safety standards, including the Australian Standards AS 1677.2

To safely comply with all standards, sometimes very little is required. However this is not often the case and multiple steps, procedures or changes must be made. These may include and cover:

  • The movement or sealing of electrical connections or potential arcing points.
  • Ventilation – natural or mechanical.
  • Solenoid valves, to reduce potential refrigerant charges in certain areas.
  • Sensors, detectors and sirens.
  • Signage and labeling. etc….

For more information, please enrol for the Hydrocarbon Training course or contact the College of Climate Change.

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