Customers with an established service contract with Nexia Scientific Environmental Ltd will already meet the F-gas regulations, so long as the first service has been carried out.

The European Union’s F-Gas Regulation No. 842/2006 became law on the 4th July 2006 and was updated by Regulation No. 517/2014 in 2015. This imposed obligations on operators of equipment using refrigerants, which includes environmental chambers.

The regulation aims to minimise emissions of HFC’s, which effect global warming if they should escape into the atmosphere. Older refrigerant systems may include an HCFC that is not covered by the F-Gas regulation, but does fall under the EU Ozone Regulations.

Most chambers below 1000 litres in size are likely to have a refrigerant charge of less than 3kg and will therefore be excluded from the requirements, other than the overall obligation to prevent leakage and to repair leaks as soon as possible. Larger chambers, fast rate of temperature change and thermal shock chambers are likely to have systems with refrigerant charges over that limit.

Your responsibilities as an operator

The new regulations mean that any test chambers with a refrigerant charge less than 5 tonnes CO²-eq will be excluded from the requirements, other than the overall obligation to prevent leakage and to repair leaks as soon as possible. Test chambers with a refrigerant charge between 5 tonnes CO²-eq and 50 tonnes CO²-eq will require checks for leakage by a qualified engineer every 12-months to meet F-Gas compliance.

For refrigeration systems with a charge over 5 tonnes CO²-eq, operators MUST:

  • Take steps to prevent leaks and repair any leaks as soon as possible.
  • Arrange proper refrigerant recovery by certified personnel during servicing and arrange compliant disposal for “end of life” equipment.
  • Carry out leak checks to the schedule as shown below.
  • Ensure that only certified competent personnel carries leakage checks.
  • Maintain records of refrigerants and servicing.
Schedule for leak checking.

Leak checking varies depending on the amount of refrigerant in the system:

  • At least annually for systems with more than 5 tonnes CO²-eq refrigerant charge.
  • At least once every 6 months for systems with more than 50 tonnes CO²-eq refrigerant charge.

Systems must be rechecked within one month after a leak has been repaired to ensure that the repair has been effective.

Maintenance and servicing records

Operators of all systems containing 5 tonnes CO²-eq refrigerant charge or more must maintain records to include:

  • Quantity and type of refrigerant installed, added or recovered.
  • Identification of the company or technician carrying out the servicing.
  • Dates and results of leakage checks.

If you have any questions or doubts regarding these regulations and the refrigerant in your chamber please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 (0)1664 370 465 or email service@nexiascientific.co.uk all of our engineers are fully qualified to F-Gas standards and we will be happy to discuss your current position and requirements regarding these regulations.