The following is a transcript of a webinar hosted by CAREL on 30 January 2023. This is part two of a four-part transcript.

The webinar also addressed environmental concerns related to chemical substances used in heat pumps.

The webinar also addressed environmental concerns related to chemical substances used in heat pumps. Image Credit: The webinar also addressed environmental concerns related to chemical substances used in heat pumps. Supplied by Refrigeration Industry

… continued from part one.

Heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular in the HVAC industry due to their efficiency and versatility. In this webinar two experts delved into the intricacies of heat pumps, shedding light on key trends and regulations shaping the market:

  • Miriam Solana Ciprés from CAREL’s Knowledge Center, responsible for following regulations and trends in HVAC
  • Matteo Galenda, application specialist HVAC Residential

Navigating safety standards and chemical substances in heat pumps

As the webinar progressed, participants delved into crucial topics surrounding safety standards and chemical substances pertinent to heat pump technology. Ciprés underscored the growing importance of adhering to safety standards, particularly in light of the phase-down of fluorinated refrigerants mandated by the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. This phase-down necessitates the use of low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants, many of which are flammable, emphasising the significance of compliance with safety standards such as ISO 60335-2-40.

Attendees learned about the evolution of safety standards, with ISO 60335-2-40 continually updated to accommodate advancements in technology and address safety concerns associated with flammable refrigerants. Notably, the standard was revised in 2018 to include enhanced safety measures for systems utilising hydrocarbon refrigerants. In 2022, further updates were made at an international level, allowing for increased refrigerant quantities under specific safety protocols, including mechanical ventilation and other methods.

A critical aspect of safety standards involves understanding refrigerant charge limits, particularly concerning flammable refrigerants like propane. Participants engaged in a quiz to determine the maximum refrigerant charge for propane systems employing mechanical ventilation. The correct answer, elucidated by Galenda, emphasised the importance of adhering to strict safety measures, with the maximum allowable charge capped at five kilograms to mitigate potential hazards.

The discussion shifted to internal distribution systems within heat pumps, highlighting the diverse options available, including air-to-air and water-to-water configurations. Attendees gained insights into the typical temperature profiles for various distribution systems, with air distribution systems delivering temperatures ranging from 35°C to 40°C in heating mode and water distribution systems exhibiting varying temperature ranges depending on the type of radiator or fan coil employed.

Addressing chemical substances and environmental concerns

The webinar also addressed environmental concerns related to chemical substances used in heat pumps, particularly per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Ciprés underscored the potential environmental and health risks associated with PFAS, prompting regulatory action in the European Union and other jurisdictions to restrict their use. Participants engaged in a quiz to identify refrigerants included in proposals to regulate PFAS, highlighting the industry’s efforts to mitigate environmental impact and prioritise sustainability.

As the second section drew to a close, participants gained a deeper understanding of safety standards, refrigerant regulations, and environmental considerations shaping the heat pump industry. Through interactive quizzes, informative presentations and expert insights, attendees were equipped with the knowledge to navigate the complexities of heat pump technology and contribute to a sustainable future. Moving forward, continued collaboration and adherence to evolving standards will be paramount in driving innovation and ensuring the safety and efficiency of heat pump systems worldwide.

continued in part three…