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Reducing refrigerant leaks - a practical approach


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Reducing refrigerant leaks - a practical approach

The 2007 presidential address highlights a key issue currently facing the RAC industry and that of refrigerant leakage. The scale and environmental impact of leakage coupled with the difficulties of finding and stopping leaks make this the current number one challenge. This is especially so in the commercial refrigeration sector where: Systems leak at a much higher rate than commonly acknowledged; Leaking refrigerant (usually HCFC or HFC) has a high environmental impact Commonly used leak detection systems do not identify the majority of leaks early enough; Leakage increases energy costs and service costs ; but not enough to provide an incentive to improve system design, installation and maintenance. The address will highlight the practical problems associated with leak detection, rate different methods and recommend practical ways of reducing leaks in existing and new systems. It cannot give all the answers. The aim is to provide a starting point to take the industry towards significantly lower leakage, and to highlight the potential role of the Institute of Refrigeration.