Brussels, October 10, 2019 – The LIFE FRONT project, led by shecco, has officially launched its refrigerant leak size and concentration databases, considered essential input parameters for safety standards regulating the use of flammable refrigerants such as Hydrocarbons.
Publicly and freely accessible, Europe’s largest leakage size database is the first of its kind and is projected to keep growing. This resource was officially launched with a webinar on October 10 where the LIFE FRONT project team, together with industry stakeholders who assisted with data collection, explained the benefit of collating this kind of information.
In these two databases, risk parameters are shown realistically and based on the actual frequency of leaks, leak-hole sizes, and mass-flow rates with a fundamental approach to leak-time measurements. Both databases are to be considered as input parameters for safety standards, determining among others, the allowable refrigerant charge sizes and system design parameters. “The objective of the databases is to show real data on refrigerant leakage to be used as a basis for the standard-making process, replacing the current assumptions that don’t necessarily rely on realistic scenarios,” said shecco’s Pauline Bruge, LIFE FRONT Project Coordinator.
“Correct determination of the hole size is essential for handling of flammable HC refrigerants,” added U.K. Engineer and Project Consultant Daniel Colburn during his webinar presentation. “If it’s too small, you underestimate the potential hazard; too large and you over-engineer and over-price protective measures.”
Industry project partners therefore have many reasons to contribute to these databases, especially from a commercial refrigeration and heat pump applications point of view. “The database and the LIFE FRONT project can provide valuable inputs for changing product safety standards and increasing the allowable charge of flammable refrigerant in refrigeration, AC and heat pumps,” said Laure Meljac, NIBE’s Regional Manager for International Affairs, who partook in the project.
Get involved and contribute
Other equipment manufacturers are invited to contribute to the project with their own data, which will remain confidential and anonymous at all times. Project partners are hopeful that the database will increase with further contributions in the near future, given that knowing “the leak rates are helpful for the improvement of products and services currently on the market,” said Werner Schwaiger of AHT, who were also involved with the data collection and presented during the webinar. “It’s also helpful for developing standards for the future”.
A study on concentration development and leak simulation database entitled “Recommended leak hole size and mass flow rates by system and application characteristics” complements the databases. It was also recently released online and is available for free download from the LIFE FRONT website. The report outlines the background of current charge size limits of various standards. It also provides a brief overview of available studies on leakages and their main results.
About LIFE FRONT
LIFE FRONT is an EU-funded project led by shecco that aims to remove barriers to hydrocarbons and contribute to the wider uptake of refrigeration, heating and air-conditioning equipment using these natural refrigerants.
Experts from industry, academia, trade bodies and NGOs can get involved in the LIFE FRONT project by joining the Standards Action Group (SAG) here. The SAG group aims to look at the development of EU and international safety standards, which cover environmental, safety and product design criteria, and apply to hydrocarbon refrigerants.
For the last 17 years, market accelerator shecco has been active in helping bring climate-friendly technologies faster to market. shecco supports over 100 partners worldwide in the HVAC&R sector, where the focus is on sustainable refrigeration, heating and cooling technologies using natural refrigerants. shecco offers a variety of services in three areas: 1) media, including online industry platforms, magazines and a catalog of dedicated research reports; 2) market development, including market research, consultancy and public affairs services, as well as special international projects; and 3) events, including international conferences and national workshops.