You may or may not be aware that R22 refrigerant is being phased out in Australia, as it has ozone depletion potential.
This has been the case since 1987 when Australia signed up to the Montreal Protocol. We currently are in the period of 90% reduced import quotas, which is putting significant price pressure on it due to high demand. A total phase out is scheduled for January 1st 2020.
What does the R22 Refrigerant Phase Out Mean for You?
Well if your equipment runs on R22 refrigerant there is currently no obligation for you to change over. The consideration you have to make is that currently R22 refrigerant is 3 times the price of suitable replacement refrigerants. So if your system was to spring a refrigerant leak, it will be quite expensive to fill it back up with R22.
Being pro-active about the issue will generally pay dividends. Currently we are using R407C as an R22 replacement refrigerant and we are getting good results. But it isn’t a 5 minute job to retrofit the system. And not every system will be compatible.
The procedure for retrofitting to R407C are:
- Reclaim any remaining R22 from the system,
- Replace compressor oil to a polyolester type oil,
- Replace systems filter drier,
- Evacuate system,
- Recharge with R407C refrigerant,
- Reset thermostatic expansion valve superheat.
Depending on the size of the system, this could take hours or days. The larger the system, the longer it will take, and the system cannot run while the retrofit is carried out. So going back to my earlier comment, it will pay off to retrofit your system before it loses its R22 refrigerant. If you wait until your system loses its R22 refrigerant, and stops working, then we may not have the time to retrofit it. This will force you to pay 3 times as much for refrigerant, just to get the system up and running quickly.
If you are pro-active then we can carry out the retrofit during your most convenient time to have the system off. For fruit and veg growers this may be during your off season.
If your system(s) are large, and they run on R22, and you cannot operate without them, then I would strongly recommend you contact us as soon as possible on 0417 424 794 to discuss retrofitting your systems over to an R22 replacement.