Since 2007, the European F-Gas Regulation has restricted the permissible leakage rates of HFC systems and has prescribed regular leak tests for this purpose. As early as 2014, a revision or sharper tightening of the F-Gas Regulation took place, with the result that HFC refrigerants with a GWP> 2500 are banned in new plants from 01.01.2020. As of 01.01.2022, this prohibition also applies to coolants with a GWP> 1500, as far as they are used in commercial refrigeration systems with an output of more than 40 kW. In order to achieve the set climate protection targets, further tightening or revisions of the F-gas regulation are to be expected. According to current knowledge, in the long term only refrigerants with a GWP <150 (eg R290 ) may be regarded as future-proof.
Of course, in addition to direct emissions, indirect emissions (ie energy consumption) also play a key role in the environmental performance of a refrigeration system. The efficiency of a refrigeration system is more influenced by system design than by the mere choice of refrigerant. However, in particular, plants operated with natural coolants have proven to have significantly higher efficiency values in many cases than conventional systems with HFC refrigerants.