The cooling industry needs to grasp the fact that the next generation of low-GWP refrigerants will be mildly flammable and start training their engineers appropriately.

But at the same time, the message that the new refrigerants ‘are here to stay’ needs to be driven more forcefully and urgently down to the ‘high street’ convenience stores, the contractors that service them and their employers.

That was the consensus from RAC’s latest Round Table discussion on the future of refrigerants, the latest in a series of debates sponsored by Chemours.

The debate this time brought training specialists, component firms, refrigerant experts and retailers together to hammer out the practical issues regarding the ‘new generation’ of refrigerants.

The theme that emerged clearly was that these refrigerants, namely R32 and the so-called ‘ultra-low-GWP’ HFO blends – required a distinct approach to accommodate the fact that they are mildly flammable. While in practice, the operational changes are not major, engineers – and significantly those who employ them – need to be properly trained in handling and servicing them.

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