BetaTalk - The Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Heating Podcast

Split Systems, Heat Pumps with Propane and Other Types of Refrigerant

August 15, 2020 Nathan Gambling BetaTeach
BetaTalk - The Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Heating Podcast
Split Systems, Heat Pumps with Propane and Other Types of Refrigerant
Show Notes

Graeme Fox
Head of
REFCOM - provider of F-Gas Schemes, James Baker, Renewable Heat Engineer (both land and sea) and Lisa-Jayne Cook 

a refrigeration engineer and along with Graham a board member of IOR Institute of Refrigeration

01:00 Graham describes how REFCOM was set up to provide quality environmental standards. Very interesting how the recovery of refrigerant used to be voluntary. He also explains the two tier system of

REFCOM F-Gas certification and REFCOM ELITE

02:19 Lisa explains the Institute of Refrigeration

03:55 James introduces us to the new term of “natural refrigerants” and the refrigerant propane which is now becoming a popular refrigeration gas for heat pumps.

We talk about propane in split systems and the regulations around this

06:02 EN378 safety regulations - quantity of refrigerant in occupied spaces. 

06:15 James describes what a slit system is vs a monobloc. In a split the compressor and one of the coils is outside the property with two refrigerant lines joining it to the fan coil unit FCU within the property

07:20 Lisa discusses issues with the purchase of split systems and how important it is to employ professionals. And Graham explains the regulation behind a non hermetically sealed pre charged piece of equipment and fluorinated gasses.

10:00 The problems with online sales of equipment and DIY installation. Despite propane not being a fluorinated gas (F- Gas) there are still important regulations to consider e.g. Atmospheres Explosibles (ATEX) and DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations)

DSEAR risk assessments, room size and volume for flammable refrigerants.

13:15 The difference between and F-Gas and propane and a discussion on types of refrigerants. E.g R12, fluorinated greenhouse gases, global warming potential (GWP). Generally, the lower the GWP of a refrigerant the higher the safety implication e.g flammability with the hydro carbon propane and high pressure with CO2

17:25 James discusses another aspect of DIY installs of spit systems: their performance and reliability. How air and moisture are bad for refrigeration systems: e.g. acid and compressor burnout

20:14 Will HVAC engineers move to the renewable sector? Generation 5 of district heating with ambient loops

22:40 Diversity in the industry and apprenticeships

27:50 The refrigeration is a huge industry but little  knowledge of it exists

31:00 How would you choose which heat pump to have based on its refrigerant. Different types of refrigerant e.g.  407c, 410a, R32 with lower flammability and a discussion around GWP.

32:55 Refrigerant leakage and Total Equivalent Warming Impact

36:50 CO2 as a refrigerant in mono-blocs or district networks.

39:20 The expense of heat pumps and makes

43:30 Hydrogen in homes…will it work