GEA has launched the latest version of its Purger for refrigeration plants that uses the environmentally-friendly natural refrigerant R290 (propane). R290 has a very low GWP (Global Warming Potential) ensuring that the technology fully complies with the new F-Gas regulations of 1 January 2020. The ‘plug and play’ Purger operates independently from the main refrigeration system. It’s simple to install indoors or outdoors, requires the minimum of maintenance and benefits from maximum energy efficiency with minimum power consumption.
GEA's automatic air vent increases the efficiency of any industrial refrigeration plant. Non-condensable gases cause significant efficiency losses. Air and other non-condensable gases can dissolve in the refrigerant and enter the cooling system circuit, where they cause a significant increase in condensation pressure due to their different/higher partial pressures, even in small concentrations. Cooling systems must therefore be kept largely free of non-condensable gases. This is done most effectively with an automatic venting system, as this reacts immediately to the ingress of non-condensable gases into the system.
After a time loop the purger operation starts as soon as the concentration of non-condensable gases in the liquid receiver is two per cent or more. It automatically shuts off again when the concentration has dropped to one per cent. The effective displacement of non-condensable gases ensures long-term efficient operation of the refrigeration system. Since the average concentration of non-condensable gases is much lower throughout the installation, this value represents an average concentration of less than 0.1 per cent throughout the installation.
The extended use of the Purger is an important part of GEA's natural refrigerant initiative and fully complies with the new F-Gas regulation of 1 January 2020 on fluorinated greenhouse gases. From this date onwards, the use of all unused refrigerants (virgin) with a GWP (Global Warming Potential) value > 2,500 is prohibited for the marketing of new systems and for service and maintenance purposes. Refrigerants frequently used currently, such as R404A (GWP 3922) and R507 (GWP 3985), fall under the prohibition periods of the F-Gas Regulation (EU) No. 517/2014. From January 1, 2022, the F-Gas Regulation will no longer permit commercial refrigerators and freezers to be placed on the market with the refrigerant R134a (tetrafluoroethane).
For existing refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump systems, processed or recycled F-Gases with a GWP > 2,500 are permitted for maintenance purposes only until 2030. As a result of all these measures, recycled R404A refrigerants will also be phased out and there will be a noticeable shortage of supply. As a result, many operators of R404A plants are switching to natural refrigerants such as ammonia or propane. Propane, also known as natural refrigerant R290, has a very low GWP factor of ‘3’ and is therefore environmentally friendly and above all represents an excellent thermodynamic performance.