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Building drying/dehumidifying with care for the environment!

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11 August 2022

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As a result of the agreements made in the Kyoto Protocol, the EU has adopted the F-gases regulations, which prohibit the use of harmful refrigerant gases. These regulations currently only apply to the EU. This has prompted producers, especially those focused on the European market, to look for new, innovative and environmentally friendly alternatives. At an early stage, together with our manufacturer, we looked for the right alternatives and we found them.

But first, an explanation of the old and new gases, the regulations and their significance…

What are F-gases and why are they a problem?

While gases containing Fluorine (F-gases) contribute only 2% of total European greenhouse gas emissions, their emissions have increased by 60% since 1990. During the same period, all other greenhouse gases decreased. A worrying fact.

F-gases were introduced at the beginning of the 1990s to replace CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), which are extremely harmful to the ozone layer. This was the right decision at the time, as these ozone-friendly gases were efficient, hardly toxic and flammable.

However, F-gases remain in the atmosphere for a very long time (decades or even hundreds of years) and therefore make a significant contribution to global warming.

The environmental contribution to the elimination of F-gases

Global Warming Potential (GWP)is a measure of the heat that a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere, combined with the length of time it remains relatively present compared to carbon dioxide (CO2). The higher the value, the more harmful the substance in question is. The value of some F-gases exceeds 20,000 GWP, more than 100 times the value of 150 GWP permitted for mobile dehumidifiers since 1 January 2020.

In other words, there is good reason why the EU has established two legal regulations for regulating and controlling the emission of these F-gases. More information on F-gases and MAC regulation can be found here.

In close cooperation with our manufacturer, we have done everything possible and succeeded in completing it by 2020. Until now we have mainly worked with R407C F-gas, a non-flammable refrigerant gas, ideal for mobile dehumidifiers with a wide temperature range, but with a GWP of 1774, more than 10 times the permitted value of 150 GWP.

The possible and chosen alternatives and why

The alternatives we could choose from were: R454C, R290, R1234yf and R1234ze. The latter two were immediately rejected because they are mainly suitable for use at higher temperatures.

R290 (propane) is an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternative with a GWP of 3 and ideal for compact dehumidifiers. However, due to its slight flammability, there are strict legal restrictions for this refrigerant gas, which means that with a filling weight of over 150 grams, there are restrictions on use, storage and transport. Therefore, we will only offer it in our smaller models with a fill weight under 150 grams, such as our TTK105SH and SHC, TTK75ECO, TTK170ECO, TTK125 and TTK175. If there is supervision during placement (think of water damage companies) or strict instructions are given regarding deployment, this smaller equipment can be widely used.

The refrigerant gas R454C (GWP of 146), developed and produced in the Netherlands, is a versatile and sustainable gas. Ideal for a wide range of uses in terms of temperature, its lower flammability than R290 and higher allowable filling weight make it ideal for our larger dehumidifiers and dehydrators, such as the DF400F, DF800F, TTK355S and TTK655S. Due to the very limited restrictions on the use, transport and storage of this refrigerant gas, these dehumidifiers are the best solution for rental companies and the construction industry.

For the larger capacity dehumidifiers from China, such as the models TTK380 and TTK570ECO, there are no alternatives available yet for the European market, due to a filling weight above 150 grams.

Our DF400F and DF800F construction dryers with the new refrigerant gas

Because we had already sold our buffer stock of the DF400 and DF800 with the ‘old’ R407C refrigerant gas at the beginning of 2020, from now on we will only supply building dehumidifiers with the new refrigerant gas, these under the name ‘DF400F’ and ‘DF800F’.

Please note!

All dehumidifiers/fluidifiers produced within the EU before 1 January 2020 or imported into the EU before 1 January 2020 can be used and sold without restrictions.

Repairs to building dryers with the ‘old’ R407C refrigerant gas, including refrigeration, will continue to be allowed until the end of 2028, as far as is now known. Parts remain available, of course.

Questions or more information?

Do you have any questions on this topic, or would you like to know more? Then get in touch with us!

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