Enabling you to identify and mitigate the intrinsic risk in your operations, supply chains and business processes.
Evaluating how your products and services meet and exceed quality, safety, sustainability and performance standards.
Validating the specifications, value and safety of your raw materials, products and assets.
What You Should Know about EPA Approved Alternatives
As a follow-up to its Clean Air Act of 1990, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP), to identify and evaluate substitutes for ozone-depleting substances. Under SNAP, the EPA provides acceptable and unacceptable substitutes for different industrial sectors. For the commercial refrigeration and HVAC industries, the use of certain high-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants and various hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and HFC-containing blends, including R-134a and R-404A, are prohibited.
Under SNAP, manufacturers and suppliers have to pursue more natural refrigerants, such as: ethane, isobutane, propane, hydrocarbon blend R1441A and difluoromethane (HFC-32). While more climate friendly, these refrigerants are flammable and/or explosive. This means that the industry must be prepared for new considerations as they incorporate these substances into their products.
There are a variety of considerations and decisions to be made regarding safety and performance evaluations and certifications. More importantly, incorporating flammable refrigerants into a manufacturing process requires risk assessment of the facilities and processes. Areas specified for research and development, testing, and production will potentially become explosive atmospheres, which will have a number of effects:
The EPA's efforts to protect health and safety of the environment and consumers have led to multiple changes in the industry. Requirements to use refrigerants with low GWP and ODP have meant adjustments for many manufacturers. However, understanding what the use of these refrigerants entails and preparing accordingly can ensure products meet not only EPA requirements, but consumer demand for environmentally friendly products.
With more than 40 years of experience, Byron Horak's responsibilities include developing and maintaining facilities and staff to stay on the cutting edge of the HVACR performance testing industry. He has participated in eight ASHRAE SPCs, four ASHRAE TCs, 5 ISO WGs, and is Secretariat of IEC SC61D Subcommittee for Appliances for Air Conditioning for Household and Similar Purposes IEC Standard 60335-2-40.