EIA: Critical two weeks ahead for IEC national committees about HC standard

If rejected by 9 national committees, the current draft standard suggesting to move the limit from 150g to 500g for the commercial refrigeration sector will be put off the table for years to come.

The Washington-based, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is pushing anyone interested in commercial refrigeration self-contained equipment to talk to their national International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) committees as soon as possible about the recent proposal to revise the charge limit standard from 150g limit to up to 500g in commercial refrigeration. The review process is coming to a critical stage now, with the next two weeks being crucial to determine the fate of the past 4 years’ work of the Committee, according to the EIA.

Last October in Vladivostok, Russia, IEC subcommittee SC61C decided to advance the draft amendment of IEC 60335-2-89 standard (that sets the charge limit worldwide in a voluntary standard) for commercial refrigeration, prepared by Working Group WG4, to the next stage in the process (CDV - Committee Draft for Vote).

Christina Starr, ‎climate policy analyst at the EIA, told hydrocarbons21.com at the ATMOsphere America 2018 conference in Long Beach, California that members need to get in touch with their national committee soon if they want to have a say on this issue.

“The CDV proposal, which has been developed over the course of several years, will allow for a significantly more cost-effective use of low-global warming potential hydrocarbon refrigerants in a wide range of commercial refrigeration equipment”, Starr noted in a document given to shecco (publisher of this website).

She notes some of them committees have already voted, but the U.S. and many important members have not. Should there be a negative vote of 9 or more national committees, the proposal will be considered to be rejected. Any new proposal would require to go back to the drawing board, requiring years of meetings to reach consensus.

In case the proposal goes through, it will be submitted for a final vote in October this year by the IEC. Should there be comments to modify the charge limits, the actual amount considered could fluctuate from the currently proposed 500g for A3 refrigerants (i.e. hydrocarbons) and 1,2kg of A2L refrigerants.

Any concerns about technical aspects of the CDV draft may be submitted as comments that can be addressed in the Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) proposal at the next stage and which will be voted on again by the IEC subcommittee according to Starr.

She points out that the if National Committees (NC) are considering a negative vote “stakeholders may also request that the NC submit an ‘abstain’ vote instead due to a lack of consensus”.

To get in touch with the IEC please follow this link: http://www.iec.ch/dyn/www/f?p=103:29:3647085960169:::29:FSP_ORG_ID,FSP_LANG_ID:1349,25#2

You can also submit a public comment on the IEC website through the document SC61C/732/CDV at http://www.iec.ch/comment/

By Charlotte McLaughlin

Jun 14, 2018, 23:18




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