Standards Australia has adopted new limits on the amount of A3 (flammable) and A2L (low flammable) that is allowed to be used in commercial refrigeration appliances and ice makers in Australia and New Zealand.

The new standard (AS/NZS 60335.2.89:2020) is an “identical adoption” of IEC 60335-2-89, edition 3.0., published by the International Electrotechnical Commissionin June 2019, according Standard Australia’s website. The new Australia/New Zealand standard supersedes an earlier version adopted by the countries in 2010.

In IEC 60335-2-89, edition 3.0., IEC raised the charge limit for A3 (flammable) refrigerants in self-contained cases to 13 times the lower flammability limit (LFL) of the refrigerant; for propane (R290) it increases to 500 g from 150g. The IEC standard also increases the charge limit for A2 and A2L (low flammable) refrigerants to 1,200 g from 150 g.

Other countries around the world are also engaged in adopting IEC 60335-2-89, or modfifications of it. In Japan, the Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association (JRAIA) is working on the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) version of the IEC standard. 

In June, UL (Underwriters Laboratories), the Northbrook, Illinois (U.S.)-based safety-certification company that publishes appliance standards for the U.S., released a proposed second edition of the UL 60335-2-89 standard for review, including updated charge limits for hydrocarbon and A2L refrigerants.

The proposed UL standard, which incorporates CSA (Canadian Standards Association) 60335-2-89, calls for raising the A3 charge limit in commercial appliances to 13 times the LFL, but only for open appliances (without doors); it proposes raising the charge limit for closed appliances with doors and/or drawers to eight times the LFL of the flammable refrigerant (300g for R290). 

Want to find out more, or have something to say about this story? Join the ATMO Connect network to meet and engage with like-minded stakeholders in the clean cooling and natural refrigerant arena.