On Friday (21 September 2018), Danish multinational component manufacturer Danfoss opened its newly extended ATEX lab (a testing environment for explosive substances) in France. The facility tests the safety of flammable refrigerants in products.

An ATEX certification means that the building and operational procedures have been carefully designed with the European Union directive on Explosive Atmosphere Conditions (ATEX) and flammable refrigerant management in mind. 

“It is in Danfoss’ DNA to invest in finding solutions that are energy efficient, reliable, and sustainable,” said Jürgen Fischer, president of Danfoss Cooling. “The ATEX lab is the biggest lab of its kind in Europe and we have the right people, products, and competences to keep the planet cool.”

The Danfoss lab, based in in Trevoux (a suburb of the French city Lyon), is 3,000 m(a large testing environment is needed for safety reasons, according to Danfoss). 

The ATEX lab will be focussed on compressor reliability and performance and will help Danfoss to replicate a full range of tests with A3 (hydrocarbons) and A2L class refrigerants

‘’The refrigeration industry started around 200 years ago with natural refrigerants and they had two problems: toxicity and flammability,” Fabio Klein, Vice President Research and Development of Commercial Compressors at Danfoss explained at the inauguration.

“Afterwards other refrigerants appeared, and we had the ozone depletion and global warming issues. So natural refrigerants are coming back again. The flammability is there, there is no chance to change it, but the difference is that now we know how to manage these refrigerants, and this is the main reason why we are here today, to show how Danfoss is able to manage flammable refrigerants thanks to its ATEX laboratory,” he said. 

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