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Overview of new classes of refrigerants to be offered at the ASHRAE 2017 Winter Conference

ASHRAE Learning Institute to introduce new educational course at the conference

| | Dec 6, 2016 | 3:08 pm
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Atlanta, Georgia: ASHRAE Learning Institute (ALI) will introduce a new educational course on classes of refrigerants at the ASHRAE 2017 Winter Conference, to be held from January 28 to February 1 at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, with ASHRAE co-sponsored AHR Expo, which is scheduled to take place from January 30 to February 1 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, a press communiqué from ASHRAE revealed. The course, one of the 20 to be offered by the Society, will be introduced at the “ASHRAE-Classified Refrigerants to Meet Society’s Changing Needs” on January 29, 2017, added the communiqué.

The course, the communiqué  highlighted, will review new classes of lower global-warming potential (GWP) refrigerants within the context of legacy refrigerants and the forces that are driving the development of new refrigerants. Furthermore, the communiqué  said that the course will explain how the changing needs of society are creating requirements for new refrigerants to be developed and used, discuss the new safety classifications that are being proposed and some of the ramifications of the new classifications.

According to the communiqué, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34 — ‘Designation and Safety Classification of Refrigerants’ — maintains a list of refrigerants with a standardised system of assigned refrigerant numbers and well-defined safety classifications, including toxicity and flammability ratings. The list of refrigerants, the communiqué added, currently includes 161 chemicals and chemical blends that have been proposed for use as refrigerants, and further additions are being made as the industry’s need for new refrigerants increases.

“There has long been use of flammable and toxic materials as refrigerants, such as propane and ammonia, but their use has been restricted to appropriately designed industrial systems, as prescribed in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15, Safety Standard for Refrigeration Systems, and other safe use guidelines,” said Thomas Leck, Ph.D., Course Instructor at ALI. “Currently, concern about global climate change is driving the cooling industry to consider new classes of chemicals to be used as refrigerants.  With the new chemicals are new safety classifications for flammability, including ‘Class 2L.’”

Leck added: “The refrigerant industry, more than any other industries, has been driven by changing needs and understanding of environmental and product safety issues. Parties who are passionate about issues such as stratospheric ozone protection and global climate change have influenced manufacturers and regulators to create new products and new regulations around properties of refrigerants and how those refrigerants can be used. Sometimes there are consequences and compromises that must be considered. This short course attempts to explain some of these issues and how the resulting changes impact the cooling industry and people who work in this industry.”

ASHRAE said further information is available at www.ashrae.org/lasvegascourses.


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