The Congress Programme
Friends or foes: Heat pumps and legislation – their roles in climate change 
Global agreements express targets and willingness for decarbonisation. European and local regulations put these targets into a binding context. Regulations focussing on emissions – direct and indirect - and other regulations focussing on safety are not always aligned. The heat pump technology is a key for the successful reduction of emissions. The implementation would lead to an increased number of units – most of them using the vapor compression technology with refrigerants. Due to its mechanisms the F-gas regulation favours low GWP refrigerants and technologies with low refrigerants charge. The reduction of refrigerant charge is limited by the application demands. To fulfil the requirements rolled out by the F-Gas regulation the use of low-GWP refrigerants is the remaining choice. With a few exceptions, all alternatives with low GWP are flammable. Flammability leads to higher precautions for safety and handling that could result in potentially higher cost or limitations due to standards and regulations. This applies to product safety as well as to the application and occupational safety issues. Classic roles and risk ownerships will change when using flammable refrigerants compared to using non-flammable ones. The – necessary and intended – market development for heat pumps is contrary to the goals of the F-gas regulation if one considers the existing burdens caused by regulations. The presentation will summarise the actual situation in Europe from different perspectives – technical – commercial and market – legal. The gaps resulting from the different perspectives will be identified and the author tries to figure out the demand for improvements and potential actions.
--- Date: 23.10.2019 Time: 8:30 - 8:55 Location: Hall Brüssel, NCC Mitte