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New Refrigerants, Higher-Flammability Refrigerants Addressed in Updated ASHRAE Standards 15, 34

New Refrigerants, Higher-Flammability Refrigerants Addressed in Updated ASHRAE Standards 15, 34

From eSociety, June 2019

The 2019 editions of ASHRAE’s refrigeration standards include significant additions including 15 total new refrigerants.  

ASHRAE Standard 15-2019, Safety Standard for Refrigeration Systems, and Standard 34-2019, Designation and Classification of Refrigerants, now have technical information to improve the design and operation of refrigeration systems.

Standard 15 establishes safeguards for life, limb, health and property and prescribes safety requirements. It is meant to protect people and property near refrigeration facilities.

According to Rusty Tharp, Member ASHRAE, Chair of SSPC 15, the 2019 edition of the standard includes significant changes, such as deferral to IIAR2 for R-717 ammonia systems (Addendum a) and the introduction of requirements specific to Low Global Warming Potential (Low GWP) A2L refrigerants (Addenda d and h).

The revised standard includes the following changes:

  • Changes requirements for R-717 ammonia systems

  • Changes restrictions for small, self-contained systems with higher-flammability refrigerants

  • Defines “low-probability pumps” and provides requirements for their use

  • Identifies requirements when changing a refrigerant within the same refrigerant class and lists restrictions on mixing refrigerants from different classes

ASHRAE Standard 34 establishes a simple means of referring to common refrigerants through a uniform system for assigning reference numbers, safety classifications and refrigerant concentration limits to refrigerants.

The 2019 version includes the 24 approved and published addenda to the Standard 34-2016. It also includes the following key changes:

  • Addition of 15 total new refrigerants

  • Revisions to make 2L a separate flammability classification of refrigerants

  • Changes that base toxicity classification on the nominal formulation of the blend

  • Corrections to language for the proper naming of molecules containing iodine

  • Revisions to address fluids whose critical temperature is lower than 130°F (54.4°C)

  • Standardization of terminology