Q&A concerning industrial greenhouse gases (HFCs, PFCs and SF6)
Scope of the Statutory Order
Question: Does the Statutory Order also apply to offshore installations?
Answer: Yes. Offshore installations are covered by the Statutory Order, as they are considered to be connected to the Danish continental shelf.
Question: Are systems on the Faeroe Islands and Greenland covered by the Statutory Order?
Answer: No - the Faeroe Islands and Greenland have their own legislation.
Question: Should refrigeration systems that can be moved or erected temporarily be considered as mobile refrigeration systems?
Answer: No, we consider them to be stationary rather than mobile systems. When a distinction is made between stationary and mobile systems, the decisive factor is whether or not the system is in transit whilst in use.
The same interpretation is also used in the EU F-gas Regulation. In the Regulation, stationary systems are defined as: "An application or equipment which is normally not in transit during operation". If a system is placed in a container for any length of time, it must be considered as a stationary refrigeration system. Stationary systems that are moved must be leak-tested before being filled with refrigerant; cf. the Danish Working Environment Authority's regulations.
Question: Systems that can be moved – when should they be considered as a new system?
Answer: If for example you use the same mobile system on the same plot of land as the previous year, the system will not be considered new. This primarily concerns container facilities for skating rinks. You are free to locate the system in different places on the same plot of land in order to fit in better with the surrounding area/road traffic, etc. If the "mobile system" is located on a different plot of land, the system will normally be considered as new.
Question: Are mobile systems covered by the ban on the use of HFC gases as a refrigerant?
Answer: No, mobile systems are not covered by the Danish Statutory Order. Only new stationary refrigeration systems containing more than 10 kg HFC or less than 150 grams HFC are covered by the Danish ban. Existing refrigeration systems containing more than 10 kg HFC or less than 150 grams HFC can continue to be serviced.
Question: Is it possible to obtain a general exemption for the use of HFC refrigerant for the same type of refrigeration system?
Answer: As a general rule, it is not possible to obtain a general exemption for the use of a particular HFC refrigerant for the same type of refrigeration system. This is because the Statutory Order states that the general ban can only be deviated from in exceptional cases. This means that any exemption must be assessed individually on a case-by-case basis. If the system and application of a refrigerant fulfils one of the criteria for granting an exemption, the permit will be only be valid for the specific system concerned.
The 10 kg rule
Question: How should "containing more than 10 kg HFC in refrigeration systems, heat pumps, air-conditioning systems or dehumidifiers" in Annex 1 to the Statutory Order be interpreted? Does it mean per refrigeration circuit, for the entire system or per site?
Answer: It should be understood as quantity of HFC per refrigeration circuit. It is a condition that a maximum total loss of 10 kg HFC could occur in a typical accident or leak, e.g. as a result of a ruptured pipe, metal fatigue in bellows appliances, defective seal, etc. The refrigeration circuits must also be entirely separate and independent of each other, so that each component in a refrigeration circuit can be replaced without any effect on the other refrigeration circuits.
The quantity limit applies to each individual closed and independent refrigeration circuit in a unit/installation which together with other circuits forms a refrigeration system, a heat pump, an air-conditioning system or a dehumidifier, when the refrigeration circuits are otherwise entirely separate and independent of each other.
It should be noted that systems for permanent erection are not designed as transportable systems and must therefore be drained of refrigerant before being transported.
It would be permissible to connect several refrigeration circuits containing less than 10 kg HFC to the same refrigeration location. For example, two or more separate refrigeration systems could serve the same refrigeration room or the same cold water circuit. For refrigeration circuits, the 10 kg limit applies to each individual circuit in the combined unit/installation. It is a condition that no systems are installed which are collectively environmentally inferior to systems based on alternatives to systems that contain HFCs. End users, consultants, refrigeration installers, etc. all have a collective responsibility to ensure that no systems containing HFCs are installed where HFC-free solutions could have been used to advantage based on an overall environmental assessment (covering both the direct greenhouse effects of the refrigerant and the indirect greenhouse effects stemming from electricity generation).
It is important that the regulations and their underlying purpose are not consciously circumvented, e.g. by avoiding the use of alternatives to HFC. HFCs should thus not be used in refrigeration systems, etc. where more environmentally friendly alternatives are available. HFCs should also not be used in an unusual way without a satisfactory justification in each specific case. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency will look into any cases where it considers that the regulations are being consciously circumvented.
Question: Is it lawful to design a refrigeration system as a multi-circuit system with several independent refrigeration circuits (e.g. a chiller with a common plate heat exchanger with two independent refrigeration circuits)?
Answer: The general rule is that in the event of an accident no more than 10 kg HFC would be lost. The deciding factor is the use of separate refrigerant circuits rather than whether the circuits have a common electrical panel and microprocessor or are located in the same cabinet. In practice, there must therefore be two or more completely independent refrigeration systems, so that damage caused to one circuit would not affect the other circuit or circuits in any way in the event of e.g. an increase in pressure. A chiller system designed as a two-circuit system with two independent refrigeration circuits connected to a common plate heat exchanger would therefore not be permitted.
Question: What does the exemption "Refrigeration systems for heat recovery that are primarily assembled through welding or soldering in a compact cabinet pre-assembled at a factory and containing less than or equal to 50 kg HFC" actually cover?
Answer: In order for it to be lawful to install the refrigeration system for heat recovery, the consumption of electricity for operation of the heat recovery system should generally be covered by Section 11, subsection 3 of the Act on a tax on electricity (cf. Consolidated Act No. 421 of 3 May 2006), or the recovered heat must be covered by either Section 11, subsections 9 – 11 of the Act on a tax on electricity, Section 11, subsections 9 – 11 of the Act on an energy tax on mineral oil products, etc. (cf. Consolidated Act No. 297 of 3 April 2006), Section 10, subsections 9, 10 and 12 of the Act on a tax on natural gas and coal gas (cf. Consolidated Act No. 298 of 3 April 2006) or Section 8, subsections 8 – 10 of the Act on a tax on hard coal, lignite and coke (cf. Consolidated Act No. 702 of 28 September 1998, as most recently amended through Act No. 512 of 7 June 2006). In other words: If a "heat recovery tax" has to be paid, the system will generally be covered by the exemption. The inclusion of a heat exchanger which at certain times enables the full or partial utilisation of the superheating and condensing heat does not in itself make it lawful to use up to 50 kg HFC.
Clarification as of 29.04.08. As the above has given rise to a number of questions, it must be clarified that the intention behind the above interpretation was to ensure that the systems are actually used in practice, and not simply could be used if the owner deemed it appropriate. The building regulations state that "ventilation systems must be designed with heat recovery with a thermal efficiency of at least 65%" with the aim of ensuring that systems are constructed and have an efficiency of at least 65%. This means that heat recovery will take place under normal conditions. Heat recovery systems constructed on the basis of this requirement in the building regulations will therefore be covered by the exemption and can thus contain up to 50 kg HFC.
Servicing and maintenance
Question: What do the words "servicing and maintenance" of refrigeration systems cover?
Answer: Ordinary servicing and maintenance covers, for example, the replacement of individual components of the refrigeration system with equivalent (either new or used) units of equivalent size/capacity/power output. The general rule for lawful servicing and maintenance is that it does not result in an increase in the quantity of HFCU.
In some cases, servicing may include the replacement of parts that cause the quantity of HFC refrigerant to change. If this is the case with a system containing between 150 grams and 10 kg, you must be aware that you may be covered by the ban. If the total volume is either reduced to less than 150 grams or increased to more than 10 kg, the system will in principle be considered to be new. The system would thus be covered by the general ban and any continued operation would require an exemption from the Danish Environmental Protection Agency.
Question: Is it lawful to replace condensation units (small, compact units consisting of a condenser, receiver, compressor, etc.) and compressors in connection with servicing?
Answer: Ordinary servicing and maintenance covers, for example, the replacement of individual components of the refrigeration system with equivalent (either new or used) units of equivalent size/capacity/power output. This means that small composite, compact units consisting of a condenser, receiver and compressor can be replaced without the system subsequently being considered as new. Note that the system cannot be expanded in a way that causes an increase in the quantity of HFC refrigerant. For example, it would not be permissible to expand the system by adding a receiver which would require more refrigerant to be added to the existing system. It would also not be permissible to add more refrigerant if as a result the system would exceed the 10 kg limit.”
Question: Can one refrigerant be replaced with another refrigerant? For example, can a system be converted from R22 to HFC after 1 January 2007?
Answer: Replacing a refrigerant would be considered as the establishment of a new system. This would therefore only be lawful if the quantity of refrigerant is between 150 grams and 10 kg HFC. This will also be the case with a drop-in refrigerant, e.g. in connection with a repair or similar, and it would not be permissible to convert a system from one HFC refrigerant to another one unless the quantity of refrigerant is between 150 g and 10 kg.
Entry into force of the ban
Question: Is it the date of entering into a contract or the date on which a system is brought into use that determines whether the system is considered to be new?
Answer: The ban in the Statutory Order should be interpreted as indicating that new refrigeration systems, etc. must not be brought into use after 1 January 2007, regardless of whether or not they were sold prior to this date. In other words, a new system must not be brought into use after 1 January 2007, even if a contract was established prior to 1 January 2007 with a delivery date for the system which falls after this date. It is therefore the date on which the system is brought into use and not the date of contract signing that determines the lawfulness of a new system.
Question: Are sales to other countries lawful?
Answer: Sales to other countries of systems/products that are covered by the ban in the Statutory Order are lawful; however, the sales concerned must be direct sales without any intermediary in Denmark.
Systems or products can therefore be manufactured/assembled/filled if they are subsequently exported directly, while sales to other enterprises in Denmark who then subsequently export them would not be lawful, as this situation would be covered by Section 2, subsection 1 of the Statutory Order.
Question: Is it lawful to import a system for resale to a customer which then exports the system to a third country? The system would be delivered empty of HFC – the system would be filled with HFC at the installation site outside Denmark.
Answer: Under Danish legislation, it is not permitted to import the system itself, but it would be permissible to import, use and sell systems containing HFC as a refrigerant in a quantity of more than 10 kg. It would therefore be permissible to sell an "empty" system to another enterprise in Denmark which subsequently exports the system to a third country, which in turn then fills the system with HFC. However, it is a condition that the third country has not introduced a ban on the use of HFC as a refrigerant in quantities exceeding 10 kg.