Firstly, let’s talk about what F-Gas is before we explain why you should care.
F-Gas is an abbreviation for ‘Fluorinated Gases’ which are man-made gases deployed in numerous applications and are used globally in all refrigeration equipment. Essentially when these HFC (Hydrochlorofluorocarbons) gases are released into the atmosphere, although they are low in toxicity and flammability, they do have a relatively high Global Warming Potential (GWP).
So, what has it got to do with your data centre?
Since 2015 The EU has gradually been cutting the availability of HFC gases, found in data centre cooling systems, in an effort to reduce the negative impact of HFC’s on the environment.
Important changes are coming into place in 2020. Commercial refrigeration and freezing units, as well as static refrigeration appliances that contain or rely on the most common F Gas hydrofluorocarbons, will be banned if they have a GWP level of 2500 or more. It is not just refrigeration units, but will also include fire protection, air conditioning and heating pump systems that contain HFC gases.
If you are not sure if your equipment contains F Gas you can find this information in the equipment manual and labels or speak to the company that installed the equipment.
By 2020 you will no longer be permitted to use virgin gases with a Global Warming Potential (GWP) over 2500 for top-ups. By making these changes it is hoped by 2030 it will cut the EU’s F-Gas emissions by two-thirds compared with 2014 levels.
A phase-down will also limit the total supply of HFCs based on the baseline figure of 183 million total tonnes of CO2 equivalent set by the EU. Consequently, users have already seen spiralling cost increases on R404a, which has a GWP of 3922 and is widely used as a standard in refrigeration units.
Is it time to check if your equipment contains F Gas?