An Industry Prepares Service Technicians for Refrigerant Transition 2010-01-1061
Under increasing pressure to address global warming concerns, the use of HFC-134a refrigerant in mobile air conditioning in European Union (EU) countries will be phased out starting January 1, 2011. HFC-134a has a 100 year global warming potential value (GWP) of 1430 according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment Report (AR4). Under the new EU F-Gas regulation, replacement refrigerants must have a GWP less than 150. In anticipation of the need for lower direct GWP refrigerant and to stay current with available technologies, the global automotive industry has been working on replacing HFC-134a for over 10 years. Various industry stakeholders have participated in this transition process, making the transition a global effort. While much of the preparation done by vehicle OEM's and MAC suppliers to support this transition has been presented in other papers, work streams focusing on technician training have not been presented in white paper form. This paper focuses on work led by the Mobile Air-Conditioning Society Worldwide (MACS Worldwide), in developing new technician training and procedures that address unique servicing aspects, to reduce direct refrigerant emissions during the mobile A/C system lifetime.