Norway moving towards natural refrigerants

One of Norway’s largest property administrators, Oslobygg, has mandated the use of natural refrigerants in all comfort cooling systems and heat pumps installed in Oslo’s municipal buildings.

The company’s previous requirement was that a refrigerant’s global warming potential (GWP) value should be below 10, which often led to the use of synthetic refrigerants.

Technical project advisor at Oslobygg Kjersti Grande told The Norwegian Heat Pump Association (NOVAP) that when the team at Oslobygg saw the enormous development of natural refrigerants, they realised the market was mature enough to tighten their requirements.

Oslobygg owns approximately 2.7 million square metres of property and develops public buildings including schools, daycare centres, aged care facilities and fire stations.

“Synthetic refrigerants have major environmental challenges and there are risks associated with future delivery,” says Grande. “We have many different challenges. Sometimes we do not set the right requirements, sometimes heat pumps and the heating or cooling system are not adapted to each other.”

The company hopes to focus on heat pump delivery in order to raise the quality of the systems and performance. The new guidelines have a specific focus on safety, emphasising that risk assessment should be carried out in preliminary projects.

Grande notes that expertise is still growing around heat pumps and natural refrigerants, and says simple, robust facilities are the answer, because they are also easier to maintain in the long run.

More information is available at the R744 website.

Photo by Marek Lumi on Unsplash

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