Refrigerant emissions in Australia: sources, causes and remedies, 2010

Expert Group, 2010

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About the report

This study has investigated the causes and sources of refrigerant gas leaks using interviews with active field service personnel with an intimate knowledge of available systems and technologies.

There is a high degree of similarity between the sources and causes of leaks identified by the professionals in Australia interviewed for this study, and those identified by the UK Institute of Refrigeration published in January 2009 (IOR, 2009).

This report concludes that:

  • Leaks result from a limited number of known and identifiable failures in equipment and field practices.
  • There are many technical and field work practices available that will deliver an overall and ongoing reduction in losses of refrigerant gas from equipment.
  • The greatest barrier to changes in behavior and leak reduction is market failure, i.e., almost all options to reduce leaks incur time and resource costs that are more expensive to the field operator, the service company and the equipment owner, than the option often chosen of 'living with leaks' and simply topping up refrigerant gas.

It should be noted that the views expressed in the report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Australian Government, the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities or the Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water.