The gases used in creating cool air environments are commonly termed fluorinated gases and popularly referred to as F-Gases. The gases are used in mobile air-conditioning (MAC) systems as fitted to motor vehicles. Over a vehicle’s lifetime some of the gas contained in a MAC system will escape into the atmosphere and since they are powerful greenhouse gases this raises serious environmental concerns. In older vehicles F-Gases may possibly be released from system leaks that release a steady flow of gas into the atmosphere until the system is largely drained of gas and the air-conditioning fails to generate cool air inside the vehicle.
Whilst the lack of cool air inside the vehicle cabin is uncomfortable for the occupants, the major issue is the damaging affect that the escaping gases cause in the earths atmosphere.
Controls to Protect the Environment
Motor vehicle technicians who want to work on vehicle mobile air conditioning systems must hold a current qualification in refrigerant recovery and handling. This applies to anyone who may be asked to undertake the service, maintenance repair or dismantling of mobile air-conditioning equipment.
The qualification standards are determined and controlled by the qualification’s awarding body, the Institute of the Motor Industry and the qualification process and assessments are delivered by AIT Training Developments Limited. The qualification standards are determined by UK and EU governing regulations 8421/2006, EC307/2008, Directive 2006/40/EC, the later Annex to Commission Regulation EC307/2008 and EU Regulation 517/2014. The Level 3 Award in Automotive Refrigerant Gas Handling addresses all of these standards and it is a mandatory requirement that all technicians working on MAC systems hold this qualification.
Information about F gas requirements for air conditioners in cars and other vehicles can be found on the UK government website: www.gov.uk