After this date, the European Union will not permit ships’ crews to maintain, service or top up any refrigeration systems containing R-22 or other ozone depleting HCFC refrigerants using virgin refrigerant. The directive applies to all EU flagged vessels.
If the systems are not interfered with in any way, these ozone depletants may be retained. However, planned routine maintenance on various system components like compressors, condensers, driers etc is the key to enabling a system to operate efficiently without the risk of costly breakdowns.
With this in mind, Wilhelmsen Ships Service decided that the most economical solution to stay compliant with the regulations was to replace the existing R-22 with Unicool R417A, a non ozone-depleting alternative. R-417A has similar working parameters in marine applications to R-22 and the changeover does not require costly system modifications. Other R-22 replacement alternatives are available (R-407C, R-404A, R-419A, R-134a, R-422D, R-427A, and more) but these options will demand costly modifications and have limited thermal properties.