Industry Insight
21 October 2021

Rapid Recovery to the Rescue!

The adaptability, time-saving and low carbon benefits of employing A-Gas Rapid Recovery were highlighted when 300kg of high GWP R134a had to be removed from a redundant cooling system in an empty office block.

Tools that make refrigerant recovery easier and quicken the process are valuable when contractors are up against the clock. The A-Gas Rapid Recovery, F-Gas compliant on-site mobile recovery service, is a good example of how having the right equipment can make a real difference when it matters.

A-Gas Rapid Recovery was working on behalf of Monodraught. The company designs, manufactures, installs and maintains sustainable ventilation, cooling, heating and lighting solutions for commercial buildings. Monodraught was working on a complete refit to the former HM Revenue and Customs’ offices in Exeter. This involved the removal of a chiller which had been in use for only three years.

Monodraught wanted the chiller to have a new lease of life, as the company’s  Divisional Manager Andre Schoombee explained: “We were faced with decommissioning the old cooling system, recovering the refrigerant and finding a new home for the chiller. We don’t want to scrap equipment only three years old and want to see it put to good use.”

To ensure that the refrigerant was recovered in the most efficient and sustainable way, Monodraught chose A-Gas Rapid Recovery. Access to the cooling system in the office block in the city was not easy, and the versatility of the A-Gas Rapid Recovery equipment contributed to the success of the job.

A-Gas Rapid Recovery engineer Richie Crane was on site. He said: “The chiller was in the basement but we were having problems getting access to the equipment. At first, we were able to take the rig out of the van and roll it up as close as we could to the basement and run a hose to the chiller but we still couldn’t get the access we needed.

“So, we packed up the rig and reset again, to get as close as we could to the condensers situated on a ground floor in a lock-up on the side of the car park. This did the trick. Having portable and adaptable equipment allowed us to do this.

 “A-Gas Rapid Recovery is able to make the manual handling side easy for the engineer, who normally wouldn’t have been able to handle this on their own. There was more than 300 KGs of R134a to remove from the system – the equivalent of filling up seven large sized cylinders – and that’s a lot of gas to take away in one go.”

Monodraught was impressed by the fact that the refrigerant was removed quickly to be disposed of responsibly. Andre Schoombee said: “The outcome exceeded our expectations. It was a huge amount of gas to shift. The job was completed in only a day, and without the help of A-Gas Rapid Recovery it would have taken us a week to ten days to complete.”

A new direct expansion system designed by Mr Schoombee was installed in the building. This allows for more flexible heating and cooling over four floors, with the added addition of a remote online monitoring tool making maintenance easy. Monodraught is confident a new lease of life can be found for the old chiller.

Refrigerant sent to A-Gas reprocessing centres becomes fully reclaimed product and is returned to the market in line with the AHRI 700 standard. This project is an excellent example of the Circular Economy at work – the opposite to the take, make and dispose business model – which forces us to seek greater efficiencies and make better use of what we have already.

Reclaimed refrigerant is quota free. Industry experts recognise that refrigerants saved from disposal and returned to use as reclaimed gas can make a direct contribution to reducing the carbon footprint of the industry. This is because reclaiming refrigerant cuts the demand for new virgin material to meet supply. This saves on raw material usage, energy consumption and unnecessary transport normally associated with virgin production.

A-Gas Rapid Recovery has a network of vehicles and engineers in place to give refrigeration contractors national coverage and this is available to go on site at short notice to handle jobs of all sizes.

Click here for more information on A-Gas Rapid Recovery.