ATLANTA — The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) here is heading toward its third public review of an updated version of its standard for reducing leaks in refrigeration systems.
ASHRAE Standard 147, originally developed in 2002, provides guidelines to refrigeration manufacturers and contractors, as well as users such as retailers, on reducing the accidental release of halogenated refrigerants. The ASHRAE committee overseeing the standard includes three supermarket members: Safeway, Raley's Supermarkets and Wegmans Food Markets.
In September, Rob Uhl, engineering manager for Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway, said at the Food Marketing Institute's Energy & Store Development Conference that he expected the third public review to be coming soon. Retailers are invited to comment during the third review period, which as of last week had not yet been announced by ASHRAE. A second review took place between May and June of this year.
The third review is expected to complete the process, Uhl said. Once the standard is published, ASHRAE's intent is that “building authorities and others could adopt and make it code or part of building requirements,” he said. “Supermarket folks would then have to adhere to the standard.”
The 2002 standard was brought up for revision prior to 2006 after it was found to lack “supermarket information” and not be written “for adoption into building codes,” said Uhl.
The standard currently specifies the practices needed to reduce the release of halogenated refrigerants, including HCFCs and HFCs, during manufacture, installation, testing, operation, maintenance, repair and disposal of refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat-pump equipment.
For example, it requires systems with more than 500 pounds of refrigerant to alert users of a refrigerant leak, suggesting such tools as level sensors in receivers or infrared leak detectors. It also specifies the emission levels equipment has to meet upon leaving the factory.