Licence to work with fluorinated greenhouse gas (FM-200)

The company APIN sustavi Ltd. holds a licence issued by the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection to perform the activity of installation, maintenance and servicing of the foregoing systems pursuant to Article 25 of the Regulation on ozone depleting substances and fluorinated greenhouse gases (Official Gazette 92/12).

Properties of FM-200 gas

Gas under the brand name FM-200 (HFC 227ea) is heptaflouropropane of the structural formula CF3CHFCF3. The gas is used as the first generation of environmentally friendly replacement agents in gaseous fire suppression systems using Halon 1301.

Ecological properties of the gas:
ODP (ozone depletion potential)               0
GWP (global warming potential)               3220
Atmospheric lifetime of gas                      29 years

GWP value of 3220 means that one kilo of FM-200 gas warms the atmosphere as effectively as 3220 kilos of carbon dioxide.

Under the Air Protection Act (OG 130/11), gas FM-200 falls in the category of fluorinated greenhouse gases requiring approvals from the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection for installation and servicing.

Necessary check for leakage in fire suppression systems using FM-200 (environmentally friendly servicing)

The requirement to check for leakage in fire suppression systems using FM-200 gas is specified in the following acts:

  • the Air Protection Act (OG 130/11)
  • the Regulation on ozone depleting substances and fluorinated greenhouse gases (OG 92/12)
  • Regulation (EC) No 842/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council

In conformity with Annex 3 of the Regulation on ozone depleting substances and fluorinated greenhouse gases, FM-200 (HFC 227ea) falls in the category of fluorinated greenhouse gases.

Article 27 regulates leakage and emission of controlled substances and fluorinated greenhouse gases, and it stipulates the requirement to check for leakage in the system (the so called environmentally friendly servicing of the system).

Systems with a charge of more than 3 kg of FM-200

Systems containing a charge of more than 3 kg of FM-200 gas are subject to a regular check for leakage in the system every 12 months.

Systems with a charge of more than 30 kg of FM-200

Systems containing a charge of more than 30 kg of FM-200 gas are subject to a mandatory check for leakage in the system every 6 months.

Systems with a charge of more than 300 kg of FM-200

Systems containing a charge of more than 300 kg of FM-200 gas are subject to a mandatory check for leakage in the system every three months.

Where the systems containing a charge of more than 30 kg and the systems containing a charge of more than 300 kg of gas have leakage detection systems in place, the frequency of such checks can be cut by half.

EU countries consider the pressure switch on the valve signalling a drop in pressure in the cylinder to be an adequate leakage control device. A drop in pressure in the cylinder is detected:

1. In case of leakage from the top part of the cylinder or at the valve and cylinder joint (outside of the dip hose), the nitrogen in the top part leaks and the pressure switch successfully detects a drop in pressure before FM-200 is released.

2. In case of leakage from the part of the valve connected to the dip hose, the pressure switch cannot detect it since a substantial amount of FM-200 is released from the system before any significant drop in pressure occurs (partial pressure of FM-200 is 3.90 bar @ 20 °C)

Because of this possible scenario, the compulsory check for leakage in the system is prescribed every 6 months.

As the manometers on the cylinders are “control manometers” detecting a drop in pressure and not the quantity of
FM-200 gas, the only correct method of checking for leakage is to weigh the cylinder.

After the service check is completed, the record of the check for leakage in the FM-200 fire suppression system (environmentally friendly servicing) is drawn up and the service record book for the cylinder is filled out.