Time is ticking for fire suppression users

3M, the diversified technology company, is advising users of fire suppression systems that the impact of the new EU F-gas Regulation has now come into effect, with the capping of placement of HFCs on the market from 1 January 2015 and the phase-down starting 1 January 2016. Plus, there is now less than one year to go before the start of the phase-down of HFCs. 3M is offering Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid – which is exempt from the legislation – as an alternative, together with a global 20 year warranty.

The F-gas Regulation is about reducing the use of HFCs through the cap and phase-down of their production and importation. Since fire suppression systems can easily be in situ for 20 years or more, any HFC-based system already installed or purchased over the next few years will likely be affected by the F-gas Regulation. Potential issues include price consequences, future recharge and end-of-life costs.


Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid from 3M is not affected by new legislation

Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid is a next-generation HFC and halon replacement, designed to balance concerns for human safety, performance and the environment. It has zero ozone-depletion potential, an atmospheric lifetime of just five days and a global warming potential of less than one. It is non-conductive, non-corrosive and fast-evaporating – designed to protect sensitive components and other critical assets. Applications include data centres, data processing and control rooms, telecommunications, marine applications, oil and gas applications, and museums and historical archives. Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid leaves no residue and does not damage equipment or disrupt the working environment.


20 Year Blue Sky Warranty

So that customers are comfortable and confident in specifying Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid, 3M is offering the Blue Sky Warranty for a period of 20 years. The Blue Sky Warranty is a global warranty, providing peace of mind directly to the regions impacted by the F-gas Regulation. Said Bart Goeman, Business Development Manager for Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid by 3M for the EMEA region “We are the only organisation offering global assurance for our engineered clean agent fire suppression fluid.”


More details about the F-gas Regulation

In March 2014, the European Parliament voted to support a European Commission proposal to cut the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) 79% below average 2009-2012 CO2 equivalent levels by 2030. Under the regulations, HFC producers will be allocated a production/import quota for HFCs. Because the quota will be in CO2 equivalent and HFCs sold into fire suppression have some of the highest global warming potentials (GWPs) relative to other sectors, this framework does not favour HFCs sold into fire suppression. Thus they are likely to be more severely impacted than HFCs sold into other sectors. HFC-227ea, HFC-125 and HFC-236fa are targeted in the overall scope of the regulation. HFC-23 will be prohibited from being placed on the market after 1 January 2016. Therefore, practical implications of the new ruling affect not just emission levels, but also the production and importation of HFCs.


Details of the 3M Blue Sky Warranty

3M warrants, for a period of 20 years after original installation and subject to noted requirements, that Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid by 3M, installed in an approved fire suppression system, will not be restricted for use in fire protection due to its Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) or Global Warming Potential (GWP) and is not targeted for phase-down by the Montreal Protocol, nor subject to the European F-gas Regulation targeting the phase-down of production and import of HFCs into Europe; and will not be affected by US EPA SNAP regulations which would render it either unacceptable or acceptable subject to narrow use limits.


Adapted from press release by Joe Green

Published on 06/02/2015


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