What’s new about the European standard on installing refrigerating systems?
Published: December 2020
The European standard detailing the requirements that apply to the installation site of refrigerating systems has just been amended. This blog post outlines what’s in the standard, and what’s covered in the amendment.
BS EN 378-3:2016+A1:2020 Refrigerating systems and heat pumps - Safety and environmental requirements - Part 3: Installation site and personal protection is the third in a four-part series of European standards on minimizing the possible hazards to people, property and the environment from refrigerating systems and refrigerants.
The other standards in the series cover, in Part 1: basic requirements, definitions, classification and selection criteria; in Part 2: design, construction, testing, marking and documentation; and in Part 4: operation, maintenance, repair and recovery.
Meanwhile Part 3 deals with plant space and service on installation sites. It specifies safety requirements on the site, which may be needed because of, but not directly connected with, the refrigerating system and its ancillary components.
This standard covers refrigerating systems, that are stationary or mobile, of all sizes, except vehicle air conditioning systems which are covered by a specific product standard e.g. ISO 13043. It also covers secondary cooling or heating systems; the location of refrigerating systems; and replaced parts and added components after adoption of this standard, if they’re not identical in function and capacity.
The location of refrigerating equipment
This 2020 version of BS EN 378-3 is an amendment to the 2016 standard. To begin with, we’ve amended the clause on general requirements for the location of refrigerating equipment (4.1) to add flammability assessment and classification requirements for refrigeration systems with group A2L, A2, B2L, B2, A3, and B3 refrigerants.
We’ve also added more detailed requirements to the clause on refrigerating equipment located in the occupied space (4.4), and replaced the subclause on fire sprinkler systems (184.108.40.206) to give new conditions for fire suppression systems of the water sprinkler type installed in machinery rooms with R-717 refrigerating systems.
Doors and openings
In addition, a new subclause (220.127.116.11) is added on doors and openings. It requires that machinery rooms where the refrigerant charge is above the practical limit for the volume of the room should have a door that opens to the outside air, or failing that, through a dedicated ante-room equipped with self-closing, tight-fitting doors to an emergency exit passageway.
As well, the general requirements in the clause on type and performance of detectors (9.3.1) have been rewritten. This covers detectors that are suitable for giving an electrical signal at a pre-set value of refrigerant or oxygen concentration. It also covers how detectors should be monitored, how pre-set values should be set, the sensitivity tolerance of the detector, the need for additional detectors for oxygen deprivation and halogenated refrigerants, and the appropriate maintenance period for each type of detector used.
These changes bring the standard’s requirements up to date with current refrigeration technology and ways of working in order to raise the standard of safety and environmental protection of refrigerating systems.