Bart Schipperen, manager of the company, Europa Ice, based in Druten, in the Netherlands, specialises in the maintenance of Italian Carpigiani machines for the production of soft, creamy and tasty ice cream. With more than 20 years’ experience in commercial cooling, the perfect texture of soft ice cream no longer holds any secrets for him, whether in terms of its structure, flavour or smoothness.
Most machines are installed in convenience stores, fast-food outlets, discos, etc. or used by mobile businesses. They are easy to move, take up little space and adapt perfectly to different business structures.
A small share of the Soft Ice and ice cream preparation machine range is charged with 1.7 kg of R-404A refrigerant.
Before the new F-Gas regulations came into force, these machines were not subject to leak-detection testing as the refrigerant load did not exceed the 3kg threshold. The installer, keen to comply with legislation, has faced a real problem since 1 January 2015: 1.7 kg of R-404A is 6.67 tonnes CO2 equivalent, which calls for leak-detection testing every 12 months.
But how can this regulatory requirement be applied to machines that are, in many cases, difficult to locate and not covered by a mainte¬nance contract?
The installer, on the lookout for an alternative to replace the R-404A, tested a new refrigerant, Solstice® N40, which has a GWP of 1387. The comparative values measured hardly differ from one another and the conversion solution, R-448A, lets the owner comply with the regulations in force.
"I cannot notice any difference with regards to the quality of the ice cream. The machine works perfectly well and it did not require a lot of adjustments or investment. It is a sustainable solution that is suitable for the future and lets me deal with regulatory changes when I repair these machines. With this solution, we can put an end to some of our clients’ concerns," concludes Mr Schipperen.